CD Review :: ayaka - 30 y/o
CD & 2 CDs
2 CDs + DVD & 2 CDs + Blu-ray
2) Neon Light
10) Ai Kotoba
11) Heart Up (ayaka & Miura Daichi)
12) Glory (ayaka & KREVA)
30 y/o is ayaka's 5th album & it was released last month on 14th Nov .
ayaka's last studio album release was 2015's Rainbow Road .
12 songs in total are included in 30 y/o , inclusive of 2 singles Kotonoha & Heart Up (duet with Miura Daichi) .
Besides that , ayaka also made videos for 3 album tracks .
30 y/o represents the singer's age . ayaka explained , "It's up to myself in the end . You only live once . As a 30-year-old , I want to confidently live my life while being proud of my decisions ."
Kicking things off in 30 y/o is the upbeat sounding Colourful!! which's the 1st of 3 album tracks followed by Neon Light & Pamala which're all 3 back to back upbeat cheery numbers .
Sentimental originally was included as the B-side of ayaka's 14th single Kotonoha . I still think it's a good B-side & I don't mind that it's included in 30 y/o .
And speaking about Kotonoha , it's slotted in the next song after Sentimental in 30 y/o tracklist .
Used to promote NHK drama 10's Tsubaki Bunguten ~Kamakura Daishoya Monogatari~ , Kotonoha was described as a medium tempo number with the theme letter that reflects hearts that are linked together through words .
The next 5 songs are album tracks and oddly if not coincidentally , 3 of them back to back each other had music videos made .
Woman is 1 of the more slower sounding album tracks in 30 y/o while Dizzy is a lot more upbeat .
1 of the 3 album tracks that had a video made is 365 & the song was used to promote The 22nd Notebook Grand Prize [Ashita Mata Tomodachi ni Naru] .
ayaka said 365 is based on what the future will be and it's demonstrated in the video that she sees it as colouring each page of the calendar organiser 1 day 1 page at a time .
365 is 1 of my favourite album tracks in 30 y/o as it's cheery sounding without sounding cheesy and I feel it's 1 of the standout tracks which definitely deserve to have a video made .
The next song Sakura was a special single released last year on 14th Oct & at that time , the physical copy of Sakura was sold at the concert venue/s of ayaka's Acoustic Live Tour 2017-2018 ~3-STAR RAW~ & it included the instrumental of Sakura .
Sakura is a graduation song about the feelings of parents when their children leave the nest .
Instead of a typical music video , ayaka made a short movie with that accompanied Sakura .
Ai Kotoba is the last album track to have a video made & this was used to promote the movie Ningyo no Nemuru Ie .
ayaka wrote Ai Kotoba after reading the Ningyo no Nemuru Ie novel & the movie script . She commented , "While reading the book & script , I couldn't stop the words & melody to overflow within me . As I was done reading them, Ai Kotoba had already taken its form ."
Surprisingly , Ai Kotoba is the only album ballad in 30 y/o but yet it's such a great empowering number . I'm not surprised ayaka chose to perform this song on various music TV shows as it showcase her vocal powers extremely well .
The last 2 songs are 2 back to back duets prior to the conclusion of 30 y/o .
Heart Up is the 1st duet in the album & ayaka sung this together with Miura Daichi .
ayaka commented , "The heart experiences love's sweetness & its bitterness . It grows from experiencing both . That's where the title of the song comes from... The song tells the story of a man & a woman who come together as part of their destiny . I wrote from the perspective that a broken heart can fly higher than before & that people whose fates are connected can make things better . "
Heart Up had 2 promo tie in's . It was used in the ads of Find my Tokyo. starring Ishihara Satomi with ayaka making a cameo in the ad & it was also used as the theme song to promote NTV's Sukkiri!! morning news programme .
Wrapping things up in 30 y/o is the 2nd duet Glory and ayaka sung this together with rapper KREVA .
Prior to the inclusion of Glory in 30 y/o , the song was released digitally on 31st Aug .
Glory was originally performed just once at KREVA's 908 FESTIVAL 2017 event that was held last Sept at Nippon Budokan. At the time , ayaka was thrilled to be invited to perform at 908 FESTIVAL 2017 & as such , she wanted to do something that would make the crowd happy . She made a demo of Glory while imagining that she was singing together with KREVA . After receiving the demo , KREVA wrote the lyrics & arranged the song .
And at this year's 908 FESTIVAL 2018 , ayaka & KREVA sung Glory together onstage .
ayaka reflects on the themes of time and change in her 5th album 30 y/o . The singer , who debuted at the age of 18 & is now 30 , presents 12 songs that express her own self , including the singles Kotonoha & Heart Up
It's quite hard to believe it has been so long since ayaka last released Rainbow Road & at the same time , before I listened to 30 y/o , I did not know what to expect especially for the album tracks .
So to say that I was pleasantly surprised how the new material in 30 y/o sound like , it's quite reassuring as before that I assumed that the songs might be leftover tracks from Rainbow Road but luckily that's not the case .
Generally 30 y/o is good except that for some album tracks , they sounded quite similar which's why it took me longer than expected to at last write about the album .
Also , I would have preferred for the 2 duets in 30 y/o not to be together side by side as it kind of break the momentum or it would have been better for Heart Up to be the last track of the album instead .
But other than that , 30 y/o is another solid release that ayaka delivered . At this point in her life , ayaka is at a stage where she's at peace with herself & 30 y/o is proof of that .