Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayumi Hamasaki – sixxxxxx August 17, 2015

Filed under: Ayumi Hamasaki — solarblade @ 4:06 am

sixxxxxx

Track Listing

  1. Step by step
  2. Summer diary
  3. Sayonara feat. SpeXial
  4. Sorrows
  5. Shape of Love
  6. Sky high

1. Step by step

Opening up Ayu’s mini, we have the sort-of promotional track for it (it was released as a digital single back in July).  I wasn’t sure what to expect coming after “A ONE”, but the song sounds like a pretty lively summer tune for her and I kind of enjoyed the mix of strings with this pop/rock sound as well.  I overall thought it was a nice track to open things up with and it’s one of the better songs she’s done in recent.

2. Summer diary

Then we move into Summer diary which I initially thought it was going to be a ballad, but it’s more like a mid-tempo (that sort of harkens back to a more easier settting from “Duty”).  It’s still got the pop/rock accents mixed with the orchestral strings, but I don’t think it stuck as much as “Step by step” did because while it has a certain nostalgic kick to it, it’s really nothing much to gawk at.

3. Sayonara feat. SpeXial

What intrigued me the most was this track because not only it was a collaboration with a C-pop group (that I never heard of mind you) but it was produced by DAISHI DANCE and I wasn’t expecting the tune to be as electronically club-friendly as much as this!  Though I am enjoying this song quite a lot because it’s a change of pace for Ayu and SpeXial actually sounded cool as well!  I’m not sure why, but this song is just up Ayu’s alley (would’ve been cool on “Colours” honestly).  Easily my favorite of the release.

4. Sorrows

Then we get serious with Sorrows which like the title describes is a heartwrenching ballad!  Though I wasn’t expecting the song to open up with a powerful rock chorus which instantly reminded me of “Because of you” from her “Memorial Address” mini.  The tune has a cool buildup and Ayu’s voice suits the dramatic arrangement (though the transition is a bit off for me).  It’s still a pretty edgy song and one of her more powerful songs.

5. Shape of Love

Seems like we finally get our actual ballad in Shape of Love.  I really find myself loving the relaxing acoustic melody here and for some reason once the chorus kicks in, I feel like it reminds me a lot of “SCAR” which is not a bad thing because it was my favorite song off of “Duty”.  Ayu kind of sounds like she did from said song too which is just awesome to hear.  Good song overall!

6. Sky high

At first, I was like doesn’t she already have a song titled this, but I was mistaking this with “Fly high”😄.  Ending the mini-album off, I figured Sky high would be the song that would be obviously poppy and leaves the listener with finality.  I didn’t expect the song to sound a bit like something from 2000’s avex music.  It like a couple other songs from the mini sounds like it came from an older release and I have no problems with that.  Sky high though to me sounds slightly generic, but in the way that it sticks out nicely here to kind of stand out.  Decent song to close it off.

I was surprised when Ayu announced she was releasing sixxxxxx just 3 months after “A ONE” which was a pretty decent album overall.  Despite being just 6 songs, this mini-album was actually quite refreshing and in some respects better than the aforementioned album.  A lot of the tracks (like Sorrows, Sky high, and Summer diary) felt almost nostalgic to me and brought out the reasons why I fell in love with her music.  Even the other 3 tracks were good tunes in their own right too!  Not bad Ayu, not bad!

 

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