Ayumi Hamasaki – For My Dear…

December 1, 2011 at 9:33 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – For My Dear…

1. For My Dear… “Original Mix”
2. For My Dear… “Acoustic Version”
3. A Song for ×× “she shell REPRODUCTION”
4. FRIEND II “JAZZY JET MIX”
5. As if… “Dub’s L.B.M. Remix”
6. For My Dear… “Original Mix” (Instrumental)
7. For My Dear… “Acoustic Version” (Instrumental)

For My Dear… is the fourth single by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, released on October 7, 1998. For My Dear… was used as the Morinagaseika “Merenge Chocola” CM song. This single reached #9 on the Oricon charts, charted for seven weeks and sold a total of 74,440 copies. The single was re-released in 2001 on a 12cm format with extra remix songs. This time around the single reached #33 and charted for two weeks.

For My Dear… “Original Mix” is also a single that was not very well known to me most of the time because it belongs to her first era (and I’m mostly interested in the newest eras). Somehow I always detested her first notes in the song because her vocals are so high pitched, almost shrieking, but now I think it’s not too bad after all. The music makes up for everything nonetheless, I love the overall composition with a piano melody, guitar, strings and soft percussion and how it builds into something more powerful during the second chorus. The chorus can get a little repetitive after a while, but overall this is (in my case) an underrated song if you ask me.

Most of the acoustic versions turn out better than the orignal one, but I’m a little bit on the fence with For My Dear… “Acoustic Version”. I don’t know what that piano player does, but sometimes the piano melody doesn’t fit Ayu’s vocal melody at all. The one original thing is the xylophone playing softly in the background throughout the song and having a bigger role in the bridge. It’s a mediocre acoustic version, the arrangement is too chaotic to my taste.

I like what they did to Ayumi’s vocals in A Song for ×× “she shell REPRODUCTION”, I always thought they were excellent for vocoder and autotune effects. The percussion might have a bit too much distortion effects, but the overall pop/rock flavor of the song (very true to the original) is very likeable. The original song is also one I have started to like more and more, not only because of how it sounds but because of it’s meaning.

FRIEND II “JAZZY JET MIX” starts off pretty creepy, and it almost reminds me of outer space things. The actual remix song is a complete 180 from that with lots of cheerful brassy elements and synths. I don’t think I’m a big fan of this remix because it pretty much sticks to one and the same melody throughout the entire song while Ayumi’s vocals are very melodious. It’s an original remix considering the arrangement but it needs some variations in my opinion.

Luckily, As if… “Dub’s L.B.M. Remix”  stays more true to the original song. The differences are that this version is a bit more laid back, so that means less bombastic, and I think I may like it even more than the original. I like Ayu’s vocals so much better when she sings in this lower pitch, and the musical arrangement also keeps the melodious elements from the original album version. This one makes up for the previous.

This single was the first for me to be considered a little more average than the previous three, which were pretty awesome. The original song For My Dear…  was pretty, but then the acoustic version was all over the place and the remix for FRIEND II was pretty damn aweful. The other remixes were very good, so there’s a big amount of contrast on this single. Thank God the positive aspects rule out the negative, if you ask me.

OVERALL RATING

3½ stars

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