Hamasaki Ayumi – glitter / fated [41st Single]

January 6, 2008 at 9:11 am (Hamasaki Ayumi)

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Hamasaki Ayumi’s 41st single, entitled glitter / fated, was released on 07.18.08. Both songs of this double A-side received tie-ins. While glitter was used as the Zespri Gold Kiwi CM song, fated was used as the theme song to the movie Kaidan.

glitter is Ayumi’s traditional summer release: an uptempo pop number with the sounds of summer bubbling inside. In my opinion, this is Ayu’s best summer song for its amazing catchiness and awesome instrumental. The lyrics use cute English phrases such as “Yes, still believe in love!” creating a very breezy atmosphere perfect for summer. The lyrical approach to the song uses the element of hope present in love, which matches perfectly with the beat of the song. My favorite part is the pure instrumental section that creates a summer dance vibe.

The other A-side is the emotional ballad entitled fated. The song’s strongest point is the great emotional presence that is displayed both by the instrumental and Ayumi’s vocals. The obvious theme of “fate” is used to create absolutely beautiful lyrics that are written from her heart. The instrumentation uses a “bridge-arrangement” in which the volume of both the beat and Ayu’s vocals are softer during the verses and then comes stronger in the hook before creating a small climax, introducing the chorus. Ayumi’s vocals show emotion in them, prompting the listener to really feel as if a story is being told in conjunction with the lyrics and sound of the song. Her vocals display this quality particularly during the choruses, which serves as the high points of the song. Ayu really put a lot into this ballad and it definitely shows.

The third track on the single is Secret [Original Mix], which is the same version of the song present on her 8th studio album, Secret. The song is included because it was used as the theme song for the Japanese release of the Chinese movie Confession of Pain. I’ve always loved this song as once again, the emotion portrayed in the song comes across so strongly. Her vocals use more of a soft approach to express the tenderness / softness in the song and they match with the soft strings of the song. The chorus once again is the strong point as the strings become more prominent and Ayu’s vocals grow a little to match the strings. The lyrics are another strong point of the song, speaking of the theme of searching for love. These lyrics really touch your heart while listening to them in the right mood. This song has even been able to make me cry due to its beauty. The small instrumental section before the final choruses creates a climax effect and give a raining imagery. This song was beautifully written and arranged to create a wonderful ballad.

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Instead of doing two traditional PVs for both songs, Ayu decided to film a short movie entitled 距愛. She filmed the mini movie alonside actor Shawn Yue in Hong Kong. The movie has so speaking of any actor and only the music of all three songs are present in the movie. Both glitter and fated are used at different times during the movie to capture their respective emotions in the atmosphere. fated in particular served as a visual bridge between the emotion of the song through visuals and sounds. Secret was played as the credits were rolled and served as a nice ending theme to the movie. The idea of a mini movie was very creative but I would’ve personally preferred if there were 2 seperate PVs for each A-side.

Single Ranking: A

Both glitter and fated are such different songs and both being present on the same single, shows two very different sides of Ayumi. While glitter is the pop summer song sung with the element of hope, fated is the emotional ballad telling the story of a fated encounter and the following feelings soon after. Secret was a nice addition to the single and leaving it untouched was a good move since the song already is beautiful and would be hard to change it for the better. The mini movie was a creative idea to show the emotional presence of fated and the summer breezy feeling of glitter.

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