Kurayami Monogatari

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Ayumi Hamasaki – TROUBLE August 14, 2018

Filed under: Ayumi Hamasaki — solarblade @ 4:16 am


Track Listing

  1. We are the QUEENS
  2. æternal
  3. WORDS
  4. W
  5. The way I am

1. We are the QUEENS

Not quite sure why Ayu decided to wait for this song over a year (almost 2) to release this song on a physical disc.  Opening the mini-album on an ominous note, We are the QUEENS definitely gives me so grandiose vibes that I haven’t heard since at least “BRILLANTE” happened.  For a 2016 song, We are the QUEENS does give me vibes.  I will say that I wasn’t expecting the tune to move from its grand intro to something electronic and heavy.  The chorus though is a bit too preachy to me, but the song is really exciting regardless and kicks things off on a good note despite being the oldest track here!

2. æternal

First of three new tracks, æternal kind of reminds me of slower songs off of earlier albums like “Duty” and “LOVEppears”.  Not quite sure why it’s giving me that oddly familiar feeling, but the song does sound somewhat from the early 2000s.  I will say that Ayu’s vocals have somewhat found its pacing again and shes sounding like what I’ve listened to for so long.  Not a bad song though and has that kind of nostalgic feel to it.


Released as a concert only single back in 2017, I was also surprised to see WORDS make the cut!  As a ballad, WORDS is kind of more of a lively ballad than others she’s released previously in her career.  Though I was surprised it would widen out once she hits the chorus and it turns into a rock ballad and once again I’m getting early album vibes out of this song (back to even her first album sound), it’s kind of shocking Ayu is diving this far back for the sound of this song (and “æternal” for that matter).  Not bad though!

4. W

As the remaining two tracks are brand new, I was wondering what she’d bring for both and W was a song I wasn’t expecting to hear as it’s more aggressive and heavy sounding (even more than “We are the QUEENS” and Ayu sounds really cool and fits the style just as she did when she tackled rock songs in the past.  Does remind me of “Microphone” but honestly, this was the best off the mini-album.

5. The way I am

Ending off the mini-album, of course it’s not of without one slow ballad to close things out and since Ayu has a plethora of them in her discography, it’s becoming difficult to really tell these ballads apart.  That said, Ayu’s voice sounds the most nasal and unfamiliar to me here, but once again not totally her fault, but because she is slowly becoming deaf so keeping on note is harder.  Yeah this is the only meh song here…



Yes, this release is TROUBLE, that’s for sure.  I mean only 5 tracks (with 2 already previously released as digital/concert songs).  It’s a bit disappointing that Ayu would comeback after a two year break with something that EASILY could’ve just been a glorified single.  I mean other than The way I am, the mini is decent, but familiar territory….I’m just kind of unphased by the release besides We are the QUEENS and W.


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