Ayumi Hamasaki – UNITE!

August 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

SINGLE REVIEW
Ayumi Hamasaki – UNITE!

1. UNITE! “Original Mix”
2. UNITE! “Huge UR-Chin mix”
3. UNITE! “HECCO’S Club vocal mix”
4. UNITE! “re-Formation Mix”
5. Endless sorrow “Dub’s Forever Mercy Mix”
6. UNITE! “PROJECT O.T ATOMIC MIX”
7. UNITE! “Psycho Trance Mix”
8. UNITE! “No. 1 Blueberry Wonderful”
9. Key “nicely nice waterfowl remix”
10. UNITE! “Original Mix -Instrumental-”

UNITE! is the twenty-third single by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, released on July 11, 2001. It reached #1 on the Oricon charts and charted for ten weeks. It sold 571,110 copies, becoming the #25 single of 2001.

UNITE! is just like ‘evolution’ when it comes to the beginning of the song. It starts off with a relaxing piano tune before the tension builds up and a crazy fact paced rock tune drops in. There’s a lot of scratching in the song as well, which is a nice effect. Being one of Ayu’s strongest and most agressive rock songs, I really love it. The blazing electric guitar solo only makes things even better. Perfect A-side track.

In some way, UNITE! “Huge UR-Chin mix” is like the original mix when it comes to the tempo and the way the original is represented (in this case, pretty well with no copy-and-paste shizz). I like the slower beat, which is the big difference between this remix and the original. It kind of gives the feeling of an R&B and dance mixture. Quite a good remix, I definitely enjoyed it.

UNITE! “HECCO’S Club vocal mix”, the title says it all (at least in the way I explain it). Ayu is singing the entire song in this remix, no bits and pieces (except for some of the adlibbing part), and the vocals are actually the focus point of the track. The word ‘club’ says everything about the music: it’s a good fierce club remix with a lot of fast beats and a lot of synth riffs and accents. Quite liked it.

Looks like this single is going to have some good remixes in store. UNITE! “re-Formation Mix” takes on an electro sound and it’s a little faster paced than the previous mixes, so it provides some variation as well (necessary since this is the fourth time this UNITE! comes around). It has a long introduction with some heavy beats, deeper and more synths, loops and Ayu singing far away in the background. The chorus is well represented this time, the rest isn’t. Still, it’s far from boring and this remix is pretty strong.

Let’s see what Dub makes out of Endless sorrow “Dub’s Forever Mercy Mix”. Except for the overly repeated adlibbing, the track actually starts out pretty solid and it has an appealing sound. It’s nice that the original piano melody is featured a little bit in the track as well. The same synth loop throughout the entire song tends to irritate me after just a couple of minutes though.

There are some issues with the adlibbing in UNITE! “PROJECT O.T ATOMIC MIX”, but that’s the only thing I’m not that enthousiastic about. We’re getting another strong remix for the A-side here, in trance style this time. It has about the same tempo as the original, but when you take that track and add a lot more deep synth loops and heavier beats (and you subtract the rocky elements), you get this. And it’s not so long.

UNITE! “Psycho Trance Mix” was actually less ‘psycho’ than I was expecting, maintaining quite a soft and steady sound all the way. At first I was expecting some problems with the key too, but then they decided to use Ayu’s background vocals sould serve as the main vocals in some parts. No probs with the chorus, so the entire thing turned out to be more than fine.

I like how UNITE! “No. 1 Blueberry Wonderful” had a real tribal feel, the percussion opening was amazing. There are a couple of synth elements that drop in after a while, and that tribal percussion section stays throughout the song. It doesn’t provide all that much variation though, it’s more of the same old things for 7 minutes long.

I’m surprised ‘Key’ is getting a remix here. nicely nice did another great job on Key “nicely nice waterfowl remix”, creating another dreamy ambience in a track just like they did for ‘M’. The soft beats and the beautiful sound of the harp work perfectly well together, creating a nice soft track and an ambient remix instead of a pumping one for a change. I looooved this.

Looks like ‘Endless sorrow’ was a turning point when it comes to how the overall singles turned out. This is the second time in a row the remixes are getting better and better, some of them even make the A-side more appealing. UNITE! has been an amazing single to listen to, with only two tracks I liked less than the rest of them. This time, this was the A-side with the most good remixes on one single. Surprise surprise!

OVERALL RATING

4 stars

 

 

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