Ayumi Hamasaki – L

September 30, 2010 at 6:15 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – L

1. Sweet Season (Original mix)
2. Virgin Road (Original mix)
3. Last angel (Original mix)
4. crossroad (Orchestra version)
5. SEVEN DAYS WAR (Orchestra version)
6. SEVEN DAYS WAR (TK Acoustic Piano version)
7. Sweet Season (Original mix -Instrumental)
8. Virgin Road (Original mix -Instrumental)
9. Last angel (Original mix -Instrumental)

L is the long awaited fiftieth single by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, released on September 29, 2010. It’s her last release of the three-part project to promote this single and it sold 34,796 copies on its first day!

The music of Sweet Season (Original mix) already starts off so happy! I don’t know, but it really sounds like ‘here it is, guys, my fiftieth single!!’, and she even includes some new elements she never used before as far as I know. Right after the chorus, it seems like the violin is playing in a country style! The rest of the musical background is composed of nice percussion, a piano, strings, an electric guitar, a choir and good vocals by Ayumi. Even the bridge is (finally) build upon a GOOD and different electric guitar solo! This entire song sounds all unique, with a great sense of proudness. And believe me, I’m proud of Ayu as well!

Wow, I think Ayumi and her composers were in a good creative mood for some new things, because Virgin Road (Original mix) doesn’t sound like a previous song either (and yes, I’m a bit judging on that because Ayu’s songs easily sound alike). Tetsuya Komuro’s influences are easily recognizeable, because he also worked on <em>crossroad</em> and <em>a song is born </em>among others. This track is another real ballad, and I love the verses and hook most of all because it’s really pretty with a lot of dramatic strings. I was a bit on the fence with Ayu’s vocals during the beginning of the song, but I dropped that judgement after a couple of lines. A pretty long song, but for me, these were some great 6 minutes (and the organ during the end was quite… soothing?)

Okay, I thought Last angel (Original mix) was another strings and piano based ballad, but I have never been so wrong in my entire life! This song is so full of styles, I stopped counting after 5 original transitions. It’s kinda like ‘sexy little things’, it features all kinds of beats and instrumental influences. This song has real pop based verses with a lot of bass in it, but the beat comes on every count during the rest of the song so the whole becomes all electro/dance. The chorus reminds me so much of the A Song for ×× era, so quite a good way to refer to that.

Is she gonna mix every single she releases? Great, because I was already curious about what she was going to do with the ‘crossroad’ songs in the future! But then again I must say I liked the original version for crossroad (Orchestra version) more, because I don’t see why her vocal melody and the musical melody mix together. To me, they just don’t blend. The orchestra version makes the song all blegh. Only the hook sounds like a real great section, but the rest… Now I only love the original version more!

Then I thought the original version of SEVEN DAYS WAR (Orchestra version) didn’t include any elements that were useful for an orchestra at all. The original is a bombastic and grand song, and now it has been toned down a bit to something quite pretty, yet very capturing during the bridge, where it takes on that bombastic and almost military theme again with some drums. I can’t stop loving this song and it’s melody, I adore it. So this song can do me no wrong at all!

Oh goodness, the same song all over again, but then another version. SEVEN DAYS WAR (TK Acoustic Piano version) features only a piano, and I must say it suits the song quite well. Both ‘remixes’ of this song are great, and I can’t choose which one is better. The previous track was awesome because it kept that military theme I already thought of during the original version, and I love this version as well because it’s more vulnerable and simple. And Ayu… including an organ in an acoustic piano song… that’s cheating xD And I bet TK stands for Tetsuya Komuro… I think I’ll never get rid of him xD

Okay, I think my attention has gone back to Ayu for the full 100%. I was doubting if she could present some new material that really appealed to me without sounding like the work she previously did, and with her last two singles, she finally did. The first single for this project, ‘MOON’, was a bit repetitive, so to me that doesn’t count. ‘crossroad’ was amazing and this was even better! And and and… I got TWO versions of my all time favourite Ayu song! How happy can a person possibly be?! I know some of you may disagree, but I think this era is turning out great, and I’m looking forward to Ayu’s next singles and studio album (which I hope will be released in the spring of 2011!). This single? Pure gold!

Favorite tracks: Sweet Season (Original mix) | Last angel (Original mix) | SEVEN DAYS WAR (Orchestra version) | SEVEN DAYS WAR (TK Acoustic Piano version)

OVERALL RATING

5 stars

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