Monday, July 19, 2010

Namie Amuro Play

PLAY is Namie Amuro's seventh original studio album. It was her first oricon #1 in seven years and has managed to sell 5,40,952 copies to date.

1.Hide & Seek- A very fun and addictive track with Namie's vocals at their best. I never had any problem with Namie Amuro's voice. It does grow repetitive after a few listens, but it is very pleasant and powerful at the same time. Hide & Seek maintains a high-energy atmosphere throughout the track.

2.Full Moon- This is the track that made me buy play. It starts with a bell and mysterious sounding intro with organs and everything. While listening to the song, I can actually imagine night. A very well done track. My only problem was that the lyrics do not make any sense at all.

3.Can't sleep, Can't eat, I'm sick- The trumpet and brass intro was very innovative and catchy. Most of Namie' songs sound alike on PLAY but their arrangement clearly distinguishes them. So, they don't sound repetitive. This was a single track.

4.It's all about you- A very average track and I found the pap-pap-pap-pa or whatever very annoying. A track worth skipping.

5.Funky Town- The chorus is good and the rest of the song is alright too. But there is nothing special about this track. It is easily outshone by most tracks on this album.

6.Step with it- A pretty good track.

7.Hello- The telephone ring sound and the fun and light way in which Namie sings this song make it stand out even though it is much like the previous two tracks.

8.Should I love him- Though it is not a ballad, it is the song on this album which is closest to being called a ballad. Very soothing atmosphere and Namie's voice is very gentle and expressive. Very good vocal work.

9.Top Secret- A very catchy track and Namie sings the fast section with great ease. She is truly the queen of j-pop.

10.Violet Sauce- I loved this song as a single and I love it now too. But the placement is totally bad. Top Secret and Violet Sauce are similar sounding and placing them after one another doesn't help to bring out their true potential.

11.Baby Don't cry-Many fans like this song but it is too mellow for me. The songwriting is not very good, either.

12.Pink Key- A reasonably good track with a happy atmosphere.

Overall, I was impressed by PLAY. This is my first album by Namie and I never expected it to be so good. Every track is very well sung. Namie has given her all in this album and it is evident. I wonder why it sold less than Sweet 19 blues (That album was not even half as good as this one).

Unique and interesting arrangements
Good vocal work
Cover art is nice

A few tracks are filler material
This album has no replay value at all. Though I was addicted to it at first, in just a few months I stopped playing it altogether.

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