I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ayami Muto -- A.Y.M.

Note: You can listen to the original studio recording here.

Ayami Muto (武藤彩未) is a solo aidoru singer who was a member of aidoru groups Karen Girl’s (可憐Girl's) and Sakura Gakuin (さくら学院), the same group that introduced BABYMETAL to the world. Funny fact is that both Ayami and Suzuka Nakamoto (中元すず香), known as BABYMETAL’s main vocalist SU-METAL, were part of Karen Girl’s before joining Sakura Gakuin. Also, stretching things even further, Karen Girl’s was once called Perfume’s “little sister” group, because all the girls were from Actors School Hiroshima (ASH), which is, of course, the same school that introduced A~chan (あ~ちゃん), Kashiyuka (かしゆか) and Nocchi (のっち) to the world.

Karen Girl's: Ayami Muto (center), BABYMETAL's SU-METAL (right) and Yuika Shima [島ゆいか] (left).

The thing is, after some years in Sakura Gakuin, Ayami Muto decided to start a solo career, and she began with a couple of 80s aidoru cover albums which were released in 2013. Some months later, she released her first album, “Eien to Shunkan” (永遠と瞬間), in April 2014.

Honestly, I had a hard time liking Ayami Muto’s stuff. I remember reading lots of positive reviews and not feeling anything while listening to “Eien to Shunkan”. Let’s say that, besides Ayami’s pleasurable tone of voice, her songs were too plain for me at first. I had to listen to “Eien to Shukan” a couple more times to really start feeling some of its material, and then “A.Y.M.” finally popped out as my favorite from the bunch.

“A.Y.M.” is a highlight from “Eien to Shunkan”, although not its promotional song. In fact, I liked it more than the promotional tune, “Chuu” (), that can be listened here, for curiosity purpose.

With a very dark-tinged Techno sound, “A.Y.M.” is quite different from the more bubbly aidoru pop Ayami Muto normally includes in her releases. Based on this, the song is the complete opposite from her 80s aidoru inspirations, such as Seiko Matsuda (松田聖子), for example. It’s like a modern version of the more dramatic and classical-inspired European synthpop tunes that were done in the 80s, even though Ayami is probably not allowed to do something so over the top at this point of her career (let’s think about “It’s a Sin” by Pet Shop Boys or “Good-Bye” by Savage for a moment).

As a side note, the keyboardist just goes crazy in the live performance posted at the beginning. He even compete with Ayami Muto in terms of who deserves more attention.

The “Eien to Shunkan” album reached #16 on the Oricon charts, selling 3,184 copies. Lyrics for “A.Y.M.” were written by Yukinojo Mori (森雪之丞), while music was composed by Takeshi Asakawa. As for the arrangement, Atsushi (篤志), from the band THE Yatou (THE 野党), was the responsible.


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