Archive for the ‘Aya Kamiki’ Category

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Poll: Best album thus far (2010)?

2010年 4月 26日

oh hay kuu chan…. you look so cute but you didn’t win!!

So we’re a third of the way through the year.. how are we doing album wise? Personally there hasn’t been a one single album to fully grab my attention as “perfect.” Sure there have been great tracks on every album, but as a whole there hasn’t been one that is so outstanding that it shames all others (last year? alan’s Voice of Earth). However, the year is nascent and we’ve got some time. Let’s hear it again for Kalafina, shall we?

Kalafina- Red Moon– 13 votes, 46%
Ayumi Hamasaki- Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus– 6 votes, 21%

Sayuri Sugawara- First story- 3 votes 11%
Rie fu- at Rie sessions- 2 votes, 7%
KOKIA- REAL WORLD- 1 vote, 4%
Abingdon Boys School- ABINGDON ROAD- 1 vote, 4%
Tokyo Jihen- Sports- 1 vote, 4%
SuG- Tokyo Muzical Hotal- 1 vote, 4%

The following earned 0 votes:

Koda Kumi- UNIVERSE
D- 7th Rose
Morning Musume 10 MY ME
Aya Kamiki- INDIVIDUAL EMOTION

Let’s analyze the votes. Red Moon was the most anticipated release AND the “best” according to you readers. I thought the album was pretty good, but Kalafina isn’t a group I listen to too often. For me I’d either say Rie fu, KOKIA or Koda Kumi’s was best. Rie fu resonates with the kind of folksy sound I love. KOKIA opened up a new door in music for me. And Koda Kumi is just my little Kuu-chan. (What?? I work out to her stuff!) I should have added salyu’s maiden voyage to the mix! Well that’s what I get for making polls after midnight.

Now I haven’t listened to Tokyo Jihen before (though I’ve heard good things about them) and I haven’t listened to SuG in ages (I can’t really get into oshare-kei sometimes). I was surprised at how many votes Ayumi Hamasaki (what with all the bashing on the blogosphere lately). I think that she has more fans in Japan (relatively speaking) than across the globe. I think Ayu is highly talented, but I don’t think her album is quite “the best of 2010.” To each her own.

So… what do you think of the results? Are they a fair representation of the best musicians or do we have some stans in the house? You tell me.

~aoliwa

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Aya Kamiki- Individual Emotion

2010年 2月 4日

WTF? This cover is better than the other one at least. But does this really scream “I’m a rocker”?? I don’t think so.

So this is my first sampling of Aya Kamiki on her new label. I’m already lamenting Giza because Aya Kamiki has gone from punk rocker stuff to game music. Let’s see how this goes.

Introduction ~INDIVIDUAL EMOTIONI~ is a little weird at first. A lot of repetitive synth as well as a creepy guy’s voice in the background. Further into the intro is better because it finally gets some melody. This is perfect game music.

We actually start off on a good foot with The Light. The beginning kind of reminds me of traditional Asian music, and this segues into a more rock/electro inspired piece. I’m not used to hearing Aya’s voice against so much artificial instrumentation, but fortunately this song has strong  melodies and orchestration. New style, but this song definitely works.

We continue the rock/electro mix with another game music like song. TO-THE-ATTACK is more aggressive than The Light, and it has a determined feel to it. The song is nothing like anything Aya’s ever done before, but strangely I find myself drawn to the song’s energy and sexiness. I do have to say that this song is a little Ayu.

Now we are back with more traditional Aya music with EMPTY. I feel very comfortable listening to this song because we’re not dealing with synth anymore (although it does make a brief appearance during the chorus). EMPTY is an medium tempo rock song in the major key. The melody reminds me of stuff from her fantastic album,  Secret Code.

Break my Day has a gorgeous synth opening. I love the beginning because Aya’s voice is so clear and soft above the muted instrumentals. This is definitely one of those melancholy rock songs that Aya usually does. Aya expresses her new direction in music with the integration of synth and strings alongside guitars. Break my Day is a good song for people just getting used to Aya’s shift to Avex. Also, don’t miss the guitar solos in this song! Great track overall.

Now we have a ballad entitled Dear my… We open the song with lone piano and Aya’s voice. Eventually a faint organ and chorus vocals are added to the mix. For some reason this song gave me a winter/Christmas kind of feel (and we all know how much I love mah Christmas songs). More instrumentals are added after the first chorus, including a fantastic guitar solo during the bridge.

Sokubaku LOVE abruptly takes the stage in a poor transition between songs. The song begins with Aya repeating “Hey!” over and over. This song is kind of a bubblegum rock song… and one that I find rather annoying. The same instrumentals and “hey” follow the entire song. Overall there was a lack of instrumental variety and the melody was annoying as hell.

Continuing with the annoying pattern is CLAP YOUR HANDS. Really, it feels like a continuation of the previous song. Upbeat guitars, background vocals, and sugar on top. Also it kinda sounds like Aya’s singing “Everybody crap your hands.” Baaaaad pronunciation @___@.

248 Mile is a little better. Although it pursues a major key in an upbeat rock song, it lacks the obnoxious factor of the previous too tracks. This song is light on the ears and it reminds me of something Younha would do. I like Aya’s vocal contrasts in this song. The chorus has bigger intervals between notes and I was pleased to hear that she was in tune (and with vibrato). To me this seems like it could be an anime opening xD.

I wish in your dreams has a slower beat to it. With strong and far paced drums and electric guitar prep this song for a kind of power ballad feel. Although I enjoyed the integration of acoustic guitar and instrumental variety, I thought the overall melody was weak. This is a track I would pass over, even though it is well put together.

Now comes the only single off the album. W-B-X ~W Boiled Extreme~ features TAKUYA (former guitarist of famous jrock band, Judy and Mary). The song is a combination of jazz and rock and is very upbeat. I hated this song the first time I listened to it. I thought, “What happened to my Aya?!” but this track totally impressed me the second time around. This is the most musically advanced piece of music on the album. I’m not so much a fan of TAKUYA’s vocals, but the chorus is still pretty powerful. I’d recommend this song for people who like L’arc~en~Ciel (speaking of which, I should really write that review…) And so concludes the album!

Overall: There are some really great tracks on this album, but Aya just cannot do upbeat-happy-go-lucky rock songs. Despite its being a good album, INDIVIDUAL EMOTION doesn’t even come close to her first major debut album,  Secret Code. It sounds mean but I miss her old depressing songs xD

Best Tracks:

  • The Light
  • EMPTY
  • Dear My…
  • W-B-X ~W Boiled Extreme~ (hell yeah!)

Rating: 8/10

Track list:

  1. introduction ~INDIVIDUAL EMOTION~
  2. The Light
  3. TO-THE-ATTACK
  4. EMPTY
  5. Break my day
  6. Dear my…
  7. sokubaku LOVE
  8. CLAP YOUR HANDS
  9. 248 Mile
  10. I wish in your dreams
  11. W-B-X ~W Boiled Extreme~