Namie Amuro – _genic

June 12, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Posted in Namie Amuro | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Namie Amuro – _genic

1. Photogenic
2. Time Has Come
3. Golden Touch
4. Birthday
5. It
6. Scream
7. Fashionista
8. Fly
9. B Who I Want To B (feat. Hatsune Miku)
10. Stranger
11. Every Woman
12. Space Invader
13. Anything
14. What I Did For Love (David Guetta feat. Namie Amuro)

♦ ♦ ♦

_genic is the twelfth studio album by Japanese singer Namie Amuro. The album was released on June 10, 2015 in three different versions (CD+Blu-ray, CD+DVD and CD Only).

The album opens with Photogenic, which has this amazing guitar riff in the background that makes it a bit more groovy instantly. Also it seems Namie is gonna stick to English for most of her tracks, and she pulls it off quite well again. Not an explosive opening track or anything but I think the chorus is so catchy I still like it very much!

Time Has Come has a very interesting arrangement! It opens with a synthy EDM-ish introduction before it slows down with a piano tune in the verses. It reminds me of another track I’ve heard sometime before, but I can’t even come up with the artist so w/e. Anyway, English again, executed well, and also another very catchy tune indeed.

Namie’s vocals sound a little off in Golden Touch, probably because of the higher pitch so I’ll just let it pass. Also, this is a very memorable and strong track with a little ‘One Thing’ (by Amerie) vibe going on with the percussion and brass instruments. I think her long time fans (like myself) will definitely like this.

What’s up with all these b-day songs lately?! So I saw the MV for Birthday last month or so and I thought it was pretty much fun. The song itself is very empty if you put your critic cap on, but it’s freaking enjoyable nonetheless. So would I describe this happy slappy dance track as a guilty pleasure? Oh yes.

No song would be better at this point than It, since after the b-day song it opens in a playful way with the rhythmic whistles which I loved. I can’t help myself and it’s impossible for me to sit still to this one, especially because of the nice rhythm and piano tune in the background. Short, but love this.

Scream is a fast paced dance track with a summer vibe to it, though I don’t really know why. It’s probably because of the use of the synths, it just reminds me off all these beach dance tracks. I must say Namie’s vocals are top notch here, she slays the chorus! I don’t even mind the English having gone completely out the window here, small detail.

By now I have added all the previous songs to my fave list (sorry for the SPOILER), and another candidate is Fashionista. It’s a busy song with a lot going on like heavy beats, synths, brass, high pitched vocals in the chorus, oompfh. It’s not quite there for me yet but I bet this will grow that extra 5% on me so that it will belong among the favorites in time.

If someone has a clue of what she’s singing about in Fly, please, sign me in will ya. Still, another uptempo basher that is quite catchy and definitely enjoyable so I’m willing to forgive Namie for her bad English. After a while it already grows on me and I’m starting to like it more and more.

The feature on this track was apparently a surprise. Namie has gone robotic, OMG. Can I just say I feel uncomfortable listening to HATSUNE MIKU’s (Hakuna Matata’s xD excuse me) vocals? It’s silly, its arrangement is lacking and it’s just… bad? Slip-up.

Stranger sounds like a louder and updated version of what Namie did in the past with some songs on ‘Uncontrolled’. I can only think of one place where this song would be suitable on the playlist, and that is in a packed-to-the-roof night club. It’s literally all over the place and you either love it or hate it. Unless you’re me. Then you can neutrally handle it.

Every Woman seems to continue the major streak of EDM songs here but it still easier on the ears than Stranger and I like the playful verses. It’s definitely sassy and I love the addition of the brassy synths, gives it more of an 80s feel while still sounding like a modern song. Interesting composition and I really seem to like it.

I definitely wasn’t expecting Space Invader to sound like this! Among all these fast paced EDM songs there is also room for a smoother one and it’s like a breath of fresh air. Her English is also easier to understand, but sometimes I wish it wasn’t (I’m not gonna mention the ‘rocket in my face‘ lyric since the lyrics have a hidden sexual vibe to them, oh wait, I just did). Nonetheless, LOVE IT.

I already heard the entire song Anything and I saw the MV as a whole a couple of weeks ago, and now I must say this slow song is sooooo welcome. Finally there is some room for guitar music in the arrangement! It just feels a little weird after Space Invader, but oh well, I really like the positive ambience of it. The album would’ve been one big mash-up without this track so this deserves extra credit.

As the closing track there is the bonus What I Did For Love (David Guetta feat. Namie Amuro). Is it just me or has Namie’s English just magically improved for just this one track? Oh dem producers. I heard this track with Emeli Sandé doing the vocals and it didn’t impress me. Does it impress me now? Well, it’s about the same. It just feels like it’s tacked on to the end of the album without a purpose.

I’m very satisfied with this album, and mostly the first half of it. After that, the album is starting to feel like one big mash-up of dance tracks and I think Namie would’ve done good to add some midtempo’s to the album. Anything feels like the odd one out, but that’s just what makes it more welcome if you know what I mean. Finally room to breathe. Still, Namie has done the best she can and I can see myself loving this album even more in the future. Most of the tracks are very enjoyable, sometimes you just have to listen to up to three of them at a time to not get overcome by all the energy. Amazing album, BUT: handle with care! Small detail: her English seems to have deteriorated for this album, but I couldn’t understand her anyway so…

Favorite songs: Photogenic | Time Has Come | Golden Touch | Birthday | It | Scream | Every Woman | Space Invader | Anything

OVERALL RATING
star
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4 stars

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