Ayumi Hamasaki – &

July 15, 2015 at 4:26 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ayumi Hamasaki – &

1. ourselves
2. Grateful days
3. HANABI ~episode II~
4. theme of a-nation ’03
5. ourselves (Instrumental)
6. Grateful days (Instrumental)
7. HANABI ~episode II~ (Instrumental)

& is the twenty-ninth single by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki, released on July 9, 2003. The single reached #1 on the Oricon charts and charted for 16 weeks. It sold 591,481 copies, becoming the #8 single of 2003.

Years ago I was so much in love with ourselves because it was such an interesting an different song, I replayed it over and over again. I really like the use of strings and the hollow drums in the hooks, it makes it all very catchy and memorable. Also, Ayu delivers some strong vocals here, she makes it even more energetic and fierce.

Grateful days brings out the summer feel in this single, something ourselves didn’t do. It’s a much cuter track, which is also clear from Ayu’s vocals, but if you ask me this is quite fun. Ofcourse it’s not her best, but at least the melodies stick and I remember how the song goes long after it’s over.

Oh, a new ‘pairing’, this time a continuation of HANABI that was on the ‘RAINBOW’ album. HANABI ~episode II~ is even much better than the original in my opinion because it’s so much more out there. The electric guitars play a major role in the arrangement and I like the male chanting in the chorus as well. Ayu’s strong vocals have just the right amount of emotion in them. Upgrade of the original? Definitely.

theme of a-nation ’03 sounds very traditionally Asian with all these typical instruments. It’s almost like an alan song (at least that is what it makes me think of) with the erhu and such. When it comes to the vocals, Ayu blends in very well with the serene ambience, the true vocal cameleon that she is. It’s a long track, but very different from everything she usually does so it’s very appealing.

4½ stars


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