Ikio Ayaka – GOSSIP [2nd Mini Album]

July 12, 2009 at 8:06 pm (Ikio Ayaka) (, )

GOSSIP

Ikio Ayaka’s 2nd mini album, enittled GOSSIP, was released on 07.22.09.

The album opens up with the addictive track, Get Out. Opening the song is an addictive electropop instrumental that is sure to catch the listener’s attention. It really does have a disco sort of feel to it that is interesting and will make the listener want to dance. Then Ayaka comes in on the first verse and sings “I’m feeling like I wanna be your baby, I’m feeling like I wanna be your candy cane.” With the distortion on her vocals, they suit the music very well. Probably the line that stands out the most in this song is during the chorus when she sings the title of the song. Her vocals and the music at that point just make such a strong combination that it cannot be ignored. The section of pure instrumentation right before the final chorus sounds really cool and catches the listener off guard for a moment. This is a very strong way to start the album and will leave the listener wanting more.

Up next is Plastic Baby, one of the strongest songs on the album. The song begins with a fantastic instrumental and Ayaka’s vocals come in with no real distortion on them. Here is really where the music stands and takes the listener into another world. As usual with Ayaka, the lyrics are pretty strange and carry that sexual atmosphere that makes her shine. There is a cool drum beat right before the chorus, featuring high energy and sleek instrumentation to get the listener moving. Probably the most addictive part of the song is when she sings “hit baby” and “boom baby” repatedly. It’s such a strong mix of mellowness and aggression that the listener will get sucked in. Overall, it’s another fantastic song and definitely one to listen to.

Cat’s Free is the song that follows. The song opens up with an interesting aggressive instrumental that is sure to catch the listener’s ear. When Ayaka sings the first verse, the distortion on her vocals are strong but it’s also interesting that her vocals sound so slow so that really the focus led to the instrumentaion. The transition into the chorus is flawless so that it might go somewhat un-noticed but it sounds pretty cool despite it being very hard to understand what she is saying. A few phrases such as “cute and sexy” and “I don’t care and I don’t mind” stick out but otherwise it’s difficult to really understand. Nonetheless, it’s a very enjoyable song and definitely one that will catch the listener’s ear.

ANARCHY IN THE UK is the fourth tack on the album and a cover. The opening instrumental is interesting as the electropop is mixed with rock in order to create a strong instrumental. The vocals sound very strange at points, most points, as she holds the notes too long. Basically, the song would have worked so much better as one of those electropop with very little vocals and the focus on the instrumentation because the song has hot music but the vocals just make things weird.

Spider Web tones down the distortion a little bit to make a strong sleek song. A cool and fun instrumental starts things off and it has sort of a retro feel that will definitely catch the listener’s ear. When she comes in on the first verse, it’s very surprising since it doesn’t even sound like her. She is completely in control and due to the more mellow style of the instrumentation they suit the music perfectly. Right before the chorus there is a little aggression just to build up the anticipation. On the chorus, the distortion returns for her vocals and the music keeps the aggressive nature from the end of the verses so that it stands apart strongly. Spider Web is a fantastic track and shows that Ayaka doesn’t always need the distortion on her voice to bring her power.

The semifinale of the album is Scream. The song starts off with a really energetic and aggressive instrumental that carries the element of danger to it. Ayaka’s vocals sound very cool and only amplify the danger. On the first verse, Ayaka repeats a line without the help of distortion. On the chorus, the distortion returns and her vocals are slightly higher. It makes this section stand out although it might have sounded nicer with a lower tone. Then Ayaka repeats the same line but this time with the distortion and it really sounds a lot stronger. It may not be as strong as some of the other tracks but it’s still a very strong song.

Closing the album is Groove is Mine. Starting things off is a cool instrumental with interesting distortions on the vocals at cool intervals. With the various lines of vocals, the listener becomes intrigued right off the bat. The chorus is a little dry with the instrumentation sounding somewhat empty and the repeating vocals but it’s still nice. All the moments of pure instrumentation are the most interesting and it keeps the listeners on their toes. Again, not the best song but still an enjoyable one and a nice way to close the album.

Album Ranking: A +

Ayaka really did step her game up on this album. GOSSIP features a number of standout tracks from the disco dancing sounds of Get Out to the sleek coolness of Plastic Baby to the mellow strength to Cat’s Web and Spider Web. The last two tracks fell just a little flat but were still enjoyable. ANARCHY IN THE UK has an awesome instrumental but the vocals took away from its strength. Her best song as of now is still Spin Me Round but a lot of these songs come very close.

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Ikio Ayaka – RE: Acid Queen [Debut Mini Album]

June 19, 2009 at 2:57 am (Ikio Ayaka) (, )

Ayaka Ikio

Ikio Ayaka’s debut mini album, entitled RE: Acid Queen, was released on 01.14.09. Spin Me Round was released as the album promotional track.

The album opens up with the introductory track, RE:. It begins with what sounds like electric power before the sleek instrumentation comes in. Ayaka then says different words beginning with “re” and it’s hard to make out just what she’s saying all the time but that’s okay. It’s not the most developed way to start things off but it does draw the listener into an interesting electric instrumental. It’s an amazing song with an addictive instrumental that sparkles in the ears of the listener.

Then comes the promotional song, Spin Me Round. The song spins with an aggressive hot instrumental that draws the listener in. The vocals sound pretty weird with the vocoder on them since they come out so deep. It’s somewhat surprising at first listen but the sheer amazingness of the music takes away any doubts. The chorus, on the other hand, features more normal vocals that sound perfect alongside the music. Without a doubt, this is the most addictive song on the album and will shine brightly.

Up next is Mess Up My Body, which carries a similar vibe to the last track. That opening instrumental feels like a fantasy world so it definitely gets things off on a good way. Then her vocals come in and the distortion makes them suit the music perfectly. It’s kind of like she’s faraway calling to the listener. One of the notable parts of the song is that she says “fucking,” wich is surprising but somehow, it suits the song well. It’s not as catchy as the previous song though and perhaps if it was shortened, it would have been even more enjoyable.

LOLLyPoP follows with a sexual atmosphere. The song opens up with a very interesting instrumental and then she sings the first verse and the vocoder isn’t on her voice, which comes as a very surprising. She also drops “fuck” and “bitch” quite a number of times. The vocoder comes back on the chorus as she sings “lick my lollipop.” It wasn’t the most engaging track although it might have been stronger with the vocoder on her vocals throughout the song. It’s pretty weird but it’s kind of addictive to hear what she says next since everything seems so random.

The fifth song is Pain Killer. It begins with an aggressive instrumental that definitely captures attention. It makes the perfect introduction for Ayaka to come in with the vocoder back on her vocals. Then the instrumentation loses the aggression but not the sleekness as the verse goes on. Pain Killer is a pretty fun and slick song that will make the listener want to dance along with Ayaka.

Spiral Storage, a strange song, is the sixth track. The song starts off with a cool instrumental that stands out nicely and then Ayaka comes in. Her vocals aren’t completely lacking the assistance of the vocoder but they do stray away from its complete use. It probably would have been better to have them like usual because they might have suited the music better. It definitely isn’t the strongest song on the album but it’s a nice listen.

Album Ranking: B

For a debut mini album, this was definitely not bad. The instrumentation remained strong throughout the album and although the vocals were a little iffy on some of the songs, the overall product was nice. Spin Me Round was clearly the highlight of the album but some of the other songs were enjoyable too. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of her in the future.

Memorable Tracks: Spin Me Round / Mess Up My Body / Pain Killer

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