It’s a shame that not much activity seemed to be coming from Aya since she released Baghdad Sky in June of 2004. After Ayumi Hamasaki started turning towards pop music again, I needed someone to fill the female pop rock void I had missing and Aya was doing a pretty good job of filling it. In fact, she surpassed most of my expectations. The result of composing all of her own music (with the help of a trip to Seattle and several veterans, Adam Kasper, Krist Novoselic, Matt Cameron, Kim Thayil, John McBain, and Glenn Slater), managing to keep her vocals serenely sweet against riffs and grunge resonances and playing amazing guitar, is one hell of a girl that can rock with no grrrl rocking stereotypes attached.
Since her last phenomenal album, Aya has mostly been content to play local clubs around her native Japan and work on perfecting her English, which comes in handy with her first release since 2004. Instead of releasing “OVER NIGHT” as a single, Aya decided to allow it to be used as an exclusive on the Chevalier soundtrack, released November 22.
In my last post about The Shanghai Restoration Project, I lamented on my growing inclination towards American/European electronic groups. However, this song has inspired in me a newfound rock phase that I can feel creeping up faster and faster as I listen to more Placebo, +/-, and The Butterfly Effect. Unlike most of my favorite songs by Aya, the song is slow and more subdued. It uses plenty of guitars, both acoustic and electric, as the backdrop to the breathiest vocals Aya has ever incorporated in her style. The song is entirely in English and in two years, it’s apparent how much better her pronunciation has gotten, which finally adds to the experience rather than detracts from it. Overall, one of the best songs released in 2006. Highly recommended!