STEP you / is this LOVE?

Step you / is this LOVE? was Ayumi Hamasaki’s 35 single. It was released on April 20, 2005 and reached number 1 on the charts with 164,008 copies sold and even managed to reach number 1 the following week. In all this single has sold 345,340+ copies, making it her best selling single of 2005. The CD+DVD version featured not only the PVs for the two songs present, but also the PV for my name’s WOMEN from her previous album MY STORY. This was the first single of the (miss)understood Era.

SETP you / is this LOVE? - Ayumi Hamasaki

1. STEP you
2. is the LOVE?
3. STEP you -Instrumental-
4. is this LOVE? -Instrumental-

Despite STEP you being different from Ayu’s previous songs, it’s still phenomenal. Like Real me from RAINBOW, this song uses a heavy amount of English. It also incorporates some guitar riffs and mostly some catchy drum beats. I loved how the opening was a mixture of the instrumentals, including some synth if I’m not mistaken. The beginning verse is somewhat entertaining. I guess it’s because Ayu’s vocals were a little higher and such and the synth. And I loved how she sang in English right before the chorus. The chorus actually was a mixture of both Japanese and English. It made for a pretty catchy combination, although I think that her English could have been slightly better. Either way it was pretty damn catchy. The blaring instrumentals were just amazing too, guitar riffs and all.

Honestly I’ve been trying to get into is this LOVE? but I’ve had no success, until now. The song begins easily enough with some piano keys but then explodes into a rock song. Then some aggressive ad-libbing follows. Ayu’s vocals during the verses are sweet and so innocent. But as they get closer to the chorus they become more rock oriented. Then the electric guitar sounds off and the chorus begins. I loved how the chorus began and how it continued for the most part. The melody was rather catchy, and the vocals were amazing. Maybe Ayu is going with a rock single this time, either way it’s working for her.

Overall Review: STEP you / is this LOVE? was rock a rock utopia! Normally most singles lack the one principle thing that this single has and that’s unity. I loved how both songs incorporated some rock elements, and the occasional synth elements too. Both songs were rather catchy, but it’s obvious that one was fun and the other was more aggressive. I still can’t complain though, I loved both track so much. What a rock filled way to kick off the (miss)understood Era.

Final Grade: 100A+



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