Critique: 23rd Monster - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
· Ayu's Official Site · Ayu's twitter · Ayu's YouTube · masa's translations · Misa-chan's translations ·


Go Back   Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai > Ayumi Hamasaki Forums > Ayu Chat-Room

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28th April 2021, 05:31 PM
koumori's Avatar
koumori koumori is offline
RAINBOW Guardian

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 8,429
Critique: 23rd Monster

23rd Monster is a surprise release, dropped on the 8th April 2021 to celebrate Ayu's 23rd anniversary as an artist with Avex. You can read tenshi no hane's translation of the song here.

Questions (unnecessary to answer them, just to stir thoughts):
1. What do you think of the song?
2. The mixing/production of Ayu's songs has been a hot topic for quite a few years now. How do you think 23rd Monster holds up in that regard?
3. Ayu has had issues with her vocal performance in the last few years, experimenting with different techniques and styles to work with her vocal cord damage. What do you think of her vocal performance in 23rd Monster?
4. Any other worries about the lyrical content? What do you think this could mean for Ayu's music going forward?
5. 23rd Monster also had its own single cover, shot by Kazuyoshi Shimomura. How do you feel about the creative direction of the photoshoot? Any thoughts on what the artistic meaning is, or do you feel it was still lacking in any obvious meaning to the viewer?
6. Although not out in full yet, the PV for 23rd Monster still has a teaser on youtube, so thoughts on that (and the full-length one later) are welcome too.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 28th April 2021, 07:01 PM
pommy48's Avatar
pommy48 pommy48 is offline
theme of a-nation '03 H-Initiate
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,149
I haven't kept up with Ayu's vocals for the past few years, but I definitely noticed the "singing like she has a potato in her mouth" technique in 23rd Monster. It sounds like everything is coming from the back of her mouth.

Does anyone have insight on why she uses this style of singing? Does it make it easier to sing? Or it's just an artistic effect? It reminds me a lot of Hyde from Laruku
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 28th April 2021, 07:58 PM
Akutenshi Akutenshi is offline
End roll Initiate
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 753
I'm ok with her vocals and the way they change throughout the years, so no critiques there.

I think this song is better than the ballads she's been putting out over the last few years, but I do think the production quality of the instrumentals has suffered drastically.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 28th April 2021, 08:10 PM
hidekirby's Avatar
hidekirby hidekirby is offline
SEASONS Initiate
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: France
Posts: 1,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by pommy48 View Post
I haven't kept up with Ayu's vocals for the past few years, but I definitely noticed the "singing like she has a potato in her mouth" technique in 23rd Monster. It sounds like everything is coming from the back of her mouth.
It's weird because I had this specific issue with Ohia no Ki and Haru Yo Koi vocals (first part mostly), but it is almost absent here for me. Her vocals are really not far from how they used to sound few years back to me and I like them this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akutenshi View Post
I think this song is better than the ballads she's been putting out over the last few years, but I do think the production quality of the instrumentals has suffered drastically.
I have the same feeling. But it is less an issue for me on this kind of song compared to ballads.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 28th April 2021, 08:21 PM
Aderianu's Avatar
Aderianu Aderianu is offline
Love song H-Initiate
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: RUSSIA
Posts: 17,453
This "potato" was the first thing I've noticed. I thought maybe lyrics is too complicated and thempo too high
to pronounce words clear

Last edited by Aderianu; 28th April 2021 at 09:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 28th April 2021, 09:20 PM
pommy48's Avatar
pommy48 pommy48 is offline
theme of a-nation '03 H-Initiate
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,149
I noticed the "potato" in talkin' 2 myself and especially in Love song, so I thought it was just an effect.

But she does it a lot in this song even when she was singing the slow parts. If anything, the faster parts sounded clearer to me.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 28th April 2021, 10:31 PM
Toniayu123 Toniayu123 is offline
SEASONS Initiate
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Spain
Posts: 1,381
Quote:
Originally Posted by pommy48 View Post
I noticed the "potato" in talkin' 2 myself
Wish she’d sing with that potato more often then lol

(we have completely different opinions about a matter and neither she or me should be offended, it is that difficult?)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 28th April 2021, 10:35 PM
Next_Level29's Avatar
Next_Level29 Next_Level29 is offline
TO BE Initiate
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 576
let's read something positive in between the posts:

She was able to surprise me with this release. I really enjoyed this type of style, dark and deep. It's kind of refreshing in regard to the last releases. I think its quite beautiful that we can hear her not being so nasal! Its not bad that her technique is more nasal nowadays but a chance in technique is great to me!

Im sure that 23rd monster would have been a great single if she had released it during mirrocle world era. don't ask me why i specify it like this ;D it just came to my mind.
__________________

I want to turn into a flower, grow thorns,
wither, fall and rot away
Don’t pick me up, leave me
Forget me

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 28th April 2021, 10:45 PM
pommy48's Avatar
pommy48 pommy48 is offline
theme of a-nation '03 H-Initiate
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toniayu123 View Post
Wish she’d sing with that potato more often then lol

(we have completely different opinions about a matter and neither she or me should be offended, it is that difficult?)
You not being offended offends me!

But regardless of the existence of that potato or not, this would be an awesome song live.

Her dark/rock songs have always been my favorite, so this checked all the boxes
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 29th April 2021, 01:44 AM
koumori's Avatar
koumori koumori is offline
RAINBOW Guardian

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 8,429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akutenshi View Post
I think this song is better than the ballads she's been putting out over the last few years, but I do think the production quality of the instrumentals has suffered drastically.
I'm glad she came back with a more powerful song too, although the production is definitely still not on par with some of her earlier work. It's a step up from Dreamed a Dream already though so I'm hopeful (I did like Dreamed a Dream overall, but it just sounds a bit too empty for me).
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 29th April 2021, 04:18 AM
tokyoxjapanxfan's Avatar
tokyoxjapanxfan tokyoxjapanxfan is offline
SURREAL H-Initiate
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 8,558
What’s holding me back from enjoying this song is the lack of enunciation???

I feel like it’s quite hard to make out what she’s singing, which I’ve honestly not experienced much of in the past.

I’m hoping it was a stylistic choice as opposed to a new singing style.
__________________

"Remember, don't let others dictate your music taste. If you like whatever you're listening to, keep listening to it."

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 29th April 2021, 08:51 AM
visionfactory's Avatar
visionfactory visionfactory is offline
No way to say Initiate
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chile
Posts: 5,309
I love voice changes along ayu's career. It makes her discography eras even more unique.
__________________
Concerts I've attended:
[2020] E-girls, Happiness, SYY & Girls² at E-girls XX PERFECT LIVE 2011▶︎2020 (Mie, Japan)
[2020] ayumi hamasaki at TROUBLE TOUR 2020 A -Saigo no Trouble- (Saitama, Japan)
[2020] Aikawa Nanase at LIVE TOUR 2020 forbidden (Tokyo, Japan)
[2020] AI at Concert 2020 Baby You Can Cry (Saitama, Japan)
[2020] Ai Otsuka at aio piano vol.7 (Nagoya, Japan)
[2020] Anna Tsuchiya at Birthday Live 2020 (Osaka, Japan)
Spoiler:
[2019] BoA, Red Velvet, YURI & HYO at SMTOWN LIVE IN SANTIAGO (Santiago, Chile)
[2017] Juice=Juice at LIVE AROUND 2017 ~World Tour~ (Santiago, Chile)
[2017] Anna Tsuchiya at Super Japan Expo (Santiago, Chile)
[2017] Do As Infinity at Anime Friends 2017 (Santiago, Chile)
[2015] Anna Tsuchiya at Super Japan Expo (Santiago, Chile)
[2012] After School & RaNia at Music Bank World Tour (Viña del Mar, Chile)
[2011] m.o.v.e at Super Japan Expo (Santiago, Chile)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 29th April 2021, 08:54 AM
280301 280301 is offline
WHATEVER Initiate
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 450
I liked 23rd Monster when it was released...but I've only listened to it a handful of times since then. There are some Ayu tracks that I don't listen to often, but still enjoy thoroughly (forgiveness and Close to you come to mind), but I think the issue with 23rd Monster for me is that, while it is certainly a 'stronger' track than previous releases, it does appear to be more of the 'same' musically. It hasn't grabbed me like I thought it would as there are similar tracks in her discography that are more interesting musically and conceptually.

I almost feel like Ayu is...'meta' motivated and inspired (and has been for the last five years at least)? As in, she's motivated and inspired to continue releasing music by internal factors (i.e. her fans, her team, some elements of her classic sound), as opposed to external factors (i.e. new music, popular music genres, the desire to create, attracting new fans, etc.).

I admire the fact that Ayu continues to work hard, but...I wish she would work with different composers/arrangers and production teams to freshen her sound.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 29th April 2021, 03:10 PM
koumori's Avatar
koumori koumori is offline
RAINBOW Guardian

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 8,429
Quote:
Originally Posted by 280301 View Post
I almost feel like Ayu is...'meta' motivated and inspired (and has been for the last five years at least)? As in, she's motivated and inspired to continue releasing music by internal factors (i.e. her fans, her team, some elements of her classic sound), as opposed to external factors (i.e. new music, popular music genres, the desire to create, attracting new fans, etc.).

I admire the fact that Ayu continues to work hard, but...I wish she would work with different composers/arrangers and production teams to freshen her sound.
Thank you for giving this a name, since I've been feeling like this too but didn't really know how to summarise it. I think I'd say around A ONE had this shift, but definitely since TROUBLE I would say this is the case. I still enjoy tracks from these eras, but it's definitely different. I feel Haru yo, koi is the song with the most love and production put into it since 2018 and the fact she spoke on that process so happily confirmed this for me.

As a note to anyone reading, I don't think Ayu is a bad artist because I feel this way, it's just something I've personally noted on her work too. The reasoning behind creating her music has definitely changed since Colours imo. It's why her TA entry this year was so significant to me.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 29th April 2021, 05:47 PM
CeReSu's Avatar
CeReSu CeReSu is offline
no more words Initiate
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 2,728
I love the song. And it's been a long, long time since I listened with joy to an Ayu's song.

This one reminds me of the old times (2006-2008) and I love the fierceness of the song.

Ayu's vocals changed a lot these past few years but I don't mind.

On this song, I admit it is a little weird, it is like she is singing without music in her voice (I don't know how to explain this point correctly in english). But I think it suits the song.

Best song since a long time for me, I wish for an album of this type, something fierce and more entertaining instead of new ballads once more.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 29th April 2021, 05:57 PM
kotora's Avatar
kotora kotora is offline
ANGEL'S SONG Initiate
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 5,335
can we add

number 5 / single/album cover
number 6 : PV

in this thread as well?

I have issues with the cover...
__________________


Put my mouth on the lyrics like CPR

Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 29th April 2021, 06:05 PM
Andrenekoi's Avatar
Andrenekoi Andrenekoi is offline
HAPPY ENDING Initiate
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brazil
Posts: 6,919
Quote:
Originally Posted by koumori View Post
Thank you for giving this a name, since I've been feeling like this too but didn't really know how to summarise it. I think I'd say around A ONE had this shift, but definitely since TROUBLE I would say this is the case. I still enjoy tracks from these eras, but it's definitely different. I feel Haru yo, koi is the song with the most love and production put into it since 2018 and the fact she spoke on that process so happily confirmed this for me.

As a note to anyone reading, I don't think Ayu is a bad artist because I feel this way, it's just something I've personally noted on her work too. The reasoning behind creating her music has definitely changed since Colours imo. It's why her TA entry this year was so significant to me.
I do believe her hearing issues will affect how much she can actually freshen her sound in the future, as she would need new references and that would require her to, well, listen to new stuff.

Unless she hands that to someone else and hopes that person will now to reflect her accuratelly, there's not much that can be done.

I did enjoy Dreamed a Dream and 23rd Monster, but I completelly agree there's nothing new about any of those, something that has been an inssue since Colours, maybe.
__________________

http://stan-wars.com/1989.html


I live around AHS (Ayumi Haters Sekai)

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 29th April 2021, 08:09 PM
koumori's Avatar
koumori koumori is offline
RAINBOW Guardian

 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 8,429
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotora View Post
can we add

number 5 / single/album cover
number 6 : PV

in this thread as well?

I have issues with the cover...
Sure! The stuff in the first post is just some prompts and aren't the only things people can bring up, but I'll add those in so people know that the cover and PV are still relevant to discuss as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrenekoi View Post
I do believe her hearing issues will affect how much she can actually freshen her sound in the future, as she would need new references and that would require her to, well, listen to new stuff.

Unless she hands that to someone else and hopes that person will now to reflect her accuratelly, there's not much that can be done.
Yeah, this is a likely contributor for sure and something important to take into consideration. I've always loved Ayu for her unique compositions and she has still had those since Colours, but... there has been definitely more repeating trends and that might be just the way it'll be. I was heavier on criticizing this when TROUBLE dropped and although I'll still comment on it, I'm in a more balanced place of contextualizing possible reasons for her creative decisions these days.

All that said - of course I do hope she finds more people she can trust in the future if she is interested in still trying new things. From her blog, it sounds like she is wanting that too, and all I can hope for as a fan is for her to feel fulfilled and confident in her work.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 29th April 2021, 08:11 PM
yabieru's Avatar
yabieru yabieru is offline
And Then Initiate
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Spain
Posts: 942
I like it. Rock Ayu is always well received. I like how she is giving us different styles with the 3 songs she has released so far. The potato voice... I don't find it that weird. Maybe I just got used to it, I don't know

The only thing this song misses for me is that the chorus could be more powerful. The rest is okay for me. Not something iconic but ok. Maybe it's because I'm too obsessed now with Utada's One Last Kiss and nothing can top it now lol
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 29th April 2021, 09:22 PM
Andrenekoi's Avatar
Andrenekoi Andrenekoi is offline
HAPPY ENDING Initiate
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brazil
Posts: 6,919
Quote:
Originally Posted by koumori View Post


Sure! The stuff in the first post is just some prompts and aren't the only things people can bring up, but I'll add those in so people know that the cover and PV are still relevant to discuss as well



Yeah, this is a likely contributor for sure and something important to take into consideration. I've always loved Ayu for her unique compositions and she has still had those since Colours, but... there has been definitely more repeating trends and that might be just the way it'll be. I was heavier on criticizing this when TROUBLE dropped and although I'll still comment on it, I'm in a more balanced place of contextualizing possible reasons for her creative decisions these days.

All that said - of course I do hope she finds more people she can trust in the future if she is interested in still trying new things. From her blog, it sounds like she is wanting that too, and all I can hope for as a fan is for her to feel fulfilled and confident in her work.
I do believe Max started producing her again because he's someone who knows her and her work well. Still, Ayu had a pretty unique musical vision for a good part of her career that is most likelly lost.
__________________

http://stan-wars.com/1989.html


I live around AHS (Ayumi Haters Sekai)

Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
2021, 23rd monster, ayumi hamasaki, critique

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.