Ayumi Hamasaki – Rock N’ Roll Circus

Rock'n'Roll Circus / Ayumi Hamasaki

Jacket A (CD + DVD)

Rock'n'Roll Circus / Ayumi Hamasaki

Jacket B (CD Only)

Release Date: April 14, 2010

Track Listing

  1. THE Introduction
  2. Microphone
  3. Count Down
  4. Sunset ~Love Is All~
  5. Ballad
  6. Last Link
  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)


Rock N’ Roll Circus is Ayumi Hamsaki’s 11th studio album and it comes in many different flavors:

  • CD Only
  • CD + DVD with promotional video clips
  • Box set which includes CD, DVD and a 3 DVD set of her 2009 A: Next Level Tour, a mug, red tea packets and a photobook.

This review will be focusing on the album itself which was preceded by the songs Sunrise: Love Is All (used as a theme song for a Japanese Drama), You Were/Ballad, Sunset: Love Is All, Don’t Look Back (both used in Panasonic Lumix camera advertisements) and Microphone (used in a Honda commercial for a really ugly boxy looking kei car)

After Next Level sold less than stellar numbers (for an Ayu album) it was thought that perhaps she was losing a step. While that may be somewhat true, the problem was that the album just wasn’t for everyone. Personally I liked it a lot, but I’m also biased towards more dance oriented material so maybe I’m not the best person to be an impartial judge.

With Rock N’ Roll Circus one can sense that perhaps there was a bit more restraint put into the entire package. Something a little more laid back from what she had  presented on Next Level. The way the album panned out it definitely felt like it was going for a more subtle approach that worked to great effect.

There is a deliberate pacing that entices the listener to stick around. You don’t get hammered over the head, instead you’re gently coaxed into delving deeper into the album and are greatly rewarded for it. This would not work if the songs were not of a certain caliber.

If the album cuts were the standard cookie cutter filler than I would be telling you to start hitting the skip button or stop button altogether, but thankfully that isn’t the case here. This is one of those albums that has to be listened to from beginning to end. But if you’re the kind who likes to do things randomly then give Last Links, Lady Dynamite, Sexy Little Things, The Meaning Of Love and RED LINE -for TA- a listen first.

This was an excellent album and I couldn’t think of a single thing that could be wrong. It proves that Ayu is still at the top of her game. Highly recommended.

Rock N’ Roll Circus Jacket A (CD + DVD)

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Rock N’ Roll Circus Jacket B (CD Only)

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About Greg 994 Articles
Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.