“Rock N Roll Circus” – Ayumi Hamasaki


Track Listing:
01 – THE introduction
02 – Microphone
03 – count down
04 – Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~
05 – BALLAD
06 – Last Links
07 – montage
08 – Don’t look back
09 – Jump!
10 – Lady Dynamite
11 – Sexy little things
12 – Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~
13 – meaning of Love
14 – You were…
15 – RED LINE ~for TA~

The tracks I liked are highlighted. See any highlighted tracks? I don’t. Maybe this is proving my point.

Okay, before I lose any faithful Ayu fans as readers just let me take a minute to defend myself. I LOVE AYU. I love her image and her major influences over the Japanese music scene. But this album fails hardcore, to me at least. The entire mood of the album felt washed-up. I know that some people really like the style of music Ayu is pulling lately and that’s great. All I’m saying is that this album doesn’t speak to me all that well.

With the England-meets-Kanon-Wakeshima-styled covers, I expected Rock N Roll Circus to recapture the darkness and allure of Guilty. The only track which comes close is Microphone, which is like a mix of Marionette and Talkin’ 2 Myself, but with no real Ayu power. It feels strained. You also get her recent singles plopped onto the album. “Plopped” is the keyword, because none of them felt like they fit. Particularly BALLAD. That song seems like it should be from waaaaay back in the Secret era. A final track worth mentioning is Sexy Little Things, a really theatrical mess of a showtune, if you’d call it that, which is the only song that even gives me the image of a Circus in my head as I listen to it. Its a cute song, and really unorthodox given Ayu’s normal sound but it got old quickly. Still, I commend Ayu on being an artist who is ever-changing.

In Conclusion: I viewed Rock N Roll Circus as round two of the crap we got hit with from Next Level, but some people seemed to really enjoy the album. I respect Ayu, once again, for being a current artist who never sticks with the same sound for long, but I’m just a bit burnt out on her for now. Maybe her next album will be better on me. Who knows?

It really doesn’t matter what I say, she’s still going to outsell UVERworld. Haha.

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10 Comments

Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

10 responses to ““Rock N Roll Circus” – Ayumi Hamasaki

  1. Haha. Actually, if you listen to each song in its own context, the album is pretty good. Then again, maybe this is just because I’m a recent Ayu-convert and all her stuff is still pretty new to me.

  2. Why yes, I do love this post~

    You seem to really hit it on the head with this post, so much so that instead of writing one myself, I should just tell people to come read this XD

  3. Lex

    This album was decent. There were some standout tracks but most of it was boring (count down and Last Links especially).

    I do loves me some Sexy little things though. It was my favorite track.

  4. tsukinoai

    I actually really liked this album. Yes, there were some issues with the flow of songs, but overall I liked what she did. Last Links has to go though -_-“

  5. Eve

    Man, another Ayu album out already?! D: Anyways, I don’t know what to expect from this album after listening to NEXT LEVEL. Hm… I’ll go find some time during the weekends to check this one out 🙂

  6. Hmmm. I appreciate the fact that you didn’t outright bash Ayu. People seem to be doing that a lot lately, haha.

    I personally enjoyed this album. I think it makes a lot of sense in the context of her career, especially lyrics-wise. “Don’t look back” and “RED LINE ~for TA~ [album version]” are slowly but surely becoming some of my favorite Ayu songs ever.

    • Any REAL fan would respect and stand by an artist they love, regardless of any setbacks that may occur. NO ONE is perfect. People change. True fandom comes from being able to adapt or forgive an artist’s changing styles.

  7. “With the England-meets-Kanon-Wakeshima-styled covers, I expected Rock N Roll Circus to recapture the darkness and allure of Guilty.”
    I expected this too. After watching the PV’s, I knew this album would be diff. though but, not this disappointingly diff.

    “The only track which comes close is Microphone, which is like a mix of Marionette and Talkin’ 2 Myself, but with no real Ayu power. It feels strained. ”

    OMG! I said the EXACT same thing to my gf while listening to this song in her car!! I think the whole album feels unpolished, and I agree with you about the singles being plopped in there. :/

    Love live the (miss)understood-GUILTY era! lol

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