ayaka – Sing to the Sky [2nd Studio Album]

June 24, 2008 at 5:00 pm (ayaka) (, )

ayaka’s 2nd studio album, entitled Sing to the Sky, was released on 06.25.08…All four singles released prior to the album have found their way onto the album: Jewelry day, CLAP & LOVE / Why, 手をつなごう / 愛を歌おう and おかえり as well as her digital single For today.

POWER OF MUSIC, an uptempo number, opens up the album. The song opens up with an uptempo piano interlude before the chorus starts. ayaka’s vocals sound great with a little power here and once the first verse starts, the music slightly changes to a softer tone that sounds great in contrast. The pure instrumental is in vein of the softer side with a beautiful focus on the piano playing before ayaka comes in with fantastic vocals. During one of the choruses, the music is taken away and the sound of clapping accompanies ayaka’s vocals. The effect of that is that the fun atmosphere of the song really comes out. POWER OF MUSIC is a highly catchy song that is the perfect album opener as the fun atmosphere is captured and ayaka’s vocals are at their usual great quality.

愛を歌おう appears as the second track. Opening up with a more aggresive instrumentation, the chorus sticks out because ayaka delivers her true vocal talents as she reaches up sings her heart out. When the verse comes in, ayaka uses softer vocals to work with the music, which has also become softer to combine to form an atmosphere. Slowly the guitar begins to come back into the music in time to introduce the chorus. The third verse takes things in a slightly different direction from the other verses as it keeps that same energy from the chorus and ayaka sounds completely comfortable here. The following pure instrumental section really spotlights just how energetic and fun the instrumentation is. The song ends with the strumming of the guitar to bring the song to a nice finish. The song may feel a little repetitive but it’s definitely a song that cannot be forgotten.

The third song on Sing to the Sky is the uptempo and hopeful, SKY. The song begins with a nice uptempo but relaxing sounding instrumentation. ayaka uses a softer vocal approach during the verses to continue this atmosphere well. More vocal strength is shown off on the chorus, particularly when she sings “fly to the sky” in English. The chorus really does stand out from the rest of the song very well. The pure instrumental section is a nice change of pace as the piano steps out from the instrumentation nicely before the chorus arrives again. SKY is a nice uptempo song that the listener can enjoy strongly.

Jewelry day, the first single released from this album’s era, appears as the fourth track. Opening up with a guitar-driven relaxing instrumentation, the song’s atomsphere is established from the very beginning. The first verse begins with some great vocals that ayaka knows how to deliver. When she says “oh jewelry day” it sounds wonderful and makes it stand out all the more. The transition from the verse to the chorus is pretty subtle but it’s easy to find it and it really is beautiful. ayaka shows off her power as well as her range as she sings with her deep and husky voice as well as reaching up higher. The pure instrumental section is absolutely gorgeous as ayaka brings some wonderful adlibbing with her higher vocals that capture the naturalness of the song and it brings the song to an excellent climax and close. Jewelry day is a wonderful song that spotlights ayaka’s pipes over a natural and pretty instrumentation to make ayaka sound perfectly at home.

グンナイベイビー is a relaxing uptempo song that is a perfect fit on the album. The song begins with a pretty mellow but uptempo instrumentation and the first verse continues this feeling. She delivers the lyrics with some rapidity and with some power that sound great. The chorus introduces even more instrumentation and ayaka’s vocals show even more power before. The pure instrumental section shows off the relaxing feeling that the instrumentation instills. Nearing the end, the guitar is spotlighted with ayaka’s vocals at their most powerful.

Digital single, For today, finds its way onto the album as the sixth track. The song opens up quickly with an uptempo and happy instrumentation before the first verse arrives. ayaka’s vocals perfect here as she displays both power and constraint. The transition into the chorus is subtle but it’s definitely there, introducing the catchy chorus. It’s particularly the second half of the chorus that sticks in the listener’s head. The pure instrumental section is really great as it spotlights the versatility that the song really holds and ayaka delivers some wonderful and powerful vocals that only she can deliver. ayaka’s vocals are consistently strong towards the end of the song and the instrumentation really finishes the song off with a bang. A digital single, For today, really found its home on Sing to the Sky and is one of ayaka’s more catchier songs.

Why arrives as the seventh song. The song opens up with the first verse, which sets in the relaxing atmosphere with almost a hidden magical feeling behind the music. The hook serves as a bridge as ayaka begins to let the power of her voice emerge alongside a buidling music. The chorus really does stand out as ayaka really shows off her vocal prowess. The pure instrumental section really spotlights the magical beauty that the song evokes before returning back to the vocals. It is the last chorus in particular where ayaka lets her voice fly and hits the more powerful note perfectly. Beautiful instrumentation finishes off the song just as wonderfully as it began. Why definitely captures a magical atmosphere that ayaka’s voice really enhances with power and range.

ゴールドスター is an uptempo catchy track that is one of the best the album offers. The track opens up with a cool guitar-driven instrumentation before the first verse starts. ayaka’s vocals are sung somewhat deeply, fitting with the very cool atmosphere of the song and that is a certain attitude that she delivers with the lyrics. The hook begins to show off a little more vocal power when the chorus comes in, which is very addictive. Her vocals sound great and the instrumentation makes the chorus very addictive. The third verse continues the song’s addictive pattern before the pure instrumental section comes in, spotlighting just how how important the guitar is in the instrumentation. Heavy guitar-driven instrumentation brings the song to a wonderful close, making ゴールドスター one of the very best songs on the album.

魔法使いのしわざ is a nice uptempo number that is a very memorable album track. The song opens up with a very piano-centric instrumentation before the first verse starts. ayaka’s vocals are wonderful as usual and she sings the first words of each line with a certain pep that makes the listener interested from first listen. The chorus begins picking up as the instrumentation becomes more uptempo and the vocals carry even more energy. The song ends nicely with some softer vocals from ayaka that still maintain that enjoyable energy. 魔法使いのしわざ is a very enjoyable uptempo song driven by the piano to keep the listener hooked from the beginning to the end and although the song is somewhat short, ayaka’s vocals sound great and she takes the listener into the world of the song.

The tenth song on the album is 手をつなごう. The song begins with a relaxing instrumentation spurred by the sounds of the guitar. The first verse opens up with some great vocals from ayaka as she hits the higher notes effortlessly and sails in the deeper notes perfectly as well. There is a build-up to the chorus and transition from the verses with the hook, which begins to signal an instrumental change. The chorus maintains that same relaxing feeling with even more great vocals from ayaka, capturing the atmosphere of the song perfectly. More energy arrives into the song with the third verse as the music changes slightly, showing off light rock flares, that only amplify the song’s power during the pure instrumental section. Nearing the end, ayaka reaches high and hits a note excellently. The song ends wonderfully with the soft and soothing sound of ayaka finishing the song off on a perfect finish. 手をつなごう is definitely a song to be remembered for ayaka’s way of bringing it to life.

愛も嘘も真実 is a mellow and addictive song that finds its home on Sing to the Sky. The song begins with a mellow and cool instrumentation before the first verse starts. ayaka’s vocals here really capture the sound of the music as she accentuates the last syllable of the lines. The chorus allows ayaka to show off her wonderful vocals even more and the beat is very catchy, making the chorus stand out even more. The pure instrumental section puts an emphasis on hte jazz elements of the song that make it really stand out before the third verse is delivered. With the music more hushed, ayaka sounds wonderful as the softness in her voice stands out. The addictive jazzy instrumentation finishes off the song perfectly. 愛も嘘も真実 is an absolutely perfect song that makes the listener fall in love with ayaka’s voice.

CLAP & LOVE comes as the twelfth song on the album. The track begins with an absolutely addictive rock instrumentation before the first verse starts. ayaka shows off the true power that her vocals can hold as she sings her way through them. The hook serves as an introduction for the chorus as the instrumentation becomes more basic and then comes full force during the chorus. The chorus really is something to sing along to as ayaka brings the song to life with great vocals and a strong ability to hold her notes. The third verse is simple as it features back-up vocals repeating “come on” as ayaka delivers some amazing adlibbing by hitting her note so powerfully. The same great adlibbing followed by a great instrumentation segment finishes off the song excellently. CLAP & LOVE hasn’t lost any steam from its single release and would’ve made an excellent album opener.

君がいるから is a nice uptempo number. The song opens up with an uptempo and catchy instrumental track with twinkling sounds that appear before the first verse starts. ayaka’s vocals blend perfectly with the music here and the transition into the chorus is very smooth. The chorus has an element of happiness that ayaka’s vocals suggest and in combination with the instrumentation, that atmosphere comes to life. The third verse is a bit stronger than the other verses as a kind of hopeful atmosphere is created with ayaka’s voice and she is able to show off her range as she hits the high note very nicely. The following pure instrumental section sounds great as a following, putting an emphasis on the coolness and happy atmosphere of the track. Nearing the end, there is a bigger spotlight on the beat of the song, which really works in the song’s favor. The song ends with some great adlibbing from ayaka and a little instrumentation that ends perfectly. The song is a nice uptempo number with a very happy atmosphere to make the listener appreciate it from start to finish.

The fourteenth song is おかえり, the last song released as a single for the album. The song opens up with the first line of the chorus, which instantly hooks the listener before a flourish of instrumentation comes in. The first verse primarily features vocals on the softer side from ayaka to go with the music. The hook serves as a bridge as the instrumentation begins to take a bigger presence and she begins to display the vocal strengths even more. The chorus is very addictive, particularly because of the first line, containing the title of the song. The pure instrumental section shows just how the naturalness of a song fits ayaka’s style before the third verse comes in, complete with great vocals both displaying her range and her power. The song is an excellent way of showing off what ayaka can do and is certainly a catchy song that should not be left behind.

The album closes with 今夜も星に抱かれて・・・. The song opens up with a beautiful piano interlude before the first verse starts. ayaka’s vocals sound perfect here as they really capture the emotion of the song perfectly and her power is shown off. Her vocals during the chorus allow her to go even higher for some lines and the ending line really is beautiful. After the second chorus, more orchestal instrumentation is introduced in time for the third verse, where ayaka further shows off her strong vocals. When the chorus returns, the same instrumentation solely consisting of the piano returns and she even speaks in English “every day, every night I miss you” The final line of the chorus, “it’s you” really captures the emotion of the song leaving pure instrumentation and some adlibbing to bring the song to a close. This piano ballad is the perfect way to close the album, showing off ayaka’s beautiful vocals.

Album Ranking: A +

ayaka’s sophomore album is a perfect collection of songs that show off just how versatile ayaka is an artist. From the powerful album tracks such as CLAP & LOVE and Jewelry day, the album tracks match the overall atmosphere established by the singles, creating a cohesive and enjoyable album from start to finish. The uptempo tracks such as POWER OF MUSIC and ゴールドスター show that ayaka can really capture the energy and fun while also being able to deliver beautiful ballads such as 今夜も星に抱かれて・・・. ayaka certainly brought everything she had with Sing to the Sky and it certainly paid off.

            

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4 Comments

  1. radiantdawn said,

    I’ve only heard ayaka’s Why, and it wasn’t all that bad. I should listen to more of her.

  2. marcie yang said,

    i LOVE ayaka’s WHY…its so cool.

  3. marcie yang said,

    Ayaka’s a really great singer and i idolize her so much…

  4. Marcie Yang said,

    i love ayaka’s vocals 😀

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