TO BE was Ayumi Hamasaki’s 8th single. It was released on May 12, 1999 and reached number 4 on the charts with 109,860 copies sold. In all this single has sold over 400,000+ copies. This was also the last CD from Ayumi to be released in 8cm CD version, as future releases would be 12cm CD versions like normal. It was also the third single in the LOVEppears Era.

1. TO BE
2. TO BE (Dub’s cool wind Remix)
3. TO BE (Instrumental)

TO BE, the up-beat Spanish acoustic ballad. This song begins right away with a piano playing accompanied by a guitar and seemingly Spanish guitar, hence the description. That music sounds so beautiful and so peaceful. Ayumi then begins singing in some of the best vocals from this era. The verses seem so long but Ayumi sings them in a way that makes them sound short. And right before the chorus begins a guitar opens it up, and it sounds so climatic, so beautiful. The chorus sounds so beautiful and lovely, especially with Ayumi’s vocals and the piano playing with the guitar. She even manages to make it sounds catchy, which isn’t an easy task. Towards the end Ayumi sings the final chorus and it sounds so breathtaking, her vocals are at the peak of perfection for the most part. Another great song from the Empress of J-Pop.

TO BE (Dub’s cool wind Remix) the slow dance remix. This is a remix of the original version, that much is obvious. Here the song is lengthened and takes on an island feel, somewhat like the Caribbean. But the who pace of the music seems to be slowed down so much, but Ayumi’s vocals remain the same. I felt that the music drowned out Ayumi’s vocals too much. That was the major problem I had with it, and the fact that it seemed to slow. Not the best remix ever.

Overall Review: TO BE was nothing short of miraculous. Despite this single only reaching number 4 on the charts it was a spectacular single. The remix could’ve been better, but the title track was so heavenly. It was just such a beautiful song. What a great single in the LOVEppears Era.

Final Grade: 94A-


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