Why / CLAP & LOVE was ayaka’s 7th single. It was released on September 5, 2007 and reached number 5 on the charts with 16,372 copies sold. In all this single has sold over 67,510+ copies. The title track CLAP & LOVE was used as the drama Jigoku no Sata mo Yome Shidai’s theme song, while Why was used as theme song to the Square Enix game CRISIS CORE -FINAL FANTASY VII-. The single was released in three edition, a first press edition featuring a rare CRISIS CORE sticker, a regular CD edition, and a week later a limited edition CD+DVD entitled Why / CLAP & LOVE, instead of CLAP & LOVE / Why. And oddly enough with the release of the CD+DVD edition, sales from the second week rose from the first week. This was the third single in the Sing to the Sky Era. *Note: This is a review of the CD+DVD edition, hence the title Why / CLAP & LOVE.

Why / CLAP & LOVE - ayaka

1. Why
3. Peace loving people <Live ver.>
4. Why <Instrumental>
5. CLAP & LOVE <Instrumental>

Well the main reason I decided to review in the DVD edition rather than the CD edition was because I love the cover, and because Why is such a better A-Side. Although I’ll admit that it’s odd for a Final Fantasy song that doesn’t mean that it’s mediocre. It’s a phenomenal ballad packed with tremendous vocals and awing music. From the guitar opening and ayaka’s deep vocals you fall into a trance. Her vocals are southing and the music is so dramatic. The verses were rather interesting, not much pizazz but great vocals. As for the chorus, it was such a beautiful sound. With ayaka’s great vocals she makes it not only sound lovely but addictive too, and the acoustics were great. I also loved the piano playing too, very moving. This has got to be another great ayaka ballad.

While Why was a sweet ballad, CLAP & LOVE is more aggressive and ayaka’s vocals are even more fierce, almost angry. The constant claps are a nice touch, and I liked how the climax builds up as it gets closer to the chorus. The guitar playing was pretty nice, gave the song a dark edge. Now as for the chorus, it was pretty catchy, no big problems. Again it was really ayaka’s vocals that made it sound so good, that and the melody. I really loved how she sang ” CLAP & LOVE” very powerful. Not a bad title track, but Why is still better.

Well I really didn’t like the studio version so I was hoping that Peace loving people <Live ver.> would be better. The song is astoundingly long at over 8 minutes, and it’s a little long winded for me. I guess this song just really doesn’t interest me that much so I’m a bit apathetic towards it. Her vocals sounded nice and all, but I still like the studio version better.

Overall Review: Why/ CLAP & LOVE was a unique single to say the least. The title tracks were an interesting combination, a ballad with a rock song. The ballad was moving and it sounded so lovely, and the rock song was rather aggressive and superb. I’m not too crazy with the B-Side but otherwise I loved the single. Two excellent songs in the Sing to the Sky Era.

Final Grade: 99A



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