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Namie Amuro- Past < Future

2009年 12月 16日

It’s about damn time we got another release from Namie. I love this cover… Namie looks classy and her expression is coy, setting up a feel for the album itself.

First up we have FAST CAR. It opened up with some interesting brass themes, but quickly morphed into a jazzy pop song. The album uses more traditional instruments instead of synth, so the song is a bit unconventional for her. That doesn’t mean it’s bad though! I thought this was a great way to open up the album.

Next is COPY THAT, my favorite song on the album. Although we start the song with a surfer vibe we transition into a fast pace pop song reminiscent of her older songs. The song is just plain infectious… verses and chorus. It also appears that Namie’s English has improved too. This song is just sexy =]

LOVE GAME has a more techno feel to it. In the beginning she sings “Lovin’ lovin’ you,” and I can’t help but think it’s reminiscent of “I like to move it move it,” xD. Strong beats and synth dominate this song. It’s a catchy song and the highlight is in the bridge.

Bad Habit continues the the same vibe as the previous song, but a little more flowy in the synth. We have a clapping rhythm throughout the song, not unlike LOVE GAME. The song is pretty short since it’s’ just over 3 minutes. There’s some autotune in the background at times, which killed this song for me.

Wow, more clapping in Steal my Night. This reminds me of something that would be off her previous album, PLAY. The chorus is pretty catchy, but I was kind of bored in the other parts of the song.

I thought I would hate FIRST TIME feat. DOBERMAN INC, but in truth the song isn’t that bad (with the exception of the autotune). There’s a lot of rapping in this song, obviously, but it fits well with the heavy synth and Namie’s layered vocals. Although this song errs on the side of hip-hop, it incorporates some unconventional melodies (just like she did with Dr.) Sometimes the vocal editing can get a little annoying, but a solid song overall.

Wild was one of two A-sides featured on this single. Wild is definitely techno themed and incredibly catchy. It’s easily one of the strongest songs on the album, but it pales in comparison to its companion A-side..

Dr.! Dr. is one of Namie’s most innovative songs to date, also opting for a techno feeling. The problem with a lot of techno is that at times the melodies can become stale and static. That is not the case with Dr. This song has a story to it (just listen to the robot at the beginning and end) and uses a number of different melodies to keep it interesting. Amazing song!

Ok, back to new tracks! Shut Up has autotune as part of the instrument… but I think this is one of the few instances where it can help a song. This song is catchy as hell and full of attitude. This is Namie like I know her… employing the best of pop, synth, and hip-hop. Loved it =]

MY LOVE unfortunately has a beginning reminiscent of something you’d hear in the States. She repeats “You’re my love love love….” a rehash of the chorus to come. I would have rather she skipped the intro and gone straight into the song. The song has a Western feel to it, and I find it a bit static.

Now we have the only “ballad” off the album. The Meaning of Us has a gorgeous piano opening. This song in particular shows Namie’s mature side, and I only wish this song was a little longer. I would consider it the equivalent of Should I love him? off her previous album.

Lastly we have Defend Love. It has a dark and ominous opening, but it soon unfolds into an upbeat dance track. Yup, lots of synth in this song, but it was used creatively. The song gains a lot of depth in the bridge. This was a nice way to end the album.

Overall: Namie’s on a role with her albums… a couple weak songs here and there, but overall pretty solid.

Rating: 8.5/10

Best Songs:
FAST CAR, COPY THAT, Dr., The Meaning of Us, Defend Love

Track List:

  1. FAST CAR
  2. COPY THAT
  3. LOVE GAME
  4. Bad Habit
  5. Steal my Night
  6. FIRST TIMER feat. DOBERMAN INC.
  7. WILD
  8. DR.
  9. Shut Up
  10. MY LOVE
  11. The Meaning Of Us
  12. Defend Love
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