Otsuka Ai – Kurage, Nagare Boshi

Release Date: September 10, 2008

Tracklist:

1. Kurage, Nagare Boshi
2. H2O
3. Ame no Tsubu, Waltz ~LOVE MUSiC~
4. Kurage, Nagare Boshi (Instrumental)
5. H20 (Instrumental)

Kurage, Nagare Boshi begins with a soft, oriental styled piano introduction. This song is a soft and calm ballad, perfect for the end of the summer (well, here where I live, it still seems like summer for some reason). Otsuka’s voice seems to be more dream like in this track, but it’s STILL lacking emotion. The notes are nicely phrased, but emotion still is one of her weaker points. Overall, this song is a nice little piece that is quite enjoyable.

In contrast to her A-side, H2O, is more of the rock-pop genre that Otsuka likes to use. This song has more of an edge to it, and her voice is slightly out of tune as she tries to sound more jazzy *sigh*. It pales in comparison to Kurage, Nagare Boshi.

Overall Rating:
4/5

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Ostuka Ai – Planetarium

Release Date: September 21, 2005

Tracklist:

1. Planetarium
2. drop.
3. Planetarium (Instrumental)
4. drop. (Instrumental)

Planetarium has to be my favourite song from Otsuka (and the first song I’ve heard from her too, in the Japanese Drama, Hana Yori Dango). First, the drums begin the piece, then a deut between the flute and piano take over until Otsuka starts singing. This would have been so much better if she actually put some emotions into this song (makes it more heartbreaking too). Eh, too bad then. The lyrics are so romantic and cliched, but so depressing at the same time. The speaker (wow, poetry terms much?) wants to reach the person they love, but they are too far away. I love the melody the most though. It’s just gorgeous.

The b-side, drop., brings us back to the pop-rock style that Otsuka is so fond of. Her voice seems heavily mixed, and it sounds kiddier than usual (which slightly scares me). This song is so happy; happy to the point where it is starting to scare me.

Overall Rating:
4/5

Otsuka Ai – Amaenbo

Release Date: March 3, 2004

Tracklist:

1. Amaenbo
2. Ame Iro Parasol
3. Sakuranbo Sutajio Raibu ver.
4. Amaenbo (Instrumental)
5. Ame Iro Parasol (Instrumental)

Some wind instrument, and the keyboard serve as our introduction to Amaenbo, the A-side of this single. In the verses, Otsuka is only accompanied by a keyboard. Her voice is still has cute as ever, but still with a range and it’s quite powerful in the chorus. Overall, the song is rather dull though; it’s just like your typical pop song.

Wave-likes sounds start off Ame Iro Parasol, the B-side. The slides the Otsuka does in the beginning of the verses seem kind of out of tune. Switching the background music: it sounds like something out of a carnival. Unlike the A-side, Ame Iro Parasol is more of an upbeat song. Her voice seems weaker in this song though, and the song itself is boring.

Sakuranbo Sutajio Raibu ver. is more upbeat than the orginal, and Otsuka’s voice is overpowered by the accompaniment.

Overall Rating:
2/5

Otsuka Ai – Sakuranbo

Release Date: December 17, 2003

Tracklist:

1. Sakuranbo
2. Kaerimichi
3. Momo no hanabira (studio live ver.)
4. Sakuranbo (instrumental)
5. Kaerimichi (instrumental)

Sakuranbo starts off with some layered vocals mixed with synth, before the rockish instrumentals kick in. Otsuka, as usual, sound kiddy, but this takes kiddy to the extreme. This song is rather cheerful, with an addicting melody in the chorus. It sounds like a theme song to a children’s show or something. Such a cute song…though I’m sure I’ve heard the melody in the chorus somewhere before…

Some clicking and whisting begins the B-side, Kaerimichi. It’s starting sound like a countryside song to me, until Otsuka does some crazy glissandos in the bridge section. In contrast to the A-side, Kaerimichi is a calmer song, but still has Otsuka’s signature cuteness to it. Her voice seems a bit forced on the higher notes though.

Overall Rating:
4/5

Otsuka Ai – Momo no Hanabira

Release Date: September 10, 2003

Tracklist:

1. Momo no Hanabira
2. Himawari
3. Momo no Hanabira (Instrumental)
4. Himawari (Instrumental)

Momo no Hanabira starts off with a bubbly feeling to it; this song is so happy and cheerful. Otsuka’s vocals in here are so cute (hehe), and yet so strong too. She has quite a range. Well, this song gives off the impression that it is a children’s song to me. It’s just -so- happy and bubbly! I guess Momo no Hanabira is one of the only happy, bubbly songs I’ll love. Anyway, Ostuka’s voice has a rather wide range, and is pretty good in this song.

Himawari begins with a mystical beginning, and then speeds up to another -happy-, game-like background music. Maybe it’s the quality of the mp3, but Ostuka’s voice seems rather muffled in this song. She does a good job of spouting out fast lyrics though. Himawari, like the A-side, gives off a happy, childish feel to it.

Overall Rating:
4.5/5