Ayumi Hamasaki Discography Rate: Part 2 (FIN)

Can Fairyland go next please?

Jesus...

If any (m)u song shall leave rn, I hope it's HEAVEN but I doubt my 7.5 is enough to achieve that

I was gonna say as much as I love Heaven, it would have to be the first (miss)understood exit for me but never mind!

I mean it is a definition of a ridiculous song, figuratively and literally.

Extra as hell, campy and absolutely fun

I never know how to describe Bold & Delicious except as insane but this describes it perfectly.

used to ironically stan this 'cause everyone i hated on ahs had a fuckin' meltdown when this first premiered

I love this!
 
Great place for is this SCALP?
Also not today having a singles cull ddd
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Nooooo what is this widbwifbej
 
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I'm so muthatruckin' mad that this isn't in the top 10 but I guess it's what I deserve for being the low scorer on quite a few songs in this rate. This could also be @One Stop Candy Shop's revenge on me for literally taking forever to finish the part 1 rate.

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alterna
(8.954)


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11 @ThisIsRogue
10 @aaronhansome @Cutlery @vikeyeol @RUNAWAY @eliminathan @send photo

6.5 @One Stop Candy Shop
7 @Animalia @soratami
7.5 @TABOO

Speaking of clowns, the wonderfully weird PV for 'alterna' has 3 of them. I think the whole package delivering the message of the song is brilliant. The visual is among the best in her videography, and there's a lot to unpack and interpret. The music production is so well done and so well put together. There's a nice contrast between the Final Fantasy-like brass and strings, and the rockier guitar and drums. Ayu's vocal? She delivers emotion and her angst is evident through her delivery as she sings "if you fear change, then watch from a distance." Ayu's done playing nice.

The final bit of brilliance that I find with 'alterna' is its pairing with the 'fairyland' single as a B-side. Ayu recognises that the expectation for a popstar is yearly summer singles, and yeah she'll play along, but she's damn well letting you know that she's more than just a regular popstar. I've always connected with this song, even before I knew what she was singing about. Her determination to break the mould is so well conveyed.



The message is coming through loud and clear for otenkiame, "Rock and underlying electronic elements make for another great track. Seriously, she sounds fierce, fed up, telling avex to stick it. LOVE this side of her. It's hard not to associate this with its weird music video." taboo got the memo as well, "The composition and lyrics of alterna are biting and striking. The PV truly fleshes out more of the bad blood between Ayu and Avex during those years. Defiant."

vague needed a little time, "omg i HATED this when fairyland came out, mess!! so glad i've seen the light and realized how great this is now. the video is iconic, too." digitalkaiser is all about the visuals, "The video for this is very memorable to me, ehehehe." evilsin is a little surprised, "The creepy video is such a career highlight, although I'm still surprised that this is one of her most known tracks internationally. I guess it does have a bit more wider appeal.

eliminathan's about to file a sexual harassment lawsuit, "The video is pretty good, at least in terms of what they were trying to achieve. I can not for the life of me understand why they added that very last scene of a little boy sexually harassing a little girl. These characters weren't in the entire video so they paid(?) two extras just for one scene where sis gets ha dress snatched up." Men are trash pretends_to_be_shocked.gif. Ayu is more than a singing machine for our rate host send photo, "This is hands down one of her most ingenious songs: lyrically, vocally, production-wise, and visually. This PV is... particularly haunting when looking at the current state of her career."

It's all love from RUNAWAY, "this song is so fucking cool. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH." We end with cutlery's stanning, "The intro/outro sound so flawless and driving for the song’s atmosphere, setting the mood for the rest of the track, which is pretty much a perfectly-executed, loud electric guitar affair with Hamasaki’s voice seemingly singing about superficiality and the expectations laid on her due to her immense presence throughout the years."



Just some closing comments from me before we finally say goodbye to my 11. I highly recommend listening to the Orchestra Version that features on the 'HEAVEN' single. The orchestral music production provides a different perspective on Ayu and her desire for change. Rather than interpreting it in terms of her career, I think about her desire for change in her personal life. Despite all that she's gained from her career, that only highlights some of the loss she's experienced. Viewing the song this way is a little more abstract, but my take away is a desire for change so that she has balance between her career and her personal life.




 
she/her
Sorry for my BOOOLD & ~~Delishaaas~~ score, I just really hate the backup singing and the shoutiness, SORRY I maybe should have given it a 7 but I clearly wasn't in a bold or delicious mood that day.
alterna and is this LOVE? were robbed, fairyland and HEAVEN are kinda boring, and those are my hot takes for today!

me protecting my 11 and remaining 10s
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i just wanted to use this gif
 
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fairyland and HEAVEN are kinda boring, and those are my hot takes for today!
I think the fuck not you trick ass bitch.gif and Ebony-yes.gif
fairyland is a legendary masterpiece and an essential in (m)u
HEAVEN is overrated because IMO it takes too long to really take off (once it does past the first «chorus» it is pretty amazing and deserves much praise) and some lyrics are basic, while plenty of her ballads (GREEN, BRILLANTE, BALLAD, JEWEL to name a few) are consistently engaging sonically and lyrically throughout their whole runtime
So I'll give you a like and a report for this comment x
 
she/her
I think the fuck not you trick ass bitch.gif and Ebony-yes.gif
fairyland is a legendary masterpiece and an essential in (m)u
HEAVEN is overrated because IMO it takes too long to really take off (once it does past the first «chorus» it is pretty amazing and deserves much praise) and some lyrics are basic, while plenty of her ballads (GREEN, BRILLANTE, BALLAD, JEWEL to name a few) are consistently engaging sonically and lyrically throughout their whole runtime
So I'll give you a like and a report for this comment x
Cool but I scored HEAVEN higher than fairyland so report that hon!
 
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Don't look back
(8.977)


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10 @evilsin @vikeyeol @TABOO @EachSmallStep @soratami @eliminathan @send photo
6 @ThisIsRogue 7 @Weslicious

Ddd, I know we're down to the wire and everything left is spectacular, but I just wish this could've squeezed its way into the top 10. It was for most of the rate before somebody gave it a 6. This was one of my serious 11 contenders, it's just a complete spectacle of misery. The lyrics speak to my soul, or at least the charred hole where it used to be. She's in a bit of limbo, unable to return to the past and afraid of the future... and fuck if that ain't me. The subject matter paired with that production just sends me to another plane of existence. I also play this a lot when I was getting trying to get over a guy... ddd. Buy Melodrama on iTunes.

The production stuck out for y'all seeing as we all seemed to say something about it, starting with otenkiame, "Okay, the Arabic sounds are quite delicious. The verses totally do the job despite feeling so simple, giving way to the irresistibly catchy choruses." RUNAWAY was also a fan, "love the kind of middle-eastern feel this song has." Cutlery's scalp is burning, "Middle Eastern influences that snatched me bald from my first listen. It could stand as just a lil too out of place in the album maybe? But I love me some eclectic, unique choices like it once in a while," and evilsin has some nerve, "YAS, AYU, steal that Kumi gimmick of a Middle Eastern bop of massive proportions!” Pretty sure Ayu was topping Oricon with vogue when Kuu was still struggling to claw her way into the top 50, but work I guess, “The song is so perfect to me down to every single sound and syllable. The way it's mostly chorus after chorus is pure love. And the meaning coupled with that PV, Jesus! Love a retrospective queen. Weirdly enough, the ending of the song where it goes donna fuu ni... maku wo orosu... anata nara reminds me of Kylie's Confide In Me.” At least he loves himself a good rip-off. And one last mention from eliminathan, "The middle eastern influences and the Indian sitar really amplify the song. Ha mug is beat for the gods in this video as well and the two-face ruveal makes for a good storyline." And she's not even a Gemini!

"From what I’ve seen, Don’t look back has received polarising feedback. Personally, I believe this track to be adventurous for her at the time; it works on every level. The PV remains haunting, what with all of those shots of her smiling menacingly," TABOO adds. Well thankfully we're mostly all fans here! And it vaguely sounds like one of her older hits, "really interesting and very cool. another one that kind of reminds me of vogue." And vikeyeol sums it all up in a perfectly wrapped up gif reference, "talentedbrilliantincredibleamazingetc.gif"

 
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Ddd, Rock'n'Roll Circus has lowest average in the bag. pretends to be shocked.gif

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Rock'n'Roll Circus
(7.664)


93. Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ (6.613)
92. Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ (6.636)
90. meaning of Love (6.863)
87. Lady Dynamite (7.113)
80. You were... (7.363)
73. Last Links (7.522)
70. count down (7.590)
63. RED LINE ~for TA~ (7.750)
41. Microphone (8.318)
33. Sexy little things (8.545)
27. BALLAD (8.681)
16. Don't look back (8.977)


1. @One Stop Candy Shop 8.708
2. @evilsin & @send photo 8.583
4. @eliminathan & @ohnostalgia 8.291


1. @Weslicious 6.333
2. @Cutlery 6.416
3. @junglefish 6.833
4. @ThisIsRogue 6.958
5. @TABOO 7.041
 
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The Top 15 kicks off with both the 9.0 averages and a shocking turn of events...














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fairyland
(9.000)


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11 @TABOO 10 @mi|kshake @vague @Cutlery @junglefish @otenkiame @Animalia @send photo
7 @vikeyeol 8 @Weslicious @aaronhansome @soratami @yuuurei @One Stop Candy Shop

The decay! I'm not sure how many of you went digging for the original Singles Rate, but fairyland ended up snatching the crown. Were the low scorers overcompensating to prevent a repeat win? Do they just not care for it as much as the rest of us? Who knows. What I do know is that, as much as I love fairyland, it wouldn't be my first pick to win by a country mile. I only went ahead and tossed it a 10 when I saw it had no chance of winning again, kii. Still, it's an absolute beast of a bop and deserves the honour of a high placing and 9.0 average. The song is perhaps most well-known for having her most-expensive PV, which is likely due to the Hawaiian set location and burning a damn house down. I don't actually know if she burned down a house for real or if it's just CGI trickery, but I'm not digging out the making clip to find out. All that aside, fairyland is a monumental mark on her discography and top tier summer single.

RUNAWAY can rest easy that the fairyland is defeated, "this song is great and all but I don’t see how it won the singles rate back in the day. It’s good but it’s not THAT good." Cutlery's commentary gets as elaborately extra as the PV, "The structure of the verses leading to the chorus gives you the sensation of adventure and discovery, as the buildup composed of harp-like keyboards and synths sets the right mood for it; similar to the way in which Ayumi progressively unfolds regarding the importance of the relationship she sings about." This strategy will come to bite eliminathan in the ass later on, "An ethereal sounding bop. This damn album is making me worried I'm being too generous because the scores are all so high so I brought this down 0.5 because I'm doubting myself," And evilsin can nod respectfully, "People were rabid about this one when it was just released. I believe the PV is still one of the most expensive by a JPop artist, looks like mostly due to traveling costs, hah. The song is good, but it never got to the point of abundant love for some reason. The eerie middle 8 is a clear highlight."

otenkiame gets to that point in the night where the moodiness sets in and you start thinking of bed, "A j-pop summer song with a lot of energy and fun to it. Though, there's an underlying sadness in the verses, the choruses bring an explosion of uplifting emotions. A summer song done right." ThisIsRogue is left in a similarly existential state, "Ayu does these summer songs so well, and they always have her unique twist on things. The instrumental breakdown and guitar solo enhance the dark edge that this song has. Perfect encapsulation of the bittersweet nature of growing up and the passing of time." Also longing for past happiness is vague, "to me, this is theeee quintessential summer bop by far! i really love the juxtaposition of the happy-sounding music with those bittersweet lyrics (something she does so, so well, ugh queen!!). and that long-ass instrumental break? heaven. i could listen to this forever."

TABOO's 11 is the next to bite the dust, but they're not the type to let it go without a touching eulogy, "It was incredibly challenging attempting to limit all of the amazing tracks within this section of Ayu’s discography to one worthy of my 11... But I did it. The lyricism of fairyland is able to transport me to another world, and that is only heightened by the composition and arrangement. The theme of nostalgia acts as the lifeblood of this song; the instrumental bridge feels almost bittersweet. Each and every listen is so incredibly enchanting to me."

 
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