Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hayley Westenra takes over the world!

Okay, so call me an impulse-buying music maniac, but my Hayley Westenra CDs came yesterday. The Japanese version of Odyssey, and her brand new one, Hayley Sings Japanese Songs (which was literally released Sunday! Think, I'm one of the very first, if not the first, Americans to get a hold of this one!).

To get The Mummer's Dance and Bachianas Brasileiras without losing My Heart Belongs to You I had to go all the way to a supplier in Tokyo (see link) to find it (with a little help on the official Hayley forums) all on one Odyssey CD.

I also wanted the Japanese song Nada Sousou really really bad, and just so happened to find it there, but on a new, as-yet-unreleased Hayley album. So, I purchased both, and they held my order, and so I got it yesterday. :-D

I haven't listened to much of Odyssey yet, but this Japanese album is fantastically beautiful.

Apparently Hayley is all the rage in the land of the rising sun, and I guess they decided to make an all-Japanese CD. It was a little confusing buying in Yen (I'm still waiting for it to hit my account to see just exactly how much it cost me! :-O) and the words on the jewel case are mostly in Japanese, including the song list, but at least they have lyrics in English, and I can get the track list in English online, the very place I bought it from.

This was yet another CD I bought for "one" song (Nada Sousou), figuring (again) that I'd like all of them. I guessed it would have the feel of the modern Japanese music I've heard while watching Asian television. I specifically remember one really good show I watched almost four years ago...called When the Battery Runs Down, about a Children's Hospital (after seriously getting into the show it suddenly ends and I find out it was only a 10-part miniseries! :-O). It had a great theme and a really good end credits song. But why I mention it is because the style of the songs was kind of what I imagined these Hayley songs to be like, and it's kind of true. I can't really explain it, they just sound...different. And I like it! It's refreshing.

Besides Nada Sousou, I love Tsubasa Wo Kudasai, Shiroi Iro Ha Koibito No Iro (the Nihongoshi version), and I Believe. Believe it or not, folks, amongst her many other talents, Hayley can apparently sing in Japanese!

There's a thing about Hayley's music, I can't really explain it. Call me completely crazy, but her music is different than most artists. It's very...emotional. It seems to connect with me on a deeper level than most music, and I don't even know why. Maybe you'll see what I mean just by listening a little, I don't know. Maybe I really am nuts. That wouldn't be so far-fetched, now would it?

In short, Hayley Sings Japanese Songs: HIGHLY recommended!

Spencer
/ Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

14 comments:

Mada said...

Yay! Hayley Westenra takes over the stereos of the United States.

Eet ees all part of, how you say it, New Zealand's plan for..."world dom-ee-nay-tion". Mwahahahaha!

...

*nervous chuckle* I didn't say nothin'.

Chun-Hang said...

Hello Spencer,

Do you mind to give the English name of the third track 雪の華 of the album "Hayley sings Japanese Songs". I listened to it on Youtube and that's truly one of the nicest song I have heard in my life!

The website for the album is here: http://www.universal-music.co.jp/classics/hayley_westenra/discography.html

Do you know if this album will be released outside Japan? I live in the EU so...

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Hello Chun-hang! Welcome to my blog! Always a pleasure to meet a fellow Hayley fan. ;-D

As to track 3, you mean Yuki no Hana? Well, I don't know what it is in English. I don't speak Japanese, unfortunately, so we're both out of luck I'm afraid. ;-P

As to it being released outside of Japan, I'm not sure at all. If you click on the title of this post you'll get a link to the site I purchased it from. I was told about the site on the official Hayley forums (www.hayleywestenra.com). If you want to, join up and ask there; they're extremely helpful!

I listened to it on Youtube and that's truly one of the nicest song I have heard in my life!

Haha, Hayley has that effect, doesn't she? :-D

Mada: Oh, I forgot! You live in NZ. Did you know of Hayley?

Spencer

Chun-Hang said...

Hello Spencer,

雪の華 is pronounced as Yuki no Hana, each character represents each of the word. Yuki means snow (definitely) and I checked up on Hana (華)(http://jisho.org/kanji/details/%E8%8F%AF)
I think it takes the meaning of gorgeous in this context (instead of flower, because flower is written as 花 but is pronounced as Hana too.) So it should be gorgeous snow or something to that effect. Can check with your Japanese friends.

I'm asking because I want the lyrics - it is beautiful! The song is clearly sung in English!

All in all, hopefully they will release the album in EU as it looks like now instead of changing it to "suit the local market", like how so many covers of books and CDs sold in the U.S. are different from those sold in the E.U.

Mada said...

Spencer: Not personally, but my sister borrowed her album 'Pure' some time ago from the library. We've also got a few of her songs on iTunes. So far (out of the meagre few we have) I like 'Summer Rain' the most.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Chun-hang: Well, I paid $40.31 in US dollars and a $1.20 foreign transaction fee after it was converted to from Yen, but not that that helps you any. :-P

Mada: I'd also recommend the following:
Who Painted the Moon Black?
Wuthering Heights
My Heart Belongs to You
Bachianas Braseleiras
The Mummer's Dance
Santa Lucia
Sonny
Summer Fly
Nada Sousou
Tsubasa Wo Kudasai
Shiroi Iro Ha Koibito No Iro (Nihongoshi version)

And those, my friends, are my favorite Hayley songs, without stepping into Celtic Woman. :-P

Chun-Hang said...

Hello Spencer,

Still trying to figure out what does Yuki no Hana really means. Someone translated it as "snowflower" (that's taking Hana as flower instead of grandiose)... I'm not so sure... 雪の花 is again Yuki no Hana but that's definitely Snowflower since 花 is flower. But Hayley's song is 雪の華.

Anyway, do you have Yuki no Hana's lyrics? Will it be fine if you can either post it (which is time consuming) or just snap a scan/picture of it and post it online? I can't find it anywhere.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Okay, I promise I'll do it soon, okay?

:-D

Spencer

crepuscule said...

And I thought I was the only one outside of the US to discover Hayley sings Japanese Songs. :)

She has so many special edition and limited release albums that it drives me crazy, but it's worth all the trouble hunting them down. Have you heard her Japanese-release called Prayer? It features some exclusive tracks as well.

I have the English lyrics for track 3, but it's quite long...

crepuscule said...

Ok, here it is. I hope you don't mind me posting it here! You can move/delete it as you like:

Together hand in hand we walked through evening gloom
Long shadows on the pavement, cast from the sunset sky
If only this would last until the end of time
And if this is forever I swear that I could cry

The northern wind starts to blow
And the smell of winter's in the air
As we take each step upon the ground
The season of love grows near

We could share the very first snowflowers of the year
In your arms where I belong
Watch as the city turns from grey to white
The day turns into night
Love that floats like wayward clouds, that's not what we're about
Sure and strong is my love for you
And it comes from the bottom of my heart

With you by my side, to catch me when I fall
I can cast my fears aside; feel twice as tall
If only this would last, this smile upon my face
And if this is forever, you’re my saving grace

The nights were so cold without you
And the days were always short on light
Now a fire’s warming me through
And suddenly this upturned world is feeling right

We could share the very first snowflowers of the year
In your arms where I belong
Watch as the city turns from grey to white
The day turns into night
Love that floats like wayward clouds, that's not what we're about
Sure and strong is my love for you
And it comes from the bottom of my heart

If there comes a time when you have lost your way
I’ll turn myself into a star to guide you through
If ever you find tears upon your face
I will be there, always be there for you

We could share the very first snowflowers of the year
In your arms where I belong
Watch as the city turns from grey to white
The day turns into night
Love that floats like wayward clouds, that's not what we're about
Sure and strong is my love for you
The city turns from grey to white
The day turns into night

We could share the very first snowflowers of the year
In your arms where I belong

Cold winds from the North blow
The sky casts its last glow
But you and I are standing strong

Chun-Hang said...

Hi crepuscule,

Thanks so much for the lyrics! I think this version is completely correct, so thanks for the effort indeed!

Lyrics to other songs can be found here, although there are some typos. http://hwi.proboards20.com/index.cgi?board=japanese&action=display&thread=3789

crepuscule said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chun-Hang said...

Yes it is really quite hard to figure out the exact lyrics just by hearing the song.

All in all thanks so much for the typing again!

crepuscule said...

Spencer,
Could you tell me where the link is for the special Odyssey CD you bought and the track listing? I'm looking for a version that has most of the special songs all on one. :) Thanks!