Ayumi Hamasaki – WHATEVER

February 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – WHATEVER

1. WHATEVER “version M”
2. WHATEVER “version J”
3. WHATEVER “Ferry ‘System F’ Corsten vocal extended mix”
4. appears “JP’s SoundFactory Mix”
5. immature “D-Z DUAL LUCIFER MIX”
6. WHATEVER “version M -Instrumental-”
7. WHATEVER “version J -Instrumental-”

WHATEVER is the sixth single by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, released on February 10, 1999. WHATEVER “Version J” was used in Valentine’s Day commercials for 7-Eleven, and WHATEVER “Version M” was the ending theme for the TV show ASAYAN. This single reached #5 on the Oricon charts, charted for nine weeks and sold a total of 189,610 copies.
The single was re-released in 2001 on a 12cm format with extra remix songs. This time around the single reached #28 and charted for three weeks.

This is Ayu’s first single to have more of a techno approach instead of the pop/rock sound on A Song for ××. WHATEVER “version M” is the remix version of the original song, although some say neither of the two versions is the original. I’m not a real fan of this music genre, but I can really dig this track. Ayu is probably the only artist who can make techno/dance/electronic music enjoyable for me. I’m just a bit on the fence with her freaky adlibbings in the song, it’s kinda pointless, but other than thatt this track is a great hybrid of pumping beats and nice synth riffs (and a piano in the background, wow).

WHATEVER “version J” appears to be the original version of the song according to some sources, and I can understand why. It sounds much more like songs from her previous era and her voice isn’t altered at all in this version. It’s a bit slower paced and relies much more on that pop/rock sound with actual drums and electric guitars. There are, though, still some synths but that’s completely fine. This version is more melodic than “version M” though the tempo of “version M” was better.

I still think I’m crazy to go into all these remixes, but just watch until I reach singles like kanariya and Fly high, THAT’s what I call crazy. Anyway, what bugged me from the start is that in WHATEVER “Ferry ‘System F’ Corsten vocal extended mix” Ayu’s vocals have been strangely altered at some points, already in her first line. Oh well, this remix is instrumental for a major part. There seems to be no escape from the weird adlibbings, but the rest of the remix is okay.

Now one heck of a long remix is appears “JP’s SoundFactory Mix”, and the first 2:20 minutes is all music: beats and synths. The fun thing after Ayu starts to sing, is that in the instrumental parts an acoustic guitar drops in and it kinda tones down the overall dominant sound of the track. I must admit a classical instrument in a dance song makes things right for me very quickly. It’s quite an uplifting remix and I’ve heard much much worse.

The original version is a non-single track, so it’s quite nice to see that it has a remix:immature “D-Z DUAL LUCIFER MIX”. I’m surprised I actually enjoyed this remix very much because at some points it almost bursts and it’s filled with synthesizers. It has a lighter tone in the chorus thanks to a higher pitched synth but overall this remix is pretty hot.

I’m not very enthousiastic about reviewing all those remixes, but I still do it because they tend to surprise me every time. I think I just gotta learn to love them, and Ayu is close to succeeding. I liked the original version of WHATEVER best because it takes after her previous era and that was my guilty pleasure, haha. The other version was also very good, but the Ferry Corsten remix lacked charm if you ask me. The other two were quite alright, so I’d say Ayu did a good job here. Not amazing, but fine.

OVERALL RATING

3 stars

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