An anticipated album that lets you experience a new perspective!

Right after completing the first half of her much-praised nationwide tour 「ayumi hamasaki ~POWER of MUSIC~ 2011 A」, which began in May, Hamasaki Ayumi is now releasing mini album 「FIVE」, which includes new song 「progress」. Last year, her 50th single 「L」 and album 「Love songs」 claimed the No.1 spot, and after a long wait, the original album anticipated by many fans is finally here.

.Noteworthy: Collab songs with much-talked-about male singers!

The first song on the album is 「progress」, the theme song for PS3 game 『Tales of Xillia』 which immediately gathered much attention. Beginning with a beautiful lone piano and her soothing voice, it changes in an instant to a rock sound with a ringing hard guitar, showing off the arranger’s excellent skill. Combining gentlesness with impact, the song ends off with her usual flair. The lyrics tell of holding onto both pain and gentleness, and changing it into hope for tomorrow. A song with the important message: to overcome great sorrow and keep progressing.

A highlight of the album are the 2 collab songs featuring much-talked-about male singers. 「ANother song」 has AAA’s Urata Naoya, who also did 「Dream ON」 last year, as featuring artist. With rich expression, the heartwrenching harmony resonates with a charm different from that in 「Dream ON」. JYJ’s Junsu’s elder brother JUNO features in 「Why…」, his sensuous voice fitting perfectly with Hamasaki’s. With a large-scale sound, the duet is strong and moving. Both songs are of male-female duet, and sing about the feelings and distance of lost love. For a listener who wants to forget someone but can’t, these songs will surely bring them to tears.

.A new work that spans different generations and ideas, empathizing with everyone

In addition, coming from composer Hoshino Yasuhiko, who composed debut song 「poker face」, we have 「beloved」, the ballad much-anticipated by fans, and 「BRILLANTE」, an impressionistic song with a fantasy sound. 「beloved」 is a dramatic ballad that embraces the listener with encompassing love, and may live on to become one of Hamasaki’s No.1 songs. 「BRILLANTE」 is special in its introduction, with a majestic ethnic atmosphere reminiscent of a historical drama. The lyrics are full of extremely strong conviction, and tell of taking the first step into a new world. After listening to this song, one will surely feel that Hamasaki Ayumi has reached a new level.

Hamasaki’s works are always released in various different formats, and this album is released in 3 forms. The DVD version contains a DVD with PVs and making-ofs for all songs to make up 10 tracks. In addition, first press versions contain an access card to view the full version of the making-of movie of last year’s CDL concert. The CD version contains bonus track, 「beloved」’s orchestra version. The last is a limited quantity Tales version, with 「Tales of Xillia」 character Milla on the jacket cover, dressed in a costume worn by ayu during her concert tour last year. Even the gaming fans are talking about this release.

On 30 September at Osaka Jou Hall, the tour will start again with new title 『ayumi hamasaki ~POWER of MUSIC~ 2011 A FINAL Chapter』, followed by 『ayumi hamasaki ~POWER of MUSIC~ 2011 A LIMITED EDITION』 at Saitama Super Arena on 18&19 October. Will the songs from 『FIVE』 be performed for the first time? When and how will she perform the songs? We are looking forward to finding that out. Especially for the “Limited Edition” finale shows at Saitama Super Arena. Just what songs and performances will she have lined up for us, it’s exciting just to think about it.


Original Article from Oricon Style here.