Kurayami Monogatari

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ayaka – Nijiiro June 23, 2014

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 5:56 am

nijiiro

Track Listing

  1. Nijiiro
  2. Gensoukyoku
  3. Nijiiro (Piano Live ver. from Room Ayaka Room Vol. 2) (Music Postcards only)
  4. Nijiiro (Instrumental)
  5. Gensoukyoku (Instrumental)

1. Nijiiro

Well, when it comes to Nijiiro, it safe to say that ayaka took a more laidback and feelgood route with this tune.  It’s a simple track from her including some strings and acoustic guitar and some other instruments to fill out the spaces.  ayaka’s voice is always good to listen to, so there never really is any problem here.  The song isn’t anything too noteworthy, but it’s of quality so it’s not a terrible song.

2. Gensoukyoku

As for the B-side, I wasn’t expecting a ballad to come out of it, but honestly I actually prefer it way more than “Nijiiro”.  It’s interesting because her great songs she’s been releasing since going indies has been golden.  Gensoukyoku after a while adds some kind of underlying beat to make it a little more special and I quite enjoyed how it all came together for the final product.

 

 

*will review that live track if it leaks*.  ayaka’s 3rd single and Nijiiro might be her weakest A-side, but at the same time isn’t exactly that bad.  If you’ve been a fan of hers since her debut then there’s really nothing all that bad to have here but honestly, Gensoukyoku was the better song with a more subtle sound and more focus on ayaka’s wonderful vocals.  I wonder if it means an album might be announced soon.

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ayaka – number one March 5, 2014

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 6:39 am

numberone

Track Listing

  1. number one
  2. Through the ages (Self-Cover Version)
  3. Hajimari no Toki (2013/11/19 Nippon Budokan Live ver.)

1. number one

It does feel like it’s been a while since we’ve heard ayaka hasn’t it?  I was happy to know that she didn’t pull another ballad out and proceeded to give us an upbeat track.  I love her smoky vocals just adding this brightness to the song.  It’s just a pretty strong song and the arrangement also adds to this powerful feel…definitely a strong tune!

2. Through the ages (Self-Cover Version)

To some of you, it might be confusing because she doesn’t have a song titled as such.  Well it’s a song that she penned for Gabrielle Aplin that was sung for Mizushima Hiro’s film Kuroshitsugi. (thx Efanz).  Here we have ayaka’s take and unlike its upbeat A-side, Through the ages is dramatic and sad as it has a lot of strings involved here.  Once ayaka comes in the song becomes more of a piano/strings ballad but the song is so focused on ayaka that I kind of enjoyed the barebones look of the song and when it grows it’s just so great!  I liked it!

3. Hajimari no Toki (2013/11/19 Nippon Budokan Live ver.)

Last, but not least we come to a live version of Hajmari no Toki which was the lead-in track from ayaka’s comeback album, “The beginning”.  Listening to her live again just brings back all the good sighs because she sounds amazing live still!  She pulled this song off so well and the crowd agreed.

 

 

Is it really the 2nd single she’s released since going indies?  Damn…ayaka scored a lot better on this single than her previous one by a pretty big margin.  number one is bright and upbeat and ayaka has so much fun with it and her self-cover of Through the ages is just beautiful!  Also, the live version of Hajimari no Toki was flawless.  Though isn’t time to let that song go now since it’s the 3rd time in a row we’ve been hearing this.

 

ayaka – beautiful/Chiisana Ashiato February 23, 2013

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 8:26 pm

beautiful

Track Listing

  1. beautiful
  2. Chiisana Ashiato
  3. Hajimari no Toki English ver.
  4. beautiful (inst)
  5. Chiisana Ashiato (inst)

1. beautiful

Opening the single, beautiful starts of with some gospel-like ad-libs which sounded really pretty with only piano backing it up.  Once ayaka starts to sing the song continues on this rather basic path for majority of the song.  Percussion and strings filter in later, but the song itself does sound a bit vanilla for ayaka.  Especially coming after all the songs she put out in “The beginning”.  It’s not a total wreck, but it’s something I won’t remember in the long run.

2. Chiisana Ashiato

The other A-side though kind of makes up for how white “beautiful” is.  This track has a much more playful vibe going and ayaka while sounds better in the previous track, gives an exceptional performance here as well.  I don’t know why, but I get giddy listening to this song!  I just loved the arrangement to this song a lot more than I thought I would…why wasn’t this promoted more? lol

3. Hajimari no Toki English ver.

So the track that promoted “The beginning” gets an English version and I was kind of excited to hear how it’d turn out.  Yeah the accent is really evident, but damn ayaka still sounds great and hearing the lyrics now makes this song a lot more emotional-tying for me.  It really made a difference and this song is just simple and great to listen to (makes me want “beautiful” to have an English version now…).

It’s shocking to know that her last single was back in 2009, but after her return, she’s making great strides in music.  I will say it’ll take time for beautiful to grow on me because it’s such a plain song in her discography, plus Chiisana Ashiato just overthrows it completely with being a lot more playful and quirky of a song.  The English take on Hajimari no Toki was a great extra track too…so she can get better from this for sure ^_^

 

ayaka – The beginning January 30, 2012

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 9:22 pm

Track Listing

  1. Hajimari no Toki
  2. Hello
  3. Akai Sora
  4. The beginning
  5. HIKARI
  6. Sora yo Onegai
  7. Tsunagaru Kokoro
  8. THIS IS THE TIME
  9. Soko Made Aruite Iku yo
  10. Egao no Canvas
  11. Magic Mind
  12. Kimi e
  13. Yasashii Ao

1. Hajimari no Toki

Kicking off ayaka’s return to the music industry, we start with the promotional song for the album!  To be honest, I was worried on how she was going to sound due to her reason she went on hiatus, plus her new label as well.  To be honest, she sounds powerful and she really sung Hajimari no Toki out very well.  The music is also quite nice and it doesn’t seem she lost any of her spark.  Good choice to promote the album ^_^

2. Hello

I will say that I miss her upbeat pop/rock songs and Hello reminded me of the good days but in a good way because Hello is quite awesome actually.  I’m surprised we get to hear her sing in a more deeper tone which sounds pretty good but the odd thing is is that I get YUI vibes from the song hahaha.  Still, it’s pretty damn good and I’m loving this track right now!

3. Akai Sora

After that burst of energy, Akai Sora comes in and tones things down quite a bit.  I will say that was an odd slide down but the song is kind of cute in a way with the keyboard melody.  Unfortunately, it really does take a while to get into the song because it doesn’t really grow much and it stays on this bouncy rhythm that kind of gets tiring.  The chorus does sound good though, I can’t lie about that…but the verses are pretty meh for me.  It’s def a track to warm up to.

4. The beginning

As the the title track and longest one of the bunch (at 5:50), I didn’t expect a title like this be the 4th song on the album hahaha.  Taking it a bit more simpler than “Hajimari no Toki”, it feature piano and strings and drums of course but I will say the star is ayaka herself.  She just sounds all kinds of powerful in this song.  Great ballad here!

5. HIKARI

At first I thought it was another ballad, but HIKARI is kind of not and has this bounce to it that makes it somewhat cute.  I hear some underlying synths in the song which adds a nice dimension here.  I will say that I’m surprised at how loud ayaka is but right when the chorus comes in, it kind of makes sense.  I’m a little curious at the decision at the destructive guitar mash…that was odd…but didn’t take away from the song either.  I’m kind of really enjoying this song!

6. Sora yo Onegai

I wasn’t expecting the next song to be so bare-boned of a song.  Only featuring piano and ayaka’s voice…it seemed just a little too bare against the previous songs but I will say that ayaka did what she could given the arrangement.  She’s got a rather airy style going in her voice and I’m not too big of a fan of that…but the melody was surprisingly good…hmmm I’m on the fence on this one.

7. Tsunagaru Kokoro

At least the album moves back up to a cuter song on the album.  It does sound like something she’d pull in her mind while sitting on a porch (if she plays acoustic guitar) lol.  It’s got a catchy rhythm to it and I find myself moving my head to the beat.  It’s affectious and just happy!  Maybe not my favorite, but it’s catchy as all hell lol

8. THIS IS THE TIME

Whoa, what’s with the all-caps on this song haha.  The introduction totally threw me off because I thought it was going to be a ballad but then switches into this mid-tempo pop/rock tune…almost a country vibe haha.  It’s pretty good though and kind of gives a free-form style from her…like a reserved version of “CLAP & LOVE”.

9. Soko Made Aruite Iku yo

Kind of like “The beginning”, Soko Made Aruite Iku yo is a pretty basic sounding ballad and this time I was actually bored by this one.  I’m not sure why but I don’t think the melody of the tune really makes me feel much for it and kind of reminds me of older works as well.  Still good vocals though…I don’t know if it makes up for the song though…it’s kind of ehhh there.

10. Egao no Canvas

It seems we keep going back to a cute side to ayaka.  I felt Egao no Canvas isn’t a bad song actually but it’s my least favorite of the “cute” songs on the album.  Though I will say the only major thing I remember is all of that ~sha la la la la~ parts of the song more than the actual lyrics hahah.  So I kind of forgot it in the end.

11. Magic Mind

If there was one song that I could say is kind of danceable, it’s Magic Mind.  It’s weird to think ayaka could do that but this song is kind of unique on the album and it combines the best things like acoustic guitar and ayaka’s awesome vocals.  It doesn’t have as much punch as I thought and the move into the chorus is quite anticlimatic but it still sounds really pretty.

12. Kimi e

At first I couldn’t tell what Kimi e was going to be until the electric guitar and drum beats kicked in.  I wouldn’t say it’s a ballad but it’s definitely not all upbeat either.  This kind of reminds me of her work from “First Message” actually which is a good sense of nostalgia for me.  Good song overall!

13. Yasashii Ao

Finally, closing the album out is unsurprisngly a ballad which seems to be ayaka’s thing lol.  It’s a bit hard to get through since piano/strings ballads kind of bore me to death but this is actually less memorable than friggin “Soko Made Aruite Iku yo”.  I don’t know it might be a bit sentimental, but I’m just not into this one.

Tracks Recommended

  • Hello
  • The beginning
  • Tsunagaru Kokoro
  • Hajimari no Toki
  • HIKARI

Song of Avoidance

  • Yasashii Ao

Taking a three year break will do you wonders (and of course going indies) and in the case of ayaka’s third album, The beginning really showed that she hasn’t lost her spark and she really pulled off a great album!  I will say that ballads for her can be hit or miss on the album but all the upbeat stuff really hit the spot!  Great album and I hope she gets some singles before her next album!

 

ayaka – Mikazuki April 16, 2010

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 2:25 am

Track Lisitng

  1. Mikazuki
  2. Kimi no Kiss de…
  3. Yume no Kakera -Live Version-
  4. Mikazuki (Instrumental)

1. Mikazuki

Most people that didn’t get into ayaka via “Why” mostly entered the ayaka fandom with this really pretty ballad.  While I know that ayaka is mainly a balladeer, she really stepped up her game with this song.  Simplistic as ever with piano and acoustic guitar later on in the song, Mikazuki definitely is one of the best ballads ever.  ayaka’s voice is so sweet and nice that it made the song so much more sentimental.  One of her best songs to date!

2. Kimi no Kiss de…

As for the B-side, I wasn’t expecting such a tropical song to fill up my headphones like Kimi no Kiss de… did.  I’m just so surprised by the entirely different feel when compared to “Mikazuki” and since this is loud and full of lively emotion, this was just as amazing is not more better.  Definitely one of her best B-sides XD

3. Yume no Kakera -Live Vesion-

While we were lacking an actual live version on her last single “Real voice”, Yume no Kakera (B-side of her debut, “I believe”) appears on this single and the acoustic only feel really stood out from her previous live versions.  It’s just funny that Yume no Kakera was one of the songs I wanted to hear live and since we have a chance to, it’s great, maybe not as amazing as some of the previous lives but still great nonetheless. 

 

 

ayaka’s 4th and final single of the era, Mikazuki was definitely saved for last and the entire single is win.  I mean we have ayaka’s token ballad, but was perfectly done.  Kimi no Kiss de… gave us an upbeat and tropical side to ayaka and that was done awesomely and c’mon do we need to even talk about the live?  *RECOMMENDED*

 

ayaka – Minna Sora no Shita July 7, 2009

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 5:52 am

minnanosoranoshita

Track Listing

  1. Minna Sora no Shita
  2. Arigatou.
  3. Koi Kogarete Mita Yume (2009/04/22 Nippon Budokan Live ver.)
  4. Minna Sora no Shita (Instrumental)
  5. Arigatou. (Instrumental)

1. Minna Sora no Shita

I know she’s sick and all, but c’mon another slow song?  I know she’s more famous because of her ballads and such, but I really want something that’d last in my mind since after this ayaka is going off into hiatus land.  I will say it’s a lot better than “Yume wo Mikata ni” and we here her vocals stand out more with the orchestral arrangement.  Beautiful track from ayaka and I guess it does make for a nice longing period, so this song is a good way to go out.

2. Arigatou.

Now this was the song I was hopefully waiting for.  It’s not as upbeat and fresh like “CLAP & LOVE”, but this is quite nice.  It’s more upbeat nature stands out for me and even the brass made the song peppy almost and I quite like that about this track.  ayaka’s vocals are nice and full here which added to the mood.   Good track as well.

3. Koi Kogarete Mita Yume (2009/04/22 Nippon Budokan Live ver.)

When are her live performances not sucky?  Now coming from her last single, I was surprised it wasn’t “Yume wo Mikata ni” that got the live version.  She never messes lives up and she continues this streak with this live.  Her ballads never come off as bad, especially if they are sung live.  Hearing ayaka singing her ballads to me sound better than the recorded versions and once again does it for me. 

 

 

Ok so ayaka releases this before her prolonged hiatus for who knows how long and well it’s a great way to leave the fans off like this.  Minna Sora no Shita is great ballad from her and put along the lines of “Mikazuki” and others.  Arigatou. is also nice being an upbeat track as well.  The live also was just as good as her many other live versions.  So in other words, not a flaw in the single.

 

ayaka – Real voice May 1, 2009

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 12:19 pm
Tags: ,

realvoice

Track Listing

  1. Real voice
  2. Peace loving people
  3. Real voice (instrumental)

1. Real voice

I’m kind of happy she went back to more of an upbeat kind of sound because this song would be something I’d stick with and listen to alot.  There’s just a great feeling of carelessness in the song and even though the arrangement screams Ai Otsuka, ayaka did a great job with the song IMO. 

2. Peace loving people

Peace loving people continues to carry this fun sense of emotion and Plp is a bit more soulful as well.  ayaka’s voice sounds a lot more cemented into the song and she has great control with the track.  The only problem I really had was that the piano melody gets a bit annoying after a while, which sucks, but this is definitly a special to her I bet.

 

 

The 3rd single of the era, Real voice was a big step-up from last one by a long shot.  The only thing that stood out on that single was the live versions, which sadly there wasn’t any on this *sheds tears* anyway both songs were comfortable songs to listen to and I liked relaxing to the tracks.  So far, this is my favorite single of the era