Ai Otsuka – Kurage, Nagareboshi

by trinka on December 22, 2008 · 4 comments · AddThis

Ai Otsuka
Kurage, Nagareboshi's booklet image
Artist: Ai Otsuka
Product Code: AVCD-31497/98/99/500
Release Date: 9.10.2008
Genre: Pop/Ballad
Label: avex trax
Limited Edition: 5th aniversary edition covers, Comment Card, Jacket Sticker
Format: CD+DVD

Rumors of Ai Otsuka’s 18th single began two months prior to its release just as its predecessor, Rocket Sneaker. Many were skeptical, preferring a new album to avoid another LOVE PiECE and its high single content. Fans despaired too soon though as more would be revealed at the end of the month.

In the last week of July, Ai’s radio show played the A-side, Kurage, Nagareboshi, as well as previews of its B-sides. Many fans were ecstatic when the low quality radio rips were released on Channel-Ai.

Playfully, avex or Ai decided to play into the 5th anniversary by mimicking Momo no Hanabira in Kurage, Nagareboshi’s limited edition covers. Ai is depicted sitting on a moonlit beach posing in the all too familiar poses. While Rocket Sneaker’s visuals seemed lacking, Kurage, Nagareboshi’s shine.

 

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01. Kurage,Nagareboshi (クラゲ、流れ星/Jellyfish,Shooting Star)

As the title track, Kurage, Nagareboshi is nice, but it isn’t as interesting as most of her releases. The arrangement is nothing less than stunning and Ai’s vocals are in control, almost without emotion, yet the song still doesn’t make a big impression on me.

The track in general has an overly polished touch, so much so I find it rather boring. Although the arrangement is quite beautiful with its twinkling strings and endearing piano arrangement, the music lacks a rough edge. Ai’s voice is pleasing and contains barely enough emotion to sustain the ballad but it’s still so polished it’s not interesting. Something rough or out of place would have saved this song from be so boring.

Rating: ★★★½☆

 

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02. H20 (H²O/water)

The first B-side caught my attention the first time it was played of Ai’s radio show. H2O is similar to Ai’s normal ‘happy’ releases although the tempo is slower and there is a calmer feel. I personally find this song much more interesting than the title track.

The arrangement of H20 feels much more put together than the A-side of this single. The retro 60’s vibe with Ai’s cute but grungy singing complement each other very well. The song really blossoms at the start of the bridge as Ai becomes more poignant and thoughtful in her lyrics.

Initially I was very skeptical about this song, fearing a drop-like B-side. After hearing this song though I can safely say this is one of my favorite songs from Ai.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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03. Ame no Tsubu, Waltz ~LOVE MUSiC~ (雨の粒、ワルツ/Raindrop, Waltz)

The second B-side, Ame no Tsubu, Waltz ~LOVE MUSIC~, is a slow romantic remix of LOVE COOK’s LOVE MUSiC. While I didn’t really enjoy the original, I definitely did enjoy its remix.

The song begins with a simple, almost child-like, piano melody. Ai’s relaxed voice then joins along with many strings to bring to life an extremely romantic song. The song manages to perfectly recreate a rather boring song into a beautiful ballad that will touch your heart.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Conclusion

Kurage, Nagareboshi was a bit of a disappointment with its overly-polished touch. The sheer brilliance of the two B-sides however, more than make up for the let-down caused by the title song. Pairing this fact with the single’s beautiful packaging definitely makes Ai Otsuka’s latest effort a worthy addition to your collection.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Tracklist:

  1. Kurage, Nagareboshi
  2. H2O
  3. Ame no Tsubu, Waltz ~LOVE MUSiC~
  4. Kurage, Nagareboshi ~instrumental~
  5. H2O ~instrumental~

 

DVD Tracklist:

  1. Kurage, Nagareboshi PV

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

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About the author

trinka is a bit scatter brained and tends to rely on senior writers, but he is definitely here to stay and will become a better writer with time.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe UNITED STATES July 25, 2009 at 3:57 am

No doubt a kawaii is in order here. This single is good not great, could use some improvements.. But, has potential. For me I would just be happy just watching her perform. Some songs do drag and would put you to sleep. lol But as I said, maybe not as good as hamasaki’s upcoming release but its got potential. :) nice article keep writing!!!

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SAKURA MALAYSIA March 28, 2009 at 9:21 am

Actually, I quite like Kurage,Nagareboshi. I still remembered that I first listened to it when I was on the plane. It was really touching.^^

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mafee THAILAND January 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

I totally agree with you upon Kurage, Nagareboshi. From the beginning I feel that this song is nice, but not more than that. It’s beautiful but lacks of something I can’t quite describe in words. On the first hearing it reminds us of ‘Kingyo Hanabi’, only many times worse. The PV also disappointed me as the most boring and less creative PV of Ai until present.

Don’t get me wrong. I still like this song, just feel like something is not enough. Maybe as you said, ‘It’s so polished that it’s not interesting.’

H2O doesn’t interest me also. Anyway, Ame no Tsubu, Waltz ~LOVE MUSiC~ is great. I prefer this rather than the A-side.

Reply

Alex January 1, 2009 at 4:48 am

Good review, well written. But out o personal prefernce I much prefer Kurage,Nagareboshi and Ame no Tsubu, Waltz ~LOVE MUSiC~ to H2O and was actually disappointed with the song.

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