Ayumi Hamasaki has always and will always be one of the biggest J-Pop icons. Particularly, the peak of her popularity in the early to mid-2000s coincided with when audiences outside of Japan were first getting a taste of Japanese Pop Music enlarge thanks to the internet. Internet denizens at the time who had an interested in Japanese Pop Culture could not stop hearing about Ayumi Hamasaki; active since 1993, she’s had a long and storied career in the music industry. You might call her an equivalent to Mariah Carey. Now, her second major label album ‘LOVEppears’ is getting a 20th Anniversary release with a ton of extras.
The ‘LOVEppears’ 20th Anniversary Edition comes with four CDs; the original album, a collection of cuts from her remix album series which was also part of the original release, another remix CD of tracks from the album, and finally for 1st pressing limited-edition buyers the fourth CD contains over a dozen remixes of her hit song ‘Appear’. It’ll retail for 4,730 yen and the limited-edition version with the 4th CD and an addition DVD retails for 7,480 yen. Ayumi Hamasaki mega-fans will want to mark November 10 on their calendars as that’s when this monster of a collection is coming out.
‘LOVEppears’ is some quintessential 90s J-Pop. If you need proof, check out ‘Fly High’ above. Ayumi Hamasaki always incorporated elements of dance and club music into her songs before it was fashionable. Her songs, especially from this prime time era of hers, are emblematic of what makes Japanese Pop music so magical and captivating; extremely tight groove oriented production with hooks that make you feel like you’re flying above the clouds. Ayumi Hamasaki’s one of the few artists who can stand neck and neck with Hikaru Utada or Namie Amuro and you owe it to yourself to find out why if you haven’t.
‘LOVEppears’ 20th Anniversary Rerelease comes out on November 11.