Sayuri Sugawara – Sunao ni Narenakute

May 26, 2010 at 8:59 PM | Posted in Sayuri Sugawara | 1 Comment
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Sunao ni Narenakute (素直になれなくて) is Sayuri Sugawara’s 3rd single and it was released on May 19, 2010. The single reached #18 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 5,858 copies. The title track was used as the theme song for the drama of the same name.

OMG When did she get so pretty? I looooove this cover.

♦ ♦ ♦

After her debut album First Story, Sayuri Sugawara kicks off her new era with Sunao ni Narenakute. Featuring a soothing quality that is similar to Ano Hi no Yakusoku and Eternal Love, I think this song is delightful. The music is relaxing but not in a boring way thanks to Sugawara’s malleable voice. Her vocals compliment the song very well.

The first B-side Stay with you is so pretty. It’s positive and uplifting and I found it to be a little more catchy than the A-side. The chorus, the most cheerful aspect of the song, was my favorite part.

And lastly there’s GLOW, which adds some electric guitars into the mix. It has the R&B tinge of the first 2 tracks but the guitars do make it stand out. I also felt this track had the strongest arrangement since the beats were more prominent instead of piano or strings.

Pros: This was a GREAT single. I liked all the tracks.
Cons: I want some variety in the music next time. How about another Is This Love?.

BASICALLY…this single almost tops Kimi ga Iru Karaalmost.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. Sunao ni Narenakute (素直になれなくて)
2. Stay with you
3. GLOW
4. Sunao ni Narenakute (Instrumental)
5. Stay with you (Instrumental)
6. GLOW (Instrumental)

Sayuri Sugawara – First Story

February 2, 2010 at 10:09 PM | Posted in Sayuri Sugawara | 10 Comments
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The cover of the CD only edition

First Story is Sayuri Sugawara’s debut album and it was released on January 27, 2010. The album reached #14 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 10,217 copies. It features the singles Ano Hi no Yakusoku and Kimi ga Iru Kara as well as some tracks from her mini-album Kimi ni Okuru Uta.

ayaka is back! Oh wait, that’s Sayuri. I like to call her ayaka2 though. lmao

♦ ♦ ♦

Like Koda Kumi and Angela Aki before her, I didn’t find out Sayuri Sugawara until her association with the Final Fantasy game series. I’m glad I did though because she is GREAT. It first started with her mini-album Kimi ni Okuru Uta and I was impressed with her bright vocals and brand of clean pop music. When I mean by “clean”, the music is neat and has a fresh attitude to it.

Then she released her debut single Ano Hi no Yakusoku and I was liking her even more. It was when I heard the Final Fantasy XIII theme song Kimi ga Iru Kara that I became a fan. Honestly, the song is really nice even though it kind of pales in comparison to past theme songs from the series, but what can you do? The B-side from that single and an insert song in the game, Eternal Love, is pretty good too.

What I liked the most about Sugawara’s debut album is that it shows versatility with the many of the new tracks. I think that’s very important, especially for a new artist, but also to keep things interesting. The previously released material showcases an acoustic R&B/pop sound (Kimi ni Okura Uta, Koi, and Eternal Love) and rapper FEROS is featured in 2 tracks. He provides a nice twist to Arigatou and the new “haru” version Destiny (the song has new lyrics relating to spring). New tracks with this sound include alone… and ALWAYS. I love the latter track because it’s very heartwarming and excellent ending to the album.

Better yet, there were tracks that really stood out and made this album shine. There’s Is This Love? which has a cool electronic feel and then It’s My Life, a really cheerful tune with electric guitars. The biggest surprise was definitely Thrill though. The jazzy arrangement is just awesome. Personally, Kimi ga Iru Kara sticks out too because it’s the album’s only truly epic song. Sakura no Michi is a distant second when it comes to being grandiose.

I really don’t have anything bad to say about the album. It’s THAT solid! There were maybe only 2 or 3 “blah” songs but they get easily overshadowed since I think there’s a lot of good stuff on here. Sugawara might not have found her identity or “niche” yet but hey, she’s only getting started. I highly recommend First Story because it’s an enjoyable listen and a refreshing pop album. There’s nothing bland about it.

Pros: A fantastic debut album. I’ll stan for her. XD
Cons: I’m looking at you, alone… and Superstar☆! I didn’t care for those songs.

BASICALLY…when it comes to “firsts”, this was my favorite. Take that, ayaka and Utada!

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Tracklisting

1. Arigatou feat. FEROS (ありがとう)
2. Kimi ni Okuru Uta (キミに贈る歌)
3. Is This Love?
4. Kimi ga Iru Kara (君がいるから)
5. It’s My Life
6. Ano Hi no Yakusoku (あの日の約束)
7. alone…
8. Thrill (スリル)
9. Eternal Love
10. Sakura no Michi (桜のみち)
11. Koi (恋)
12. Superstar☆ (スーパースター☆)
13. Destiny feat. FEROS <Haru ver.> (Destiny feat. FEROS <春 ver.>)
14. ALWAYS

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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