Eir Aoi – Niji no Oto

Aoi Eir - Niji no Oto

I imagine having hair that long would be a bit of a pain…

Tracklist:

  1. Niji no Oto
  2. Yume Sekai
  3. INNOCENCE (Live at Shibuya Koukaidou)
  4. Niji no Oto (TV size ver.)
  5. Niji no Oto (Instrumental)

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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

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4 Responses to Eir Aoi – Niji no Oto

  1. mk03 says:

    Aoi covered Yume Sekai? My digital copy of the single didn’t have it ‘3’ But that’s an interesting song to cover.

    I actually sort of like Sirius in a weird sort of way. Aoi’s voice is flawed in the song, especially during the chorus, but the actual song was still pretty enjoyable for me (which surprises me, since I hated the song at first)

    Just a weird trivia about Aoi: before being discovered on Niconico, she was previously a gravure idol named Yui Arisawa (有沢ゆい), and at some point also went by the name Yui Aoyama (青山由依). Aoi’s real name is unknown, but since she previously used two names which contained “Yui”, it’s very likely (almost a given) that her first name is Yui or a name which starts with Y; in fact, there’s a good chance that Yui Arisawa is her real name. Just search for those Japanese names, and you’ll see many results, including some Japanese blog posts which mention her current name Aoi Eir.

    • Alex says:

      While her voice is flawed in Sirius, if you can still enjoy it, well then that’s great.

      Seems like you’ve done your research on Miss Eir. Can’t say it’s that surprising that her real name was found out though, given she’s quite a popular singer.

      By the way, what did you think of Niji no Oto?

      • mk03 says:

        1. For one thing, since she’s one of my favorite singers (currently ranked 7th, behind Mami, KOTOKO, LiSA, Maon, Kalafina and ClariS), I edit her Wikipedia article frequently (in fact, I have more edits to the page than any other user; currently have 18 edits to the article), so of course I want to know info about her. I actually discovered that information by complete accident (I had been doing some research on the singer Ray, one of the singers for Amnesia and who sang Nagi Asu’s OPs, who happened to be a former gravure model named Reika Nakayama; the page I saw happened to have a link to a page which exposes Aoi’s past). Apparently, pre-Aurora, she kept her face hidden (similar to ClariS), probably so that people wouldn’t find out about the things she used to do. I still love her though, and I actually found her AV pics to be pretty hot if you ask me😉

        2. Actually, I haven’t listened to the song yet, but I will soon. I normally wait for a song’s full lyrics to be released before giving it a try. Knowing my tastes though, I’ll probably end up liking it (I still remember Kimi no Gin no Niwa, which I hated at first but ended up becoming one of my favorite Kalafina songs, although I still think Magia and Hikari Furu are better than it)

        • Alex says:

          Her early releases had her face half masked, but you could still see her eyes and hair and stuff. Hey and wait a sec, a gravure model isn’t the same as an AV actress right? I thought gravure models pose in bikinis and stuff, while AV is porn.

          I hope you end up liking Niji no Oto, it’s a nice change in pace from her.

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