Hamasaki Ayumi, WHATEVER (live) –  I don’t think is one of her best performances but at the same time there is no such thing as a bad Ayu performance. Ayu live is an amazing thing. Her performances can be very overdone but in a fascinating way, and she has a very powerful stage presence. I’ve spent a lot of time today feeling slightly nostalgic as I marathon many Ayu’s performances of all my favourite songs, songs I admitedly haven’t listened to in a while. I’m currently going crazy for one university to reply to me and tell me whether or not I got in (as I’d very much like to go there, you know) , so it was quite nice just to sit back and feel comforted by such familiar music. Even some of these performances I’ve been repeating for years now. I’ve been listening to Japanese music for so long now, and Ayu especially. These days I don’t pay much attention to the current Jpop scene and I don’t listen to any of Ayu’s new stuff but I have my old favourites that I still listen to whether daily or just occasionally. I have a fondness for Ayu’s early albums, loveAPPEARS in particular. Her voice was so different then and LoveAPPEARS was an album like Ayu would never do again. Ok so the strong Europop and trance were something she would do again, sure, but not like here and not when her voice was like this. There is something amazing about this album- from the bold covers, to the music which is incredibly mature and emotional- bitter, uncertain and hopeful all at once- for an album of fairly upbeat, catchy dance music. WHATEVER is one of my favourites from the album, hence why I am posting this. “It’s been long. Just a little more. It seemed like it’d freeze so I closed my eyes…”