Brave Shine by Aimer // Single Review

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Aimer's 8th single just got released! It's amazing how quickly I can write a review when it comes to Aimer. The same day a single is released, a review comes out. What an eager beaver I am! Can you tell where my heart lies, considering I haven't written any reviews for an entire month?

Where Re:I am and StarRingChild went wrong, Brave Shine did right. If Aimer wants to do epic music, this is how it should be done. The piece fades in with muffled drums and keys. In joins an electrifying guitar instrumental, sampling a taste of what's to come: an epic soft rock wonder. The verse is really lovely because the piano can be faintly heard in the background and those low notes really bring out the huskiness of her voice. For a moment in the verse, there's a slight vocal break to savour. It's the little details that make this single all that more special. The pre-chorus is spot on, by far my absolute favourite part of the song. The chorus gets a little weak when overplayed; though when not overplayed, it is pretty exhilarating to listen to. I'm grateful for the touches of strings and piano that balance out the heavy guitar melody. Ultimately, I am pretty happy with this single. It's another step in the right direction towards a more epic, exciting sound.

Ophelia, I believe, is a reference to Hamlet. I wouldn't have been so sure if it was a coincidence of names but she tweeted a painting of Millais' Ophelia. This song is truly the style I am most familiar and fond of. Simplistic instrumentals, slow and emotional music, and picturesque lyrics.

(c) SonyMusic
I was anticipating that Kimi wo Matsu would end up on an album like Nemuri no Mori did. Slightly surprised an acoustic version ended up on this single. Kimi wo Matsu is a gorgeous song encompassing the feelings of waiting and longing. I think it's a given at this point that part of Aimer's unique style is her incorporation of stars and all things related into her work. Plus the keys, cymbals, and chimes added a nice touch.

Lastly, there are live verisons of AM03:00 and Shichigatsu no Tsubasa (both are from her Midnight Sun album). For some strange and unidentifiable reason, I seem to really enjoy these live verisons. I don't know what it is about the live versions in After Dark that prevented me from fully loving them.

On a side note, the cover art isn't as fantastic as previous ones. It's very artsy for sure and the design of the title and artist name are cool indeed, but the photographs are lacking. The one with Archer is passable even if the font placement and editing is quite horrible. I don't mean to be finicky but Aimer and her team are capable of much more. Dare ka, Umi wo won 2nd place at the 2015 Music Jacket Awards for best cover art, for goodness' sake (source)! Though I will say the promotion image with her hugging some red fabric was nice.

In other news, Aimer was a support guest for ONE OK ROCK's May 23/24 show in Yokohama Arena. I am shell shocked. What in the universe is happening?! I don't even know if she sang her own songs or what. My brain cannot comprehend Aimer singing any of OOR's songs. My shock aside, good on her for expanding her network. With songs like Brave Shine and doing all kinds of collaborations, I can't wait to see what the future holds for her. And it looks like a new ep or album is in the works as a new song called LAST STARDUST premiered in the twentieth episode of Fate/Stay Night UBW.

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