Memorial Address

Memorial Address was Ayumi Hamasaki’s 1st and only mini-album. It was released on December 17, 2003 and was released after A BALLADS and before MY STORY. It reached the number 1 spot on the charts with 524,000+ copies. As of today it has sold more than 1,220,000+ copies in Japan. This is also the only mini-album in Japan to sell over 1 million copies. This was also her first album to be released in CD and CD+DVD versions. Memorial Address also had three new songs.

Memorial Address Cover

Tracks:
1. ANGEL’S SONG
2. Greatful days
3. Because of You
4. ourselves
5. HANABI ~episode II~
6. No way to say
7. forgiveness
8. Memorial address

Review:
ANGEL’S SONG the euro-beat inspired tune. It begins with the electrical guitar playing and it creates a beautiful opening and from there the beat become so fast, upbeat, and happy.  The verses are nice, but the chorus takes the real prize. The chorus here is very upbeat and sounds so catchy.  It also has that happy vibe to so that’s nice.  The bridge is an electrical guitar along with those euro-beat beats.  Ayumi then sings in a distorted voice as she begins the chorus, then sings the final chorus, followed by the final verse. The PV for this song was also included. It was Ayumi at a bank, called Angel’s Bank, and before she can make a deposit or withdraw some robbers come into the bank. Ayumi turns into a werewolf and ends up stopping them, she then changes back and makes the transaction. This is also the first of the three new songs that are on this mini-album.  This was also the perfect way to begin her first mini album.

Greatful days the guitar powered song. This song was released on the & single along with two other songs. The verses are sweet and fast and sound pretty good.  The chorus sounds riveting and screams upbeat.  With that being said, the song is pretty upbeat and sounds great with the guitar playing.  Ayumi’s vocals are fantastic here and sound amazing.  Not a bad edition, that’s for sure.

Because of You, the dark edgy tune. This was the second new track on the album. It sounds a little sad and dark when you hear it. It begins with the piano and then is backed by the guitar and drums. The song features a great chorus and excellent verses.  The chorus is pretty catchy and sounds amazing especially with the guitar pushing it on.  Towards the end the guitar plays throughout the entire song as Ayumi sings.  What a great ending to a great song.

ourselves, the strangest sounding song on the album. It’s also the second track from her & single. This song begins with a weird and I mean weird beginning verse. This turned me off to it right away. It’s a bit rock oriented, but that’s about it. Her voice becomes distorted at some points, I can say that this song isn’t that great to me. I didn’t find the chorus catchy at all. And the music, so different and strange.  Not the best song from Ayumi.

HANABI ~episode II~ the depressing rock arrangement. This was the third track off the & single. It starts off with forest sounds and quickly changes into a rock song. I love the music in this song, it goes so well with the lyrics. Ayumi’s voice sounds so soft in the beginning and then changes into a powerful sound house during the chorus. I also love the Yeah, Oohhh in the background, it might be in English but it sounds really good here. As for the song itself it sounds sad, all the guitars in it and everything. Now there was a PV for this song, but I find it odd. It looks like Ayumi is crying throughout most of the PV. I love how her voice echoes towards the end of the song also.

No way to say, the winter ballad.  This song really has that winter feel to it, and it sounds good.  The song begins with Ayumi singing the verses and then the chorus.  The chorus sounds so beautiful and full of emotion.  I also love the guitar riffs before and during the chorus, they sound so amazing and actually fit into the song.  The overall music is pretty good too.  Like the others, this was released as a single that featured seven tracks, most a acoustic version.

forgiveness the fairy like ballad.  This ballad begins with the piano and orchestra playing and with Ayumi ad-libbing.  Ayumi’s vocals are soft and yet so good.  I love how the music increases before the chorus.  I thought that the chorus sounded nice, but it really wasn’t that catchy or great for that matter.  This was released as her 30th single, but it has lackluster sales, and had a PV made for it.  Now despite me not enjoying this song that much, the PV was amazing and one of her best.

Memorial address is the last new track, this would also be featured on A BEST 2 -BLACK- after Part of me. This song is a bit fast paced and has a piano to accompany it. Ayumi’s voice is sweet and high in this song at the beginning. However, towards the middle her voice becomes more intense and the guitar replaces the piano, and it makes the song a lot better. Although she almost sounds a little evil, her voice still sounds great and riveting. The chorus here sounds so aggressive and edgy, a nice combination.  As the song begins to end the original piano driven music replaces the edgy rock music.  A mind blowing closer to a mind blowing first mini-album.

Overall Review: Memorial Address all in one word: Heaven.  This is the best mini-album that I’ve ever listened to, but it’s also the only mini-album that I’ve listened to.  I love the opening because it was so new for Ayumi, and the ending was perfect. The overall feel was amazing and all the tracks were wonderful and seemed to transition together quite nicely.  My favorite track was ANGEL’S SONG, it was so new and amazing.  This is one of Ayumi’s best works for sure, it seems like she has so many, oh well.

Final Grade: 97A

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