Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai

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truehappiness 17th April 2010 11:40 PM

Album/other title meanings from ASFXX to now
 
(Translation credit goes to evolusean, Delirium-Zer0, and others like ayu_iro, Misa-chan, and isaac hiew)

ASFXX - "The A in “A Song for XX” is for the A in “Ayu” and the A in “album”. I’d like for the listeners to imagine the “XX” as their favorite thing or the name of the person they like, or maybe a number. For me, there’s only one answer that applies to “XX”. But, if I write that out, it would really restrict the image for the listener. And so I decided to make it “XX” so that it would better project the desired form for each person."

LOVEppears - "The title "LOVEppears" has two meanings to it, "thing that seems like love" and "discrepancy between what we see and what's really there." When I was thinking about the jacket design, I was concerned about the title I'd use, and my staff were there with a suggestion. They said, "You should use English word A and English word B, and put them together to make a whole new word." Before my trip to New York for the jacket photo shoot, I looked out the window from inside the car, and there was a couple that looked SO happy, but I personally was thinking, maybe they're in the middle of a serious crisis. Or maybe they're actually talking about separating. So I thought of the meaning "seems to be" for the word "appears" and stuck it on there. We give ourselves certain outward appearances and images, trying to make it look like things are good or bad, whatever we want to show people, but really things aren't as we're showing."

Duty - "So now, I'd like to hear about "Duty," the album's title track. A: I wrote it before I wrote "vogue," and it reflected the state I was in at the time. The lyric "my turn" isn't referring to just myself though, it means each and every one of you also. Of course I do include myself in that group. For instance, there have been various "artists" out there for years and years. Mr. or Miss So-And-So was there, but the times are always changing, you know? And everyone can see when the world changes. History is always being repainted like that, one era ends and we can see it happen, we can't be as young as we are now forever, and we can't be onlookers forever. So we can't just say "Eh, I don't get it, whatever" forever, I thought. And how does that connect with the title? A: Communicating that is something I thought it was my duty to do at the time."

I am... - "A: Of course there was the whole "projecting my true self" mood that "I am..." came from, but that's not all it was. In "Daybreak" there's a part that says "we've lost our faces because of this era," but now I think this is an era in which "faceless people (people with no individuality, accommodating people)" are everywhere. But I don't think it's an extremely sad thing. Keeping that in mind, Bancho (ayu's Nail Artist, Kanako Miura) put out a book on nail art in December, and recalling a message from me that was printed on the book's obi, I thought that Bancho's "face" was in her work = the nail designs that Bancho had made. For example, in magazines there are features on nail art, and there's like a hundred photos of nails there, aren't there? But that one thing is simply what Bancho does, so when she found that "Bancho's 'face' is the fact that she has that work," she gained self-confidence."

RAINBOW - "A rainbow is something that everyone's seen at least once, so there's not gonna be anyone saying "huh? a rainbow? what's that?," it's something they'd immediately recognize. But you only see it for a moment, you can't gaze at it forever. And when you want to see one, you can't. And it's not a tangible thing, either... When I thought about that, I thought, I wonder if I really saw a rainbow? Is a rainbow really even there? People have the general notion of "a rainbow is a seven-color arc", sure, they know what a picture of a rainbow looks like, so when they see a rainbow, maybe they ascertain with their own knowledge that that's what they've seen... But what if that's not really what it is? For example, maybe it's only three colors...
And also, no one's ever sad when they see a rainbow. They say "Look! It's a rainbow!" and a part of them becomes happy. I thought I wanted to do that, I wanted to have that kind of existence. I can't be right next to you, but when everyone sees me, I'd like for it to feel nice, like times when you see a rainbow maybe. So I chose "RAINBOW" for the title." (Note: It was Leslie Kee's idea. Apparently Ayu wanted to call the album TODAY or TOMORROW, but Leslie had the idea of RAINBOW. See the NEWSMAKER 2003 interview for more)

Memorial address - "A: When thinking about the fact that "this mini-album = myself this year", "Memorial address" contains things that had become fundamental to me. So I think using it as the title for the album was the right thing to do. But as far as the song is concerned, I didn't plan on explaining the various things going on inside me. I'd prefer if people listened first. I think if people listen to the song properly, they'll get a better idea of what I'm thinking in it. The lyrics aren't printed in there, so people have to listen to the song first, before having any information (any written characters to look at). This is because I wanted people to feel the song."

MY STORY - "Only, while it does have those kinds of songs as well, what struck me listening to it was what a personal album it was. The title ‘MY STORY’ makes me think that as well, but I really felt like you just laid all your battles and pain and hardships right out on the table. This time, I had the ideas of honesty and freedom in my head as I was writing. So, I wasn’t trying to write something good, or something that would move people, or something that would give people hope. I simple wrote honestly."

(miss)understood - "The miss does not mean "mistake" the way it does in misunderstood, but it's a miss similar to mister and missus. That's why (miss)understood can stand for both misunderstood as well as a girl who understand. So there is a double meaning. Yes. Those "misunderstood" scenarios which are recognized as misunderstandings often happen in reall life. As humans, everyone has had misunderstandings, right? There are also probably times when a person himself is being understood. No matter how high we wish to go, we will always thing that the present is the boundary. No matter how much we trust someone, we will still be afraid to let that person come too close to us. And though we understand all of this, we are still willing to accept the fact that the world is full of misunderstandings. That's human nature. That's why, though there are many different meanings of the word for me, I find it all right for everyone to find the meaning which is convenient for them and then define it for themselves."

Secret - "I have secret, maybe you too?" sums it up basically. Ayu: Yeah, it's called "Secret" because... everyone has a secret. Right? Of course I have a secret. I think maybe you too? (smile) So... but I can't explain to you, because if I told you, it's not a secret, you know? But I hope this um... this album will reach people's hearts."

GUILTY - "GUILTY, about the meaning of this title given to this album, meant the abbreviation of "A TITLE given by one's oneself, as it refers to one's current state or way of living". But are there anyone who is really "clean" in this world? Maybe they hurt someone even thought the hadn't done it on purpose, for example, lying and other minor offenses which can be found on everyone by right... I have carefully done a lot of soul searching regarding the issue of "feeling guilty, but still life has to go on" whenever I was composing or performing. No matter how people feel sinful, since we are alive and kicking, then we should continue living on the best we could whether we are sad or happy."

NEXT LEVEL - "The words NEXT LEVEL by themselves have been on my mind from quite early on, but I kept thinking about what kind of NEXT LEVEL it was going to be. A symbolic return to basics or an impossible speed-up from now on? However, I've reached the conclusion that the main thing is that I can't stop, and that's why I'll keep running. After that comes the normal challenges of choosing the music, my vocal style, arrangements and more."

Rock'n'Roll Circus - "Traditional Japanese, ethnic, European... with all of these different sounds mixed together, it's like a circus. And when I sing, they become rock. Rock is a very wide genre, and can include lots of different types of songs, but when I sing, they become rock. For example, even if I dress up in a girly way like today and sing a ballad, rock will still be rock. And because rock exist in my soul, it will be reflected in whatever I do. The new album's title "Rock'n'Roll Circus" reflects something interesting, scary, sad, weird, and a whole bunch of other things mixed together. And that is what I think Rock&Roll is all about."

Love songs - "I wanted to take all the love I've received, make them into songs, and give them back to everyone as a present."

The title for this album "Love songs" seems to have been born during last year's 7-days live.
"The 7-days live last years held much meaning for me. Though I have always put all my energy into lives, that 7-days was a battle which involved my whole body and soul. From the preparation, through the live, and even after. I felt duty, and accomplishment too. Of course, it's not only about me. The whole troupe (band, dancers, staff) too. Now, my memories are of "smiling faces" and "comrade love". That's why, when I was thinking of the album in LA, this title naturally came to mind. It's not something superficial, but represents all the love which I received last year." - translated by Misa-chan from bea's Up

With a title like "Love songs", we were fully expecting a rosy pink album. Guess that was stupid of us. (laugh)
There's no reason to expect that. I'm ayu after all. (laugh) From the very first song "Love song", we're well away from ballads.

Firstly, we'd like to ask why you decided to make this album.
It started during Yoyogi 7days Live. At first, I thought that I'll be burnt out after fighting for 7days, and I planned to take a breather after that. However, after I finished the live, I felt that "It'll be wrong to stop now. I need to absorb what I've gained from these 7 days and move on." To put it in another way, I guess I felt that I was "released".

Released?
As someone who sings, what I should be and what I want to be is very simple. I just want to be a vocalist. That's what I thought. To use whatever gimmicks to tell my message, and if I can't, make it even simpler, so long as I can express through song whatever it is that I imagine. This is probably how I should be like.

I see. So the first song expresses the whole album.
I've always chosen my words with care, to hide meanings, to cover something, or for some certain reason. But this time, I want to make an album that sings about lots of love in a simple way. With that, the title "Love songs" soon came up.

It's an album filled with different kinds of LOVE. So what does LOVE mean to ayu?
It's probably the biggest theme in any person's life, and the most important too. Without it, there is no meaning to life. With it, one becomes able to live. It is the biggest, the most beautiful, the most difficult, and the most talked about thing in this world. It is also the worst thing that can happen to you, emotional-wise. Sort of like trying to climb a super tall mountain. (laugh)

I see, I guess it's important to hear and understand what ayu feels about Love songs herself, then.
"Love songs" is a general category for all the songs in the album, but "Love song" is the piece that describes what love is for me personally. It describes the person I am now. What "Love song" is talking about is how, when I fall in love, I will sing many love songs. (scan is cut off..) That feeling that gets you excited, and is fun, sweet, gentle, and makes you yearn for that someone. Isn't that "love"? We don't know what love looks like. We don't know if it's something warm or cold. It may feel really hot when you are in the moment, and the next thing you know, it's become freezing cold. It's not something real, and we can't touch it. Furthermore, when you love someone, it is impossible to tell if it's good or bad for that person. There are surely people out there who deny that love exists, so I wish to sing lots about love, honestly and straight from my heart. (scan is cut off..) - translated by Misa-chan from SCawaii

FIVE - ?, because of five songs being on the album along with five PVs? There is also a "HOPE" hidden in the logo for the album that Ayu helped design when the logo is viewed in reverse

Party Queen - Your new album is titled 「Party Queen」. I’m not really good with parties, so let me ask what this title means to ayu?
“To summarize it, it’s about the image I have of myself in society.” - translated by Misa-chan from SCawaii

This will be updated if anyone can find other title meanings for singles and so on.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps. Thanks to all of the wonderful translators who helped in getting this information out there.

Sandy 30th July 2010 10:11 PM

...I always thought 'A Song for XX' was 'a song for her dad'. I like that meaning way more. I remember reading somewhere from Ayu, that every time (in the past) when she sang 'A Song for XX' she was hoping her dad would be in the audience. I might be misspeaking, but I prefer this one... :p

Delirium-Zer0 31st July 2010 04:18 AM

Until a few years after she said what she said above, Ayu didn't say anything about who the XX was.

That said, it's my understanding that she's singing TO her mother ABOUT her father leaving, and how Ayu acted as a child as a result.

primavera♥ 31st July 2010 04:36 AM

I think this is my second time reading this. But I payed more attention this time. Everything she says about these albums makes so much sense. I especially love the inspiration for RAINBOW and GUILTY. But all of them really fantatsic. What a lovely girl

gallowsCalibrator 31st July 2010 04:54 AM

This is so interesting! I love how much thought she puts into these titles! :heart

ストロボ・EdGE 31st July 2010 05:41 AM

The thought behind RAINBOW is so beautiful.

I'm guessing the couple she saw was also the inspiration behind appears.

maikaru 31st July 2010 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Delirium-Zer0 (Post 2441650)
Until a few years after she said what she said above, Ayu didn't say anything about who the XX was.

That said, it's my understanding that she's singing TO her mother ABOUT her father leaving, and how Ayu acted as a child as a result.

Yeah, and I think she only got the courage around the time of A Ballads to address this issue directly, when she changed the lyric from "everyone around me" to "you", in the line "The more everyone said those things" etc to "The more you said those things" etc.

Keiichi_JPU 31st July 2010 07:57 PM

She is so smart. These interviews completely changed my interpretation of some of the albums, it's amazing.

God, I love her.

Thanks for this!

Chibi_Venus 4th August 2010 06:50 PM

Very interesting things here... I personally liked what she said about MY STORY, how she wrote "honestly." :)

I tried to imagine the album RAINBOW being titled TODAY or TOMORROW instead. I could see it, and feel that they would've been great titles. But RAINBOW definitely works better. :yes

C+R+E+AYUMI 5th August 2010 08:44 AM

thank you so much..i believe i read some of these elsewhere before but i never found a complete summary, thankies!!

everysingle title (except RnRC to me) has a really deep meaning, especially RAINBOW..i never thought it was so precious because it isn't a tangible thing or something you can catch and keep by yourself...oh wowow

waterballoon 7th August 2010 12:27 PM

lmfao the "meaning" for Secret is so pathetic compared to the rest :laugh

thanks anyway ;)

Andrenekoi 9th August 2010 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by waterballoon (Post 2448434)
lmfao the "meaning" for Secret is so pathetic compared to the rest :laugh

thanks anyway ;)

That's what u get when u wake up one day deciding that ur mini album will be a full one on 2 weeks :B

waterballoon 9th August 2010 05:58 PM

^ lol should've known!

zoomzoom 10th August 2010 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrenekoi (Post 2450317)
That's what u get when u wake up one day deciding that ur mini album will be a full one on 2 weeks :B

Or not, the concept would've been the same.

rusuke 10th August 2010 09:27 AM

I really love the meaning behind LOVEppears and RAINBOW. It's such an interesting idea.

Delicious n Bold 29th January 2013 04:24 AM

Been looking for this for a while now, thanks!

NintendoHTF1242 29th January 2013 04:30 AM

The Duty one kills me. It's insanely good.

chikocchi 29th January 2013 07:39 AM

I really like this! Thanks for sharing!

truehappiness 29th January 2013 09:58 AM

Ahh, need to update this.

Love songs - "I wanted to take all the love I've received, make them into songs, and give them back to everyone as a present."

The title for this album "Love songs" seems to have been born during last year's 7-days live.
"The 7-days live last years held much meaning for me. Though I have always put all my energy into lives, that 7-days was a battle which involved my whole body and soul. From the preparation, through the live, and even after. I felt duty, and accomplishment too. Of course, it's not only about me. The whole troupe (band, dancers, staff) too. Now, my memories are of "smiling faces" and "comrade love". That's why, when I was thinking of the album in LA, this title naturally came to mind. It's not something superficial, but represents all the love which I received last year." - translated by Misa-chan from bea's Up

With a title like "Love songs", we were fully expecting a rosy pink album. Guess that was stupid of us. (laugh)
There's no reason to expect that. I'm ayu after all. (laugh) From the very first song "Love song", we're well away from ballads.

Firstly, we'd like to ask why you decided to make this album.
It started during Yoyogi 7days Live. At first, I thought that I'll be burnt out after fighting for 7days, and I planned to take a breather after that. However, after I finished the live, I felt that "It'll be wrong to stop now. I need to absorb what I've gained from these 7 days and move on." To put it in another way, I guess I felt that I was "released".

Released?
As someone who sings, what I should be and what I want to be is very simple. I just want to be a vocalist. That's what I thought. To use whatever gimmicks to tell my message, and if I can't, make it even simpler, so long as I can express through song whatever it is that I imagine. This is probably how I should be like.

I see. So the first song expresses the whole album.
I've always chosen my words with care, to hide meanings, to cover something, or for some certain reason. But this time, I want to make an album that sings about lots of love in a simple way. With that, the title "Love songs" soon came up.

It's an album filled with different kinds of LOVE. So what does LOVE mean to ayu?
It's probably the biggest theme in any person's life, and the most important too. Without it, there is no meaning to life. With it, one becomes able to live. It is the biggest, the most beautiful, the most difficult, and the most talked about thing in this world. It is also the worst thing that can happen to you, emotional-wise. Sort of like trying to climb a super tall mountain. (laugh)

I see, I guess it's important to hear and understand what ayu feels about Love songs herself, then.
"Love songs" is a general category for all the songs in the album, but "Love song" is the piece that describes what love is for me personally. It describes the person I am now. What "Love song" is talking about is how, when I fall in love, I will sing many love songs. (scan is cut off..) That feeling that gets you excited, and is fun, sweet, gentle, and makes you yearn for that someone. Isn't that "love"? We don't know what love looks like. We don't know if it's something warm or cold. It may feel really hot when you are in the moment, and the next thing you know, it's become freezing cold. It's not something real, and we can't touch it. Furthermore, when you love someone, it is impossible to tell if it's good or bad for that person. There are surely people out there who deny that love exists, so I wish to sing lots about love, honestly and straight from my heart. (scan is cut off..) - translated by Misa-chan from SCawaii

FIVE - ?, because of five songs being on the album along with five PVs? There is also a "HOPE" hidden in the logo for the album that Ayu helped design

Party Queen - Your new album is titled 「Party Queen」. I’m not really good with parties, so let me ask what this title means to ayu?
“To summarize it, it’s about the image I have of myself in society.” - translated by Misa-chan from SCawaii

She seems to explain LOVE again in the latest ViVi but we'll have to wait for a full translation of that.

Surreal17 28th February 2013 06:10 PM

I really needed this.Very interesting articles!The I Am..,Rainbow and Rock'n'Roll Circus titles are very deep and intriguers.KILLEER!!All of them have an interesting interpretation.I like how she puts a concept beneath every album,even if at first sight you don't really realise it.


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