Whatever (Ayumi Hamasaki song)

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Single by Ayumi Hamasaki
from the album Loveppears
Released February 10, 1999
February 28, 2001 (Re-release)
Format JPN CD Single
USA Digital download[1]
Recorded 1998
Genre Dance, trance, house[2]
Length 5:31
Label Avex Trax
Writer(s) Ayumi Hamasaki (lyrics)
Kazuhito Kikuchi (music)
Producer(s) Max Matsuura
Ayumi Hamasaki singles chronology
"Depend on You"
"Love (Destiny)"
Alternative cover
Re-release cover

"Whatever" is the sixth song performed by Japanese singer-songwriter Ayumi Hamasaki, for her album Loveppears (1999). The song was written by Hamasaki herself, composed by Kazuhito Kikuchi and produced by Max Matsuura. The song is a trance and electronic dance. The album version, which is the Dub 1999 Remix was released as the single version. The J Version was released with the single version. It is over seven minutes long. "Whatever" peaked at number 5 on the Japanese Oricon charts.

In the music video, it features Hamasaki in a white baby-blue room where water falls, where she is sitting on a seat in a white suit. In the video, small intercut scenes of a boy in an angel costume is seen. Overall, the song received generally mixed reviews from various critics. Many enjoyed the notable change from her earlier pop rock music to heavy dance and techno inspired productions, while many felt that the original version would have been more suitable than the remixed version as the single. The song was released February 10, 1999 in Japan, and later released worldwide digitally.[3]

Composition and release[edit]

"Whatever" was written by Ayumi Hamasaki, composition by Kazuhito Kikuchi and was produced by Max Matsuura. The song stays as a J-Pop genre, but through most of the song, it has heavy trance and house styles of music. The song features violin strings, with double bass, synthesizers and violas. A reviewer from Japanese Song Reviews compared the song to the introduction and conclusion songs from the parent album, Loveppears.[4] In the song, it features handclaps. MusicAddiction said "I’m just a bit on the fence with her freaky adlibbings in the song, it’s kinda pointless, but other than thatt this track is a great hybrid of pumping beats and nice synth riffs (and a piano in the background, wow)."[5] The lyrics talk about how she has been away from someone and will be there soon, she is regaining her thoughts.[6]

"Whatever" was released in Japan on February 10, 1999 as a digital format. On February 28, 2001, it was released as a CD Single, Maxi-CD and digital download worldwide.[2] For the 1999 release, the song was only released in Japan as a CD Single. On February 28, 2001, the single was re-released worldwide as a digital download. The digital version was the Maxi CD version, which featured three new tracks.

Critical reception[edit]

Known as a more darker trance-influenced song, "Whatever" received mixed reviews from music critics. Japanese Song Reviews reviewed the parent album LOVEppears, which was positively received, but issued a mixed reaction towards "Whatever". They said "Anyway,at over 7 minutes long this song is just too long for a regular album. It sounds like it drags on longer than it should." He stated that if the song was shorter, "it would be better." The publication went on to say it would be suitable if it was a remix of electronic dance music, but concluded saying; "[...] there’s nothing really special about this remix. It’s too repetitive in its themes and it lacks a true development of said themes."[4] JPopObsessed highlighted the song as an album standout, saying " The beat is catchy and you will be dancing throughout this whole song. Her voice sounds strong and in touch with the beat during the instrumental (and during the chorus) and that alone makes this song catchy."[6]

A reviewer from MusicAddiction awarded the song three stars out of five, saying "I’m not a real fan of this music genre, but I can really dig this track. Ayu is probably the only artist who can make techno/dance/electronic music enjoyable for me."[5] The reviewer concluded saying " I liked the original version of [WHATEVER] best because it takes after her previous era [...] The other version was also very good, but the Ferry Corsten remix lacked charm. The other two were quite alright, so I’d say Ayu did a good job here. Not amazing, but fine."[5] Dramatic Reviews cited "Whatever", 'And Then" and "Fly High" upbeat and vocally interesting.[7]

Music video[edit]

  • Assistant Producer: Kiyoshi Utsumi (prime direction)
  • Director: Wataru Takeishi
  • Production Manager: Yoshiko Ishibashi (Dee DRIVE)
  • Assistant Director: Tetsuji Nakamichi (Dee DRIVE)
  • Director Of Photography: Tetsuya Kamoto (JPN)
  • Light: Masuto Noguchi
  • Stylist: Koji Matsumoto
  • Hair & Make Up: Chu, Tamotsu (Too-RUSTIC)

The music video starts when Ayumi Hamasaki's name and the title "Whatever" is featured. Then it glitches to Hamasaki Ayumi singing in white clothes in a room of waterfalls. Throughout the video, it features a girl with a white dread wig in an angel costume, as she walks curious in an abandoned and destroyed town, looking for any sign of life. At the end, it shows Hamasaki in a similar white wig with a tear in her eye, as she is trapped in a cage with barbed wire.

Currently, the music video is not officially released on YouTube, but on Ayumi's official YouTube account, a small snippet of the song is featured on her profile. The version is the single version, and does not show the end of the video, as it only lasts for two minutes and five seconds.[8]

Track listing[edit]

  • 1999 Japanese CD Single;
    (February 20, 1999)
  1. "Whatever" (version M)
  2. "Whatever" (version J)
  3. "Whatever" (version M – instrumental)
  4. "Whatever" (version J – instrumental)
  • Re-released Maxi CD
    (February 28, 2001)
  1. "Whatever" version M
  2. "Whatever" version J
  3. "Whatever" (Ferry 'System F' Corsten vocal extended mix)
  4. "Appears" (JP's SoundFactory mix)
  5. "Immature" (D-Z Dual Lucifer mix)
  6. "Whatever" version M (instrumental)
  7. "Whatever" version J (instrumental)

Live performances[edit]

  • February 10, 1999 - Hit MMM - Version M
  • February 19, 1999 - Music Station - Version M
  • February 20, 1999 - Countdown TV - Version M
  • February 22, 1999 - Hey! Hey! Hey - Version M
  • March 10, 1999 - Pocket Music - Version M
  • March 13, 1999 - Pop Jam - Version J
  • March 25, 1999 - Super Dream Live - Version J
  • March 29, 1999 - Hey! Hey! Hey! - Version J
  • October 2, 2000 - SMAPxSMAP - Version M

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
Time in
Japan Oricon 1 5 9 weeks
Chart (2001) Peak
Time in
Japan Oricon 2 7 3 weeks

1 Original version

2 Re-release version

Oricon sales: 189,610 (Original version)


External links[edit]