Ayumi Hamasaki – sixxxxxx Review

Ayumi-Hamasaki-sixxxxxx-Cover

Release Date: August 5, 2015

Track Listing

  1. Step by step
  2. Summer diary
  3. Sayonara feat. SpeXial
  4. Sorrows
  5. Shape of Love
  6. Sky high

Review

sixxxxxx is Ayumi Hamasaki’s 6th overall mini-album release. It includes the theme song for the drama Bijo to Danshi (Step by step) and a collaboration with Taiwanese boy band SpeXial (Sayonara) produced by DAISHI DANCE.

The last time I visited a Hamasaki mini-album was when FIVE was released in 2011. That album was heavy on slower and moody songs. So what about this one?

This is much more like the powerhouse that once dominated the J-Pop landscape. Spearheaded by the lead single, Step by step, there is a livelier feel to the album. Ayu’s loyal following will consider sixxxxxx business as usual, but causal listeners who have strayed from her flock over the years will most likely welcome the return to familiar territory.

Those who believe Hamasaki has lost her touch may have to reconsider their stance after listening to sixxxxxx. Or at least admit that she hasn’t completely fallen off quite yet. Granted, she probably won’t ever reach the heights from the peak of her career or be as chameleon-like as her label mates; but she can still remain competitive enough to stay in the game, as exemplified by this album.

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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.