[News] ayumi hamasaki LIVE TOUR -TROUBLE- 2018-2019 A (inc. CDL 2018-2019) ~II~ - Page 15 - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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  #281  
Old 1st January 2019, 12:35 PM
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I think she did very well last night.

She is not screaming to reach the high note which is good. She can't do that again and again because it will ruined her vocal.

She is really stable and energetic.
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  #282  
Old 1st January 2019, 08:41 PM
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She was really good, UNITE was struggle for her.
  #283  
Old 1st January 2019, 10:24 PM
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I just wondered if an intro at the begining will transform to full song? Really liked it "TO RA BU RU"
  #284  
Old 2nd January 2019, 01:08 AM
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Really fun to watch ! probably her most energetic concert and despite being in a hall it doesn’t look cheap the visuals are good etc... her vocals are on point for most of the concert I really feel an improvement for the whole year but it’s quite sad the struggle she has for reaching the higher notes in some songs ... she definitely should lower the key of her older songs to makes them sound good with her current voice.
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  #285  
Old 2nd January 2019, 02:48 AM
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Really fun to watch ! probably her most energetic concert and despite being in a hall it doesn’t look cheap the visuals are good etc... her vocals are on point for most of the concert I really feel an improvement for the whole year but it’s quite sad the struggle she has for reaching the higher notes in some songs ... she definitely should lower the key of her older songs to makes them sound good with her current voice.
This. I also enjoyed interludes a lot. Some of them could work great in albums. The intro sounds like a perfect 1st track of TROUBLE. If used as such we could have at least a partial connection with the title.
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  #286  
Old 2nd January 2019, 04:02 AM
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I miss her gold corset instead of the black/silver one she wears now under the school girl beginning outfit. Honestly, I feel people are being way too harsh on her for her vocals. Keep in mind how much she’s touring in general, her age but also her deafness. That right there plays a big part. Also, what song in the encore does she sit/lay on the giant heart guitar prop? Yeah, she should’ve stuck with the tour shirt for the encore during the tour versus the designer outfit. Would be more of a good gesture for fans, rather than pleasing pesky designers (with the desingers knowing the fans can’t replicate nor afford it).
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  #287  
Old 2nd January 2019, 04:55 AM
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The heart guitar is during Boys & Girls
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  #288  
Old 2nd January 2019, 04:56 AM
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seriously the stage looks SO awesome
  #289  
Old 2nd January 2019, 05:05 AM
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Honestly, I feel people are being way too harsh on her for her vocals. Keep in mind how much she’s touring in general, her age but also her deafness. That right there plays a big part.
Well, music is supposed to sound pleasant for ears. I think she's very lucky that people can overlook her singing skills and still go to her concerts. I absolutely agree about deafness not doing her any favours, but the amount of touring is her own doing. What about her age? It's not like she's 60 and her voice changed because of that. There are artists who tour more than her and still deliver very good vocals, using proper techniques and taking proper care of their voices.
I think a big problem with Ayu is that she's been screaming for years constantly straining her voice to the point it gets hoarse like in this show. I don't know how her team is ok with that.
Anyway she said herself many years ago that despite hearing problems she'll continue being a pro without any excuses. So we all know her situation, but she asked for no special treatment herself. I believe she can improve, but it seems that she's more focused on touring, than on working with a vocal coach.
She increased her concert tickets price, so it's only fair to want some quality vocals for such money.

Last edited by Chris85; 2nd January 2019 at 05:10 AM.
  #290  
Old 2nd January 2019, 06:14 AM
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Honestly, I feel people are being way too harsh on her for her vocals. Keep in mind how much she’s touring in general, her age but also her deafness. That right there plays a big part.
Deafness is an excuse for being off-key and all that at times but not for hoarseness and her not having a proper technique.

The thing is, she is not in her 60s/70s and she also doesn't have songs that are incredibly hard and require a lot of high belts. It'd be different if she only/mainly had such songs. Yes, her voice is deeper but one can always lower the key if needed and change some notes. I understand that her high notes are not as easy for her but tbh, who knows if she could sing them now if she was properly rested & taught.

Overall I can definitely watch the CDL 'at ease', vocal-wise. W was definitely not a vocal masterpiece but I enjoyed the performance. That's the case with most songs here. The show itself is amazing imo.

However, fans have also lowered their standards when it comes to her performances. The problem is not really her age though. As I said, I understand that when one is e.g. 65 they can't sing some notes and do it differently and/or use more pre-recorded tracks/lines (which she does already but it's fine).
Her real problem is her schedule and the lack of a permanent vocal coach. There are a lot of singers that perform more shows in in the same time span. Look at how many concerts Celine Dion did in this decade and compare it to ayu. But Celine has even cancelled due to vocal rest, warms up and has a coach. Ayu sounded great during PoM18 but there was a lot of time between dates and honestly, I'd take that over her current schedule any day.

If ayu is not capable of such a schedule (and her singing technique likely doesn't help, although she doesn't shout all the notes during this CDL. Just compare to MIT) then she shouldn't have it. I am not saying she should stop touring, just less dates. But she won't stop anyway and it just feels like her right ear going deaf made her want to perform as much as possible which for us as fans means, quantity instead of quality.

This is way too long.

Aside from that, I enjoyed the CDL! W was great (love the car and the fact that it feels quite tightly choreographed) and I already commented on the re-worked visuals for 1 LOVE. Didn't think I'd say it but the cutesy voice before singing made it feel a bit like the PV with the whole 'selling herself' stuff, so that worked imo.
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  #291  
Old 2nd January 2019, 06:35 AM
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I really liked the intro a lot. I would support that becoming a full song, or at least released as an instrumental.

I’m glad I was able to go. I was honestly hoping for some sort of MC, as it’s the end of an era. Actually I’m surprised there wasn’t a montage of sorts. The change from Heisei is a huge deal to the country.
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  #292  
Old 2nd January 2019, 06:45 AM
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Er... She most likely IS shouting because she IS deaf. Concert setting is loud and she probably have issues hearing herself a lot of the times.

Singing while being almost deaf isn't something easy to solve.

That being said, in a world people are paying to watch Utada murder her discography live without any physical issue as an 'excuse", Ayu does get trashed way too often... And it's not like she ever was a good singer anyways. Heck, most of the big acts in jpop are pretty bad singers tbh

People don't pay to watch Ayu because she is a vocal powerhouse, they pay her because she is a top tier performer and entertainer. Less Mariah Carrey/Celine Dion, more Madonna/Mylene Farmer.
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Last edited by Andrenekoi; 2nd January 2019 at 06:54 AM.
  #293  
Old 2nd January 2019, 06:56 AM
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Ayu did shout much less than she used to so that's good but she herself has proven that she can sing without shouting all the time while being nearly deaf. Obviously it won't be perfect and that's okay. She was never a good singer but back in the day her voice wasn't constantly hoarse with a few exceptions.

Ayu does get trashed way too much for things and while she is a performer rather than a vocalist, it isn't too much to ask for when fans want her to just rest more so she doesn't have a hoarse voice. Nobody expects some vocal runs etc. like they would from Celine and Mariah. Just a voice that isn't totally overused.
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  #294  
Old 2nd January 2019, 09:27 AM
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Personally, I thought this countdown live was really entertaining to watch despite her vocal problems. Everyone here has made some good points and I just thought I’d add my two cents.

I speak from experience when I say trying to record and perform with ear injuries/problems is no joke and beyond f’ing frustrating. So I definitely have sympathy and I’m willing to overlook things for her, even though I’m a no excuses kind of person when it comes to my own work. But overlooking doesn’t change the fact she went off key and it was hard (and sad) to hear it.

I agree with Chris85 on the point that if you’re charging the prices she does, most people expect not to be cringing at off key notes. But people do expect vocal problems from her and what you’re paying for is the experience, however unpleasant and cringey it is at times. And as long as people keep paying those prices, she’ll continue to charge them, which doesn’t mean she shouldn’t try to fix it, which I think she’s been trying to do. The injury is not really her fault and it seems like she’s been taking steps to try to find a way to work with her limits and be as good as possible (compared to the last two CDLs, she sounded good. All her shows that I attended this past year were good for the most part. She did well all things considered). I’m sure there are some other things she can do to help ease the burden on her clearly overworked vocal chords such as doing less dates on the tour etc. but at the end of the day we don’t really know what steps she’s been taking, maybe she’s trying different things and seeing which is most effective. In any case, she’s a performer, specifically a singer, so everyone is entitled to their opinion and to be as charitable or critical as they wish.

Last edited by AJFmzk; 2nd January 2019 at 10:13 AM.
  #295  
Old 2nd January 2019, 11:52 AM
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Personally, I thought this countdown live was really entertaining to watch despite her vocal problems. Everyone here has made some good points and I just thought I’d add my two cents.

I speak from experience when I say trying to record and perform with ear injuries/problems is no joke and beyond f’ing frustrating. So I definitely have sympathy and I’m willing to overlook things for her, even though I’m a no excuses kind of person when it comes to my own work. But overlooking doesn’t change the fact she went off key and it was hard (and sad) to hear it.

I agree with Chris85 on the point that if you’re charging the prices she does, most people expect not to be cringing at off key notes. But people do expect vocal problems from her and what you’re paying for is the experience, however unpleasant and cringey it is at times. And as long as people keep paying those prices, she’ll continue to charge them, which doesn’t mean she shouldn’t try to fix it, which I think she’s been trying to do. The injury is not really her fault and it seems like she’s been taking steps to try to find a way to work with her limits and be as good as possible (compared to the last two CDLs, she sounded good. All her shows that I attended this past year were good for the most part. She did well all things considered). I’m sure there are some other things she can do to help ease the burden on her clearly overworked vocal chords such as doing less dates on the tour etc. but at the end of the day we don’t really know what steps she’s been taking, maybe she’s trying different things and seeing which is most effective. In any case, she’s a performer, specifically a singer, so everyone is entitled to their opinion and to be as charitable or critical as they wish.
Yeah, deaf or not she went off-key, my point is just that this is a issue she most likely will never be able to fix, not because she is untalented or lazy or doesn't care or is just milking her fans, but because she actually has a physical condition that limits her possibilities of solving that issue. And she is clearly aware of that.

In a way it's like complaining tha an amazing dancer during their 20's doesn't dance as much or as good in their 50's, 60', or even in their 40's. There will be physicial limitations that really can't be solved and either they give up on
dancing or deal with realistic possibilities.

Ayu can only do as much concerning how far she can go to work around her deafness, and it's not really something that can be solved by simply having a vocal coach. Her main issue isn't fixable.

For someone who goes to her concerts, there's isn't much more to be done besides either giving up on her or setting the expectations to what she is able to deliver. What, at least in my case doesn't mean I lowered my standarts for her as a singer, as she always sang pretty bad IMO and my standarts for her on that regard were never high to beging with :B

I, and I'm aware no one has any obligation to agree with me on that, set a high standart for her as a performer, and IMO she meets my high expectations way more often than not. During this whole decade I just really disliked two of her tours, and she has a new one literally every year, more than one sometimes.

Her tour schedule is not even that much, in the sense that it probably doesn't have as much fault on her hoarse voice as people make it seens... Maybe for a japanese artist considering how small the country is, but during a busy month she is performing 3x a week tops and there are older artists with busier tour schedules out there.
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  #296  
Old 2nd January 2019, 12:38 PM
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Yeah, deaf or not she went off-key, my point is just that this is a issue she most likely will never be able to fix, not because she is untalented or lazy or doesn't care or is just milking her fans, but because she actually has a physical condition that limits her possibilities of solving that issue. And she is clearly aware of that.

In a way it's like complaining tha an amazing dancer during their 20's doesn't dance as much or as good in their 50's, 60', or even in their 40's. There will be physicial limitations that really can't be solved and either they give up on
dancing or deal with realistic possibilities.

Ayu can only do as much concerning how far she can go to work around her deafness, and it's not really something that can be solved by simply having a vocal coach. Her main issue isn't fixable.

For someone who goes to her concerts, there's isn't much more to be done besides either giving up on her or setting the expectations to what she is able to deliver. What, at least in my case doesn't mean I lowered my standarts for her as a singer, as she always sang pretty bad IMO and my standarts for her on that regard were never high to beging with :B

I, and I'm aware no one has any obligation to agree with me on that, set a high standart for her as a performer, and IMO she meets my high expectations way more often than not. During this whole decade I just really disliked two of her tours, and she has a new one literally every year, more than one sometimes.

Her tour schedule is not even that much, in the sense that it probably doesn't have as much fault on her hoarse voice as people make it seens... Maybe for a japanese artist considering how small the country is, but during a busy month she is performing 3x a week tops and there are older artists with busier tour schedules out there.
Deafness =/= hoarse voice. She might not be able to sing perfectly well and again, nobody expects that from her but while deafness limits her she has proven her ability to sing well. A vocal coach can fix the hoarseness with giving her a proper technique. It has worked before too.

I agree on the performer thing but expecting a singer to simply have a fine voice (a.k.a. it not being strained), no matter if they are an okay or fantastic vocalist, is not that much. It's not like she has huge expectations to meet..

Her schedule isn't as full as many others (as I wrote earlier, check her and Celine Dion's numbers for this decade so far) but she clearly still struggles. Other artists might do way more but then again, other artists don't have hugely strained vocal chords because they perform three days in a row (not referring to ths CDL obv), unlike ayu.
Be it her simply not having the stamina (voice wise as in that even with a good technique she needs more rest than others) or a lack of vocal protection through proper technique (meaning that she could manage to do the tour without going hoarse if she had a proper technique) - something should be done. And if it's not her schedule having a big influence on hoarseness (as you seem to predict, reasonably so) then it only makes it much worse since it means her way of singing is so bad that she can't even keep her vocals in 'shape' while being on a tour that doesn't have a big schedule. And there is a difference in not being a good vocalist (range etc.) and not being able to sing without going hoarse after some dates.

Note: I won't really talk about going off-key here and there because I agree that it definitely has something to do with limited hearing, although she still handles that one quite well.
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Last edited by Katsuyuki012; 2nd January 2019 at 01:07 PM.
  #297  
Old 2nd January 2019, 01:48 PM
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I've watched the CDL yesterday and I have to say, when she started singing for WARNING I was shocked.
As I'm still following her quite closely, I know what to expect, so that was a first for me..
She sounded pretty bad. Better then in the songs after that, but really bad again in No Way To Say/ Together when... and UNITE. Love Song as well.
Also don't like how she acts in XOXO.
I enjoyed Lelio the most! And the visuals were very nice as well.
But overall I guess I don't enjoy her concerts anymore, for several reasons.
Hm, end of an era, really.
I do hope she has a nice release for this new year!
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  #298  
Old 2nd January 2019, 01:54 PM
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She generally strugles with older (pre-missunderstood) stuff. Some songs she handles well, some less well. If it’s the loudness that bothers her ears, she should try doing acoustic versions and lower the key altogether.

A part of me enjoys her screaming, the other part of me cringes. Now we dissected and over-analyzied her singing so many times that I just expect her to do certain songs in a certain way so I don’t get disappointed. If she does better then great!

The age is definitely not an issue - I’ve seen Suzanne Vega in November who is a lot older than Ayu. She still sounds like she is 18.
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  #299  
Old 2nd January 2019, 03:24 PM
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I feel like she does better in smaller venues than arenas, maybe how they handle the sound in the venues?

She needs to get that vocal coach from AT15 time back and just keep that up imo. She can still sound great but she's just so inconsistent.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 04:43 PM
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Deafness =/= hoarse voice. She might not be able to sing perfectly well and again, nobody expects that from her but while deafness limits her she has proven her ability to sing well. A vocal coach can fix the hoarseness with giving her a proper technique. It has worked before too.

I agree on the performer thing but expecting a singer to simply have a fine voice (a.k.a. it not being strained), no matter if they are an okay or fantastic vocalist, is not that much. It's not like she has huge expectations to meet..

Her schedule isn't as full as many others (as I wrote earlier, check her and Celine Dion's numbers for this decade so far) but she clearly still struggles. Other artists might do way more but then again, other artists don't have hugely strained vocal chords because they perform three days in a row (not referring to ths CDL obv), unlike ayu.
Be it her simply not having the stamina (voice wise as in that even with a good technique she needs more rest than others) or a lack of vocal protection through proper technique (meaning that she could manage to do the tour without going hoarse if she had a proper technique) - something should be done. And if it's not her schedule having a big influence on hoarseness (as you seem to predict, reasonably so) then it only makes it much worse since it means her way of singing is so bad that she can't even keep her vocals in 'shape' while being on a tour that doesn't have a big schedule. And there is a difference in not being a good vocalist (range etc.) and not being able to sing without going hoarse after some dates.

Note: I won't really talk about going off-key here and there because I agree that it definitely has something to do with limited hearing, although she still handles that one quite well.
I don't know if the hoarseness is purely lack of technique, her overall health (it tends to hit harder during CDLs in winter after all) or a mix of both, but I agree it has little to do with her deafness unless it's caused by excessive shouting because she can't properly hear herself, them it may be a possibility.

I'm talking mostly about going off-key, the difficult to reach some notes, etc.
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