So i got my hands on Namie Amuro’s latest and much sought after album, after her recent come back. The verdict: Explosive!
Her crowning title, as the Japanese Queen of Hip-Hop, without doubt would remain with her for years to come especially with her newly released album, Play.
To be honest, i wasnt aware of her popularity till I heard her single, Baby Don’t Cry for the very first time. I was blown away with that song immediately after hearing it on the first run. In my mind, immediately i started to question myself: Who is she? Where did she come from? Was she a newcomer? I was pleasantly surprised that she was actually a very established artist in the Japan, that even at one time, it rivaled Ayumi Hamasaki and probably Utada Hikaru as the Queen of J-pop.
And true enough, her crowning moments were in the mid-90’s, a period where i wasnt even interested in the Japanese music scene. That is one main reason why she was out of my radar till recently.
Her latest album, Play, was a much anticipated album, since it was 2 years since she released a full fledged album entitled, Queen of Hip-Hop and true enough when i heard that album, it wasnt to my liking. It was too heavy on the Hip-hop and RnB side that i couldnt really appreaciate her songs that much. I didnt really feel the vibe that i was getting when i heard “Baby Don’t Cry”.
“Play”, consisted of 12 tracks. Here is the playlist.
1. Hide & Seek
2. Full Moon
3. CAN’T SLEEP CAN’T EAT, I’M SICK
4. It’s All About You
5. FUNKY TOWN
6. Step With It.
8. Should I Love Him
10. Violent Sauce (Spicy)
12. Pink Key
I cant really say for sure if this album really reflects a different Namie Amuro, but what i can say is that its really refreshing. It’s upbeat and really energetic. Every song is like that, while still maintaining her Hip-Hop vibe. Unlike her previous album, this one, from what i feel, really connects the listener and to her creative ideas. With that being said, you can really tell that she is a veteran and no new comer. Despite her decline during her career, that didnt stop her from reigning Queen of Hip-Hop. I didnt expect much from her latest album, but this just blew me away. Ive added 2 samples, “Baby Don’t Cry” and “Top Secret” Click on the respective title playlist to listen to them. Enjoy!