Ayumi Hamasaki – sixxxxxx

November 6, 2015 at 3:05 PM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | Leave a comment

Ayumi Hamasaki – sixxxxxx

1. Step by Step
2. Summer diary
3. Sayonara feat. SpeXial
4. Sorrows
5. Shape of Love
6. Sky high

♦ ♦ ♦

sixxxxxx is the fifth mini-album released by Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki on August 5, 2015. The album debuted at #1 on the Oricon charts and has sold 44,410 copies to date.

Ayu didn’t waste any time after A ONE, she released this only five months after that! Opening this mini-album, Step by Step kinda feels like it’s a bridge between A ONE and sixxxxxx, since it won’t sounds out of place on A ONE. It’s easily recognizable that this song is a theme song for an anime, it has that typical Ayu anime song feeling, but with a touch of summer. I needed to get used to it a bit, but I really like it now!

I have loved Summer diary ever since I first heard it and saw the (emotional) MV, too bad summer is over already and I should’ve played this on repeat all the time, but unfortunately I didn’t. Still, I can imagine doing so, because this bubbly summer song (with a little Ayu edge) totally slays everything.

Time to fire it up for the next song. Sayonara feat. SpeXial is a collaboration with a Taiwanese boy band, and it sounds pretty awesome! After some typical Ayu rock songs, they threw in some dance beats for this one and it actually works very well. After four and a half minutes it does get a bit monotonous, but the rest of the song is better than I thought. Also, Ayu’s English sounds so good!

Wow, I’m surprised by how dramatic Sorrows sounds (yes, even despite the title). The verses are quiet and even ominous, but I wasn’t expecting the aggressive chorus with the full arrangement. This is Ayu’s other side, more focused on heavy music and kicking serious you-know-what. I’m even more surprised that I find this one of the better songs on the album.

Shape of Love interestingly features a 6/8 beat, but that’s not everything. Where did that amazing mandolin come from?! I was about to think Ayu didn’t have any more tricks up her sleeve, but boy I was wrong. It makes the whole song much more interesting, and it’s less bombastic than the previous song too.

Last (but definitely not least), Sky high closes the album with an airy vibe. After two darker and more emotional tracks, this is a great way to end the album upbeat and cheerful. It has the same feeling that Summer diary also has, so I think that makes the song instantly likeable.

I wasn’t expecting to be so satisfied with the album. Ofcourse it’s going to need multiple listens because I basically remember only the first three songs (I know), but I was overall very pleased. I hear Ayu is going to release another mini in about a month, so it makes me even more curious if she can keep this up. I hope she can release more songs that do not sound to much like older songs.

Favorite songs: Step by Step | Summer diary | Sorrows | Sky high

4 stars




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