Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVEppears August 31, 2008

Filed under: Ayumi Hamasaki — solarblade @ 4:49 am
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loveppears

Track Listing

CD1

  1. Introduction
  2. Fly high
  3. Trauma
  4. And Then
  5. Immature “Album Version”
  6. Boys & Girls
  7. TO BE
  8. End roll
  9. P.S II
  10. WHATEVER “Dub’s 1999 Club Remix”
  11. too late
  12. appears “Album Version”
  13. monochrome
  14. Interlude
  15. LOVE ~refrain~
  16. Who…
  17. Kanariya (secret track)

CD2

  1. Ayu’s Euro Mega-Mix (Y&Co. Mix)
  2. Ayu’s House Mega-Mix (N.S House Mix)
  3. A Song For XX (Millenium Mix)
  4. Powder Snow (Acoustic Orchestra Mix)
  5. Friend II (Make My Mad Mix)

1. Introduction

Oh friggin sweet, the album starts off on a very good note with the intro, which is very trance-like and Ayu comes in for a repeated phrase, but the sound is so sweet and then it leads perfectly into…

2. Fly high

Fly high, which is like “Depend on you” but with more synths.  I think the chorus is where the song really stands out for me and is loud and sweet.  Ayu does some rapping or just plain fast lyrics.  The song is a pretty great start to the album and already shows the difference between her previous album.

3. Trauma

I definitly fell in love with Trauma’s affectious sound.  As it is most memorable as the tie-in for Chobits.  Trauma has a more pop sound to it sounds quite nice with strings also being in it as well.  Though the chorus didn’t stand out for me except for the last half of it.  Definitly a solid track.

4. And Then

The introduction is a very dark synth line which really puts this song for some interesting happenings.  It’s sadly a bit on the boring side of the dance genre.  The chorus has some odd chords in it and Ayu is clearly straining to hit some of the notes, but it isn’t as bad as some of her earlier tracks.  This is a very odd track but still has some good qualities.

5. Immature “Album version”

Wow, this opening is very creepy, but very fitting.  The synths featured in this track is very nice and once again, has a smooth dance quality to it.  This is more better than “And Then” which was almost at the same tempo, but this was executed so much better.  Ayu’s girly voice actually fit well in a song like this and then music had a nice beat to it and got some piano in it as well.  A much more effective track.

6. Boys & Girls

I’m sorry but I really didn’t like the track as much.  The chorus was just purely annoying to my ears and she was pinching some of her notes.  Musically, it was more surprising with guitars and synths in the mix.  In the end, this song was just so piercing to me.  The bridge does get some brownie points though, probably my favorite part of the song.

7. TO BE

Finally, taking the dance genre off, we get a somewhat of a ballad track.  Sadly, I can never remember how it sounds and then I have to turn it on just to remember it.  It’s a more honest track from her and the soothing instrumentation helps the song out alright.  Ayu still has some vocal issues as she still can’t sing higher pitched notes very well.  I liked hearing acoustic guitar through the song as well adding a more organic sound.

8. End roll

Then we start off by making a winter-like state of mind in End roll.  Also it’s a piano ballad which is a nice change.  There’s still synths don’t get me wrong, but they play a minor role this time.  The song is just isn’t memorable to me as well, though I like the guitar solo.  For the most part I thought this was mainly filler.

9. P.S II

Comparing to “Powder Snow” from “A Song For XX”, the sequel is just odd and kind of unfitting.  It just was kind of disappointing and the instrumentaion was just very strange…I loved the original, but this was kind of wrong.  Ayu’s voice sounds alright, but the overbearing percussion just bothered me.  Possibly my least favorite from the album.

10. WHATEVER “Dub’s 1999 Club Remix”

Not even featuring either versions found on it’s single, WHATEVER got remixed again and made it more trancier than either of the two originals.  To be honest I enjoyed the more futuristic sound found on this song.  Though the intro is long-winded it leads to Ayu singing with just piano and then she repeats and repeats….The song then gets better with the beats again, very nice.  Her ad-libbing is so cool, very strong remixed track she has and very long passing 7 min.

11. too late

I could never figure out why the beginning sounded so familiar.  Ayu’s using a megaphone and it’s nice how she transfers into the full voice.  The chorus is just weird and just kind of sounded odd.  The instrumentation is more along the lines of something you’d hear in FFX-2, omg the inderlude in the middle is very surprising and actually worked.  Good song, overall.

12. appears “Album Version”

appears is so weird in the beginning and very quiet too.  Was this a winter track?  Not that I’m fond of them, but they just seem too close too each other.  Yea, this track does not standout for me at all.   I just thought it wasn’t as good as the other tracks.  I guess with the guitar, it does make a little more sense.  *hasn’t heard the original*

13. monochrome

Oh man, do I love monochrome.  I love the drum beginning for sure.  The song still has dance properties but there’s piano featured as well.  The percussion can get in the way of her vocals sometimes but they aren’t too loud.  It’s got a meloncholic feel to it and she displays it well, I must say.  The ending was so surprising because it just ends point blank.  The single version has a guy saying no your not and shutting a door which marked the end.  So I was disappointed that they cutted it.

14. Interlude

I didn’t like the interlude as much as “Introduction”.  All it is is more synth playing and a more space-like atmosphere as well and that’s it where it leads pretty oddly into.

15. LOVE ~refrain~

It’s a solo version of “LOVE ~Destiny~” and a different accompainment as well as some lyrical changes.  This song is strange on the album because there’s no synth in it and is R&B actually.  It’s soothing to hear but there was just no spark to it.  I would have had the original than this song.

16. Who…

We are on our final track, and not surprisingly it’s a ballad and it’s a staple track in her concerts and I can understand, it’s beautifully written and beautifully sang.  Ayu really sounds pretty good and using very good vibrato for the first time.  It gets louder as the song goes on and gets more better….Then I wonder why the song is uber long….oh wait it ends and there’s a long period of silence until…

17. Kanariya

Where she starts with BKGD singers.  It’s a more R&B track and to be exact there’s some soothing parts of the song.  Then the chorus hits and she’s straining terribly.  Though I love the dreaminess the song is promoting, and it ends pretty fast…I’m surprised of this and was disappointed that it was really short.

CD2

1. Ayu’s Euro Mega-Mix (Y&Co. Mix)

  • WHATEVER [Sentimental Mix]
  • Trust [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • YOU [Aggressive Mix]
  • Boys & Girls [A Eurosenti Mix]
  • Trust [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • End roll [ayu-ro Extended Mix]
  • Boys & Girls [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • YOU [Aggressive Mix]
  • Fly high [Euro-Power Mix]
  • Depend on you [Extended Power Mix]
  • Trust [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • Trauma [Eurobeat Mix]
  • too late [Euro-Power Mix]
  • WHATEVER [Euro Power Mix]
  • monochrome [ayu-ro Extended Mix]
  • Depend on you [Extended Power Mix]
  • poker face [Extended Power Mix]
  • Trust [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • Boys & Girls [A Eurobeat Mix]
  • End roll [ayu-ro Extended Mix]
  • YOU [Aggressive Mix]

So I don’t know all of the tracks, until I do the album where these remixes came from.  The only one i really recognized is YOU (Aggressive Mix) which was used at the start and at the end of this 10 minute dancefest.  ^_^ Surprised they also used the song at the 2 minute mark, I noticed Depend on You was used right after YOU….Though kill me for not noticing any of them…All I know is that she incorporated songs from this album and the previous.  They all actually connected pretty well.  Damn look at all those tracks though, some of them are just instrumental moments but some of them are fully implemented.  Like I said only a certain few I really knew of.

2. Ayu’s House Mega-Mix (N.S House Mix)

  • Boys & Girls (Dub’s club Remix)
  • Hana (D-Z Deadly Rose Approach)
  • FRIEND II (MAKE MY MAD MIX)
  • too late (Razor ‘N Guido Remix)
  • SIGNAL (Y&Co. TASTE) (intro)
  • SIGNAL (Groove That Soul Mix)
  • monochrome (Dub’s full color Remix)
  • poker face (Spiritual Guidance Mix)
  • Trauma (Heavy Shuffle Mix)
  • Depend on you (dub’s electro remix)

Alright, so you know the deal, 10 minutes as well and truthfully, I didn’t enjoy this mix as much as the one above.  There’s more fancy and controlled sounds in this mish-mash of mixes of various songs.  I’ll review the album as well so don’t worry right now.  Notice, the song is just as long as the first yet, there’s less songs meaning more time on each one

3. A Song For XX (Millenium Mix)

The remix of A Song For XX is a bit different than the original as it has guitars in it making it a more powerful song.  I actually enjoyed the remix a lot more than the original.  It made the song sound more complete IMO.  Very good track.

4. Powder Snow (Acoustic Orchestra Version)

This was actually the version of “Poweder Snow” I’m used to…This actually sounded like snow falling in the song, it’s a strong track for being an a different version.  Ayu sounds very sweet and doesn’t quite get nasally.  This should have been the main track, very nice from Ayu.

5. Friend II (Make My Mad Mix)

As surprising this remix was, this was by far the coolest remix on this CD.  It’s very dark and aggressive and kinda has some hip-hop flavor in it also.  Then these very gritty synths pop up, Damn…that was awesome.  It’s good but isn’t the best remix. ^_^

Tracks Recommended

  • monochrome
  • Immature “Album Version”
  • Fly high
  • Friend II (Make My Mad Mix)
  • Trauma

Song of Avoidance

  • P.S II

Ayu’s sophomore album was a blessing for her.  It really was a change of sound from her previous albums and really stuck out from a lot of other artists at the time.  The dance/trance mood she was going for worked out for most of the album and there was some tracks that weren’t even that.  The 2nd CD had 2 remix album previews and 3 remixes of 3 tracks from “A Song for XX” which were pretty good.  Definitly a nice album from the Empress.

 

 

One Response to “Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVEppears”

  1. bucebucethecaboose Says:

    I love this album ❤ The trance sounds she took was great. I love And Then and immature a lot to c: and LOVE~refrain~ grew a lot on me.

    The Y&CO megamix is great, but then the megamix after that was boring, and I didn’t really notice any changes in A Song for xx on this album :B

    I liked this review btw c: very informative and nice~ more detailed than mine lol (mine was a huge sum-up, she had to go ahead and whore out 4 singles + a Quad A-side)


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