- Kuroi Uta
- Sirius (Instrumental)
Sirius opens with an exciting drum fill, which is joined by a fuzzy, hollow-sounding guitar and softly pulsing touches of piano. Eir’s voice then enters quickly, rough around the edges but mostly acceptable. The verse structure moves to the pre-chorus in an oddly short time, and she starts to sing higher. Her first few high notes are all right… her last one not so much. And then we reach the chorus. Oh God. Here’s a lesson for all you vocalists out there – don’t sing like this. There’s too many bloody high notes, and she sounds horribly strained (for those interested, the parts of concern, “hikari ni natte” and similar, are C# C# D# E F# B, which is damn high for a female vocalist). As I write, my ears are in their death throes. It’s a bit sad actually, Eir Aoi can sing pretty high, but for some reason her songwriters think that means they can shove 50 frickin’ high notes in a row at her and she’ll pull it off. Um, no. Do they even have ears? Quality standards? Granted, J-Music vocal quality is on the low side, but still! Even on the lower parts though, her tone could do with some work. If you ignore the chorus vocals, there’s a nice chord progression at the beginning and halfway through. The bridge is the best part – her voice sounds stable and pleasant. However, the rest of the song is butchered. Ugh.
OMG a metal track. I’ve been waiting for one of these since, well, I first heard Prayer, I suppose. Still, despite its heavy styling, Addicted… is a JPop track at heart, just with fat guitars and more drums than usual. Echoey synths play over aggressive power chords and drums thunder away, while Eir sings lower than before. I’m very happy about this, as her tone is infinitely better in this song than in Sirius. The upper notes in the chorus, while easier than Sirius‘, are much more competently sung. The instrumentation is simple, standard rock material, but works well. I do wonder though if they were trying too hard to make the track heavy, I think it would have been better if a less bassy, more crunchy guitar sound was used. It’s also on the short side, but a decent track and is growing on me.
3. Kuroi Uta
A meandering piano line deftly introduces the third track, Kuroi Uta. It’s probably the best opening sequence of any Eir Aoi song I’ve heard yet. When the vocals come in, Eir uses a mild, sad tone that complements the mournful piano. She lacks some of the colour that would make it even better, but I’m glad she did use this kind of gentle voice instead of her usual fierce one. Kuroi Uta continues in ballad mode until the halfway mark. There, a quick beat, guitars and more complex strings parts enter, giving the second half a completely different mood. In this section, what stands out to me are the gorgeous strings parts in a classical vein, noticeable in vocal breaks and the chorus. The piece ends in the ballad style again, and it’s a lovely way to go. This song reminds me of Konomi Suzuki’s Tears BREAKER, except with poorer vocals. But all in all, it was the best track from the single.
I’m still not that thrilled with Eir Aoi, but there’s some improvement now! Well, except in the title track. That sucked ass. But the B-sides were quite solid, and her vocals in Addicted… and Kuroi Uta didn’t sound like a strangled goat’s. This release is superior to Cobalt Sky, methinks.
Rating: 2.5 stars