Hamasaki Ayumi – Days / GREEN [44th Single]

December 14, 2008 at 5:02 pm (Hamasaki Ayumi) (, )

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Hamasaki Ayumi’s 44th single, entitled Days / GREEN, was released on 12.17.08. GREEN was used to promote the Pasasonic camera. Much like her previous single, Mirrorcle World, this single features two songs re-recorded to celebrate her 10th anniversary: LOVE ~Destiny~ and TO BE.

Days is a beautiful emotional ballad that tugs at the listener’s heartstrings. Opening the song is a beautiful and soft instrumentation with a wintery feeling (somewhat similar to her previous song No way to say) and then the first verse starts. There is a real fragileness in her voice that stands out and supports the music perfectly. The chorus stands out as Ayu delivers slightly more powerful vocals that definitely bring out the emotions strongly. The pure instrumental section is very nice and there is a certain edginess to it with the guitar being spotlighted, further stirring the emotions. Following that section is the chorus and having the instrumentation become quiet like that connects back to No way to say yet again. Days is a fantastic song with an emotional presence that will make the listener cry.

GREEN takes traditional instruments to drive the fantastic instrumentation. The song begins with gorgeous instrumentation that perfectly captures the feeling of Shanghai. With such beautiful instrumentation, the listener is lead into the first verse. Ayu’s vocals here are strong, smoothly carrying over the music. The chorus stands out as Ayu provides even stronger vocals and the music becomes more diverse. Although the pure instrumental section was a little simple, it makes for a nice break and introduction into the chorus, which features softer music to put the emphasis on Ayu’s vocals. On the final chorus, Ayu holds the last note fantastically and it really is a standout moment in the song. GREEN is a wonderful song with interesting instruments to make it stand out in Ayu’s large discography.

daysIn order to promote the single, two PVs were made: one for Days and one for GREEN. The video is absolutely heartbreaking, featuring Ayu’s dreams of love. The first scene is of Ayu sleeping and she dreams about meeting Shuya outside and he gives her a helmet so they can ride together. Throughout this scene, you can clearly see the happiness in her heart. Then they reach a little table of jewelry being sold and Ayu sees a gorgeous ring but Shuya doesn’t get it for her (which makes Ayu feel really hurt). She then comes in late for a dance rehearsal to see Shuya already dancing with everyone, making her feel left out. Finally, she wakes up and goes outside to see Shuya in hopes that things can be like the dream. She waves to him but notices that he gives his helmet to another girl (who is actually wearing the ring Ayu picked out in her dream) and she walks away heartbroken. There are various scenes of her crying and they make you want to cry to because you can really relate to how she is feeling. Her friends then come to comfort her and the video ends. This is one fantastic video, primarily for Ayu’s strong portrayal of emotions.

The PV for GREEN is one of Ayu’s most expensive, featuring a clear visual representation of the song. Drawing on the feel of traditional Shanghai, everything is a throwback to the time. We first see Ayu walking on the streets and she gets through the crowd of people (this scene is pretty similar to the opening scene of Mirrorcle World). After that, she is seen performing alongside fan dancers as a woman watches her. Ayu is then seen in her dressing room with her dancers (Shuya makes an appearance for example and looks really hot) and after that, she dances with the girl. The video ends with Ayu walking away. The video is very visually appealing and definitely captures the essence of the song well.

Single Ranking: A +

Days / GREEN is a fabulous single. Both songs compliment each other nicely to make the package very memorable. While Days is the sweet love ballad that evokes the emotions easily, GREEN draws on traditional insruments to make an unforgettable instrumental. I’m very impressed by this single and look forward to seeing what Ayu brings next with Rule.

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