Blue, released on 7.18.12, is Angela Aki’s 6th album.
The album starts with 「アイウエオ (Aiueo)」 and its continuous piano beat as Angela Aki comes in with calming, smooth vocals. It seems more like just an opening song to me because it’s brief and pulls the listener in with its piano chords and Angela Aki’s soft vocals.
「告白 (Kokuhaku)」 tarts off with a calming instrumentation before Angela Aki comes in with echo-y vocals. Immediately, the song matches Uchuu Kyoudai really nicely, before more instruments come in for a fuller instrumental. Once you get to the chorus, Angela sings in a higher, more softer pitch.
A bright high octave piano instrumental begins 「Foolish Love」 followed by the triangle and some electronica for a light instrumentation. There’s also a sad undertone to the song while still being bright, which is like a person trying to hang onto love but knowing they won’t get it (as appropriate to the title).
「恋の駆け引き (Koi no Kakehiki)」 starts off with a series of single notes before Angela comes in with bright vocals. Although a bright song, there’s a little something missing from her voice; wish that there was more upbeatness/happiness in her vocals? Her vocals are in a pretty neutral tone in this song.
Next up is the ballad 「Cry」, starting as most ballads do with a piano solo followed by the distant sound of a guitar. More instruments start to come in during the chorus and it stays for the rest of the song as Angela sings with a soulfulness in her vocals as she goes up in pitch.
「In My Blood」 sounds a little tribal in the beginning as a low bass strums continuous notes as Angela comes in, sounding like she’s singing into a microphone on stage. A low piano later comes in following the beat of the bass as well as other instruments once the clapping comes in.
Angela starts immediately with her prominent vocals in 「You and I」 over the light sound of the ukelele and later the keyboard as well. And for some reason, later she starts singing in the beat of a Christmas song… that the title escapes my mind right now (why does this always happen haha).
「モンスター (Monster)」 starts off with a solo bass before other instruments come in for a jazzy beat. Angela sings with a slight mystery and mischievousness to her vocals and sings more strongly in the chorus.
「心の天気予報 (Kokoro no Tenkyohou)」 is an upbeat mid-tempo ballad with pretty orchestra instrumentation paired with a prominent piano. Angela comes in with smooth, light vocals as she sings in a steady beat against the beat of the instrumentation. Things speed up a little bit with more instrumentation and business in the second half of the song. For the most part the song maintains the same tone and tempo, though.
Next up is 「factory」 which starts off with the distant sounds of drums and hitting against pipes before a quick paced and energetic instrumentation takes its place. Angela comes in with bright vocals as she sings along with the beat of the instrumentation.
「夜明け前の祈り (Yoake Mae no Inori)」 brings another ballad to the album with the piano providing most of the beat before the percussion and guitar come in to create a fuller instrumentation. Angela sings with great emotion in her vocals, especially in the chorus as she sings with a slight uplift in pitch.
「BLUE」 feels a lot like a tropical song with its use of percussion and the tuba for a light song that is perfect to listen to at night. Angela’s vocals are bright and fun against the simple instrumentation, bringing life to the song.
Ending the album is, fittingly, a orchestra ballad with 「One Family ~宇宙の渚~ (Uchuu no Nagisa)」, which is basically just another version of the song of the same title off of her White album.
A great album full of wonderful compositions as is expected from Angela Aki. I really like the different routes she’s taking with her music like how she did with BLUE for a fun song that would be great to listen to with family and friends.