ayaka: The ‘First Message’ era

February 16, 2011 at 9:20 PM | Posted in ayaka | Leave a comment


And then I remembered ayaka was there too. Yes, was, she’s on extended hiatus now and I instantly thought it’s such a shame that I had never reviewed any of her works. Ever. Shame on me, I heard she was quite good. Then I thought of one of my earlier posts, December 2010 I think, about alan’s single discography to catch up with her releases. That’s what I wanna do with ayaka’s entire discography now! So here is part 1 of the ayaka madness: the singles from the era of her first album: ‘First Message‘!

♦ ♦ ♦

I believe
Released: February 1, 2006
Oricon chart position: #3
Rating:

And we’re off! My first encounter with ayaka starts off with her first single that sounds like a ballad. The song opens with a piano and a lovely strings melody, and I’m surprised ayaka has such a pleasant and quite deep voice. Her vocals are so good in I believe, and it’s only the beginning, for the rest of the song is quite enchanting all the way. I’m in love with the chorus!
The quality of ayaka’s voice pleased me even more in the B-side Yume no Kakera. It’s upbeat, it’s funky, it could’ve been a great album track. ayaka couldn’t have sounded stronger here, she completely stunned me. I heard ayaka is known for her ballads, but if all of her upbeats are like this, I’m a fan already.

melody ~SOUNDS REAL~
Released: May 10, 2006
Oricon chart position: #14
Rating:

melody is the only ayaka song that sounded familiar to me, so I believe I might have heard it before. It’s very upbeat and cheerful, entirely different from ‘I believe’, and the beginning of the song reminded me of Spanish music with a lot of guitars. The bridge even features a big electric guitar solo and I love the rockish quality of this song.
In Blue Days (ブルーデイズ) ayaka’s ballad talent comes up again, and her voice is perfect for acoustic songs like this one. The song is all made up from an acoustic guitar and very soft percussion in some parts of the song. After a while the music gets stronger, and I’m so surprised ayaka reaches the higher notes in the song so easy.
The next three songs are all live versions, the first being melody, the second is Sha・la・la (the studio version is on ‘First Message’) and the last one is Blue Days (ブルーデイズ) . In melody -Live version- is recognized a change, more strings are added. Sha・la・la -Live version- is a quite jazzy song, and the violin gives it a folkish attitude. In every song, ayaka sounds flawless and just like she sounds on records. Perfect live singer.

Real voice
Released: July 19, 2006
Oricon chart position: #11
Rating:

And she’s pretty too, what more could you want? Real voice is another rockish upbeat song, and the opening with piano and electric guitars is awesome. It’s gives everything such a cheerful ambience. I like ayaka’s vocals a lot in this song, it’s a very decent single and really shows another side of her after some laid back songs and live versions.
Peace loving people is another song with a jazzy sound. I actually like this a little over the A-side because it’s different. The percussion has a nice bounce, the piano plays a jazzy beautiful melody and the brassy elements in the song are the cherry on the cake, it finishes everything. Very cheery song, I love it to death.

Mikazuki
Released: September 27, 2006
Oricon chart position: #1
Rating:

Yeah, one of her famous ballads, and the prettiest I have heard yet. Mikazuki is heartfelt, powerful and strong, everything a good ballad needs. Don’t get me started on ayaka’s vocals. At this point, she was already on her way with her carreer but still a beginner, only 18 years old and her voice is so strong. She sounds like a true professional. I love how the music builds itsself up towards a powerful last chorus, and ending with a soft piano melody.
Kimi no Kiss de is also a song that reminds me of the funky Spanish and South American guitar music, but then with a little pop twist. Ofcourse it’s an upbeat song, and ayaka’s voice sounds a lot deeper although she still hits her higher notes perfectly.
It’s funny that Yume no Kakera gets a live version now, since it was the B-side for I believe. I love this song even more now, her vocal performance is so pure and good. One of the few J-pop singers that can actually sing live the way they do on their albums.

 

I love this girl, really, there’s nothing more I can say. What else is there to say than that she is the perfect picture of a succesful J-pop singer? She’s pretty, her voice has an incredible quality that I haven’t heard elsewhere before and she is very enlighting. I really needed someone like her now, I’m almost stuck to the same singers lately. ayaka brings some variation into my little music world, and I’m glad I decided to make this post. I can’t wait for the next parts, I’m soooo not through with this girl!

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