Ayumi Hamasaki to release her 15th studio album on July 2nd

Ayumi Hamasaki to release her 15th studio album on July 2nd | Random J Pop

The J-Pop queen of yesteryear Ayumi Hamasaki will release her 15th studio album on July 2nd. At time of posting, the album is untitled and the album arts are yet to be revealed - but they will probably feature Ayumi Hamasaki shot with a sunset colour palette, with her name and the album title in a variation of  italicized times new Roman; as this her been her 'thing' as of late.

Ayumi Hamaflop has been desperate to prove her relevance, ever since Namie's success began to question hers and snatched the HBIC crown right off of her head. Namie surpassed the HBIC title to such an extent that she started her own record label, with is located on a satellite miles above the city of Tokyo, propelled by the gravitational pull of relevance and album sales, which is why Ayu could never and will never.

Ayu's 15th studio album will be her first to feature productions from non-Japanese producers. Dutch producer Armin van Buuren, RedOne of Lady Gaga fame and Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins. This roster of producers only goes to serve how outdated Ayu is. Armin is a Dutch house producer. Yes Ayu. Because Dutch house is exactly where it's at right now. RedOne hasn't had a smash hit since 2012 with Nicki Minaj's God awful "Starships". I bet Ayu only poached RedOne because she wanted a song which sounds just like it. Rodney 'Dementor' Jerkins has been sucking the chart success out of songs for the past 5 years. As a footnote, Hikaru Utada worked with Rodney Jerkins on her Distance album 13 years ago, back when he was actually hot.

Ever since cracks in Ayu's perfect trophy case began to show from the 2008 release of her album Guilty, the only consistent thing Ayu has delivered is disappointment. With Love again she showed that she knows what retrospectively works well for her. But she's continually shown a complete inability to try anything new and make it work. Namie's ascent within the landscape of J-Pop has made Ayu look like she has even less of a clue. Namie's had a solid handle on her sound for a decade. She's become the master of emulation. Namie takes a popular Western sound, emulates it and then delivers it in a way that makes it her own. Namie has also developed a good ear and established a close knit team around her who know what works and what doesn't. Ayu on the other hand is still struggling to find a new sound. Floundering in her attempt to deliver music which sounds contemporary and can also hold its own against her chart competitors. Songs such as "You & me" and "Merry-go-round" show the disparity between what Ayu thinks sounds cool and what legitimately is. That tinnitus paired with her desperation to chase Hikaru Utada's ghost, catch up to Namie and fend off Kumi is turning her crazy. It's consuming her to the point where it's pulling her attention from trying to improve and better herself as an artist. There has been no sense of evolution or growth in anything Ayu has done in quite some time.

A large part of what kept Hikaru Utada relevant and keeps her relevant is that she was never trying to compete with any of her peers. She didn't care what anybody else was doing. She focused on what they could do themselves to deliver good music and evolve. The same goes for Namie Amuro. She wasn't trying to compete with Ayu, Kumi, BoA. None of them. She stayed in her own lane and managed to lap the competition, meanwhile they're stuck in pit stops scratching their heads on how to change a tyre.

Ayumi Hamasaki's album releases just a mere week before Miss Japan 2014: Kyary Pussy Pamyu releases her 3rd studio album. Ayu's street and promo team need to milk this weeks' head start for all that it is worth, because once Kyary's shit drops, it's a wrap for Ayu and her sales trajectory will nose dive faster then Ecco the dolphin. Promotion in that week prior to Pussy Pam's release will be a struggle in itself, because Kyary will be everywhere for weeks leading up to her album dropping. Kyary is everywhere in Tokyo when she's barely endorsing anything, let alone when she actually a product to plug.

Ayumi Hamasaki - Irrelevant (cover designed by Random J) | Random J Pop

Poor Ayu.

Album reviews: Next level | Rock 'n' roll circus | Five | Love songs | Party queen | Love again

40 comments:

  1. I get Namie being more relevant but Kyary? O_o I'll take my chances with Ayu instead and not another Yasutaka Nakata album

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  2. http://i61.tinypic.com/2yowrhl.jpg

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  3. I listened to snippets of most of the tracks that were released for her fanclub a few days ago and I must say that I wasn't impressed. This album is shaping up to be a hybrid of "Next Level" and "Party Queen". To be honest, Ayu's music has NEVER been my cup of tea but I still try to update myself on her releases in the hopes that she delivers something that tickles my fancy. At this rate I'm convinced I'm wasting my time. Oh well, I'll just patiently wait until HRH Namiserable I releases her studio album next summer.

    J never ceasing on delivering the Ayu shade. I live for it so I don't mind. ;)

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  4. I was chuckling throughout the entire article, but you killed me dead with that pic. Is it sad that I like it better than all of the cover shots she's used for practically everything since about 2011 XD

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  5. "This album is shaping up to be a hybrid of "Next Level" and "Party Queen"."


    Is it sad that I'm kind of hoping for this, because I really enjoyed the more up-beat, club oriented tracks from either album?

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  6. I actually really liked Next Level. Last LP from her I can say that about.

    Her voice is shot & it's not coming back.

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  7. Actually the tracklist was released like last week: http://avex.jp/ayu/discography/detail.php?id=1007336 Most of the released songs are terrible, I agree. But Lelio and NOW & 4EVA are awesome tracks.

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  8. love the blog...and I can't say I am a fan but some of her songs are good :) depending I my mood i listen to different jpop artist. Soon I will go visit this great country thanks to flysky.

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  9. Oh God yes! So happy 4 her (+ that dress is nothing short of heavenly tailored)...can't wait 2 hear that elusive 22nd Japanese single/6th studio LP and even more pipe dream oriented world tour. She's gonna seriously slay with that new EMI worldwide contract; nobody knows how to promote and give independent creative control to Hikki like them, especially it being her home label. Island/Def Jam ought to never be alowed to sign another artist to their roster after how they dod her 2 English albums...

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  10. Nothing to see here except the fact the world's most rabidly prolific and diminished pop superstar release a studio LP 10 tracks or less and/or that'l run an under an hour. Since she's no Prince or Stevie Wonder, who delivered classics like Talking Book, Innervisions, Purple Rain and Dirty Mind with only 8, 9 or 10 song sequences running under an hour, this I snothing for her even her stans to get excited about and buy two or three copies of, even of the obligatory alternate/special editions. She didn't even have that kind of vocal, lyrical, compositional or inage finesse when she was delivering dual Mariah Carey #1 single and Beatles #1 album streak.

    Armin Van Buuren, Red One, and Rodney Jerkins have their work cut out 4 them, because I'm shocked Ayu can dress, shower and feed herself considering how awful her muse and choice of tunes and production have been since the (Mis)understood era. Even if these were some of the hottest talent, Western or otherwise, to oversee the project right now (they aren't), they probably already gave the best s*** to Lady GaGa (Red One on her first three releases) and Darkchild on whatever's gonna be his contributions to Janet's upcoming 11th album (he did absolutely kill on Hikki's "Time Limit" but that was when he was riding Pharrell/Timbaland ubiquity and relevance). I don't know who or what the hell the Dutch guy is or has done, but if he or the others couldn't be bothered to tell Miss Thirstsaki to scrap the unnatural sales and sound disasters that was "Feel the (Vomit) Flow/Merry Ho Round" and follow suck-ups "Pray" and "Hello New Me" from the tracklisting with her usually formless interludes/intros, we've got another atom chart bomb on our hands, which is more or less all she's delivered since "Guilty" and her left ear hearing going out. Bigger shame on them of they actually were involved in their crafting; this will be a 3 out of 5 star record at best; and given the rise of piracy and digital proliferation, no amount of music videos, concert performances, making of clips or other high end thrift shop merchandise can reverse a consensus of crappy music!

    I honestly didn't even listen to Pray or Hello New Me but what's the point when they're ballads and every one of those she's released since "Dearest" is dated, boring-as-wallpaper-drying or just outright terrible (or couldn't be put into a continuous wedding/funeral/prom/graduation ceremony playlist indistinguishable from another). Now that her all wigs have been thrashed, her vocals shot and control of personal image or smart song choice completely DOA, her titles get only stranger (WTF is a Lelio? That sphinx/electric cat Pokemon?) Ridiculous attempts at relevancy, I swear...You can always tell how good a J-Pop release will be from its preceding singles and this is her ABSOLUTE worst yet as far as that goes; at least every one of her 14 albums up to this point were good enough on those to convince me a preview was in order if not to necessarily buy the whole damn thing. Applying random instrumentation, vocals or somg structures like an ADD kid in a candy store and having a general "I Don't Give A... , just gimme the yen!" attitude is all I'm getting from Ayu at this point and its showing with everyone now it seems.

    Its even more pointless to suggest this would've been an excellent opportunity to pull a "Party Queen" and have no pre-released singles or promo is just that; no Beyonce-style surprises can reverse nose diving sales trajectory when bottom dwelling material is all your offering, its the logical public shunning you'll be given. Better get somebody's superior songwriter(s) to detail clean this nonsense up, or she'll never go better than RIAJ-certified sapwood with anything again! 'NOW & 4EVA' may actually be awesome but if its more or less a lazy attempt at speaking the fluent "Engrish" I'll pass on it too...

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  11. I like to read your blog, but the Ayu shade is getting so boring. It's always the same old Ayu-Kumi-fail-Namie-win jokes. Why not write some more about other artists that are more relevant or new? I know you know your stuff.

    I'm not saying this because I really like (loved) Ayu, it's just not really entertaining anymore. I think Ayu should have quit years ago, or go on a hiatus. I don't even follow her anymore. I'm already over it and over the jokes.

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  12. "...be bothered to tell Miss Thirstsaki to scrap the unnatural sales and sound disasters that was 'Feel the (Vomit) Flow/Merry Ho Round'..."

    #dead

    https://31.media.tumblr.com/e63a8150300f8c7cb65b6accea9c6471/tumblr_n54eezW0tg1si4zv0o1_400.gif

    https://31.media.tumblr.com/69b546c5d80a223f9216cea120e136dd/tumblr_n55mtlXdOB1si4zv0o1_400.gif

    https://24.media.tumblr.com/f7ca70ad26b5175e9ee65019e4cc5211/tumblr_n54ei8Obq61si4zv0o1_500.gif

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  13. Well, there go our hopes and dreams!
    I wonder how this will affect Hikki's new material, should she decide to release anything new. There's so much she can write about. Either way, as long as she's happy.

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  14. Sorry, but I actually like her new stuff, or what I've heard so far.

    http://vimeo.com/96184739

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  15. That's because you're a stan. Okay?

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  16. No clue what that means. I don't spend enough time 'online' I guess.

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  17. You just provided a link to an unreleased song off an album not yet released. gUUUURl bai with that front responding within minutes of my reply. You stay online.

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  18. LOL get a grip, I listen to J-Pop and am not Japanese. I don't own one single Namie Amuro album but I know when she's dropping them etc doesn't mean I'm a Namie stan... plus not everyone who likes something you don't is a "stan" or by that same logic you must be a "hater".

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  19. I'm laughing because you all act like Namie is some musical genius... She doesn't write, Arrange or have anything hardly to do with her music and her videos aren't even that great anymore with minimal dancing while even if you don't like her music Ayu writes it all, has done arranging etc and still puts on great shows. Yeah Namie might be selling out Domes but I'd rather watch Ayu and all her fans going off than see Namie stood on a podium swaying some pom poms back and forth in thigh high boots over and over.


    This may be a more "Generic" kind of music for the most part it sounds good and IDGAF. The remix of "Wake me up" slayed any of Namie's shit from her last two albums and I'm hoping for that to be in some mashup with "Lelio" in the shows.


    P.S I don't hate Namie btw I just think she's OK but get bored of everyone on here acting like she craps out gold or something.

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  20. The more I listen to them the more I like them although I loved "Lelio" and "4 EVA LOVE" from the start.

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  21. What does that have to do with the point of the post you chose to reply to?

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  22. And I get bored of the few ayustans left on here. Nobody enjoys what you do.

    Goodbye.

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  23. It's because she does crap gold, haven't you seen the fancam after her Feel Tour performance? The toilet was all shiny.


    But in all seriousness, the people that put Ayu and Kuu down in Namie's favor, mostly "like" and "respect" her because she's just outselling the other acts they don't like.


    Ayu is a hot mess that got married to a medicine student overseas. Namie is a single mother who doesn't even need to make tv appearances in order to have the best selling album of the year by a solo artist.


    No disrespect to you or Ayu, but even her fans are getting tired of her. That's when you know there's something wrong.

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  24. Or praising Hikki and Perfume and putting others down when it's not about Kumi/Ayu/Namie. Still funny though.

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  25. Wrong, the Ayu shade NEVER gets old insidar as J doesn't talk or review other artists stuff frequently enuff'!:D

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  26. THE BEST COVER AND TITTLE FROM LAST 5 YEATS

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  27. I'm sorry but especialky in respect to my love for all things electronic/dance/house/techno/synth music, this is all so VERY mediocre and samey in the vein of Britney Jean; Madonna, Lady GaGa, Kylie Minogue, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and pretty much every major artist who've made these genres their niche does this s*** and does it oh so very superior. And those vocals...LAWDDD be with the vulnerable ear drums subjected to this extensively!

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  28. Post a link to them?!

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  29. Wow... Is this part of a uni course or do you just enjoy writing essays about people you supposedly can't stand?

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  30. It means I was responding to you saying Reg is a stan because he doesn't live in Japan and posted a link for a Japanese album that hasn't dropped yet... Maybe you should "Read" before you type?

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  31. It means I was responding to you saying Reg is a stan because he doesn't live in Japan and posted a link for a Japanese album that hasn't dropped yet... Maybe you should "Read" before you type...

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  32. Didn't say I can't stand or dislike her and never will; I in fact loved and have every album of hers up through Miss(Understood) digitally and have"A Best" & "Rainbow" physically, the latter of which is one of my favorites albums ever. We all stan for some artist or another when u listen to as much music and as much a variet as I do (my itunes library is 7000 tracks strong) but nobody is defending this nonsense except deaf and blind people (with all due respect to their conditions). At least I give her the benefit of the doubt and will listen/watch previews and snoppets of new Ayu releases but she (almost) never ceases to wildly disappoint and sound reductive on her own cosmos large discography. Its so ironic that absolute best Jpop artist alive in Utada Hikaru took a 4 year hiatus when the industry needs her supreme singer-songwritet vontrubutions nore than it evet did. Ayu just DOESN'T TRY to be good or great anymore and is losing any redemptive hope of doing so again; a similar can be said about Koda Kumi (maybe) but almost certainly not Namie regardless of who actually composes and writes lyrics for their music. Stan for her as you damn well please but the rest of us who DO give a (...) will critique objectively when there's a $30+ price tag on that s***!

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  33. Didn't say that. So once again read. But don't just read. COMPREHEND.

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  34. In all honesty I find Namie to be highly overrated as an entertainer like you do. Her music videos are boring, her live shows are a snoozefest, and and her dancing is subpar. And don't get me started on how bland her last two albums were. HOWEVER, the overall production quality of her music and her voice is what draws me in. I only like a handful of songs from her entire discography but I find those songs to be miles better than anything Ayu has released. It's down to preference. I would never shell out money to see Namie in concert but I wouldn't hesitate to pay to see Ayu & Kumi live ANY day of the week. I think the latter are much better stage performers.

    We're fully aware Namie isn't a musical prodigy nor do we all act like she is. Everyone knows she
    barely contributes to what she puts out versus Ayu and Kuu who play an
    integral role to their music. There are a few regulars here who are critical of Namie, like myself, so don't make such a blanket
    statement.

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  35. It's right there. Tilted Irrelevant.......

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  36. Sometimes things your actually interested in and that are more important than everyday conversation topics take time to write about; if its such a waste of time reading my essay responses or J's blog, than what's the honest point in you coming back and continuing a conversation? (Rhetorical question BTW)...clearly we don't think its a terrible waste of OUR time doing it, we do many other things in our daily life more important than 'X-Y-Z' here; not such a big deal!

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  37. It's not about you or your essay (I did not read), it's about giving feedback to a blog I enjoy to read. The content is getting quite repetitive, which is not a good thing in my opinion.

    Writing things off as not a big deal is so simple and careless. It's not true, becaue I cared enough to give my 5 minutes of opinion. Why write about the same things if you can write about fresh new things? Of course the first would be (at least a little bit) a waste of your time.

    J can do whatever he wants with my feedback, he could also simply ignore it. I wouldn't cry about it, but I'll might visit his blog less often.

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  38. you say namie good ear, poor ayu is deaf

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