It’s almost like Party Queen didn’t happen. That’s what I thought when I first listened to LOVE again, and it’s what I think more or less every time I go back and listen to it again. The unfortunate thing about Party Queen is that it made me stop listening to Ayu for a good while, and it really wasn’t until COLOURS that I started listening to her again in earnest aside from a few key songs. (I also happened to have a lot going on at this point in my life.)
The interesting thing about LOVE again is that it’s actually two mini-albums put together (unsurprisingly named LOVE and again). As such, about half the album is new material.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about LOVE again. The thing is that aside from a few standout tracks (which are some of my absolute favorite Ayu songs), the album feels very average. I don’t feel that this album breaks any new ground musically or conceptually. It didn’t necessarily have to — it certainly didn’t need to in order to hit the top position on the charts — but it still leaves me wanting more.
Then again, maybe it’s the ballads. Me and ballads, man. One questions how I’m an Ayu fan.