Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE again

03/06/2013 at 7:05 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | 2 Comments
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Ayumi Hamasaki - LOVE again

~Album~

Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE again

1. Wake me up

2. Song 4 U

3. Missing

4. SAKURA

5. Melody

6. task’n’bass

7. Bye-bye darling

8. snowy kiss

9. Sweet scar

10. petal

11. glasses

12. untitled for her… story 2

13. Gloria

14. Ivy

15. You & Me

~

So Ayumi and Co. angered a lot of fans with this release as it included every track from the two mini albums she had just put out and naturally only had a few new tracks, like I said in my again review, I couldn’t care less.  At this stage I feel like Ayu could release stuff in any way she wants to and if I get a good song or two out of it then I’m happy.

~

Wake me up” is still my jam, I wish it were summer so I could jam to this on the way to the beach like Ayu does in the video. Hopefully you all won’t mind me not going in depth AGAIN on these tracks because I reviewed them DAYS ago. If you want the full shebang then click the links.

Score – 9.5

Again “Song 4 U” is the superior game theme, but I still wish it were somehow better.

Score – 8.5

I’m ashamed to say how much less I like”Missing” now compared to when I first heard it, I mean don’t get me wrong I still love the song but I was trying to listen to that jive in my sleep back when I had first heard that preview. I’d have to say I’ve come down a bit from that high.

Score – 8

“SAKURA” works well as being the first new track on the album in that it’s pretty safe for Ayumi. A traditional ballad, of course with a name like that. It’s got a calming intro of solely Ayu and piano which bulds up to a grander arragnement nicely. The atrings and Ayu’s vocals make the chorus really nice to listen to and it sounds really heartfelt. Unfortunately I feel that the chorus was really the only thing that was memorable about the song. Everything else kind of faded and paled in comparison.

Score – 7.5

Still love that “Melody” is laid back in sound and think this is probably the best place for it on this album

Score – 7.5

“task’n’bass” is giving me more of that sweet electro guitar, rock style that I first really got wind of with taskebab from Party Queen. Once again, making me really wish that one of those was a real, full length song. It works really well in setting the tone for the next two tracks.

Score – 8.5

“Bye-bye darling” comes in strong with its high energy an prominent bass. It has elements to it that reminds me of kiss’o’kill which is one of my favorite songs off of Ayu’s album Secret. I always like upbeat rock-ish tracks from Ayu because most of the time she sounds really cool. The vocals are fast yet there’s a calmness about it where you know she’s in control.

Score – 9

“snowy kiss” is still one of Ayu’s better intense songs in recent memory, alongside with a fair bit off of Party queen.

Score – 9

“Sweet scar” is just great because of it’s simplicity, in a world with so much going on in songs these days, it’s a nice change

Score – 9

The strings in “petal” instantly gave me this dystopian Victorian feel at first. As the song goes on, however, it feels more melancholic in general than anything, I love metaphorical songs and poems so Ayu’s mentioning of a flower and its petals was cool to me, along with the chorus lines of “He loves me, he loves me not” and “if only it would land on he loves me” and especially the change-up on the last chorus, a cliffhanger if you will. “If it lands on he loves me not…” I kind of like when Ayu does stuff like that.

Score – 8.5

Once again hearkening back to a past album, “glasses” gives me serious disco-munication vibes. Of course that interlude was off of Ayu’s NEXT LEVEL album. The beats are intriguing, the synth is interesting and the vocal sampling and cuts are awesome as it meshes in with the piano keys flawlessly.My one and only complain about glasses is that it has no place being here on the album, it feels like it should have been somewhere else or on a different album altogether. So even though I really like it, I got to say it loses points for that.

Score – 7

It felt a little awkward to go from the jumpiness of glasses to the calming string intro of “untitled for her… story 2” but I got over it fairly quickly. Soft piano and vocals replace the strings as Ayu sings softly and calmly. You can really feel and hear the emotion and tenderness in Ayu’s voice, especially during the chorus, after which an instrumental break suddenly features percussion and electric guitar before becoming calm again which, while seemingly out of place at first, just made sense to me in the end. Again I hate comparing songs but I think the first untitled for her off of GUILTY was just a tad better than this.

Score – 7.5

In the same vein of MY ALL and Red Line ~for TA~ comes “Gloria”, which might just be my favorite of the album tracks. A medium, pop-rock track that’s fairly predictable but most of all it’s positive. It has an anthem like sound to it that’s really uplifting and that’s something that really resonated with me. I think that my only complaint is that I wish she had chosen to end the album with it. Though I can see a case for Ivy…

Score – 9

So the lyrics in “Ivy” give me insight as to why she might have wanted the album to end with it though I still feel as if it should have been Gloria here, no real shade though, it’s a good song too.

Score – 8

“You & Me” was released LAST summer in Ayu’s Summer best album, essentially in lieu of a proper summer single like we almost always get. Therefor, I never reviewed it. I’m not totally sure what it’s even doing here on this album though so I guess I’ll consider it to be a bonus track. Regardless, I feel like it was Ayu’s attempt to capitalize on a particularly popular Summer sound with her own flair. I felt like she accomplished this with a fair degree of success. In all honesty I hated the song at first, but after being a bit bombarded with it on LOVE it grew on me a little. It has it’s faults but there’s a little bit about it that I like.

Score – 6.5

Final Note

See now while I am slightly disappointed with the low number of new songs, I’m more intrigued about how many different songs on past albums reminded me of songs on here. I wouldn’t say I mind as there are certain types of songs that will never get old to me, but I would hate to think that Ayu is relying to heavily on what has worked for her in the past though I can’t say I blame her. Not saying the songs on here aren’t good but I would love for her to take some time off between releases, gather herself and then really wow me. Though I feel like a broken record because even though I love new music from Ayu, I keep finding myself saying that. I feel like this album is a bit of a downgrade from Party queen but still a good release.

Overall Rating

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2 Comments »

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  1. Great review, well done! I’m afraid to say I’ve been rather disappointed with this new album by Ayumi, not because of half of the songs already appearing on those mini albums, but because I don’t think any of the tracks jump out at me. I don’t find any of them memorable or exciting in any way. Maybe next time will be better. And you’re right, I also prefer “Party Queen” to this.

    Look forward to reading more reviews!

  2. It’s always so funny to see an opinion that is a bit different from mine, haha! I loved this album, I live for songs like Wake me up, SAKURA, Melody and Bye-bye darling. I didn’t like Party Queen that much so this was a welcome release, it doesn’t matter half of the songs were already on the mini’s. Loved your review!


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