Released: May 29, 2017
So last year, J-Pop’s reigning supreme Namie Amuro released probably one of her biggest singles in quite a while; the F-ing fantastic A-side releases “Dear Diary” and “Fighter”, both bangers given to us by the gods above, and easily slayed my ears and snatched my edges! Then the leak of Ms. Amuro’s unreleased track titled “Strike a Pose” caused a bit of a buzz for her fandom, and eventually, she performed the number on her Live Style tour. Stylistically, not my favourite but ehhh, I could move forward and listen to it a few times. Then “Just You and I” came around the corner, and I was a little concerned… seriously y’all.
I don’t know what it is, but Amuro-chan’s new single—the piano-driven pop ballad “Just You and I”—just doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe it’s because her last physical single—bare in mind, it was released back in last October—takes a similar note from the sound and delivery, only this time she conveys a more romantic approach with the angelic string sections, warmer electronics and wedding bells, rather than something empowering and interesting. And though I’m a massive Amuro-chan fan (and I mean massive y’all), her decision to revert back to her style after trying something rather different has been done before… and again… and again… and it comes off a little uninspired or bland.
And again; Amuro’s English deliveries sounds a lil’ incomprehensible here and, while I give her points for trying, the instrumentation of the track is so soft that it’s noticeable. Not good gurl, not good. But here’s the thing; it’s not bad wholesomely; her voice is nice and the songwriting is heartwarming and pretty, but this is Namie’s seventh non-album single and, considering some of them have proven to be powerhouse anthems (“Red Carpet”, “Mint”, “Dear Diary”, “Fighter” in particular), “Just You And I” is a lil’ more forgettable (no tea no shade y’all…).
Then we get “Strike a Pose”, the coupling B-side number that boasts a four-on-the-floor beat and sparkly synths that almost gives it a somewhat retro club vibe. It’s a cute number, and definitely a lot better than “Just You And I”, but yet again it’s nothing groundbreaking and still lacks comprehensibility on Amuro’s behalf. To me, this sounds like an off-cut from the Uncontrolled sessions that somehow made it’s way back onto a single release.
I’m a bit iffy with the continuation of Ms. Thang’s solo-single releases, especially since hearing “Just You and I”. And like I said before; not a bad track entirely, just nothing “single-worthy” or special. It’s quite bland and disposable in my eyes. Fortunately for Amuro-chan fanatics, this is another softer love-recording that will perfectly fit aside her charming collection of ballads, but I could bet you wouldn’t really remember this song in the next couple of years, even if you tried. Hopefully her next single (or album of fierceness…) will be twice as better as this one *fingers crossed*.