Queen of Hip-Pop

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安室奈美恵
(Namie Amuro)
Queen of Hip-Pop
July 13, 2005
Total Tracks: 12
Oricon Peak: #2
Total Sales: 475,600
Year-End Chart: #27
RIAJ Certification: Double Platinum
United World Chart Peak: #4
Label: Avex Trax
Producers: T. Kura, michico, Nao’myt, Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, SUGI-V

~~~

Queen of Hip-Pop
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: TIGER, Nao’myt
3:14

Bouncing between speakers we hear Namie exemplify her style and then we head into the distinctly Hip-Pop style.  It hints ever so slightly at Spanish music with the horn-ish synth stylings above the rest of the clapping , booming base beat. As we head into the chorus, way down low, you hear some low tubas bounding away on the same note, but still, it sounds cool. The melody is appealing to top it all off. And the title track of this album is no disappointment, although a little less slick than the rest of the tracks, nonetheless opens the album off to a dance-ready start.

WANT ME, WANT ME
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: michico, SUGI-V
3:13

If you would like a full review of this track, see its single review :D. Perfect placement in the album after the opener to keep the dance-drive in full gear.

WoWa
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: Nao’myt
4:08

A marching troop brings in the tapping drums and deep, viola synth and a few ‘yeahs’ and that deep synth kicks in for real. With the synth carrying the bassline, the marching beat never stops, carrying us into a pop-dance number that’s supaa kawaii! Nominated for Best R&B Video at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan, WoWa was awesome enough that it might have been a single, but there were so many amazing tracks on this album it was probably hard to pick… The lyrics consist of many, many ‘wowa’s‘ pronounced “oo-wah”. It’s about being at a club and getting it lit with this song…

I Wanna Show You My Love
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: michico, T. Kura
3:39

Synth abounds in this stylish hip-pop track. Cool vocals and enough synth blast, bleeps, and booms for any electonica junky. It the kind of track any American artist would kill for. It’s most important feature is its beauty, very tight harmonies and some vocal distortion on the layering of Namie’s voice. The lyrics talk about how Namie could care less about what everyone thinks of her and shows this by continuing to dance and love her fans and asking them to return the favor. I totally would… j/s…

GIRL TALK
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: michico, T. Kura
4:24

If you would like a complete review of this track and it’s other A-side, ‘the SPEED STAR’ (which I still don’t understand why it wasn’t included on the album…) please its single review. After all the dance we fun into a bouncy R&B track that gets us into the mood for a slower, but no less powerful, mid-album stretch.

Free
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: Namie Amuro, Nao’myt
4:18

A bumping hip-hop (and I meant hip-hop) number reminiscent of a lot of female American R&B music. Deep bass accompany high-pitched looping synth. A slippery backtrack to a song similar is concept and design to ‘VIOLET SAUCE (Anotha Recipe). This is my second favorite non-single track. And lyric-wise, Namie’s free anytime you need her… and she wrote them so you better believe her. Nao’myt interjects every so often throughout out. And continuing in the hip-HOP trend of hip-Pop…

My Darling
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: michico, T. Kura
4:14

Were the hell did Lil’ John come from? Of course this isn’t actually Lil’ John, but it sounds a lot like him. But the backtrack uses a twittering synth loop waaay up there throughtout the entire track with more booming from below. The song has much more of what Namie would sound like if she were ever featured on a Lil’ John track. But she isn’t featured, his copy-cat is though, and the song is really cool and fun. Even has some electric guitars in it in the background. Makes me want to “Party like a rockstar…”

Ups & Downs ft. Nao’myt
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: Nao’myt
3:46

Uhm… okay… I think this track is stupid. You go from roaring hip-hop to faux&B balladry. I mean, the song isn’t bad but it takes until the bridge to get your head in gear. I chorus and the message are nice, but it just doesn’t fit and on top of that, I don’t think Namie’s voice sounds very good and Nao’myt’s definitely doesn’t… boo…

I Love You
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: Christopher Stewart, Tab, Traci Hale, Shoko Fujibayashi
4:16

I think they should have switched the previous track and this one, but it’s transition to ALL FOR YOU isn’t as bad. And actually, the transitions from ‘Ups & Downs’ is good because of how it ends, with clapping, and this one starts with it. This is sugar hip-pop at it’s best. Peppy, bouncing beat, tinkling bells and a very major melody make me think of the color pink. She says ‘I Love You’ in about four different languages, because she’s having trouble telling the boy she likes. It’s a parallel of their communication. We’ve got English, French, Spanish, and Japanese.

ALL FOR YOU
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: Natsumi Watanabe, Ryoki Matsumoto
6:02

For a resplendent review of this single see its full single review. Again, this is a weird transition.

ALARM
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: JUSME, MONK
4:10

For a total review of this song see it’s single review. Arigatou!

No / No pt. 2
Lyrics, Music, and Arrangement: Nao’myt
7:07

Finally, we have come my favorite song on this album, and that’s saying something. ‘No’ is a hard-hitting, pure Hip-Pop track that takes no prisoners in it’s great booming bassline of drums and clapping beat. As she says, “this is not fake!“… My friend and I love this song to death and listen to it all the time. One draw back… The chorus should be, “Clap it, shake it, walk it” but naturally it comes out as, “Crap it, shake it, work it…” Oh, and I’ll spell her name out anytime she wants… and you know what? If it’s boring I say, “No!”, too… that’s what that lightning-quick line is, “tsumaranai koto naraba, I say, “No!”.

As we end the song with an Ayu-tribute (lalala), it takes a few seconds for a soft dripping sound to slowly come together and some haunting vocals and a beat. The soft version of ‘No’ is very pretty and the perfect ending to this album. It’s like what really goes on inside your head when you meet someone you really like at a club. That love-at-first-sight feeling. The chorus’ lyrics are completely different. Love it!

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This is my favorite album. Even though I don’t particularly like ‘Ups & Downs’, I found that the good outweighs the bad by the thousands and I was very surprised by the same “Tricky” Stewart from Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad. That a big name in America! Namie pulled off a new genre and named it well and righty crowned herself queen. **bows**

A
95%

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~ by vinyabarion on January 19, 2008.

One Response to “Queen of Hip-Pop”

  1. […] to see Namie break the fourth wall and speak to the audience in such a blatant way, much like in Queen of Hip-Pop’s ‘I Wanna Show You My Love’.  Namie does her own background vocals in much the […]

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