Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayahi Takagaki – Tsuki no Namida June 18, 2012

Filed under: Ayahi Takagaki — solarblade @ 5:52 am

Track Listing

  1. Tsuki no Namida
  2. Namonai Hana
  3. Think of Me

1. Tsuki no Namida

I love the fact that Tsuki no Namida begun with shimasen and has this traditional folkish feel to it.  It was almost as if Ayahi wanted the song to come off as enka-ish because I get that feeling as well.  It was easy for her to tackle it because her voice is pretty amazing and she sung strongly ^_^.  It’s definitely a moving ballad for her and something you wouldn’t expect her to pull off (especially after “Meteor Light”).

2. Namonai Hana

So is the single traditionally Japanese overall?  I’m curious because Namonai Hana begins with shakuhachi instead and even has more of a feel of the old days.  Ayahi’s vocals are really nice once again but when I listen to the song I feel like it could’ve been sung better if it was alan at the reins.  It’s a pretty sounding tune and a lot more original sounding than “Tsuki no Namida”.

3. Think of Me

As the cover song of the single, Think of Me is pretty and unlike the previous two tracks has more of a flowing orchestral feel rather than one of traditional sounds.  Also, Ayahi is singing in her operatic tone and dramatic voice which is her best tone.  I feel like this song is related to Disney…but I’m not sure.  By the way, the song is sung in English and Ayahi did really well even though she slips up a couple times.  Seriously a pretty song though.

 

 

I’m kind of surprised that Ayahi would release a traditional themed single in Tsuki no Namida and its B-side in Namonai Hana.  They both sound real pleasant and worked well with her vocals.  A bit surprising since her last A-side was the energetic anisong, “Meteor Light”.  I found also that Think of Me was really good and made me love her dramatic opera tones.  She should utilize that more in her main stuff and not the cover songs.  Still, five singles and no album announced yet?  JEEZE!

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Ayahi Takagaki – Meteor Light February 9, 2012

Filed under: Ayahi Takagaki — solarblade @ 7:25 am

Track Listing

  1. Meteor Light
  2. Brand New Smile
  3. Tooki Yama ni Hi wo Ochite

1. Meteor Light

It was only going to be a while before Elements Garden would get their hands on Ayahi.  Of course if you don’t recognize the name, they’re well know as producers (and has just recently done “Synchrogazer” if that helps any).  Of course I was excited because it means Ayahi could finally get out of the ballad zone for an A-side.  Now for Meteor Light, it actually has that great EG sound to it and comes as familiar to people.  It doesn’t have a lot of bang (comparing to the track above) but this is still nice.  After a while though I start to feel like it’s missing energy and punch and just kind of cruises on the same beat the entire song…I’m a little disappointed in EG…but this is one of Ayahi’s better A-sides…

2. Brand New Smile

The rest of the single is kind of more or less what we know already from her.  Brand New Smile reminds me of her sphere works since it’s happy-go-lucky and breezy lol.  It’s just that positive of a song!  I mean Ayahi doesn’t really have such an upbeat kind of song so this is a nice change and she continues to sound good…but she’s kind of taking a different tone than she did when she covered KOKIA’s song.

3. Tooki Yama ni Hi wo Ochite

Her singles so far has had a cover song on them so it’s interesting to see that Meteor Light contained no such thing.  However it seems the songs melody is one of Dvorak’s tunes so I guess in a way it’s a cover but not directly one.  Obviously the last track, I’ve said that Ayahi’s vocals sound a little different than once she began…but this actually brings back those vocals that I loved in her ballads.  I mean it’s a very WTF song is you heard “Meteor Light” prior to this and you might think it’s not the same girl but it is!  As a song, the orchestra sounds great but it makes the song move at a snail’s pace.  So I guess it depends on the listener I guess.

 

 

As it’s her 4th single in the era, Meteor Light is probably her most exciting A-side yet but it’s not amazing since the song lacks a certain boom about it…but I totally blame EG and not her for that.  Brand New Smile is different as well, being all peppy and bright and honestly sounds pleasant.  However, I felt that Tooki Yama ni Hi wo Ochite was the best sing it brought out Ayahi’s opera-like vocals…she sounds amazing when she utilizes that.  This album is gonna be interesting, not gonna lie lol.

 

Ayahi Takagaki – Takaramono April 11, 2011

Filed under: Ayahi Takagaki — solarblade @ 7:40 am

Track Listing

  1. Takaramono
  2. All around me
  3. The Rose

1. Takaramono

While Ayahi does stand out from the sphere members with the best vocals of the group, she gets shafted for getting such bland arrangements which has been since happening since her debut, “Kimi ga Iru Basho”.  I find that the slowish ballad-type kind of songs are starting to sort of wear thin and isn’t doing much for Ayahi who did start with a good ballad, but caked things on with “Hikari no Fillment” and now Takaramono.  I guess I can say that the thing that’s good that’s been consistent is the vocals as they are still sweet and pretty to listen to…but let’s try something different next time…and no, the chanting past the halfway mark doesn’t make the song any better.

2. All around me

This is kind of what I’m talking about, our first B-side actually sounds like something worthy to have been an A-side and it doesn’t make her vocals sound terrible (even though there’s parts where her vocals are auto-tuned).  It’s a bit cuter like a diet-coke sound against sphere’s overall sound with the synths and happy vibes the song has.  I kind of like it and much prefer it over the A-side.

3. The Rose

As it is the 2nd B-side and going in the realm of what has been going on in her singles, it’s going to be an English cover.  I didn’t think it be of Bette Midler’s famous tune.  Likewise, Ayahi’s English isn’t much better here, but there’s progress shown here, but I don’t think she gave much justice to the song overall and I kind of flew pass it.

Being Ayahi’s 3rd single, Takaramono is definitely not an upgrade after her debut single and doesn’t even top her last A-side either which was just as bad.  I will say that All around me is better than most of what she’s released thus far and it does make the single all-around feel better…As for the cover…she’s getting better…but she doesn’t need to sing ballads…so booooooring to me…x.x;

 

Ayahi Takagaki – Hikari no Fillment November 17, 2010

Filed under: Ayahi Takagaki — solarblade @ 9:26 pm

Track Listing

  1. Hikari no Fillment
  2. Be with you
  3. Oh Happy Day
  4. Hikari no Fillment (Instrumental)

1. Hikari no Fillment

It makes me wonder if KOKIA helped Ayahi out once again with Hikari no Fillment since the beginning had that kind of sound going on, but after a while it does slightly get more anime-like, but it’s not a downgrade since Ayahi IMO has the best vocals from sphere.  It’s a good song, maybe a little generic sounding and less interesting than “Kimi ga Iru Basho”, but it’s still nice to listen to and shows off Ayahi’s vocals pretty well.

2. Be with you

Slightly adding a bit more oomph to her music, Ayahi really tested her vocal prowess with Be with you.  It’s a bit faster than “Hikari no Fillment” but it still has the rather plainish sound to it which once again depended mostly on Ayahi’s performance.  For the most part she does it right, but was it necessary to have her hit the high notes at such a shocking time?  It’s alright, but once again feels pretty bland, arrangement wise.

3. Oh Happy Day

Continuing the tradition of having an English song as the 2nd B-side, Oh Happy Day is sadly one of those Christian songs that I once again don’t find very tasteful.  Ayahi’s English kind of flopped this time around when compared to her last cover.  Still gospel should not be where Ayahi be dabbling with since she doesn’t have the soulful voice that she needs to have.  Sorry.

Wow, she went from something that was pretty damn good “Kimi ga Iru Basho” to something that was just very uninspired and lackluster with Hikari no Fillment.  The title track is alright for the most part, but the arrangement was kind of been there and done that.  Same can be said about Be with you, but that also came with the unneeded opera high voice notes that didn’t work for the song.  As for Oh Happy Day…yeah very biased when it comes to that and it definitely didn’t suit her or her voice.

 

Ayahi Takagaki – Kimi ga Iru Basho October 26, 2010

Filed under: Ayahi Takagaki — solarblade @ 8:05 am

Track Listing

  1. Kimi ga Iru Basho
  2. Watashi Dake no Sora
  3. You Raise Me Up
  4. Kimi ga Iru Basho (Instrumental)

1. Kimi ga Iru Basho

I’m surprised that Ayahi’s “debut” actually has a dance beat in it.  I mean it’s not what I expect from Ayahi since she’s a seiyuu, but it’s still in the realm of pop music, but I like her voice the most from sphere so this obviously worked for me even if the music sounds a bit dated.  The little splashes of sitar though was a nice touch however.  I guess I like it, but it’s definitely no “Inori†”

2. Watashi Dake no Sora

I guess since Watashi Dake no Sora is a ballad, it was supposed to be as good as “Inori†”.  While it’s not as epic or as majestic, Watashi Dake no Sora does have a good sound and buildup for sure.  Once again, Ayahi proves that she’s definitely the stronger singer, but also has strong arrangements.  Not much else to really say about the song since it doesn’t fully stand out to me, but it’s still nice either way around.

3. You Raise Me Up

Really?  Are we really covering the same song that Josh Groban made famous during the last decade?  Well, I really like that the song begins with a flute solo before Ayahi enters the song.  I was also surprised that she sang with a pretty steady voice and in English as well which was just as good.  She almost reached operatic vocals and that was great to hear.  Of course she doesn’t have the power Josh had in his during his version, but Ayahi really kept it nice and her beautiful vocals stood out here.

Since Kimi ga Iru Basho is Ayahi actual debut single, I was surprised she started out the best of the three sphere singers (yes 3, since I don’t know how Haruka’s “naissence” went but going by her voice, it probably didn’t do that well).  Either way, I was mostly surprised by her cover of You Raise Me Up since it was actually her strongest song off the single.  Kimi ga Iru Basho and Watashi Dake no Sora were pretty good as well and if she keeps this going she’s going to be pretty amazing.

 

Ayahi Takagaki come across Feldt Grace – Inori†/Justice

Filed under: Ayahi Takagaki — solarblade @ 5:35 am

Track Listing

  1. Inori†
  2. Justice
  3. Inori† (without vocal)
  4. Justice (without vocal)

1. Inori†

I have to say that through GUNDAM ballads, Inori† is a beautiful ballad for Ayahi who is actually taking up as her character, Feldt Grace.  Ayahi’s vocals are whispery and very beautiful and fits the lack of music going on in the song which is light synths and piano only.  I also think that giving her an echo property was very smart on her part and definitely showed the song’s true colors.  GUNDAM ballads though are always great to here by the ladies and Inori† is no exception.

2. Justice

For the other A-side of the single, Justice is at the same or near the same tempo as “Inori†” but the arrangement and how it begins really screams KOKIA or Akiko Shikata just a little bit.  While it might flow better, it’s partly because of the extra inclusion of other instruments to make it sound mystical and powerful.  While the change in points (when the guitar comes in) is a little jerky, it gave it a slight punch.  It’s definitely different when it comes into play and sounds different from any other GUNDAM song.

While it’s not considered Ayahi Takagaki’s debut (“Kimi ga Iru Basho” takes that role) Inori†/Justice was reviewed because it’s one of the songs that has her name on it and was a good release so I like to think she began with this single.  I was surprised that this single sounded rather good for a brand new artist and worked to a great degree.  I enjoyed this alot!