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[Album Review] ayaka's "The beginning"

posted by cowazaki on 10 February, 2012 at 08:19 am   ·   24 comments
[Album Review] ayaka's "The beginning"

“I beg the sky, I want this voice delivered to that person.” ayaka (Sora yo Onegai)

‘Comeback’ - borrowing a term that may be overused in K-pop - is the best word I can use to describe Ayaka (stylized ayaka)’s recent return to the music scene. After going on hiatus for two years, this comeback was not only epic but highly-anticipated as well. Since debuting at the age of 18 in 2006, she has been performing very well. Her first album First Message went on to sell over one million copies in 2006. Her success continued to rise in the following years until she was diagnosed with Graves disease, which temporarily put a hold on her singing career at the end of 2009. Along with an announcement of her return last year, ayaka has since departed her record label (Warner Music Japan) and created an independent label A stAtion. Her new album The beginning was released on February 1, 2012 and has claimed first place on the daily and weekly Oricon charts. Some might assume that ayaka's comeback would be mediocre to above-average at best, ayaka's here to prove them very, very wrong.

1. Hajimari no Toki (はじまりのとき)
2. Hello
3. Akai Sora (アカイソラ)
4. The beginning
6. Sora yo Onegai (空よお願い)
7. Tsunagaru Kokoro (繋がる心)
9. Soko Made Arui te Iku yo (そこまで歩いていくよ)
10. Egao no Canvas (笑顔のキャンバス)
11. Magic Mind
12. Kimi e (キミへ)
13. Yasashii Ao (やさしい蒼)

The new album can be categorized as an indie release since it was produced by ayaka’s independent label. This comes as a relief to fans because it will open up more room for creativity for an artist. But even more so, each song in the album is mind-blowing class. Accompanied by ayaka’s powerful vocals, each song in this album has the quality to become an individual single (She sure didn’t waste any time writing songs during her down time!) Where do we start describing this wonderful album? How about the first song?

"Hajimari no Toki"

*the reason live performance were chosen was to prove ayaka's gifted singing voice, and no, this CD quality singing was not lip-synced.

“Hajimari no Toki (はじまりのとき)” is a wonderful song to start The beginning. It is a slow ballad with lyrics that reflect a new start for ayaka in her singing career. Also, it might be some of her reflections on life during that time. The title roughly translates to “The Beginning Moment”. Several songs in the album also mention the time element; this seems to play quite an important role. “Hello”, a song used in a commercial, comes after “Hajimari no Toki”. “Hello” is a brilliant addition to the album as it is an upbeat and alternative rock song. Aside from “Hello”, there are three others songs (“The beginning”, “Soko Made Arui te Iku yo (そこまで歩いていくよ)” and “Yashashii Ao (やさしい蒼))” in the album that accompany different commercials. These three songs are, without a doubt, top of its class as well. What about the other songs in the album that don’t receive as much of the spotlight?

"Yasashii Ao"

I absolutely enjoy “Akai Sora (アカイソラ)”, “Sora yo Onegai (空よお願い)” and “Kimi e (キミへ)”. “Sora yo Onegai” must be pointed out because this song compliments ayaka’s voice amazingly well. This song is a very simple piano piece but she catches the emotion really well. The song title translates to “I Beg The Sky” and the song itself is quite sentimental but not to the point of teary sadness. Several of ayaka’s top selling songs were ballads such as “I believe”, “Mikazuki” and “Jewelry day” to name a few. While the more upbeat and cheerful songs were still very good, they didn’t make much of an impression. Yet, the songs of that very genre in this album were really good. These include “Magic Mind”, “ ”Tsunagaru Kokoro (繋がる心)” and previously mentioned “Hello”.

Rating: 5/5 ☆☆☆☆☆
(+) Entire album was written and composed by ayaka
(+) 13 full-length songs packed in an indie album
(+) Every song is so good, it can stand on its own as a single
(+) Thankfully after the hiatus, ayaka’s powerful style didn’t change
(+) 1 hour of flawless pure music pleasure

Sorry single guys, but ayaka married Hiro Mizushima back in 2009. Jokes aside, what more can be said about this album? Over 100,000 copies sold in the first week. It’s great. It’s really, really great. I will be able to sit down with you and go over each song in the album and tell you what I enjoyed. But for certain I won’t be able to tell you what I didn’t enjoy because there really isn’t any flaw. Each song in the album was written and composed with the highest quality in mind. You can hear that ayaka spent a lot of time composing these songs during her time off. The beginning is the album to start off 2012. This was the most anticipated return for sure and her voice has definitely delivered. Here I wish ayaka a wonderful year and a balance of rest and work!

This is a definite purchase: YesAsia, CDJapan.


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  • Posted by allan · 446 Jpops · 1 shares · 4 years ago  

    It's a great CD!! This album is just what I expected. Her voice is just as beautiful now as it was before. I don't regret paying what I paid to get this.

  • Posted by diannelili · 11,670 Jpops · 2 shares · 4 years ago  

    omg~! AYAKA~!!!!!! <3<3 i LOVE her songs~ she has such a strong and powerful voice~ soo goood <3

  • Posted by himitsu05 · 2,254 Jpops · 417 shares · 4 years ago  

    She's so amazing~ <3

  • Posted by ASianInvasion · 35,724 Jpops · 1 shares · 4 years ago  

    to beautiful i forgot how beautiful her voice is!!!!!! <3 im in love with her voice always a fan always their to listen to her music

  • Posted by JuYa · 3,675 Jpops · 4 years ago  

    STILL waiting for my copy from YesAsia! T_T but i know i dont be disppointed, i'm going to listen every song with respect, no skipping at all!

  • Posted by Ryusenkai · 19,932 Jpops · 51 shares · 4 years ago  

    Amazing album, and one that will likely be hard for me to resist purchasing. Definitely the strongest album release of 2012 thus far.

  • Posted by Chiaki0978 · 13,319 Jpops · 50 shares · 4 years ago  

    omg Ayaka!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3

  • Posted by yubikiri · 244 Jpops · 4 years ago  

    I love you ayaka <3 such a gorgeous voice! I can't wait to get this album!!!

  • Posted by LightningLunaIce · 3,576 Jpops · 3 shares · 4 years ago  

    I'm still quite new to her music, but it's gorgeous. I could almost wish that I heard of her sooner. I really hope that I can buy this on I-tunes.

  • Posted by Hamuko · 445 Jpops · 4 years ago  

    Why would it be mediocre? She's an amazing artists, I'm so glad she's finally back ^^

  • Posted by silverlining · 159,884 Jpops · 238 shares · 4 years ago  

    This album is pretty much flawless! SO many gems in one album.. doesn't get better than that! ^__^

  • Posted by mikeylovesharuna · 23,590 Jpops · 104 shares · 4 years ago  

    I always loved her songs now I have something to look forward to go Ayaka <3

  • Posted by sapphiresky · 483 Jpops · 7 shares · 4 years ago  

    such a lovely review ^^ I haven't gotten the album yet but so far i have heard of a lot of good reviews. it made this entire wait period to be alot more exciting ^^

  • Posted by Mirytie · 152 Jpops · 4 years ago  

    WTH! why did this CD got so ice reviews and YUI's CD How Crazy Your Love was not so good? I think it's a little unfair but whatever...I hope the best for Ayaka

  • Reply by sapphiresky  

    personal opinions. if you think YUI's CD is excellent, why not you be part of their team and write a review for her then?

  • Reply by cowazaki VIP  

    Hi! I'm glad you fully read through my reviews for both YUI and ayaka. In my previous YUI review, I mentioned, that "If given a chance to rate her previous albums, none of them would fall below a 4 out of 5 rating." I love YUI's music very much. Some of her previous work were really good; some just as good as this album. But "How Crazy Your Love" was great but YUI can definitely do better.

    A 4/5 rating is very good!

    And thanks! I really appreciate your comments and opinions.

  • Posted by LadyRedsama VIP CREW · 208,469 Jpops · 217 shares · 4 years ago  

    i wanna buy it~

    Yeah I know I'm only 17 I only got a few dollars ♫
  • Posted by elenko94 VIP CREW · 2,001,811 Jpops · 284 shares · 4 years ago  

    I'm really happy she's back and she really didn't disappoint with this album! Now, if only Hikki could make a comeback as well <.<

    How do you do this "grown-up" thing?
  • Posted by GlazeBeats · 19,369 Jpops · 8 shares · 4 years ago  

    I never doubted her at all :)

  • Reply by allan  

    Same here. As soon as I heard rumors that she was going to make a comeback in 2012, I told myself I was going to have to buy it.

About ayaka

Real nameAyaka Iida
Birthday18 December, 1987
Debut1 January, 2006 (active)
Main occupationsinger (active)
Official website
Official TwitterAyaka_1218
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