fly to high

Otsuka Ai – Kurage, Nagareboshi
August 21, 2008, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Jpop, Otsuka Ai | Tags:

Otsuka Ai’s second single of 2008 “Kurage, Nagareboshi” (Jellyfish, Shooting Star) will be released on September 10th. As it coincides with her fifth anniversary of her music debut, it will not only be released in the standard regular and DVD editions, but also limited anniversary regular and DVD editions as well.

I was honestly not that impressed with neither the music or the visuals on her “Rocket Sneaker/One x Time” single, and although I loved the A-side of “Pocket,” the B-sides didn’t entrace me. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a song like “Kurage, Nagareboshi.” It’s described as a “heartwarming ballad for the summer”, which can really range from a poppy ballad like “Bidama” to a slow piano tune like “Renai Shashin.” Most importantly – would I really like this one?

As the opening notes of the song played, I started tearing up from just how beautiful the song is. Maybe it was an overly emotional day where I was being a sap, but yeah, I’m going to like it.

What “Kurage, Nagareboshi” turns out to be is a majestic ballad of Kingyo Hanabi/Planetarium proportions, with beautiful instrumentation, arrangement, and imagery in the lyrics. With piano, orchestra, and what occasionally sounds even like a koto to me, the song as a whole strikes me as having more classical Asian elements despite western instrumentation. Ai comes in with a sweet, simply accompanied tune that eventually grows and grows until a powerful, full song. It contains some aspects of the two aforementioned ballads, “Kingyo Hanabi” and “Planetarium”, in the song, but is still a very unique composition. As with her more recent works, Ai’s voice has been less thin and high and more powerful and filled, giving such a high level of emotion to the song.

The video has Ai in various beautiful night scenes on the beach, including a great shot of her playing a piano in water. The video employs a dark, blue palette, and plays dominantly with lighting. Ai is gorgeous in this: playing piano under the moonlight in the tide, walking through grassy fields in her red dress,  wind billowing her dress as she walks from the light into the shadows of the cliffs. The current PV version omits the instrumental at the beginning of the radio rip, which was one of my favorite parts of the song, but as a video it’s an effervescent visual treat.

Limited EditionLimited Edition

“H2O”, the B-side to the single, is a midtempo rock song. It’s upbeat, but not cheerful and jumpy like her previous rock-inspired – this sounds more rocking and less pop. It’s a nice, powerful complement to her powerful ballad.

The second B-side is “Ame no Tsubu, Waltz ~LOVE MUSiC~” which is a revamped waltz version of her song “LOVE MUSiC” from her “Love Cook” and “Ai am BEST” albums. It was altered significantly so that I really couldn’t tell it was based on “LOVE MUSiC” until the chorus – it’s another power ballad but uses the swingy, relaxed mood of “LOVE MUSiC” – a refreshing version of the old song.

As a whole, this is a greatly impressive single with a beautiful A-side ballad and gorgeous visuals. This is definately a single to look out for.


5 Comments so far
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I totally agree that is a single to look out for. When the single was first announced I wasn’t sure how it was going to be. Like always I preorder then later down the line decide if I really want it or not. But from the moment I heard this song I was in love ❤ It so beautiful and reminscent of the older ballads. And the PV is hauntingly beautiful. For me this is a must get. The covers alone are gorgeous! I’ll be getting the limited edition cover although I wouldn’t of minded getting the regular versions too ^O^

Comment by Blue

The first time I heard the song I wanted to cry because Ai’s voice was just so touching. I also love the visual the PV brings, it’s so romantic and beautiful.

Although I don’t understand Japanese, the song still touches me. I get a feeling of the song from the inscription on the stone but I couldn’t make out all of it. Here is what I could read: If I could believe more thing so strongly
Can I love you forever without any pain
Do you know that I love you so much”

If anyone could post the English translated lyric, that’d be great.

Comment by David

@David: there are translations of the lyrics at the Channel-ai forum.

Comment by oroitsme

I’ve been waiting for a fantastic song from Ai (last one I liked was “Pocket”), and this is it!

I just love it. I usually get a new song in my head very easily, but this song took some time before I could hum it in the shower!

Fantastic arrangement, and her voice for this song is just great – not too harsh – she even puts in a very high note that’s not the ear piercing type!

Great! Got the special edition with DVD – it has the PV including the begining instrumental that the current public domain ones don’t have…

Great song for 5th anniversary! Hope it does well in the charts! (I wouldn’t mind seeing this being sung in one of the “100 Best Karaoke” shows in the near future… 🙂

Comment by Tak

Pretty song from Ai and the PV is gorgeous ~
Sadly it didn’t sell as well as her other singles, I think this is one of her best songs.

Comment by Chiisai

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