“One Day, in the Recording Studio, we ran into YUI!”
It is no mystery to myself and my counterpart that Aimi Haraguni is a HUGE YUI fan. She also seems to be a huge Paramore fan, but I would need to see her CD collection or inspect her mp3 player or phone to know for sure.
Ever since I got into following the Japanese bands that I heard in anime, I prayed for the day that I would get to see any of them live. That day finally came at Anime Boston when it was announced that Stereopony would be performing there. It was there where I became completely and totally hooked on the girls; this led to me joining the forum and eventually to this weekly installment of going through the entire discography. I think I will save the story of how I “met” Stereopony for when I re-review “Chiisana Mahou” though.
My understanding of how the story goes is that Stereopony was in the studio for whatever reason in Okinawa and lo and behold, YUI happened to be in there the same day and the two “bumped” into each other. If we want the true story, we need Aimi or YUI’s blogs to see if they made an entry about it. But since this is about the single, and not the story of how the single came to be, let us move on.
We know that Aimi wrote the lyrics for “I do it”, and YUI handled the music. Aimi has said that working with YUI was “frustrating”, but that may simply be because Aimi and YUI have different approaches to writing music. I cannot speak for Aimi, but YUI apparently comes up with the melody first and then puts gibberish to the tune to figure out how the lyrics will work. Whether this had something to do with the before-mentioned frustration, we may never know.
Despite how ever hard it was to write the song, it is clear that the two ladies reached a compromise. Aimi’s vocals and guitar are clear as day, with Shiho’s drums bringing up the rear. In concert, you always know that this or possibly “Hanbunko” is coming up because Aimi puts her trademark guitar aside and grabs one of her two Fender Jaguars for it. I know this information about the difference in Aimi’s guitars solely because of our resident guitar guru, Cake’s A lie. As usual, I can make no sense of the lyrics, but this song would have made a great opening for an anime just from its energy. It also reminds me of racing down the highway as fast as I can (do not do this in real life, haha), particularly one near my home that I avoid like the plague for its traffic lights, because the chorus parts are like going at near highway speeds and the verse parts are like being stuck waiting for the light to change. In fact, that is exactly how this song flows. But I still love it, no matter how hard it was for two different musicians to write together, especially when one is the household name and the other is her junior in the industry and in life, and Outer Aimi is trying to stay professional even though Inner Aimi is screaming “OMG!!!! It’s YUI! I can’t believe I’m working with YUI!!!! ::girly fangirl scream::”.
With such a good title track, you would think that the B-side, “Signal ga Ao ni Kawaru Toki”, was really good, right? Sadly, it is forgettable. It is much quieter and less energetic than its predecessor, and since my colleague does a better job of lyric interpretation, it is about “the one-sided pain one goes through when an important relationship ends, but there is no closure. It leaves you feeling more of the resignation than the angst in the end”. I have lost count of the number of times I just push the “next” button on my mp3 player when this song comes up.
Fortunately, the acoustic version of “Namida no Mukou” kind of makes up for it. It is a very catchy and upbeat song, which I would not mind Aimi breaking this out at a live at some point instead of the album/single version. I cannot hear the angst like my colleague, but I do agree with her in enjoying this arrangement.
All in all, this is a pretty good single. My only regret is that we would not get Aimi and YUI singing the title track together until their very last live…
I Do It – 86%
Music – 100/100
Lyrics – 60/100
Vocals – 100/100
Overall execution – 86/100
Signal Ga Ao Ni Kawaru Toki – 63%
Music – 70/100
Lyrics – 60/100
Vocals – 60/100
Overall execution – 63/100
Namida no Mukou Acoustic Version – 80%
Music – 90/100
Lyrics – 60/100
Vocals – 90/100
Overall execution – 80/100