Serenade (A Cappella)
Solvagj no Uta Greig
Aranjuez Kyousoukyoku ~ Spain
CARMEN ~Je t’aime!~
Ave Maria! ~Schubert~
Sailing my life (Ayaka Hirahara×Norimasa Fujisawa)
Love Never Dies feat. Ayaka Hirahara (bonus track)
1. Serenade (A Cappella)
Opening her 2nd concept album up, Serenade is Ayaka with a choir singing for about a minute. It’s not much to go by exactly, but it does have a nice gospel sound to it. I don’t exactly think it sets up the album’s mood but whatever…
2. Sleepers, Wake!
First up with the new songs, Sleepers, Wake! is pretty darn cute for an Ayaka song. I’ve noticed the song is also in English and featuring a lot of this ad-libbing which kind of throws the song into song interesting areas. It’s like gibberish to me, but I’m sure it’s some language. It’s not too bad, and I’ve said that I liked her upbeat songs a bit more than her ballads as of lately.
3. Ifuu Doudou
Released as the final single of the era, Ifuu Doudou is still kind of a difficult song to listen to because of the sampled melody of the song. Pomp and Circumstance isn’t for me the melody to have put lyrics on it and should be left alone. So, naturally I’m not a fan of this song. As much as I like the way Ayaka sounds however, it doesn’t save the awkwardness going on.
4. my love
Getting into our first actual ballad of the album, my love is unfortunately as bland as ballads could get because although the melody of the song is very recognizable and Ayaka’s voice is on that line between regular and opera vocals. To me it’s another one of those melodies that sound better when there isn’t any vocals to it.
5. JOYFUL, JOYFUL
So we get into our gospel track from Ayaka and like I said before it’s one of those songs that twists your mind. It opens up as a ballad and with her singing really nicely and deep and with full emotion. After a bit, the song picks up the pace and becomes an upbeat tune with the choir backing her up. It’s a happy tune and it’s great that she could off this kind of song. Though I didn’t mention this before, but Ayaka has a little rapping section…I was like….Ayaka + Christianity + Rapping = HUHHHH?!? Still it’s an exciting song from her.
After the little boost of energy, adagio brings the mood back down to ballad form. Sadly, the song feels a little boring for me. It just seems that there’s only piano and a woodwind instrument (I think a clarinet) before strings and bells enter the fray. It’s still not much to really remember it by, besides the pretty clarinet parts.
7. Solvajg no Uta Grieg
It is pretty difficult to seperate the poor woman’s ballads (god knows she has too many to begin with). Solvajg no Uta Grieg has a pretty interesting feel since it’s not dark, nor light-hearted. The little bits of latin guitar really gives spice to the song and any at this point is good news for me. After a while, the song gains a bit more momentum and some accordion is heard as well. I’d say it’s the best ballad yet on this album.
8. Aranjuez Kyousoukyoku ~ Spain
So our next song seems like a connection of two different songs. Aranjuez Kyousoukyoku is the balladish and acoustic tune. As with the album’s earlier “Sleepers, Wake!” the entire song is sung in such an odd way, as to the point where I think Ayaka is scatting for the song, even in the first part. Now Spain (coming from “Keropak”) takes over after the opening and the mood of the song is switched. I love Spain because it’s so original and so experimental for Ayaka and it actually worked, despite me not knowing what the hell she’s saying. Even the beat-boxing was pretty chill too!…though ~damn~ made me giggle, or that’s what it sounded like to me.
9. CARMEN ~Je T’aime!~
CARMEN also takes a familiar melody for me, but opens it up singing it acappella before the music comes in. I know the song is like used in waltzes and such, so to hear lyrics on this one actually makes much more sense to me. It’s a got a very Italian feel to it and I like that about this song. Though Ayaka is singing loud and not at a deep pitch? I don’t know why but her vocals in this songs seem kind of all over the place…
10. mama’s lullaby
Just like the previous “my Classics!”, the album’s ballads have been mostly boring me, but unlike that album’s ballads, these ones have more of a memorable melody experience because everyone should know the titular “lullaby” tune. It’s simple, to the point, and does have that nostalgic factor for it. Though at the tempo it’s in it’s more likely to make me fall asleep than pay attention.
11. Ave Maria! ~Schubert~
The rest of the album is filled with previously released songs starting with the era’s first A-side. It’s weird that it’s also based off of another song she just did in the previous era as well, which makes this an edit of the song. I actually enjoyed this one a whole lot more than I did with “AVE MARIA” since it’s a bit more upbeat and has a better Christmas feel than the older one.
Of the singles released in the era, Ayaka’s 3rd single, Keropak was my favorite because of the amount of originality thrown in the single. Keropak (the original) is a fun and upbeat kiddy tune with a lot of silly and quirky stuff happening in it. The fun clapping and playful strings really helped this song quite a bit. The ending though did feel a bit too awkward since Ayaka was speeding across it like her panties were on the edge of bursting into flames. Though in my opinion, the remix from said single still trumps the original by a LOOOOOOONG shot.
13. Sailing my life (Ayaka Hirahara×Norimasa Fujisawa)
Ending the album off is Ayaka’s 2nd A-side and first collaboration A-side with Norimasa Fujisawa. Now I wasn’t surprised she would end off her 2nd concept album with a ballad. Though I wasn’t really expecting the collaboration effort to be that song. The tune is pretty and the mood is a very sentimental one. Now Ayaka and Norimasa sound rather nice in their own solo parts but together it just seems like they have slight melodic issues, but otherwise it’s a good ending tune and Norimasa’s deeper singing is just weird as hell and has way too much vibrato.
14. Love Never Dies feat. Ayaka Hirahara
As a bonus track, Love Never Dies is not an original Ayaka tune, but an Andrew Lloyd Webber tune. I’m sure it was prolly released prior but I don’t know. It’s another ballad of course, but we get to hear more of an opera sound coming from Ayaka and I’m surprised she sounds really nice. Still, too many ballads makes me bored and at this time, makes me even more sleepy.
Song of Avoidance
Ayaka’s 2nd concept album for me was a better collection of songs than the first one did…The again there were more new tracks to listen to as well. Also, the songs were pretty much more memorable since a lot of the classic melodies were familiar to me. Though isn’t it time to go back to original arrangements Ayaka?