Ayumi Hamasaki – kanariya

March 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – kanariya

1. kanariya “Jonathan Peters’ Vocal Club Mix”
2. kanariya “Struggle Mix”
3. kanariya “HAL’s MIX”
4. kanariya “DJ-TURBO Club Mix”
5. kanariya “Dub’s Energy Mix”
6. Two of us “HAL’s MIX”
7. kanariya “SPAZM Mix”
8. from your letter “pandart sasanooha Mix”
9. kanariya “Big Room Mix”
10. kanariya “HIROSHI’s Nite Clubing Mix”
11. kanariya “Full Vocal Mix”
12. kanariya “Original Mix” – Radio
13. kanariya “Vocal Track”

kanariya is the twelfth single released by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki on December 8, 1999. The song was originally a hidden track on LOVEppears. This single reached #3 on the Oricon charts and charted for six weeks. It sold 289,200 copies, becoming the #92 single of 2000. It is the first re-cut single in the history of the Oricon to reach the #1 position.

Omg ten minutes for a remix, are you kidding me? kanariya “Jonathan Peters’ Vocal Club Mix” is definitely the longest remx I’ve ever seen, but here we go. After two and a half minutes of repetition (but a nice beat with some good synth arrangements) Ayu finally drops in. From there, the remix becomes better and better and I love how they kept in the background vocals to make the remix less static. Despite the length (this remix should’ve shifted places with the “Original Mix” to be honest), I think this remix is pretty hot!

kanariya “Struggle Mix” opens in a very gritty and aggressive way with lots of synths and it takes the ballad that kanariya originally is to a entirely different world. Ofcourse I have listened to this single many times before and this remix was the one that I remembered bes afterwards, and after 13 tracks! It’s one of Ayu’s stronger remixes and the best ballad song to turn into a remix song without it being too ovious. This stuff is incredible work.

Finally HAL’s gets it right with kanariya “HAL’s MIX”. I found most of his remixes downright dull, but this one is really epic with the synth riffs and the nice melody they take on in the instrumental part. The siren in the background is the only thing that annoys me a bit, but not that much all the same. HAL created an entirely different melody for the chorus and it actually fits the song. Maybe the guy can still do something right.

kanariya “DJ-TURBO Club Mix” takes its time before it actually gets started, but the beat during the first part of the song was very nice and different until the synths come in and the remix takes on a standard dance/trance sound. Ayumi is overruled by the music, which is way too dominant throughout the entire remix. I mean, I like the aggressive arrangement but if it lows Ayu away, something’s definitely not right. Not a complete disaster though.

And there’s Dub again.. kanariya “Dub’s Energy Remix” doesn’t go straight to the point either. The thing is, it’s just a nice and less dominant remix than the previous one. What I didn’t like about the remix, is that there’s no build-up towards the chorus. The rest of the remix was pretty well done with some nice synth elements in there that I really liked though.

It’s been a while since we’ve last heard from this track, and now it appears as Two of us “HAL’s MIX” (we just can’t seem to get rid of HAL). I liked the original very much, it was Ayu’s first ballad that was actually GOOD. I’m glad to see that the remix is a laid back one, no 180 changes here, it’s like a little tribute to the song. It keeps its poppy sound but HAL added some more synths to the music. A very nice remix!

When I saw SPAZM in the title I though of a crazy fast paced dominant remix, but kanariya “SPAZM Mix” is quite alright. I actually like the violin note playing in some parts of the song (is that the ‘SPAZM’ they’re talking about? xD). The remix overall is still as fast paced as I expected, but I like the beat in this song because it’s not a standard one (a bass on each count). It features some repetition, but that doesn’t make this remix extremely bad.

I heard the crazy timpani remix of from your letter “pandart sasanooha Mix” before, and I still think it’s crazy random stuff. Still it remains my guilty pleasure each time I hear it and it reminds me of the first time I heard it (I was in France, somewhere around Limoges). The interlude with some unknown people talking wasn’t contributing to the track, but overall it was a fun and unique remix.

kanariya “Big Room Mix” is a long remix again, but nothing will ever top the first track, right? So this remix focuses on synths above all, and it’s more of a trance remix with a bass/high hat beat. It also appears on the ‘LOVE ~Destiny~’ single and I seemed to like it back then as much as I do now. It’s very instrumental, but not boring because this is one of the few remixes to feature the unknown male singer and background vocals. They make the remix more melodic than just a computer generated thing.

A standout remix on this single has to be kanariya “HIROSHI’s Nite Clubing Mix”. Not only does it feature more main vocals, the male vocalist with his English lines and the background singers, the remix opens with the English lines while a softer beat is playing. This puts the entire song kanariya in a different light, because now Ayu will come in later than the male vocalist. I like how this remix isn’t very aggressive (not even a real clubbing mix of you ask me).

kanariya “Full Vocal Remix” is another club remix and in my opinion its beginning is kinda static. The synths constantly play the same note over and over again, and it’s almost like Ayu’s singing and the beat didn’t go very well together (a pretty bad pasting job). Again no build-up to the chorus, and an explosion of music in the strangest places. Not the best remix on the single.

And finally the original ballad song kanariya “Original Mix” -Radio Edit-, and it will surprise many that it’s more of a pop/R&B song, which is very unusual for Ayu. The use of an acoustic guitar in this song is soothing, especially with the background adlibs by the BKGD vocalists. After all the remixes, this slow song doesn’t stand out that much, so in this tracklist, I would choose some of the remixes over the original (and I’m sure I’ll think otherwise when I hear this song on LOVEppears).

kanariya is a lovely song, and it has some of the greatest remixes ever. And some of the worst too. It’s never either just good or just bad *sighs*. Luckily, the good outnumbered the bad here, and this is one of the best singles of the LOVEppears era. And it’s only a bonus track on the album! The original song is simple but it has so much charm, and some of it really came back in its remixes. Overall I’m very satisfied with this one.

OVERALL RATING

4 stars

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