Aya Matsuura – Omoi Afurete

February 1, 2009 at 1:01 AM | Posted in Aya Matsuura | 5 Comments
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Omoi Afurete (想いあふれて) is Aya Matsuura’s 5th studio album and it was released on January 21, 2009. That’s right, bitches. I said it’s her FIFTH because Naked Songs doesn’t count! The album reached #29 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 5,821 copies. Also, it’s her final album as a Hello!Project artist.

♦ ♦ ♦

Starting things off for this album is Kekkon Shinai Futari, a bouncy song that uses some jazz elements. It’s a pleasant track and I especially liked the charming verses where Matsuura’s vocals become more rhythmic as the chorus draws closer. Speaking of the chorus, it’s quite nice too. Most of the tracks on the album comprise of sophisticated pop songs that have an adult contemporary sound to them, so get ready for a different side of Ayaya.

The next track is a relaxing tune titled Nanakai Utau to Ii Koto ga Aru Uta. Utilizing a calm piano next to vibrant strings and woodwinds, this is a very pretty song arrangement wise. The music does pick up for the fantastic chorus with some brass and then it reaches a high point during the bridge. Matsuura displays wonderful vocals too.

Luckily, the album does have its share of upbeat songs and beautiful day is one of them. The music has a nice beat that’s pretty consistent throughout the entire song but the bridge has a soothing electric guitar solo to provide some variety. I liked the catchy chorus and Matsuura sounded great while singing the positive lyrics.

Adding a little bit of ethnic flavor to the mix is boomboomboom. This is the most upbeat song on the album as well as the most diverse sounding. Once again, brass plays a big part in the music but other elements like whistles, light drums, and chimes are included as well.

By far the best song on the album is Omoi Afurete. It is a gorgeous ballad and I absolutely loved it. Featuring beautiful piano chords and strings, the song is brimming with amazing simplicity. The arrangement just seems to flow so smoothly and gracefully, especially next to Matsuura’s calming vocals. While I think the entire song is excellent, the chorus and the bridge are big highlights.

I have also grown to love the next track too. There is something about Rescue! Rescue! that I find really appealing. Whether it be the music’s cheery atmosphere or the extremely catchy chorus, Matsuura has a winner right here. Along with Omoi Afurete, this song is a personal favorite of mine.

Now we have Chuuou Kaisatsu, a sleepy song that just kind of slinks on by. The arrangement is piano based and there’s nothing really distinctive about it, making the entire song sound quite monotonous. At least Matsuura’s vocals are somewhat nice, but only during the chorus.

A more lively song is up next, but I unfortunately didn’t find it all that interesting. Shinju comprises of background vocals going “doot doot doot”, upbeat piano, and of course…lots of brass. Compared to the other tracks, this song is not that good and definitely not as memorable.

Fallin’ is a little better, despite having an equally lazy arrangement. At least the music has some flair to it and the chorus is charming. The chorus has some repetition in it but I thought Matsuura’s repeating of the words was catchy nonetheless.

Only one single was released prior to this album and it serves as the final track. I still like Kizuna even though I don’t think it’s as good as her previous singles. The song is actually a fitting end for this album because of its overall theme that involves bonds and being thankful towards others.

I’m not gonna lie, I enjoyed Omoi Afurete for what it was: EASY LISTENING. The album definitely contains her most laid back and reserved material to date, but she does manage to pull it off. I thought these slower paced songs went very well with her voice and she has never sounded better. I’m probably in the minority on this but I personally prefer her more recent pop ballads over her “idol” oriented music of the past. I do think she’s a great singer and she has the potential to be even better if given the chance. In the case of Omoi Afurete, the first half of the album is awesome and even though it begins to fall flat after Rescue! Rescue!, it’s still pretty solid. If you liked her previous album Double Rainbow, which was pretty similar as a whole, then Omoi Afurete is worth a try.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Kekkon Shinai Futari (結婚しない二人)
2. Nanakai Utau to Ii Koto ga Aru Uta (七回歌うといいことがある歌)
3. beautiful day
4. boomboomboom
5. Omoi Afurete (想いあふれて)
6. Rescue! Rescue! (レスキュー! レスキュー!)
7. Chuuou Kaisatsu (中央改札)
8. Shinju (真珠)
9. Fallin’
10. Kizuna (きずな)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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5 Comments »

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  1. This album is what Double Rainbow should have been, it’s SUCH an improvement. It’s mature and reserved, but still really pleasant to listen to~

  2. I agree that the title track is the best song!!!!
    It’s so pretty and just makes you fall in love with Aya’s voice :)

    boomboomboom is also amazing!
    I’ve heard a lot of hate for the album but I think it was really good

  3. I thought this album was amazing and you basically summed it up how I would, although I really like Chuuou Kaisatsu so I can’t agree with what you said there. xD I thought that song was gorgeous.

    Alsom is it only me that thinks this album is like a mix of Naked Songs and Double Rainbow. It fits well in my collection. :D

  4. I am really glad you are reviewing H!P artists. This album is fantastic!

  5. I have only newly discovered Aya through her most recent album “Click you Link me”, which I thought was such a wonder, I had to go looking for more.
    Now that I have just received and listened to “Omoi Afurete” CD I’m sold on the beautiful voice of Aya, she really is am amazing performer, so I thank you for this review in helping me make the choice.


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