The album cover and full tracklist for Ayumi Hamasaki’s 18th studio album, Remember You

Ayumi Hamasaki with brown tousled hair, and a velvet black gown. Shot in close up, looking up as she rests her hand on her shoulder.

Ayumi Hamasaki’s 18th studio album was originally due to be out by now, but it got pushed back to 2023. But it now has a title and a confirmed release date which is unlikely to shift.

Ayu’s 18th studio album is titled Remember You. I’m not going to get into my expectations of this album, given that they’re so low that they’re screaming ‘cowabunga’ in the sewers with the Ninja Turtles. But I will get into the album cover and the album tracklisting, because...


Ayumi Hamasaki with brown tousled hair, and a velvet black gown; leaning over to rest on a table.
Ayumi Hamasaki - Remember You | © 2023 Avex Entertainment Inc.

Avex are not even trying to hide that their budgets have been slashed like they went three rounds with Mitsurugi.

Fresh after her teamLab Planets commercial of a music video for “Mask”, we get this album cover which looks like it was shot in Ayu’s dining room on a HTC One M8 by one of Ayu’s children.

When I first saw this shot I thought that perhaps it was just Instagram compressing the quality, as it tends to do. But nope. The resolution of the photo itself is really just that bad. There is grain, blurriness and artefacting in the photo which do not look like the result post production or retouching; but either a poor quality camera, or a good quality camera shooting with bad settings.

The album cover itself is fine. But it’s not very memorable or distinct in the way that Ayu’s album covers used to be. All of her album covers from Love Again onward have been so bland.

When Ayu first released the “Nonfiction” promo shot, which came with news of a new album, I thought releasing putting it out was a waste, when it should have been held for an album cover. It was a bolder and more striking image than this boring ass shot in Ayu’s dining room. It was just the type of shot that a pop star like Ayu who hasn’t released an album in 7 years should have had for their comeback album cover. Also, Ayu had been using the colour pink prominently for the gigs she performed post “Nonfiction”, and had fans all doing “Nonfiction” challenge in their own pink outfits. The album branding was RIGHT there. And yet, we just get Ayu in another black gown.

I often find that Ayu’s albums inlays end up featuring shots which would have made for good album covers. So watch this be the case with Remember You too. Colours in particular had no reason having that boring ass cover, when every single photo in the inlay was far better. The cover for the Remember You photobook which Ayu posted on her Insta already shits on the album covers. Ayu conveniently put this image in a slide with the album covers on Insta, so you can clearly see the differences in image quality between it and the album covers.

As many had suspected (and because, Japan) Remember You will feature old ass songs from as early as “Ohia no Ki”.

  1. Nonfiction
  2. (Not) Remember you
  3. Dreamed a Dream
  4. 23rd Monster
  5. Summer Again
  6. Ray of Truth
  7. Remember you
  8. Ohia no Ki
  9. Haru yo, Koi
  10. Taskinson
  11. Mask
  12. VIBEES
  13. Nonfiction (Yohanne Simon remix)
  14. Just the Way You Are

“Ohia no Ki” and “Haru yo, Koi” being featured on this album is messy. They both should have been left as A Ballad 2 exclusives to better justify that compilation. But Ayu and Avex are gonna stay Ayu and Avexing.

I had mentioned in my review of “Nonfiction” that Yohanne Simon shoulda been involved with it. And now look. He’s remixed the damn song, and it’s on the album.

The arrangement and production of “Nonfiction” wasn’t great. So it’ll be cool to hear if Yohanne was able to give it the magic touch that he gave her surprisingly great cover of Hikaru Utada’s “Movin’ on Without You”, and transform “Nonfiction” into what it shoulda been.

Remember You releases in 5 editions (2 of which are fan club exclusives) on January 25, 2023, and will be preceded by Ayu’s staple new year’s eve concert, which is titled Countdown Live 2022-2023 A: Remember You. So there is a high likelihood that she will perform a new song or two from the album.