RELEASE: August 3rd, 2005
RUNNING TIME: 31:21
# OF DISCS: 1
SIZE: 67.45 MB
** = Highly Recommended
1) fairyland **
2) alterna **
3) STEP you (DJ TAKI-SHIT More Step Up Remix)
4) fairyland (Bright Field mix)
5) fairyland (Instrumental)
6) alterna (Instrumental)
fairyland is a very eccentric summer single. It follows a similar style to its predecessor INSPIRE in that it is the upbeat pop song coupled with a rough-and-tumble rock song. But unlike INSPIRE, fairyland also totes two remixes, and marks the first summer single to have more than one cover, not counting H which was related to special releases. This single is kinda weird to me because it was first announced the first summer I spent in Japan, and the only reason why I knew about it is because I was showing some middle schoolers her website! But I digress. It came out a full week after I left so I still wouldn't get to experience my "buy an Ayu release in a store the first day!" time until four years later this past spring.
But yet I digress again.
fairyland - Quite possibly Ayu's most dramatic summer pop song, this song definitely belongs in the "dramatic-pop" (lol imagine) category. The song begins with a distorted Ayu singing behind a veil of happy pop beats, but her voice hardly reflects anything such. The whole song touts "sad Ayu" vocals, and for a mid-tempo summer pop song, it fits perfectly. The basic gist of the song is about reliving memories of summer, good and bad, particularly wanting to return to a better time, which could be reflective in the title. ("fairyland" would, in fact, be a pretty happy place, dontcha think?) The chorus is slightly more uplifting, but only marginally so.
Maybe the easiest way to realize this is by watching the PV, which depicts Ayu having fun with her friends in a tropical paradise one day and then watching it (quite literally) burn away the next. So while on the surface the melody and arrangement makes it sound like the usual happy fare, there is an underlying theme of loss and nostalgia throughout the song. But the most interesting thing is how the sound bounces between minor-melancholy to major-acceptance. This is heard best between verse-chorus and the first section of the interlude and the second. So on the surface, although this song may sound like nothing special, there are a lot of curious secrets that make this one of Ayu's (and my actual favorite) best summer songs. Plus it has an awesome, drawn-out killer guitar solo in the interlude. I mean come ON.
alterna - Oh snap! Ayu has an opinion! It was never a real secret that the basis of this song is Ayu's anger towards her record company, avex. This song came out right about the time the huge management scandal was going on and Ayu threatened to leave Avex. Much like the PV for Dearest, Ayu explores her frustrations with being an idol and her company through this song: only now we get a grinding rock song full of bitchy attitude and lamentful vocals. You can tell from Ayu's vocals that she's telling us a crazy story. The composition itself is also pretty righteous, with drawn out verses and a march-like chorus. Guitar riffs are in an abundance here, and even wail through the slow interlude before picking up again for moar fun timez. Of course, probably the most noticeable thing about this song is the "hey hey"s that appear in strategic places throughout the song before finally fading out at the end. It's an eerie rock song in which Ayu shows avex who is really the boss of her career. And I fackin' love it.
STEP you (DJ TAKI-SHIT More Step Up Remix) - YES, THAT TITLE IS RIGHT. And yes, it is very reflective of the quality of the song. =D *cough* I don't know whose dumbass idea it was to make STEP YOU of all songs into a reggae mix, but they freakin' did. Well, I am bias...I don't like reggae. Let alone random Jamaican rappers in the background spouting nonsense and acting like they belong in a song with Ayu. *bitter* Well, it's not a horrible remix. It fits a summer theme well and it makes sense for them to remix this song since it was the single before this one...and was incredibly popular. But omg can I please shoot the guy? This song nearly ruins half the single for me. I actually kinda like the backing arrangement cause it's cute and fun, but overall it's a very skippable remix. Blech.
fairyland (Bright Field mix) - This remix isn't too much better, but at least it is better. The only major downfall is that it gets kinda grating because they really abuse the echo and the 8-bit like background irks me. But in the places where it slows down are really nice, and the breakdown between verses is fun...I always wait for the rap from flower garden to come spouting out but it never does. =P (SOMEBODY MAKE IT HAPPEN). The other major downfall is that, since the original song is long, this one is too. It would've been much more tolerable at about half the time, but oh well.
fairyland (Instrumental) - IT'S MYSTICALLY PRETTY~ LIKE FAIRIES~~~~ but 4srs, you can really appreciate how frilly and layered the instrumental is. <3 Great bg music for doing whatever.
alterna (Instrumental) - CREEPY INSTRUMENTAL IS CREEPY. Wait, I've said this before...so many...haunting...violins...and omg the Heys are so low and distorted. @_____@
RECAP: fairyland is probably Ayu's most powerful summer single in regards to being carried by one titular song. For a change it's a rather sad summer song, but one that works well, especially for such an epic pop arrangement backing. Coupled with a hard-hitting rock song with the same bitter value, then you have a very non-superficial single. I particularly love the duality of this single: on the surface it's the usual fare, happy and poppy. But when you dissect the content you realize that it's not what it initially appeared to be. Very few of her singles are actually like this. In terms of her summer singles, this one is probably my fave if not THE fave. The only one to rival it for me so far is the one for our next update...
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