Archive for the ‘Sayuri Sugawara’ Category

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Sayuri Sugawara- Sunao ni Narenakute

2010年 5月 24日

I LOVE this. After all those bland covers this is a really nice surprise. Very artistic =]

As you’ve probably heard by now, Sunao ni Narenakute is very similar to her hit, Ano Hi no Yakusoku. They both have that upbeat R&B/pop mixture and have similar choruses. Although this song is a bit unoriginal (Sayuri’s main fault), it’s not a horrible listen. Personally I think Sayuri needs to experiment with some darker sounds instead of all these sad-but-sweet tracks.

Stay with you is a nice laid back R&B song with a similar mood as the first song. Truth be told this song shares far too many similarities to the a-side, and doesn’t do much to enhance the single. Yeah it’s got a cute chorus, but that’s about it.

I definitely thought GLOW was the best track off the single. I love how this song begins with a fusion between broken-record strings and electric guitar. This is one of her best songs to date. I wouldn’t say her vocals were the best in this song, but I’m just glad to get some experimentation out of this girl. Should have been the A-side, no question. This song has elements of sad-but-sweet, but mixes up the formula  bit so it doesn’t feel like we’re bombarded with the same material over and over again.

Overall: First two tracks are “pleasant,” but unoriginal. GLOW is a great song though.

Rating: 6/10

Track list

  1. Sunao ni Narenakute
  2. Stay with you
  3. GLOW
  4. Sunao ni Narenakute (Instrumental)
  5. Stay with you (Instrumental)
  6. GLOW (Instrumental)
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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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Sayuri Sugawara- First Story

2010年 2月 6日

Booorrriinnngg. Whatever happened to those first photo shoots? While it’s not a particularly interesting cover, I think she looks pretty.

So we open the song with a new rendition of the b-side, Arigatou. This version features rapper, FEROS (i.e. the guy that ruins good songs). I think the new version of Arigatou is better because of the new synth and more upbeat feel. The rapping part of the song was unnecessary. I didn’t really like this song when it first came out, and I don’t like it now.

Kimi ni Okura Uta is Sugawara’s debut single and first A-side on the album. This song is absolutely gorgeous. Although it sounds like something Kana Nishino or Ayumi Sakai might release it’s still a good song. It’s one of those melancholy R&B numbers with a mid-paced tempo.

We get our first taste of Sayuri and Electronica with Is this love? The song begins with some great synth, reminding me of Perfume or Koda Kumi. Keyboard and synth take over the instrumentals for this song, and it reminds me of going shopping xD.

See here for my review of Kimi Ga Iru Kara.

The next song is one that reminds me of ayaka: It’s My Life. It’s My Life is a cheery pop-rock song that shows Sayuri can do upbeat songs. Now the bridge is really interesting. All of the vocals in the bridge are done with autotune and vocal distortion. Although I’m not a fan of the new autotune craze I thought it was cool how she incorporated distortion into an otherwise traditional pop-rock song.

See here for my review of Ano Hi no Yakusoku.

Next is the enjoyable track, alone…. Although the song itself isn’t too adventurous (it’s a traditional sad R&B song), I like it. The piano alongside the artificial instrumentals is pretty.

I did not like Thrill at first. It is a jazz song and I just wasn’t prepared to hear Sayuri do something like that. However, this song is a standout on the album because it doesn’t follow the traditional pattern of rock or pop songs. Makes me think of something Kou Shibasaki would do. This song is sexy.

Eternal love is on the Kimi Ga Iru Kara review.

Sakura no Michi slows things down a bit. Guitars coupled with piano is a good mix for Sayuri. Though it’s not quite a ballad, this song demonstrates that Sayuri is capable of creating something beyond the traditional songs. The instrumentals during the chorus are goregeous.

Koi is next, opening up with acoustic and electric guitar. I can appreciate this song because it’s a bit different from the other songs on the album, but I couldn’t help but feel bored by it. Just kind of a mid-paced song in a major key. YUI-esque.

Next song is Superstar, which was kind of a banal piece of music. I hated the vocals in the beginning and the way they clashed against the notes of piano (only Mai Hoshimura can do that). This song is upbeat and happy and boring.

I’m not sure what to think of the Haru version of Destiny feat. FEROS (he’s back?!) On one hand I looove the instrumentals (it shares the same melody as Christmas Again). FEROS doesn’t actually f*** up this song, mostly due to the fact that the song itself is so strong. As much as I adored the acoustic melody in Christmas Again I loved this version too.

Ending with a ballad is ALWAYS. This was a good way to end the album just because it’s an adorable and uplifiting mid-paced song.  It’s a cute song, but we’ve heard it before.

Overall: While enjoyable, Sayuri Sugawara seems to lack originality in her songs. It’s a good album, if conservative. I’ll keep following Sayuri for now.

Recommended Tracks:

  • Thrill
  • Destiny feat. FEROS
  • Kimi ni Okura Uta
  • ALWAYS

Rating: 7.5/10

Track list:

  1. Arigatou feat. FEROS
  2. Kimi ni Okuru Uta
  3. Is This Love?
  4. Kimi ga Iru Kara
  5. It’s My Life
  6. Ano Hi no Yakusoku
  7. alone…
  8. Thrill
  9. Eternal Love
  10. Sakura no Michi
  11. Koi
  12. Superstar☆
  13. Destiny feat. FEROS (Haru ver.)
  14. ALWAYS

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Sayuri Sugawara- Kimi ga Iru kara

2009年 12月 6日

Wtf is up with this cover? It’s raining geometric shapes… plus that dress doesn’t do anything for her either.

Kimi ga Iru Kara (because you’re here) is used as a theme for Final Fantasy XIII. Truth be told it’s a beautiful song and really shows that Sayuri is capable of doing a wide variety of songs. It’s a light pop song with strings and the like. It has a beautiful chorus though, and I can totally see this among the other FF songs of time. I could see the argument that this is a little generic… but I think you have to have a certain atmosphere when you’re song is for FF.

The next song is called Eternal Love. It’s beginning gives me hope, because it sounds different from everything else she’s done. This song is definitely a winter song, however. You here xylophone and bells throughout, and combined they give a really nice atmosphere to the song. While the song is another melancholy R&B song, it transcends being a generic song because of the interesting combination of instrumentals. My one complaint about this song is that there’s no real climax, preventing this from being a powerful ballad.

We have yet another Christmas song with Christmas Again. I actually really like this song because the guitar chords in the beginning aren’t typically used in Christmas songs. Like many Christmas songs we have bells, but Sayuri has her own twist to the song with the cute synth in the background. Sometimes the lyrics bother me… does she really need to sing about Santa Clause?

Overall: An improvement from her previous single, but I think she still has a lot of room to grow.

Rating: 7.5/10

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Sayuri Sugawara- Ano Hi no Yakusoku

2009年 10月 22日

This is my first single from Sayuri-chan, but it definitely won’t be my last! I’m not really an R&B kind of person at all… but I think Sayuri-chan is very versatile. Originally I discovered her by learning that she’ll be doing the theme for FF XIII. Yay! Also, can I say that this is a beautiful cover? It’s simple, elegant, and classy… one of the best I’ve seen all year. Alright, into the review!

Ano Hi no Yakusoku mean “that day’s promise” so the title isn’t necessarily original. The song begins with a melancholy piano solo, and right away you can tell it’s going to be an emotional song. After Sayuri’s intro the song sweeps into a typical R&B format. The song sounds like something Miliyah Kato would do.  I don’t have much to say this song, mostly because it’s my first single from Sugawara. I’ll have to wait to here more in order to level it against her other work. It’s a strong song and I hope she keeps it up.

Arigatou is a cheery song with more of a pop feel. I didn’t enjoy it as much, simply because I thought it lacked the originality of the A-side. It’s more of your run-of-the-mill upbeat b-side.

Overall: A-side is strong, but the b-side could have been done by any artist.

Rating: 7/10