Ai Otsuka: Pocket

1. Pocket

2. Ticket

3. Life – LOVE CiRCLE –

Pocket is Ai Otsuka’s sixteenth single, released on November 7th, 2007. It reached #4 on Oricon and has sold 61 350 copies.

Pocket is a warm winter ballad with a very nice vocal performance by Ai. Her voice is always a big problem for me, but she does very well on ballads, adding an element of cute to it. It isn’t the best ballad ever, but the chorus is very well-executed, and the guitar in the back was a nice addition. The sublime ending, with strictly the piano, was pretty much the perfect cherry on the cake.

I think Ticket is better than Pocket. It uses the same ensemble of instruments as Pocket, with the addition of a more funky guitar in the back, and a fantastic use of the strings in the back. It reminds me very much of Flow’s Days, which was my favorite song for a very, very long time. I’m a big sucker for funky, uplifting songs like this, so it obviously gets a great rating. The only problem with this song is that Ai Otsuka’s voice isn’t quite suited for this type of song.

Life – Love CiRCLE – nears rock with its predominant use of the guitar. It’s really a weird song and feels like it doesn’t fit at all on this single. But arrangement isn’t the big deal on singles. It was really hard to enjoy this song because I don’t think Ai should be venturing into rock with her voice.

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