Music: Ayumi Hamasaki – A Song for XX – Album Review

“Friend Wishing You Present”

Artists: Ayumi Hamasaki

Age: October 2, 1978 (age 33)

Genre: JPop, JRock

Released: 1st January 1999

Ayumi Hamasaki’s first album is also one of her most innocent and simply produced. It shows the influence of the 90’s, as well as influence from when her label Avex used to be predominately a dance label.

A song for XX, the titular track is surprisingly heartfelt, despite Ayu’s delicate voice. Likewise with poker face, from her first single.

The ballads songs are pretty good, with YOU and POWDER SNOW striking chords with me. There’s something really likable about the latter, and the piano version in Ayu’s LOVEppears album is worth chasing up.

Yes, it’s dated now, but fans of Ayu will enjoy her origins, as well as the drastically different voice. Compared to her newer albums, Ayu’s first album is more simple, but has more than just nostalgic value.

See below for album previews:

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mus7_asongforxxalbum_ayumihamasaki2

Friend II is a good pop-rock song as well as Trust, alongside Depend on you and SIGNAL.  All these are upbeat, and some of her widely remixed songs.

Trust

poker face

NOTE: In Japan, song titles are usually stylised with capital letters and symbols.

1. Prologue
2. A Song for XX
3. Hana
4. FRIEND
5. FRIEND II
6. poker face
7. Wishing
8. YOU
9. As if…
10. POWDER SNOW
11. Trust
12. Depend on you
13. SIGNAL
14. from your letter
15. Present

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