& was Ayumi Hamasaki’s 29th single. It was released on July 9, 2003 and reached number 1 on the charts with 287,002 copies sold. In all this single has sold over 690,000+ copies. This was also the first single in her Memorial address Era. This single contained three A-Sides, making it another H except with a B-Side.

1. ourselves
2. Greatful days
3. HANABI ~episode II~
4. theme of a-nation ’03
5. ourselves (Instrumental)
6. Greatful days (Instrumental)
7. HANABI ~episode II~ (Instrumental)

ourselves, the thumping guitar tune. The song begins with an island feel and a piano but changes into guitar powered song. Ayumi begins by singing a verse, or chorus, and to be honest with you it sounds so strange, not Ayumi at all. But after that it gets better. The chorus sounds pretty good, especially with the distorted voice right before it. And Ayumi sounds happy, so that’s always a plus. Despite all that I really couldn’t get into this song. The ending really killed it for me. It’s one of Ayumi’s strangest songs.

Greatful days, the up-beat summer track. This song begins with some drum like beats followed by a la, la, la, la… and it actually sounds good, then a distorted yeah and wow can be heard. Afterwards AYumi takes over the vocals, which are pretty good, and with the fast moving music it all fits. Right before the chorus the music becomes faster with pauses and then the chorus begins. The chorus is very up-beat, pop, and very catchy. From there a few more verses are sung followed by the final choruses, which sounds fantastic. The bridge of the song sounds a little like club/light dance music. The happier of the four for sure.

HANABI ~episode II~ the depressing rock song. This song begins with a forest like opening followed by a guitar playing. From there Ayumi begins singing with sad yet beautiful vocals. The chorus then comes around and it sounds so amazing, the shear power of it is so impressive. The English in the background sounds so great, a nice touch for once. And despite it sounding so sad it’s pretty catchy. The lyrics are so beautiful here mentioning how the memories go up to the sky and then disperse like beautiful fireworks. The entire song was great, much better than ourselves, especially with the rock elements. This is the sadder of the songs on this single, that’s for sure.

theme of a-nation ’03, the theme song to A-Nation 2003. The song begins with some Indian music, really Native American. Then Ayumi’s vocals pick up speed and tone, and from there the song becomes a beautiful ballad. The song is quite beautiful, but that’s about it. Although at the end, the music sounded more oriental and better than before. Still, not her best B-Side.

Overall Review: & was another outstanding summer single, one of many now from Ayumi. The A-Sides were so different yet again, but so good. The whole summer theme really seemed to be heard throughout the songs in one form or another. The B-Side wasn’t that great, but it was tolerable. A superior way to begin the Memorial address Era.

Final Review: 95A


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: