Ayaka Hirahara

Jupiter

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Having built her career in the crossroads of pop and classical music, Ayaka Hirahara's greatest-hits compilation has a noteworthy amount of crossover music within it. The album opens with her first major hit, a reworking of Gustav Holst's "The Planets," focusing on the "Jupiter" section. She really lets loose here, in full Celine Dion mode for all of its powerful vocal abilities and melodramatic qualities alike. In that mode, though, one gets to hear what Hirahara can really do with her voice. The rest of her hits show a similar pattern vocally -- a strong voice and an ability to cover all of the range necessary for the compositions. The songs devolve to a degree into somewhat more lackluster pieces as the album goes on, but there are points of light amongst the chaff. "Niji no Youkan" takes a fairly European folk approach to pop and showcases a less dramatic version of Hirahara in favor of a somewhat more earthy sound. The following track, "Re: Pepper," introduces a jazzier aesthetic to the affair, giving Hirahara a chance to follow her father's genre a bit and work in a less stretched vocal delivery. Hirahara's career spans a variety of elements, though her vocals stay similar across subgenres. This album highlights those varieties well, and keeps her voice at the strong forefront, just where it demands to be.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
blue highlight denotes track pick