Tag Archives: Ayu

“Moon/Blossom” – Ayumi Hamasaki

I always have problems with her face, but I loved the softness of this cover. It fits well.

I still think this is Ayu's prettiest look to date. OH WAIT, THAT'S NOT HER. XD

Sometimes I wonder if Ayu ever sleeps. With her spewing out double a-sides left and right, one begins to ponder.

Naturally, when I saw that Moon was nearly six minutes long, I thought “oh crap.” The song has a captivating opening, and then suddenly begins to sound a lot like Izayoi by BeForU. (if you haven’t heard that song, look it up. Its quite good.) Ayu’s voice sounds much better in this song than it did in previous releases. The song itself is simply average with a sweet, forgettable melody. The 5:47 length wasn’t necessary and I began to get a little tired. Still, I made it through the song. Twice, I might add. The song is a good effort, but she could have cut this down to about four minutes and it would have been much better.

Blossom also has a lovely opening and Ayu sounds great again. I liked the energizing chorus, and the whole song is feel-good. I’m reminded of her “I Am..” era a bit with this song, which is nice considering that it was my favorite era.

The Lowbrows have provided us with a remix of Microphone which I already had enough of a love-hate relationship with. This remix pumps up the dark sound found in the original, while also making it a little bit gritty as well. I liked the remix very much.

In Conclusion: I’ve felt like Ayumi has been uninspired lately, and I had hoped this single would have taken the edge off of those feelings. It didn’t exactly do that for me. I enjoyed hearing improvement in Ayu’s vocals, but I just wasn’t feeling any of these tracks. I’m a little tired of multiple a-side singles as a whole, not from just Ayu so please don’t think I’m targeting her.

~Alisa~

What was your favorite Ayumi era? What’s your opinion on artists releasing a ton of double a-sides?

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“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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Rock and Roll Circus = The Fame Monster?

Why is it that anything Ayumi Hamasaki does has to leak a zillion years in advance? Check out this preview of her PV for “Sexy Little Things,” a track from her upcoming album “Rock and Roll Circus.”

Ok, so you’ve got a really strange song, a bit of vocoder sprinkled on, strange costumes, and what appears to be a clone of the white room where Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” video was filmed. Riiiiight. How original. (rolls eyes) Why does this little clip give me the feeling that this will bomb harder than “NEXT LEVEL?” I’m going to sound terrible for saying this and being so blunt but: I AM SICK OF AYU!

Leave comments about this freakish video clip! Let’s talk about it.

~Alisa~

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Early 2010 Report Card!

Don’t freak out. These opinions are subject to change, as it is only FEBRUARY for goodness sake. Here’s my opinions! Read them, comment on them, state your own opinions! Fun times!

In Detention: BoA, alan,  Ayumi Hamasaki, and Kumi Koda!

These girlies are selections for ASIAN MUSIC DELINQUENTS. Especially BoA. I’m mad at her. She has too much on her plate. I think before attempting world domination, she should try to maintain popularity in at least one country. She’s been falling out of favor everywhere, and she was just a blip on the American music radar. Asian artists never seem to cross over to American music well. This may be because many Americans are still convinced that Asia is a country rather than a massive continent. Uh… that was a little insensitive… gomen. Amid all the hoopla of trying to be super famous everywhere, BoA coughed up “Eien,” arguably her best song ever. I want more of that kind of stuff, not this messy “Identity” bullcrap. Chinese crossover alan has been working her butt off waaaay too much. TAKE A BREAK!!! WAAAAH! I’m okay with the fact that she has dabbled in electronica, more mainstream-styled pop, and the like but this is all we’ve been getting from her. She’s not Ayu, but she might as well be. I miss her more dramatic songs. That’s why I was so smitten with alan when she debuted in Japan. She was a fresh face and fresh talent who created art rather than just music. As for Ayu, I was disappointed with “You Were…/BALLAD.” It was uber weak. She needs to take it easy and stop cranking out double a-sides. This makes me feel like she’s rushing an album, and I’m sure that nobody wants another “NEXT LEVEL.” Kuu needs about a year’s worth of inactivity to redeem herself in my eyes. I’m sick of her.

Advanced Placement/Honor Roll: Namie Amuro, GACKT, and immi!

Namie didn’t do a lot last year. We got Wild/Dr. in March and PAST < FUTURE a zillion years later in December and that was it. I felt like the huge gap between releases built a greater anticipation for the album, allowed Namie plenty of time to create quality material, and kept her extreme popularity at the time from growing stale. I’m looking forward to her topping the charts some more this year. Oh, and is it just me or has she gotten prettier as she has aged? GACKT, unlike Namie, put out a crapload of singles last year. Maybe this annoyed you. Maybe you were irritated because RE:BORN didn’t have any new material on it. Still, you can’t deny that GACKT has so much thunder left in him that’s its not even a laughing matter. Even though he released a million singles last year, you can’t deny that it was all of great quality. Another thing about GACKT that makes me happy is the fact that he is having a lot of fun with this stage of his career and is experimenting with all sorts of musical styles. How else would we have gotten “Koakuma Heaven?” immi released the incredibly polished EPs “WONDER” and “ALICE” last year. She’s an electronica goddess with a great voice to boot. I have high expectations of her.

C-Students: Maki Goto and Ai Otsuka!

This ladies have the potential to be major flops or major hitmakers as this year progresses. Ai is releasing a double-a side in April. The first a-side, “Lucky Star” is already out and the PV dropped a couple days ago. It has a lot of promise as far as I’m concerned but others may see it differently. The PV is quite unorthodox and has a very Lady Gaga-feel to it. Seems like many artists are trying to use Gaga-inspired elements lately. Maki’s performance this year will be uncertain, due to her family tragedy. But, since her mother was her biggest fan, I hope Maki will channel the pain of her passing into new material. If she releases a lot of things this year, which is an iffy concept, I predict that she will break away from the straight R&B sound she has done with Sweet Black and focus on diverse musical styles.

The Drop-Out?: Utada Hikaru

OMG, where’s Hikki? I miss her so much! Please stop releasing terrible English music and make more stuffs like on “Ultra Blue!”

Well, there’s my long-winded speech about music and crap. Leave comments and your own report cards! By the way, before I go back to reviewing, I’ll be writing up a showcase of my favorite album filler tracks. Look forward to it!

~Alisa~

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