[News] 『A BALLADS 2』on sale 2021.04.08 [II] - Page 3 - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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  #41  
Old 21st February 2021, 11:31 PM
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Kazuyoshi has already worked with Ayu for single/album shoots. He was behind NEXT LEVEL (directed also Sparkle PV), A COMPLETE ~ALL SINGLES~, I think Mirrorcle World and GREEN/Days (and others) but although I like the cover, it just the same boring thing as Ohia no Ki. But she loooks so beautiful ; - ; <3
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  #42  
Old 21st February 2021, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Diva_br View Post
Kazuyoshi has already worked with Ayu for single/album shoots. He was behind NEXT LEVEL (directed also Sparkle PV), A COMPLETE ~ALL SINGLES~, I think Mirrorcle World and GREEN/Days (and others) but although I like the cover, it just the same boring thing as Ohia no Ki. But she loooks so beautiful ; - ; <3
The photographer of the cover is Kazutaka Nakamura. He worked with ayu on sixxxxxx which were inserts from Número Tokyo if I'm not mistaken and a shampoo ad.

He really does beauty shots and advertising campaigns. Probably avex made some marketing research and are implementing it.

Last edited by j.graziano; 21st February 2021 at 11:43 PM.
  #43  
Old 21st February 2021, 11:50 PM
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Lovely album cover. The "twin" ayu in A BALLADS are the "past" and "present" ayu. We knew that ayu has come to terms with her past hence the "past" ayu disappeared (RAINBOW music video). A BALLADS 2 has the "present" ayu from A BALLADS so hopefully we get to learn more about the message conveyed in pray for you music video.

The live compilation dvd content is a disappointment though. But with ayu spending time in the recording studio, who knows we may have a few re-recording and mix for some songs in this compilation.
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  #44  
Old 22nd February 2021, 12:13 AM
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^I really like your take about "present Ayu" it makes sense somehow
  #45  
Old 22nd February 2021, 02:04 AM
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Do we really need to find a concept/story/secret message to enjoy a release now?

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Originally Posted by AyuCanada View Post
I understand people wanting and expecting more from her as we used to get a new album every year and this release is boring release BUT... people are a bit responsible for their own disappointment on this release as it has been advertised since the beginning as the greatest hits with remastered tracks.
I have to agree with this ! Some are definitely expecting a bit too much from this release (just like people who expect it to sell +100k, sorry to burst the bubble but that is not happening)

I myself was very disappointed at first that it was a 2 CDs compilation instead of 1 CD, filling this compilation with quantity instead of focusing on quality, and I do understand the disappointment as I love the original A BALLADS as well, I know what she's capable of as I follow her since 2004, but the ayu that created that album in 2003 is from the past now and we have to accept it as it is.

Remember how TROUBLE was such a huge let-down back in 2018 (advertised as an album, 5 "single quality" songs over 2 years of wait) ?
And yet people are still in denial, expecting that visionary-ayu to come back 3 years later just to get disappointed again...

This girl will retire someday, let's try to move on from the disappointment and enjoy her activity while we can
(plus, there's still time for small surprises, who knows!)
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  #46  
Old 22nd February 2021, 02:11 AM
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Do we really need to find a concept/story/secret message to enjoy a release now?



I have to agree with this ! Some are definitely expecting a bit too much from this release (just like people who expect it to sell +100k, sorry to burst the bubble but that is not happening)

I myself was very disappointed at first that it was a 2 CDs compilation instead of 1 CD, filling this compilation with quantity instead of focusing on quality, and I do understand the disappointment as I love the original A BALLADS as well, I know what she's capable of as I follow her since 2004, but the ayu that created that album in 2003 is from the past now and we have to accept it as it is.

Remember how TROUBLE was such a huge let-down back in 2018 (advertised as an album, 5 "single quality" songs over 2 years of wait) ?
And yet people are still in denial, expecting that visionary-ayu to come back 3 years later just to get disappointed again...

This girl will retire someday, let's try to move on from the disappointment and enjoy her activity while we can
(plus, there's still time for small surprises, who knows!)
While this is pessimistic, I agree with this statement.

In my opinion, 2003 and A BALLADS can be considered the artistic peak for ayu. RAINBOW the song is so unique in every way, and the A Song for XX (A BALLADS Version) is out of the world -- who else has the audacity to remake the song that launched your success, into a rock version, and use that to build the crescendo of a Ballads compilation album? It was just so perfect.

I understand people's anticipation for conceptual edge given the perfection and uniqueness of the original A BALLADS - I just listened that album from start to finish and oh man it was so good. But personally I will definitely adjust my own expectations and look forward to what is left to be revealed.
  #47  
Old 22nd February 2021, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Sim' View Post
Do we really need to find a concept/story/secret message to enjoy a release now?


This girl will retire someday, let's try to move on from the disappointment and enjoy her activity while we can
(plus, there's still time for small surprises, who knows!)

I think she's going to be like Seiko Matsuda and MADONNA - She's never going to retire. If she doesn't completely lose her hearing, I think she would work till she's 60.
  #48  
Old 22nd February 2021, 02:52 AM
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I’m so curious what the kimono video is about though! Can’t imagine that’s for Pray for you ... but still anything can happen
this kimono concept looks way too gorgeous for something that sounds as bland as Pray for you, but seeing as it's probably the only new song we get, it's probably true. man, this is like the M(A)DE IN JAPAN look people were expecting with FLOWER, but didn't get

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Originally Posted by jpopfan018 View Post
Lovely album cover. The "twin" ayu in A BALLADS are the "past" and "present" ayu. We knew that ayu has come to terms with her past hence the "past" ayu disappeared (RAINBOW music video). A BALLADS 2 has the "present" ayu from A BALLADS so hopefully we get to learn more about the message conveyed in pray for you music video.
I thought about this, and it kind of 'makes sense'. she expressed some struggle with forgiving her past self with A BALLADS, but after 18 years she must have thought differently by now. if this cover were to express something (and I understand that not every release must have a backstory), then it could be the fact that she's not as concerned about what people think of her 'self'. I don't know. plus, there are still more covers yet to be released.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sim' View Post
Remember how TROUBLE was such a huge let-down back in 2018 (advertised as an album, 5 "single quality" songs over 2 years of wait) ?
And yet people are still in denial, expecting that visionary-ayu to come back 3 years later just to get disappointed again...
I'm still so bitter at this! songs that conveyed her thoughts over two years—but somehow only five! and I had to scoff at "single quality" (really? æternal? The way I am???) because I doubt she even knew what it still meant because she hadn't released a proper single since 2014 at that time
  #49  
Old 22nd February 2021, 04:32 AM
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Video(?) by Kazuyoshi Shimomura
Apparently the set behind her is an artwork by Ogata Kōrin, a famous artist from 17th century Azuchi–Momoyama period. I wonder which song it will be! I'm getting vibes of a new song and not pray for you.

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  #50  
Old 22nd February 2021, 04:38 AM
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I think she's going to be like Seiko Matsuda and MADONNA - She's never going to retire. If she doesn't completely lose her hearing, I think she would work till she's 60.
I hate to say it but she seems to be confidently on her way to becoming another Seiko Matsuda. Once a legend, now mostly known for ridiculously expensive compilations of songs that were collected on dozens of other compilations/albums re-releases?
  #51  
Old 22nd February 2021, 04:40 AM
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Apparently the set behind her is an artwork by Ogata Kōrin, a famous artist from 17th century Azuchi–Momoyama period. I wonder which song it will be! I'm getting vibes of a new song and not pray for you.

Amazing! How did you find out?

I hope it’s another song other than Pray for you, although if she actually does the unholy union, I won’t be that surprised
  #52  
Old 22nd February 2021, 05:13 AM
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Apparently the set behind her is an artwork by Ogata Kōrin, a famous artist from 17th century Azuchi–Momoyama period. I wonder which song it will be! I'm getting vibes of a new song and not pray for you.

amazing find! thank you for sharing. I hope it's some sort of spiritual sequel to part of Me that sounds just as great
  #53  
Old 22nd February 2021, 05:37 AM
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It's a nice cover, but it looks like she has a unibrow due to the shadow falling across her face.

It does lack a concept, though.
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  #54  
Old 22nd February 2021, 05:47 AM
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It's a nice cover, but it looks like she has a unibrow due to the shadow falling across her face.

It does lack a concept, though.
Hahahaha can't unsee ! A FLINSTONES
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  #55  
Old 22nd February 2021, 06:39 AM
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i'm curious about the video
its the only thing
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  #56  
Old 22nd February 2021, 07:19 AM
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Hahahaha can't unsee ! A FLINSTONES
And THAT is the concept. Pure GOLD.
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  #57  
Old 22nd February 2021, 07:29 AM
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Reading through all the chatter has been so interesting. I love that ayu fans are still so passionate and dedicated even in disagreements.

The cover is nice (take a look at that sleeve, we need more photos of what she's wearing!), and I love the purple overtone. Works really well with her darker hair.

After all the discussion I'd die laughing if this release turned out to be one compilation disc and one original ballad album or something crazy like that. AHAHA totally not going to happen, but it'd be a massive left hook to the fan base.
  #58  
Old 22nd February 2021, 08:23 AM
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Mehh not feeling it :/, the shot is a typical, generic portrait and she looks a bit confused ...unless she's trying to communicate something that will make sense when the
full info is released? Guess Avex doesn't want to spend a big budget on her anymore, eh?

Also, since this is a best album with repertoire of her best ballads, I think it's such a waste that they didn't put more effort and stays on-brand with the conceptual AND iconic A BALLADS. Knowing visual has always been one of the tours de force of the 'ayumi hamasaki' brand...

Oh well. That's just my opinion. : ) Thankful she still release a follow-up.
  #59  
Old 22nd February 2021, 11:50 AM
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While Moments performance was mostly fantastic, AVEX had some balls to include that pitchy performance of Jewel. It's so strange to see them release videos without pitch-correction. I guess they didn't have source audio to work with.
  #60  
Old 22nd February 2021, 01:08 PM
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Last edited by supaka; 22nd February 2021 at 01:12 PM.
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