I think I didn’t really say it until now but when it comes to simple Jpop Ayumi Hamasaki is my favorite singer. She was one of the singers that I discovered in the beginning of my love for Japanese music back in 2003. It has been a long time since then and an even longer time for Ayu.
But that is no excuse.
I wanted to make a review like I did with the other singles but Ayumi’s newest effort “Sunrise/Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~” simply doesnt deserve that. I’m so disappointed even though I didn’t expect much from a summer single. Those were never my favorites. But there always was something about them that I thought “That’s worth buying.”
Let’s think about it. What was the first real summer single? When I look through her discography I think it was “Unite!” in 2003. Maybe not your typical summer single but look at the cover and the release date. And not only was it hell of a great and powerful song but it was one of those singles with a total running time of an whole hour. Six remixes of “Unite!” and one remix of “Key” and one of “Endless Sorrow”. That’s what I call a good package.
In 2004 we got “H” that gives you a total of three new songs with two of them clearly summer themed. And even without any PVs it sold over a million copies which also confirms that it is a great single.
One year later “&” was released which tops the three songs from “H” and is packed with four new songs. The special thing is the song “Theme of A-Nation ’03” which is one of the very rare B-Sides from Ayu. To date she has released 47 singles and there are only 6 B-Sides.
Somehow I think that “Inspire” is my favorite of all those summer singles because the song is with its fastness something really special and the PV gets stuck in your head too. A bonus is “Game” which is as the rock song that it is always a good thing on a single. At least for me. And that PV was also great. The good ol’ days also known as 2004~
Next year’s summer single “fairyland” starts for me the trend of Ayu releasing average summer songs just because there always needs to be a track like this. But the song is despite that fact very good and the PV is impressive even though you can’t always see why it was so damn expensive. The c/w track is “alterna” which is like “Game” very rockish and follows with its PV the trend that “Ourselves” started. Very weird and scary. I love it ❤
In the summer of 2006 we were listening to “Blue Bird” which is still a nice song with a nice PV and a nice second A-Side but that’s it. What brings this single in the category “buyworthy” are the remixes. “Ladies night ~another night~” was long awaited and the Harderground remix of Blue Bird is also very good even though the intro is a bit long.
“Glitter/Fated” was again a single with a nice summer song but “Fated” was underwhelming. So much that I can’t even remember how it sounds. But at least we got this special short-film called “~Distance Love~” which consisted of the two PVs. Well, it wasn’t that greate either but at least it was something new. Well, at least.
So, you see how it got worse with the time. The only thing I considered a summer song after “Glitter” was “Next Level” from the album of the same name. And it was already better than the last two summer singles because it wasn’t a single. It only got a PV to promote the album and that was fine. It did it’s job and I liked it.
But now we got this. Look at those covers! Looks like I did them. I can copy+paste a background just like what we see here! No really, did they have a real location or what? And Ayu, clean your ears before a shooting and now give Shakira her clothes back!
The song “Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~“ again is a nice summer song but I think the only thing you will remember is this “Motto” at the beginning of the chorus. And what’s wrong with “Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~”? It got the same melody like “Sunrise” but slower. I hope the lyrics aren’t the same. I don’t think so but I didn’t check… Well, after all you could consider that creative or experimental. I consider it as recycling. Who was too lazy to think of a new song for the second A-side?
I don’t even want to start thinking of the PVs. We got a very creative location. I give you that. But what else is there? Ayu performing and her dancers are dancing? Yeah, that was what happened in the Sunrise PV. And now tell me about Sunset. What? Yes! It’s Ayu performing and her dancers are dancing! Oh come on…