Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayaka Hirahara – Shinsekai May 29, 2009

Filed under: Ayaka Hirahara — solarblade @ 1:48 am
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shinsekai

Track Listing

  1. Shinsekai
  2. AVE MARIA
  3. Shinsekai (Instrumental)
  4. AVE MARIA (Instrumental)

1. Shinsekai

Of course, we’re going to stick with ballads when you’re listening to Ayaka.  Though, this time she’s using a lot of English in the song mostly at the beginning which ties in with the title of the song.  Ayaka’s vocals sound very pretty here and even though it’s as simple as a ballad gets, it’s not that bad.  As we get further in the song, it does pick up, but it’s still a bad, but with drums added in basically.  It’s a pretty nice and lively track, but making the beginning sound like just another ballad is a bad idea.

2. AVE MARIA

Yeah, I’m not surprised that Ayaka decided to cover a very religious track that’s mainly used on Christmas releases….it’s just kind of odd that it’s now she’s doing it because it’s almost June.  This cover sounds almost creepy, especially with Ayaka’s deeper vocals that just kind of sends shivers down the spine. It’s a bit more simplistic than “Shinsekai” and it does show off her vocals well even when she’s ad-libbing. 

 

 

Ayaka’s first and only single of this era, Shinsekai seems a bit too easy-going than anything from the “Path Of Independence” era, so this just is alright.  Shinsekai starts out a little bland, but picks up on the later part and AVE MARIA, despite being covered by every ballad-heavy artist was nice and calm and I loved Ayaka’s deeper vocals.

 

ayaka – Real voice May 1, 2009

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 12:19 pm
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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

 

ayaka – Yume wo Mikata ni/Koi Kogarete Mita Yume April 15, 2009

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 5:39 am
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yumewomikatani2

Track Listing

  1. Yume wo Mikata ni
  2. Koi Kogarete Mita Yume
  3. Kimi ga Iru Kara – Live ver.(2009/2/13 @ SHIBUYA-AX)
  4. Yume wo Mikata ni (Instrumental)
  5. Koi Kogarete Mita Yume (Instrumental)

1. Yume wo Mikata ni

Yume wo Mikata ni finally kicks this era out with a pretty nice pop track.  ayaka is back to a great vocal style and she sounds pretty but the BKGD vocals sound weird.  I’m happy to feel with the track with it’s powerful sound and overall relaxing sound.  Welcome back, ayaka…

2. Koi Kogarete Mita Yume

As the main ballad, Koi Kogarete Mita Yume was sweet and calm.  ayaka’s vocals to me sound stronger on this song, but the song itself is kind of forgettable to her other songs, but an overall nice track to listen to as easy listening. 

3. Kimi ga Iru Kara – Live ver.(2009/2/13 @ SHIBUYA-AX)

Yeah, Kimi ga Iru Kara was off the last album, “Sing to the Sky” and seeing it as a live version surprised since it was upbeat.  I love ayaka’s excitement in the song and she sounds great (but when is she isn’t live).  I got to say she’s got a great voice and hearing it live just shows how much she’s into her music.

 

 

ayaka’s single is kind of a bittersweet moment.  The single is nice with everything going on.  Yume wo’s pop ballad mix, Koi Kogarete’s beautiful arrangement, and the live version just meshed well together.  ayaka though is having medical problems though and she said she’ll take her break next year which worries me that she isn’t taking one now…I mean health is very importand.  Hope she gets to feeling better.

 

Ayaka Hirahara – Akane March 6, 2009

Filed under: Ayaka Hirahara — solarblade @ 10:53 am
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f_akanecoverm_c7b881a

Track Listing

  1. Akane
  2. Futatabi
  3. Akane (Vocal-Less Track)
  4. Futatabi (Vocal-Less Track)

1. Akane

I guess if there was a track to have been re-cut, Akane would’ve been my choice.  Of course it’s a damn ballad which right now doesn’t surprise me one bit.  Ayaka’s voice is quite calm and with such an easy-going flow, how can you go wrong?  I do feel the instrumental parts were very pretty though.  Good choice.

2. Futatabi

It seems like whenever Ayaka and Joe Hisaishi work together they get the best sounding music.  Futatabi is best known as one of the songs used in “Spirited Away” and for how gorgeous that movie was and still is the songs were beyond phenomonal.  Ayaka sounds very pretty against the flute and and acoustic.  There’s a little bit of a sound that reminds me of Final Fantasy.  Like the track “Breezy” from FF8.  It’s a great B-side to be represent akane.

 

 

Ayaka’s first re-cut was such a good combination.  Even though both are ballad songs they differed so hardcore from each other.  Akane was a smooth ballad with some nice calming qualites while Futatabi was just a soothing folk track.  I think this is an early favorite of mine *RECOMMENDED*

 

Ayaka Hirahara – Hoshi Tsumugi no Uta February 17, 2009

Filed under: Ayaka Hirahara — solarblade @ 10:07 pm
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hoshitsumuginoutasv4

Track Listing

  1. Hoshi Tsumugi no Uta
  2. ImaKokoWatashi
  3. Hoshi Tsumugi no Uta ~Vocal-less Track~

1. Hoshi Tsumugi no Uta

I’m not totally surprised that once again Ayaka would have another ballad type A-side.  Luckily the music is pretty calm and fits the cover art just right.  With the right amount of sounds and Ayaka utilizing a more airy vocal, unlike her powerful vocals in “Ima, Kaze no Naka de”  I found this to be so much more to my liking.  I like this song actually quite a lot.

2. ImaKokoWatashi

It’s accompanying B-side is actually a first for me since it’s upbeat and maybe a little touch on the pop/rock side of things.  She’s continuing using a more airy side, but this sounds lively and sounds like a daytime song rather than a nighttime one.  Once again, I really like a B-side more than the A-side…

 

 

When I first reviewed “Ima, Kaze no Naka de” I thought she was going to be one of those artists that sticks with just ballads, especially since that single had 3 ballads.  I was really pleased that this wasn’t the case here, because both tracks are quite the opposite.  One was a night ballad and was an upbeat day track.  This was definitly more enjoyable than the first single of the era.

 

Ayaka Ikio – RE: ACID QUEEN February 3, 2009

Filed under: Ayaka Ikio — solarblade @ 1:59 pm
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acid-queen

Track Listing

  1. RE:
  2. Spin Me Round
  3. Mess Up My Body
  4. LoLLyPoP
  5. Pain Killer
  6. Spiral Storage
  7. Spin Me Round (cargo REMIX)

1. RE:

I think she could’ve pulled some potential out of the opening.  There’s some pretty cool effects as hard driving synths are buzzing through.  Ayaka does say things, but c’mon I wish it wasn’t an opening track. 

2. Spin Me Round

Everyone who knows Ayaka Ikio now will probably blame this song.  It’s got such a hot drive to it and Ayaka under the vocoder which made this song also the best from this mini-album.  The best parts was the verse (which there’s only one) and the middle section where the song smoothes out.  Another thing worth mentioning is that she kind of mentions the Dead or Alive track by saying the ~spin me right round~ part which was a nice nod.  I wish there was another verse though, because the song seemed a little short and depended on the later parts to pass it to the end.

3. Mess Up My Body

The beat has a bit more of a punch right from the start.  This would be the first time hearing a J-tek artist actually say ~fucking~ in it which is downright surprising to me.  I do feel the song to be a little on the boring side as it does sound a little familiar to “Spin Me Round” but in a different sound. 

4. LoLLyPoP

LoLLyPoP has a pretty cool beat which is kind of chaotic and offbeat.  She even starts singing with the “f” bomb and she says it a bunch of other times.  The chorus really puts Ayaka in a rough spot of singing.  I’m pretty sure this song is actually all in English, but heavily accented.  Other than the pretty slick beat, the song isn’t much to listen to.

5. Pain Killer

Another chaotic opening, Pain Killer doesn’t seem to really stand out until the main beat actually comes in.  It has a great sense of bounce and togetherness that the last song didn’t have and used a lot of lively synths as well.  There’s also a nice quiet synth part that sound well executed and is 2nd best on this mini.

6. Spiral Storage

Stock Vocals?  I really don’t enjoy listening to them and well the worst is that it’s a repetitious one.  The music is quite catchy and full of life, but Ayaka just seemed in a attitude moment until the chorus.  The chorus is actually quite cool, even though Ayaka is singing/yelling.  It’s a matter of whether you’ll like the verses though. 

7. Spin Me Round (cargo REMIX)

Do you really need to remix a track that’s already in a dance mood already?  It seem so because a remix finished this mini-album up and what an odd remix it is.  It has a piano line that repeats until the verse starts and nothing has really changed.  I guess they were trying to give it a more house sound, but this just came out a little bland.

 

 

Ayaka Ikio’s debut isn’t as strong as some of the bigger hitters of the year, actually might be the lowest of the debuters.  I mean if they give her more of a chance, I think she could’ve done really well as with Spin Me Round.  Her cussing does make her stand out, which is good, but she’ll need some help in the music department.

 

ayaka – melody ~SOUNDS REAL~ January 28, 2009

Filed under: ayaka — solarblade @ 10:36 am
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melodyayaka

Track Listing

  1. melody ~SOUNDS REAL~
  2. Blue Days
  3. melody ~SOUNDS REAL~ -Live Version-
  4. Sha la la -Live Version-
  5. Blue Days -Live Version-

1. melody ~SOUNDS REAL~

Well, after the nice ballad “I believe” we get a more lively and upbeat track.  It’s got ayaka singing in a louder style than the previous A-side and add in the cool sound provided by a band, melody is just a nice track with even nicer vocals.  It may not stand as the best track she’s done, but this’ll do.

2. Blue Days

Blue Days however is a little more soft-spoken in both areas: sound and vocals.  ayaka does seem to want to just bust out her loud side, but with only the acoustic leading for most of the first verse, it’s kind of awkward.  I also think that her higher notes aren’t too supported and she starts to squeak, especially in the chorus.  It’s alright, but nothing special.

3. melody ~SOUNDS REAL~ -Live Version-

This single is the first of many singles of hers to include such live versions.  melody comes first of 3 live songs and I seem to connect to the live version more than the original.  There’s such a nice feeling of being alive and with ayaka is definitly using her strong voice to potray the song in a more powerful way was great.

4. Sha la la -Live Version-

Oddly enough, Sha la la hasn’t been heard originally yet, so to people this came as a surprise and for good reason.  The song is pretty nice to listen to and ayaka sounds great live.  When she goes into saying her ~Sha la la~ line, it was amazing.  I hope the main song sounds this great.

5. Blue Days -Live Version-

ayaka opens up with a little speech opening that starts up the last live song on the single.  As much as I didn’t really feel for the original, she gave a much better performance of it live.  She isn’t squeaking as terribly and her voice showed a lot more emotion. 

 

 

This single if not for the amazing live tracks would’ve been pretty low tooken by me.  melody is alright but is easily forgettable against other upbeat tracks.  Blue Days was just a disappointment in a ballad.  Like I said, the saving grace is the live versions as they all just sound amazing.  ayaka, your lives are prolly that amazing.