Okaeri was ayaka’s 9th single. It was released on May 14, 2008 and reached number 6 on the charts with 21,032 copies sold. In all this single has sold over 45,648+ copies. The title track was used as the theme song for the drama Zettai Kareshi. The first press edition comes with a limited edition booklet. This was the final single in the Sing to the Sky Era.

Okaeri - ayaka

1. Okaeri
2. Meiro
3. Te wo Tsunagou <2007/12/20 Nippon Budoukan LIVE ver.>
4. Okaeri <Instrumental>
5. Meiro <Instrumental>

After ayakas last few songs I honestly had no idea what to expect from Okaeri. But this song is your basic ayaka ballad. The first thing I noticed were how soft her vocals sounded, and then the bagpipes. I actually liked them, had a Scottish vibe, but then it stopped to be followed by the drums, piano, and guitar. How the climax built up to the chorus was so nice, almost epic. But what was even better was the chorus. It sounded so gorgeous with the strings, giving it a true ballad feel, and then with the bagpipes it all came together. And it had that dramatic feel, so amazing. This is one heck of a ballad.

Now it’s time for the rock track Meiro lit. Maze. With the electric guitar and drums playing a prominent roll, you can tell that this song is going to be good. It’s pretty catchy even though the music is basically the same. Again it’s really all because of ayaka’s vocals, which seems to change pitch or tone and give the song new life. It’s a high quality song, nothing average about it.

And for ayaka’s signature live songs, this time it’s Te wo Tsunagou <2007/12/20 Nippon Budoukan LIVE ver.>. No surprise that ayaka’s vocals are amazing and such. The strings sounded even better live and that was so nice. I really loved this ballad’d original version and I love this new live version.

Overall Review: Okaeri was an acoustic masterpiece. Well in all aspects of the guitar that is, considering it’s the most frequently used instrument. Anyway the title track was superb, and the bagpipes were and unique and surprisingly great addition. Again I’d expect nothing other than perfect for ayaka’s vocals and once again she doesn’t disappoint. The B-Side was even great no, no problems. But what I loved even more was the live version of Te wo Tsunagou, it’s even better than before. A beautiful way to end the Sing to the Sky Era.

Final Grade: 98A



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