[Official Message] Winter single "Zutto... / Last minute / Walk" 2014.12.24 in stores III - Page 4 - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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  #61  
Old 18th December 2014, 04:54 AM
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Are we still discussing the confusion? Seriously, it's a plethora of things. Her classic tracks just sound more "complete" - they sound fully mixed and just ... finalized? I don't hear that in her recent tracks. She has struggled with that for some time. I am wondering if it has to do with them switching to new software to produce/arrange her music. Instead of everything sounding cohesive and enveloping, it sounds like everything is a separate layer if that makes sense. Like it's all just disconjointed and each layer is not fully in sync and harmony with one another. Listen to a track from A BEST 2 and the follow it up with one of these tracks.
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  #62  
Old 18th December 2014, 05:35 AM
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I think this same discussion pretty much comes up with any and every Ayu release.

In the end, I think Ayu's always got something for someone somewhere. I like everything but Last Minute is probably da best of the three for me.
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  #63  
Old 18th December 2014, 05:40 AM
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Regarding lyrics I'm of the opinion that all of her lyrical content (for ballads at least) have stayed exactly the same since Together When.
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  #64  
Old 18th December 2014, 06:03 AM
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She has so many gems in her discography. And i guess it is alright to disslike something. Because most will find something they do like.

And frankly i think it's realy good not to know anything about the technical side, cuz for me example it gives nothing, i cannot tell a difference anyways. Not to add that after a day at work with usual bland music of todays western world in the background, Ayu's songs feel like a fancy & luxurious spa for ears lol This single is exactly what defies Ayu for me - grand arrangements, actual instruments, power ballads aaaaaaand el. guitar solos (lol). Even though i am not very impressed with Zutto.. it's still a very lovelly song to listen to. It is really nicelly put together. It has it's moments, when i kind of go "wow that was really pretty right there".

Last edited by artcika; 18th December 2014 at 06:10 AM.
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  #65  
Old 18th December 2014, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truehappiness View Post
I think this same discussion pretty much comes up with any and every Ayu release.

In the end, I think Ayu's always got something for someone somewhere. I like everything but Last Minute is probably da best of the three for me.
He lives!



It took me a few listens, but I do enjoy all three tracks.
I wish Last minute would've had a video. Maybe on the album? That's been her thing lately haha.
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  #66  
Old 18th December 2014, 06:47 AM
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Wow, I'm quite surprised at the negative reviews on this forum. I thought this was an Ayu fan-based forum. When I read some of the comments, I think I must have gone on an Ayu-Haters forum. I understand that it's ok to write your view, but some people sound like they only want Ayu to produce a certain type of music, and write certain type of lyrics, so when it doesn't fit into this category, Ayu becomes a bad/amateur/rubbish singer???? If you've already given up on Ayu, that's fine, it's ok to feel like that... but then, what are you doing listening to her new stuff and commenting on a fan-based forum? Lol

For me, I think this single has been one of my favourite ballad release for a while... Almost comparable to You were release. Last minute is my favourite song at the moment, love Ayu's rock ballads!
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  #67  
Old 18th December 2014, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by js_surrealism View Post
Regarding lyrics I'm of the opinion that all of her lyrical content (for ballads at least) have stayed exactly the same since Together When.
lol. i wonder if she will get confused and mixed up different lines from different ballads during her live performance.
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  #68  
Old 18th December 2014, 07:59 AM
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I really like Walk from this single. I like the parts when she sings high, haha.
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  #69  
Old 18th December 2014, 08:04 AM
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I listened non-stop to the single and with each play it grew on me.
Last Minute had so much potentional from the start and I still think this song is nice,
though Zutto... caught my attention. I am not saying I changed my mind about whether good or bad the single is (I never said it was bad. It simply did not blew me away) but give it more shots and the single turns out to be likeable.
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  #70  
Old 18th December 2014, 08:28 AM
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I know Last minute's mixing has already been talked to death, but I want to bring that back one more time to add my own specific complaint. (Disclaimer: I have no mixing-related technical or terminological know-how, this is all just how the song sounds and feels to me.) What most kills the song for me is that the mixing sounds so flat and undynamic, it completely fails at making the songs quieter and louder parts distincly different. It feels like there's a set level of sound throughout the whole song, it always sounds stuffed full even when it's just Ayu's voice and a piano. I may not agree with all the Memorial address comparisions (this just doesn’t remind me of MA, though there are many similarities), but that song is a great frame of reference here: when Memorial is only carried by Ayu's voice and piano, it sounds quieter, it sounds like there's some "air" in the song with the slight echoing etc., and when the guitars kick in, the song gets LOUDER and sounds fuller. They seem to be going for the same thing with this song, but I feel like the mixing completely fails at contrasting the different stages of the song, which just makes it SUPER FRUSTRATING to listen to.

With all that out of the way, I generally like this single. All three songs are at least good, and definitely better than the lousy ballads on Colours.

Zutto... gets the same non-reaction out of me as Ayu's other formulaic winter songs. It's pleasant to listen to, and will definitely not skip it if it ever comes up in rotation, but it doesn't really do anything for me and I could honestly do without it.

Last minute... I do like the song (or at least parts of it) a lot! I love her vocals in this song, she emotes so strongly. The lyrics are really good, it's so exciting to see some angry Ayu. And I like the arrangement a lot: love the raw feeling brought by the rough guitars and acoustic instruments, like artcika and others described. It's just hard to listen to the song when I keep being bothered by the mixing. Perhaps I need to give the song some rest and come back to it later with a clearer mind.

Walk gets better with every listen, and I can't stop listening. This is my favourite song off the single: like LUOYUXIANG said, the integration of all the different facets of the song (lyrics, melody, arrangement, progression, vocals) is on a whole different level here, which makes this song so good to just dive into. In addition to that, the lyrics are amazingly relatable and feel like something out of my own mind, and Ayu's singing here is just GORGEOUS: I get some serious chills from her voice alone at the end of the song, the kind I have not felt after hearing SAKURA's chorus for the first time. This song is a masterpiece.
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  #71  
Old 18th December 2014, 09:54 AM
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I agree that the arrangement has been awful since forever
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  #72  
Old 18th December 2014, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Key ~eternal tie~ View Post
Wow, I'm quite surprised at the negative reviews on this forum. I thought this was an Ayu fan-based forum. When I read some of the comments, I think I must have gone on an Ayu-Haters forum. I understand that it's ok to write your view, but some people sound like they only want Ayu to produce a certain type of music, and write certain type of lyrics, so when it doesn't fit into this category, Ayu becomes a bad/amateur/rubbish singer???? If you've already given up on Ayu, that's fine, it's ok to feel like that... but then, what are you doing listening to her new stuff and commenting on a fan-based forum? Lol
Yes, You're right. I saw a lot of positive reviews on the previous thread and this one is just like "What do you hate from the new single ?" ... Can't believe that , hah ?

As same as u, I like this single and I'm waiting for her performance on 26h Dec and her upcoming CDL ... These ballad songs can't be compared with the early ones Ayu has... but They are really better than many songs in this era of Ayu and the other artist/group as my opinion...

However I'm very annoying with the rock part from the Last Minute, I hope for the classical version from her upcoming classical album.
I appreciate her effort in this release ...
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  #73  
Old 18th December 2014, 10:34 AM
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I listened to Walk several times and still can`t remember in the slightest, how it sounds like.
It seriously is one of the weakest songs for me. So boring and bland.
No matter how good the lyrics are.
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  #74  
Old 18th December 2014, 11:07 AM
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idk if it was mentioned before, but anyway... Today I saw this billboard right in front of Shibuya station, impossible to not see it


(bad quality picture because I took it super fast w/ my phone, sorry)

I also saw the CM of the Showcase DVD airing on one of the big screens there, so yay for publicity!
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  #75  
Old 18th December 2014, 12:41 PM
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Thats nice!! I hope people actually would hear

and I remember years ago, members here said...if they hated it here, i would proabably do well in Japan LOL..so I hope for the case. I think Zutto... is a tune really easy on the ears for the Japanese

Quote:
Originally Posted by LUOYUXIANG View Post
It's quite pointless to argue over subjectivity of "good" or "bad".
I just felt very TOUCHED by all three songs, respectively in their own ways. It's not about quality per se. It's the way she sings them.

For Zutto, it's the little notes she made during the verses that haunts (maybe that's what she meant in interview that someone thinks this song is happy while others sad).

For LM, it's the raw emotion as others have mentioned.

For Walk, it's the integration of lyrics, melody, progression, and her voice, something that speaks her insecurities and make-belief that makes the listener feel powerful and sad at the same time.

So if we want to talk about resemblance and recycling, let's NOT talk about the similarity of MELODIES per se. A song is a lot more than an arrangement of tunes and rhythms. Instead, let's talk about the feelings ayu's songs deliver as a whole. Throughout her career, especially at the beginning when a lot of people were attracted to her, Ayu establishes an image of ambiguity and contradictions: take Trauma, one of her most iconic songs - its melody and arrangement is super happy, but the lyrics are deep and a bit sad, and the singing is aloof and catchy at the same time. It's a crazy mix of emotions, and I guess that's Ayu's magic. That's probably why she can grab the heart of so many diverse listeners.

A lot of some precious ayu songs have this quality of being both sad and happy but neither-nor situation (trauma, monochrome, immature, etc). This ambiguity has gone recently, but now it comes back - I guess that's what it means really to COME BACK. And I feel touched by this sophisticated ambiguity that hardly any other artists can deliver.
THIS! I think this is one of her most heartfelt and genuine works in a while. Electro aside, these songs are the genres we wanted from ayu for a long long time (too bad its not appreciated by many here...due to genericness WHICH Japanese audience love)

Zutto has that melancholic longing feel, Last minute is pure rawness, Walk has that pensive and nostalgic feel. Ayu's voice brought these songs to a new height, and I really appreciate her emotions coming through. Reading the lyrics, it made more sense. This single is LOVE for me.

Last edited by freedreamer; 18th December 2014 at 02:21 PM.
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  #76  
Old 18th December 2014, 03:12 PM
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I love this winter ballad single, enjoy listening to the 3 new songs.
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  #77  
Old 18th December 2014, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvina View Post
I listened to Walk several times and still can`t remember in the slightest, how it sounds like.
It seriously is one of the weakest songs for me. So boring and bland.
No matter how good the lyrics are.
Actually Walk (even without the extremely awesome lyrics) really stroke me and it's the one I remember the chorus of the most.

It's wierd that a lot didn't like it to that extent but that song had the highest impression on me so far lol.

I really love Last Minute too and Zutto is beautiful but I'm not sure which one is my favorite.

Best full ballad single ever though.
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  #78  
Old 18th December 2014, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kacku View Post
I know Last minute's mixing has already been talked to death, but I want to bring that back one more time to add my own specific complaint. (Disclaimer: I have no mixing-related technical or terminological know-how, this is all just how the song sounds and feels to me.) What most kills the song for me is that the mixing sounds so flat and undynamic, it completely fails at making the songs quieter and louder parts distincly different. It feels like there's a set level of sound throughout the whole song, it always sounds stuffed full even when it's just Ayu's voice and a piano. I may not agree with all the Memorial address comparisions (this just doesnít remind me of MA, though there are many similarities), but that song is a great frame of reference here: when Memorial is only carried by Ayu's voice and piano, it sounds quieter, it sounds like there's some "air" in the song with the slight echoing etc., and when the guitars kick in, the song gets LOUDER and sounds fuller. They seem to be going for the same thing with this song, but I feel like the mixing completely fails at contrasting the different stages of the song, which just makes it SUPER FRUSTRATING to listen to.
I think this is funny because I had the exact opposite problem with progress's mixing lol. It's always pissed me off that I can't listen to that song without adjusting the volume five times. My problem with the mixing on Last minute is that the backing vocals overpower EVERYTHING. Plus the vocals sound like they were recorded on a $3 laptop mic...

It's a shame because mixing/mastering/overall technical production alone can really break a song for me (...lookin' @ Tell me why) and I find it ridiculous that professionals can put out sub-par products like this and not HEAR BETTER. I mean if you have masses of fans pointing out mixing issues, that's a pretty big red flag that you should really get your shit together as a working professional, especially if you're working for a high-caliber musician like Ayumi Hamasaki.
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  #79  
Old 18th December 2014, 06:41 PM
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  #80  
Old 18th December 2014, 06:56 PM
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sweet! promotions!!! because if nobody knows you have a single out nobody is going to buy it.
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