Sunday, April 12, 2015

CD Review :: ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

CD

CD + DVD

CD + Blu-ray

1) a Bell
2) WARNING
3) NO FUTURE
4) Anything for You
5) Last minute
6) Zutto ...
7) Out of control
8) Story
9) The GIFT
10) The Show Must Go On
11) Walk
12) Movin' on without you

A ONE is ayumi hamasaki's 16th album & it was released on 8th April .

Released about 9 months+ since her previous album Colours , A ONE was released on the same day as ayumi hamasaki COUNTDOWN LIVE 2014-2015 A Cirque de Minuit ~Mayonaka no Circus~ DVD/Blu-ray .

The release date of both A ONE & ayumi hamasaki COUNTDOWN LIVE 2014-2015 A Cirque de Minuit ~Mayonaka no Circus~ DVD/Blu-ray falls on exactly 17 years since ayumi's debut single poker face was released .

12 songs are included in A ONE , inclusive of ayumi's 53rd single Zutto... / Last minute / Walk . The fanclub edition of A ONE includes a 2015 updated version of ayumi's 15th anniversary commemoration song Tell All .

2 album tracks WARNING & The GIFT received music videos .

a Bell served as the album opening no. & it's also the only instrumental track in A ONE . This follows straightaway with WARNING .

WARNING is 1 of 2 album tracks that received a music video & it rightfully deserves so because it's an aggressive rock no. that's extremely catchy & memorable , something that ayumi does best .

Acclaimed producer Komuro Tetsuya composed 4 songs in A ONE in which the next 2 songs NO FUTURE & Anything for You were composed by him .

NO FUTURE is a futuristic sounding no. which has some nice surprises prior to the end of the song . On the other hand , Anything for You is a ballad & it's easily the longest track I've come across in ayumi's discography for a non remix track , clocking in at 7 mins .

Perhaps it's due to the long duration but I'm not really a fan of Anything for You . Let alone it doesn't help that it sounds a lot like Walk which ironically was composed by Komuro Tetsuya as well .

Last minute & Zutto ... are 2 of 3 ballads from ayumi's 53rd single Zutto... / Last minute / Walk . Last minute is a rock ballad while Zutto ... is a Winter ballad .

For Last minute , ayumi started to work on this song in response to her fans' fervent request . In addition , Last minute was picked to be used as the opening theme for NTV's Buzz Rhythm for this month .

When Zutto... / Last minute / Walk was released last Dec , only a video for Zutto... was made at that time . But in A ONE , a video was made for Last minute , which's included in the DVD/Blu-ray tracklist .

Up to now I still prefer Last minute a lot as compared to the other 2 ballads given that Last minute reminds me of ayumi's previous rock driven ballads which're still classics even up to now .

The next 2 songs Out of control & Story were composed by the same person whom worked on the melody of Last minute .

Between both tracks , I prefer Story as I had nostalgic vibes upon hearing it , not that Out of control is outright bad .

The GIFT is the 2nd album track that received a video & this wedding ballad was composed by Singaporean singer/songwriter JJ Lin .

No pun intended , The GIFT was reported to be a gift from JJ for ayumi & her fans . Heaping praises on The GIFT that JJ composed for her , ayumi added that the song gives off a sense of purity & she was "very happy" with how it turned out . She said , "It (the song) showcases a very good side of JJ , not just as a man but as an artiste ."

Even though I don't listen/support Chinese music , I wouldn't deny that from 1 Singaporean to another , I'm happy for JJ Lin as it's an honour for him to compose something for ayumi seeing that this will definitely raise his profile substantially .

The song itself is really touching & given that this's the 1st time JJ Lin composed something for ayumi , it's a commending effort . I do hope that this will not be the last time I'll be seeing a JJ composition as it will be great if he were to compose for ayumi again in the near future .

The Show Must Go On & Walk are the other 2 songs in A ONE that were composed by Komuro Tetsuya .

For The Show Must Go On , it was picked to be used in the ads of Samantha Thavasa . This's actually 1 of my fave tracks in A ONE & even though it sounds quite similiar with LOVE again's snowy kiss , I'm actually quite ok with it .

On the other hand , Walk is the 3rd ballad that makes up ayumi's 53rd single Zutto... / Last minute / Walk . It's still my least fave ballad among the 3 . I don't mind to listen to it but given a choice , I would skip it .

Movin' on without you is the final track in A ONE & this's a cover of Utada Hikaru's 2nd single in which this single was released 16 years ago in 17th Feb .

ayumi's cover of the song was 1st included in a tribute cover album titled Utada Hikaru no Uta which was released last year on 9th Dec to commemorate Utada's 15th anniversary in the business .

In her cover of Movin' on without you , ayumi utilised her voice in a manner that she doesn't normally does in her discography .

This's the 1st time for ayumi to include a cover in her studio albums & I did enjoyed her rendition of Utada's Movin' on without you so I have no problems with her choosing to include it as the last song in A ONE .

Celebrating her 17th anniversary in the business , ayumi hamasaki released her 16th album A ONE together with ayumi hamasaki COUNTDOWN LIVE 2014-2015 A Cirque de Minuit ~Mayonaka no Circus~ DVD/Blu-ray on the same day when her debut single poker face was released 17 years ago on 8th April .

Before listening to A ONE in full , I already had a feeling that I was going to like it a lot more than ayumi's past albums Colours & LOVE again . Sure enough , A ONE in general is quite good & certain portions of the album I have nostalgic feelings upon listening to it .

Prior to A ONE , I had somewhat dislike towards LOVE again & Colours as I didn't liked the way both albums were marketed/promoted & also the sound consistency for both albums were quite poor .

Luckily in this case , I don't really encounter that much problems in A ONE even though it's not an all rounder album . At the end of the day , A ONE is still quite ballads driven to a certain extent & it's not as musically diverse as compared to ayumi's past albums .

Another problem I noticed is that the songs that Komuro Tetsuya composed in A ONE tends to get repetitive after a few listens . Komuro Tetsuya did an amazing job composing the majority bulk of material in Love songs but what I've heard in A ONE sounded like something he has composed before for ayumi .

It was great for JJ Lin to compose for ayumi as The GIFT is a nice change from the usual group of composers ayumi usually relies on . Honestly , what I hope to hear in ayumi's next studio album is that she should get other people to compose for her because if she keeps on relying on the same group of people , things will get stagnant musically .

That said , this's definitely not the last time I'll be seeing from her as her 5th mini album will be released on 5th Aug .

On that note , here's to the next anniversary coming from the Empress of JPop .



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Karen Pang

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# My music blog consists of JPop/Rock singles & albums reviews that I put my heart , efforts & soul into writing them as I'm disgusted with the way that JPop/Rock music is being treated/written/reviewed in Singapore so to the local media (yes you TEENS , Teenage Magazine & The Strait Times) , screw you all . I basically can write better JPop/Rock reviews , period

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Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


# Hey ! Say ! JUMP's 1st DVD single Ai Dake ga Subete -What do you want?- , 290519 , Wed

# B'z's 21st album NEW LOVE , 290519 , Wed

# V6's 51st single Aru Hi Negai ga Kanattanda / All For You , 050619 , Wed

# Hilcrhyme's 1st remake album SUN ~Remake Best 1~ , 120619 , Wed

# NEWS's 25th single Top Gun / Love Story , 120619 , Wed

# Yamashita Tomohisa's 10th single CHANGE , 190619 , Wed

# ARASHI's best album 5x20 All the BEST!! 1999-2019 , 260619 , Wed

# UVERworld's UVERworld KING'S PARADE at Yokohama Arena 2018.12.21 DVD + Blu-ray , 100719 , Wed

# UVERworld's UVERworld QUEEN'S PARTY at Nippon Budokan 2018.12.21 DVD + Blu-ray , 100719 , Wed

# GRANRODEO's GRANRODEO LIVE 2018 G13 ROCK☆SHOW "Don't show your back!" Blu-ray , , 210819 , Wed

# SID's 6th album title tbc , in 2019

# BREAKERZ's 20th single title tbc , Summer 2019




Album Reviews


# Matsushita Yuya - BLACK NEVERLAND

# NEWS - WORLDISTA

# Hilcrhyme - Hilcrhyme

# Yamashita Tomohisa - UNLEASHED

# BENI - CINEMATIC

# ayaka - 30 y/o

# GRANRODEO - M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - SENSE or LOVE

# Koda Kumi - DNA

# Shota Shimizu - WHITE

# SID - Ichiban Sukina Basho EP

# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

# Ken Hirai - Utabaka Dake ni.

# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

# Kis-My-Ft2 - MUSIC COLOSSEUM

# Mika Nakashima - TOUGH

# NEWS - NEVERLAND

# Koda Kumi - W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

# Kis-My-Ft2 - KIS-MY-WORLD

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-Journey

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

# flumpool - experience

# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-1st

# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

# Shota Shimizu - Naturally

# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

# Matsushita Yuya - 2U

# KAT-TUN - CHAIN

# Kuroki Meisa - UNLOCKED

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - BUTTERFLY

# ayaka - The beginning

# Koda Kumi - JAPONESQUE

# Kuriyama Chiaki - CIRCUS Deluxe Edition

# girl next door - Agaruneku !

# Hilcrhyme - RISING

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# Tegomass - Tegomass no Mahou

# SPYAIR - Rockin' the World

# BREAKERZ - GO

# ayumi hamasaki - FIVE EP

# B'z - C'mon

# School Food Punishment - Prog-Roid

# ARASHI - Beautiful World

# Aoyama Thelma - WILL

# Ken Hirai - JAPANESE SINGER

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - Destination

# Tackey & Tsubasa - TRIP & TREASURE EP

# Shota Shimizu - COLORS

# Koda Kumi - Dejavu

# SID - dead stock

# flumpool - Fantasia of Life Stripe

# Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD , SUPERBAD

# Kuroki Meisa - MAGAZINE

# ayumi hamasaki - Love songs

# BENI - Jewel

# Hilcrhyme - MESSAGE

# Saito Kazuyoshi - ARE YOU READY ?

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# Kanjani∞ - 8UPPERS (Pacchi Uppers)

# GLAY - GLAY

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# NEWS - LIVE

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# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE ! 2

# Hilcrhyme - Recital

# ARASHI - Boku no Miteiru Fukei

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shoujo Shikake no Libretto ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~

# YUI - HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP NO.1

# KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ

# BENI - Lovebox

# Matsushita Yuya - I AM ME

# Acid Black Cherry - Q.E.D.

# Acid Black Cherry - BLACK LIST

# school food punishment - amp-reflection

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Ai EP

# BREAKERZ - B.R.Z ACOUSTIC EP

# ayumi hamasaki - Rock'n'Roll Circus

# V6 - READY ?

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - HELLO CRAZY GENTLEMAN

# DAIGO☆STARDUST - The space toy

# Shota Shimizu - Journey

# Koda Kumi - UNIVERSE

# NEVER LAND - Beautiful Days EP

# abingdon boys school - ABINGDON ROAD

# BENI - Bitter & Sweet

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - NEXT FUTURE

# LANDS - Olympos EP

# flumpool - What's flumpool !?

# Kuroki Meisa - ATTITUDE EP

# Yusuke - Ano .. Konnan Dekimashita Kedo.

# KinKi Kids - J album

# Namie Amuro - PAST < FUTURE

# BREAKERZ - FIGHTERZ

# alan - my life

# LOVE - LOVE.IT EP

# B'z - MAGIC

# Dew - PRESENT

# Saito Kazuyoshi - Tsuki ga Noboreba

# Aoyama Thelma - Emotions

# SID - hikari

# Kobukuro - CALLING

# Domoto Koichi - mirror

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Uta

# ON / OFF - Legend Of Twins I -Futago Densetsu-

# Fukuyama Masaharu - Zankyou

# Kanon Wakeshima - Shinshoku Dolce

# GReeeeN - Shio , Koshou -SALT & PEPPER-

# flumpool - Unreal EP

# Yuna Ito - DREAM

# Kanjani∞ - PUZZLE

# KAT-TUN - Break the Records -by you & for you-

# Kuroki Meisa - hellcat EP

# Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou

# ayumi hamasaki - NEXT LEVEL

# Utada Hikaru - DEEP RIVER

# Utada - This Is The One

# Kanjani∞ - KJ1 F·T·O

# ARASHI - Dream"A"Live

# Kanjani∞ - Kansha ni Eight EP

# alan - Voice of EARTH

# Aoyama Thelma - LOVE !

# Koda Kumi - TRICK

# Aoyama Thelma - DIARY

# YUI - I LOVED YESTERDAY

# YUI - CAN'T BUY MY LOVE

# BREAKERZ - BREAKERZ

# GIRL NEXT DOOR - GIRL NEXT DOOR

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Ohisashiburi Desu

# YUI - FROM ME TO YOU

# GReeeeN - A , Domo. Hajimemashite

# BREAKERZ - CRASH & BUILD

# ai otsuka - LOVE LETTER

# Mika Nakashima - VOICE

# BREAKERZ - BIG BANG !

# NEWS - color

# Anna Tsuchiya - NUDY SHOW !

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 3 : Senior Year

# L'Arc~en~Ciel - KISS

# BREAKERZ - Ao no Mirai EP

# ai otsuka - LOVE PUNCH

# ai otsuka - LOVE COOK

# ai otsuka - LOVE JAM

# KAT-TUN - cartoon KAT-TUN II You

# OLIVIA - Trinka Trinka EP

# NEWS - touch

# NEWS - pacific

# ARASHI - Iza , Now

# ARASHI - One

# NANA Triple Billing

# OLIVIA - The Cloudy Dreamer EP

# Anna Tsuchiya - strip me ?

# ARASHI - ARASHIC

# KAT-TUN - Best of KAT-TUN

# Anna Tsuchiya - Taste My Beat EP

# ARASHI - Time

# Electrico - We Satellites

# ayaka - Sing to the Sky

# ayaka - First Message

# KAT-TUN - KAT-TUN III -QUEEN OF PIRATES-

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~BOUNCE & LOVERS~

# Jesse McCartney - Departure

# The Veronicas - Hook Me Up

# Ken Hirai - LIFE is ...

# Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World

# Ken Hirai - gaining through losing

# Yuna Ito - HEART

# Utada Hikaru - HEART STATION

# Ken Hirai - FAKIN' POP

#
Yuna Ito - WISH

# Ken Hirai - SENTIMENTALovers

# Koda Kumi - Kingdom

# ayumi hamasaki - GUILTY

# ai otsuka - LOVE PiECE

# abingdon boys school - abingdon boys school

# ayumi hamasaki - I am ...

# ayumi hamasaki - RAINBOW

# The Great Spy Experiment - Flower Show Riots

# Koda Kumi - BEST ~second session~

# The Click Five - Modern Minds And Pastimes

# Soundtrack Of High School Musical 2

# Koda Kumi - Black Cherry

# Namie Amuro - PLAY

# Maroon 5 - It Wouldn't Be Soon Before Long

# ayumi hamasaki - Memorial address EP

# NANA starring Mika Nakashima - THE END

# Mika Nakashima - YES

# Jamie Michael - People Watching

# ayumi hamasaki - A BEST 2 -BLACK- & A BEST 2 -WHITE-

# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

# The Best Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2009

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

# The 1st Song I Heard From My Future JPop Acts

# The Best & The Worst Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

# 987 Control Songlist Set

# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

# Eric Dill Of The Click Five Got Punk'd !




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