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What is the Missunderstood?
(Miss)understood (stylized in all lowercase) is the seventh studio album by Japanese singer-songwriter Ayumi Hamasaki, released January 1, 2006 by Avex Trax. Hamasaki acted as the album's sole lyricist, as she had on all of her preceding albums. (Miss)understood marked new musical directions for Hamasaki: she explored new influences such as funk and used gospel choruses in some of the songs, foreign to her previous works. This was the result of her having heard compositions by Geo from Sweetbox and asking him for his works; subsequently, Hamasaki rewrote the lyrics to fit (Miss)understood. Lyrically, the album was a departure from her previous work, My Story, which had been primarily autobiographical. Where My Story had contained "musings about her past", Hamasaki wanted the lyricism on (Miss)understood to send a strong message to all women—to be a kind of "girls' talk" to give "moral support", while at the same time reminding women that there were times when they would feel weak and low. These themes, along with the album's funk influences, are epitomized on songs such as "Bold & Delicious" and "Ladies Night". "Step You/Is This Love?" was released as the lead single from (Miss)understood on April 20, 2005. It was a commercial success, reaching number one in Japan and receiving a Platinum certification, selling 345,340 copies in its chart run. It was the nineteenth best-selling song in Japan in 2005, and Hamasaki's best-selling single that year. Second single "Fairyland" was released August 3, and debuted at number one in Japan. It sold 170,000 copies in its first week, the most of any single from (Miss)understood. It went on to sell 316,663 copies, receiving a platinum certification. The third single, "Heaven", experienced similar success: it reached number one, and was certified Platinum, selling around 325,000 copies. "Bold & Delicious/Pride" was not as successful. Despite reaching number one, it became her poorest-selling single at the time since 1998's "Depend on You", selling only 133,000 copies. (Miss)understood was commercially successful, opening at number one in Japan (her eighth consecutive record to do so) with first-week sales of 653,830 copies. It went on to sell over 877,000 copies in Japan in its 31-week chart run, receiving a Million certification and becoming the 8th best-selling album of 2006. It is, to date, her last Million-certified album. According to Avex, It is also her first album to fail to hit over a million sales in Japan according to Oricon. (Miss)understood sold 1,030,000 copies worldwide...
If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place. (Nora Roberts)