CD Review :: ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP
CD + DVD
2) ANother song Feat URATA NAOYA
3) Why ... Feat JUNO
6) beloved (Orchestra version) (CD Only Regular Edition Track)
FIVE is ayumi hamasaki's 2nd mini album & it was released last week on 31st Aug .
ayumi's 1st mini album Memorial address was released on 8 years ago on 17th Dec . However unlike Memorial address , FIVE does not include any singles .
As the title of ayumi's latest mini album suggest , FIVE contains a total of 5 songs & all the songs receive music videos of their own .
Also , all the songs on FIVE have different promotion tie in's respectively as well .
progress is the 1st song on the tracklist & this was selected to be used to promote the PS3 game Tales of Xillia .
This song can be considered as the oldest track in FIVE because even before FIVE was announced to get released , preview snippets for progress have already been floating around the net for quite sometime now .
I really like the preview clips for progress & needless to say hearing the full version of the song was really worth it .
What I like about progress is that the song started out as a ballad but later on , it breaks into a really angsty gritty track & given the tone of progress , it's easy to see why it has that video game tone like setting which's fantastic .
ANother song is the 2nd track & for this , it has been described as a sad ballad with lyrics that'll touch a person's heart .
Promotion wise , it is currently used as the theme songs for BeeTV & sweetTV .
ANother song is the 1st collaboration track in FIVE & this features AAA's leader URATA NAOYA .
This marks the 2nd time ayumi collaborates with URATA , the 1st being Dream ON which was released last Dec .
I know ANother song received a lot of criticisms in that various negative comments I have read include that this no. sounded really cheap , URATA's vocals ruined things & etc but personally to me , I'm 1 of the rare few that really enjoy listening to ANother song .
Perhaps the saying 1 man's trash is another man's treasure fits this scenerio but I really don't have any problems with ANother song in any single bit & I feel that fans should cut URATA some slack in this aspect .
Why ... is the 3rd track & it's the 2nd collaboration no. found in FIVE .
Described as a medium upbeat no. , this song features JUNO who's the older/twin brother of TOHOSHINKI / JYJ's JUNSU .
Promotion wise , Why ... is currently used in the TV ads for HIS Taiwan Campaign & Recochoku TV .
This's a really pretty no. & I like it that Why ... started off with some nice piano beats & then it transformed into a rather good sounding mid tempo no. . I never heard of JUNO sounded like before but I thought his vocals compliment ayumi's quite nicely .
beloved is the 4th track in FIVE & this's a ballad which was composed by Hoshino Yasuhiko that fans have been expecting .
Promotion wise , beloved was used as the theme song for Japan TV's Sukkiri !! last month .
On 1st listen , beloved reminded me of Rock'n'Roll Circus's meaning of Love to a certain extent except in this case , I feel that beloved is much more prominent & stronger .
It took me quite a while to warm up to meaning of Love but for beloved , I really like it when I 1st heard it & this's a pretty ballad .
BRILLANTE is the final track in FIVE & it has described as a song that has a mysterious & impressive atmosphere .
Promotion wise , it's currently used in the ads of music.jp TV-CF .
Alongside with progress , I feel that BRILLANTE is probably 1 of the stand out tracks in FIVE .
It's a bit hard to describe BRILLANTE but all I can say's that this's a style that ayumi has not tried before in her music until now .
The chanting & Egyptian like sounds going on in BRILLANTE can get a bit creepy but it's 1 of those songs that does blow people's mind off & it did for me when I 1st heard BRILLANTE .
In addition to the 5 'normal' tracks found in FIVE's tracklist , there're 2 additional songs found in different pressings of FIVE .
The CD only regular edition includes an Orchestra version of beloved while the CD + DVD pressing of FIVE contains a hidden track after BRILLANTE , which's a remix for Why ... but it features URATA NAOYA on vocals instead of JUNO .
The Orchestra take of beloved is basically self explainatory but with regards to the version of Why ... that features URATA's vocals , I thought that's pretty cool .
I assumed that this version was going to sound the same as the version that ayumi sang with JUNO but for the URATA version of Why ... , it's more uptempo & poppier .
Somehow or another , both versions are equally nice & obviously depending on a person's preference , either the JUNO or URATA versions of Why ... is here for fans to critic on which version is better than the other & vice versa .
After 13 years in the music business , ayumi hamasaki shows no signs of slowing down when comes to releasing music .
She has been relatively quiet in 2011 after she got married early this year but she came back in releasing her 2nd mini album FIVE .
I must admit when it was 1st announced she was going to release a new mini album , I didn't had any expectations on what to expect for FIVE but I must say I was pretty blown away on the quality she has to offer in FIVE .
No doubt fans will tend to compare what she has done then for Memorial address & now for FIVE but I feel that as each release goes by , ayumi just keeps on progressing on & maturing as an artiste .
At the end of the day , FIVE is a really solid mini album & with an awesome photoshoot & covers to boot , who couldn't ask for more ?