Ayumi Hamasaki Discography Rate: Part 2 (FIN)

It was, objectively the most boring Secret song, outlasting this derivative B&D mega bop?
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count down
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10 @evilsin @vague
2.5 @EachSmallStep

It's a bit sad to see this one go so early considering the subject matter, but that alone can't be expected to raise this to greatness, can it? It's pretty blatantly about her hearing loss, which has to be an artist's worst nightmare. It's undeniably dark, and yet her strength shows through; she stands up to accept the inevitable. Nothing but respect for my queen.

"Pretty repetitive but I don't have any other complaints," eliminathan contently states. otenkiame appreciates the dark undertones, "When that ominous piano opened, I had super high hopes, especially when it extended to the verses. It's a shame the choruses felt a little flat. Still like it for the dark tone, though." And the subject matter wasn't lost on TABOO, "It was and still is interesting to see her discuss her hearing loss in this song."

Not much else to say except from our 10s, first being vague, "this is about her going deaf, isn't it? there's something very brooding and dark about the music, which i guess is fitting considering what this is about. she sounds fuckin' phenonomenal and so emotional on this, too. it gives me chills everytime i listen." And of course evilsin, "Had a soft spot for this one from the very first listen. It's not that outstanding, but the that haunting atmosphere is superb. People ruminate that this is about her hearing loss and the lyrics are getting even sadder when you think about it. I love you, Ayu."

 
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count down is amazing and I'm disappointed it placed this low. Although it's about Ayu's hearing loss, the lyrics should resonate with anyone who's experienced loss or hardship. That's actually why it got a 9.5 from me instead of a 10, because I only gave 10s to songs that were contenders for my 11 and this song makes me too sad for me to listen to it often, so I can't call it a favorite exactly. But it is a masterpiece.
 
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HOPE or PAIN
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10 @eliminathan
6.5 @mi|kshake @Animalia @EachSmallStep @TABOO @otenkiame

Well shit, I guess y'all were feeling a 6.5 for this one huh? I'm pretty sure this is the new highest score for the lowest score. HOPE or PAIN is pretty self-explanatory, hoping for absolution that will more than likely never come, as evident by the yearning in her voice. I'd probably have tossed it a 10 for the classical version; the production is immaculately stunning, and not unlike something you'd waltz to in a ballroom. This song is probably most-well known in her fandom as basically sounding like a One Of Us rip-off. Ayu did it better though, don't @ me.

vague loves a good twist, "i love this. it sounds so deceptively uplifting and happy, but the lyrics are pretty sad," and EachSmallStep picked up on her delivery as well, "Really like the reminiscing tone she has throughout the refrain." Is it too much to HOPE for TABOO to come around to this? "I recall never being particularly fond of HOPE or PAIN, but it’s grown on me this time around." otenkiame probably won't, "A rock ballad that just doesn't really make me feel any sort of way. I feel quite indifferent while listening, unfortunately." evilsin stans just a bitsy, "Overall a really nice tune, the harpsichord or whatever produces that sound has a really nice touch and adds character, while the guitar in the middle 8 is amazing."

One Of Us, ha impact on digitalkaiser, "C’mon Joannemasaki! I love the guitars in this, it’s a very charming song. Pop rock qween." Okay, maybe that's a Gaga reference. Anyway, eliminathan noticed, "The riff at the start sounds like it's going to be an off-key 'One of us' by Joan Osborne but this song ends up being infinitely better." Whew, tea.


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Hey guys, it's fairly stormy here and I have a looming sense that I'm going to lose power so I'm going to try and blow through elims quicker than usual today. Sorry sorry~

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GUILTY
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10 @RUNAWAY @vague @vikeyeol
3 @evilsin

As far as title tracks go, I definitely feel GUILTY is one of her weaker outputs. The verses are haunting and sinister, but the chorus leaves me cold. It's still quite solid, however. As you probably guessed by the title, the lyrics are about her guilt catching up with her. Also that little voice saying "guilty" in the background, where the hell did that come from?

Does evilsin feel guilty about being lowest scorer? Heck no, "I can't fucking believe this was a title track. What's with the guitar? What's with the chorus making her sound whiny? What's with the verses being so boring? Jesus." Go in a bit. TABOO also offers a drag, "Forgettable. There is a lot of emotion that she conveys, but somehow this track never really spoke to me as much as I felt it could." And eliminathan couldn't finish, "This song would be perfect if there were some ad-libs or something in the last chorus because otherwise it never really gets to the climax I'm looking for. It's such a good song other than that."

At least the 10s like vikeyeol were here for it, "SO underrated, probably in my top 10 Ayu songs. Everything about it is so eerie, from the haunting production to the almost inaudible english voice in the chorus and those foreboding lyrics." Oops, guess they won't be happy about this particular tag. Also complimentary is otenkiame, "The guitars are understated, yet perfect for the despair and sadness seeping into the music and vocals. The piano melody and guitars just really do it for me." Closing we have the other 10s vague, "dark, atmospheric, and dramatic. loooove this" and RUNAWAY, "wow. Just wow. I forgot how freaking good this song is. I have goosebumps."


 
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It was
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10 @vague @eliminathan
6 @otenkiame @junglefish @TABOO @EachSmallStep @Weslicious

Okay, I realise this is a touch on the basic side, but I love this song and consider it one of my personal highlights of Secret; I really love the melody of the chorus. It's bittersweet in presentation, where Ayu is reflecting upon past romance. Thing certainly were simpler back in the day, weren't they?

It feels like a leftover for TABOO, "I’ve read somewhere that It was was originally written for (miss)understood, and was brought out for Secret when she decided to convert it to a full album. It feels a little filler-ish." otenkiame doesn't exactly disagree, "I got a bit bored listening to this. It's not bad, but it's just really pedestrian for her. Midtempo and guitar-led, I feel like she's done way better tracks like this. Totally easy to forget at the end of the day." It makes evilsin feel curious, which in turn makes him... bicurious, "This got me curious the second I heard the opening notes, but I only grew to love it with time. There is something missing in the chorus for me, although the first line is asserting. The verses are pretty amazing."

eliminathan sees the flaws but loves it all the same, "Another rock bop by her, a bit predictable in terms of where it leads but I can't deny it's great." And vague's commentary, It was perfect, "what a fuckin' masterpiece, honestly. i love how desperate she sounds on the chorus; it's so heart-wrenching. i really feel that shit! another one of my all-time faves from her; this shit is just too good."

@eliminathan was polite enough to share his karaoke with us for this elimination! Thanks sis~
 
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criminal
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10 @otenkiame
6 @evilsin @soratami @ThisIsRogue @Weslicious

Oh hey (miss), haven't seen you for a while. I also think this is the first day without any PV-having songs, RIP gif artwork. criminal is lit. Miss Hamasaki is serving drama and theatrics. It may seem a bit soon for this, but we're starting to get into the thick of it and those 6's are lethal. I can see how some people would feel this drags on a bit, but I find it hauntingly beautiful. Lyrically, it sounds like mama she's in love with a criminal. The instrumentals really were on point for this album, weren't they?

eliminathan thinks her vocals and this production are a match made in prison, "The slow rock goes well with ha voice." TABOO will have to pay for his crimes of underscoring, "A bold album track. I feel I rated this one harshly, but it’s one I don’t often return back to. However, the instrumental during the bridge is fantastic." I wonder what evilsin's nickname in prison will be, "This never really clicked with me for some reason, even though musically it's aight. The middle 8 is so beautiful, almost reminds me of those orcas from Dolls." Those orcas were actually the bottom in the next cell over, common mistake. vague gets off with a warning, "this is the best kind of ayu ballad: dramatic and dark. i really do love this, but that weird strings section... i always forget it's coming and it fucks me up every single time. only reason it didn't get a 10 from me." And who's the warden 'round these parts? It's otenkiame and you low scorers will have to answer to them, "Wow. So much raw emotion and and pain. Ayu can really bring it when it comes to tracks like these. If I had a soul, I would be shedding tears listening to this. A superb track all around."


 
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