Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled

June 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM | Posted in Namie Amuro | 1 Comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled

1. In The Spotlight (TOKYO)
2. NAKED
3. GO ROUND (‘N ROUND ‘N ROUND)
4. Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!
5. Hot Girls
6. Break It (AL Ver.)
7. Get Myself Back
8. Love Story
9. Let’s Go
10. SINGING “YEAH-OH”
11. Fight Together
12. ONLY YOU
13. Tempest

♦ ♦ ♦

Uncontrolled is the ninth studio album by Japanese singer Namie Amuro, released on June 27, 2012. The album compiles four singles previously released, “Break It / Get Myself Back”, “NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest”, “Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! / Love Story” and “Go Round / YEAH-OH”. The song “ONLY YOU” was used as the theme song for the “UEFA EURO 2012”.

Damn, I have waited so long for this album!

In The Spotlight (TOKYO) is one of the all-English songs on this album, which is one of the biggest surprises of all, but this first track has another surprise. This could very well turn out to be the biggest dance anthem of 2012 if you ask me. The verses have an amazingly agressive synth arrangement, while the chorus is highly addictive. Namie herself is very good at singing in English, oh my.

The music is the center point in NAKED, and the arrangement is very well developed. Being very energetic, I like its position on the album right behind In The Spotlight (TOKYO). There are some more instrumental parts in this song than usual, with the synths as the best part of all.

Like I said in the single review, the Japanese version of this English track GO ROUND (‘N ROUND ‘N ROUND) was borderline perfection and it still is. A synth heavy track, third uptempo in a row now but the overall sound is too good to pay attention to that tiny detail. Again Namie’s English is top notch and this song is so catchy and uplifting, I love it.

I like to call Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! the ‘Dog Song’, really xD But for a ‘dog song’ it’s so damn catchy, I don’t know how the woman does it, releasing all these addictive songs. After GO ROUND it’s very cool to hear Namie use her lower pitch again in this bouncy track. ‘Good boy, good boy’ ? GOOD GIRL.

Hot Girls is the next new track. The line ‘Hot girls make the world go round‘ is an amazing opening line to another nice uptempo and synth heavy song, in English too. It’s a short track, maybe a little short to develop well enough, but it’s not bad and a good dance/pop song.

Break It (AL Ver.) is like a remix for the original song, released way back in 2010. I kinda miss the original arrangement with the funky guitar riffs, but then again this arrangement fits the overall dance/pop feel of the album much much better. Namie’s vocals come out better as well, loved them.

We immediately get the other B-side of the same single Break It was on: Get Myself Back, the first ballad on the album and a very interesting song. After a lot of uptempo dance/pop tracks a smooth R&B track gets thrown in and I LOVE IT. The beat was the best part of all, being loud and hiphop orientated at first, then fading for a lovely piano, strings and synth based arrangement.

I fell in love with the intro for Love Song, it’s so fragile and intimate. Being the best ballad of 2011 (and now 2012) in my opinion, this song has it all. A smooth fingersnap beat, a lovely piano melody, soothing strings and Namie’s beautiful, deep and solid vocals with an amazing strength!

Let’s Go is the next new track on the album, and very synth heavy from the start. It’s the only new track that’s in Japanese but it’s fierce as hell. Typical dance/pop track but it just wows me, the energy it provides is amazing.

SINGING “YEAH-OH” is ofcourse the English version of YEAH-OH, and to me it was the mysterious song on the GO ROUND/YEAH-OH single. It features another synth and beat heavy arrangement but Namie’s vocals are deeper and the synths are lower pitched to give it that uplifting and yet mysterious feel. “Singing yeaaah-oh, singing yea-ea-eah-oh“!!

Another great uplifting track is Fight Together, in which Namie definitely shows her vocals have developed and strengthened over the past years. What I like about this song is that it has the typical uptempo beats and synths, but some parts are sparked up by brassy instruments and strings. Kinda reminds me of BoA’s ‘fallin’…

The fourth and last new track on the album is the UEFA EURO 2012 theme song ONLY YOU, and due to its purpose I can’t help but compare it to Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka’ two years ago. When compared, I have to admit Shakira wins when it comes to the impact, but as an individual song ONLY YOU isn’t bad at all and defintely suitable for the UEFA EURO. It’s uptempo, catchy and very energetic, and I love Namie’s line ‘The only thing that can touch me is you’.

And then we fall into the last track of the album, probably one of the best songs released last year: Tempest. I instantly fell in love with the melody, especially in the verses, and there’s such a great sense of drama to the song. Namie took her vocals to another level as well, she surprised me with her amazing belting in the chorus. Perfect song, and perfect to end the album as well.

I’m gonna keep this short, I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS ALBUM. I loved each and every track, I pressed that ‘LOVE’ button on Last FM every time. Namie needs to stop that ‘Queen of Hip-Pop’ thing, now she’s the ‘Queen of Dance/Pop’. She took that genre and nailed it with her many catchy, synth heavy songs, and put in her most beautiful ballads to date as well. Everything combined might give the best album of 2012! Let’s wait for the december posts to determine that, but I’m sure she’ll end up in the top 3 for sure. ALL TRACKS RECOMMENDED.

Favorite tracks: In The Spotlight (TOKYO) | NAKED | GO ROUND (‘N ROUND ‘N ROUND) | Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! | Get Myself Back | Love Song | SINGING “YEAH-OH” | Tempest

OVERALL RATING

5 stars

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1 Comment »

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  1. Great review and I’m glad we both love this album! It seems to be getting a lot of mixed feelings, especially the English tracks which I don’t think are as bad as everyone is making them to be.


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