Hello! I don't know if anyone will do this but I've been doing it so I thought I'd run it by you all and see if anyone wants to join and throw down some opinions!
SO. This is not that exciting, OR IS IT?
I have been listening to all Ayumi's albums, in order over the last 3 Saturdays. AND IT IS CRAZY! You can really hear her sound grow and change and in some instances, NOT CHANGE AT ALL but for some reason, sound wildly different...most likely due to different producers, as in the switch that happened from My Story to (miss)understood...those two albums (two really strong and awesome albums that stand up to the test of time), it's nuts how different they sound, even though there are similarly structured songs...
I mean, I know the "Ayu Dramatic Rock Song" was pretty much there from A song for xx, but, and this is just my experience, I think of (miss) understood
as a dramatic turning point for her sound, and it's not, upon these recent listenings, really due to a change of style, it's all about the production value. The only songs that're different from her standards are Bold & Delicious
(my least favorite song of Ayu's), Ladies Night-which can, style wise, be related to other tracks like Real Me
but the added "oomf" of heavy production value and that sort of, excelerated structure, of the chorus sets it apart and started a new generation of Ayu "standard" tracks-lots of her more recent works sound [a lot] like it, but nothing before it, and Pride
(which I love but this might as well be a early 00's Beyonce or Christina Aguilera song)- I think GEO of Sweetbox's songs mostly pushed her sound in a different direction-but not her style, as a couple of the songs he wrote, strike me as very similar to Ayumi's previous sound, like "In The Corner" (one of my FAVORITE Ayu songs)-though I love it, it sounds typical, to me, stood at as a great song, but not wildly different from previous works.
(miss) understood took her sound toward the electric guitar, loud, ferocious rock song and the piano driven ballad with some strings thrown in for good measure, but even her ballads became louder and more, explosive? I don't know exactly what it is, but everything after (miss)understood sounds more like the songs from (miss)understood than any of the previous albums. I think, and I'm only up to GUILTY in this, uh, "project"
, but so far, it's like (miss) understood was still trying to hold onto some of her old sound, but then after it, her sound just permanently morphed and though plenty of her more recent tracks can be related to older songs or played back to back, the structure and sounds of whichever songs these are, benefit wildly from being rearranged to suit the sound born of (miss)understood.
Also there is a lack of small, detailed electronic sounds, there used to be a lot more going on in all of her songs, now they can all be played with a bass, a couple guitars and a drum kit. With a keyboard for some songs but unless it's a ballad, you hardly hear the keyboards anymore. And again, I'm only up to GUILTY, I look forward to listening up to M(A)DE IN JAPAN to see what I hear that can and probably will change some of my current opinions!
OR AT LEAST, this is my experience so far. If you made it to the end of this post, I challenge you to do the same, pick a day or some down time (or exercising or cleaning your house, driving around, whatever) and really listen to her albums, in order, including the songs you can hardly stand, and I bet you'll hear stuff you never heard or realized before, and also might have one or two moments where you go "OMGEEEZ WHY DON'T I EVER LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM?!"
As I did, with Secret-that record is really good you guys, and I believe I have said before on here how I don't really like it...I WAS WRONG!