Hamasaki Ayumi – Rock’n'Roll Circus
Oh Ayu, here we go again. As always, I’ve been highly anticipating her releases but I’ve honestly been disappointed by her this entire era. From her “electropop” sound in NEXT LEVEL to the mess of genres in this album, Ayumi has really got to stick with something and focus on that instead of releasing a messy mixture of songs left and right.
Rock’n'Roll Circus features a very familiar track arrangement to her previous albums, although with slightly less interludes. The album opens with THE introduction, which to me sounded like something I would hear in a video game OST of some very old game. As an opening to the album, it’s week, but it hypes the next track nicely. Microphone, which sounds VERY similar to talkin’ 2 myself, is one of the few highlights of the album. If I would have thought the album to have a general style for the new tracks, the intensity and eeriness of this song would have been my choice.
The album then takes an interesting turn into the ballad/slower songs on the album. countdown became an instant favorite to me since it’s reminiscent of her older songs. My complaint however(which goes for the whole album really) are the singles. While yes, Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ does fit in somehow, BALLAD is just totally out of place(not so much after Sunset, but definitely when put next to all songs on the album). Last Links follows and is why this album isn’t as great as it could have been. Most of the new tracks are just very plain and safe. While it has grown on me, the simple acoustic arrangement of the song just doesn’t draw in the listener.
The best interlude of the album is the electronic and pumping Jump!, which unfortunately is followed by Lady Dynamite. While it is more electronic than the rest of the album, I just can’t seem to enjoy this track for some reason. Sexy little things however is the total opposite. This quirky, bouncy fun synthpop song is my absolute favorite in the album. Not only are Ayu’s vocals dangerously modified(adding some much needed change in the album) but it’s just so insanely catchy that I just about end up listening to this song alone from the entire album.
I’ve never liked the way Ayu ends her albums, and that doesn’t change here. She stuffed Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~ in here, who’s “normal” pop sound doesn’t fit in AT ALL followed by the new song meaning of Love, which sounds just like the other two ballad/slow/acoustic tracks. The very out of place winter track You were… follows and she ends it with the album version of RED LINE ~for TA~, a song that I still don’t like and only differs from the original with Ayu singing a cappella near the end.
This album is a mess. Unlike her previous album, which had songs that centered around one genre, here we have a mixture of a winter ballad, electropop, heavy rock, three same-y acoustic pop/rock tracks and two crappy interludes. When I listen to this album, I find myself skipping around various tracks and just listening to the ones I most like. Plus, as a whole, the album(even if it doesn’t have a million interludes) is just so random and disorganized. It had potential, but the singles really messed this album up.
Rock’n'Roll Circus is Hamasaki Ayumi’s 11th studio album and it was released on March 14, 2010.
1. THE introduction
3. count down♠
4. Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~♠♠♠
6. Last Links
8. Don’t look back
10. Lady Dynamite
11. Sexy little things♠♠♠♠♠
12. Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~
13. meaning of Love
14. You were…
15. RED LINE ~for TA~ (album version)