Monday, 19 November 2012 09:14

Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE

The queen of J-Pop returns with a mini album ‘LOVE’ which celebrates her 15th year in the industry

Ayumi Hamasaki

4 stars

Text: Joelle Chong

To celebrate her 15th anniversary in showbiz, Ayumi Hamasaki, the reigning queen of J-Pop, is set to release a mini album each month for a consecutive five months, starting November.

LOVE consists of three original songs, with remixes and instrumentals making up the rest of the album. Worthy of mention is Ayumi penned all the lyrics in this album.

‘Song 4 U’ is a dramatic song which opens with a simple piano-led melody and Ayumi’s vocals. The stringed instruments enter stealthily in the background before the track changes into a rock melody with the addition of the drums and electric guitar. The orchestra version of the song is simply breath-taking.

Follow-up track ‘Missing’ is an emotional ballad with futuristic elements in the melody, thus enhancing the dance component in the track. The interlude brings surprise as the song climaxes during its chorus, only to be reduced to weak tinkling, providing depth to the track.

Out of the tracks on the album, ‘Melody’ is perhaps the personal favourite. Ayumi’s somewhat husky vocals match the ballad rock tune perfectly. Her voice always remains the highlight of the song, despite the genre of the music.

Once again, Ayumi proves why she is still standing tall amongst the competition with this latest release. LOVE simply had us yearning for more of the singer and we cannot wait until December when her next mini album is released.

Recommended tracks: Song 4 U (Orchestra version), Melody, Missing

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