Review: ayumi melody – Froh Flow

Ayumi melody is the frontwoman for indie rock/folk band A Month of Sundays and also of the short-lived all girls rock band Lily Rose, which broke up last year. Half-Japanese and half-British and bilingual in Japanese and English, she sings in a mixture of both languages with a strong, distinctive voice. This is her first solo album and it was released on the Hana to Pops label which specializes in independent, female musicians.

ayumi-froh

Track List

  1. Hitori no tsubu (ひかりのつぶ)
  2. Together
  3. Midori no sheets (みどりのシーツ)
  4. Shigatsu no tawagoto (四月のたわごと)
  5. Lychee (ライチ)

Each track on this album is beautiful and emotional, simply arranged on piano and acoustic guitar. The opening track is incredibly striking with a multi-tracked choral arrangement of ayumi’s vocals over piano. The lyrics on the CD conjure up sweet or bittersweet memories, with sounds that somehow evoke simpler days. Acoustic guitar and some backing vocals were provided by her bandsmates from A Month of Sunday.

The title of the CD, Froh Flow, comes from the German word froh meaning “glad” and the English word flow, so a “flow of happiness” or something similar. I don’t listen to acoustic music often, but this CD has been getting some good play time since I bought it. It’s incredibly relaxing.

Standout Tracks

  • Hitori no tsubu – A short, two-minute song that leaves a lasting impression
  • Shigatsu no tawagoto – The melody and lyrics of this song are both superb, and while I like the band arrangement a tad better, this acoustic version is lovely

Yabai T-shirts-ya-san Major Debut

A band with one of my favorite names, Yabai T-shirts-ya-san (roughly “Terrible T-Shirt Shop”), had their major label debut just a couple weeks back. On the new album is a re-recording of their song Atsumare! Party People. They released a music video for the song originally about a year ago, which was just a camera on a tripod recording them playing the song in a practice studio and generally goofing around. Now, a year later, they made a new music video for the new recording. I originally saw it linked from an article titled something to the effect of “They’ve misunderstood how to use money for their music video.” You can watch it for yourself, but it seems to start off almost exactly the same as the previous version, with them playing in a studio, but it has a bit of a surprise ending. I think it’s a pretty hilarious choice for the video.