Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE again February 21, 2013

Filed under: Ayumi Hamasaki — solarblade @ 2:18 am

loveagain

Track Listing

  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

1. Wake me up

I’m happy that Ayu opened the album with Wake me up because honestly, this is my favorite song she released in the era!  It’s just badass and it has this heavy rock sound that I loved when she pulled it off in “Rock’n’Roll Circus” and “GUILTY”.  I mean yeah, she’s still utilizing her new tone and I’m still trying to get used to it, but here it sounds so mature and just so diva-ish that it works!  Yeah, this was just an amazing song to start things…unfortunately knowing the other songs on here that I’ve heard before, this is kind of a GIANT troll of a song haha

2. Song 4 u

As the leading song from “LOVE”, I wasn’t sure if it made sense that it came after “Wake me up” but the song is kind of nostalgic and kind of brought back the Ayu from the olden days.  I still enjoy the song though and Ayu does sound like pre-“Love songs” so that’s a really good sign.  I just like the drama in this song and it moves so good.  One of the cooler songs too!

3. Missing

Of the songs from the “LOVE” mini-album, Missing was the ballad and the song just kind of whizzed by me because while it does have that Ayu-ballad that works, it didn’t do much for me here.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid ballad and everything and kept Ayu and a nice sound but this song didn’t fo much for me like the previous two tracks did.

4. SAKURA

FINALLY, we get into the album’s first new track with SAKURA.  It’s no surprise that since it’s a themed song that it would be a ballad.  Sadly, the song is pretty basic for Ayu being a piano/strings ballad so it’s just a bit under for me and this song doesn’t really stand out AT ALL for me.

5. Melody

The last song from “LOVE” makes it appearance here and while “Missing” was a bit of a borefest, I was just confused with Melody.  Like I said on the mini-album review, it sounds like it was going back to the beginning of Ayu’s career, but the song just kind of slipped up.  I will admit that the acoustic guitar is a nice touch an as it continues it does get a bit more memorable.  It actually kind of grew on me while “Missing just kind of fizzled out.  So I found its inclusion to be beneficial.

6. task’n’bass

We run into our first interlude on the album and it’s a bit strange being after “Melody” and all, but considering it’s a task___ interlude, they usually never really fit anywhere.  This is definitely an interesting electro/dubstep interlude but on an album like this, it’s a bit off-putting.  By itself, it’s a really cool and dramatic change of pace and I love the synths and beats here.  Strange placing and strange overall.

7. Bye-bye darling

I have to say though, that my favorite of the new tracks is definitely Bye-bye darling.  I love that the song kind of has that rockin’ edge that some of her past works has and I immediately think of “evolution” and “until that day…” with this song.  It’s not aggressive as like “Wake me up” but for amping the album back up, this did a pretty good job and Ayu just sounds great once again!  Good song.

8. snowy kiss

I think “again” really had the best songs Ayu did in quite a long time, snowy kiss was just something so impressive and cool even if the title screams ballad.  This track has such a great dance beat going for it along with the strings that flowed in and out of the arrangement.  It is slightly long so prepare for that, but this is a good song (even though the remix on “again” is SO MUCH BETTER”).

9. Sweet scar

Once again, I am a little confused on why Sweet scar is after “snowy kiss” but it’s whatever.  This track is another ballad and after the other ballads we’ve heard already on the album, this is kind of just a bit unmemorable for me, but this song kind of ranks lower because I keep thinking the song wants to build up to awesomeness but yet it just DOESN’T.  That’s probably my biggest disappointment at the song, but it’s not too bad, just wish it had a stronger impact.

10. petal

At first when the song started I thought it was kind of Enka-ish, but it’s just a façade for the song.  Now this song is what “Sweet scar” should’ve opted to be because it’s beautiful and has a much broader sound and has a dramatic flow to it.  It’s pretty and it’s kind of playful in a way lmao.  I don’t know, but I kind of liked it!

11. glasses

Moving onto our next interlude, glasses isn’t as random as “task’n’bass” was but it still has its moments of randomness and being between two ballads doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because I felt this would’ve been great between “Bye-bye darling” and “snowy kiss” since it does have that dance-y feel and all that.

12. untitled for her…story 2

If you remember, “untitled~ for her~” was a song originally off of “GUILTY” and was sort-of a tribute to her friend that passed away.  Now why it was given a sequel, well…I have no idea.  This song is pretty melodramatic and has a bunch of strings behind it which is crazy good!  Though the song is kind of very simplistic and after a while it just bores me to death, but this is that kind of emotional track that seems to pull the heartstrings when it wants to.

13. Gloria

Why does the beginning remind me of another Ayu song in her collection?  Either way, the opening has this kind of muffled melody playing in the beginning and I think this might be that lullaby-friendly kind of track.  Then it grows into this mid-tempo rock ballad which is a nice change of pace from the last track.  Still not too impressive, but it’s passable.

14. Ivy

Ugh, ballads…too many of these at the end of the album.  I feel like this track should’ve been closer to “Song 4 u” for some reason…maybe it’s just how similar the two songs are except one is a bit more vibrant than the other.  Ivy back on “again” was just a ballad, here, I’m just so bored with it for some reason.  I figured this would be the end of the album but nooooo.

15. You & Me

However, I’m so confused as to why she would include the song from “A SUMMER BEST” here.  Yes, the original, not the “A CLASSICAL” version (some downloads of the album has it and it’s the WRONG version).  Unlike the last couple of tracks, this isn’t a ballad oddly enough.  It’s strangely enough the most dance-friendly song off the album.  It sounds so strange and it has a certain “LOVEppears” feel.  Strange song and the whole song is a bit odd with the whole naming off days of the week shtick.  I don’t know but this song does not fit the album AT ALL and doesn’t make sense ending the album either…

Tracks Recommended

  • Wake me up
  • Bye-bye darling
  • Song 4 u
  • petal
  • snowy kiss

Song of Avoidance

  • Ivy

I have to say I’m kind of on the fence with Ayu’s latest.  LOVE again seemed to win with the song from the singles more than she did with the new tracks.  I figured, maybe she’d be a little more oomphy, but with LOVE again she slightly missed the mark…though I do think it’s better than her last album, “Party queen” so I guess she did something right lol.

 

20 Responses to “Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE again”

  1. MiZPYRO Says:

    So….my download of this album has the wrong version of You & Me? …Damnit!


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