20 years into the industry, Queen of Hip-Pop Namie Amuro certainly isn't showing signs of slowing down. The fact that she's doing better than some of her peers even shows that she is slowly reaching her arms out, inching her way towards grabbing the crown off ayumi hamasaki's head. With the release of her 10th album, Uncontrolled, comprising 4 new songs and all of the 9 a-sides she's released (talk about actually taking a career risk), will it come off as a cohesive effort or an absolute mess? Or will she take this sound to the next level from where she left off at PAST < FUTURE back in 2009?
|"Yo baby waddup"|
When the album was first announced, FINALLY the bitch is releasing an album. Not that it was that long of a wait given the string of multiple a-side singles she's been giving us since 2010. We all knew about the imminent Engrish that was heading our way because of the hints that were Go Round / YEAH-OH and ONLY YOU. Of course, the best song to open the album up with was "FEEL ALAI AND TONAIS MAI LAI I GO NATI TU HAI, I DESSIN DA SPOTLAI," In The Spotlight (TOKYO), which while sounding pretty generic, still ends up being a hot track nonetheless with her flawless pronunciation. The lyrics essentially speaks about enjoying dancing in the spotlight in the crub while at the same time wanting to see "or da bois in the crub wanna see u hi da das fro". Namie has certainly demonstrated how much she can get it on the fro like in that crub in Hong Kong.
Before hearing In The Spotlight (TOKYO), I envisioned the album to actually open up with NAKED. Well, after its release I guess it has to take the backseat. We already know how awesome this track is, so all I have to say is that Namie can get NAKED in front of me anytime of the day. While we're on the topic of lulz titles...
GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND) just seemed like a sick joke when I first saw the title. First of all, they changed the capitalisation of the song so that is annoying. It almost seems like she's taking a dig at Ayu with Party queen (the song) and Party Queen (the album). You know what else is a sick joke? The fact that they decided to take away the awesome instrumental beginning that was in Go Round. I didn't have an issue with this song being entirely in English though, surprisingly. "Tell me you love me then why aren't you taking me home?" ooOOooOOoo Namie wants some guud guud ruv.
Sit! Stay! Wait! Down! can probably be said as one of those disposable pop tunes all over the music market now (Like some other tracks in this album). Nonetheless, I still play the shit out of the song and it actually flows well with the rest of the album. The good thing is, unlike in the single, this song doesn't have to be outshone by Higher, which I think we can all agree would be an excellent replacement for this song.
|Hot girls make the world go round|
The ancient song, Break It is up next but wait! It's an ~AL ver.~!!! While I do prefer the original single version, I am still popping my pussy to this version and it helps in the flow of the entire album as well. Too bad the flow was immediately killed with the placement of Get Myself Back as the next song. My only grouse about this song is that they should have just cut out the madman who goes like HU HUGA HU between the end of the first chorus and the start of the second verse.
After Get Myself Back and Love Story which can simply be summed up as awesome and doesn't need a proper review (har har har, like my reviewing skills are that great), we have one of the best songs on the album, Let's Go. First of all, it's mostly in Japanese. Shocker! Secondly, you just can't stop popping your pussy after the beat kicks in and it's just catchy as hell: IT'S THE IIIIDEA THE IIIIDEA OF YOU. For some reason, the bridge reminds me of the chorus to Rihanna's Where Have You Been. Not that I'm complaining anyway. I lavvit. Namie also stepped up her game in the music video. Lavvit.
I also laaav YEAH-OH. However, I don't love SINGING "YEAH-OH" that much because the English lyrics just seem awkward, and I don't think it's an issue of getting used to it. The awkwardness is most obvious in the verses. She sounded somewhat restrained so I'll have the single version instead, thanks.
I was so afraid that Fight Together would be shunned from the album but for once, I am grateful for laziness! Haters gonna hate, but Fight Together is awesome. But I will admit that it's countered by ONLY YOU, and therefore outshone by it. ONLY YOU didn't sit well with me at first, especially with its incredibly interesting and groundbreaking music video (cue eye roll) but after a while the song grew on me and... I CAN TAAKE THE WORDS AND NEVER FEEL IT, THEY'LL NEVER SEE ME CRY! THE ONLY THING THAT CAN TOUCH ME... IS YOUU!!! Speaking of which, Namie is a rude ass bitch. "The only THING that can touch me, is YOU". How rude of her to regard the person as an object!
Putting Tempest in the album was a bad choice. Making Tempest an a-side was a bad choice. RECORDING Tempest was a bad choice. Sure, the song sounds pretty, but we already have Love Story. The only excuse Namie had was the drama tie-in, else I bet she'd have rejected its ass a long time ago. Even the music video was a waste of everybody's time.
I think one common complaint some fans had was about how all the a-sides were simply dumped in which is very un-Amuro and that 4 new songs are just too little. But hey, when you're a Mika Nakashima fan who's gone through STAR, I think we should all count our blessings. Plus, we have an album version of a single song AND 2 converted to entirely English versions. FROM NAMIE AMURO. What more do you want? Well, maybe Higher to be included, but what else?!
This album certainly allows Namie to make her stance, which is getting her peers to calm down and show them who still is the head bitch in charge. She's talking to you, ayumi hamasaki and Koda Kumi. "I'm here to snatch all of you basic bitches' wigs," she silently says in her head while happily smiling and eating fried chicken in her 20" jeans and knee-high boots. If there is one thing she is controlled about, it is consistently releasing quality work. Namie has not disappointed me since PLAY came out and my only grouse is that she could have included Higher in the album. I can't say for certain whether this album will be able to stand the test of time either. But you wanna know who else is uncontrolled when it comes to releasing stuff other than Koda Kumi? I'm not going to name names, but her initials are AH and she has a summer best album coming out this August.
Album highlights: In The Spotlight (TOKYO), NAKED, GO ROUND ('N ROUND 'N ROUND), Get Myself Back, Love Story, Let's Go, ONLY YOU