- Niji no Oto
- Yume Sekai
INNOCENCE (Live at Shibuya Koukaidou)
Niji no Oto (TV size ver.)
Niji no Oto (Instrumental)
1. Niji no Oto
People who’ve read my previous Eir Aoi reviews would have noticed I’ve been less than thrilled with her past few releases. Happily, Niji no Oto bucks the trend, and delivers her best A-side this era. Instead of a pop-rock song, this track is a laid-back, mid-tempo anison piece. Along with acoustic guitar and drums, it also boasts an enchanting complement of strings. More importantly though, the vocal lines in the verse and chorus aren’t nearly as high as songs like Sirius. This allows Eir to sing with a more stable (and listenable) tone. While there are still those extra high notes in the bridge, some of which are a little strained, overall the vocals are good, and I’m quite pleased with Niji no Oto.
2. Yume Sekai
Carrying on with the Sword Art Online theme, the second track is a cover of Yume Sekai by Haruka Tomatsu, one of the anime’s EDs. Since I’ve forgotten how the original goes, I’ll just talk about this one on its own merits. Yume Sekai is another slower track, with a sweet folk sound from the flute, acoustic guitar lines and hand drums. The music is very relaxing, and makes me think of holidays and cheerful things. But the vocals are not effective at conveying this feeling. She uses a lighter tone at the beginning, which is a good start, but later on her voice becomes too harsh. By that, I don’t mean her voice takes an overly grating tone, but relative to the music she’s singing against, her vocals are unsuitable. This is most pronounced in the last chorus. There are good ideas going on in Yume Sekai, but in the end, I’m not that interested.
3. INNOCENCE (Live at Shibuya Koukaidou)
The final track is a live version of INNOCENCE, Eir’s first SAO tie-in. This is a pretty solid live. She hits the notes well, her voice is similar to the studio version, and while she’s somewhat strained in the chorus and still has a weak head voice, it’s not so different from the original. Not to be outdone, the band also does great. When they rock out in the bridge (which is very cool, I had forgotten), it puts a big smile on my face. There’s lots of energy in this track, and fans of INNOCENCE should be pleased.
Right, first review of 2014! Eir Aoi kicked off the new year in a good way, with her best single this era. Niji no Oto and the live version of INNOCENCE were the two best tracks, and while Yume Sekai was much weaker, there were some interesting ideas happening. I’m happy enough with this release.
Rating: 3.5 stars