Hamasaki Ayumi – Mirrorcle World [43rd Single]

April 7, 2008 at 7:02 am (Hamasaki Ayumi) (, )

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Hamasaki Ayumi’s 43rd single, entitled Mirrorcle World, was released on 04.09.08. To celebrate her 10th anniversary, Ayu has started off the year right. The title track, Mirrorcle World, is the extended version of Mirror, from her 9th studio album GUILTY and was played during Panasonic FX-35 commercials. The single also includes the B-side entitled Life, which served as accompaniment for music.jp commercials. Two different versions of the single were released, each receiving a CD Only and CD + DVD release. While one edition featured a re-recorded version of her 2nd single YOU, the other featured a re-recorded version of her 5th single DEPEND ON YOU.

Mirrorcle World opens up with a beautiful orchestral opening that creates the beautiful sounds of an opening of a French romantic film. Quickly following is where Mirror began with the first verse. The opening vocals are relatively soft but the note finishing the third line is notably more powerful than it was in Mirror. Transitioning from the softer sound, the vocals are complimented by a rock edge during the chorus that demands attention. Newly added to the song from Mirror after the chorus is a nice guitar riff and a small section that consists of a marching beat. The new second verse features a similar sound to the first but the lyrics come off a lot slicker this time around. Following is a new chorus which is just as powerful and demanding as the first. After the chorus is a crashing guitar solo that melts into a fantasy-like feeling with soft vocals. After this soft atmosphere comes the sound of glass crashing following by some new adlibbing before the final chorus. As an extended version of Mirror, Mirrorcle World is an excellent bridge from GUILTY.

The B-side for the single, Life, has a rock atmosphere that would be perfectly at home on her last studio album GUILTY. The song begins with a highly-rock influenced instrumentation before melting into the soft first verse. There is something behind Ayu’s vocals that is reminiscent of her older works. The hook introduces some new instruments that also channel her old sound as well before diving into the chorus, which is pretty simplistic. The verses certainly stand stronger than the chorus here but the chorus still sounds very nice. The ending ad-libbing shows off Ayu’s truly powerful voice that compliments the rock instrumentation perfectly. Life is a good B-side to the single and while it is not as strong as Mirrorcle World, it’s a very nice song.

Included on one version of the single is the re-recorded version of YOU entitled YOU (10th Anniversary version). On the other version is the re-recorded version of Depend on you entitled Depend on you (10th Anniversary version). Ayu has definitely come a long way from her first album so rereording these two tracks is a perfect way to celebrate the long journey filled with happiness, tears, loss and heart. Her vocals sound great on both recordings but its particularly on the re-recorded version of Depend on you where they shine. Ayu did a great job on both songs and should be proud.

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 The PV for Mirrorcle World was shot in Paris and is one of the best PVs of the year to date. The opening features a group of spies searching for Ayu using technology to communicate. Ayu’s first scene in the video is similar to her walking performance in her (don’t) Leave me alone PV but with longer hair and a beret to compliment it well. This Ayu represents such a state of confidence and strength as she walks. Another scene features Ayu in lingerie, representing her physical side and her body, which she contemplates abandoning [as seen in the lyrics]. With a black background behind her, Ayu wears white feathers on her nails and they are adorned in her hair as well. Represented in only face shots, these scenes represent her mind as she considers all of the various questions that she asks. Wearing a enormous red dress represents Ayu’s mysterious side, signaled as she leaves behind a white handkerchief that one of the spies picks up. The final Ayu is seen locked inside a telephone booth as she confronts the spies. Before Ayu makes her final exit into the car, she delivers a smug smile to the the spies and escapes into the night.

Single Ranking: B +

Ayumi’s 43rd sinle, entitled Mirrorcle World, is the first single after the release of her 9th studio album GUILTY. The title track makes a smooth transition from the last album era by being an extended version of the album’s introductory track, Mirror. The song loses no steam from its predecessor and is definitely one to remember. The B-side, Life, is a nice rock track that shows off Ayu’s vocals. In order to celebrate her 10th anniversary, two songs (YOU and Depend on you) were chosen to be re-recorded and the vocals this time around are even better than before. Ayu looks to have an amazing 10th anniversary if she can keep such quality releases.

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