released 1 january 2008

  1. Mirror
  2. (don't) Leave me alone
  3. talkin' 2 myself
  4. decision
  6. fated
  7. Together When...
  8. Marionette -prelude-
  9. Marionette
  10. The Judgement Day
  11. glitter
  12. MY ALL
  13. reBiRTH
  14. untitled ~for her~

As far as my Ayu fandom goes, GUILTY is a special album for me. It was the first studio album released after I became an Ayu fan and therefore the first I bought upon release. As such, I have a certain fondness for it that has little to do with its actual contents and more with the memory of getting the first of many albums upon release.

I probably hold GUILTY in a bit more esteem than it deserves. Though it has the same number of tracks as Secret, it simply doesn’t pack the same punch. The first half of the album is great, but the second half doesn’t really live up to it. I feel like GUILTY had a lot of potential that simply wasn’t realized.

Given the circumstances surrounding its release, however, it’s hardly surprising. In the course of the year before GUILTY’s release, Ayu lost a close friend, broke up with her long-term boyfriend, and found out that she had permanently lost the hearing in her left ear. As a result, GUILTY is one of her most painful albums.

It may not be her best album, but GUILTY remains one of my favorites. It’s emotional, powerful, and honest, and it is still an accomplishment. It may not have been the smoothest start to the next part of Ayu’s career, but it is a new beginning nonetheless.

Rating: 4/5

The road I chose when I was young
Was that of no turning back
That was the first and the last resolution
The future was yelling in the distance

Osanaki boku ga eranda michi wa
Nido to wa hikikaesenai michi
Are wa saisho de saigo no kakugo
Tooku de mirai ga sakende ta