Some may recognise her from Abunai! 2016, where she performed for the first time in the Netherlands; AiRI. A Japanese rock singer who released her third album named Mirage in 2014. Others may even know her from her previous artists name, UR@N. She began her artist career in 2000 with that name and soon already sung a couple of title songs for several games and anime. She started using the name AiRI in 2011 and got a lot of success for singing the title song of the anime 30 Sai no Hokentaiku ED. Her debut album ‘Puzzle’ was released in 2012 and in that same year she performed her first ever live concert. In 2013, her second album ‘Color’ was released, of which the song ‘Dreamer’, the opening song of the anime Tari Tari, became very popular. After ‘Color’ the album I’ll be reviewing for you was released, ‘Mirage’. There are a lot of songs on this album AiRI sang for videogames and anime. In 2015 AiRI released her mini-album ‘Smash!!!’, which immediately reminds me of Super Smash Bros. However, in this mini-album there aren’t any songs used in videogames or anime, whereas her other albums all have songs destined for videogames or anime. In between all her albums she continued to sing songs for anime and games with her energetic and lively sound.
02. And Jump!!
03. One Scene
04. Time has come
05. You’ll never walk alone
08. Powdery Snow
14. Imagination > Reality
The album ‘Mirage’ has a total of fourteen songs and begins with the song Mind-set, which I can immediately picture as a soundtrack for an anime. That isn’t the case however. It’s one of the seven songs that don’t appear in a videogame or anime. When I saw that I was fairly surprised. Mind-set has that anime vibe with the high tempo, guitar rock and bad-ass singing. AiRI also made a music video for this song. Time has come and Imagination > Reality fall under the same category as Mind-set. The drum and guitar are very present and the beat is nice and fast; perfect to go all out on at your own private dance party.
Number 10 on the album, ウツクシセカイ,is different than any other song on the album in a good way, in my opinion. She sings very cute without her voice being nasal. The tempo and melody are quite pleasant to dance on and therefore seems to me like the perfect song at a concert for the audience to get swept up in.
And Jump!! and Good Job! are both very upbeat and merry songs. The tempo is high and AiRI’s zinging sounds very flowing and alive. What’s different about Good Job! than any other song on the album are the singing voices of other people in the song. They repeat what AiRI is singing or they sing sentences themselves. If you’re like me and can’t or can barely sing along in Japanese, this’ll be a very good solution. The words/sentences those people sing are easy to understand and to reproduce, perfect at a concert!
As I said before, AiRI has already sung a lot of songs for videogames and this album is no exception. With a couple of songs destined for videogames I noticed an increase of nasality in her voice. This is the case with the songs Baby, 送れないラブレタ and ミラクルハイプレッシャ.Personally, I don’t really like that nasality. It sounds kind of like she’s trying too hard to be cute and I think that’s a shame, especially because I think it’s unnecessary. I’m not into Baby and 送れないラブレタ for that reason. I can appreciate the song ミラクルハイプレッシャ more, because there is a great use of different tempo’s and instruments. Because of that, the nasality disappears more.
If you’d like to hear her singing potential at its best in this album the songs You’ll Never Walk Alone and Powdery Snow will be perfect for that. She’s able to go from a sweet and loveable voice to a very powerful voice where she holds her tones fantastic without me noticing she has to put in an effort. That alternation from sweet to cool is pleasantly incorporated in the songs. Powdery Snow is mostly very harmonious, whereby her voice is presented well.
One Scene and MEMORIA are both songs I don’t find special. MEMORIA is just a normal rock song and not really much more and One Scene is more a pop song than a rock song, but is also not really special in my opinion. The guitar however is nicely processed in One Scene and is presented well in the bridge and at the end of the song.
My personal favourite of the album is the song 深海. It’s a mysterious song with a slow tempo paired with a dreamy voice that’s varied with emotional singing and a higher tempo that fits the emotional singing well. She renders the emotions beautifully in her voice. The mysteriousness is mostly a kind of flute instrument that reminds me of music from the Middle Ages. It sound sort of like a mix between the Middle Ages and our time, which I find very unusual, but also very fitting for this song and it definitely makes it unique.
All in all, I find this album to be a good one. I only find a couple of songs kind of mediocre, but those where compensated by unique and well produced songs. If you don’t know yet who AiRI is or if you want to discover her again, Mirage is certainly a good album to begin with!