CD+DVD | CD
CD+DVD | CD
ayumi hotmessaki really knows how to make a fandom burn. For the first time ever, the peeps over at the AHS forums actually made an accurate prediction -- except it was a joke that wasn't really supposed to happen. You'd think it's bad enough she re-used a mini-album cover for a classical album cover, but bitch be keepin' them surprises coming. After all, ayumi hamasaki always tries new things! Releasing singles as mini-albums (never done by her before!!) and now putting mini-albums into full-length albums (also never done by her before!!). This Queen of J-Flop has more copies of Koda Kumi's TRICK up her and Maro's sleeves than you may think.
This album will be released in 6 exciting versions (never done by her before!!) - CD Only, CD+DVD, CD+Bluray (never done by her before!!), PLAYBUTTON, CD+DVD+GOODS, and CD+Bluray+GOODS, the last 2 being limited editions.
Ohhh and wait till you hear what the goods actually consist of - an ayupan figurine and a PHOTOBOOK!! Charging extra for a limited photobook -- NEVER DONE BEFORE!!! Now you know why ayumi hamasaki is so unpredictable? Good heavens, the last time in 2008, these bonus photobooks came FREE.
This is the fourth of the five releases she'll be having every 8th of the month leading up to her 15th anniversary and you can see how much of a big mess this entire project already is. How is putting all original material from the first 2 releases into the 4th release supposed to be a gift for the fans? Oh, and that's not even the end. They decided to dump You & Me on this too! Plus, there will not be any new PVs for this album. Say it with me again -- never done before! Well, sure, we have Melody as the new PV, but who gives a shit to be honest. Clearly this was a poorly-thought marketing strategy that Max Matsuura probably came up with within 5 minutes while he was bored in his office, waiting for the whole company to just crash and burn.
To put it harshly, with the announcement of this release, it has rendered the releases of A SUMMER BEST, LOVE, and again as useless, and avex has successfully duped all the buyers of these releases, including myself. It's not just simply a slap in the face, but it's also like being run over by the lorry Maro drove in the You & Me PV and then being stepped on by Namie Amuro's knee-high boots while she's carrying a crate full of unsold copies of Ayumi's past 4 releases.
Avex made a smart, but scheming move this time round. Before announcing the album tracklist, they mentioned NOTHING about songs from LOVE and again being included, and that all songs would be new. I was so excited, you had no idea. I thought Ayu was finally going to come up with something so epic it will overshadow the entire year of 2012 for her. Needless to say, the announcement of the title and tracklist may or may not have caused a minor earthquake in Tokyo. I'm not gonna lie, but the second my eyes saw the tracklist my head instantly played this part of P!nk's Who Knew:
IF SOMEONE SAID 3 YEARS FROM NOW
YOU'D BE LONG GONE
I'D STAND UP AND PUNCH THEM UP
CAUSE THEY'RE ALL WRONG!
(except they're probably right)
To be completely honest, I was so sure they weren't going to include the mini album songs into the album. I stuck to the faith that they were labelled as mini-albums because she doesn't want them to be in a studio album, and not because of her #1 streak. Unfortunately, this unhealthy form of faith doesn't really get you anywhere and frankly I feel quite betrayed. URGH.
People are drawing comparisons to how LOVEppears had lesser new songs than this album yet everyone seems to be shitting their pants over this. It's clear that the only reason why everyone is going apeshit is because of the labelling of "mini-album" for LOVE and again, which are now clearly intended to be singles. Just like me, people are feeling betrayed and see this as a cheap, budgetting move. Plus, the title is uncreative as hell. From a marketing point of view, fans upon looking at the title may not even believe there'll be new material on it but simply a collection of the songs from the past 2 mini-albums. I mentioned something about Ayu tainting her discography with the release of LOVE, and this release further drives my point home.
Now, on to the actual album itself. First of all, the album photoshoot looks lame, recycled, uninspired, etc. etc. It is like a mixture of the Love songs booklet pictures, her Wacoal advertisements, and the photoshoot for LOVE. Bland as fuck. Nonetheless, she looks pretty and it's a huge step up from Party Queen which made her the butt of jokes during Koda Kumi's baby shower (weak pun intended). I expected more effort, but knowing Ayu and how lazy she's gradually becoming, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
As for font placement, they got the placement decently done for once. But of all fonts to choose, her shitty designers decided to choose one that is most likely found on dafont.com. What the fuck dude. Hold your horses everybody, because at the rate this project is going, the special gift you'll get from buying all 5 releases of this project will probably be a download link for the font used in the covers.
Fortunately, the album is doing better than Party Queen on the amazon charts, and seeing how half the album is already out I'm sure the general public will be able to make a more informed choice on whether or not to buy this album. I'm hoping for it to sell more than Party Queen, of course, but as a whole, the concept of this album just comes off as lazy and uninspired.
I'm still excited to hear how the new songs will sound like, since I really like all the songs on LOVE and again. I'm glad You & Me is placed as the last track so that I can just stop the album after Ivy, but I'm still hoping for a bonus track of Ayu laughing at us for a full minute.
LOVE again will be released on 8 Februrary 2013.
- Wake me up
- Song 4 u
- Bye-bye darling
- snowy kiss
- Sweet scar
- untitled for her... story 2
- You & Me
- Song 4 u (video clip)
- Missing (video clip)
- Wake me up (video clip)
- You & Me (video clip)
- snowy kiss (video clip)
- Sweet scar (video clip)
- Melody (video clip)
- Song 4 u (making clip)
- Missing (making clip)
- You & Me (making clip)
- Wake me up / snowy kiss (making clip #1)
- Wake me up / snowy kiss (making clip #2)
- Sweet scar (making clip)
- Melody (making clip)