This is coming from an old ass fan: I'd actually prefer if Ayu retired instead of Namie. She's been destroying her vocal chords for years and exposing her remaining ear to concert tours every. single. year. I know most fans don't want her to retire from music but she's just damaging her health... plus, I don't want her to become completely deaf. :'(
Describe "commercial" type? Including various elements of non-mainstream elements on her music such as classical influences isn't exactly the most mainstream thing to do. Not to mention she has always been very eclectic throughout the years, not revolutionary but very consistent and she never really follows trends up close but gives it her own style.
i don't know, just i've listened few albums of her, it is obvious that she's a commercial singer, she is the best selling solo act in japanese industry under the most popular japanese company, wouldn't be she a commercial artist? I find interesting a few songs of her, it's question more about taste, i'm not really her fan.
I know what you're saying. Anyone in the business can be named as a commercial singer because every one is there to take a bite of success you're not wrong. But when speaking of Ayu's music, over the years that probably wasn't the major attraction but instead her personality and looks were the first thing that sold her to the japanese public and then followed by her music. Why? Look at her discography and see how harder it is to get into her music because it is really diverse and draws from the most unexpected genres that not many jpop performers dare doing so because you need a strong presence first so you can do whatever you want to do with your music. You can see by her first years she was much more telegraphed until she took hold of her image and started going her own vision.
I've listened her 'A Song For XX' singles and a few singles from 'I am...' and all her 2002 remixes; maybe i don't know too much about her but for me is like another famous singer but i don't mind fight with you; i mean, you cannot compare her remixes with the remixes from people like Daishi Dance, Makai or Clazziquai, in part, i'm not only saying that she's commercial because the kind of music that she does but because wouldn't be a bussinness a singer who used to have many of her singles full of remixes and alternate versions? but if you talk about versatile thing,that she's not commercial because her concepts and the kind of music that she does, maybe she's not a little, i feel that she is kinda original in some points. Ayu music is not my thing anyway.
WORDS is a classic ayu ballad, one of the better among the hundreds f ballads she released but still not fantastic; overall it's still a great song though. i was surprised to find out she released a new single now tbh considering her current health issues, so i'm really glad
But her live vocals have fluctuated a lot over the years. She has some rough ones and she has some amazing ones. Have you ever seen her 2003 performance of "Haru yo, Koi"? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gieEgxw0prk
I never wanted her or at least, should admit that i like her when i listen her (?) idk my taste for her is weird, in the deep of me i like her guess; i'm sad because her only working ear is getting deaf :/, that's sad, hope she can find a cure or something, left her career like that it is sad because she is cool.