Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai

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Cahz- 12th May 2020 09:16 PM



That's 53 years old NOKKO. She can still reach the high notes, and if I listen to her current self performing the REBECCA classics, I instantly recognize her as the original singer of these songs. I love Ayumi to death, but can't say the same about her current self and A Song for XX, SEASONS, M, TO BE, Boys & Girls, etc. And it wouldn't be a problem if her voice was enjoyable on these at least, but besides M and A Song for XX, it's always more miss than hit her performing the rest of her classics.

RealLight 12th May 2020 10:19 PM

One thing I always found interesting about Ayu is if you put songs from 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and so on (you get what I mean) to play, a casual listener would think it's a different singer, because there's definitely a difference.

Funny enough from 2008 to 2018 it's like she started to sound like a younger woman, just compare fated to Zutto...

You can do the same with Hikki and Namie and pretty much they will still sound the same, just a slight difference because they got older.

ExodusUK 12th May 2020 11:15 PM

I'm going to have a disagree, here it sounds like Hikki has started smoking 40 cigarettes a day since the original recordings

Evolution7/4 12th May 2020 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SunshineSlayer (Post 3319406)
Compare to a TV performance from 1988 - tenish years prior to the Love Destiny tv performance; it's a completely different voice.

https://youtu.be/CVAu7EkbXco

Side bar but this is one of my favorite Rebecca songs!
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cahz- (Post 3319421)


That's 53 years old NOKKO. She can still reach the high notes, and if I listen to her current self performing the REBECCA classics, I instantly recognize her as the original singer of these songs. I love Ayumi to death, but can't say the same about her current self and A Song for XX, SEASONS, M, TO BE, Boys & Girls, etc. And it wouldn't be a problem if her voice was enjoyable on these at least, but besides M and A Song for XX, it's always more miss than hit her performing the rest of her classics.

Yeah this really isn't that bad all things considered! Her voice still has that undeniable Nokko-ness. Honestly I don't think that Love Destiny performance is that bad either :shrug If you aren't familiar with Nokko's unique almost deranged singing style I could see how its a shock but its a perfectly fine performance to me.

Andrenekoi 12th May 2020 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealLight (Post 3319424)
One thing I always found interesting about Ayu is if you put songs from 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and so on (you get what I mean) to play, a casual listener would think it's a different singer, because there's definitely a difference.

Funny enough from 2008 to 2018 it's like she started to sound like a younger woman, just compare fated to Zutto...

You can do the same with Hikki and Namie and pretty much they will still sound the same, just a slight difference because they got older.

Hikki started singing higher over the years, what makes no sense as people's voices get lower, so she also sounds a lot more strained.

Namie I would say was pretty consistend. If anything she got better, even with the aging thing.

kaled kalil 13th May 2020 02:25 AM

Namie changed a lot actually, it might not be for the worse but there was definitely a change.



The difference from 0:40 to 0:50 is very noticeable.

Quote:

Yeah this really isn't that bad all things considered! Her voice still has that undeniable Nokko-ness. Honestly I don't think that Love Destiny performance is that bad either If you aren't familiar with Nokko's unique almost deranged singing style I could see how its a shock but its a perfectly fine performance to me.
I agree. Maybe because I'm used to singers like Chara, which has her way of singing that people might find weird or sometimes offkey.


Evolution7/4 13th May 2020 02:49 AM

^There are so many good Chara monomanes :laugh

Toniayu123 13th May 2020 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaled kalil (Post 3319438)
Namie changed a lot actually, it might not be for the worse but there was definitely a change.



The difference from 0:40 to 0:50 is very noticeable.

I miss her so much :weep

Considering how much ayuís voice fluctuates between years, we donít really know how it would sound on a new song recording anymore lol I want my 2008 deep voice, dramatic vibrato back. Wouldnít be less straining for her?

mizuki-7 13th May 2020 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaled kalil (Post 3319438)
Namie changed a lot actually, it might not be for the worse but there was definitely a change.



The difference from 0:40 to 0:50 is very noticeable.

As much I liked her something bugged me after 2008/9. She sounded like we can hear the autotune/ pitch correction or something else directly through her microphone there were something off / not natural about it.

but yeah this debate about the degradation of Ayu's voice is a bitt redondant and sad ...

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealLight (Post 3319424)
One thing I always found interesting about Ayu is if you put songs from 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and so on (you get what I mean) to play, a casual listener would think it's a different singer, because there's definitely a difference.

Yes so true but I think it also has to do with the searching her own vocal identity

truehappiness 13th May 2020 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toniayu123 (Post 3319460)
Considering how much ayu’s voice fluctuates between years, we don’t really know how it would sound on a new song recording anymore lol I want my 2008 deep voice, dramatic vibrato back. Wouldn’t be less straining for her?

She did do the Chinese MY ALL in January and a lot of people thought that sounded like a totally different person. Though honestly I thought it just sounded similar to her live voice lately more than ever. It was mixed badly however and also in another language so that could have contributed to sounding very different. I find Ayu usually sounds her best in the last 10~ years in acappella or acoustic settings. If there's too much loud BGM, she often resorts to singing but pushing herself to sing "louder" and then it just doesn't sound quite right.



To me, her voice is similar to what we are used to hearing from her here but occasionally has that almost out of breath sound to it. What seems to change it from year to year is that she sometimes has vocal coaches that help her but then she stops using them or the techniques she learned and on top of that she wears her voice out with a lot of bad habits for lots of lives in a row. Having a child seems to have changed her voice a bit as well if the MY ALL recording was any indication but I think that is a temporary change after pregnancy.

mizuki-7 13th May 2020 02:38 PM

I can’t even count how many times she performed while being sick during her heyday. This has definitely damaged her voice in the long term as well. I am always a bit sad for her when this subjects is once again brought because she is certainly the japanese singer who worked the hardest (not that other don’t work as hard but name me another singer having as much activities beside singing as her during her peak ?) and she paid the price of it. Of course she is responsible of this situation but in this way she is very Japanese she works at the expense of one's health. You can’t do that without consequences.

//ABEST 13th May 2020 03:19 PM

I wonder when avex let us know about the concerts that are supposed to take place in couple of weeks

DavidChaiLatte 13th May 2020 04:08 PM

For me, something that's kind of bothered me is the way she's been singing "ahh (あ)" and "ehh (え)" since POM. To my knowledge it's because she went through some sort of vocal training before POM right? It makes her sound... almost duck-like dare I say.

I sometimes feel like her voice wasn't the actual issue (though it's arguably gone pretty worn out over the last 2-3 years), but rather the change in her singing style. If you listen to her Who performance from CDL 12-13, even though she sang it the post-POM way for the first part, she started sounding like her old self as soon as she began crying and choking up - and I think it's because her choking up made it harder to do those exaggerated Ahhs and Ehhs.



@4:33

RealLight 13th May 2020 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidChaiLatte (Post 3319486)
For me, something that's kind of bothered me is the way she's been singing "ahh (あ)" and "ehh (え)" since POM. To my knowledge it's because she went through some sort of vocal training before POM right? It makes her sound... almost duck-like dare I say.

lol "duck like", but yeah, same here and the way she's been singing "ru" has been bothering me as well.

SunshineSlayer 14th May 2020 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidChaiLatte (Post 3319412)
I don't know man... A^3 (tv version esp) was a pretty obvious indication that Ayu's voice is worn beyond repair at this point, if not worse than Nokko. Even though she's recovered a bit since then as shown in CDL 19-20, her voice now is definitely unrecognizable to anyone who's heard her songs from even 10 years ago.

What I mean is, even though Ayu's voice has changed, I don't always find her unpleasant to listen to. I do with Nokko pretty often.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cahz- (Post 3319421)


That's 53 years old NOKKO. She can still reach the high notes, and if I listen to her current self performing the REBECCA classics, I instantly recognize her as the original singer of these songs. I love Ayumi to death, but can't say the same about her current self and A Song for XX, SEASONS, M, TO BE, Boys & Girls, etc. And it wouldn't be a problem if her voice was enjoyable on these at least, but besides M and A Song for XX, it's always more miss than hit her performing the rest of her classics.

To me, it's not even close to comparing to her voice in the 80s, but I get your point. Nokko can still do the high notes. The problem is, that's all she can do. Oddly, she lost her mid and lower register. You can even hear it happening in 88-90, though her voice overall was still very, very good then.

And yeah, Namie's voice actually changed quite a bit but backing tracks did a good job of masking it. It got thinner I guess is the way I'd put it. I think hers was also an overuse issue because I feel it started when she did insane numbers of tour dates from Best Fiction onwards.

Andrenekoi 14th May 2020 06:05 PM

^Didn't she also performed sick during that tour? Her voice wasn't 100% during Best Fiction DVD, if I remember it right...

Whats up with all those jpop female soloists recording concerts while sick? Lol. Utada also wasn't very good during Utada United.

summerain 14th May 2020 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrenekoi (Post 3319538)
^Didn't she also performed sick during that tour? Her voice wasn't 100% during Best Fiction DVD, if I remember it right...

Whats up with all those jpop female soloists recording concerts while sick? Lol. Utada also wasn't very good during Utada United.

I think it's related to the japanese culture. Even Ayu, an artist who breaks a lot of japanese society expectations, is very "japanese" in terms of work culture. She's a die-hard workaholic and she only stops when she's in the verge of exhausting (like when she had pneumonia during TA Tour 16 — but resumed her activities two weeks later lol).

AJFmzk 14th May 2020 07:27 PM

^ I don’t remember the exact interview, possibly it was one of the Finally documentaries, but Namie said that her voice got destroyed during Play Tour and Best Fiction Tour and it was never the same after that. Best fiction tour was originally filmed in Japan, but Namie was sick and actually apologized to the audience for her poor performance, so they re filmed it in Taiwan.

It’s not just a Japanese work ethic thing, though I’m sure it contributes. Cancelling tour dates is a big deal. It costs a lot to rent these halls/arenas for a tour. When everything goes well, you hopefully have good returns on the investment. When you have to cancel shows, the venue, promoter, label/artist all lose a ton of money. And not just that, cancelling actually makes venues and promoters think you could be “unreliable”, cancelling for whatever reason even if it’s not your fault or necessary for health reasons. Once you cancel once for any reason, it gets people at the venue/promoters worried that you may cancel again. So everyone tries to avoid cancelling as much as possible.

Andrenekoi 14th May 2020 10:41 PM

^Yeah, that makes a lot of sense... Postponing the recording would also cost a lot of money, but it curious all of them got sick dates recorded on DVD.

Katsuyuki012 14th May 2020 11:28 PM

It's surprising to me that avex hasn't "learned their lesson" with ayu. You would think they would (properly) record all final dates, just to be safe. There have been many instances where she sounded fine on the first day but then she doesn't sound great on the following date(s). If they had started doing that, they could have just used for the first day of A^3, for example. They did a great job with the editing but you get it.


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