Ayumi Hamasaki – You were… / BALLAD

January 8, 2010 at 11:28 AM | Posted in Ayumi Hamasaki | 9 Comments

The cover of the CD+DVD edition (type A)

You were… / BALLAD is Ayumi Hamasaki’s 47th single and it was released on December 29, 2009. The single reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 111,554 copies.

The covers are gorgeous. She’s looking good and pissing off PETA at the same time. Rock that fur, Ayu. lol

♦ ♦ ♦

I’ve heard You were… before. Her last single abused the summer pop song theme and this time the winter ballad gets a beating. I think the song is decent but it really sounds like a copy of past winter ballads. It’s like Days, CAROLS, and a bunch of other songs got condensed into one. On the plus side, I did like the powerful chorus.
The CD+DVD type A and CD only editions come with an extra “music box mix” that I didn’t care for. It’s boring.

Remember Hamasaki’s oriental tinged song GREEN? Well, if it became a ballad…then it would be BALLAD (lame pun, I know). This song is fantastic though. I personally loved the song’s regal, yet gentle atmosphere. The strings are lovely and the extra acoustics and erhu are great too. As for Hamasaki’s vocals, she sounds a lot better here too.

The 3rd track is dedicated to her fanclub. Isn’t that thoughtful? RED LINE ~for TA~ has grown on me a little but even then, it’s just kind of “there”. The music is upbeat and features electric guitars with Ayu’s minions chanting in the background.

I’m not done yet. XD *sigh*
There’s also an orchestral version of Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ that appears on the CD+DVD type B and CD only editions. It’s not that great despite the music sounding really pretty. I blame Hamasaki’s bland vocals.

Cons: Everything else is “meh”.

BASICALLY…there’s no winter ballad mega-mash-up-mix? ;D

Overall Rating

3½ stars

Tracklisting (CD only edition)

1. You were… (Original mix)
2. BALLAD (Original mix)
3. RED LINE ~for TA~ (Original mix)
4. You were… (Music Box mix -retake version-)
5. Sunset ~LOVE is ALL~ (Orchestra version)
6. You were… (Original mix -Instrumental-)
7. BALLAD (Original mix -Instrumental-)
8. RED LINE ~for TA~ (Original mix -Instrumental-)

Note: I posted this edition’s tracklisting because it contains all 8 tracks. The 2 CD+DVD editions have 7.



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  1. I personally love BALLAD. I agree with you that it sounds regal. ^^

  2. You were is a nice song.

  3. This single was so boring. BALLAD was nice but…idk, not the type of song you can listen to over and over. Personally, I prefer Days over this shit.

  4. [The covers are gorgeous. She’s looking good and pissing off PETA at the same time. Rock that fur, Ayu. lol]

    epic win.

  5. Since when is it acceptable to name a ballad “BALLAD”?

    *cough* Ayu *cough* alan ….

  6. when its just ballade (sorry had to do that)

  7. “Ayu’s minions chanting in the background”.


    Anyway, great review. I think I liked RED LINE more than any other songs on the single. And I thought BALLAD was very boring, but still beautiful.

  8. She becomes cheaper and cheaper… I miss the old, unique, talented Ayu ):

  9. wrong comment @crystallas. she’s not becoming cheaper, matter of fact ayu is growing as a person and age wise and her taste and style in music is subject to change. im not saying this single was her ultimate best but it was her type of a classic winter release which was very descent and well timed.

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