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Ashita wa Hareru :: Review by Don

Ashita wa Hareru Album Title: Ashita wa Hareru
Record Label: Scitron Digital Contents
Catalog No.: SCDC-00065
Release Date: February 7, 2001
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Koji Hayama, probably most famous for his Aniki series compositions, is a versatile composer with a knack for creating often outlandish compositions, as is seen in the Aniki series as well as his Game Music is Dead album. How does this solo album, released in 2001, demonstrate his abilities?


When I think Koji Hayama, the first thing that comes to mind is guitar. However, when I started this album, "Prologue" shocked me. I didn't really expect to hear an instrumental piano composition to start off the album. While nothing overly flashy, its simplicity was something that I really appreciated, even though it was a bit repetitive. Fortunately, the best was yet to come.

Koji Hayama definitely has his musical influences in tow with this album. "The Sun," sounding inspired by classic rock, Koji Hayama sings the lyrics, as with the rest of the vocals on the album, to a fantastic melody. I'm most impressed with the bass guitar in this one. It seems to accent the important parts of the melody as well as provide a pretty awesome guitar solo. "Tomorrow will be a Sunny Day" starts off sounding like one of his Cho Aniki compositions, however, migrates into a more classic rock based piece, which could have been written by John Cougar Mellencamp. At least, that's what it sounds like to me. It's a fun composition! "My Soul" is another rock-based composition. It has some awesome guitar riffs and is my favorite rock-based composition on the album. It just has something that catches my interest.

This album also has its fair share of ballads as well. "Friendly" features a softer side of Hayama. Mainly focusing on piano, the melody is quite simple. The duet between Hayama and an unknown female vocalist in the chorus is a nice addition to the piece. "Sakura" is another one of the more subtle compositions on album. At times, it almost sounds a capella, since the majority of the track is very subdued and simplistic percussion. The addition of acoustic guitar here and there makes it sound a bit more rustic than other tracks on the album. "Like the Wind Blows Me" is perhaps the softest ballad on the album. Entirely piano-based with hints of choral synth, the melody crafted is quite beautiful. The vocals don’t match up entirely with the pace of the music, but I'm not complaining. In the end, this is probably my favorite ballad on the album.

That leaves me with my favorite, "The Night Train". Unlike other compositions on the album, this faster paced rhythmic composition, doesn't offer much in the ways of instrumentation, but what it does offer clearly rocks. The focus on soft synth, subdued guitar, and the piano and guitar solos make this track catchier than the rest. It's easily the most fun on the album!


Ashita wa Hareru is Koji Hayama clearly having fun. Not hindered by the obscurities of some of his games, his true passion seems to surface in this album. There is something for everyone, from the softer ballads to the classic rock-inspired songs. While Koji Hayama's voice may not be the strongest, it does offer a nice contrast to the instrumentation. I definitely recommend this album for Hayama fans and for those who just like rock! There really isn't a bad song on this album, although some are clearly stronger than others.

Overall Score: 9/10