Ayumi Hamasaki – Boys & Girls

March 23, 2012 at 8:17 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – Boys & Girls

1. Boys & Girls (MAD FILTER MIX)
2. Boys & Girls (AUBE Original Mix)
3. Boys & Girls (Higher Uplift Mix)
4. LOVE ~Destiny~ (TODD’S LOVERS COVERSION)
5. Boys & Girls (HAL’s Mix)
6. Boys & Girls (Melt Down Dub Mix)
7. TO BE (Bright Mix)
8. Boys & Girls (D-Z PSYCHEDELIC ASSASSIN MIX)
9. Boys & Girls (Dub’s club Remix)
10. Boys & Girls (AUBE Original Mix Instrumental)

Boys & Girls is Hamasaki Ayumi’s ninth single. Boys & Girls was used as the Kao “AUBE” lipstick CM song, featuring Hamasaki in the commercial. This single reached #2 on the Oricon charts in its first week, and #1 on the next three weeks. It sold 1,033,390 copies in 1999, becoming the #11 single of the year. It charted for 17 weeks and sold a total of 1,037,950 copies, making it her first single to sell over a million copies. This single is also Hamasaki’s first to chart on the United World Charts.

REMIX CRAZE OHMYGOD. That almost took away my motivation to continue reviewing this era, but oh well let’s make the most of it. She already opens the single with Boys & Girls (MAD FILTER MIX), which relies mostly on many synth riffs overlapping each other, a fast beat and repetition of Ayu’s distorted voice (‘Yoku kuchi ni shite iru..‘). Sometimes they repeat random pieces of the song and I don’t know why, but it still sounds pretty cool.

Boys & Girls (AUBE Original Mix), or in other words the one that can pass for the ‘original song’. This is definitely one of my favorite songs from Ayu’s earlier career, although it sounds pretty dated to us now. It’s like a rock/dance hybrid with electric guitars, synths and percussion and it could also have fit on her first album to be honest. The different synth sounds are what makes this song most interesting, Ayu’s vocals are a little too shrieking for that.

Which takes us to the longest remix on this single (10 minutes in length.. give me strength…): Boys & Girls (Higher Uplift Mix). It starts off with mostly percussion and Ayu singing ‘nanana‘ like she does in the original song at the very beginning. The synth pitch and melody are a bit more mysterious so the name for this remix isn’t very well chosen if you ask me.. But it puts the song in a totally different light, including some more aggressive synth parts a piano interlude that sounded really good. This remix manages to work with the original melody instead of working against it. Those 10 minutes were actually bearable!

The first time LOVE ~Destiny~ gets its own remix: LOVE ~Destiny~ (TODD’S LOVERS COVERSION). It’s quite an odd remix after three trance remixes because it’s R&B, including an (awkward) rapper. Still it’s very soothing, including Ayu’s vocals which remain untouched luckily. Pretty oldschool, and it’s a shame the rapper was featured because otherwise it would’ve been a perfect ‘cooling down’ remix.

Boys & Girls (HAL’s Mix) is a walking contradiction. It starts off very mysterious with low synths and a piano, then it suddenly slows down with an unpleasant and unexpected slow beat, to finally speed up again. I don’t know what this guy had in mind but it took me a while to actually warm up to this remix, which has some really random arrangement changes.

Boys & Girls (Melt Down Dub Mix) features an interesting deep beat with a lot of bass and some electric guitar accents, but the remix itsself is uninteresting because of the constant repetition. It’s not very long, with almost 5 minutes in length, but it’s 5 minutes of complete boredom. All music, Ayu rarely drops in.

Wait… what? Another reggae remix for TO BE?! Still I prefer the other reggae remix over TO BE (Bright Mix) because the music totally works against the original melody in the verses. Things become quite alright as soon as the pre-chorus and chorus come along, but the verses are a disaster. If the melody in the verses would’ve been fixed, this remix would’ve been a great relaxing track after the previous two. Not completely terrible, but I expected much much more.

Boys & Girls (D-Z PSYCHEDELIC ASSASSIN MIX) features a slightly different melody than the original song, but it’s much deeper and it works pretty well! I’m glad the song wasn’t seperated into several different parts that would’ve been shuffled and repeated in other remixes, this time the song actually kept playing. This remix is the most aggressive one considering the use of synths and beats, but there’s another great piano interlude in here too. The only weird part is the one around 3:00 where they created a weird adlib for some random Ayu vocals. Hm.. still overall a good remix.

Boys & Girls (Dub’s club remix) isn’t very special. It’s very toned down and it features a simple beat, not much synths (although there is one fun synth part that I really liked) and actually it’s the same keyboard melody all the way through, except for the parts where Ayu struts her stuff. This track consists of several ‘filler moments’, featuring the notorious keyboard/piano melody.

Basically… I know ‘Boys & Girls’ by heart after hearing about seven renditions of the song.. xD  The original will always remain my favorite out of the bunch, but then again I (almost) always prefer the original song over its remix(es). I knew Ayu used a lot of remixes on her singles in her first eras, but this definitely was a lot, and the worst isn’t over! Still I’m not sure whether I should use the word ‘worst’, because some of the remixes aren’t bad at all, such as the ‘MAD FILTER MIX’ and ‘D-Z PSYCHEDELIC ASSASSIN MIX’. Some remixes definitely could’ve been more, but most of them weren’t total disasters. Damn I need a different song now xD

OVERALL RATING

3 stars

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