そばにいるね ft. SoulJa

Cover
青山テルマ
(Aoyama Thelma)
そばにいるね ft. SoulJa
January 23, 2008
Oricon Peak: #1
Billboard Japan: #1
Sales So Far: 277,400
Label: Universal Japan

~~~

そばにいるね ft. SoulJa
(Soba ni Iru ne)
(I’m at Your Side)
Lyrics & Music: SoulJa / Arrangement: 佐藤博 (Sato Hiroshi)

A looping piano plays throughout the opening of ‘そばにいるね’. Aoyama-san’s voice is light with a slight R&B gliding quality. The song becomes steadily more urban as it progresses. SoulJa raps while his voice bounces from one ear to another. A tight harmony follows the melody line which gives the song a Caribbean feel and adds something new to an otherwise pretty JPop ballad. The lyrics are very touching, but slightly cliché. She and SoulJa talk about being in love and being apart from each other. SoulJa has a letter for her and Aoyama is telling him to come back to her. During the instrumental bridge there is a Spanish guitar solo. I found Aoyama-san’s vocals a bit strained if they left the two or three not range of the verses. I liked the song, though.

My dear friend
3:50
Lyrics: Kato Kenn / Music: Harukawa Hitoshi / Arrangement: Kadowaki Daisuke, Harukawa Hitoshi

My thoughts about her vocal range were confirmed with the first B-side. Her regular voice only has about an half an octave of room to move about until she switches to falsetto. The song a pleasant melody, but otherwise, it’s a definite B-side. A steady beat underscores the chorus and adds energy to this synth-heavy number.

This Day ft. Dohzi-T
5:19

A whistling synth brings us into another JUrban number. A cool harmony gives an awesome effect during the chorus. A deep bass line flows beneath the entire song. This song is a Christmas song (sleigh bells included), and feels very joyous. Her voice sounds good on this track and she even belts a fine note right before the chorus. Her ad. lib.s are barely worth mentioning except where she really lets loose and delivers some gorgeous runs. She definitely redeemed herself in my books. She’s like a mix of Jordan Sparks and Mariah Carey… strange combination, but I hear it…

~~~

After I listened to this single I came to the conclusion that she should have given more energy in ‘そばにいるね’ but redeemed that over the next couple of songs. I really enjoyed ‘This Day’. Overall, it’s a strong single and continues to rack up sales. It’s been in Oricon’s Top 10 for eight weeks (including this one).

A-
92%

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~ by vinyabarion on March 8, 2008.

3 Responses to “そばにいるね ft. SoulJa”

  1. Though i have heard one of her songs before, I still have a hard time enjoying her music… I generally find that I have to be in a particular mood to seriously enjoy a new artist, so perhaps I just need to keep trying.

    I just have yet to see her appeal =/

  2. […] LIPS KAT-TUN 420,385 2. Soba ni Iru ne feat. SoulJa Aoyama Thelma […]

  3. I can’t stand そばにいるね. Though I wish female solo artists in Japan much success (they don’t get their fair share IMO when there are so many poor but successful male groups), I really struggle to like this song. I find it never actually goes anywhere – the boring verses just fizz into equally as boring choruses warbled on by Thelma’s boring voice. You guessed my overall impression: this song is boring! (in my opinion :P)

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