You were…/BALLAD

January 21, 2010 at 10:35 am | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | 4 Comments
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Eye Candy + Random Thoughts

I just want to point out that I’m not happy with these covers.  I cannot understand why everyone thinks they are so amazing.  For one, it looks like Ayu has diseased nails.  It like she caught whatever alan had for her Voice of EARTH photo shoot and got it worse.  Also, her hair is gray/dark brown.  We all know your old Ayu, but not that old.  She could have at least dyed her eyebrows the same color.  At least she isn’t blonde anymore.  That’s just horrific.  I do have to say though that I do like her facial expression.  It’s like a not completely there/stoned druggy look, but at least she isn’t a corpse.  Nope, she saved that for the CD-ONLY version.

* * * * *

  1. You were…
  3. RED LINE ~for TA~
  4. You were… (Music Box mix -retake version-)
  5. Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ (Orchestra version)

Oh Ayu, I don’t care how much everyone thinks You were… is just a lesser version of Together When… and Days’ baby (even though it kinda is), I still like this song.  It IS better than Days in my opinion, especially since it isn’t as cheery.  One of my problems with this song is the music doesn’t really flow right.  The piano and guitar chords are like at the same level of loudness and it’s a little headache inducing.  It’s not that bad though.  I believe my favorite part is either her singing part at the end of the bridge or when she adds twinges of emotion in the last choruses by changing a few of the notes.  She does sound a little strained in the chorus though.  She just needs to try not sound (her idea of) good.

YES!  I have been wanting another oriental ballad seeing as alan isn’t doing them anymore, and Ayu totally delivers with the aptly named BALLAD.  I eat up anything oriental sounding and this song is not difference.  Ayu just sounds so solemn and lonely throughout the entire thing and ballads like that are just WIN!  I do think she could have sung higher in parts, but I do like how the song is set up.  Haha, I remember when I said that BALLAD was just the unused version of alan’s BALLAD ~Namonaki Koi no Uta~, but I was wrong.  BALLAD is the better song, and yes, that is the Ayu-stan talking.

Ugh, I feel like such a bad Ayu fan.  I have to admit, though, that I did not like RED LINE ~for TA~ when I first heard it.  The verses were really nice, but the chorus… not so much.  The song just focuses too much on percussion for my liking, but after around forty listens, I started liking it more.  There is no way that I’m not going to include an original Ayu song on my iPod, so I’m glad the song grew on me.  In fact, Ayumi Hamasaki and Utada Hikaru are the only two artists where I have every one of their original songs on my iPod.  Sure, RED LINE isn’t as amazing as some of Ayu’s other b-sides like Ever Free and theme for a-nation ’03, but it’s definitely not a throw-away song.  Oh, and what the hell Ayu?  I thought you lost your ability to sing like this?  She so could have hit the notes in You were… and not sound like a frog thats been out of water too long.  Whatevs….

However, that is not the case with You were… (Music Box mix -retake version-).  This song takes out everything I like about You were… and adds an even more stressed Ayu, but I think that’s just because they got rid of all the background vocals.  It does sound innocent in some ways, but the tinkling does get annoying after a little while. Strings (I believe)do appear during the bridge, but it’s a little too late.  Winding of a music box is also added.  For the last choruses, an organ is added, which makes it a lot more interesting, but like I said, it’s just too late.

I do like Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ (Orchestra Version) though.  I didn’t think I would because it is a remix of Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ after all, but the orchestration does help a bit.  I still think the background vocals are really cheesy, and this calmer version does not help to conceal that fact.  Sadly, this new version doesn’t make it epic, which usually happens when songs are orchestrated.  Just listen to MY STORY Classical.  Moments is just <3!

* * * * *

I’m happy Ayu decided to release a double ballad a-side.  It just seems like she hasn’t released any in a year, or at least any good ballads.  IMO, I think Together When… was her last “good” ballad, and that was way back in 2008.  BALLAD was definitely the strongest song on this single.  You were… also isn’t as bad as people make it out to be, but I would have liked her to do a few things differently.  RED LINE was a little awkward at first, but it has its moments.  The remixes were totally unneccessary though.  Maybe she should have made a Sparkle ~Ballad Version~ instead?  No… that would have been awful.

Also, for some weird reason, I feel like Ayu is going to release another single before her next album.  Sure, she has only been releasing two singles per album since Secret, but I think she might do something different.  Maybe it might just happen if she (avex) wants to beat out Seiko Matsuda for most consecutive number one singles by a female artists, but who knows?  Oh, and congrats for placing ninth in making the most money in 2009 Ayu!

4.5 ALMOST Career Saving Singles out of 5


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  1. Sparkle ~Ballad Version~? That could be interesting…

    Oh, and BALLAD is not a freaking throw-away alan song! If anything, the entirity of my life are Ayu throw-away songs!

    • She should whore that song out as much as she can, but she’s doing that to Rule for some reason. Actually, a ballad version of both those songs would be interesting.


  2. I agree with the fact that all the BS over You were is unfair, but how could you not just fall in love with Red Line?

    • Well, it’s ok. It still doesn’t live up to similar songs like MY ALL or Daybreak IMO.

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