Ayumi Hamasaki – Far away

June 19, 2012 at 8:35 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – Far away

1. Far away “Original Mix”
2. Far away “CRAFTY Remix”
3. Far away “Main Radio Mix”
4. appears “Junior’s Club Mix”
5. Far away “HΛL’s MIX 2000”
6. Far away “Ocean View Remix”
7. End roll “da urban maestro mix”
8. Far away “Huge mutual-tried mix”
9. Far away “POP ‘e.a.’ Mix II”
10. Far away “Dub’s Mute & Feedback Remix”
11. Far away “Original Mix -Instrumental-”

Far away is the fifteenth single by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, released on May 17, 2000. This single reached #2 on the Oricon charts and charted for 13 weeks. It sold 510,460 copies, becoming the #43 single of 2000.

The male vocalist constantly chanting ‘now’ in the opening phase of Far away “Original Mix”, and after that throughout the song, is really annoying but I can live with it since the rest of the song is quite okay. It’s a strong track, too heavy to be called a ballad but not very uptempo either. It does take on a bit of a winter ballad ambience during the middle section of the song though, and the entire feel of the song is very magical. I like the heavier details of the electric guitar in the background, while the piano plays a much lighter melody. Very good track.

In my opinion, Far away “CRAFTY Remix” starts off with some pretty odd moaning, but it turns out to be an amazing electro remix with a futuristic sound to it which I really love. There’s a lot of the original song in there, not much copying and pasting, but the addition of the altered male vocals is great.

The Far away “Main Radio Mix” is a lot faster and heavier, moving more towards the trance genre. There’s a lot of synths and high hat in this remix, and it’s a little too bad those instruments sometimes overpower Ayu’s vocals, especially the synths. But overall, this is a very strong and cool remix again.

It seems like we’ll never get rid of ‘appears’, and I’ve heard that song so many times I know it by heart and it starts to irritate me. And oh look, the remix is almost ten minutes long! Joy. appears “Junior’s Club Mix” takes a damn long time to get starte but the introduction sounds like a nice trance/samba mix. Heavy synths come in, and Ayu herself doesn’t show up until three minutes. Quite an empty remix, butI kinda like the little samba elements.

Far away “HΛL’s MIX 2000” is much heavier then I expected it to be! This remix has such a fast and loud beat, the electric guitar is involved and there’s also a synth melody somewhere in the background, damn! That’s a lot! But it sure kicks ass. It’s not a remix I would listen to very often because it kinda blows up my head, but still HΛL did a good job.

The next remix is such a breath of fresh hear after the previous explosion. Far away “Ocean View Remix” is a very chill R&B remix with a nice deep beat to it and some electric guitar and synth details somewhere in the background, but very softly. It tends to get a bit boring after a while, but still I like it because of it’s unique sound compared to the rest of the remixes.

End roll “da urban maestro mix” is also a pretty nice addition to this single, for I loved the original to death. It’s like the previous track in some wa, very urban and R&B-ish, but it’s a lot faster and has more punch to it. The piano chords were amazing, it gave the original such a twist.

Far away ‘Huge mutual-tried mix” started off like a 90s Nintendo theme song, but who cares, it’s cute. That cute Nintendo style keeps going throughout the track, also including some phone rings and a deep beat. It sounds a little dated thanks to those little synths riffs and the remix is very short at a little over three minutes, but it’s very nice.

In Far away “POP ‘e.a.’ Mix II” the beat is a lot faster, it has very nice synth accents and they gave the singing melody a different timing at one point which makes it sound very different from the original as well. I guess I’m in a remix mood at the moment because I seem to like this one pretty much. Not that it’s something special, I just don’t hate it at all.

The introduction to Far away “Dub’s Mute & Feedback Remix” started out pretty smooth, but I laughed my ass off when they mixed in the ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ theme song as a whistle sound!! xD  The rest of the remix has a sort of reggae island vibe which was very enjoyable, although it tends to drag after a while. But there isn’t another track like this one, it was pretty awesome thanks to that little whistle theme!

Surprisingly enough, I think Far away is so much better than Ayu’s previous single vogue, really. The remixes on this single were waaaay better, the arrangements flowed better and there wasn’t a single one that featured that annoying copy-and-paste strategy. Some of the remixes were quite relaxing, either R&B or reggae, but the faster techno and electro remixes were very good as well. I love this single!

OVERALL RATING

4½ stars

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