Matsuura Aya, still simply the best. While worlds away from Ayaya’s “Momoiro♥kataomoi” days, “Click you link me” yet again reaffirms the artist, the voice…& the artistry within~. The recording hiatus and wait has seemed much longer although Ayaya’s swan~song “Chocolate damashii” now approaching a release from two years ago is a melody I can still keep within me. “Double Rainbow” reached out to perhaps a new audience too, and reminiscing back then I remember reading mixed reactions~* as really a part of us has literally for some, grown~up alongside a beloved idol♥ or group as we both would collectively experience milestones and maturity plateaus in a tapestry of memories tightly interlocked with specific songs and visuals brought to life in deep vividness. Letting go sometimes can be the most difficult as we sometimes and maybe not even quite consciously wish~* for our idols♥ to remain ageless in time….less they move on to a more mature stage and presence~.
The stairs to the inevitable can be heard with each astounding performance in Autumn’s “Double Rainbow” and from the very first vocals of Ayaya’s opening with the most beautiful and heartfelt ballad “Egao” till the final notes, her range and musical presence….immediately profound~. While many of her previous concerts have brought so much energy with the performances being very much in a more youthful approach, with “Double Rainbow” you can really see the full transition from idol♥ to artist.
Now at 24 years old, Ayaya is ready to show once again why she’s always been a cut~above during her years with Hello! Project and why she has all of the makings of an artist ready to bloom~. While the cover~art speaks volumes of the styles heard on “Click you link me”, a personal high~anticipation was the promise of a recorded duet between Ayaya and the legendary and incomparable Moritaka Chisato~. A song with a longing, a history of a past love unrealized and the emotions within which inevitably simmer over in times of deep reflect….now heard with a meeting between artistries past and present. And while Ayaya previously released a version of “Watarasebashi” as a single a few years ago this interpretation is much much ~♥~!!, and unlike other covers the feel of “Watarasebashi” is surely one which demands no real improvisations or change in identity as some of the song’s melancholy and undertones would perhaps be lost in such a musical translation. Here “Watarasebashi” is heard with minimal changes keeping its warmth♥ in instrumentation right down to the alto~recorder solo performed by Moritaka~san herself in the mid~break, and the arrangement and the subtleties of having Moritaka Chisato’s vocals recorded in a soft~backing opposed to having both Ayaya and Moritaka~san be heard in equal lighting lends to keeping with this being Ayaya’s “version” and making for a most memorable duet transcending time~.
Moritaka Chisato “Watarasebashi” mp3 (from album “Lucky 7” released on May 10th, 1993)
Watarasebashi de miru yuuhi wo anata wa totemo sukidatta wa.
kireina toko de sodatta ne. Koko ni sumitai to itta.
You loved to watch the setting sun from Watarasebashi Bridge.
You said, “You’ve grown up in a beautiful town. I want to live here.”
Densha ni yurare kono machi made anata wa ai ni kite kureta wa.
Watashi wa ima mo ano koro wo wasurerarezu ikitemasu.
You would come to this town aboard a train to see me.
I live with the memories of those days in my heart.
Ima demo Yakumo jinja e omairi suru to anata no koto inoru wa.
Nagaigoto hitotsu kanau nara ano koro ni modoritai
Whenever I go to the Yakumo shrine, I still pray for you.
If one of my dreams came true, I should go back to those days.
Tokoya no kado ni potsun to aru koushuu denwa oboete masuka?
Kinou omowazu kaketakute nando mo juwaki totta no.
Do you remember the public telephone standing at the corner of the barber’s?
Yesterday I came to feel like calling you up and picked up the receiver many times
Konaida watarasegawa no kawara ni orite zutto nagare miteta wa.
Kitakaze ga totemo tsumetakute kaze wo hiichaimashita.
The other day I went down to the shore of the Watarase River and watched the water running down for a long time.
The north wind was so sharp that I caught a cold.
Dare no sei demo nai. Anata ga kono machi de
Kurasenai koto wakatteta no.
Nandomo nayan da wa. Dakedo watashi koko wo hanarete kurasu koto dekinai.
Neither of us is responsible for our parting.
I knew that you could not live in such a rural town.
Many times I thought over whether I should accompany you or not.
But I cannot live in a big city, leaving here.
Anata ga sukida to itta kono machinami ga
Kyou mo kurete yukimasu.
Hiroi sora to tooku no yama yama. Futari de aruita machi.
Yuuhi ga kireina machi.
You said you loved this town. Night has been coming.
The sky is getting dark, and I can only see the form of mountains over there.
Night is falling in this town where I walked with you.
Night is falling in this town where the setting sun is beautiful
Takeuchi Mariya’s “Minna hitori” which in late 2006 saw the coupling of Matsu Takako as performer and Takeuchi~san as writer/producer is also given the Ayaya touch~* on “Click you link me”, and here staying true to the original composition you can compare both versions as the assembly of top musicians and vocalists alike shine~.
Matsuura Aya “Minna hitori” mp3
Matsu Takako “Minna hitori” mp3 (released on November 29th, 2006)
As aforementioned the styling of every photo shoot pays tribute and compliments to a golden~age in American history and here through the coupled music, “Click you link me” while as a whole boasts an adult contemporary pop feel throughout it no doubt dwells in deep jazz undertones even in the much more pop arrangements, but truly the beauty of this album is the incorporation of jazz stylings～ ♪ which is immediately heard in the opening track “The Difference” which lends to other inner genres of the craft heard here in arrangements of bossa~nova to swing~jazz both bright lighted in approach to small club~intimate.
And in listening from beginning till end you’re familiarity with the original Ayaya versions of songs such as “Suna wo kamu you ni…NAMIDA”, “dearest” and “Hitori” to name a few as well as other “covered” songs here will no doubt lead to a much more moving and ear~opening experience as just hearing such beloved ballads with very much different arrangements and interpretations will enlighten your musical~soul so much more in these instances~.
Favorite♥ tracks for me include “Hitori”, “feel your groove”, “dearest”, “Yokohama rondo”, “Minna hitori”, “Click you link me” and of course “Watarsebashi♥.” Every track though grows on you with each listen earning this album….
..Maochan’s♥ music seal of approval っo(*´∀｀)o♥～♥～～♥～♪～＊
So without further delay, here’s “Click you link me”…
Matsuura Aya “The Difference” mp3
Matsuura Aya “Feel your groove” mp3
Matsuura Aya “Interlude~Okay~” mp3
(not actually a song….just 30 seconds or so of “interlude” time)
Matsuura Aya “Watarasebashi” mp3
Matsuura Aya “Hitori” mp3
A ska flavored jazzy version of “Hitori”….genius!!!!!!!! The happiest tones on the album…I think so!!