Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE

02/26/2013 at 5:08 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment
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Ayumi Hamasaki - LOVE

~Mini Album~

Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE

1. Song 4 U

2. Missing

3. Melody

4. Song 4 U (Orchestra Version)

5. You & Me (SHINICHI OSAWA Remix)

6. You & Me (Remo-con rmx – Extended)

7. Missing (Dubscribe Remix)

8. Melody (BROKEN HAZE Remix)

9. Song 4 U (Original Instrumental)

10. Missing (Original Instrumental)

11. Melody (Original Instrumental)

12. You & Me (Original Instrumental)

~

OK let’s face it, more tracks does not a mini album make. I know why they decided to classify this and again as mini albums and I know a lot of fans were upset because of LOVE again, though frankly I couldn’t care less.

~

Just as Tales of Xillia 2 is a sequel to Tales of Xillia, I find that “Song 4 U” is a sequel to progress. I feel like the songs have slightly similar structure and sound yet manage to be unique and I really like that about the two of them. However, at the same time, I wouldn’t say it’s fair to and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like they have to compare the two songs. I find Song 4 U to be a little better than progress though, but that’s just my opinion. I love the way the lyrics flow so well throughout the entire song, in the verses and the choruses. The overall heightened emotion of the vocals that seems to come through more during the end, as if it’s been building up the whole time was really cool to me.

Score – 8.5

“Missing” was originally described as an emotional rock track and while I don’t think it lives up to what I thought it was going to be based off of the description it still is a good emotionally charged song. The feelings conveyed in the vocals, especially where the chorus is concerned, and the prominent piano featured through the entirety of the song helps with that. The chorus, of course, stick with me strongly from the first time that I heard it in a preview, I couldn’t get it out of my head! Apart from some electric guitar and some heavy percussion there really wasn’t anything here that struck me as being particularly “rock-ish” but that was fine with me. At first I honestly thought that there was a part of the song missing towards the end as it had this abrupt start and stop to it and I’m wondering if this was intentional. If so, good going Ayu… 😛

Score – 8

To me, “Melody” is a pretty good calming, mid tempo track. It starts off seemingly stripped down until a larger, grander electrified intro crashes in, when the singing starts however, it goes back to being stripped with pretty much just Ayu’s vocals and acoustic guitar. Of course, slowly but surely, things start to build as we get up to the chorus which unfortunately was a little lackluster for me. I feel like the music’s fine, I just expected Ayu to pull out something better either lyrically or vocally, so I was a little disappointed in that regard. Overall though, I appreciated the more relaxed feel I got from this after coming down from Song 4 U and Missing. It’s a sweet song but I feel like against the other two, it just doesn’t manage to stand out much, still, I enjoy it from time to time.

Score – 7.5

The “Orchestra Version” of Song 4 U seems like it could suit the game well but I don’t think it brings the song itself to new heights. If anything it’s just a bit quieter though at times the grandness of the arrangement brings it to another level not really heard in the original. Normally I really love these versions of Ayu’s song but for this one, I think I vastly prefer the original.

Score – 7

-The Remixes-

Didn’t really care for the “SHINICHI OSAWA Remix” of You & Me. It seems a little too scattered and a little boring because of all the instrumental breaks. I listened to the “Remo-con Remix” a lot and  it’s not my fave but it’s way more cohesive and melodic than the first remix is, I was actually able to dig it.

The “Dubscribe Remix” of Missing was predictable at best but it has its moments. The breakdowns with some vocals were simultaneously annoying as they were interesting to me, I managed to get into it a bit mostly because of how the chorus comes in after each of them.

If there’s any remix worth mentioning on here, it’s the “BROKEN HAZE” remix of Melody. I, wait for it, actually liked this remix. Crazy I know but I do. I genuinely got into it after a few listens. It’s cohesive and gives the song a new sound of course, but also a completely different vibe. The cut vocals and vocals samples along with rearranged vocalizing really impressed me and actually added to extended music breaks. I think i was actually pleased to find a remix I didn’t completely hate, it’s happened sporadically before, though.

Final Note

This mini album is about 3 or 4 tracks short of feeling like a real mini album to me. it’s a maxi-single at best. That being said, even though I like all 3 songs for the most part, they are just kind of OK and I feel like for only having 3 songs it needed something a little better.

Overall Rating

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