lukewarm for ayumi hamasaki

25 04 2008

So, I can’t decide if I like Ayumi Hamasaki or not. I’ve listened to her GUILTY album quite a few times and I’m still unsure. I’m not really a fan of trance or electronica all that much and I feel like she has some of those influences. That and power pop, which I’m not a big fan of either. I really think it’s this power pop aspect that really gets to me because I do like some electronica influenced music (à la Hikaru Utada). I don’t know if some of her earlier stuff is R&B influenced, but since I didn’t really know her music beforehand and was expecting the R&B influence, her sound really took me by surprise. This is definitely a case of my preconceived notions that weren’t even grounded on her, but rather on her similarity to Jolin Tsai, who does fall into the R&B influenced pop category. But the weird thing about Hamasaki is that she seems to be power pop to at least the 10th degree. She really brings the melodrama with the guitar riffs and those epic violins you would find in some Hollywood feature film epic like Lord of the Kings or Braveheart, maybe even some Titanic thrown in there for good measure. While I don’t mind the epic, Hamasaki just feels… too much. Maybe it’s just this album. I need to go and listen to some of her older stuff to really make an informed decision, but at this point… Hamasaki is looking pretty mediocre, which confuses me because I know that she is immensely popular in Japan, so there must be some grounding for it. But maybe she’s just too pop for my taste…


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