Dancemania presents Natsu Monogatari 2008 supported by 9LoveJ – Review

Posted by DanceMaster on June 29, 2008

Natsu Monogatari 2008Dancemania presents Natsu Monogatari 2008 supported by 9LoveJ (CD+DVD)
Release Date: 6/25/08
Price: 3000 yen

I got my copy yesterday and have given it a few listens. It does some things better than Natsu Monogatari 2007, but there are also a few missteps that keep it from being a truly great release.

I think one of the main reasons for my disappointment is that most of the new tracks were made available long before the CD actually came out, so I had already been listening to them for months. Some of the re-edits helped to breathe some new life to the songs, but for the most part I felt like I had heard the entire album already.

If you can get past that, or if you’ve yet to hear the new tracks, then you’ll find that the album is mixed very well and has a solid selection of songs.

Full review after the jump.

J-Euro
01. Sousei no Aquarion (AKBK Mix) / Haruka

– Have I mentioned how sick I am of “Sousei no Aquarion”? The synth work is fine, if a bit boring during the verses. The vocals could use work, however. They’re not nearly as bad as ari’s (from Hime Trance Best), but still lack the strength needed to pull this song off.

02. Shangri-La / Shihori
– Easily my favorite out of the J-Euro songs. You’ve got guitars, a great hook, and outstanding vocals that are extremely close to the original.

03. Zankoku na Tenshi no These / Shihori
I think we’ve seen way too much of this song as well. That said, Shihori’s vocals again match the original’s pretty closely, and I love the synth melody.

04. Ai ga Tomaranai / TH Shimai
– This is a rather bland Japanese cover of “Turn It into Love” by Kylie Minogue. TH Shimai provide decent vocals, but the song lacks energy.

05. Samishii Nettaigyo / Mi-tan Yu-tan
– A cover of the Wink song. The melody is pretty catchy and Mi-ta and Yu-tan are competent enough singers.

06. Naked Dance / Two-Mix
– Sounds a bit dated, so I was surprised to find it was only made in 2000.

07. Take Me Time Machine / Tugumi
– Produced by Red Monster. I like it a lot, but again, I’m partial to guitars.

Eurodance
08. Butterfly / Smile.dk
09. Hero / Papaya
10. Willy Use a Billy…Boy / E-Rotic
11. I Will Survive (Motiv 8 Club Vocal Mix) / Diana Ross
12. Ticket to Fly / Solid Base
13. This Must Be a Dream (Extended Version) / Basic Element
14. Mirror of Love / 2 Brothers on the 4th Floor

– A nice throwback to the 90s, though it lasts a bit longer than it should. Certainly new tracks would’ve been been preferable. The transition from “Butterfly” to “Hero” is quite nice, however.

Hyper Techno
15. Bye Bye Para Girl (Hyper Techno HMX Mix) / Sunplaza Nakano-kun feat. DJ Yossy
16. (I Need A) Miracle (Red Monster Remix) / Cascada
17. Bad Boy (Red Monster Remix) / Cascada

– I prefer the original mix of “Bye Bye Para Girl,” and two Cascada songs in a row runs the risk of overkill. Still, not a bad selection of techno tracks, though I really wish LED had done a new Toledo Sombrero song.

Trance
18. Natsu Monogatari ~Summer Story~ (SP Show*Hey? vs. Big Kiss Remix) / Misa
19. Warrior (Final Round Mix) / DJ U*Hey?
20. Dead or Alive (Original Mix) / Heavens Wire

– The trance remix of “Summer Story” is an inspired choice. Overall, better and less overused choices than the trance tracks from the first Natsu Monogatari.

Psychedelic
21. Move Away / Skazi
22. World Destruction / Skazi vs. Duvdev

– Fewer Psychedelic songs this time around, yet they still have unbelievably long edits. >_< Still not a huge fan, sorry.

Eurobeat
23. Let’s Go, Come On / Manuel
– A solid, energetic production.

24. El Sonido del Diablo (Eurobeat Version) / Toledo Sombrero
– I actually didn’t like this when I first heard it on LED’s MySpace, but the new melody has grown on me a lot. I still like the original better, but I do like this much more than I did initially.

25. Electro Cow / Garcon
– That voice is just… unnatural. I can’t say I like this all that much.

26. Music in the Night (9LoveJ Remix) / Elisa
– A nice change of pace from “Lucky Boy” and “Bambino.” I can’t really tell what 9LoveJ did to it, though.

27. Love Me Queen (Perfect Pitch Project Mix) / Jimmy Bravo
– This has grown on me a lot the last few months. The vocals are lively and that guitar is killer.

28. Wings of Fire (9LoveJ Remix) / Jackie ‘O
– Still as awesome as ever. In fact, made even more awesome by 9LoveJ’s re-edit. Fire-fire-f-f-fire. A great way to end the album.

Bonus Tracks
29. Bye Bye Para Girl (9LoveJ Remix) / Sunplaza Nakano-kun feat. DJ Yossy
30. Lucky Boy (Extended) / Queen Regina
31. Chemical Love (Extended) / John Desire

– Uggh, utterly useless. And yes, I’m just bitter that I already bought these online.

Overall

Pros:

  • Great new LED tracks
  • Fewer Psychedelic songs
  • No “Parabiscus.”
  • “Bye Bye Para Girl” is much better than “Para Holi”

Cons:

  • Fewer LED tracks than Natsu Monogatari 2007
  • No Saifam
  • No new Dancemania remixes
  • Psychedelic songs still have the longest edits

Oh, I should also mention that the DVD is slightly shorter than last time, clocking in at only 62 minutes instead of about 80. The song medleys are as fun as always, though sadly, they don’t get as crazy as T*L’s medley from the first Summer Story.

Additionally, Last year’s ParaPara competition winner, Bu-koro, actually got to perform one of the songs on this DVD, though I forget which. As for this year’s competition, I think I’ll be voting for Para*Zoo, if only because they have the best medley.

Categories: Dancemania,Review
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29Jun

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