Rock’n’Roll Circus

Rock’n’Roll Circus was Ayumi Hamasaki’s 11th studio album. It was released on April 14, 2010 and reached no. 1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts with 205,058 copies. It was released in three editions: CD+DVD edition, CD only edition, and a Special limited box set.

Rock'n'Roll Circus - Ayumi Hamasaki

1. THE introduction
2. Microphone
3. count down
4. Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~
6. Last Links
7. montage
8. Don’t look back
9. Jump!
10. Lady Dynamite
11. Sexy little things
12. Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL~
13. meaning of Love
14. You were…
15. RED LINE ~for TA~ (album version)

Why do you fail Ayu? At least your eyes look big and pretty, and nice use of mascara.

Honestly the best part about this album was the fact that most of the shooting etc. was done in England. The album was just really hyped, even though I predicted from the previews that it’d be a failure. And that’s pretty much what happened. There was too much hype and the only reason why it sold was because it’s Ayu’s album, if it wasn’t Ayu it would’ve flopped.

nullEssentially you could say the root of failure lies partially in the singles. Don’t get me wrong I LOVED (not sarcastic) BALLAD as well as Sunrise ~LOVE is ALL ~(don’t judge me, it’s catchy). However the big problem was that they’re complete opposites, winter and summer, can’t get much polar than that. And yes I loved those songs, but the others were ballads and honestly it was like she had already released them once before. At least the placement was Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ was decent, right before the winter ballad and after a new, decent song. As for You were… well it doesn’t do anything for me. It still sounds dull and repetitive, I think she’s lost her creativeness after a decade. Honestly I still have mixed feelings about RED LINE ~for TA~. It sounded nice and everything but I was never really into it, and as far as I can tell the album version was only lengthened by over a minute.

Some of the positives of this albums though were the epic, fierce Microphone. I loved the organ at the beginning, it was awesome to say the least. The English was unnecessary but she can do whatever she wants. It did have a very heavy rock sound with it, another plus. And at least this song was infectious, you won’t hear me say that about most of the other tracks. Despite not having a PV, one of the final three new tracks, count down was surprisingly good. It’s like a laid-back, rock ballad, but you can actually tolerate it. The music doesn’t overwhelm Ayu’s vocals and I think that the overall combination make it really unique. And I’m not quite sure why but I like Sexy little things. In all honesty I was hoping for something like Sparkle, or Kuu’s TABOO. Instead it’s more like Ayu’s little cute song, but her cuteness and the instrumentals make it an infectious, sexy work. All the little beats, and the cutesy vocals, could have been better but it could have been a lot worse.

nullAnd now it’s time for the one iffy track Last Links. I love the strong classical sound, as well as the overpowering rock music, it makes for an interesting combination. And although the climax isn’t all that great the chorus is decent, it doesn’t make me want to press the skip button. But at the same time it sounds rather melancholy, I think if there was more of a climax and more range in the vocals it would’ve been perfect.

I’m still wondering what’s up with THE introduction. No one could really top Ayu’s intros, not even Kuu, but this one seems so dull compared to the last few. There were no vocals and on top of that it wasn’t all that catchy. What did I like though? It kinda reminded me of Australia and England with some synth/techno music. All and all it could have been a lot better. As for the interludes, they were decent. montage was almost eerie at times, that classical music can actually be scary at times…..moving on. When I initially heard Jump! I thought it was something from GND for a second. It just used lots of thumping beats, alter followed by rock music., and people yelling “jump!” Didn’t really like either of them, such a let down from some of her previous interludes.

nullNow the dreaded songs that I really didn’t care for. I guess I had high hopes for Don’t look back but not looking back on it (seems like I could make a pun but I won’t) it was just really stupid to have great expectations of this song. The shots from the PV made it look interesting enough but in the end it just turned out to be a boring synth driven song that sounded like something from the Middle East, and no that’s why I didn’t like it. it just seemed to complicated and not fun or catchy enough. And seriously? WTF Ayu, Lady Dynamite???? I thought with a title like that it’d be a hot, fierce song but instead I got this song that lacked a sufficient climax and a remotely catchy chorus. I was expecting too much from it. Finally we come to meaning of Love. Was it nice? Sure, it was nice, but nothing awing and dramatic or epic like her previous ballads that at least had an amazing climax or regal sounding chorus. It’s a prime example of something that could have been good but just flopped.


Even reviewing this was boring…I was listening to B.oB.’s Airplanes to make it go faster xD So let me just list the basics: 1) Too much hype 2) Wrong songs for PVs 3) More infectious songs please 4) Possibly better singles???. That’s basically why I didn’t think this album was all that great. At least the album flowed somewhat well, the interludes were actually useful for once. But I honestly feel that NEXT LEVEL was better, at least there was a somewhat cohesive sound that unified the album. This album is kinda like rock, with random seasonal pieces. This album was only saved partially by a few decent songs. Some were just total flops, and had we wondering what happened to Ayu. I would have preferred that she released another single that would’ve had some fresh material, like her summer single after NEXT LEVEL, fresh after so much electronic music. At least the covers and booklet looked nice, cause that’s probably one of the only things I’ll remember from this album.



“Dignity and creativity! Where have you gone?”

One Response to “Rock’n’Roll Circus”
  1. sakurayume says:

    Yup, you were right. We agreed completely on this one.

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