Destiny Line – Ai no Matador –

Otsuka Ai – さくらんぼ [2nd Single]

Posted on: July 17, 2008

Otsuka Ai’s 2nd single, entitled さくらんぼ, was released on 12.17.03. Credited as being her breakout hit single, the song was used as the opening theme song  for TBS’s UNDERCOUNTDOWN TV and the ending theme for Fuji’s TV’s Mecha2 Iketeruu!

さくらんぼ is a fun and exciting song that shows off what Ai can do. Opening the song is a couple of lines, sung in a very hushed voice until the title of the song is sung. After a nice and uptempo instrumental, the first verse begins. Her vocals here are very nice and have a certain cuteness that carry the song’s lyrical meaning. As the verse comes to a close, the instrumentation becomes slightly more varied in time for the chorus. With a little more energy and a fun feeling, the chorus stands out to the listener, particularly the final word, the title of the song. The pure instrumental section nicely shows off those rock tints that pop very nicely.

帰り道 is a sweet slow song. The song begins with a slow and sweet sound that catches the listener’s attention. The first verse begins and Ai’s vocals sound very cute here and move with the music very well. As the verse goes on, Ai shows off a little more vocal strength, hitting the higher notes well. The chorus sounds nice and smooth, really showing off that cute flare from Ai. The pure instrumental section sounds wonderful as the beauty of the instrumentation is spotlighted before Ai comes back in with strong vocals. Ai sings her way out by repeating “la la la la” until the end of the song. The B-side is definitely A-side material and is worth checking out.

In order to promote the single, a PV for さくらんぼ was made. The video has the cuteness of the song and really represents the song. Scenes of the video include Ai rocking out with her band, Ai riding on a bike with her boyfriend, Ai doing activities in an all pink room and a close-up scene of Ai singing in front of a red background. The PV definitely brings out the energy of the song very well.

Single Ranking: A

Otsuka Ai’s 2nd single features a nice combination of two songs. The A-side is a cute number that shows off Ai’s fun vocals and her true energy. The B-side sounds absolutely fantastic, channelling a softer sound while still holding onto that cute element. Both songs show off just what Ai can really do.

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