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Ayumi Hamasaki

4th Album - [ I am... ] AVCD 17037

Produced by max matsuura

Written & composed by ayumi hamasaki


01.I am... 02.Opening Run 03.Connected 04.UNITE! 05.evolution 06.Naturally 07.NEVER EVER

08. still alone 09.Daybreak 10. taskinlude 11. 12. A Song is born 13.Dearest 

14. no more words 15.Endless sorrow ~gone with the wind ver.~ 16.flower garden (hidden)



01. I am... 

music: CREA 

arrangement: Tadashi Kikuchi + tasuku

KOSE VISE… CM song

keyboard, programming & guitars: tasuku

guitars: KIKU

bass: Kiyofumi Onoda

Mixed by Atsushi Hattori

5:31 mins 

This song starts with just vocal (unplugged) with a bang that emphasize on ayu's clear and heavenly voice. And this clear voice shouting out loud "Listen closely,because I'll keep screaming until you understand:I've been here, here, here forever."

The music and the background vocal just match the whole song nicely, as ayu took part in the music recording. I think its a near perfect in the balance of the music & singing where you get to enjoy both to the limit. "I am..." although not consider a 'sad' song but more or less a song of depress & desperation. The 'best' part of the song is the ending part where ayu's voice is been 'synthesized' (simliar to female singer Cher "Do you believe in love after love~~"). Its the 1st time hearing ayu voice in digital... This song is just too special !


02. Opening Run

music & arrangment: CMJK

keyboard, programming & guitars: CMJK

Mixed by Satoshi Kumasaka

0:57 mins

A piece of music by CMJK with a fast pace drum beatings. I always skipped this song as I find it not as good as other music that was included in Ayu's album & remixes. I personally prefer Prologue "Hybrid Remix". But it really depends on individual. :)


03. Connected

music & arrangement: Ferry Corsten

Produced & Mixed by Ferry Corsten

 

3:21 mins

Wow.. well this song is a 1st of its kind. Its a trance BPM 132 song that is include as a original song instead of a remix. The same guy who remixed A Song for XX (Ferry Corsten Chilled mix) in ayu trance remix album, is in for a trance song to be included in "I am...". Previously named as Connect, it sounds all right to be renamed as Connected. This song is special in a way that its rather rare that ayu is singing as usual without the remixer playing around with her voice. 


04. UNITE! (23rd Single 18.07.2001)

music: CREA

arrangement: HAL

KIRIN SUPLI CM song

keyboards: HAL

programming: HAL

guitars: Naoya Akimoto

fundamental track making: Tadashi Kikuchi

Mixed by Noriki Inada

4:59 mins

UNITE! , loud & fast & furious ... the most mean & energized ayu you can find . The music just can't stop & so is ayu, this song just keep going & going without a minute for your ears to rest. Well I just love it that it keeps my heart pumping faster than normal and my lips moving to the rythme of UNITE!


05. evolution (20th Single 31.01.2001)

music: CREA

arrangement: HAL

KOSE VISE… CM song

keyboards: HAL

programming: HAL

guitars: Naoya Akimoto

Mixed by Koji Morimoto

4:41 mins

I have to say that when I first heard this song early last year live from countdown concert, this song is rubbish ! But now I'm completely addicted to it ! This song fakes its true BPM when it starts with a slow & smooth music with ayu playing along with her "la la la la la" ... but just as you thought that it would be a slow song, all the electric guitars & stuff wake you up for evolution ! Ayu sings the whole song so fast that you start to enjoy her evolutionary singing technique. Morever, the music is absolutely a  master piece !  


06. Naturally

music: CREA

arrangement: CMJK

KOSE VISE… CM song

keyboards, programming & guitars: CMJK

Mixed by Koji Morimoto

4:17 mins

First released as KOSE VISE… Shimmering CM song, it was rumoured to be named Natural later known as Naturally. The favourite part of the song is where it plays  two ayu voice... the background vocal singing one part and ayu herself singing the 2nd part. Sort of a duet. The music is rather normal whereas the focus is more on ayu's singing. Fast, but not as fast as evolution, ayu uses the same mean & loud voice to sing this song. The overall of Naturally is rather digital and electrifying, projects a first  impression; 'high tech'


07. NEVER EVER (21st Single 07.03.2001)

music: CREA

arrangement: CHOKKAKU

KIRIN SUPLI CM song

keyboards, programming & guitars: CHOKKAKU

Mixed by Koji Morimoto

4:41 mins

An upbeat song with a despair & sad voice. Ayu sings with two type of voice.. the lighter side and the chorus with a mean voice. The music mainly of drums, so this song got more bass. But ayu sings in a higher pitch in this song, having a contrast in the music & ayu's voice.


08. still alone

music: CREA

arrangement: CMJK

Takanoyuri Beauty Clinic [La Stone Therapy] CM song

keyboards, programming & guitars: CMJK

guitars: KIKU

Mixed by Atsushi Hattori

5:55 mins

The first released new song for Takanoyuri. This song is rather asian taste as I can hear the instrumental use. I forgot the name of that music instrument, but I know its originated from Indonesia. Made of bamboo, it produce a hollow, low pitch sound. I have to say that the chorus is sort of a cut & paste job, well it did not have a well combination of the music of the singing before & the music in the chorus. I would feel that the music is the center of attraction whereas ayu voice seems to be insignificant. Overall, it has a ghostly feel with the background vocal, suitable for those who likes moody songs...


09. Daybreak (25th Single 14.02.2001)

music: CREA + D.A.I + junichi matsuda

arrangement: tasuku

Panasonic [MJ50] CM song

keyboards, programming & guitars: tasuku

Mixed by Atsuhi Hattori

4:48 mins

A big project of D.A.I, Junichi (arranged endless sorrow) and ayu herself... the next upcoming 25th Maxi Single... this song is no joke. This song has many ups and downs, going slow then suddenly fast drums, many unexpected surprises. Ayu sings this song in a way of getting more & more agitated, trying to express her words in the way it was meant to be.


10. taskinlude

music & arrangement: tasuku

keyboards, programming & guitars: tasuku

Mixed by Satoshi Kumasaka

1:20 mins

Another piece of music, starting with old radio effect and familiar guitar freak notes... a rough music that plays a big contrast to the next song ...  ''


11. (19th Single 13.12.2000)

music: CREA

arrangement: HAL

Tu-Ka funstyle CM song

keyboards: HAL

programming: HAL

guitars: Naoya Akimoto

Mixed by Koji Morimoto

4:28 mins

'Maria' Ai subeki hito ga ite kizu wo otta subete no monodachi... ~

The 1st song ayu took part in the production in the name of CREA (CREA is the name of her beloved doggy)

Supposedly the song that marks a new start of her career, the song that received Gold Disk "Song of the year" Award.  

Bells ringing & touching lyrics ... Ayu sings at a much lower pitch (similar to Duty) a image of a serious & formal ayu ... but as the peak came (chrous) where all the electric guitar came, ayu gets more & more agitated. This probably the best part of the song where each words filled with feelings and "Maria" sounds so heavenly. The song ends nicely just as it had a nice start. Just as I hope that this song would be longer in time or a second version just like Powder snow or FRIEND or LOVE Destiny~


12. A Song is born

music & arrangement: Tetsuya Komuro

all instruments performed by Tetsuya Komuro

Mixed by Atsushi Hattori

6:17 mins

A song for 911 disaster, originally a song together with ayu's favourite artiste, Keiko from Globe. 

This song is produced by our avex famous producer Tetsuya Komuro, the same guy who produced numerous albums for Namie Amuro & Suzuki Ami and other artistes. Surprisingly, he did everything by himself and with ayu's penned lyrics, well a song is born ! The music is plain, not fancy in anyway & peaceful. One thing that I do not like is that the song is too long, for a 6 min long of plain music, it gets a bit bored.


13. Dearest (24th Single 27.9.2001)

music: CREA + D.A.I

arrangement: Naoto Suzuki

Tu-Ka CM song

NTV Anime Inu Yasha ending theme song

keyboards: Naoto Suzuki

programming: Takahiro Iida

guitars: Naoki Hayashibe

Background Vocal: Junko Hirorani

Mixed by Noriki Inada

5:33 mins

The most popular song of year 2001 and the most awarded Single in 2001. It has a nice melody that you would never forget... the song itself is so touching, the lyrics of despair and regrets .. Ayu added a lot of "Ah" & "La La" (you know what I mean) in the singing which even brings out the flavor of this song. I like the piano part in the start which has a fantasy/fairy tale impression. This song also suits the ending theme of Inuyasha where it is worth to be replay a million times !


14. no more words

music: CREA + D.A.I

arrrangement: Naoto Suzuki, tasuku

Anime Inu Yasha movie theme song

keyboards: Naoto Suzuki

programming: Takahiro Iida

guitars: Naoki Hayashibe

Mixed by Atsushi Hattori

5:47 mins

This song is so smoothing with violins and other orchestra instruments, it has this 'happy ending' feeling. It reminds me of "Who..." The starting music resembles "ever free" with a nature/earth element ...The overall is a piano piece of music... I like the chorus where ayu drags her end note creating a smooth & nice song. I start to wonder why this song ain't the first song in this album as it suits the image of ayu in this album.


15. Endless sorrow ~gone with the wind ver.~

music: CREA

arrangement: CMJK

TBS Dorama [Mukashi no otoko] theme song (Original ver.)

keyboards, programming & guitars: CMJK

Mixed by Yasuo Matsumoto

5:10 mins

Endless sorrow original mix was not included perhaps due to the fact that it was too serious ? As this ~gone with the wind version~ has a opposite experience of a more relax & casual music. You can now enjoy ayu singing endless sorrow so lightly without the pain, the lost of a wing and the sorrow previous felt in the original version.


16. Flower garden

Hidden track

2:38 mins

Yes ! After the hidden track found in LOVEppears (kanariya), we haven't enjoy another one in Duty or A Best album....

This hidden track is unique ... Its more like those songs sang at pubs with rock band in house,,, fast pace with ayu rap ... its been a long  long time that ayu has rap (ayu started singing as rap). The band is amazing and so is the arrangement. In the middle of the song, you can actually hear the music 3D surround that goes.... from the front to the back of your ears, then from the side of your ears to the top of your head, next drifting down to your nose tip & splits into two and back to your left & right ears !!! (did I exaggerate? no that's true !) Of course, you have to posses at least a 4 point speaker system or a good headphone or earphone to enjoy that privilege !

With a bunch of rowdy guys as the background vocal, cheering & singing along ... Oi Oi ! Yeah ! (if you listen to Tokio 's "Gambai" that's similar) Well it indeed sounds like members of Tokio .. :p 


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