Ayumi Hamasaki – NEVER EVER

August 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – NEVER EVER

1. NEVER EVER “Original Mix”
2. NEVER EVER “Yuta’s prayer mix”
3. SEASONS “H-H remix”
4. NEVER EVER “PROJECT O.T REMIX”
5. NEVER EVER “Laugh & Peace MIX”
6.NEVER EVER “Empty Pot Shuttlecock wood”
7. evolution “Ayu Can Hear U Mix”
8. NEVER EVER “nicely nice hot stab remix”
9. NEVER EVER “tears of aquarius mix”
10. NEVER EVER “Original Mix -Instrumental-”

NEVER EVER is the twenty-first single by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, released on March 7, 2001. This single reached #1 on the Oricon charts and charted for 12 weeks. It sold 756,980 copies, becoming the #16 single of 2001.

Could NEVER EVER “Original Mix” be one of my favorite Ayumi Hamasaki songs ever? Probably, yes. It has a genius arrangement, starting off very subtle with some cute bells and Ayu’s vocals, but then a heavy rock tune takes over the chorus. Simply amazing how there are so many contrasts in one track, and whoever performed that astounding electric guitar solo in the bridge… I can’t even put my thoughts into words, I’m a fan of this track.

NEVER EVER “Yuta’s prayer mix” is a rather uplifting version of an otherwise slighty haunting song, and it could easily be one of Ayu’s most original remixes. NEVER EVER is a hard song to remix the right way, but this is just pure perfection. The looping synths, a little piano element, the hybrid of softer instruments with the deeper bass sounds, everything about this track is good.

Eurobeat taking over ‘SEASONS’, could it be any more killing? The random guy repeating his ‘Are you ready for the brawl‘ line over and over again… I could shoot him. How much I love the original, I can’t love SEASONS “H-H remix” and I don’t know why it’s so darn popular…

NEVER EVER “PROJECT O.T. MIX” is a very interesting remix, maybe not the best on the single but it has its good moments (besides, everything is good when you heard the previous track). There even is a harp in this remix to give it a little cute touch whenever the synths, scratches and beats stop for a moment. The way they added Ayu’s vocals to the song provided something pretty cool to listen to, quite a nice groove.

Laugh & Peace are back with NEVER EVER “Laugh & Peace MIX”, which is again following their sigature futuristic style they used on their previous Ayu remixes. But I must say I like this one less than those other remixes they did, this one doesn’t have that much personality as the other ones. It’s quite mysterious, yes, but interesting, no.

I just had to giggle, what kind of a title is NEVER EVER “Empty Pot Shuttlecock wood”… x]  Anywayz, the music for this remix isn’t all that bad with a good beat and some underlying strings to add a little harmony to it, the melody made it pretty haunting as well, but when it all comes together the thing just made me yawn. Sorry.

Can’t there ever be a short remix for ‘evolution’… At least evolution “Ayu Can Hear U Mix” is not only the longest remix on the single, it’s also one with the funniest openings. I raised an eyebrow over the strange altered vocals (and the entire first two minutes for a change), but as soon as Ayu herself takes over it keeps getting better. Eventually this turns out to be one of the better remixes for ‘evolution’, with a great sense of energy and interesting parts.

NEVER EVER “nicely nice hot stab remix” is just as strange as the rest of the nicely nice remixes, but this one takes the cake… I don’t know where the heck they were going with their idea for the tempo, but it certainly has issues with mixing the vocals with the music. True, it’s nice to have a 1980s twist on an Ayu song and the music isn’t what bothers me, it sounds great. They should’ve thought of something else when it comes to mixing the vocal.

Finally there is NEVER EVER “tears of aquarius mix”. This remix is original for featured a very slow R&B beat, making the song into some kind of a ballad. That’s something they really had to avoid since the chorus has such strong vocals, now they seem totally out of place. Other than the choruses, the rest of the song is actually quite fitting and I wouldn’t say I hate it or something.

NEVER EVER started out perfectly and promising, I really thought this was gonna be the best one of the entire era, but SEASONS “H-H remix” quickly ruined that for me. Ofcourse this single was way better than ‘evolution’, but it isn’t hard to achieve that. The first two tracks on this single are very recommended, I really loved them a lot and they make up for everything that comes after them. There was just one remix I found irritating, you know which one that is, the rest of the tracks I didn’t like were not bad but simply a little bit too boring to be an actual highlight. Still I’m gonna say ‘favorable’ for this one, for having enough creative and interesting tracks. You figure out for yourself what that means.

OVERALL RATING

3 stars

 

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