Namie Amuro: ‘Past>Present’ – Album Review


Released: December 16, 2009

Beating her previous album Play is a toughie. Not only did she serve some spicy attitude and some glorious moments, the album was wholly consistent and performed exceptionally well. So, what does Past < Future exactly deliver? Well, the album is like Namie’s 2003 Style; a bunch of genres mixed in, with some good hooks. The Americana doo-wop riffs on “Copy That” is insanely catchy, if not slightly repetitive, and “Love Game” offers a slightly minimal pop–dance genre that was notable on her Queen of Hip-Pop album. The album’s real bangers are the electropop-tastic “Wild”, and the slick anime-dance pop tune “Dr.” Both tracks bring some pop realness to the table, and the results are insanely catchy and one of her best a-side singles to date.

But don’t feel too certain; whilst the album is refreshing and offers a diversity of genres, Past < Future isn’t solid. The issue I have is that, if you’re going to offer such a catchy bunch of singles (“Wild” and “Dr.” for example), then serve the quality and realness to all the tracks. Songs like “First Timer” with rapper Doberman Inc. and “The Meaning of Love” shows its potential of being hits, but the performance it offers aren’t particularly that powerful and shows its finishing capabilities. And tracks like “Bad Habit”, “Shut Up”, and “Steal My Night” all sound severely under produced; there is so much potential in these tracks that it sucks that it doesn’t lift off that high. That is the ultimate issue with Past < Future; it may be refreshing and stylish, but it seems so rushed and lacks a lot of quality overall, and that’s frustrating knowing that it came after Play.

Track list (Bold means best tracks)

  1. Fast Car
  2. Copy That
  3. Love Game
  4. Bad Habit
  5. Steal My Night
  6. First Timer (feat. Doberman Inc.)
  7. Wild ~Liam’s favorite~
  8. Dr.
  9. Shut Up
  10. My Love
  11. The Meaning of Us
  12. Defend Love


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