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ALBUM REVIEW: Angela Aki- TODAY

Angela Aki- TODAY

Ever since I listened to Angela Aki’s amazing debut album ‘HOME’, I have been a huge fan. Aki’s amazing vocals accompanied by her beautiful piano melodies form some of the best music I’ve ever listened to. My favorite thing about Aki is how down to earth she is with her music, and how she doesn’t have to sell herself to sell her music. Angela stays true to herself, and doesn’t have to change her style to fit in. She writes her music from the heart, and I really respect that. Basically, she’s one of my favorite artists. I have liked everything she has done, some more than others. I’m very pleased to review her latest sophomore album ‘TODAY’.

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Angela Aki seems to use her voice to convey stories that are true to her, and a lot more people. The superb craftsmanship and composition of Sakurairo really shows how fantastic Angela Aki is, and why she’s a singer/songwriter. The lyrics and music of this song flow beautifully together, and paint a wonderful story that even someone who doesn’t understand Japanese can appreciate. Angela Akis’ voice is one of my favorite thing about her because of how powerful and mold able it is. I don’t know if Angela could do anything related to hip-hop, but within the realm of piano and soulful music, she’s a goodness. If there was a contest judging the power of voices, I’m sure Aki would make a name for herself. I’m really impressed at how well made this song is, and how well it flows with amazing consistency and incredibly vocals. Ahhh, I just don’t know what to say. Fantastic.

Vocal Grade: A+ — Musical Grade: A+ — Consistency Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

Again is a very nice change of pace for Aki, as she finally incorporates some happiness into an album. Previously, most of her songs were somewhat dark, and full of feeling. However, Again shows a brighter side as well as having a lot of personal truth for Aki behind it It appears as though Angela’s life is brightening up, as her songs have increased tempo speeds and more cheerful lyrics. The overall feeling of this song shows that Aki is in a happier stage of her life than when she wrote the HOME album. I think that the vocals of this song are impressive, though I’m really a big fan of her slower vocals. Regardless of my personal preference, I think that Angela really pulls off the happier and more upbeat side of herself, and this album is looking promising.

Vocal Grade: A — Musical Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

Wow, Angela is really going for the happier vibe with this album from what I can tell. None of the songs I’ve heard yet are true ballads, although I’m sure there will be one. Angela’s vocals are actually really pleasant in TODAY, and I personally like it a lot more than Again. I don’t think it’s quite as good as Sakura Iro, but I enjoy it all the same. I think that the upbeat, somewhat pounded, piano makes for a really nice effect, and I like how that hard piano just melts into the soft parts in the verses. If done incorrectly, it could make the song really inconsistent and choppy, but Angela is a superb composer, and she pulls it off brilliantly. I love the approach to the ending because of the really powerful lyrics and vocals, which I just can’t get enough of. The song fades out beautifully in a slowly fading note which I’ve come to associate with Angela since she does it a lot. The song was fantastic.

Vocal Grade: A+ — Musical Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

Oh my lord I was very afraid when Ai no Uta was officially on her album because of the surplus amounts of ‘Uta’ songs that have been coming out lately. There’s the other Ai no Uta from Kumi, the Eien no Uta from Nakashima, the Tabidachi no Uta from Mr. Children and more… So many Uta songs that I’m kind of getting tired of the concept of songs with the word song in the title. HOWEVER, I was pleasantly surprised by this version of the repetitive Ai no Uta song. Angela finally reels in a ballad [though it’s on the more up-tempo side of the ballad spectrum], which grabbed my attention instantly. Angela’s soft yet powerful vocals are amazing in this song, and the lone piano in the background only makes the song twice as beautiful. I think this is probably so far my favorite of the new tracks, and I am going to be listening to this song a LOT more

Vocal Grade: A+ — Musical Grade: A+ — Consistency Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

Unfortunately, I am not much of a Tashikani fan. I think that Angela’s vocal performance is pretty good, though not her best, and that the song feels very rushed and inconsistent. I get lost in the constantly shifting flow of the song, and I can’t really keep track of the things I like and dislike. I think that the fast piano is nice, but it still just sounds really unattractive to me, and makes the song strange. I think this song feels a bit too upbeat for me, and I just never really found it very interesting. It got boring to me after a few listens, and I don’t think that it’s one of Angela’s best songs. It’s not by any means a bad song [I don’t think Angela is even capable of a bad song], I just think that it is mediocre compared to most of her other work.

Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: B — Consistency Grade: B

Overall Grade: B+

Silent Girl is another wonderful song which is a true ballad. The song starts with Angela on a beautiful note with no piano backing her, and then she moves on and the piano starts. I thought that the way she did that was really nice and gave the song a more melancholic feeling. The song has a really pretty flow to it, and I like the way it progresses as it goes on. I can hear the feeling behind Angela’s voice whenever she sings, and this case is no exception. These are the songs that built and continue my love for Angela Aki. The song could be better, in my opinion, but I think her vocals are really top notch.

Vocal Grade: A+ — Musical Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

When I first listened to Moral no Soushiki I wasn’t sure what to think. A ton of people love this song from what I’ve seen, and I thought it was going to be something completely different than what it is… I’m not sure that I can say I don’t like it, but I honestly find it very strange. This song feels like it has very little organization, and I frankly get very lost when I listen to it. This song has almost virtually no consistency, and basically… It bugs me. The sound and feeling of the song switches so much that it’s hard to keep track of what feelings she is trying to convey through it. On the plus side, it is a very unique song. I thought that the random elements of the song added in just made the song way to busy. I thought that the random applause took the song out a of normality and brought it to this musical set where she’s more like singing lines than an actual song. I liked the way that she sang the parts around second 37, but after that, it turned into some crazy Phantom of the Opera song that was enjoyable, but somehow perturbing. The strange instruments that appear just feel wrong to me, and I just can’t enjoy this song when it changes moods so much. I don’t really think it’s bad… just… I don’t even really know what it is…

Vocal Grade: A — Musical Grade: B — Consistency Grade: C

Overall Grade: B-

I was slightly shocked to hear the electric guitar that appeared in the Otome Gokoro entrance, though I can say that I liked it. In fact, I liked this whole song, really. I think that the fast paced verses are sang really well, and that the chorus is also really well done. I’m wondering if Aki composed the guitar too, because if so, she did a good job. I’m really liking this song, and I think it’s the first song like it that I’ve heard from Angela. I like the way that she sings the verses quick, because it makes it sound more fast paced and upbeat– more alive.

Vocal Grade: A- — Musical Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A-

Overall Grade: A-

I’m fairly certain that the first note of this song is the same as that of Sakura Iro, because when I first turned it on, I almost thought I was on the wrong song. Anyway, I really like One Melody. I think that Angela’s slow and powerful vocals really bring a fantastic feeling to the song, and make it feel really heart felt. This is the ballad that I was kind of waiting for. The piano for this songs is very simple, but it makes the atmosphere all the more innocent and suggestive of a ballad. I think this is one of the better songs on the album, and it’s really pleasant to listen to. The chorus is by far the most beautiful part of this song, and it’s where you see Angela’s vocals are amazing.

Vocal Grade: A — Musical Grade: A- — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

This is a really cool song, and I like the relaxed and slow vibe of the whole thing. I think that, again, Angela’s vocals are just fantastic, and she is clearly capable of anything. I think that the manner in which she sings Tomo no Shirushi is what really draws me in and keeps the song from being boring. The things she does with her voice and the melodies she creates really make me feel relaxed and contented. I think that the song got just a tad bit repetitive by the end of it, but I’m not really complaining. I think that when she makes the little whistle-ish sound with her voice like ‘Oooh’, it sounds really cool and adds a cool effect. The piano is simple once again, and stays true to the ballad composition of the song. There isn’t a lot of music during the verses, and I think it’s okay because of Angela’s captivating lyrics. All in all, the song kind of reminded me of a laid back jazzy song but with a more modern twist. I really enjoyed it.

Vocal Grade: A — Musical Grade: A- — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

I kind of find myself wishing that she had blended the song styles together, because it appears that all the upbeat songs were towards the beginning, and now i’ve had a bunch of ballads in a row. Well, judging the song based only on the song, Kodoku no kakera is really very pretty. I think that the song could be a bit more interesting, but I don’t think it’s a large problem. As usual, Angela’s vocals are just angelic, and I still can’t get enough, regardless of if the song is slightly boring or not. I think that the piano in this song is actually better than aa lot of her songs, and I like the overall feeling. I don’t really have a lot to say other than this is a fairly average, but pretty good, song by Angela. I could picture things to make it better, but it’s certainly not bad.

Vocal Grade: A — Musical Grade: A+ — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A-

I was very ready for the pace to pick up at this point, and On & On did that… to a degree. On & On is a fairly mid-tempo song that features mid-tempo verses from Angela, and a much faster chorus. I think the chorus is my favorite part because of Angela’s really nice vocal performance. I don’t know how much I can take of Angela’s perfection [haha], but luckily I’m not quite bored yet. I didn’t really find On & on Particularly compelling, but I did think it was a nice song. I really thought the verses could have been better, but maybe thats just me.

Vocal Grade: A — Musical Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A

Overall Grade: A

Surrender is another ballad, which kind of annoyed me, but I actually REALLY liked it. Surrender is completely in English, which means that I get to look at lyrics better in the review… For a foreign speaker of English, I’m very, very impressed with Angela’s writing abilities. Half the time I can’t even listen to American music because of how unintelligent the lyrics are. However, Angela managed to create a beautiful and coherent lyrical composition, and I’m really liking it. I can’t remember what song this reminds me of, but I’m pretty sure it’s a Disney song… If anyone happens to hear it too, tell me what it is, because it will bug me… Anyway, I think that the vocal performance by Angela was fantastic, and I’m really impressed with this song. The dramatic feelings in the chorus are really nice. I think the chorus is again my favorite part because of the power in her voice.

Vocal Grade: A+ — Musical Grade: A — Consistency Grade: A+

Overall Grade: A+

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Angela Aki’s sophomore album turned out to be all that I was hoping for. I think that her vocals are at their strongest, and I really can’t stop listening to this album. I feel that Angela is clearly one of the best artists in Japan at the moment, and I think that going to one of her concerts would be like the coolest thing ever. Haha, I can’t wait to go to Japan now. I just hope that she’s touring… This album was fantastic, and I really feel that Angela is going to continue doing great things and making amazing music. Good luck Angela.

ALBUM GRADE: A+

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SINGLE REVIEW: Angela Aki- Tashika ni


Angela Aki is one of my favorite artists because she isn’t really that mainstream bubble gum pop that many Japanese artists put out. Aki sticks true to herself and uses that power house voice to blow down the barriers that hold down serious singers in Japan and shows that she is a lot better than artists like Morning Musume and other artists devoted to singing like a furby. I’m really glad artists like Aki are out there to show that the strength of your voice should be an important factor, and that people should not get record deals off being physically flawless. So I applaud the powerful Angela Aki. No introducing ‘Tashika ni’, Aki’s newest single.
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Angela Aki’s Tashika ni is certainly not her best work. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good single, but it is not great. Her voice, as usual, is strong and beautiful, but the song itself is somewhat childish, and a bit repetetive. The song is good, but I don’t think it’s great. Normally, when I get a single, I’ll put the new songs on repeat and listen to them until I get a new set. However, with tashika ni, I found mself bored quickly. The song is vocally strong, musically okay, but somehow it is boring. I’m not to proud of Aki on this one, and I really wish that I could start my site with a stronger single from one of my favorite artits. Most of her songs are really good, and if the previous ones had been weaker, I think i’d have found this particular one good, however, this song is really outshined by its predecessors.
Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: B
Overall Grade: B

SINGLE GRADE: B

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