Namie Amuro: ‘Queen of Hip-Hop’ – Album Review

namie_amuro_-_queen_of_hip-pop

Released: July 13, 2005

Queen of Hip-Pop, the seventh studio album by Japan’s pop idol Namie Amuro, is nothing but a walk in the park. That is, of course, Namie has really found her style. After the fantastic offerings from Style, it looks like she’s wanting more and more. And the end result? More and more of course. Queen of Hip-Pop explains the approach easily; a fusion of pop and hip-hop elements. Whilst it’s not as experimental as Style, it certainly sees a good move by her; you get a bit of cheerleading chants in the dynamic R&B groove “WoWa”, a stereotypical J-Pop/R&B cut “Free”, a dazzling disco-influenced pop effect on “I Love You”, and the occasional pop ballad–esque of “All For You”.

There are more exciting approaches on Queen of Hip-Pop. She attempts US Top 40 realness on “Girl Talk”, which literally sounds as it came from the likes of Janet Jackson. Then there is the sizzling Bhangra tune “Want Me, Want Me”, though that key structure sounds extremely generic in many crossover tracks. And Namie accurately applies her past rock, dance, pop, and hip-hop roots into the epic hit “My Darling”. The album’s best track is by far “Alarm”, a real alarming hip-hop tune that serves attitude and catchy hooks. The rest of the album offers mediocre fillers; not that they’re particularly bad, as it works all together, but offer nothing special or thrilling. But here, Namie’s vocals are not good, but stunningly great. She hits the notes right, the tunes suit her vocals, and altogether, that’s what makes Queen of Hip-Hop yet another good album.

Track list (Bold means best tracks)

  1. Queen of Hip-Pop
  2. Want Me, Want Me
  3. WoWa
  4. I Wanna Show You My Love
  5. Girl Talk
  6. Free
  7. My Darling
  8. Ups & Downs (feat. Nao’ymt)
  9. I Love You
  10. All For You
  11. Alarm ~Liam’s favorite~
  12. No

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