H was Ayumi Hamasaki’s 27th single. It was released on July 24, 2002 and reached number 1 on the charts with 417,870 copies sold. It would later go on to sell 1,016,000+ copies and it became the number 1 single of the year. This was also Ayumi’s second single in the RAINBOW Era and it was her first triple A-Side single. The single was released in 5 different covers. Four were the original and the colors were white, red, green, and blue. The 5th cover was a re-release to celebrate the single selling over 1 million copies and it contained all 4 covers in the flap and a gold CD, this was also the last single by a female artists to sell over 1 million copies.


1. independent
2. July 1st
4. independent -Instrumental-
5. July 1st -Instrumental-
6. HANABI -Instrumental-

independent, the up-beat, summer attraction. The song begins with some clapping followed by a few guitar riffs. Ayumi’s vocals are fast paced and move quickly throughout the song. The verses seems slow and fast at times, but they’re good. The chorus is really the best part. It’s quick and it sounds so catchy, but it’s upbeat which is the better reason. The guitar plays afterwards until the verses start. The bridge is mostly that same guitar doing a solo, that sounds remarkable. Not a bad song to begin her newest single.

July 1st, a momentous song. The song starts off all slow at first and then Ayumi sings. Ayumi’s vocals along with the overall pace build up momentum until the song gets to the chorus. The chorus is quite good, it’s catchy and almost dance-able to. Afterwards the song returns to that slow pace and then continues to increase until the chorus yet again. The bridge is a mixture of some disc scratching and distortions. This isn’t a half bad song once you get use to it.

HANABI lit. Fireworks, the eternal ballad. After all these great summer tunes I didn’t expect to hear a ballad. The song opens up with some music box instrumentals and strings. The strings are then replaced by a continuous beat and Ayumi’s vocals. Slowly Ayumi’s vocals become stronger until the chorus. During the chorus Ayumi’s voice sounds so beautiful, it just sounds so heavenly. The chorus sounds great too, not all that catchy, but great and it has a magical atmosphere to it. The lyrics here were just wonderful. It’s no wonder it was added to A BALLADS.

Overall Review: H was summer time perfection. The music was great, and the songs were fantastic. It really represents summer when you think about it. independent was the beginning of summer, full of life and happiness, followed by July 1st, a mid summer day full of relaxing, and HANABI, the end of a wonderful summer. All of the songs seemed to fit together well and make a effervescent single for everyone. This was another fantastic single in Ayumi’s RAINBOW Era.

Final Grade: 93B+


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