Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayumi Sakai – Shiawase no Rule December 10, 2010

Filed under: Ayumi Sakai — solarblade @ 7:29 am

Track Listing

  1. Shiawase no Rule
  2. Shiawase no Rule (Sense of the 1990’s)
  3. Shiawase no Rule (Instrumental)

1. Shiawase no Rule

Wow the opening for Shiawase no Rule sounds very pretty to listen to for sure.  Ayumi’s vocals sound actually really nice to listen to through the verses and when the vibe of the song switches from soft to hard rock.  She’s really comfortable in this style and the song is actually quite good from her.  Her voice just has this mysterious feel in it and I liked it alot!.  Good song!

2. Shiawase no Rule (Sense of the 1990’s)

Since there’s no B-side on the single, we get a a slight edit as the other song and to be honest, I don’t exactly hear too much that’s changed.  I mean the guitars are a bit more booming and the mysterious glow is kind of diminished, but otherwise it’s the same.

Starting a new era off, Ayumi’s Shiawase no Rule is definitely a good song to make up for that blah last single that was “ex-lover”.  I’m still thinking that she doesn’t know what to do with her career since this is her most darkest song she’s done and it’s rock (in which she hasn’t dabbled in much).  I actually like the gloomy feel of the song and I hope she continues to go for good A-sides.

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Ayumi Sakai – Precious June 19, 2010

Filed under: Ayumi Sakai — solarblade @ 3:45 am

Track Listing

  1. ex-lover
  2. Home Sweet Home
  3. re-set (ALBUM VERSION)
  4. Kanashimi wo Itoshisa de
  5. Yokogao
  6. tears
  7. Strike One
  8. STRONG BODY
  9. You May Dream
  10. Fun to the night
  11. Arigatou ~I miss you~
  12. Koizaki
  13. KONAYUKI
  14. Precious

1. ex-lover

It isn’t surprising that Ayumi would begin her album with her 5th A-side released.  I find it hilarious that the song is about an ex-lover while her album cover has her in a wedding dress…Kind of a paradoxical situation right?  Since the singles release, I’ve been getting more into this song because while, it has the typical R&B arrangement going, Ayumi’s vocals are sweet and straightforward enough to sound good.  

2. Home Sweet Home

Really?  Only four new songs to be found on the album?  I guess I can’t complain too much.  Home Sweet Home is the first of many WTF moments on this album.  After “ex-lover”, I wasn’t expecting a country-styled tune to be after.  I’m not sure why, but this song is pretty sweet and the fiddle and the banjo really gave this a rather strange touch to the song but somehow Ayumi pulled it off nicely.

3. re-set (ALBUM VERSION)

Coming off her debut single, “Kanashimi wo Itoshisa de”, re-set opens up to be more of a reggae tune than the single version of the song.  However, it still doesn’t feel really exciting for all the changes that were done to it.  I basically feel the exactly the same as I did originally. 

4. Kanashimi wo Itoshisa de

So of course after our island-ish track, we get into Ayumi’s debut song which was a ballad of course.  I’ve always found this song to be a little underwhelming under other ballads she’s released, but this song is special since it was her debut song.  Arrangement-wise, it’s your basic piano/strings ballad, but there’s a guitar solo as well somewhere in the middle of the song.  Yeah from the looks of it you might think I dislike it…I don’t, I just get bored from it hahaha.

5. Yokogao

Fitting to move into the 2nd A-side she released in her era, Yokogao slowly brings the pace back up because it’s one of her latin songs.  Once again, the arrangement seems a little too bare to listen to, but it’s a very pretty latin song nonetheless.  I’m also starting to notice that the album clearly has no direction or flow…but I’m not surprised.

6. tears

Our second of our new tracks, tears kind of reminds me of a slighly more up-tempo version of “Kanashimi wo Itoshisa de” but that’s not saying much because it’s got some synths and a steady beat that kind of sticks out a bit too much like a metronome.  Just kind of boring and stale for me.

7. Strike One

Out of the songs off the album, the next two tracks are a bit of the sore thumb songs here.  I mean these two songs delve into dance and a bit of electronica.  I’m still unsure if the song is with twenty4-7 like it’s A-side sister.  Still, it might not have the strongest arrangement, but at least this one is pretty listenable.

8. STRONG BODY

Which is weird because STRONG BODY’s arrangement sounds familiar to Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” which could be taken as a compliment or a steal depending on what side you take.  The collaboration between Ayumi and twenty4-7 is a bit fitting since they sound good together.  To me these two songs has the most energy in the album, and that’s saying something.

9. You May Dream

Our third new song, You May Dream starts to bridge between the pop/dance from the last two tracks into the pop/rock sound which is an off mixture because it does sound like a summer tune, but there’s so many weird things happening in the arrangements.  I guess you can say it’s a fun-sounding song in a way. 

10. Fun to the night

As “ex-lover”‘s B-side, Fun to the night is like what the title describes it.  It’s kind of like the previous song, but a bit more leaning towards bubblegum pop and while I don’t mind it…it still comes off as a little pale for me.  I just don’t think there’s much to it and the weird-ass conversation acting as the interlude is pretty annoying.  I don’t know….

11. Arigatou ~I miss you~

Then we get into the album’s best track (IMO of course) and it’s the B-side for “KONAYUKI” which was Ayumi’s winter single.  I’m not sure why it’s my favorite even on the album because Arigatou’s mood is like winter + w/e “ex-lover” had.  I love the harmonizations probably the most in this song since it’s got a heavenly vibe and Ayumi doesn’t sound boring as usual.  Best song!

12. Koizaki

B-side to “Yokogao”, Koizaki still is pretty plain and kind of under the weather when compared to both “ex-lover” and “Arigatou ~I miss you~ since the only thing that’s really nice is Ayumi’s vocals and some of the strings parts, but even then they sound rather familiar.   Pass!

13. KONAYUKI

Jeeze what is up with all these plain and stale R&B arrangements we have cluttered up in the back of the album?  KONAYUKI tried to be something that stands out in her discography…sadly that trophy goes to it’s B-side hahaha.  I don’t know why, but Ayumi’s vocals and singing weren’t that great nor was she putting much effort to at least make it believable.

14. Precious

As the album’s final song, Precious is of course another ballad, but it’s not like the last three songs where it was R&B tinted.  Precious has a bit of piano and she actually sounds a bit better here as well.  I do find it funny that it is the shortest song off the album, but it’s alright…cept the chorus where she pinches her notes a bit too harshly…hmmmm…

Tracks Recommended

  • Arigatou ~I miss you~
  • STRONG BODY
  • You May Dream
  • Strike One
  • ex-lover

Song of Avoidance

  • KONAYUKI

Out of all the debut albums this year so far, I’m least impressed with Ayumi Sakai’s debut.  I mean this girl is all over the place in trying to figure out what style she wants to sing in because it has ZERO flow to it.  Maybe near the end it does start to have something…but otherwise, this album has stale production value and Ayumi is really trying her best…though Arigatou might be her gem here.

 

Ayumi Sakai – ex-lover May 13, 2010

Filed under: Ayumi Sakai — solarblade @ 10:36 am

Track Listing

  1. ex-lover
  2. Fun to the night
  3. ex-lover [instrumental]
  4. Fun to the night [instrumental]

1. ex-lover

Ok, Ayumi isn’t really that exciting when it comes to her songs, but at least ex-lover tries to be the same road as her B-side of the last single.  Just like “Arigatou ~I miss you~” it’s got a pretty steady beat that can be quite catchy to listen to.  Ayumi’s vocals aren’t exactly all that great or exciting for that matter, but it’s passible but it just seems to drag the song down a little bit.

2. Fun to the night

As the B-side, Fun to the night is another experimental song for Ayumi but this time under light happy pop which sort of works better than it did in “ex-lover”.  I’m not sure where to place it because it isn’t like her, but the song is kind of running in the same boat as the A-side meaning it’s her boring performance that kind of led into its downfall for me but the arrangement is rather catchy and cute.

 

 

Ayumi’s 5th (and hopefully last of the era) single is kind of average and kind of plain when you put them against the other singles, though I guess it does top “Yokogao”.  I’m not sure why but boring vocals don’t make a good track more or less two boring tracks…Please stop boring us Ayumi go back to “STRONG BODY” or something XD

 

Ayumi Sakai – KONAYUKI October 21, 2009

Filed under: Ayumi Sakai — solarblade @ 3:19 am

konayuki

Track Listing

  1. KONAYUKI
  2. Arigatou ~I miss you~
  3. KONAYUKI (Instrumental)
  4. Arigatou ~I miss you~ (Instrumental)

1. KONAYUKI

Wait, we’re getting our first winter-like track in October?  Whatever.  It’s rather unfortunate the song doesn’t really make Ayumi stand out at all.  I mean it’s the typical wintry R&B song and even then there’s not much of the typical bells that come with it, so I guess it’s good in that respect.  I’m just not feeling this track as much as “Yokogao”.

2. Arigatou ~I miss you~

Damn, too many artists naming songs Arigatou…I was happy to see that Arigatou was more connected as a winter tune and it has a dance beat included with it’s relaxing piano arrangement.  I don’t know why the song is just so good and is ridiculously catchy.  I initially thought we were going to end up with another unneeded ballad, but she gave it a nice dance touch and is one of the better tracks of the era.

 

 

While this single is no “STRONG BODY”, KONAYUKI is rather cut out nicely to be the 4th single released.  The problem though was that KONAYUKI was more or less a typical winter/R&B track that it’s just painful to listen to.  Arigatou is what saved the single from mediocrity and it’s so obvious with the interesting combination she pulled off for it.  ALBUM PLZ!

 

Ayumi Sakai – Yokogao July 31, 2009

Filed under: Ayumi Sakai — solarblade @ 3:24 am

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Track Listing

  1. Yokogao
  2. Koizaki
  3. Yokogao (Instrumental)
  4. Koizaki (Instrumental)

1. Yokogao

Ahhhh, I love the latin sound of Yokogao right from the start.  It’s pretty smooth and easy to sway with.  Ayumi sounds really nice singing with the song, but her vocals in the chorus are a bit weak when she tries for the higher notes, but this song is catchy and should be a track people should listen to.

2. Koizaki

I’m surprised at how good her vocals are compared to her first single and “Yokogao”.  Instead of the light latin sounds of the A-side, Koizaki takes a more of a light R&B sound.  The problem I have is that these kind of tracks bore me to death and that’s what it did.  Besides Ayumi’s pleasant vocals, the song was really stale and kind of led nowhere.

 

 

Yokogao did a great job at getting Ayumi going through different genres and I love Yokogao despite the weaker vocals akin to Koizaki, sadly the B-side was a bit bland, but still had good vocals so it’s not too horrible.  I’m pretty sure since “STRONG BODY” came out after this, she’s a bit of a wild card and I like that.

 

Ayumi Sakai x twenty4-7 – STRONG BODY July 4, 2009

Filed under: Ayumi Sakai — solarblade @ 8:20 pm

strongbody

Track Listing

  1. STRONG BODY
  2. Strike One
  3. STRONG BODY (Instrumental)
  4. Strike One (Instrumental)

1. STRONG BODY

Ayumi’s first collaboration of her career, turned out strange because well, it’s not a ballad unlike the her previous releases.  It does feature Ayumi under some autotune which isn’t a first because I think she was under it it “re-set”.  Still the music here is like dance and features some different synths and beats.  What other people will say is that this song sounds way too much like Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” and I agree, because it totally sounds like it.  It’s kind of cool despite the closeness to the track. 

2. Strike One

Strike One is also a dance heavy beat, but I have no idea if twenty4-7 was part of the track, but somehow I think they are.  Thank god, it doesn’t sound like a reiteration of a track and Ayumi under the autotune again helped this track as well.  It sounds like a remix though, because the arrangement sounds a bit dry at places, but yeah hmmm what can ya do.

 

 

Ayumi’s 3rd of the era, she kind of switched genres on us completely and it actually worked for her becuase well, she didn’t sound as awkward as I thought she would.  She should stay away from making songs that sound like cheap knockoff of other songs though (STRONG BODY). 

 

Ayumi Sakai – Kanashimi wo Itoshisa de June 18, 2009

Filed under: Ayumi Sakai — solarblade @ 11:25 am
Tags: , ,

Kanashimi_wo_Itoshisa_de

Track Listing

  1. Kanashimi wo Itoshisa de
  2. re-set
  3. Kanashimi wo Itoshisa de (inst)
  4. re-set (inst)

1. Kanashimi wo Itoshisa de

I guess we get to listen to Ayumi debut with a ballad with of course strings and piano.  I do have to say the arrangement is a little dry and Ayumi’s vocals aren’t the sharpest or perfect vocals I’ve heard in a debut, but luckily things pick up in the chorus.  I just still find this hard to sit and listen through since it’s a pretty meh ballad.  At least it doesn’t suffer from the too slow problem and oddly enough there’s a small electric guitar solo thrown in.  Weird. 

2. re-set

Why didn’t she just debut with the B-side?  The song is a lot more interesting as it starts out nicely with some synths, but then it turns into a light reggae track or just plain islandy which ever it’s quite nice as it’s calm and light like I said before.  Problem is that Ayumi is lacking any emotion, so the song just passes by as a filler, I do like the ad-libbing though, that was nice.

 

 

So we have Ayumi Sakai’s debut single and it’s a bit too formulaic.  The main track is just your typical orchestral ballad which kind of bored me overall and while re-set is better than the A-side it’s not really that much better as Ayumi sounded really boring here and quite far off from the song.  I guess, vocally the A-side wins and musically the B-side was better.