- AIR -Tori no Uta-
- Summer Wind -Natsu no Kaze-
- Aozora -end I ess summer- Vocal version
- Utakata no Yume -Going on-
- Yakusoku, Tooi Hi ni
- Aozora -end I ess summer- Instrumental version
1. AIR -Tori no Uta-
The first track of the single is a cover of Tori no Uta, originally by Lia. Now, you have to be a pretty good singer to successfully cover Lia, but fortunately Yuri Nazuka, who does all the vocals for this single, is more than equipped vocally. The arrangement has stripped the trance influences, and is much slower, featuring a primarily strings-based instrument. Yuri Nazuka demonstrates her range well in this song, with both solid low parts while singing the lead and ethereal, high vocals when she also acts as the backing choir. I’m a sucker for multi-vocal songs, and I love serene yet powerful feel, so I actually prefer this great version to the original.
2. Summer Wind -Natsu no Kaze-
Second is the track Summer Wind -Natsu no Kaze- by Jun Maeda, from the album “AIR” Arranged Sound Album ARIA. I haven’t heard the original but I assume it’s been re-arranged for this single. An instrumental, it begins with a delicate piano melody, accompanied by barely audible acoustic guitar. As a violin is introduced with the main theme of the piece, the dynamics increase with the deep presence of a cello and other instruments. I think it does very well conveying imagery of summer and I commend it for that, although I’m not a big instrumental fan.
3. Aozora -end I ess summer- Vocal version
Wow this song has parts that sound exactly like The Rose. Similar to AIR -Tori no Uta-, the instrumentation is all stringsy, and the tempo is slow. Yuri Nazuka’s voice complements the arrangement very well with its mysterious qualities. As appears to be common with Yuri Nazuka WAVE songs, there are many lovely vocal harmonies. I would probably be getting bored of this track if it didn’t have those harmonies, but instead they perk up my interest and I end up liking this song.
4. Utakata no Yume -Going on-
Utakata no Yume -Going on- opens with Spanish-European-folky acoustic guitars and soft hand drumming, with harmonising vocals floating over the top. The song is Spanish with a twist – I doubt there would normally be so much backing vocals, but it’s really awesome here. The arrangement is much simpler compared with the other songs, with only acoustic guitars, a violin, hand drums and vocals (though I suspect all the different singing parts would have to have a lot of work put into them). In the bridge, there’s a slightly out-of-place piano solo carrying the theme, but the acoustic feel returns at the end to wrap up a cool song with a different genre than usual.
5. Yakusoku, Tooi Hi ni
The fifth track, while having a large vocal component, sounds like it could easily be a soundtrack piece as the vocals act more as part of the instrumentation as opposed to the lead. It opens with piano, and the harmonising vocals of Yuri Nazuka, before a percussion element is added. A strings section completes the arrangement, and we can’t forget the beautiful layers of rich vocals found throughout. A strong piece to be found here.
6. Aozora -end I ess summer- Instrumental version
Finally, there’s an instrumental version of the third track of the single. It’s very similar, except that a violin replaces the vocal parts. There are still many harmonies to be found, but I much prefer the vocal version, so I pass on this one.
I think most/all of the tracks here were covers or rearranged versions, but I’m not sure as I haven’t heard the originals. While this single doesn’t feature the brilliant orchestral madness of their previous release Gate of Avalon, there’s still plenty of goodness to be found here. I’m really glad they chose to use Yuri Nazuka as their vocalist for all this single, because I am totally in love with her voice and the multitude of harmonies arranged for her. To me, the weaknesses were the instrumental tracks where I lost interest, but I was happy with the others.