Koda Kumi and Hamasaki Ayumi are sales crippled messes, barely managing to sell between them. So Avex dragged Kumi off maternity leave and slapped both ladies with an order for a Summer release.
Kumi will release a remix album “Beach Mix“, whilst Ayu will release a compilation album “A Summer Best“. Each of their lazily compiled offerings will feature a brand new track to try and coax fans into parting with their money. Given the sales of “Japonesque” and “Party Queen“, I don’t think fans will be flocking to buy these.
Kumi has her new child to focus her attentions on and can give us that whole “Sales don’t mean shit to me. My child is what means shit to me” talk. But Ayu will have a breakdown if “A Summer Best” doesn’t go number one on the charts and sell more than 25,000 copies on its first day. Her dogs are dead. She has no child. And she has no husband. All she has now is that gay white man (allegedly) acting as her BFF, and he don’t look substantial enough to stick with a ho when she’s breaking down over sales. And as for Max Matsuura, he’s playing babysitter to Amuro Namie‘s son and helping him write his school essays.
On that note, let’s take look at their new songs and compare the shit out of them.
Hamasaki Ayumi – You & Me
If you’re a long term member of TA, then you will be dying inside as a result of Ayu’s “You & Me”. You’ll still defend the song, but deep down you know that “You & Me” is a fucking mess and one of the worst songs Ayu has dropped in a long time.
Ayu just shitted on her fans with this song and is in the midst of an identity crisis. She has no idea what she wants her image to be and she has about as much of a clue as to which direction to take her sound as Stevie Wonder has the ability to drive to his nearest Wal-Mart. “You & Me” sounds like “Fairyland“, the theme song to Sonic CD, and a pre-chorus build to Rihanna‘s “We Found Love” all gang fucking an anime theme song. It’s trash.
She’s also trying to sneak extra amounts of Engrish into her songs. I ain’t try’na hear her sing about ‘Fliday nigh’. I’ll just say what Namie stans are thinking. She’s trying to copy a ho and do a little of what Namie gave us for five and a half tracks on “Uncontrolled“.
Ayu could never.
Koda Kumi – Whatcu Waitin’ On?
Kumi’s effort follows the crowd in a bid to be ‘hip’ as Ayu’s effort does, but Kumi pulls it off better. The song isn’t great. It’s completely derivative and features the obligatory dubstep breakdown – something which Ayu’s song was surprisingly missing. Then again, Ayu is like Madonna in the sense that she always catches onto music trends a year later than everybody else, so we can expect her next studio release to feature a single which has her wailing over some wub-wub.
I don’t find “Whatchu Waitin’ On?” to be completely terrible. Within the context of “Beach Mix”, it will work. And for her to even bother recording anything new for a remix album was admirable. Even if it were a little pointless.
All In All
Both of these songs come at a time when nobody really wanted to hear anything new from either of them, because it feels like only 10 minutes ago since they last released something. Kumi’s effort at the very least sounds focused, as opposed to Ayu’s, which sounds like she just had no idea what the hell she wanted the song to be.
Ayu will be the artist who suffers most as a result of this Summer release. Not only is her new song utter garbage, but if TA failed to go cop “Party Queen”, then her “A Summer Best” stands no chance. Especially seeing as they probably own all of the albums which feature the songs included on the release anyway. In a day and age where we all rip songs and compile our own playlists, the whole argument over the convenience of a Best/Greatest shits album falls flat. Especially in the East where these albums aren’t necessarily contractual obligations. One new garbage song is not going to rack up sales – which is why whenever most artists release Best albums these days, they drop that shit with several new songs to entice their fans.
The last time Kumi released a Best album, it came with “Universe“: a new album on the second disc. When Utada Hikaru dropped her “Singles Collection Volume 2“, it came with an EP of new songs. When Namie dropped “Best Fiction“, it came with four new songs. Ayu instead gives us one new song and I have zero hopes for the video being any good given that Ayu’s music videos as of late have all looked as cheap as her nails.
Ayu’s “Party Queen” music videos were shot on a council estate in London. For budgetary purposes, not artistic license. Just to show you how bad her situation has become. Remember that this woman used to release the most expensive videos, not just in Japan, but PERIOD! The mighty has fallen off and we could help her, but when she’s releasing rubbish, why on Earth should we?!