Tag Archives: Uverworld last

“Lolitawork Libretto” – Kanon Wakeshima

NOTE: This is the European title for this release. The Japanese title is Shoujo Jikake no Libretto. (if these titles are incorrect, please let me know!)

Cover for the European (French) release

Japanese cover. The legs look awkward and she appears cross-eyed here.

Its been over a year since Kanon Wakeshima’s last physical release. Shinshoku Dolce, her last album, was released on February 18, 2009. Before you marvel at my “photographic memory,” I’ll inform you that the only way I remembered this was because February 18th is my fiance’s birthday. UVERworld’s Awakeve came out that day too, but I’d rather not immerse myself in such mediocrity right now. (LAST > Awakeve, yo.)

After thirsting for more Kanon for the last year and a half, my prayers have been answered and I have been quenched! I was beginning to grow afraid that Mana-sama had eaten Kanon, you know, like he ate Klaha. (its the only explanation!)

I’ll go ahead and warn you that this isn’t nearly as great as Shinshoku Dolce, but Kanon proved to me that she can hold her own and remain fresh and exciting after this long. Her vocals have not improved a bit, which is a slight bummer, but its okay. (so long as you steer clear of Princess Charleston)

Track List:
01 – Shakespeare no Wasuremono -Prologue-
02 – Kajitsu no Keikoku
03 – Heroine Syndrome
04 – Twinkle star!
05 – Toumei no Kagi
06 – Marmalade Sky
07 – Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango
08 – Princess Charleston
09 – Tree of Sorrow
10 – Celmisia
11 – Otome no March
12 – Shakespeare no Wasuremono -Epilogue-
13 – Lolitawork Libretto -Storytelling by solita-

Shakespeare no Wasuremono (both the prologue and epilogue versions) are heartwarming and powerful pieces that invite you in and gracefully escort you out of the album. Kanon’s cello playing is top-notch, and you can almost hear her saying “welcome” and “thank you for visiting. Come back soon.” in each respective song. Impressive! Both are a little longer than what you would expect, but I found that to be a nice touch.

I’d say most of us have heard bits and pieces of Toumei no Kagi somewhere. It was released sometime late last year and was featured in some video game. Finally, someone uploaded the track to YouTube but at 64 kbps quality, (at best) the song wasn’t even worth listening to. This song is fast, the cello sounds proud (if you could use that as an adjective) and the organ is a nice touch.

I have yet to understand what Kanon and Mana intended to do with Princess Charleston. Its like a song you’d hear in a Wild West Saloon. Either that, or some terrible throwaway ending. The vocals are, to be honest, terrible. Kanon’s rapid singing is cute, but not endearing. The song gets better, sort of, near the chorus. Still, the squealing vocals and horse-galloping beat confused me. Maybe this will grow on me.

Kanon’s back in her element with Tree of Sorrow. Sadly, this song sounds like several of her others. The chorus is pretty catchy, so its worth trying.

Otome no March starts out like it is going to be good, but winds up the total opposite. Much more squealing, oh joy. Kanon, you are better than this.

Finally, we come to the titular track Lolitawork Libretto ~Storytelling by Solita. The song is very well done, Kanon and Solita sound beautiful and calm together, and the tune is positively hypnotic. The PV is a little trippy, but at the same time one of the most fascinating PVs I’ve seen yet. Kanon is delightfully malicious while Solita… well, we can’t all look like Miss America. A standout track!

In Conclusion: Lolitawork Libretto is a solid album. The main problem I had was that it seems like Kanon is trying to shred the “creepy evil girl” image that I loved her for from the start in favor of something sugarcoated and adorable. Please don’t go that route, Kanon! I want to lie awake in fear that you will kill me in my sleep with a cello!

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

Only the Best: The Top 5 Songs of 2010

Hold it, Alisa! 2010 isn’t even halfway over!

Yeah, I get that. But! In the nearly five months that we’ve been in this new year, new decade rather, some seriously great music has come out. I’ll be talking about it right now! Yay! These are my top five favorite songs that have come out this year.

#5 Sakurabito – Sunset Swish: This is the second ending theme for Bleach that this group has done, the first being the strangely African-sounding My Pace. Sakurabito is a beautiful ballad with intense, heartbreaking melodies and traditional sounds. Very beautiful. Its a little strange that such a spring oriented song came out in January, but I’m not complaining.

#4 Rain – SID: Yeah, this song hasn’t even come out in full yet. See how little I care? Rain is the fifth and final (I think) opening theme for Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. I’m a big sucker for anime songs, ehehe. I think the reason why I have fallen head over heels for Rain is because of the breathtaking opening sequence from Brotherhood. If you haven’t seen it, WATCH it. The song just goes perfectly with the mood of the show. I’m going to cry my eyes out having to wait until June 2nd for the single. 😦

#3 GOLD – UVERworld: This song earns the number three slot from me simply because its so weird. It has about a thousand different beats and rhythms and takes a zillion different musical directions, but it works. So far, I’ve not seen anyone indifferent towards the song. Its either loved or hated. To me, its the third best UVERworld song after D-tecnolife and of course Colors of the Heart.

#2 Jealous – Jasmine: I am so impressed by Jasmine! She’s going to be a huge star in a couple years, I hope. Jealous is a relaxing yet powerful R&B tune. The vocals are fierce and sexy and I love every part of this song. There’s something regal about it.

AND!

#1 Kimi ni Furu Zetsubou no Ame – XodiacK: One word. “Duh.” This is visual kei, or galactic rock (whatever) at its best. I’ll miss this band.

Well, there’s my five! Comment me with yours! My next review will be Shoko Nakagawa’s Ray of Light. Seems like FMA Brotherhood themes are mandatory reviews for me. 🙂

~Alisa~

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Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

“Last” – UVERworld

This is probably my favorite album cover from them!

01 – GOLD
02 – world LOST world
03 – Sparta
04 – Kokoro to Kokoro
05 – The truth
06 – Barrel
07 – Hai ! Mondaisaku
08 – Closed POKER
09 – Kanashimi wa Kitto (album ver.)
10 – CHANGE
11 – WANNA be BRILLIANT
12 – Kimi no Mama
13 – GO-ON (2nd mix)

(My favorites are in bold)

The UVERworld boys are back after their last album, Awakeve, which left me with mixed and bittersweet feelings. Last is a much better album just because the tracks all feel legitimate, and not as rushed as those on Awakeve did. While its true that the album is lacking powerful, enduring classics like Colors of the Heart or D-tecnolife, its an incredibly strong release because each track is SOLID.

Review time!

Last contains the singles GO-ON, Kanashimi wa Kitto, and Gold. All three singles were great, with Gold being my favorite. I’ll admit that it took me some time to warm up to Gold because the song is so “busy.” There are about a zillion different rhythms. But UVERworld has this unique quality about their music, to where they can layer rhythms and melodies and the finished product is just great. GO-ON is also a great tune, a bit reminiscent of their older stuff, but something about its chorus got boring and didn’t seem to match the intensity of the verses. Kanashimi wa Kitto, being my least favorite of the singles from the era, drones on and on and on, but Takuya sounds lovely and his performance is quite emotional and genuine. I’m just not too huge on UVER-ballads. You know how it goes.

As for the album-only tracks, they are just awesome. Some of them are boring, as you’d expect a vast majority of album filler to be, but Sparta and Barrel specifically are good enough to be a-sides on a single. Sparta is a almost punk-rock-miliary-ish song and Barrel is like a mix of GO-ON and Gold. They’re both fun songs and don’t get boring.

In Conclusion: I’m just sad that this album dropped the same week as Ayu’s Rock ‘n Roll Circus. Its one of UVERworld’s better albums, but I know its totally being overlooked. But I loved it, and I hope others feel the same.

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection