What has tumblr done to my mind?
This isn’t particularly ranked…it’s just 10 dark videos I love and can’t get enough of.These are just opinions and speculations so I do not claim any of this to be fact. You are allowed to completely disagree with me. There are other powerful videos that didn’t make the list because I choose 10. Feel free to comment or give any feedback.
- Alterna: An interesting video that provides a dark commentary on the life of a celebrity, namely Ayu’s own fame and comparing being a marionette or ‘singing machine’ to losing your own free will to what sells or what the company tells you will sell. I like videos that have odd imagery and this one certainly has a few and I found even the humor at the end of the boy lifting the girl’s dress to be a commentary on society and fame.
- Ourselves: Whether the other people in this video, most of them at least…were actually Ayu or just people wearing Ayu masks the video was quite frightening. Having Ayu captured and I guess….tortured…I’m not sure, the defacing of, at the time her only Best album was quite intersting. I remember reading that Ayu was very upset about Avex asking her to re-record some of her songs for that album and people have said her single tear was the only sign of protest against this (see 2004 NTV special on Ayumi Hamasaki, this is where I learned of this) I feel like the Ourselves video was a continuation of this protest and in all honesty I agree whole-heartedly with Ayu, prefering the originals to re-recorded singles.
- Moments: Despite this song being quite happy and pleasent the video is quite dark. The children in the garden are tearing apart these maniquins or dolls…not sure, they looked kind of like the art models you buy to help you draw, either way they were tearing aprt the limbs of these things and seemed quite pleased by it. The Ayu that is caring a lamp watches them, looking upset by the sight, or a look of feeling sorry for the dolls. The Ayu laying on the ground with either ink, blood, or something smeared on her body makes you wonder if the kids were actually tearing her apart. It almost makes this ballad about doing anything for the one you love quite frightening.
- 1 Love: My guess is that this was some sort of illegal circus, the circus acts were pretty typical but the addition of musician was clearly added for another commentary, perhaps again on fame. As a little humor they also had a nerdy kid wearing a backpack and baseball cap called ‘the otaku’ The other Ayu in the video was spying on the circus and recording footage into a camera on her ring, when she confronts the ring leader/clown about it however, mentioning she’d call the police he decides to make her a circus act as well. Looking at the songs lyrics itself you could almost argue that this is a commentary on modern life and the pursuit of love.
- Free & Easy: I have read that Ayu was supposed to be portraying a modern joan of arc for the photo shoot of the Free & Easy single but I don’t know if this is confirmed or not. Within the video itself she is a prisioner who is being taken to what we can only assume to be her execusion, as we also see shots of people preparing a coffin. At the very end of the video the coffin is seen being carried out, we can only assume that perhaps Ayu herself was placed in the coffin.
- Marionette: While not really being very grim in the traditional sense of Ayu being portrayed as harmed or dying. It does portray dark and intersting imagery of marionettes dancing around a carousel and coming to life. In the end it appears almost as if the Ayu viewing the display becomes a marionette, so the marionettes become human and the human became a marionette in other words. Not sure of the exact message but I found it interesting in any sense.
- Ladies Night: One of the portrayed Ayu’s is wandering through a hotel with her bag and looking for I guess her hotel room. She finds a room with strange people, and then quickly leaves, sees more imagrey, such as a faceless reflection of herself. She tries to call for help and then attempts to escape of the elevater that in the end closes in on her, if you look closely you can see this creepy man standing behind her in the final scene. The other Ayu is seen as giving a speech in a military-esque outfit to what looks like the store mannequins (that they use to advertise outfits) wearing what could be military jackets and marching by her command. This is one I often like to ponder exactly what is being said as the deeper message.
- Part of me: This video has a lot of traditional Japanese imagery and Ayu looks absolutly stunning as a Geisha, keep in mind this was the only new song produced in the A Best 2 album, which contained a White and a Black side. In the end of the video Ayu undoes her hair and it’s been quite some time since I saw the video however I do remember that it appeared she died while her hair was growing, I could be wrong on this fact, and may have to take a fresh look again. I also don’t know if this relates to a Japanese story or not since I don’t have much knowledge on that subject.
- Don’t look back: There are two sides of Ayu we see. An Ayu with her hair up and looking quite upset and another with her hair down, against a wall smiling and laughing. This Ayu is also shown standing in front of what I believe may have been an A Best 2 picture and it contains many marks and scratches that appear to have been intentionally made. The marks were reddish and the Ayu who is seen seated does have lipstick with her, so it is possible that the marks were made with lipstick. We also see a flash of scissors and hair on the table. Later on the other side of the seated Ayu’s face is revealed and we see the other side of her hair is down and quite messy, her face make up and lipstick is smeared and uneven. To me this PV perfectly matches the lyrics, of the inability to change your past no matter how you wish you could and the realization that you must go on despite the pain you feel from it and your hesitance. In Japan cutting hair is a sign of letting go of the past and moving on. There was also constant imagery of a warped clock, that I am not sure yet what it could mean. Don’t look Back is a personal favorite of mine.
- Moon: Ayu is seen in a big European style room. There is also some sort of thing that is pouring ink, I imagine for those old fasioned pens. She is quite distraught as she is singing and we see brief flashes in normal color of her cuddling and playing with one of her dogs. The rest of the video is in dark and gloomy colors. Near the end she is sitting under the device that is pouring ink and when it overflows the ink drenches her and her clothes, she is seen as looking quite upset. I am not sure if this was around that time or not but I recall one of her dogs, the oldest had passed away and I am not sure if that was a reference or not, the timing could be off but either way it fascinated me.
As an Ayu fan that made my day!
List 10 random musical artists you like in no specific order. Warning: Do not read the questions below before listing your favorite artists.
2. Ayumi Hamasaki
3. Namie Amuro
4. Eiffel 65
5. Ootsuka Ai
6. Aiuchi Rina
7. Lady Gaga
10. Shimamiya Eiko
What’s the first song you ever heard by #6?
Deep Freeze, I heard it on an episode of Hey Hey Hey back when we had the international channel on our TV and they played reruns of that show at night.
What’s your favorite song by #8?
What are your favorite lyrics by #5?
“I thought that if we loved each other deeply enough
Then even if we reached the end of time here someday
I’d love you forever
With my arms outstretched” ~Ootsuka Ai (Cherish)
What song by #3 makes you the happiest?
When did you first get into #2?
January 10 years ago
How did you get into #3?
My Japanese teacher showed a video of hers in class (Wild)
What is your favorite song by #4?
Have you seen #9 live? How many times?
No and if I don’t it’s ok.
Favorite album by #7?
Fame monster, since after that she went downhill somewhat in my opinion.
What’s your favorite song by #1?
How did you become a fan of #10?
She sings the opening for Higurashi and I thought she sounded good so looked up other songs of hers.
How long have you known #9?
Erm…IDK for a few years…
Top 5 by #5.
In terms of listens but probably not actual top 5 I’d say 5. Mirai Taxi 4. Momo no hanabira 3. Daisuki da yo. 2. Smiley 1. Gingyou Hanabi
Have you ever seen #10 live?
No, and never will since she probably won’t sing again.
Have you ever met #4?
Only in my dreams…I did get a letter from one of the members!
What’s your favorite album by #1?
Tie between Diabolos and Reborn
Favorite lyric by #7?
The French one in Bad Romance cause I like it and I don’t feel like looking it up and refuse to butcher it by attempting to write it.
What’s #2’s best song?
All of her songs are the best!
How many times have you seen #2 live?
Once, best day of my life!
Which one of these have you known the longest?
Favorite song by #9?
Who says you don’t learn from JPOP? I certainly learned quite a few words, here are 20 Japanese words I learned from JPOP/JROCK songs…if you haven’t already read my Anime one which is much earlier so…good luck finding it…^_^
Genjitsu- Reality- There are many Hamasaki Ayumi songs that use this word because she is such a deep thinker in her lyrics, I often here this word in L’arc en cial songs.
Itami- Pain- Often heard in love songs since… well love songs that are said often mention this ‘pain’ that they have so yes… heard it a lot.
Kisetsu- Again from Hamasaki Ayumi songs since alot and I mean a lot of her songs mention the seasons or a specific season.
Jounentsu- Passion- from a lot of boy band songs but also artists like Utada Hikaru…it’s a nice word
Tsuyoi- Strong- Not sure where I first heard it
hanabira- Flower petals- Otsuka Ai songs…that is all.
dakishimete- embrace, hug, hold tight- Gack songs and other male songs as well as some Ayu songs…it’s a nice word.
tokubetsu- special- Otsuka Ai song again…yes…but I hear it in Anime too.
utau- song- from Hamasaki Ayumi songs and plenty of other artists
Hanabi- Fireworks, countless JPOP and Jrock songs since fireworks is a common summer in Japan and in general so it ofen appears in love songs where love is compared to fireworks and what have you.
Koi- love- I didn’t know about this 2nd word for love until I started listening to JPOP music and learned later from my Japanese tutor that this is a lighter form of love, like a crush or boyfriend/girlfriend versus ai which is love for family or deep love for your partner.
Egao-smiling face from Gackt songs, he says this a lot…other songs do too
yurusu- to allow (forgive?)- I hear this a lot in Ayumi Hamasaki songs and often in the form of “yurusareru” (to be allowed) like in BALLAD.
Kotoba- word- you hear this alot…obviously…so hard to pinpoint one spot.
Shashin- picture- no lie I learned this in a song before I learned it formally in class, plenty of songs I love like “Sepia” by Shela and many others use Shashin in their songs.
motto- more- All the songs, though probably learned in from Gackt’s song Vanilla…yeah…
Jikan- hour,time- Often times we talk about time in songs and often how cruel it cam be…so yeah I hear it a lot.
Kanashii-sad- Yes, a lot of sad songs use the word sad ((Hope I didn’t put this in my Anime one lol)
Shiawase- happy- I learned emotions from songs I guess lol
Ashita- tomorrow- because it’s so commonly sung about in Jpop right?
Thank you guys so much for your feedback! I was so happy to find that so many people told me what they wanted to see me post and I’m so happy that you guys are helping me to celebrate of Queen’s b-day! I am going to do a top 20 list of reasons I love and continue to love Ayu, they are not really in any particular ranking since they all are important factors and it would seem unfair to place some as more important than others. Please enjoy! Also there are more reasons I am sure but I’d be here all day and I have class lol…so 20 is good for now.
20 Reasons I love and continue to love Ayumi Hamasaki:
01. She inspires me: Her music and poetic lyrics inspired me at the age of 12 to take up writing free verse poetry to relieve my stress and often I will listen to her songs to come up with ideas for writing or to help the poem flow.
02. She is unlike any other artist: Coming from an era of music where I felt like everyone was trying to be the next big hit and therefore started copying each other Ayu was a breath of fresh air to me, so much that I almost cried. It was like I had finally found her…the one person who was unlike any other artist.
03. She is beautiful: No matter what fashion choice, even if I am not the biggest fan of it I can never deny the beauty that Ayu exhibits both externally and internally. I can feel her heart through her music and that is why to this day Ayu remains one of the few artists who can move me to tears whether or happiness or in sadness.
04. Her albums tell a story: Her albums seem almost perfectly ordered that takes along on a journey, of love, life, happiness, and sadness. When her albums used to be released at the end or beginning of the year I liked to think that she was taken us through her life of that year even knowing some of her songs might be about a friend’s experiences.
05. Ayu’s lyrics: Her lyrics, which she herself writes are inspirational, deep, thought-provoking, honest, and pure. They have moved me to tears, lightened up my day, relieved my stress, and kept me company when I was alone. It is difficult to know exactly how to word this.
06. I can relate to her: Her music, her lyrics, the pain she’s been through, the fact that she is still fighting on despite everything she’s gone through. I have felt similar feelings in my life and I have felt at times that no one was there for me but always… always I have Ayu’s music waiting for me when I got home, I could listen to her songs and cry, it helped me to feel calm, like confiding in a close friend after a bad day. Yes, that’s what it has always been like.
07. Her PVs: Ayu’s PVs range from upbeat and fun to dark and strange but they also contain a deep message, symbolic meaning, and beautiful imagery. Her PV for Jewel was one of the most expensive PVs of all time simply because of all the jewels used in it.
08. She’s professional: Ayu again and again has shown a great perfectionism towards her work, always putting her soul and energy into her work, giving a 110% percent to make sure that she gets the best performance out to her fans sometimes even to the point whee she’ll ignore her own health, like in the Dome tour 2001, when she performed an entire encore on a sore leg.
09. She isn’t afraid to be controversial: many of her PVs have been seen as being strange but often times controversial and she will host themes that often shock people but in the case of her fans we openly welcome it, it is a powerful way to get her message across. Dark videos such as Alterna and 1LOVE as well as party videos such as Lady Dynamite and let us not forget the beautifulyu inspirational Howe Beautiful you are PV.
10. Her live performances: If you have ever seen an Ayumi Hamasaki person, either in person or on DVD you cannot deny that she really puts on a performance. With a setlist of many different songs, the order of which is decided by Ayu herself and themed concerts with videos and costumes to make everything unfold into a story on the stage you cannot deny that there is a great amount of hard work and dedication by herself and her staff to make the best performance possibly.
11. She loves her fans: Ayu is always thankfully for her fans and many times thanks us by continuing to work hard and showing great dedication to her art. Even releasing songs written directly to the songs including by not limited to Present, Audience, Red Line ~for TA~.
12. She is accepting: I must say that I am fan of Ayu’s either way but when I realized her acceptence of Homosexual relationships and any relationship in general I just felt that much more sure in my love for her and I am glad that she continues to support us.
13. She is dedicated to her country: the fact that during last year’s earthquake she felt a great pull towards her home country and that even her relationship fell apart because of that, as sad and in pain I was over that I am very impressed by her dedication to Japan.
14. She is not afraid to show her emotions on the stage: Sometimes during a performance she will get emotional and sometimes continuing it becomes difficult for her to continue singing but her fans cheer her on and she continues. I am happy to be one of the people who during her 2012 performance that night in Fukuoka who encouraged her along with a whole stadium of fans during her performance of Tell me Why when she became a little emotional but she sang on, her voice strong and beautiful as ever.
15. Her nails: Ayu has the most beautiful and creative nail designs I have seen and I am not usually into nail designs but when it comes to Ayu I am always paying attention. I currently have long nails that after I get tired of them I cut them but I like to pose like Ayu sometimes just for fun since my nails are also long…they are nowhere near as nice as hers though.
16. She’s cute: Ayu is full of energy on the stage, in her PVs, and when she appears on TV shows and she always has such adorable moments with the other guests, and behind the scenes that you just want to run up and hug her.
17. She isn’t prideful: Despite all the success and setting record sales year after year and winning multiple awards Ayu isn’t prideful, she carries herself in a modest manner and always thanks her fans for her tremendous success, not once suggesting her own talents to be the reason for her success.
18. The instrumentals of her songs: Her songs are always well-composed and the music is very catchy and creative. Ayu has tried many different styles and the music seems to vary a little but overall I feel her band is very talented and they produce great instrumental pieces.
19. Her songs are fun to sing: I am always singing Ayu songs throughout the day and thanks to being in Japan with karaoke being so big I’ll go sing her songs even if just by myself and fall in love with her songs all over again and squeal when they actually include her PV or play her concert while I sing.
20. Her new releases: The sheer excitement and anticpation whenever Ayu announces a new realease is such a great feeling and when finally you hear her new song for the first time and you think “That’s perfect, better than I thought.” and you become so excited for the PVs and the full release that you can’t even stand it…yes this is the feeling I’ve had ever since 2002.
Thank you so much for reading my top 20, sorry for no pics on this post but I will add more later assuming I will remember… I will do my normal Japan update but after that for the remainder of this day…here in Japan I will reblog only Ayu after that on my personal, this does not extend to my RP blogs however. So…around let’s see… 11AM there it will already be the next day so I will post other things after that time. Please leave feedback if you wish, share in the love, if you have different reasons share them if you like and we’ll have an Ayu love fast. Happy Birthday Ayumi Hamasaki! Please continue to grace us with your greatness!
Okay, tomorrow is Ayumi Hamasaki’s birthday (October 2nd) and I am currently trying to come up with what kind of post to make to commemorate it… now when I do this sort of thing sometimes I get some feedback, sometimes I get none so if you see someone else has already given feedback you can still give feedback, anyway tomorrow is Ayumi Hamasaki’s birthday and I wanted to do something on tumblr to commemorate it, now obviously I’ll probably be reblogging Ayu which is what I usually do and I a contemplating only reblogging her tomorrow, we’ll see if I stick to that… Anyway, in terms of what else to do on tumblr I wanted some suggestions. What kind of post should I make? I’ll list a few possibilities but you can always give me your feedback…
- An Ayumi Hamasaki related top 10 post
- a poem or poems I wrote dedicated to her
- Opinions on ___ (list Ayu album or something related to the realm of Hamasak Ayumi)
- a letter to Ayumi Hamasaki (sadly I can’t actually send one to her but I could write one as if I could)
- Dreams with Ayu in them
- Anything else that you suggest?
If I get only one suggestion I’ll probably do that…if I get no suggestion I’ll just pic one… If I get more than one I’ll go with either the one I like most or the one that seems to be most popular. I go by Japan time right now so you guys have until about 7:30PM to send me feedback, thanks in advance!
We left the hotel early and took the bus to Fukuoka Marine Messe where Ayu’s final day of Hotel Love Songs 2012 would take place. When we first arrived we bought some goods, we bought a fan for each of us, the fan had her tour logo on it. We also bought two t-shirts, one for each of us that basically had the tour log and the little designs on it, sort of leopard print, mine was black and Poppy’s was pink. I also bought a black wrist band and a bag, both of which are black and have her logo on it (sorry not much of a pink fan even though the fans are pink). After that it started raining so they began to let people inside the arena. Our seat wasn’t too terrribly far away. One of the stands on the right side and it was maybe 200 feet from the main stage at the most. It was early so we sat for about 40 minutes to an hour while listening to excited fans chatting amongst themselves and Ayupan talking on the screen about the goods you could purchase, half of which I didn’t even see at the venues. The 2nd video they played was an ‘ad’ for hotel love songs, it was made to look like one of those hotel resort commercials. I swear the guy narrating it was Timothy, but I could be wrong… it was in English but they had Japanese subs at the bottom of the screen.
The concert was mainly hotel themed and as always Ayu had her clowns to start us off. Her first song that she sang was Happening Here which was upbeat and energetic to get things started. I am sorry if after this point I get the order of songs wrong as well as if I miss any songs as my emotions were so crazy that my mind may mess up the order. After Happening Here and a short intro video Ayu sang Reminds me which was an emotional performance with great choreography. After that they transitioned into Tell Me Why. Ayu got very emotional during this performance and had trouble singing part of the 2nd verse because of this but as always her voice remained beautifully in tact. After that and a short video Ayu surprised me by singing Appears! Wow, never thought I’d see her sing Apppears live! Again, very nice performance but I will probably keep saying that so maybe I should stick with description. Oh, the outfit during Happening Here was a bellhop looking one and she had a green regal but still somewhat bellhop looking outfit for Reminds me and Tell me Why. For Appears she was wearing pink Pajamas and a short-haired wig.
Next was Shake it <3 during which she wore jeans and a sparkling jacket as well as a medium-length blonde haired wig. The music was very upbeat and somewhat sexy. After that they transitioned into sparkle which as expected was very colorful, Ayu also took off the jacket to reveal a low cut, one-shouldered tank top. Then we have Step you which was as fun as always and then Na Na Na. Na Na Na was pretty good and Ayu attempted to recreate the techno effect in a way which sounded cute. After that we transition to an almost 50s bar like scene where Ayu sings the Next love and Eyes, Smoke, Magic. It was a little raunchy (which is actually how Ayu described it herself). After this came my favorite part Return Road. Ayu’s dress was black and white though the white part of the dress changed colors throughout the song to match her emotions and similarly to the PV she was searching helplessly for her lover only on stage they were men in robes, so it was very dark compared to the soldiers in my opinion. In the end she tries to reunite with him but fails to do so. The next two songs were Ladies Night and Party Queen. Ladies Night was cute, Ayu wore a cat-girl/maid outfit and of course it was very sparkly. She looked cute though. The song after that was Surreal-evolution-Surreal. During this song she had the audience jump and sing “Wow Yeah…” After that was Boys & grils during which we sang with her at the usual point. Love Song was the final pre-encore song for that evening.
The encore songs were Hanabi, You and Me, and finally How beautiful you are. She wore her own version of the pink tour T-shirt and blue shorts for the encore. Her hair was brownish and back in a pony tail. She also had matching pink sneakers. She thanked us all for coming and it was an emotional end to a wonderful concert. If you ever get the chance to see Ayu especially in Fukuoka, her hometown… never hesitate…just go ok? Even if you aren’t a fan (lol, JK…please say tickets for fans if you aren’t a fan) seriously though go if you get the chance. This is a dream I’ve had for 10 years and finally last night I got to go! I was a little teary at times realizing it…that Ayu was right there… in the same place, on that stage! SO close! I may not have gotten her autograph or caught anything she threw but I am so greatful that I was there last night!
Hello there, I am not sure what I want to post and I am not quite ready to do my Next Level review so I am just going to list my top 10 Ayu summer songs based on how frequently they’ve played on my Itunes. Please note that I play Itunes on shuffle so I rarely chose the songs I am listening to, so this is not necessarily ranked by favorites….though it could be, we’ll see. *looks at top 25 most played songs and sees no summer songs…. falls over* Erm… I will do this I swear! I’ll just do it the long way… Okay, I got it so…here goes! Also if you love an Ayu summer song and it’s not on here it doesn’t mean I don’t like it…there are probably about 4 I like that won’t be on here so yeah… Let’s do it!
- Sunrise ~Love is all~
- HANABI ~Episode II~
- July 1st
Those are all some pretty good songs though actually! YAY Go SUMMER! GO AYU! Anyway, hope you liked reading this and that everyone is having a good day and has power in their house and all that.
I seem to take forever in between album reviews so I do hope I remember everything I was supposed to bring up again… Anyway, today I will be reviewing Ayu’s album Guilty. This album is probably one of her darkest as it contains many themes of loss. From what I had heard and read within the official album itself this album was made in dedication to a friend she had late in the previous year. This was a very depressing time for Ayu as she had also recently lost hearing completely in her left ear and experienced a break up with her boyfriend whom she had been with for 7 years. To be honest, I was very surprised to see a full-length album at all with all the stress she had been going through but it is interesting to note that when she’s the most stressed she seems to make wonderful music. Let’s get started shall we?
Ayumi Hamasaki- Guilty Released: 01.01.08
- (Don’t) leave me alone
- Talkin’ 2 myself
- Together When…
- Marionette -prelude-
- The judgement day
- MY ALL
- untitled ~for her~
Mirror: Like most albums (with the exception of a select few) we are starting off with the short intro song. This piece starts out with some computer like sounds that in all honesty sort of reminded me of AOL’s modem… this quickly changes into jukebox like music and classical accompaniment. In her lyrics the narrator is simply reflecting on how events have turned out and asking herself whether she is moving forward or giving up. A very simple yet very powerful narrative that gives us a gripping start to this album. In a later single titled “Mirrocle World” a full version of this song is made complete with it’s own PV and extended orchestrated instrumentals. I am honestly happy this was done as the piece feels much more whole as an entire song but still was effective in introducing this deep album.
(don’t) leave me alone: This song has an edgy almost rock like feel to it but certainly has all the elements on her normal pop songs, with a quick pace and quick lyrics to balance it all out. The narrator shows her discontent with receiving pity and ‘fake smiles’ from those around her and she prefers that instead of pretending to be nice that the person just be honest with her and if he must be cruel to be as cruel as he can. Whether this song is towards one individual or multiple people I am not sure yet. Either way this person is someone the narrator cares about as the song ends with the lyrics “Leave me alone now… But don’t leave me alone.” ~Ayumi Hamasaki ((don’t) Leave me alone) which is just the sort of contradicting lyrics I love in Ayu songs that creates the feeling of overall inner turmoil.
talkin’ 2 myself: originally released as the A side to a single, Talkin 2 myself is another edgy rock style song. The music is mostly guitar with some keyboard and other instrumental accompaniment. The pace is fast but steady and compliments the lyrics well. The Narrator is pretty much, as the title suggests, talking to herself and is reflecting on her reaction to events and taking responsibility for the results. The song has a determined feel to it though as the narrator makes it clear that she knows “creation comes after destruction” ~Ayumi Hamasaki (talkin’ 2 myself). The PV is pretty punk-rock style and has military refrences in it, clearly showing that the narrator is still fighting onward despite the tragedies she has faced.
Decision: Originally released as the B-side to the talkin’ 2 myself single Decision is an equally edgy song with the same rock like elements as it’s A-side counterpart. Decision has a slightly slower pace to it than talkin’ 2 myself but still contains it’s own edgy guitar instrumentals. The lyrics to this song are also very determined and give a feel of the narrator moving forward without regret and sticking to the decision she had made long ago even as things have become difficult. She also states that no matter what occurs she must accept herself. The PV for this song is mostly her singing with her band but is still enjoyable.
GUILTY: Starting off with a chiming bell and what may sound sort of like the sound of wind we are already given an ominous feel before the main instrumentals start. The pace starts out relatively slow and somber with instrumentals that create a feeling on unease and by the chorus the pace speed up a little. The narrator is afraid of the events of her past catching up and overcoming her and she is not able to be fully open about these feelings. She doesn’t wish for whomever she is singing to to press her any further as she rather lie or make an excuse for her behavior than fully face the truth. This song is quite darker that the two preceding it but has quite beautiful instrumentals and is one of my favorites among the title tracks of Ayu albums.There is a voice that says guilty in the instrumentals and a few other things which I think might be “Guilty, it’s your fault.” but I could be wrong and you can let me know what you think too.
fated: Originally a B-side to the single Glitter/fated, fated is a ballad with a sad and almost nostalgic feel to it. The instrumentals are soft and the pace of the song is slow. The narrator first speaks about destiny and meeting your fated lover and transitions into her feelings of the lover she is no longer with and the pain she is going through after they’ve parted. She is in despair and feels she probably didn’t deserve that person’s love but in the end she realizes she only thought of him this whole time and admits to having given up on being with this person whom she loved so much. The PVs of glitter and fated were a two part story with fated being the 2nd part and having a very heart-breaking ending…if you see no other PVs from the Guilty era do see these two Pvs if you get the chance.
Together When…: Originally released as Ayu’s first digital single, meaning it was not released as a CD but excursively online. I was not one of the lucky individuals to have gotten it and had to wait till purchasing guilty to hear it in Together When…has mostly piano instrumentals and a steady pace throughout the piece. This is another sad ballad about a relationship that has ended full of powerful lyrics of regret and despair. She believes that when she is reborn again she will seek out her lover. I can’t really properly desrcibe these lyrics so I will post them below. The PV is very sad but also a good one…do check it out if you can.
“I wanted to say “Thank you”
I couldn’t say “Thank you”
Because it’s like saying “Good-bye forever”
And too sad
Maybe I shall be born again to myself some day
And start a journey to find you.” ~ Ayumi Hamasaki (Together When…)
Marionette -prelude-: And thus we’ve hit our first instrumental interlude of this album. Marionette has jukebox music playing in a somewhat dark tone and stops every now and then while the sound of winding up can be heard, you can also hear a clock chiming. It’s a very appropriate beginning to the next song.
Marionette: We’ve come to my favorite song in the album so forgive me if I seem like I am over praising it. The song starts with the same music box sounding instrumentals and a dreary feel to it. The insturmentals start out slow and then gain more energy by the chorus and this is pretty much the pace of the song. Do you remember in my LOVEPPEARS review when I mentioned those lyrics would be referenced in a later album? Do you? huh? Well, as I promised…that song is Marionette. “It was me, you, and that girl.”~ Ayumi Hamasaki (Immature) “Please don’t forget
Me, that girl and you” ~Ayumi Hamasaki (Marionette) People may say it’s a stretch but I know Ayu well enough by now to know that she doesn’t have ‘coincidences’ she cleverly leaves hints for her fans to notice and this is one of them. The lyrics themselves are a few of life and how we all wear masks and hide our true emotions for fear of being hurt. She mentions how we’ve made many mistakes but we are still alive so we shouldn’t ‘live like the dead’ and should take off our masks without fear. I love this song for the instrumentals, the PV with awesome effects, and the simple yet powerful message that the song delivers.
The judgement day: filled with bells, organs, and other ominous sounds this instrumental is filled with the impression of gloominess and death that almost makes you feel like you are in a graveyard at times but somehow seems to have a hopeful feel to it.
glitter: originally the A-side to the glittler/fated single, glitter is a good example of Ayu’s summer love songs. It is a happy song of a new love that has started despite the narrator’s pain and fears and the determination she has to create a brighter future with the person she loves. This song is perhaps the happiest and most energetic in this whole album. The music pop like and very upbeat, probably even dancable and has a fast-paced steady beat throughout the entire piece. Despite being the 2nd song on the album it is the first part of the two part PV of glitter and fated released with the original single.
MY ALL: A ballad with a similar feel to glitter but a little slower in pace and has more of a reflection type feeling to it. This song is one of the many songs I like to term “Ayu’s encore songs” because of it’s use and overall sound that is similar between many of her encore songs. It is slow and clam in pace and fairly optimistic. There are some sad overtones to the song however as the lyrics seem to suggest that the narrator is no longer with this person, whether it is a relationship that is gone or whether this is relating to her lost friend is not very clear to me yet but it is powerful and sweet either way.
reBirth: the final instrumental interlude of the album, with a very calm and mysterious feel to it. Mostly with piano insturmentals…it creates a calming feeling before the concluding piece of the album.
untitled ~for her~: We’ve made it to the final song and it is appropriately a tribute song to the friend she had lost. The pace of the song is slow and steady and creates a nostalgic and bittersweet feeling of the narrator remembering her friend and wishing they had more times together yet accepting that she has lost her friend and hopes that they will be together one day when she too leaves this world. The lyrics speak for themselves so I do not need to go into too much detail about them. I do know this friend has appeared in many of Ayu’s past lyrics so I can feel the pain along with her when listening to this song. It is a touching piece and composed very well. When I first read the lyrics to this song I do admit to tearing up…it is a very powerful piece.
Thank you guys for reading my review and I hope you all enjoyed it…feel free to send me questions, comments, or correct me if I made a mistake etc. I am always happy to share in my love of Ayu and especially this album which if I ever ranked Ayu albums (in itself a difficult job) would be near the top because of the great emotion poured into it. I will try to finish at least a few more reviews of Ayu albums before I go to Japan and hopefully I will be able to snag concert tickets to see Ayu in person soon for when I am going to Japan in August. So wish me luck on that! Thanks again for reading and following and stuff…yay!