CD Review :: Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled
CD + DVD
1) In The Spotlight (TOKYO)
3) GO ROUND ('N ROUND N'ROUND)
4) Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down !
5) Hot Girls
6) Break It (AL Ver.)
7) Get Myself Back
8) Love Story
9) Let's Go
10) SINGING "YEAH-OH"
11) Fight Together
12) ONLY YOU
Uncontrolled is Namie Amuro's 9th album & it's released officially today on 27th June .
All singles ie. 3 double A-side's & a triple A-side are included in Uncontrolled with the exception of the B-side tracks Higher & arigatou (thank the world for LOVE ... gift song for 2011) which're taken from Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! / Love Story .
In addition , GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND) & SINGING "YEAH-OH are English cover versions of her songs from Go Round / YEAH-OH .
The release of Uncontrolled comes nearly 3 years since the release of Namie's previous studio album PAST < FUTURE & in this album , there're a total of 4 new songs in which all of them have music videos .
In The Spotlight (TOKYO) is the 1st of 4 new songs & it's also the 1st of 3 full English tracks , new material wise .
I actually saw the video preview for In The Spotlight (TOKYO) way before I saw/heard the full version & the result gives you this really catchy if not very heavily club driven no. which I'm not surprised this's slotted as the 1st song in the tracklist , with it being very memorable/strong sounding .
Perhaps to conceal the fact that In The Spotlight (TOKYO) is a full English track , a strong infectious dancey melody & also somewhat repetitive lyrics have been utilised .
NAKED is the 1st A-side of Namie's 35th single NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest . This was used as the theme song to the Kose ad for ESPRIQUE which Namie was seen in the ads herself & it's composed by Osawa Shinichi with lyrics provided by m-flo's VERBAL .
The song has been described as a very Namie song , meaning it's a dance-able tune .
As mentioned earlier on , GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND) is the English cover of Go Round which this song used as the Kose's ESPRIQUE PRECIOUS commercial no. .
Go Round is the 1st A-side of Namie's 37th single Go Round / YEAH-OH .
In the case of GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND) , hearing this at 1st was really strange for me as it's basically Namie covering her own song in English . The melody & all is still the same but somehow , I feel GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND) does not flow very well , lyrics wise .
As a result , I felt a bit awkward listening to GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND) but I do admit at least it's something different Namie decided to try but unfortunately for this , this didn't really make the mark for me .
Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! is the 1st A-side of Namie's 36th single Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! / Love Story .
Described as a dance song which was used as the theme no. in the drama Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu , it's produced by T.Kura & michico . The R&B production team otherwise known as Giant Swing , hasn't worked with Namie since PAST < FUTURE .
Producer Nakano Toshitaka explained his reason for choosing Namie to sing for the drama in that , “When I was planning the main character for Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu , I thought that Namie was the only one who could sing the theme song .
Namie is charismatic to young women & has an impact on their lifestyle , so I wanted her to give them courage . She has written the song after reading the script , so I expected it to be a support song for women that involves sadness & power .”
Meanwhile , Namie expressed , “This time , I am very honoured to receive this offer to provide the theme song for Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu . Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! overlaps scenes from the drama , so I hope viewers could relate to it even more . "
Hot Girls is the 2nd album track & the 2nd of 3 new full English no.s .
I think out of the 4 new songs , Hot Girls is probably the weakest sounding & also I didn't like that it was a bit too short for my liking & the lyrics for this song ain't helping either with it being a bit over repetitive .
No doubt that Hot Girls is well a hot track but considering there're other stronger songs in Uncontrolled , I can skip this & select others to enjoy .
Break It is the 1st A-side of Namie's 34th single Break It / Get Myself Back .
This song was used in the ads of Coca-Cola Zero in which Namie's the spokeswoman for & you also can see her in the ads too & it's the 2nd time her song has been used to promote Coca-Cola Zero after WILD .
Described as a rock influenced dance no. , Break It has been given an alternate version in Uncontrolled & I must say , this version sounds a lot more awesome than the original .
I remembered I really disliked the original version of Break It quite a fair bit with it sounding an awful lot like Super Junior's Sorry Sorry but for Break It (AL Ver.) , even though traces of the original melody is still evident , it has been replaced with something much more futuristic & gritty sounding .
And speaking of Break It / Get Myself Back , the 2nd A-side follows right after Break It (AL Ver.) & this mid tempo ballad is a good contrast against the 1st A-side .
Love Story is the 2nd A-side in Namie's 36th single Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! / Love Story .
Described as an adult ballad , while Sit ! Stay ! Wait ! Down ! was used as the opening track for Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu , Love Story served as the ending theme song to the drama .
The song's about how Namie has grown up & moved on from the love she left behind .
Let's Go is the 3rd new album track & this's 1 really catchy no. . Extremely infectious with plenty of attitude , Let's Go is the perfect song to spin in a club & the video accompanying the song just takes things to a whole new level .
SINGING "YEAH-OH" is the English cover of YEAH-OH in which YEAH-OH is the 2nd A-side of Namie's 37th single Go Round / YEAH-OH .
Unlike GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND) which didn't sit well with me , for some reason , SINGING "YEAH-OH" is something that I like . I'm not sure why but in terms of consistency , SINGING "YEAH-OH" is much better as compared to GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND) which sounded a bit out of synch to me .
Fight Together is the 2nd A-side of Namie's 35th single NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest .
For this , Fight Together was used as the theme song in the anime ONE PIECE & it went on-air this year in April . Namie is said to be a big fan of ONE PIECE & unlike the other 2 A-sides , Fight Together did not get a music video .
The final new album track is something titled ONLY YOU & it's the last of 3 new English songs but this's actually the 1st song I've heard outta the lot .
Selected to be used as the theme song for the satellite broadcasted WOWOW’s European football program , which includes live broadcast for UEFA EURO 2012 matches , ONLY YOU is a refreshing medium up-tempo number with a catchy melody .
Namie mentioned , "From Uncontrolled , ONLY YOU has been picked up as the WOWOW’s European football theme song , so I'm honoured .”
Tempest is the last A-side of Namie's 35th single NAKED / Fight Together / Tempest & it's also the final track in the album .
This song was used as the theme no. for the NHK period drama of the same name which started airing last year on July 17th & it has been described as a touching ballad .
Debuting in 1992 alongside with the then group SUPER MONKEYS , this year marks the 20th anniversary of being in the music business for Namie Amuro & with the release of Uncontrolled , it's her 1st step of her 20th anniversary project .
Namie stated , "The album has been created to be enjoyed by everyone & to enhance their mood" .
I will not lie , when details were 1st announced with regards to Uncontrolled , I was taken back on how lazy the production was supposedly , especially since there're only 4 new songs in this album , unlike her previous albums which had more new material .
However as it turns out , things are not as bad as it seems as there're a few little touches her music team incorporated in Uncontrolled , ranging from giving Break It an album version & also doing English covers of both Go Round & YEAH-OH .
I wouldn't really consider Uncontrolled as my fave Namie album with PLAY being still tops but I wouldn't deny that this's an album that's really enjoyable from the start til the end & I suppose if you don't buy her singles , then it's good but I'm sure for those that do buy her singles , they will not be satisfied with this album for obvious reasons .
But all in all , for Namie Amuro to be still around making music for the past 20 years , it's no mean feat & she has really worked hard to get to where she's at currently .
Despite struggles she has faced be it in her personal life or music career , it's definitely great to see her bounce back in popularity in recent times & here's to even more anniversaries for her to celebrate in many more years to come .