人生は五十歳から始まる。

(jinsei wa gojuusai kara hajimaru)

Ayumi Hamasaki – new album ‘Guilty’

Posted by redracer on January 6, 2008

Supposedly due for release on the 1st January 2008, but seemingly already available before Xmas 2007, this is Ayumi’s 9th studio album.

guilty-front.jpg

After a quiet year, with only 2 single releases, Ayumi releases her obligatory new album just before Xmas (except for “Duty” in 2000, ever other album has been released between the end of November and January 1st !!!). It contains the singles already released since 2006’s “Secret” album – “glitter / fated” & “talkin’ 2 myself” and the B-side “decision”, as well as her first digital single “Together When …”. 

The track listing is …

  1. Mirror
  2. (don’t) Leave me alone
  3. talkin’ 2 myself
  4. decision
  5. GUILTY
  6. fated
  7. Together When …
  8. Marionette -prelude-
  9. Marionette
  10. The Judgement Day
  11. glitter
  12. MY ALL
  13. reBiRTH
  14. untitled ~for her~

As well as the CD version, there is also a DVD version (with a different cover), which contains …

  1. Kyo Ai ~Distance Love~ (glitter / fated short film)
  2. talkin’ 2 myself (PV)
  3. decision (PV)
  4. Together When … (PV)
  5. Marionette (PV)
  6. (don’t) Leave me alone (PV)
  7. glitter (making)
  8. fated (making)
  9. talkin’ 2 myself (making)
  10. decision (making)
  11. Together When… (making)
  12. Marionette (making)
  13. (don’t) Leave me alone (making)
guilty-back.jpg

The album starts off with “Mirror”, which I am not sure if it is supposed to be an introduction or a song, as it is only just under 2 minutes in length. After some tinkling keyboard sounds & strings, suddenly we are hit with wall-to-wall chunky guitar riffs. This trend of contrasting heavy metal guitar and tinkling keyboards/bells continues for the first 5 or 6 songs, and they all sound the same. Sounds to me like it was created for the purposes of dramatic live performances, and a vehicle for big guitarist Yoshio Nomura. It is not until track 6, “fated”, that things start to quieten down, and then we have the digital single “Together When … “, which I think this is one of the best tunes on the album. Other than the 1st one, there are 3 other short tracks on the album … the prelude to “Marionette” sounds like the background music to a horror movie !!! – “The Judgement Day” is a short instrumental (except for vocals of ‘na na’) with a church organ background, and that gives it a religious feel – “reBIRTH” is another short interesting sounding instrumental, and leads into the last song which finishes the album on a nicer note than it starts, I think, even though it is a tribute to a friend of her who passed away recently …

Most of the songs seem to be typical Hamasaki power tunes with big choruses, and again seems to me to be more to be geared to a live performance, than to sit and enjoy listening to. Although she has written all the lyrics, there is no music credited to her. Certainly not a strong album compared to some other previous efforts, and initial sales seem to be well down on previous studio releases. My verdict is – definately ‘Guilty’ !!!

First press copies of the album contained a 32 page photobook, which has extra pictures from the photo sessions done for the CD booklet.

guilty-photobook.jpg

Here again she can be seen to be wearing a ridiculous yellow furry thing (chicken suit?).

guilty-booklet3.jpg

Also included are the shots relating to the “Together When … ” single, where she appears to be lying on a bed naked.

guilty-booklet21.jpg

In other shots is wearing an evening that shows much larger breasts than we all know she possesses🙄

guilty-booklet4.jpg

5 Responses to “Ayumi Hamasaki – new album ‘Guilty’”

  1. Aozora said

    Oh my goodness, I thought the blog title said juugosai! Ha ha ha….I re-read it and it says gojuusai! That is so funny! I have to stop reading so quickly. So your life started at 50?

  2. redracer said

    Haven’t you read the title of the blog ???

  3. Aozora said

    I was just a bit surprised to read this review on her album. Most reviews are impressed with the change. Actually, not sure how old you are, but I didn’t mean to imply you are very young. I think you are probably around my age (I am 29).

    I just find most people into JPOP tend to be getting younger, and like the cutesy,poppy stuff…probably because their first exposure to Jmusic is through anime, since anime is readily available nearly everywhere now….when I was a teenager, it was hard to obtain anime, and expensive.

    So how old are you? Am I in the right ballpark?

  4. redracer said

    You are totally entitled to disagree with me Aozora, but the rest of your assumptions are totally wrong😆

    How old do you think I am anyway❓

  5. Aozora said

    Wow, gotta say I totally disagree with you. But judging from some of your other posts, you tend to like very young, poppy music with a softer sound, so maybe the rock-vibe didn’t win you over. I think Ayumi’s fans tend to be older since we have grown with her. Not sure, just a guess.

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