Ami Suzuki – Snow Ring

February 3, 2013 at 6:27 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | Leave a comment

MINI-ALBUM REVIEW
Ami Suzuki – Snow Ring

1. Snow Ring
2. Shining
3. Last Birthday
4. Future
5. CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD
6. Snow Ring club remix [Sunset In Ibiza Remix]
7. BE TOGETHER [Shohei Matsumoto EDM Remix]

♦ ♦ ♦

Snow Ring is the first mini-album by Japanese singer Ami Suzuki, released on February 6, 2013. “Snow Ring” was used as the theme song for the online game Makina × Dolls and as the commercial song for Nissei Advance Co., Ltd. (2013). “Future” was used as the commercial song for Nissei Advance Co., Ltd. (2012).

The unexpected thing about Snow Ring is that it’s a ballad, and Ami is a typical electro artist so I’m paying extra attention now. The song lives up to its title with winter bells, a soft piano, strings and an acoustic guitar set to a triple time beat. As the opening song this really needed to pack a punch and the crescendos in the chorus made it a fact. Ami herself amazed me with her vocals as well, I can’t really imagine them without vocoders and such. Very impressive winter ballad to compete with the numerous others that are around.

Shining puts some life into the album as the first happy uptempo track with a funky and light pop feel to it. It starts off pretty simple and that part left me worried that that would be all, but soon afterwards an uptempo beat, funky guitars, some strings and a handclap beat come in to erase my doubts. There is some repetition in the song though, the music flows along and stays pretty much in the same place all the time. Not a bad song, but it could’ve been more if you ask me.

The second ballad on the album, but a slower and more emotional sounding one than Snow Ring, is Last Birthday. It’s surprising where Ami is taking me with this, seriously. Anyway, when the word ‘birthday’ is present in a song title I don’t expect a moving piano ballad in a slow tempo. Not many highlights or crescendos, but still the melodies are very nicely done. I like how a soft beat comes in during the second chorus. It didn’t stir me, but I’m satisfied with this song.

Future is the first real uptempo song with a bunch of energy, however it doesn’t bring out the electro queen in Ami. It’s like a hybrid of funky pop and some cuter elements (like bells), and in some way this gives me ‘Birthday Eve’ (a Koda Kumi song) vibes, but this song holds a little bit more back on the overly cute stuff. To me, this appears to be a very bouncy and lighthearted song to enjoy in both Summer and Winter.

Alright, here she comes then, the Ami we know. CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD is a cover of the Kylie Minogue song, with which everyone is familiar so there are gonna be a lot of comparisons made. This is definitely not bad, not bad at all. I know she’s singing some Engrish here but she’s pretty easy to understand and she just sounds so at ease with this track. It’s not an exact copy of the original, so Ami did amazingly well with this one.

The title track of the mini album gets its own remix here with Snow Ring club remix [Sunset In Ibiza Remix], and although it takes quite a long time to start up and I have to switch from a usual beat to the triple time beat as soon as Ami starts singing, they solved that problem alright. Sometimes this mix can be a bit sloppy, but I’ve heard worse examples of ballad tracks that were turned into electro remixes.

I’m not very familiar with Ami’s music (yet), but apparently the original version of BE TOGETHER [Shohei Matsumoto EDM Remix] is her best single to date. This remix version is a very loud and heavy electro remix with synths and beats all over the place. It sounds very appealing altogether and it definitely makes me wonder what the original is like. This is some festive stuff right here.

Although this wasn’t what I expected from someone like Ami Suzuki (a mini-album with a lot of ballads and funky pop tunes), I think she really knows how to put some variation in her musical career. Diehard Ami fans may not dig this album, which isn’t a surprise, but to me this release is at least vert decent and enjoyable, mixing the winterish title track with some uplifting pop songs, some ballads and two big electro remixes. It’s not like I’m through the roof with this one, but it left me satisfied after all.

Favorite tracks: Snow Ring | Last Birthday | Future | CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD | BE TOGETHER [Shohei Matsumoto EDM Remix]

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
3½ stars

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