Rule / Sparkle
For me, the only thing I had ever listened to prior to [Startin'] of Hamasaki’s was [Dearest], and that is the only thing. After the electronic heaven of [Startin'] I began to think of picking up Hamasaki as a counterpart to Amuro, but sadly, her voice was, on most things, lethal. Certain tracks came around that I enjoyed like [talkin' 2 myself], [decision], and [glitter] and slowly my view of Hamasaki began to turn from hatred and digust to mild interest with the release of the albums Secret and GUILTY. Finally, my like for her reached an all time high at the release of Mirrorcle World which made my Top 10 singles of 2008. Her next single, GREEN / Days was mediocre and not really worth my time, but I do plan on reviewing that single sometime in the next week.
And now, she releases Rule / Sparkle, the theme song to the new live action motion picture of the (in)famous Dragonball series, Dragonball Evolution. [Rule] is a pseudo-rock pop track that doesn’t begin to touch the perfection attained by [Mirrorcle World] or [talkin' 2 myself]. The rock elements seem less spirited and inspired. The song just rumbles through heavy electric guitar at break-neck speeds while Ayumi yells “RULE!” at the top of her lungs. The entire song is very forgettable and nothing less that a bad anime opening song. The second A-side is entitled [Sparkle] and it sounds so much like the first song that I hadn’t released it had switched over. It sounds like an extremely long bridge from [Rule] and it just continues the trend of mediocrity set by [Rule]. The entire single isn’t saved by the two remixes, but they don’t hurt. In short, the single is not even close to a favorite or even close to good. It is just mediocre in all it’s facets, like cubic zirconia next to diamonds.