Rocket Sneaker / One×Time
Rocket Sneaker / One×Time was Ai Otsuka’s 17th single. It was released on May 21, 2008 and reached number 4 on the charts with 30,382 copies sold. In all this song has sold over 44,428+ copies, making it her lowest selling single, right behind Kurage, Nagareboshi. Rocket Sneaker was used as the ending theme song for the drama Sanma no Manma and One×Time was used as the theme song for the CM “POND’S.” This is also Ai’s second single in the New Era.
1. Rocket Sneaker
3. Sora to Kujira
4. Rocket Sneaker (Instrumental)
5. One×Time (Instrumental)
Rocket Sneaker, the up-beat piano track. The sound of Ai’s lovely, sweet vocals followed by the sound of piano keys open up this song. After Ai finishes the piano begins to speed up and play a greater role. Now this song isn’t a ballad, it’s almost nostalgic of rag-time. But the other instrumentals like the drums and guitar give it a more modern feel, as Ai continues to sing. I normally find the verses dull but this time they managed to sound nice, especially with the great vocals. And don’t get me started on the chorus. It was so up-beat, so happy, so perfect. It was the picture of happiness and catchiness. The constant keys of the piano and guitar really made the song. Another great song for Ai’s discography.
One×Time, a little R&B ballad. The sound of a piano followed by a few violins, and snaps can be heard at the beginning of this song. Ai then begins to sing in some deeper vocals. The verses here were a little bland, but I wasn’t expecting anything different. As for the chorus, well it was much better. It was much smoother flowing and more catchy for sure. Those violins playing really made it stand out as far as the music goes. I really loved the last minute and a half of the song, it was so great. It was one of the best bridges by far. The violins and soft background vocals were a real treat. For sure another great hit from Ai.
Sora to Kujira, lit. The Sky and The Whale, the progressive acoustic song. The acoustic guitar playing steadily opens up this song. Ai’s then begins to sing, and here her vocals sound a bit deeper and more calm. It’s a very nice combination on her part. The verses could be a bit better but it’s to be expected. The chorus, well to be honest with you it wasn’t what I was expecting, well the first time. When I heard it the first time it was somewhat dull and not that different from the verses. But after I waited for the second chorus, as the song progressed, it sounded a lot better. More power in vocals and more than that acoustic guitar playing. This song gets better as it progresses so just wait till then.
Overall Review: Rocket Sneaker / One×Time was a pure piano driven tune accompanied by a soft R&B ballad. I really loved the first track as it was so up-beat and laid-back. But my favorite part was that it was a little nostalgic of 1920’s ragtime music. The second track was just as good, not as good as the first but still worth a moment of your time. The harmonious sounds of the violins playing really made it sound so great. But was really blew me away about this single was the fact that it was so much like PEACH / HEART, and I loved that single so much. And the extra track was a great bonus for it, it really couldn’t hurt. I do wish that it did better on the charts, I think AVEX needs to do some better promoting. Overall, a fun summer party time single.
Final Grade: 100A+