Artist: Ayumi Hamasaki
Release Date: November 29, 2006
Label: Avex Trax
Personal Rating: 4/5

1. Not yet
2. until that Day…
3. Startin’
4. 1 LOVE
5. It was
8. momentum
9. taskinst
10. Born To Be…
11. Beautiful Fighters
13. kiss o’ kill
14. Secret
Not yet was an interlude with some sort of whispering at the beginning which eventually progresses in to that powerful rock mood. A short and great way to start off the album. (Where did that fire come from, girl?!)

Many people say that until that Day… was an average song but for some reason, I enjoyed it quite much. The guitar riffs were a cool touch and the chorus was just plain powerful….maybe it’s because she kind of repeats parts of the lyrics too much? I honestly didn’t find it a problem listening to it though.

Startin’ is pretty upbeat for my taste. The introduction has a little hip in the beats that sounds a little out of place in the song since the vocals has a touch of agressive pop in it. This was probably the first song that Ayu’s vocals began to sound more mature but even so, I got pretty boredof this song quickly.

The only distinguishing factor with 1 LOVE is the fact that it’s got a great opening and kickass chorus but it seems like I want to skip the majority of the song just to listen to the chorus. Otherwise, I would just pass on this track.

The common style within the album are the calm opening that transitions (in other words explodes) into this hard rock or techno atmosphere. That’s how it is with It was, with a very quite introduction and extremely strong arrangement during the rest of the song. This turns out to be one of my favorite new tracks of the album.

LABYRINTH is a boring interlude. There’s nothing mroe to say about this track.

I honestly do not know why JEWEL was choosen to be one of the promotional tracks of the album and why it’s popular among the other songs. It has the same style as To Be when there little or no instrumental in the background with only Ayu’s vocals. Don’t get me wrong though, I did love how Ayu’s vocals flowed nicely with the song but it just see it as a ballad that could be boring.

I actually watched the (wintery) music video before listening to this on the cd. momentum was somewhat a hard pop track but for some reason, I just had to listen to this song over and over. The tone of her voice sounds so melachonic and the instrumentals provided very strong support to her vocals. This song is definitely worth the listen…dont’ forget to watch the music video too! (Another one of my favorite among the new tracks.)

taskinst is like one of those interludes that just sticks out like a sore thumb. It just doesn’t blend well with the tracks after this.

Born To Be… begins with a choir singing “Born to be” until Ayu’s vocals enters in not soon after. Now, this is new Ayu material since her songs aren’t normally oriented this way. Plus, her vocals were flawless but the arrangement still didn’t go up a notch.

Another song is the popular Beautiful Fighters. When I first gave this song a listen. I thought that the beginning of the song was a bit awkward. The whistles blaring at the beginning of the song was something new but not something I would like to hear at the beginning of the song. However, I liked the chorus when she’s like “We are Beautiful Fighters.” Very catchy, but perferrably without the whistles. (Although I know that it was supposed to compose and incoprate the whole mood of the song.)

BLUE BIRD was definately a great song! I liked how the acoustics in the background were pretty slow and how there was a change in rhthym as the song progressed. After hearing it the first time, I would remember how I always wanted to replay the whole song a few or more time. I guess, it grew onto me pretty quickly! The charming instrumentals gave this song another thumbs up!

kiss o’ kill is another enthusiastic and strong track with awesome chorus and arrangement. Overall, its a decent song but the only reason why I like listening to it is because of the chorus. (Pretty selective with the parts I listen to with the songs of the album.)

Secret was one really boring ballad. Plus, I didn’t feel statisfied when I realized that this was the end of the album. It’s just a boring way to end it, enough said. D=

Personal Rating: 4/5


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