Rocket Sneaker / One×Time was Otsuka Ai’s 17th single. It was released May 5, 2008, sold 30,382 copies in it’s first week, 44,428 overall and reached #4 on the charts. Rocket Sneaker was used as the ending theme song to the drama Sanma no Manma, and One×Time was used as the POND’S CM song, which Ai herself started in.
1. Rocket Sneaker
3. Sora to Kujira
4. Rocket Sneaker (Instrumental)
5. One×Time (Instrumental)
The first of the a-sides, Rocket Sneaker, starts off with some nice piano work along with Ai’s vocals. The piano plays a big part into the entire song, giving it an upbeat and happy tone along with the electric guitar. Ai manages to maintain her vocals cute and sweet throughout the entire song, especially during the great chorus. It’s definitely the more upbeat song out of the a-sides.
The second a-side, One×Time is the more relaxed and laid back song. It starts with some fingers snapping, along with the familiar piano and backed up with a great string arrangement. Ai’s vocals seem to whisper at certain times of the song, and they actually manage to sound a bit creepy. The string instruments kick in during the chorus, making it all the more better. This is the better a-side of the two.
The b-side, Sora to Kujira(which this blog was named after) easily beats both the a-sides as the best song on the single. It begins with an acoustic guitar that never seems to stop throughout the entire song and than Ai’s vocals kick in, seeming to perfectly contrast the guitar. The first part of the song, including the chorus, has only the guitar instrumentals and Ai’s vocals, but as soon as the chorus finishes we’re treated to the addition of more instruments and background vocals from Ai. As if the song wasn’t already as good, it only gets better during the second half. The chorus sounds amazing with the added instruments and additional vocals and it should be noted that Ai’s vocals are exceptional throughout this entire song.
I couldn’t have been happier with this single. Rocket Sneaker, an upbeat piano and guitar tune, One×Time, the more calm and relaxed a-side and the unbelievable Sora to Kujira. The b-side did an exceptional job of pulling this single together and should be given a listen to anyone who’s interested in an amazingly arranged song with outstanding vocals.