Namie Amuro: ‘Uncontrolled’ – Album Review

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Released: June 27, 2012

A new direction was seen on her previous album Past < Future, but now on Uncontrolled, you get to see a bigger part of it. But instead of working on a mixture of genres, it looks like the 2010 evolution of EDM has hindered her to move along. Well… Uncontrolled isn’t exactly “EDM” per say, it’s more of a pop album that collects a variety of electronic elements. But overall, its literally halved in quarters; the dance entries (“In the Spotlight (Tokyo)”, “Go Round”, “Let’s Go”, “Yeah-Oh”), a new fusion of strong pop (“Naked”, “Fight Together”, “Only You”), a few entries of typical pop ballads (“Love Story”, “Tempest”), and a complete mixture of everything for the remaining tracks. This maybe a good thing, because it shows Namie’s talents in performing a variety of genres, and not only has her vocals improved since her R&B days, but the adaptions to nearly all genres on here is pretty impressive.

But if anything, Uncontrolled is quite inconsistent. It introduces Korean, Western, Oceanic, and Japanese producers to help with a few tracks on the album. But because nearly half the album were singles, the quality dies off with the newly remaining recorded tracks, as many of them don’t live to the expectations as their peers. Because of the new additions of producers, especially the ones with Nervo (“Go Round”, “Hot Girls”, “Love Story”, “Let’s Go”, “Yeah-Oh”), it keeps Namie in a more US Top 40 realm, whilst the remaining producers offer rather dated songs. Another element is that, about five tracks are recorded in English. Namie has been incorporate English lyrics in the past, but now we are getting full English tracks. In honestly, her English efforts are not the greatest; her pronunciation in majority of the tracks are slightly incomprehensible. But, at least she’s trying something new.

Overall, Uncontrolled is a rather nice offering that showcases an even large scale of Namie’s capabilities and strengths, even though some parts are flat. The singles are great choices, and the quality is up to scratch. Good job Namie, Avex Trax, and the production team!

Track list (Bold means best tracks)

  1. In the Spotlight (Tokyo)
  2. Naked
  3. Go Round (n Round n Round)
  4. Sit! Stay! Wait! Down!
  5. Hot Girls
  6. Break It (Alternative edit)
  7. Get Myself Back
  8. Love Story
  9. Let’s Go ~Liam’s favorite~
  10. Fight Together
  11. Only You
  12. Tempest

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