Ai Otsuka – PEACH/HEART

by Erika on September 4, 2008 · 12 comments · AddThis

Official Promotional picture for PEACH/HEART
PEACH/HEART
Artist: Ai Otsuka
Product Code:AVCD-31269
Release Date: 2007. 07.25
Debut Ranking: #1
First Press: Bonus Track
Label: avex trax

Ai Otsuka is staking her claim in the Japanese music world, with the release of her second single of 2007. “PEACH/HEART” reached the top of the Oricon charts, and spread throughout the country quickly after being used as the ending song for the popular dorama, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, starring Oguri Shun and Maki Horikita.

Otsuka, age 25, is an aspiring singer/songwriter and actress from Osaka. Ai is currently under contract with avex trax, one of the largest record labels in Japan and certainly one of the greatest independent record labels in the world.

PEACH/HEART” was released on July 25, 2007 and sold over 157,000 copies, placing its sales higher than “CHU-LIP”, Ai’s first single of the year. “PEACH/HEART” takes on a more “inside the box” tone compared to CHU-LIP” in my opinion, but it is by no means boring. It has a distinct “summer-like” feel-good mood, and lends itself perfectly to becoming part of your summer soundtrack. You cannot listen to this CD without a smile coming to your face.

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

PEACH

A strong start to the single. This song is up-beat and fun to listen to. The best scene I can come up with to best describe the energy in this song would be everyone running out of the school doors on the last day. It starts off with an instrumental introduction that’s light and peppy and automatically puts a smile on your face. The chorus is addicting and contains claps that I never seem to be able to hit in time. I have nothing to criticize about this song.

The promotional video for this song was short in Thailand and features various people at the beach soaking up the summer weather. Otsuka and her band lounge around on the beach and inside what appears to be an open air building on the shore and the video ends with them pushing a large pink lotus flower out to sea. Of course, this video is a little bit zany like the rest of her material, but this one does not leave you scratching your head about elements of the video like “CHU-LIP”. It seems to be a more put together image of Ai Otsuka.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

HEART

This song is certainly nothing groundbreaking, but is quite pleasant just to put on in the background to calm things down. The introduction starts off with Ai’s voice and a little bit of electronics, but builds to encompass violins, drums, and guitars but not much more. HEART has the same summery feel as Peach, but is definitely has a more laid back tempo. If PEACH was the last day of school, this song is the middle of summer, lounging on the beach. Although some may find HEART repetitive, I think that it is structured very well while maintaining a sense of improvisation. song.

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Renai Shashin -Haru-

This song is by far the “softest” song on this single, and has a R&B and ballad feel to it. The introduction is very simple, just vocals and piano, and electronic instruments and bass are added between verses. It has a very sweet yet simple melody that is very subtle, and the use of the classical instruments (piano, orchestra) in addition to the beat help this song to take on a very sophisticated sound that is different from the other two songs. Although you can see how it could be with songs that scream Summer, there’s something different about this song, so that that isn’t the first thought that comes to mind. This song was used in the movie “Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru” and was released before PEACH/HEART as it’s own single.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Conclusion

A very strong single from Ai Otsuka, I really applaud her for toning it down just a bit for this single. I think that it was absolutely perfect, because I had been worried that it might be overwhelming, which is what worried me about “CHU-LIP”. Ai didn’t sacrifice any of her own personality by bringing the outrageous level down a notch. If I had to recommend music to someone who is new to the world of J-pop, I think that this would definitely be one of the singles that I would suggest, because I think it hits the perfect note with everyone who listens to it.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

 

Tracklist

  1. PEACH
  2. HEART
  3. Renai Shashin -Haru-
  4. PEACH (Instrumental)
  5. HEART (Instrumental)

Related Posts:

  1. Ai Otsuka – CHU-LIP "CHU-LIP" was Ai's first single in 2007. With a midtempo tone and a creative style, Ai has managed to release another fantastic single. ......
  2. Ai Otsuka – Momo no Hanabira Ai Otsuka had always been into the music since childhood. She started playing the piano when she was merely four years old. At the age of fifteen she began composing music and lyrics with the help of her piano teacher. By the time she was seventeen Ai-chin had already composed and written the lyrics for the songs "Always Together" and "Momo no Hanabira", which were dedicated to a friend of hers.......
  3. Ai Otsuka – Yumekui In August 2006, the highly anticipated movie of "Tokyo Friends" was shown in theatres and Ai Otsuka's 12th single was also released a few days prior. This single features two ballads which were heard in "Tokyo Friends", which will certainly attract a lot of attention.......
  4. Ai Otsuka – Planetarium Ai Otsuka's 10th single, "Planetarium", was released on 2005.09.21. "Planetarium" gained the first place on the Oricon daily single charts on its first day of release. This single also managed to achieve the top position on the Oricon weekly single charts, having more than 121,000 copies sold so far. This is Ai's first ballad single that has achieved such excellent results, which is quite a feat.......
  5. Ai Otsuka – LOVE JAM Ai-chin's 2nd album, "LOVE JAM", was released on 2004.11.17, that is less than 8 months since the release of her debut album, "LOVE PUNCH". Despite the short time frame between these two albums, no quality of music was compromised, in fact "LOVE JAM" is arguably a tuned up version of "LOVE PUNCH", showing improvements in both the arrangement of music and the depth of her ballads.......

About the author

Erika is a big fan of her boyz Arashi. If you want to talk about Johnny boys, Erika is the girl you should look for. Also-Hana Yori Dango and other similar doramas are also her specialty.

{ 1 trackback }

[Blogs] Channel-Ai with Ai Otsuka and hitomi reviews | International Wota UNITED STATES
September 8, 2008 at 4:13 pm

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Yuna-chan UNITED STATES July 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

Great Review I love these songs^_^ wheres her picture though?

Reply

mafee THAILAND December 26, 2008 at 10:54 am

A nice review. I love both tracks though, as Aprillis, I prefer HEART than PEACH. IMO the music, lyric and mood all blend and harmonize in this song. I remember listening to this song about 50+ times while trying to translate the lyric for my own web. Loving it until now. ^^ PEACH is good and fun and pleasant every time you listen to it, but to me HEART, in some way, is more than that.

Reply

Aprilis CANADA September 15, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Thanks for the clear up, zyzzyva. And Erika this review isn’t a disappointment, not at all! I really enjoyed reading it =)

Reply

Erika UNITED STATES September 11, 2008 at 8:20 pm

I know, and I’m really sorry. I can edit the articles after it’s submitted, but I would need to know -exactly- what you would want me to say. So sorry for the confusion, and I’ll try not to disappoint everyone as much with my next review

Reply

zyzzyva UNITED STATES September 11, 2008 at 7:03 pm

^
Well, it wouldn’t make any sense to have the Single version of Ren’ai in this review. lol
Actually, my previous note was in response to what you wrote above:

“This song was used in the movie “Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru” and was released after PEACH/HEART as it’s own single.”

It’s just one word, but changes the whole sentence to its opposite. I was just hoping to help clarify for the new fans reading, but I guess you cannot edit your post after submitting it…?

Reply

Erika UNITED STATES September 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm

keeptryin’ -sorry about that…yeah, I guess that’s sort of obvious now, in retrospect
Huyen-yeah, that one was very nice too
Aprilis-I will get right on that :)
zyzzyva-yes, I know RS-Haru is not the first version. The head blogger kindly uploaded those for me, and until I find a way to upload the files, I’m afraid we’ll have to stick with this version.

Reply

zyzzyva UNITED STATES September 8, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Thanks for your glowing review of PEACH/HEART.

However, like keeptryin’ noted, the giant pink inflatable is supposed to be a peach, like the song’s title/chorus. Also, Ren’ai Shashin was Ai’s 13th single, so it was released *before* this one. RS-Haru- is a second/alternate version.

Don’t worry, Aprilis., there was no First Press Bonus Track–just info regarding her upcoming concerts…

Reply

Aprilis CANADA September 8, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Wonderful article, thanks Erika! I actually prefers HEART over PEACH, because I find HEART more “original” and I love its smoothing sound.

I wasn’t aware that there was a bonus track for the first press. Can you give a little more info for that?

Reply

Huyen UNITED STATES September 7, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Ah, I love all these songs of hers.
I liked the older version of Renai Shashin though :\

Reply

keeptryin' September 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Large pink flower out to sea? I believe it’s a peach… Oh my.

Reply

Erika UNITED STATES September 4, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Writer’s note: Sorry that this one took so long, everyone. I really wanted to do a piece on Ai since we did dedicate this blog to her, it’s just that the timing was really quite unfortunate on this article, but I’m happy to get it out now. I just wanted to tell you guys that :)

thanks,
Erika

Reply

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: