ayaka – ‘Sing to the Sky’ era

March 27, 2011 at 8:37 PM | Posted in ayaka | Leave a comment


After a month of listening to ayaka’s music, starting with the ‘First Message’ era, I must admit I’m quite fond of this girl. She’s already in my top 15 on Last.FM, and that means something because most of the time I don’t listen to one artist all that much, I vary. ayaka found her way to my heart with her first singles and her debut album, and after that I immediately downloaded the rest of her discography. Today I will be pursuing the ayaka madness with the second era, for her second album ‘Sing to the Sky’. Enjoy!

♦ ♦ ♦

WINDING ROAD (ayaka × Kobukuro)
Released: Februari 28, 2007
Oricon charts position: #2
Rating:

WINDING ROAD starts off with a great acapella part by the three singers, and after that the song becomes very funky and soulful. They sound great together and I was surprised about the quality of Kobukuro’s voices, the men are very good singers as well. It’s a happy song, it lifts my spirit so much and I love the piano, percussion and the brass elements in this song a lot. It’s a typical ayaka song but the boys from Kobukuro blend in so easily, especially when one of the boys does a high falsetto note (wow, it’s a guy). The acapella parts remain my favorite parts.

 

Jewelry day
Released: July 4, 2007
Oricon charts position: #2
Rating:

A beautiful acoustic guitar opens Jewelry Day and then ayaka immediately stuns me with her amazingly emotional vocal parts. The singing melody touches me, and it seems this song has very sad lyrics. It can be heard through the emotions of the music, even without understanding the words she sings. It gets even prettier when I hear the strings. This is one of my favourite ayaka ballads up until now.
Even though the title doesn’t imply it, I’m alone is actually a little more upbeat. This song also has a prominent electric guitar solo in the bridge that I absolutely loved, and ayaka is again very good at transitioning between her head voice and chest voice in the chorus. This could’ve done pretty well on her album, but now it remains one heck of a B-side that I really like listening to.
Start to 0 (Love) gets and acoustic version now, and it’s a darn good one to say the least. I loved the original and I like how ayaka either makes an acoustic version of a song or performs it live. Her vocals sound raw and pleasant here, and I can’t remember such prominent handclaps in the original, which are a great addition to the song now.

 

CLAP & LOVE / Why
Released: September 5, 2007
Oricon charts position: #5
Rating:

From the cover I expected a more agressive song for CLAP & LOVE, and I was quite right. ayaka is accompanied by handclaps, an electric guitar and bass and sometimes a little choir drops in. To me this is one of ayaka’s more forgettable songs, but it’s not bad at all though. I love her vocals performance here and the ambience of the song is amazing, but some parts are just don’t give me the feeling some of her other songs do.
Why is, as expected, a ballad. It’s also the theme song for Final Fantasy VII, so I expect great things from this! What I get is a touching vocal performance, and the part where I loved them the most was in the chorus, when ayaka sings the title word. There is another great electric guitar solo in this song, but it was a rather longer one so it captured my attention even more. Even though some people may disagree, I prefer Why over CLAP & LOVE.
ayaka’s speaking voice is beautiful and deep, and she opens with that when she announces Peace loving people (Live ver.). I already know what a great live singer she is, and she doesn’t disappoint. The music is beautiful with a little bounce and sometimes a little ambient string element that I adored. ayaka continues to speak during some instrumental parts of the songs, and oh how I wish I could understand the girl… Although this is an extremely long live version, I adored every minute of it!

 

Te wo Tsunagou / Ai wo Utaou
Released: March 8, 2008
Oricon charts position: #7
Rating: 

I had the feeling that I would love Te wo Tsunagou from the very beginning when it opens with an acoustic guitar and lovely vocals. It all starts so soft and sweet, but the song then evolves into something much stronger and solid with more instruments, such as loud percussion and even an acoustic guitar. This song only could give this review 5 stars…
Ai wo Utaou would be the second song on the album, and also the second on this single. It’s more upbeat than the previous song and also a little more uplifting concerning the melody of the track, and this one features vocals that are just as pretty as in the previous track. Here she captures the attention with the funkyness in her voice, in the track is was mostly emotion.
Finally a live version of my all time favorite song: Mikazuki! This was sung live at the Nippon Budokan, and it was even better than the live version I included in my previous ayaka review (the one of First Message). She reached all of the high notes without any flaws and because the music is even slower now, it captures so much more of my emotions. Apparently it’s because of the strings ensemble. Perfect, period. Can I give this a 5+ star…?

 

Okaeri
Released: May 14, 2008
Oricon charts position: #6
Rating:

I love how Okaeri incorporates some bagpipes in its musical arrangement, it makes this song so unique and that was already in the very first minute of the song! This is one of the songs that were most memorable for me from the album Sing to the Sky, and I love it more and more every time I listen to it. Another lovely electric guitar solo, I love those in ayaka’s songs, and the strings are also wonderful in this song. But what I loved most, were ayaka’s pretty vocals, they were again very strong and solid.
Meiro is one of ayaka’s most rockish and agressive songs to date, but it does suit her very well. She handles it so very dignified I was surprised about the good quality of this song. I loved ayaka’s adlibbing section in the bridge, together with the agressive electric guitar solo. It’s not one of her best songs, but it’s very good at least.
YES! A live version of the beautiful Te wo Tsunagou, and apparently ayaka had a good day on December 20, 2007 because this song was recorded on the same day as the Mikazuki live version on the previous single and this one also features flawless high notes. The song starts off acoustic again, but then comes the smashing second half of the song that completely blew me away. I think I found another favorite ayaka song here^^

 

I love this girl, really, is there anything she can’t do? Almost every single of hers is worth 5 stars, so I think I have been very fortunate to have found out about her. She is one of my favorite artists now, and I can’t wait to review Sing to the Sky and her compilation album!

After a month of listening to ayaka’s music, starting with the ‘First Message’ era, I must admit I’m quite fond of this girl. She’s already in my top 15 on Last.FM, and that means something because most of the time I don’t listen to one artist all that much, I vary. ayaka found her way to my heart with her first singles and her debut album, and after that I immediately downloaded the rest of her discography. Today I will be pursuing the ayaka madness with the second era, for her second album ‘Sing to the Sky’. Enjoy!</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”>♦ ♦ ♦</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”><a href=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/?attachment_id=897&#8243; rel=”attachment wp-att-897″><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-897″ title=”windingroad” src=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/windingroad.png&#8221; alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a><strong>WINDING ROAD (ayaka × Kobukuro)
</strong><em>Released: Februari 28, 2007
Oricon charts position: #2
</em>[rating:5]<em>
</em></p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”><em>WINDING ROAD</em> starts off with a great acapella part by the three singers, and after that the song becomes very funky and soulful. They sound great together and I was surprised about the quality of Kobukuro’s voices, the men are very good singers as well. It’s a happy song, it lifts my spirit so much and I love the piano, percussion and the brass elements in this song a lot. It’s a typical ayaka song but the boys from Kobukuro blend in so easily, especially when one of the boys does a high falsetto note (wow, it’s a guy). The acapella parts remain my favorite parts.<em></em></p>
<p style=”text-align: right;”><em>
<a href=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/?attachment_id=898&#8243; rel=”attachment wp-att-898″><img class=”alignright size-full wp-image-898″ title=”jewelryday” src=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/jewelryday.png&#8221; alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a></em><strong>Jewelry day
</strong><em>Released: July 4, 2007
Oricon charts position: #2
</em>[rating:4.5]</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>A beautiful acoustic guitar opens <em>Jewelry day</em> and then ayaka immediately stuns me with her amazingly emotional vocal parts. The singing melody touches me, and it seems this song has very sad lyrics. It can be heard through the emotions of the music, even without understanding the words she sings. It gets even prettier when I hear the strings. This is one of my favourite ayaka ballads up until now.
Even though the title doesn’t imply it, <em>I’m alone</em> is actually a little more upbeat. This song also has a prominent electric guitar solo in the bridge that I absolutely loved, and ayaka is again very good at transitioning between her head voice and chest voice in the chorus. This could’ve done pretty well on her album, but now it remains one heck of a B-side that I really like listening to.
<em>Start to 0 (Love)</em> gets and acoustic version now, and it’s a darn good one to say the least. I loved the original and I like how ayaka either makes an acoustic version of a song or performs it live. Her vocals sound raw and pleasant here, and I can’t remember such prominent handclaps in the original, which are a great addition to the song now.</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”><a href=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/?attachment_id=899&#8243; rel=”attachment wp-att-899″><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-899″ title=”clap&amp;love” src=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/claplove.png&#8221; alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a><strong>CLAP &amp; LOVE / Why
</strong><em>Released: September 5, 2007
Oricon charts position: #5
</em>[rating:4.5]</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>From the cover I expected a more agressive song for <em>CLAP &amp; LOVE, </em>and I was quite right. ayaka is accompanied by handclaps, an electric guitar and bass and sometimes a little choir drops in. To me this is one of ayaka’s more forgettable songs, but it’s not bad at all though. I love her vocals performance here and the ambience of the song is amazing, but some parts are just don’t give me the feeling some of her other songs do.
<em>Why</em> is, as expected, a ballad. It’s also the theme song for Final Fantasy VII, so I expect great things from this! What I get is a touching vocal performance, and the part where I loved them the most was in the chorus, when ayaka sings the title word. There is another great electric guitar solo in this song, but it was a rather longer one so it captured my attention even more. Even though some people may disagree, I prefer <em>Why </em>over <em>CLAP &amp; LOVE</em>.
ayaka’s speaking voice is beautiful and deep, and she opens with that when she announces <em>Peace loving people (Live ver.)</em>. I already know what a great live singer she is, and she doesn’t disappoint. The music is beautiful with a little bounce and sometimes a little ambient string element that I adored. ayaka continues to speak during some instrumental parts of the songs, and oh how I wish I could understand the girl… Although this is an extremely long live version, I adored every minute of it!</p>
<p style=”text-align: right;”><a href=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/?attachment_id=900&#8243; rel=”attachment wp-att-900″><img class=”alignright size-full wp-image-900″ title=”tewotsunagouaiwoutaou” src=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/tewotsunagouaiwoutaou.png&#8221; alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a><strong>Te wo Tsunagou / Ai wo Utaou
</strong><em>Released: March 8, 2008
Oricon charts position: #7
</em>[rating:5]</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I had the feeling that I would love <em>Te wo Tsunagou</em> from the very beginning when it opens with an acoustic guitar and lovely vocals. It all starts so soft and sweet, but the song then evolves into something much stronger and solid with more instruments, such as loud percussion and even an acoustic guitar. This song only could give this review 5 stars…
<em>Ai wo Utaou </em>would be the second song on the album, and also the second on this single. It’s more upbeat than the previous song and also a little more uplifting concerning the melody of the track, and this one features vocals that are just as pretty as in the previous track. Here she captures the attention with the funkyness in her voice, in the track is was mostly emotion.
Finally a live version of my all time favorite song: <em>Mikazuki</em>! This was sung live at the Nippon Budokan, and it was even better than the live version I included in my previous ayaka review (the one of First Message). She reached all of the high notes without any flaws and because the music is even slower now, it captures so much more of my emotions. Apparently it’s because of the strings ensemble. Perfect, period. Can I give this a 5+ star…?</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”><a href=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/?attachment_id=901&#8243; rel=”attachment wp-att-901″><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-901″ title=”okaeri” src=”http://musicaddiction.netne.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/okaeri.png&#8221; alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ /></a><strong>Okaeri
</strong><em>Released: May 14, 2008
Oricon charts position: #6
</em>[rating:5]</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I love how <em>Okaeri </em>incorporates some bagpipes in its musical arrangement, it makes this song so unique and that was already in the very first minute of the song! This is one of the songs that were most memorable for me from the album Sing to the Sky, and I love it more and more every time I listen to it. Another lovely electric guitar solo, I love those in ayaka’s songs, and the strings are also wonderful in this song. But what I loved most, were ayaka’s pretty vocals, they were again very strong and solid.
<em>Meiro</em> is one of ayaka’s most rockish and agressive songs to date, but it does suit her very well. She handles it so very dignified I was surprised about the good quality of this song. I loved ayaka’s adlibbing section in the bridge, together with the agressive electric guitar solo. It’s not one of her best songs, but it’s very good at least.
YES! A live version of the beautiful <em>Te wo Tsunagou</em>, and apparently ayaka had a good day on December 20, 2007 because this song was recorded on the same day as the Mikazuki live version on the previous single and this one also features flawless high notes. The song starts off acoustic again, but then comes the smashing second half of the song that completely blew me away. I think I found another favorite ayaka song here^^</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I love this girl, really, is there anything she can’t do? Almost every single of hers is worth 5 stars, so I think I have been very fortunate to have found out about her. She is one of my favorite artists now, and I can’t wait to review Sing to the Sky and her compilation album!</p>

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