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First Review by Akari and Hiro

This Ayumi's second album and it's quite a departure from her first. It's has a more techno-pop sound that seems to be very popular in Japan. Gone are the vocal inconsistenicies and other problems that have plagued the debut album. This album was Ayumi's rise to the top of the J-pop world. A very excellent album.

Track number one on this album is called, "introduction". It's an instrumental track that's sure to get you pumped. It's full of strong beats and some nice surprises. Watch out, here comes the next track. The first real track in the album is entitIed "fly high". I love the rap in this song and the beat is superb! It's one of my all time favourites and if you listen to it you'll know why. It's very bright and cheery without being too sugary sweet. The lyrics of the songs are also very inspirational. Definitely one of Ayu's best songs.

Next up we have, "trauma". The singing in this song is perfect its mixes perfectly with the beat. I found it too happy and sweet when I first heard it but I got used to it. Must be the super catchiness of this song. THis track is followed by "And then". "And then" starts off slow but then builds up into a nice song. It's probably the worst track in the album. It's not too bad but nothing too great about it either.

Next up we have "immature". This is the song that made me into the crazed Ayu fan I am today. And as one of my friends pointed out, it is also one of the most underated of Ayu's songs too. It's not as happy as the other tracks in the album which might be the reason why it's so overlooked. Listen to it and see how great it is.

The next three tracks here were featured on the "A" single. These are the best songs of the album and are all classic J-pop songs. The first of the three is called "Boys and Girls". If I had to choose a song to represent this album, I would have to pick this song. It's very catchy as with most songs in this album. Its quite enjoyable and an Ayumi classic that will be enjoyed for a long time. The next song here is called "TO BE'. "TO BE" is one of the slower songs on the album. It has a nice tune to it and excellent choice of instruments. It's a nice flowing ballad that's sure to touch your heart. After that comes "End roll". This songs sounds a lot like TO BE but it has a more gloomy feel to it. A great ballad that perfectly demonstrates Ayumi's musical style.

The next three songs, Powder Snow II, Whatever, and too late are some of the new material featured on the album. Powder Snow II or PSII is another slow ballad. The "WHATEVER" track featured in this album is not the same as the one on the single. It's actualy a remix, "dub's 1999 mix". It has a very long intro so youm might want to fast forward it. After that comes "too late". It's another techno-pop song. One thing to be noted about this song is it's use of distorted vocals. These three songs can be considered as filler material but it's still quite good.

The songs "appears", "monochrome", "LOVE ~refrain~, and "Who..." are the last four songs in the album. There all mid-tempo ballads and slow down the pace of the album. The last songs in an album are usually where the great songs are placed and this is no exception. The songs, "monochrome" and Who..." are probably the best new material on this song. After listening to all of it, the two seems to stand out the most.

There's one more track in this album. It's actually a secret track but here's how to get it. After "Who..." is finished just fast forward it. Do not skip the track or else you'll miss it. After a couple of seconds of fast fowarding it should be there. The name of the saong is "kanariya" which is translated as "canary" in English. The song has laid back R&Bish flavour to it. It's a really nice song but near the end of the song her voice gets squeeky. There's also some nice backup voices singing in English to accompany her. The song is quite short (only 3 minutes) but sweet.

After finishing the whole album, I felt very satisfied. The tracks were maxed out and all the songs were at least great. If you are new to the J-pop world, this is a great place to start.

Rating: 9.8/10

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