Ayumi Hamasaki – YOU

November 25, 2011 at 8:45 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – YOU

1. YOU “Original Mix”
2. YOU “Acoustic Version”
3. Wishing “taku’s CHEMISTRY MIX”
4. YOU “MASTERS OF FUNK R&B REMIX”
5. YOU “ORIENTA-RHYTHM CLUB MIX”
6. YOU “Dub’s Uplifting Mix”
7. YOU “Original Mix -Instrumental-”

YOU is Ayumi Hamasaki”s second single, released on June 10, 1998. YOU was used as the CIBAVision “Focus Dailies” CM song and ending theme for the TV Tokyo show ASAYAN. This single reached #20 on the Oricon charts, charted for ten weeks and sold a total of 78,260 copies. The single was re-released in 2001 on a 12cm format with extra remix songs. This time around the single reached #25 and charted for six weeks.

The pop/rock sound in YOU is what got me into this entire era at first, and it remains one of my favorite songs of that time. Especially in the verses, Ayu already shows some more solid vocals than on her previous single (even though she still has to work on some minor flaws but she was just starting out back then). Her 10th Anniversary re-recording is even better, but for an artist that just started out she definitely released a nice sophomore single.

For a 90s song, YOU “Acoustic Version” could pass for a contemporary song if it wasn’t for Ayu’s vocals (which ofcourse sound unalike now). I even think this one is a bit better than the original just because it isn’t that dated and the overall ambience of the song feels better to me. It’s all piano and strings and I love those two kind of instruments together.

I didn’t expect Wishing “taku’s CHEMISTRY MIX” here, but it’s a nice and simple remix with a nice beat to it. I remember Wishing as one of the better songs on A Song for ××, and this remix is a good edit of the original. Most of the time I think of heavily altered eleco beats and lots of synths when I hear the word ‘remix’, but this was pretty acoustic and had a really nice guitar solo near the end.

YOU “MASTERS OF FUNK R&B MIX” also lives up to the previous song’s better aspects (by being a non-electro remix), and I love the R&B feel it indeed has. Sometimes the melody of the background music doesn’t entirely seem to fit Ayu’s vocal melody, but that’s alright.

YOU “ORIENTA-RHYTHM CLUB MIX” comes closer to my actual definition of a remix. Ofcourse, with the original song being a ballad, this remix is also still a bit laid back but it definitely had that electrofied sound to it (because of the synths in the background). Most of the time, the ORIENTA-RHYTHM CLUB MIXes are exotic but this one isn’t. It almost sounds a bit like the previous one but then with just a little bit more power to the instruments.

Now here’s the actual jaw dropping remix I’ve been waiting for (oh crazy me I’m one whimsical mind), YOU “Dub’s Uplifting Mix”. It’s really uplifting indeed, using various segments in the music with different arrangements and it’s 90s dance/electro written all over with lots of beats and synths. Ayu drops in at about 2:45, but the instrumental parts before that were enjoyable too. This remix is the longest, 8:46, but also the most solid of all and very fierce.

Obviously YOU was better than poker face, that’s clear. The ambience of the original song is more moving than her debut song, her vocals were much better (even though she still had much practice ahead of her). The big amount of remixes on her first singles are still not song I look forward to when it comes to reviewing, but these remixes were actually pretty cool and I liked them better than the ones on poker face!

OVERALL RATING

4½ stars

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