Archive for the ‘ Angela Aki ’ Category

Ai no Kisetsu

Ai no KisetsuArtist: Angela Aki
Release Date: September 16, 2009
Label: Sony Music Japan
Perosnal Rating: 4/5

1. Ai no Kisetsu
2. Emily
3. It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday
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Ever since I’ve listened to TODAY, Angela has been on my favorite artists list! I was so excited when Ai no Kisetsu got released a few weeks ago so I just quickly went and downloaded myself a copy and then…..

Ai no Kisetsu turns out to be an upbeat song that sounds really great on the first listen but gets a bit tiring after listening it to a few more times. Overall, it’s actually a good song but if I were to compare this to her past A-sides, I would say that this doesn’t really use the most of Angela’s talent. I mean, to put it bluntly, it doesn’t sound over-the-top like she usually is. But that’s just my thought.

I seriously thought that Emily would had made a better A-side since it’s something new. A totally fresh arrangement with the mixture of the drums and piano and the chorus in the background! And best of all…it’s really something I could listen to for multiples of times!

Hmmm…. I remembered hearing It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday but then I realized that it was actually a cover song from G.C. Cameron’s version! I thought that this stood out the most from the rest of the single even though it was just a cover….

Perosnal Rating: 4/5

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HOME

HOMEArtist: Angela Aki
Release Date: September 14, 2005
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 5/5

1. HOME
2. Kiseki
3. Will you Dance
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On a Personal Note: Yes! Here’s the last of Angela’s singles! After this, All I have are three albums to review! (Which doesn’t take so long anymore.)

You might have noticed that this is Angel’s debut single since her hair looks so different. (But it still looks cute!)

HOME is pretty relaxing at the start of the song since it starts with her playing the graceful piano. But when her vocals came in, it was as if the song just suddenly gained more power. It’s a great song for relaxation since Angela could just hit those notes really well. Great A-side.

Aside from the more calmer tone used in the A-side, Kiseki takes on the playful mood and reuses the elements from HOME. It was great to hear the piano playing at the beginning again. I actually thought that this wasn’t B-side material since it really sounded high quality.

Finally, there’s Will you Dance with even more powerful vocals and instrumentation than HOME. To be honest, I thought that this was the best song of the single. It may not be as fast tempo but the voice and music quality was just “Wow.” Why weren’t all of the B-sides included as A-sides?!

Personal Rating: 5/5

TODAY

TODAYArtist: Angela Aki
Release Date: September 19, 2007
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 5/5

1. Sakurairo
2. Again
3. TODAY
4. Ai no Uta
5. Tashika ni
6. Silent Girl
7. Moral no Soushiki
8. Otome Gokoro
9. One Melody
10. Tomo no Shirushi
11. Kodoku no Kakera
12. On & On
13. Surrender
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I gave Sakurairo, Tashika ni , Kodoku no Kakera and On & On pretty high ratings on their respective singles since Angela pretty much knows what style of song would suit her vocals. (And there’s that awesome piano that she plays.)

If you listen closely to each of the songs, you could tell that Aki is trying to make each instrumentation do a better job at supporting her voice. I just love it how she could really manipulate her songs to make them sound better to her listeners. (Since none of them were actually bad.)

Ai no Uta, Silent Girl, Tomo no Shirushi and Surrender were the slower parts of the album. With all of them sounding very beautiful and plesant, not only to the instrumentals really synch with her voice very well; each and every one of them displays the grace and emotions that Angela could all put in one song. Making her voice sound natural really shows that Angela could really sing. Plus her English was excellent.

With the same pacing as Tashika ni, Again, TODAY, Moral no Soushiki, Otome Gokoro and One Melody also took me by surprise. Aki tends to change the way her instrumentation flows but from jazzy to variations? Who would of thought that she had a wide range of songs she could sing from! It’s actually really hard to pick a favorite track since all of them sounded very outstanding. Moral no Soushiki had at least one of everything!

Aki just never ceases to amaze me. Her songs were so awesome! It’s pretty hard to point the downsides of the album since all of the songs had little or a few flaws and the songs were choosen wisely. It’s also pretty unusual to see a J-pop artist that has good pronuncation at both Japanese and English.

Personal Rating: 5/5

Sakurairo

SakurairoArtist: Angela Aki
Release Date: March 7, 2007
Label: Sony Music Japan
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. Sakurairo
2. On & On
3. Power of MUSIC
4. HOME (Piano Version)
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No dobut that by the moment you listen to the first 30 seconds of this song, you would really think that Angela Aki is indeed a really skilled piano player and composer. (SInce there’s also strings in the background.) Sakurairo uses a bit of the lyrics from her older song, Home but only for a short fragement. Her vocals have developed rather nicely since her debut single back at her old label. Loving the solid improvement over the years.

Unlike the A-side, On & On is more on the rthymn side with a mixture of beats and a few jazz components here and there. (ex. the bass and percussions.) I actually preferred On & On over the A-side since the song was definitely something different with Aki. (Since she’s more into the piano ballad type.) Pretty upbeat, but cool.

Looks like Aki is trying to edit her older songs. Power of MUSIC is the newer version of MUSIC which appeared on her debut album called HOME. Although the chorus is still the same, she did a bit of tweaking with the lyrics and added more modern music elements, like beats and a bit more on the catchy department.

The original version of HOME (Piano Version) also appeared on her debut single. As I have stated before, Angela Aki’s vocal performance has really improved and made the piano version sound better than the first.

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Tegami ~Haikei Juugo no Kimi e~

tegamiArtist: Angel Aki
Release Date: September 17, 2008
Label: Sony Music Japan
Genre: J-pop
Number of Songs: 4
Personal Rating: 4.5/5

1. Tegami ~Haikei Juugo no Kimi e~
2. final destination
3. Still Fighting It
4. Tegami ~Haikei Juugo no Kimi e~ -strings version-
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Since Angela Aki is an excellent piano player as well as a great songwriter, it’s pretty natural for people to except ballads here and there. But Tegami ~Haikei Juugo no Kimi e~? Totally awesome! It was really nice how people could hear her true emotions put into the song and how the whole song wasn’t messy, boring or simplistic like some Japanese ballads. If someone were to just listen to this song, it would seem like she spent years composing this song! Another great plus is that she mixed up the genre of light pop and slow ballad into one song. Usually, when J-pop singers attempt to do that, the whole song turns out badly but this one was an exception. There was a nice and fluid transition throughout the song and made it quite enjoyable.

For some reason, the word, final destination reminds me of that freaky horror movie with the same title. (I know, this is a bit random but honestly…) I’m pretty sure that many people really like this song but for me, it’s good and all but I’m not really into it. Despite the fact that the instrumentals were really great, there’s just something about the song that doesn’t really catch my attention. The way she sings in English was great, though and the chorus sounded uplifting. But it still doesn’t beat the A-side.

Still Fighting It is another one of Angela Aki’s cover songs. (When she takes a classic English song and then rewrites some of it while maintaining parts of the original song.) I usually don’t like the idea of artists doing cover songs since it’s not really…original but when Angela Aki sings them, it’s really flawless. Her voice has this power that makes listeners love her songs whether it’s a cover song or not. I thought this song was pretty good, too.

The Tegami ~Haikei Juugo no Kimi e~ -strings version- sounded pretty much like the original except this version sounded a bit more melodious. It’s really the power of the string instruments that makes original songs sound a bit better. (But for some reason, I still perfer the Original version.)

Personal Rating: 4.5/5

Tashika ni

angela_aki_tashika_niArtist: Angela Aki
Release Date: July 11, 2007
Label: Tofu Records
Genre: J-pop
Number of Songs: 2
Personal Rating: 3/5

1. Tashika ni
2. Tashika ni -piano version-
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After reviewing her beautiful “Kiss Me Goodbye” single, I wouldn’t have guessed that Angela Aki would have a very uplifting track like Tashika ni. Although it was nice and positive, I wasn’t really impressed with the song because: A) It includes one of my well known pet peeve: repetition and B.) It reminds me of one of the annoying Hannah Montanna songs. But I liked how she incorporated the “La’s.”

Personally, I pretty much liked the Tashika ni -piano version- better although the repetition was still there.

A pretty short review for the most part but I guess the first paragraph explains it all. I like Angela Aki but I guess I wasn’t that impressed with this single as much as I liked her “Kiss Me Goodbye” release.

Personal Rating: 3/5

Kodoku no Kakera

kodoku-no-kakera

Artist: Angela Aki
Release Date: May 23, 2007
Label: Sony Music Japan
Genre: Ballad
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Kodoku no Kakera
2. Kodoku no Kakera -piano version-
3. Solitude
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The very passionate and genuine Angela Aki has once again released a very well composed piece called Kodoku no Kakera. Unlike the very upbeat “Tashika Ni” single that was released during the same era, Kodoku no Kakera takes Angela Aki’s level to more of a somewhat dramatic side by adding a very graceful set of string composition in the background. But for some reason, I think that this “dramatic” style shows more of Angela Aki’s talent and how people could see the strength in her voice.

However, the Kodoku no Kakera -piano version- is almost exactly the same as the original except there’s moreof the piano in the background. I could just say that my opinion with the original version is somewhat the same with the piano version so I don’t really have much to say about this version.

I was actually expecting to hear a B-side for this single but instead, Solitude is actually just the piano arrangement of Kodoku no Kakera. Although the arrangement still has the beautiful melody, I was just a bit disappointed because I was hoping that Angela Aki would try something new with this single. But since she’s a very talented piano player, I guess the label wanted to show Angela’s fans by releasing a single that focuses on both her vocals and her piano playing.

Personal Rating: 4/5