STYLE

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安室奈美恵
(Namie Amuro)
STYLE
December 10, 2003
Oricon Peak: #4
Total Sales: 221,874
Year-End Chart: #67
Label: Avex Trax
Producers: Dallas Austin, Full Force, T. Kura, michico, Teddy Riley

~~~

Namie’s Style
T. Kura, michico
4:03

‘Namie’s Style’ is a pitch-perfect opening for such a hip-hop inspired album. As if East met West in the dead center of perfect, this track parades in with Asian harps and a ticking, A-town beat. The theme seems to be Namie entering a club and lettin’ err’body know who jus’ walked in tha’ do’. It’s an infectious tune with an up-beat melody and not as much bass as you might think. I like 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 same manner as the spiraling synth-like piano. It has a more profound effect if the song is listened through headphones, as the sound bounces from ear to ear.

P.S. This being the third Namie album I’ve reviewed, I find that her opening numbers are top-notch, so far, they all seem to be utterly perfect.

Indy Lady ft. ZEEBRA
Teddy Riley, Yuji Toriumi, Zeebra
5:18

A little girl comes in with a cute opening and then it turns all eerie with a minor chord progression downward and then a ‘He’s coming…’ It’s cute, trying to add edge. I suppose it works. Most of this song is in un-understandable Eng(ur)ish. Again, this song is best heard through earphones as Namie whispers from behind you. It’s very cool and sexy. The rapping is cool. Namie’s natural speaking tone has a cool resonance with the background’s melody. Almost a minor interval, very interesting and this song is definitely a fun listen. As for the lyrics, Namie is telling her beau exactly what he can do for her. Like, for instance, get a job, get cho’ on dough, lay low, etc. The song remains in minor until the last instant where is end with a metalic bang and we run into…

P.S. This song was originally sung by Toni Estes, an American R&B artist.

Put ‘Em Up
Dallas Austin, Jasper Cameron, michico
4:03

This single and it’s B-side, ‘Exist for You’ may be found here. About the only thing different about this from the single version is that it comes to an abrupt end instead of fading out. Why? **shrugs**

P.S. A note on my view of the lyrics, the song is sort of ‘girl-fight’, it’s actually about the boy she’s seeing who’s been fooling around on her and she telling him that if he can do it, she can too, and he better be able to show up if he’s gonna play that game with her. I love this song even more now!

SO CRAZY
Full Force, Jennifer “JJ” Johnson, Michico, Tiger
4:34

You find the review for this song right here. It’s a nice transition into the softer side of the album. As an addendum, the lyrics are cute and dirty at the same time. They talk about her meeting her soulmate at a club and them dancing the night away. Here’s the rap by Namie at the end with the dirty lyrics, courtesy of Meg_Chan.

“Hurry up (uhh) I want to show off my hot body
Can’t stop (ahh) I can’t stop now, addicted to your booty
Up in da club (club)
Dance 2 da drums (drums)
My heartbeat syncs with the BPM (uhh me so horny)
U treat me like a lady but baby (yeah)
I can’t wait anymore, so crazy U’re amazin’ (unn)
Just the two of us (hot hot)
Our sighs (drop drop)
Today I’m gettin’ on ya (top top)
So, let me get dirty, ahh… ”

Don’t Lie to Me
Jeff Lorber, Jeff Pescetto, Yuji Toriumi
3:42

A sweet (and I mean cute) synth riff brings us into a song that seems like the R&B version of White Light. This is one of my favorite songs from this album. It has a brushing, drum-set-like rhythm. A bit Caribbean in execution, especially at the bridge. The melody isn’t especially hard, stays within an octave. The lyrics are the best part. She talks about how she doesn’t want her man to lie to her, and to be honest about everything, ’cause she doesn’t want to waste her time on something that isn’t real.

LOVEBITE
Takura (from GLAY)
3:09

In much the same vein as the last track, we continue with a Caribbean feel, and some synthetic brushing, bouncing, swaying rhythm section. At the bridge, we hit an almost Hikki-like interlude of electronic proportions. It’s a curveball in this song that works out wonderfully. Her voice seems rather enhanced in this song, but it’s all cool because this song is great. Takura, from the GLAY, works with Namie here. According to Wikipedia, they had wanted to work together and this album gave them that chance, to amazing results. The lyrics, summed up, are about Namie knowing that she is just being played with, but realizing that she loved every minute with this person, and that it was worth it.

Four Seasons
Monk, JUSME
3:47

Ah, the infamous InuYasha tie-in. This song is amazing, yes, but you guys realize she has other songs right? Right? Okay, just wonderin’… From the team that would give us ALARM, we have a soaring up-tempo ballad (strange? maybe…). At any rate, ‘Four Season’ is a beautiful song about having someone be with you for a year, and then knowing, in the end, they have to leave. She compares each season’s effect to a different aspect of love, it’s breathtaking.

 FISH ft. VERBAL & Arketic (MICBANDITS)
Monk, JUSME
4:27

This is a cute song. It’s about living outside the box, or in this case, the fish tank. The beat is very Asian-esque, as was the song before, and will the song be after it. The rapping is cool, but I’ve never been a fan of rap, it’s cool on occasion, but Japanese rappers lack something… I think they call it ‘souru‘…

gimme more
Ivan Johnson, Sylvia Bennett Smith, Namie Amuro
3:24

Who can say ‘gimme more’ without thinking of Britney? lol… Anyhoo, somebody needs to talk to Destiny’s Child because this song sounds way too much like ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’. I mean, wow. Style points off for that, other than that, the song is vocally unassuming, even boring at times. Lyrically, this song is the exact opposite. It speaks of Namie wanted more of her lover because he makes her euphoric. Towards the end, she pulls off a very non-ad. lib. run… it’s alright at best.

As Good As
Niclas Molinder, Joakim Persson, Pelle Anckarberg, kenko-p
3:28

On the other hand, this song is amazing! Compared to ‘gimme more’, ‘As Good As’ is a masterpeice with a rockier arrangement, and a cool melody line with some “oomph!“. A minor synthetic bleeping occurs throughout, it has that 90’s feel, if you know what I mean. Luckily, this album ends with singles tracks so, this is ‘As Good As’ the album gets with originals. Apparently, this is a cover, but about all I could find out was that this writing team is now working with Ashley Tisdale (I don’t follow, I just typed it into the search bar). By the way, you do have to live life how it comes, do your best because this really is as good as it gets…

shine more
Scott Nickoley, Sandra Pires, Paul Taylor, H.U.B
3:39

We begun the final leg of the album with this single track. It may be found at its single review, along with the B-side ‘Driving’.

Wishing on the Same Star
Diane Warren, kenko-p
4:58

And, you may find this one, also, at Wishing on the Same Star. It’s pretty way to end this album, nice and calming.

~~~

STYLE is a excellent album. Featuring the help of high-profile American producers Dallas Austin (TLC, Madonna, Sugababes, Gwen Stefani, and P!NK), FULL FORCE (leaders in the Pop&B movement), and Teddy Riley (creator of late 80’s music style new jack swing), along with her future hit crafters, T. Kura and michico; this is more ‘urban’ then the singles alluded to, but a well-rounded genre switch and surprisingly convincing. She stayed just within the boundaries of hip-hop, but, as we would all soon know, she couldn’t be contained and hip-pop was born. I am sad at it’s overall chart performance, but, Oricon’s funny… and considering that was the beginning of the Napster Age, I’m not surprised. I’ll give it a…

A
94%

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~ by vinyabarion on January 27, 2008.

4 Responses to “STYLE”

  1. It’s awesome to find a music review blog that I agree with so much XD
    I must say though, “Don’t Lie to Me” never really clicked with me. “Namie’s Style”, however, is one of my favorite songs by her.

    I must say though, this was a very well-worded album review and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Oh, and thanks for posting the “SO CRAZY”‘s rap lyrics. They are in fact rather raunchy, but in the good way.

  2. yeah, lol, those lyrics are raunchy, but it’s no WANT ME, WANT ME…

    Thank you for being so kind. As I said before, it means a lot. :D

  3. Don’t mention it. I look forward to hearing your opinion on things.

    I figured if I just kept reading without commenting, you might stop. And that would just flat out suck XD

  4. It took me a long time to love this album, i wont lie. My love affair with Namie nearly ended with this album. I think I expected something else. But when I moved back in Sept 2007, I was painting my house and needed some music. Bored of all the usual stuff, I took out a few CDs I never listened to, this was one of them. And my god, it was GREAT!!! I started singing and humming and dacing while painting, and I was like, “Whoa, why did I hate this album so much?” Now, I am not crazy over all the tracks, but overall, a great album. But you have to know what you are getting into…there is rap, hip-hop and R&B. It was an odd combo for me, but in the end, I loved it. Took me 2 years, but sometimes you need to be receptive. I love Namie. And I lvoe your review b/c you have the same taste as me (you love Namie and Ayumi for one and dont care for Kumi Koda for the second, ha ha ha).

    Thanks!
    PS, Namie’s last album ROCKED, and her newest singles are very good. Cant wait for the next album, whenever that might be!

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