Three new promotional videos – for songs “NEXT LEVEL”, “Sparkle”, and “Curtain Call” – have been released to promote Ayumi Hamasaki’s new album, Next Level, which will be released on 3/25/09.
Let’s take a looksee, shall we?
For starters, this is a really nice PV. The song is fairly calm and breezy sounding, and the pretty imagery of Ayu driving a car through a scenic desert compliments it nicely. Some people have said this video is boring. I don’t really think so. For this particular song, I doubt anything else would have worked. One thing I’d really like to know is WHERE this PV was shot, because it looks an awful lot to me like California or someone else really rich in beautiful scenery.
Y u do dis Ayu? You take a perfectly great song and turn it into this psychedelic PV that makes no sense. Alright, so that’s not entirely fair. The beginning is actually really cute – Ayumi is a contestant on a karaoke show, and the song she’s chosen to sing is, you guessed it, Ayumi Hamasaki’s “Sparkle”. So she starts to sing and it’s all perfectly adorable, and then all the sudden it turns into SUPER SEXED-UP AYU TIEM with latex and gas masks and red padded cells and all sorts of weirdness. Ayu is obviously taking some major cues from Lady GaGa on this one, and it’s kind of hilarious ’cause she’s pretty of dead-on. The PV ends by returning to the original karaoke program, where Ayu receives a round of generous applause. Just a day in the life.
Of the trifecta of videos Ayumi has released in the past week, “Curtain Call” is by far my favorite. I’m just a huge sucker for Ayu’s piano ballads. But in addition to the song itself being awesome, the simplicity of the video is a sight to behold. Basically, the PV consists of Ayu walking barefoot through what looks like a movie set, through various types of “weather”, such as rain, snow, and even a shower of sparks. I also cannot overlook how stunningly gorgeous Ayumi looks, with her hair pulled back and wearing a simple but elegant black dress. This is one of the best Ayu PVs I’ve seen in quite a while, simply by virtue of it being simple and gorgeous. Definitely, in my opinion, deserving of a standing ovation.