Kurayami Monogatari

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Aya Ueto – Happy Magic ~Smile Project~ July 14, 2009

Filed under: Aya Ueto — solarblade @ 9:53 pm

happymagic

Track Listing

  1. Smile for…
  2. Tsukamaete!
  3. Kokoro Pokapoka
  4. Kimi ga Warau to Sekai ga Warau
  5. Honey
  6. Watashi no Taiyou
  7. Ukiyou no Fairy
  8. SMILE
  9. Bokura no Mirai e
  10. way to heaven (Regular Edition only)
  11. Namida no Niji (Regular Edition only)

1. Smile for…

We begin this album with the single that brought back Aya from her hiatus.  Sadly, the song is one of those songs that really make you question you’re really a fan because it’s heavily idol-infused.  I mean Aya…seriously?  You probably should’ve stuck to something that wasn’t delving into this area of music.  Not my favorite A-side from her.

2. Tsukamaete!

Our first new track is kind of like “Smile for…” but take out the hardcore idolness of it and you basically left with an energetic pop song.  Problem is that she sounds monotone going through the verses and even the chorus isn’t popping out from the song.  It does sound cool like a beach song, with the whole upbeat nature and stuff.  Better than the last track.

3. Kokoro Pokapoka

After those two poppy tracks,we get a country track?  I mean it does start with a banjo opening…yeah you heard it here A BANJO.  It is a bit more of a mid-tempo laced track and include some strings here as well and you basically get this track.  If it wasn’t for the banjo, I think the song would’ve been an easier song to take in….oh yeah, the verses do take a very light reggae feel…strange, but alright.

4. Kimi ga Warau to Sekai ga Warau

We finally get into the first ballad of the album and c’mon Aya can do ballads right.  Things progress further into the song as it gets strings and some drums to fill in the spaces.  It might be a little underwhelming considering the other ballads that filled the era, but this is actually the first song that I don’t think it’s cheesy so that’s a plus.

5. Honey

Oh hey, Honey really sounds like something that was back in the 50’s which is great enough for me.  It’s lighthearted and poppy just like songs of the time.  It does show more of variation that the album has so far, and the song is like uber catchy though.  Clearly one of the best songs off the album.

6. Watashi no Taiyou

We return to cheesy music with Watashi no Taiyou.  It does start out nice enough, but the synth here and the other instruments doesn’t exactly scream nice.  It’s like a mix of pop and R&B all wrapped up together to make something at least presentable.  It sounds a bit bland overall though…

7. Ukiyou no Fairy

Wait…We return to cheesyness at full blast with out next track.  I mean it’s sadder that the song sounds like something rejected from H!P.  At most, the song comes off alright, but I can’t think but that Aya is going the wrong direction with her music…It’s nothing that good.

8. SMILE

I want to say this is the title track, but SMILE is actually another ballad from her.  It’s really a nice track because it’s mainly an acoustic guitar playing the arrangement.  It’s rather very simplistic and I kind of like that it is compared to the other tracks.  Even when bongo drums are included, the song doesn’t sound complex or a bit turnoff.  Another great track here.

9. Bokura no Mirai e

Being the longest track over 6 minutes, Bokura no Mirai e is also a ballad here, albeit sounds like something that should’ve been released in th winter time because simply, it’s wintry sounding.  I have to say, I love Aya’s vocals here since she really put herself out there.  Though sometimes she does run flat, but once again she pulled a ballad off very nicely.

10. way to heaven

Let’s plug ourselves back into 2007 when she released this single…Two years ago right?  Well on the regular edition, you do get the last two A-sides of the era.  way to heaven is a just like “Tsukamaete!” in the fact that it’s so upbeat and loud.  It does sound like jazz mixed in with disco…kind of strange, but the song has grown on me since the single.  It’s one of the better songs off the album.

11. Namida no Niji

The middle A-side released in the era, I would’ve preferred “SAVE ME” over this because well, Namida no Niji is just a messy ballad.  I mean the music is alright, but when Aya sings it kind of disrupts the flow of the album.  What a disappointing way to finish off the album really.

Tracks Recommended

  • Honey
  • SMILE
  • way to heaven

Song of Avoidance

  • Ukiyou no Fairy

Honestly, I was disappointed on Aya’s return to music.  I’ll take to the fact that the album had more of a diverse selection of songs, but most of the songs were the directions I was hoping she wouldn’t go.  It was nice she featured the older tracks, but “SAVE ME” and “Owari ni Shou” should’ve been somewhere on the album…Not really that good of an album.

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Aya Ueto – Smile for…/Mou Ichido Dake June 26, 2009

Filed under: Aya Ueto — solarblade @ 2:35 pm
Tags: , ,

smilefor

Track Listing

  1. Smile for…
  2. Mou Ichido Dake
  3. Smile for… (instrumental)
  4. Mou Ichido Dake (instrumental)

1. Smile for…

It’s been a while since Aya released anything for a while and I was oddly surprised the song sounded pretty idol-like with it’s overly pop-like nature and the small quips of electric guitar.  I’m pretty turned off by the fact that Aya went this direction to be using all these terrible idol-like sounds, all those yelps and ~YEAHS~ do not make a song any good IMO, and sort of detracts from the song itself.  I haven’t heard her stuff before this era, but I know that “way to heaven” is leagues better.  Sad, sad song.

2. Mou Ichido Dake

However, I was happy with the B-side which was a ballad.  Aya did a way better job sounding together and keeping herself sweet and nicely emotional throughout.  It’s still a little bit a little bit typical of a ballad with a piano + strings arrangement.  It can become a little bland after a while, but it’s still a good ballad.

 

 

Ok, I guess two years has messed her up a little bit, Smile for… was just too idolly for me and I thought she was over that crap for sure, but I guess not and I quickly got annoyed with it.  Mou Ichido Dake was an alright ballad, even though it’s not too much…Seems like Aya can’t get a super song out of the era…Can’t tell which is the worst one of the era.

 

Aya Ueto – Namida no Niji/SAVE ME June 6, 2009

Filed under: Aya Ueto — solarblade @ 11:47 am
Tags: , ,

namidanoniji

Track Listing

  1. Namida no Niji
  2. SAVE ME
  3. way to heaven ~100db mix~
  4. Namida no Niji -Instrumental-
  5. SAVE ME -Instrumental-

1. Namida no Niji

Namida no Niji begins the single off pretty awesomely.  Unlike the uber poppy “way to heaven”, this track is actually a ballad of all things and we get to hear more of a softer side to Aya.  The music is really nice mainly filled with strings and piano and drums.  I thought it was done pretty nicely.  Aya’s vocals however doesn’t well here as they sound a bit off the note most of the time.  It’s alright, nothing too special.

2. SAVE ME

At first, I thought SAVE ME was also a ballad, but it’s actually a rock/pop track which also brings out the better Aya as her vocals are more solid this time around.  Her high notes are a different story though LOL.  Still as I look deeper in the song, it features the same instruments as the last track except with the addition of guitar and bass.  So when it really came down to it, this tops the primary A-side.

3. way to heaven ~100db mix~

I’m not gonna question this, but way to heaven actually got itself a remix.  I really didn’t know what they could do with a remix of a girly pop song, but yet here it is.  Instead of the previous sounds, it’s heavy on the synths and Aya’s vocals and singing are messed around with a lot.  There’s just more music going on instead of Aya singing.  Even then it doesn’t fit in this single at all.  Not so good.

 

 

Aya’s 2nd of the era, Namida no Niji/SAVE ME was a step down from the last single.  First off Namida no Niji was just not that good of a track from here and she’s had better ballads I bet.  SAVE ME was a bit better, and it had a good punch to it, so easily it’s the best.  The remix was just so out-of-place on the single and even then it was a very messy remix at that.  I hope this hiatus has gotten her to make awesome songs.

 

Aya Ueto – way to heaven May 4, 2009

Filed under: Aya Ueto — solarblade @ 7:13 pm
Tags: , ,

waytoheaven

Track Listing

  1. way to heaven
  2. Owari ni Shou
  3. Shimokita Ijou Harajuku Miman (French Bossa Version)
  4. way to heaven ~Instrumental~

1. way to heaven

This is so very surprising.  When I first heard of Aya Ueto, she was this kickass chick with a sword.  Then I got into her single, this way just jaw-dropping and definitly something I wouldn’t have though she’d do at all.  It’s very upbeat and poppy.  Aya’s vocals are pretty expressive, even though they aren’t the better vocals.  There’s a little bit of a jazz influence as well which is pretty cool.  Other than that, I feel like she’s had way better tracks.

2. Owari ni Shou

Owari ni Shou on the other hand, definitly reminds me of something from the Final Fantasy series.  It starts out dark with low thumps and not a lot on the arrangement.  Then Aya comes in and radiates the song a lot which is so nice.  I liked her a lot more singing in this song than in “way to heaven”.  It’s something I love to hear in a ballad and is quickly becoming something I really enjoy.

3. Shimokita Ijou Harajuku Miman (French Bossa Version)

So this track is a bunch of things.  First, it’s a cover of a track that Aya was on and second it’s a remix of the song she covered back on her Best-of.  Now since that’s outta the way.  Shimokita Ijou Harajuku Miman here is a lot more calming than the other songs which is cool.  It’s light bossa nova sound is just what this song needed IMO and Aya’s calm vocals are sweet and cute at the sane time.  DAMN, so good.

 

 

Aya Ueto’s first single for a new era was surprising in many ways.  way to heaven showed off her poppy side in full fashion and surprised me a lot.  Owari ni Shou took the cake for being such a moving ballad and yet containing some darker undertones in it.  The remix however was just the thing I needed and is an awesome touch to the single!!!