Ayumi Hamasaki Discography Rate: Part 2 (FIN)


UK No 31!

Just catching up and the only song I'm really sad to see go was 'rainy day'. It deserved to be in the top 30.

Yes, Rainy Day - the PV and song are perfect together. (miss)understood really is her best (studio) album for ballads isn't it?

I always love how devastating Virgin Road's chorus sounds. And the PV - apart from the cheesy end shot!

So far my 11 is hanging on in there...
 
That top 30 is like...career defining back to back Moments.
We love this rate's winner
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kiss o' kill
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10 @aaronhansome @Weslicious @vague @One Stop Candy Shop @eliminathan
5 @ThisIsRogue 7 @digitalkaiser

kiss o' kill is what I call my Scruff hookups. Always text your friend the shifty trade's address! You know that scene at the end of OOT where you pop into Ganondorf's abode and he's just peeling away on the organ? That's what this song makes me think of. That production is aggressive. This song goes every which way and grips you along for the jolting ride. It's never been one of my personal highlights of Secret (I gave it a 7.5, the last score of mine below 8), but I definitely see what the appeal is. For anyone keeping track, I think there's 4 PV-less songs left, 3 of which are on Love songs and the other being Will.

eliminathan starts, "I'm a sucker for breakdowns," same, "when the music halts and doesn't come back in its entirety until a while later in the chorus." ThisIsRogue showed up as lowest scorer by a considerable margin of 2 with his reasoning, "Sounds like she's lacking any sort of conviction during the verses." On the contrary, evilsin elaborates on why he loves it, "A bit on an experimental side to me. Love how unique it sounds and the lyrics. The melody in the chorus is great as well." EachSmallStep is left somewhere in the middle, "Killer instrumental breaks, but overall not as intense as I hoped with a name like that." TABOO keeps it all in upfront, "There is something so captivating and fascinating about kiss o’ kill from the enigmatic introduction to the instrumental breakdown. Once again, Ayu’s lyrics are front and centre."

"fuck, this is good," RUNAWAY states, mouth agape. Speaking of a gape, digitalkaiser has been around the block not unlike this song, "Ya girl loves the choppy synths in this, however it blends in with similar songs that she’s done a bit better before."I should invite Cutlery to my next sacrifice, it's bring your own goat sis: "What even is happening at the beginning of the song? Serving children chanting to summon a demon. Anyway the rest of the track is haunted, glitchy, blessed by that organ and it overall conveys well Hamasaki's support of the outcast person she's singing to." otenkiame's invited too since they're into that dark shit, "Some organ realness along with delicious electronics mixed with rock. I'm always here for the darker side of Ayumi, especially when she's doing it with all these interesting sounds." And finally, there's nothing vague about this declaration, "such an effortlessly cool track. one of my all-time faves from her and THE highlight from the album."

This time it's evilsin who's the karaoke queen
 
she/her
I want to like progress more but something about its music has always sounded weirdly muffled and overly loud at the same time to me? And it kind of takes away from Ayu's vocals. When it first came out I thought it was my earphones or the file that was the problem but it's been like that no matter where I hear it or what I listen to it on. So I don't listen to it much, even though it seems like a cool song.
it's about her fans
Is it really? I've always interpreted it as being directed at her mother and/or grandmother. Lines like "thank you for this life", "There were also nights when we argued and I ran out of the house crying and shouting, but in the end I know that you always understood me more than anyone else" and "I have this feeling that the person I love is somehow similar to the person you met and fell in love with back then" to me read as things Ayu might want to say to the women who raised her. The old drama of the same title also touches on single motherhood, iirc. For that reason Virgin Road is a really touching song to me, and another track I can't listen to often without getting sad. I feel like I keep saying that but I'm fucking sensitive, okay?!

Lastly, kiss o' kill is an epic track, I love it. The only thing is that for some reason I can't ever remember what it sounds like until I'm actually listening to it? But once I do I'm like "oh right, this is amazing". The song's music might sound dark but the lyrics are very uplifting.

Sorry for writing essays like this, I'm trying to make up for never sending in any commentary, oops.
 
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Is it really? I've always interpreted it as being directed at either her mother and/or grandmother. Lines like "thank you for this life", "There were also nights when we argued and I ran out of the house crying and shouting, but in the end I know that you always understood me more than anyone else" and "I have this feeling that the person I love is somehow similar to the person you met and fell in love with back then" really read as things Ayu might want to say to the women who raised her. The old drama of the same title also touches on single motherhood, iirc. For that reason Virgin Road is a really touching song to me, and another track I can't listen to often without getting sad. I feel like I keep saying that but I'm fucking sensitive, okay?!
Lastly, kiss o' kill is a really epic track, I love it. The only thing is that for some reason I can't ever remember what it sounds like until I'm actually listening to it? But once I do I'm like "oh right, this is amazing". The song's music might sound dark but the lyrics are very uplifting.

Sorry for writing essays like this, I'm trying to make up for never sending in any commentary, oops.
Oh probably. I remember reading a while ago that it was about her fans but I'm not finding any results, but like "thank you for this life" could be like her life of her music career and stuff. Anyway, lemme keep pretending it's for me because I'm selfish like that.
 
My wild guess for what's leaving next is Ladies Night, November, Don't look back & BRILLANTE
No hate for any of these songs, I love them! It's just my intuition
More likely than not I'm losing more 10s tho
 
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INSPIRE
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10 @One Stop Candy Shop @ohnostalgia @junglefish @TABOO
6 @eliminathan 7 @vikeyeol

And then there was one #pray4Moments. The production on this one makes it one of the more unique songs within Ayu's discography. For some reason it reminds me of Sonic 2, shrug. As you can no doubt judge from the title, it's a pretty inspirational song. I'm listening to it now trying to inspire me to go for that morning run I said I'd do, but the impact is not real. The PV is a heap of cultural appropriation so let's just get to the commentary.

TABOO noticed the choreo Ayu blessed us with, "Not Ayu serving some desert choreography! INSPIRE is one of my all-time favourites; the chorus explodes bombastically, her vocals are well controlled, and the can-do nature of the song is, well, inspiring." Cutlery Yoshi jumps another album of hers to pay compliment, "The comparison is probably not very accurate, but this sounds straight out of a better version of Rock’n’Roll Circus, and I’m definitely getting my life to it! My favorite bit is probably the bridge," and digitalkaiser was also INSPIRED by another of Ayu's works, "Yas come on late album banger *bussy pops* Love the slightly rnb production to all this mixed with her traditional guitar work and organs! It reminds me of one of my other favorite bops ‘Ourselves’!"

eliminathan dubs her "Cornrows queen" while ThisIsRogue names the aesthetic, "Her look and the staging during the My Story Arena Tour reminded me of the Persian king Xerxes in the movie '300'." evilsin is also a sucker for a good live show, "This is such a spectacle live, whew. I like how different this sounds to other Ayu songs, even though in its core it's still a pop/rock song." EachSmallStep is gripped by Ayu's commanding delivery, "Her singing demands attention in the best way and the mildly Arabian rock beat is something I always enjoy when she dabbles in it." And RUNAWAY loves a good interlude-song pairing, "the lead-in to this song from Kaleidoscope is ICONIC and this song is an inspiring jam. Feminist icon Ayu."

otenkiame stays captivated, "I remember seeing Middle-Eastern Ayumi and being mesmerized. This pop song is really fun and cool. Plain and simple. Those choruses are fire and the speed she goes at them with takes the cake." And lastly ddd this is so cute vague, "this had just been released when i was first getting into her, but i didn't get around to listening to it until the album came out. i just remember seeing the single cover online and thinking it was so amazing that i printed it off and put it on the front of my school agenda dddd. the cover is still iconic, tbh, and so is the song."



So which album will fall first? Will GUILTY prevail over MY STORY? Or is it possible that we have another cull before either of them fall?​
 
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Startin'
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11 @EachSmallStep 10 @aaronhansome @evilsin @junglefish @TABOO
7 @digitalkaiser @ThisIsRogue

Miss Ayu set out to make a bop and boy ever did she succeed. It's hard to be paired with a damn Olympic theme and hold your own, but Startin' does that and even leaves Born To Be... in the dust by a considerable margin of 43 eliminations. Lyrically this feels like Ayu is telling Pearl to wake up. I'm still going to take 5 naps a day but I appreciate the effort sis. PV-wise, it gets a lot of comparisons to Britney's Toxic, but it really feels like more of a Missy Elliott video. Zany queens all around anyway. Hands down, Startin' has solidified a place in her discography as one of her boppiest bops.

otenkiame loves a spectacle, "The video for this song alone is enough to score extra points. It's a really fun pop song, though my love for it has faded over time." eliminathan even gives us a full rundown, "The bad acting from the extras in this is phenomenal. The three people in the Jeep that Ayumi is racing with pretending to be shocked but all at different times with different expressions is a highlight. Also love that she was feeling her Psylocke fantasy with those pink butterfly sunglasses and I want them. The video was already a mess but who directed that ending and thought the white guy should be Ayumi all along because holy shit." There goes my reveal at the end of this rate );. ThisIsRogue will be perusing eBay this afternoon to replicate Ayu's look, "Queen of fashionable eyewear." I love a subtle accessory, and so does evilsin, "A bop of massive proportions, played it to death when it was released. Love all of the references in the PV as well and those butterfly glasses... a lqqk!"

Startin' isn't without its critiques, startin' with vague, "good verses, great bridges, weak chorus. she looks really pretty on the single cover," and endin' with Cutlery, "In many ways, feels like a precursor to Sparkle with its electronic production and encouraging lyrics combo. Although the feeling is less aggressive than in the NEXT LEVEL single, it's still very catchy."

I wasn't the only one to notice Missy's influence as digitalkaiser points out, "This video is almost a bit ridiculous, it feels like she’s stolen sets and backup dancers from Missy. I remember when this song came out it was very...huh, after being such a stan for (Miss)understood. I love the song now though, that OVER THE TOP dress and hat in the video though." And TABOO praises another of their fallen faves, "Uplifting bop! Ayu is most assertive and in control on Startin’. One of my absolute favourites." EachSmallStep closes for their 11 by picking out the same favourite lines as me, "Gripping from start to finish. In love with the “dreaming, starting” lines. A great message about believing in yourself and moving forward too." *puts on repeat until I do exactly that*

me listening to Startin'
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@BEST FICTION ©

 
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