Though it feels as though it’s been years, Ayumi Hamasaki‘s last single, “Mirrorcle World,” was released a mere seven months ago. Nonetheless, this is Ayumi we’re talking about…A life without a constant, relentless barrage of Ayu singles and albums, one after the other on a monthly basis? That’s not a life I wish to be leading.

Thankfully I can breathe easy tonight, as the reigning empress of J-Pop plans the return to her throned position with the release of her 44th single, “GREEN/DAYS,” on December 18th.

Interestingly, unlike many of Hamasaki’s former singles, “GREEN” has been gaining buzz for months now. With Avex, fans tend to be left in the dark regarding song titles and information. This time around however, Ayu herself has been leaking snippets and lyrics over the past few weeks on her blog. And now, the single has finally wiggled its way out into the real world!

A smooth mixture of traditional Japanese strings and a distinctly tribal beat, “GREEN” is a rich, paced, and beautiful. Like “Voyage” or “Moments,” I know Ayu is truly emoting a story here. The song provides a slow and meticulous build, similar to that of “HEAVEN.” Reaching the chorus, the track becomes vintage Hamasaki and, for a moment, I forgot this was a new single. Nonetheless, it’s a solid effort.

While I’ve not been too pleased with Ms. Hamasaki’s musical output in recent years, I have to say that “GREEN” is a refreshing, seemingly focused effort. It doesn’t entirely thrill me, though it happily steers clear of becoming yet another carbon copy of a formulaic up-tempo rocker or signature Ayu winter ballad that has plagued the past few releases.

A new beginning for a new Ayu…I like it.

Click “Read More…” to read the fully translated lyrics, thanks to this poster. Truly gorgeous and poetic…Much like most of Ayu’s back catalog.


GREEN
The light sparkled coldly
Like the trees hide the sea, the colours were extinguished
Tied to a wish, keeping everything at a distance
As if I were afraid of warmth

Ever since our fingers touched
It’s like my thoughts are overflowing
Because of that moment,
I recognized this love

Why is it that a person who follows their heart
Finds walking so difficult?
Even though I know you’ll say “I really, truly understand”
In reality, your eyes betrayed you
And denied your beliefs

The future staring at me
Is the sweet silhouette of that person
When the winds change,
Will this thought be conveyed?

Ever since our fingers touched
It’s like my thoughts are overflowing
Because of that moment,
I recognized this love

The future staring at me
Is the sweet silhouette of that person
When the winds change,
Will this thought be conveyed?

la la la…
la la la…
DL: Ayumi Hamasaki – GREEN

Make sure you purchase the single! Never hesitant to overly capitalize upon a release, Avex has decided to release the single in four different ways, so check it out!