PV Review: Ayumi Hamasaki – “Microphone,” “Sexy little things,” “Lady Dynamite,” “Don’t look back”

All right, so the last of the PVs for Ayumi Hamasaki’s new album, Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus (due out on 4/14) has been released, and so here I will compile them and tell you what I think about them.

I’m reviewing these in the order they were released, by the way. So yeah. Let’s do this.

Microphone

Only the preview. Sorry guys! Once the full PV is posted on Ayu’s YouTube channel, I’ll edit it in here.

My first thought upon watching this PV is that it’s very dramatic. There are a lot of striking, seemingly unrelated images, such as a contortionist, a man wielding a dagger, a woman and a girl with identical haircuts in front of a castle, and of course, Ayu wearing a huge black couture dress. There’s also this really cool effect that makes the video look kind of like an iPod Touch commercial, with Ayu’s superbly manicured finger sweeping across the screen every so often. One thing many people might be turned off by is that Ayu is being her dramatic self, flailing all about and basically over-acting it. I didn’t mind because the weird awesomeness of the rest of the video makes up for it. Either way, I’d try it out because the song is pretty beast.

And then, at the very end, it’s revealed that the one who was manipulating the video on a portable player the whole time…

Sexy little things

… was Sexy Ayu, the star of the next PV!
So Ayu comes out in this super hot red and black ensemble, being fierce and lip-syncing to an 8-bit inspired song. This is the video that started the whole Ayu-is-copying-Gaga shitstorm, which, let me tell you, is bullshit. Yeah, people wear crazy clothes in this video. Yeah, the song is electronic. And yes, it takes place in a white room. That does not mean it’s copying fucking “Bad Romance” or that Ayu is trying to rip Gaga off. Seriously, all you crazed Gaga stans out there, you need to step the fuck down.
The thing I like about this PV is that, even though the song is very similar to “my name’s WOMEN” in terms of lyrical content, it doesn’t take such a literal approach. It’s basically Ayu being fierce and saying, “I may be wearing pretty clothes, but I’m not stupid and I’m most certainly not going to let you think that I am.” So take that. Watch the video, listen to the song, and appreciate.

Lady Dynamite

OH MY GOD IS THAT HARD GAY!?
I keed, I keed. The above video basically consists of two things: Ayu in a room surrounded by gay men, and Ayu singing to the camera with a lollipop in her hands. There’s definitely a feeling of pseudo-provocativeness pervading this PV, and for the most part it seems genuine. As with a lot of Ayu’s videos lately, she seems to try too hard sometimes, but I think this video stops just short of going from sassy to trashy. (Oh man, what a horribly cliché rhyme that was. Sorry about that, guys. Lol.)

Don’t look back

EDIT: Now also only the preview. THESE VIDEOS ARE GETTING REMOVED FAST, DAMMIT.

This is, in my opinion, the most visually interesting of all four new PVs. It starts with Ayu sitting at a table in a white dress, with very stark, Takarazuka-esque makeup, and then laughing and smiling in front of a mural of the A BEST 2 -Black- cover with some large, scary red slashes on it. The latter image immediately calls to mind the cover of Namie Amuro’s PAST < FUTURE. A lot of the video suggests a struggle for Ayu to be rid of her former self as an artist, but some slightly over-acted crying scenes imply that said struggle is not over. It’s a thought-provoking video, and some of the shots of Ayu with short hair are gorgeous.

Well, having watched all of Ayumi’s new promotional videos, I’m thoroughly excited for the album. Hope you guys enjoyed!

3 thoughts on “PV Review: Ayumi Hamasaki – “Microphone,” “Sexy little things,” “Lady Dynamite,” “Don’t look back”

  1. These were great reviews about these videos…You took the words right out my mouth for each one! (though I will admit, at the time when I first watched them I was spazzing so much that I couldn’t critique the PVs!!)

    Can I just say I love you so much for what you said about the SLT’s video?!! It’s the exact same thing I’ve been feeling about this whole Gaga – Ayu shit! I’m so tired of it all! I also wanna thank you again for defending her because I saw you left a comment on someone’s blog that was ragging on Ayu and you were the only one to stand up for her…I left a comment there as well and…she deleted my comment…yeah. LOL. I didn’t even leave a bad comment! But yeah…we need more Ayu fans to stand up for her…because we are a rare bunch, You and I!

    Sorry for leaving such a long ass comment *forgive me!*

  2. i appreciate ayu’s songs and i like the creativity of the videos u posted especially the last one. it’s very artistic. and don’t look back is such a sad song for someone who has everything a person who yens for everything she has … what a dilemma. i like the beginning of the song … reminded me of sitar from india.

  3. Certainly agree with the whole Lady Gaga thing. You only have to mention to someone that Ayumi did a song called “Poker Face”, and before you can say “a decade before”, they’re going on about copying again!
    Anyway, just thought I’d say that in the “Microphone” PV, the girl and woman with the same haircuts aren’t skipping in front of a castle… its my university! The Old Royal Naval College campus of the University Of Greenwich in London. The scenes of Ayumi in the black dress with the band were also filmed there, in the Painted Hall.

    Rae

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