Are Matsuura Aya’s singing skills underrated because of her idol image?
Currently limiting her live performances due to suffering from a gynecological condition — Matsuura Aya (25). Many fans are eagerly looking forward to her getting better and seeing her singing on stage again. Matsuura Aya, also known by the nickname of “Ayaya” — with her lovely, gorgeous looks and her constant bright smile, the title of “the last orthodox idol” surely used to describe her well.
Speaking of Matsuura, singer-songwriter Suga Shikao (45) wrote on his blog: “It feels to me like the Meccha Holiday kind of idol image from her past is like a filter on Ayaya’s music itself.“
On a post published March 27th on Suga Shikao’s blog “Kono Yubi Tomare”, he shares his thoughts on Matsuura Aya’s 2010 album “Click you Link me.” Suga says he is recently once again “really into it“, with his reason for originally listening to the album being that it includes a cover of one of his own songs, “Home ni te.”
Suga gives the album — that also includes self-covers — high praise, calling each song and vocal “wonderful!” He said he knew “Ayaya was a good singer, but it’s not just that she’s good, it’s that she has persuasive power.” Although he thinks some songs on the album might be very difficult to sing, he notes that Matsuura is even able to sing them live with no problem whatsoever. “Click you Link me” with its nostalgic arrangements and her vocals that resound in one’s heart, Suga on his blog calls it “especially a good album to listen to at night.“
Fans who read his blog commented in large numbers: “Wait, Ayaya is a good singer? I didn’t know that.” I’m sure we all heard her plenty on music programs and commercials on TV during the golden age of idols, but could it be that, as Suga puts it, we’re blinded by that same “idol image filter“, unable to recognize Matsuura’s skill as a singer and the high level of her expressive power?
After reading his blog post, it seems like I wasn’t the only one who felt like giving her music another listen.
Hey. Lately I’m once again really into the cover album released a while back by Ayaya aka Matsuura Aya, “Click you Link me”.
While I first checked it out because she’d covered this soulful number of mine called “Home ni te”… every song and every vocal on this album is just wonderful!!! With its nostalgic arrangements, it’s especially a good album to listen to at night. I knew Ayaya was a good singer, but it’s like… it’s not just that she’s good, it’s that she has persuasive power. Even listening to it once, you’re thinking “this must be a hard one to sing“… and yet, she sings those very songs live with no difficulty.
It feels to me like the Meccha Holiday kind of idol image from her past is like a filter on Ayaya’s music itself…
Mariya Takeuchi-san’s “Minna Hitori”, Moritaka-san’s “Watarasebashi” and her self-cover of “dearest” ← this one’s way too good… It’s amazing. Also, the song called “only one”, that’s another good one… and a tearjerker, too.
I’m telling you, it’s amazing. You definitely have to hear it.
Me, I’ll be listening to it tonight, too.
See ya later.
17: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 16:51:40.70 0
Matsuura Aya’s only 25? I’m surprised. I kinda had an image of her being around 32 or something.
32: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 16:55:11.12 0
Idols are about the whole package. It doesn’t really help if it’s just her singing alone getting praise.
34: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 16:55:49.95 0
I like it, too. I’m listening to it a lot lately. I wish she makes a proper comeback at like 30 or so, with a proper backing band and all.
35: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 16:56:16.15 0
For me it was around Suna wo Kamu that she was no longer an idol and started being an artist.
37: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 16:56:45.30 0
Her distinctive looks and her figure on top of her great vocals and good talking skills make her perfect in every single way. That’s probably why she got bored of the idol industry so quickly.
40: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:01:37.01 0
There are lots of people saying things like this about Ayaya. They should really go all in and just make one really awesome album for her. The office isn’t motivated about her at all, they just keep making easy money with stuff like Dream Morning Musume.
43: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:03:18.39 0
When it comes to work for the members outside of H!P, it’s usually all up to the motivation of the members themselves. Even Dream Morning Musume was Abe’s idea to begin with. If Matsuura isn’t motivated, the office won’t feel motivated to do anything for her either.
51: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:04:25.19 0
She herself isn’t motivated.
52: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:04:43.23 0
Making the people working for them feel motivated is part of the office’s job, too.
41: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:02:35.40 0
She could’ve went on being an idol for longer if she’d herself wanted to. She should follow Amuro-chan’s lead in how to properly self-produce herself.
48: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:04:02.89 0
It’s weird how in Momusu’s case it’s always the office’s fault, but when it comes Matsuura, suddenly you say it’s her fault. (laughs)
50: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:04:24.68 0
H!P just can’t do good, tasteful music. When Matsuura said she wanted to become more like an artist, “Suna wo Kamu You ni” and all the numerous ballads after that is what they gave her. It wasn’t music for adults; it was music for middle-aged men. I don’t know if it’s because of that or what, but now even Matsuura herself isn’t accepting of normal songs like Chocolate Damashii either.
56: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:05:58.65 0
Even if you round up a thousand of today’s idols, they’re no match to Ayaya. The idols of today are just a bunch of amateurs who wanted to become nothing more than idols, and the people producing them are just creating a cheap parody of idols.
57: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:06:21.90 0
Make Dream Ayaya happen. Even just one night of Ayaya going all-out idol on us would be good.
58: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:06:26.65 0
Apart from her tendency to find things bothersome, Ayaya is the perfect performer.
61: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:07:56.04 0
Ayaya is able to sing perfectly like it’s the easiest thing ever for her. It never looks like she’s struggling at all.
64: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:08:37.87 0
It’s simply a tragedy that they never got any composers and lyricists working for her who could’ve motivated and cultivated her talent to become even greater.
75: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:14:00.22 0
The first thing she should do is change record companies.
80: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:17:13.07 0
I actually liked it when she was doing the Zutto Suki de Ii desu ka/Suna wo Kamu You ni thing.
81: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:17:32.26 0
Even ten years after her debut there’s been no new top star who could surpass Ayaya. That’s why everyone’s still holding out hope for her.
94: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:32:08.17 0
There’s never been another idol as human as Ayaya. And just to clarify, no, I don’t mean that as in someone who just cries a lot or is like an amateur, or anything else along those lines.
95: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:33:17.38 0
She’s never going to get popular for as long as it’s Up-Front that’s producing her.
96: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:33:55.13 0
Well, Up-Front Works could pretty much be considered an indies label.
98: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:34:37.82 0
The song Matsuura Aya sang for Shouji and Mikitty at their wedding party:
Matsuura Aya – “Omoi Afurete”:
These make me cry. They really need to release that COTTON CLUB show on DVD…
101: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:38:35.20 0
I still want Ayaya to go on singing. I want to create an environment where she’d feel comfortable continuing her musical activities.
120: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 17:57:38.37 0
If only she’d never gotten the “artist sickness”…
128: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 18:08:50.15 0
The song Takeuchi Mariya wrote for her, Subject: Sayonara, was good, and now Shikao… couldn’t they write more songs for her? The office should make them an offer. Another option would be the Ayaya fan Shiina Ringo.
137: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 18:27:29.92 0
Takeuchi Mariya’s commentary on Matsuura Aya:
Yamashita: “Going on sale this Wednesday, December 21st, Matsuura Aya’s “10th ANNIVERSARY BEST” Included on this best-of album is “subject: Sayonara” with music and lyrics written by Takeuchi Mariya.”
Takeuchi: “The “subject” in the title refers to the subject field of an email. She debuted with another email-themed song called “Dokkidoki! LOVE Mail”, so my thought was that I’d tie her 10th anniversary song to theme of email somehow. It’s this song of big-time broken-heartedness, about your friend stealing your boyfriend from you, but she really pulls it off well.”
Yamashita: “She’s great.”
Takeuchi: “I know, right?”
Yamashita: “This is really good.”
Takeuchi: “Anyway, the other day I went to see Aya-chan’s live show. This song has a really wide vocal register, but she was able to sing it in such a beautiful, heartrending way live, too. I was just thinking to myself, man, Matsuura Aya really has to be the best twentysomething female vocalist right now. As I looked to my side, I noticed there was someone who was thinking just the same thing — on second look, I noticed it was actually Shiina Ringo-chan. (laughs)”
(From TOKYO FM “Yamashita Tatsurou no JACCS CARD Sunday Songbook” 2011/12/18 broadcast)
140: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 18:29:29.92 0
Shiina Ringo goes to her shows?
173: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:22:50.45 0
Just listened to the song Takeuchi Mariya wrote for her. This is really good. She should write a whole album for her.
147: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 18:39:41.40 0
Ayaya’s really popular among professional singers, but not so much the general public.
155: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 18:55:55.38 0
Matsuura never fails when it comes to live performances.
156: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 18:59:15.21 0
157: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 18:59:43.29 0
Yeah. She was singing properly ever since her first concert. I remember thinking to myself how gutsy she was.
159: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:02:17.27 0
Agreed. She sings great and her MC’s are funny, too. I don’t remember ever coming out of a Matsuura Aya concert feeling disappointed.
158: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:01:33.18 0
Compared to Matsuura Aya, the performance level of current H!P members isn’t worth shit.
161: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:04:56.22 0
I remember seeing her doing Natsuo without lip-syncing while dancing and singing perfectly and just thinking to myself she must be the no. 1 most talented idol there is.
162: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:07:35.82 0
She’s the only one who can make fun of wota that much in her MC’s.
163: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:08:46.81 0
Is it true that she mocks the people who come to her shows?
166: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:10:01.91 0
No. (laughs) It’s just light-hearted poking fun at them.
170: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:15:15.53 O
Ayaya: “Coming to see my show on Christmas, won’t your girlfriends be lonely?”
Aibon: “Matsuura-san, you can’t say that!”
164: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:09:49.36 0
Since what’s called the “Komuro-style” of singing and the R&B style of singing are held in high regard, Ayaya’s style of singing is often really underrated.
168: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:12:28.90 0
When you realize Matsuura is cute, that’s when you know you’ve finally graduated from being a child.
172: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:21:20.67 0
She has nothing but good songs.
143: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 18:31:55.21 0
176: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:25:08.77 0
There was that whole songstress diva (LOL) boom a while back, but for me Matsuura was easily better than any of them.
177: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:25:45.21 0
I listen to Ayaya’s Watarasebashi whenever I feel tired.
178: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:26:07.97 0
Why didn’t Ayaya become the Heisei Era Seiko-chan?
190: 舐めてんのか？(U´Д`)ﾜﾝﾜﾝぺろりんチョ ◆penisu8KA6 2012/03/28(水) 19:40:42.61 0
Ayaya’s vocals are seriously so good. She has both the skill and the pleasantness.
191: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:40:44.68 0
If only Matsuura was more motivated and if they just promoted her better, she could appear on TV and stuff more. They didn’t even promote this album nearly enough.
198: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:46:25.03 0
You’re treated like a lolicon when you say you like Ayaya. It seems like there’s many people who still only have that Momoiro image of her.
207: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:51:52.14 0
I listen to Click you and songs like Hana Ichimonme and Futari Osaka off 10th Anniversary a lot. No one even comes close to her power of expression.
208: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:52:33.63 0
When they started changing her course around the time of like Sougen no Hito, I only wish they’d given her better songs to do so with…
211: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 19:58:15.94 0
Yeah. It really stood out how shitty and old-fashioned the office was when she changed course.
217: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 20:03:07.90 0
It’s Matsuura’s fault that I became just like the rest of you disgusting idol wota.
218: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 20:03:35.42 0
Say what you will, but this person really caused an idol revolution.
227: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 20:47:13.19 0
You’ll get it if you listen to her, but Matsuura really is amazing right now. Everyone has their own tastes and stuff of course, but if you’re a music lover, you’ll definitely be able to hear just how amazing she is.
I really just want all the disgusting wota who come to her shows only to drool at her to die already. You’re a fucking nuisance and you make me feel sorry for her.
230: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 21:06:44.61 0
How about all you shits stop slamming on Matsuura just because she doesn’t do what you’d like her to do? It hurts to even look at your posts. Who cares if she has a man or not. There is some real value in Ayaya’s vocals right now.
240: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 21:44:22.49 P
What happened to her is all because she started rejecting being produced by Tsunku.
244: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 21:52:04.84 0
I’ll keep supporting you forever, so go ahead and put out some new songs.
248: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 21:57:55.50 0
When KAN heard her cover of his song Kekkon Shinai Futari, he just commented “There’s nothing for me to say. She’s on a whole other level.“
256: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 22:21:36.56 0
Inagaki Junichi praised her vocals, too.
249: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 21:59:23.11 0
This is something that could be said basically about most H!P members both old and new, but she really does shine live. I do think she’ll get back to properly doing her thing once she’s done recuperating.
261: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 23:09:34.44 0
This is my first time seeing footage of her live. She’s awesome.
271: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 23:33:39.70 0
First and foremost, Matsuura’s voice is just awesome. Plus, she also has that amazing power of expression along with her intricate, first-class singing technique. There’s really nothing I could criticize her vocals about. It’s no wonder that Suga Shikao, being a creator himself, would get all hard about her vocals.
279: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 23:46:35.11 0
A person who lost her head in her own genius.
287: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 23:53:40.68 0
You’re confusing her with Kago-chan.
Just listened on YouTube to the song Suga Shikao praised, “only one.” This is great. I really think if this had come out back when Hiramatsu Eri and stuff was popular, this would’ve been a million-selling hit.
314: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/29(木) 21:03:41.50 0
Just heard only one on YouTube. I didn’t know Up-Front had put it up, so thanks. The PV is simple and stylish, too.
292: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/29(木) 00:14:18.26 P
I went to see her end-of-year dinner show-ish live show. I just thought to myself how I’d probably love to listen to her even in my forties and beyond.
293: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/29(木) 01:45:54.03 0
The general public isn’t aware that Matsuura’s even a halfway decent singer.
38: 名無し募集中。。。 2012/03/28(水) 16:57:51.36 0
There are so many kinds of idols these days all going “look at us, we’re so different!” Ayaya on the other hand is just very serious, and yet she’s still more interesting than any of them.
Henkka: I’m going to take this opportunity to promote The Matsuurian’s Aya Song Database because I don’t think many people are even aware it exists. It has the lyrics and translation(!) of every single song Aya’s sung. Ever. Seriously. Even the ones she’s sung in the shower.
Sources: http://japan.techinsight.jp/2012/03/sugashikao_blog_ayaya1203281040.html, http://ameblo.jp/shikao-blog/entry-11204947984.html, http://hayabusa3.2ch.net/test/read.cgi/morningcoffee/1332920738/
Matsuura Aya’s first album is still one of the best albums Hello! Project ever released.
Definitely. Perhaps even the best of them all. Tsunku was on fire.
I have always loved her song Egao. I could imagine that playing on the radio. It doesn’t sound like “idol” music.
One of the H!P’s finest!!! Easily top 3 all time voices that ever came from Hello Project
Remember watching her in a movie before I even knew who she was, before i discovered Idol music for the first time.. It was “Sukeban Deka: Codename = Asamiya Saki” , a movie that had Ayaya, Charmy Ishikawa and the other members of V-U-Den in it and all I could think about was how pretty this main character… A year later, finally discovered by accident Morning Musume and the whole japanese Idol group craze and was like “ahhh!!!” i’ve seen those girls in a movie before lol
Haha I saw that movie. Charmy and Ayaya fight each other with yo-yos! In fact the movie was released in the US as “Yo-Yo Cop Girl”.
Haha, yup.. Stupid movie plot but its a remake of a manga/TV series… You got Charmy and Ayaya fighting it out in extremely tight leather outfits with cool yo-yo tricks, what more do you need, a at that point a good story is irrelevant
This lady is just pure talent. And yet she is so down to earth. Her old songs remain as legendary H!P songs that so few of the current H!P members can pull off. And yet she performs all her songs live flawlessly, and even makes it look easy. And don’t even get me started on how fucking GORGEOUS she is. Her husband is one of the luckiest guys in the world.
Reading this, I never realized how lucky I was to see her at the Elder Club Graduation (I was there for the OGs mainly). Might be time to pop in the DVD and rewatch the concert.
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ayaya… what i would do to hear her sing live…
Ayaya is more than an idol. I feel like H!P has been trying to find another soloist who can match her success and it just hasn’t happened.
Well I do agree, I also think the market back then has changed dramatically. Solo idol singers just aren’t the trend right now. There hasn’t been a successful solo idol singer for awhile, but hopefully there will be someone that actually makes it.
Aya Matsuura is one of the best performers, forget the whole “Idol” thing hands down, of all time. It’s a shame she has been pigeon holed as an Idol, even after all this time and proving over and over again her skill. She cannot sing an off note, her vocal tone is flawless and the emotion she sings with, divine.
She is the reason I love H!P and idols. Because in searching for some Japanese Pop, as I wanted to branch out of my comfort zone of music, Living in NYC, i went to a Japanese book/music store and blindly bought her 1st PV collection based purely on her cute face not knowing what it was. I then proceeded to buy everything she put out (pre YouTube, on Ebay), concert DVD’s and all her albums. I didn’t even know what an “Idol” was back then (2005-6) I just knew she was amazing.
By 2006 when she clearly was trying to slowly break away from her Idol-ness, by incorporating real instruments and funky new arrangements of her hits…I was blown away. My Dad who used to be in the music business remarked that she could make it here if she learned English (High praise coming from an old Folk/classic rock guy!)
She is an artist and should be treated and regarded as such, regardless of her beginnings. And some of her H!P work is stellar and deserves to be taken seriously too. I feel Momoe Yamaguchi transcended the Idol thing but still gets labelled as such and she is another I put in a true artist category. yes, Ayaya is that good and at age, almost 28, she could still have a great career ahead of her..if only she wished for it, but perhaps she feels it is too much of an uphill battle to bother. A shame.
I really like Ayaya, but I do think she’s lying about her age. Not that she’s the first to do so.
Haha, what? As long as nobody does any research, maybe somebody in their 20s or 30s could fudge their age and have it be believable–but in Matsuura’s case she’d have to have been doing this since 2000. Harder to imagine something like a 17-year-old passing herself off as 13 for an audition.
I love Ayaya but she’s no artist. An artist (in music) is someone who composes and writes a lot of if not all their own music so until Ayaya starts doing this she’s an idol.
agree, she is one of the most talented vocalists of hp ever, but that comment of the lady that ayaya was the twentysomething best female vocalist right now, well…nope, sarah brigtman could surpass her witouth effort