“You hate all ballads.”
I honestly don’t, I just find that many are thoroughly similar and uninteresting, more vehicles for vocalists to showcase their talent than quality musical efforts.
Otsuka Ai … well, she lacks a lot of talent as a vocalist, and maybe that’s why her song “Planetarium” is one of my favorite ballads. You’ve likely heard this track before, if not because this song was a hit single, then because it’s on the ‘Hana Yori Dango‘ soundtrack.
Otsuka Ai’s voice doesn’t try to do too much because she literally can’t, and the result is a soothing performance that relies more on conveying the emotion that comes with the song than showcasing range. Most importantly, the instrumental combination of the flute and piano are excellent, and it helps set the atmosphere and start the gradual build to the chorus. Before the explosion, though, there’s a clever double-time pre-chorus that jolts the listener out of any lull and perfectly sets up the drums hitting for the chorus, which is what seals the deal on making this a wonderful song.
As if that isn’t enough, the music video is gorgeous.