Archive for the 'Ami Suzuki' Category

Ami Suzuki: Supreme Show

Supreme Show, Ami Suzuki

TEN

can’t stop the disco

climb up to the top

SUPER MUSIC MAKER (SA’08S_A MIX)

Mysterious

change my life

LOVE MAIL

A token of love

TRUE

flower

ONE

*****

Songs in bold are previously released singles. Songs in blue (with a link) have already been reviewed. Those songs will, however, be reviewed in context of the album once more.

*****

Supreme Show is Ami Suzuki’s seventh album, third with avex, released on November 12th, 2008. It reached #16 on Oricon and has sold 8 748 copies. It commemorates her tenth year in the Japanese music industry and was produced entirely by Yasutaka Nakata, from capsule.

Opening the album is TEN, a song which can be said to be the title track, commemorating her tenth year. What I immediately noticed in this track was the great grand piano playing in the back, which created an absolutely grand effect. Leave it to Nakata to come up with that kind of stuff, eh? The opening and closing tracks on this album are fantastic.

Next are the tracks found on her most recent single, can’t stop the DISCO, all in order. This was my favorite single of the era, even though ONE was great. I really like Ami’s mature sound on this, and her voice is sort of seducing.

I’ve never been a fan of climb up to the top, although I’m sort of reconsidering that. The moans at the beginning are sort of weird, and the vocals are pretty bad, but the music is addicting. Only problem: it’s 6:33, which is long, and I don’t have that long an attention span for a techno song.

SUPER MUSIC MAKER (SA’08S_A MIX) is OK. I preferred the original, and I really didn’t see why one would have to add this track onto the album. It’s a C-Side, so-to-say, and it’s a single from her previous era. Remixes of previously released songs belong on singles, not on albums!

We’re back to the new tracks, and there is no better title for this song than Mysterious. It sort of has that eerie feeling, with chimes or something like that playing in the background. Ami sings this one bare and with vocoder, which was interesting, but sort of annoying when it comes down to it. Otherwise, it’s another really good Nakata-style techno track.

change my life has its hints of retro, but it isn’t interesting until it comes to the chorus. Nakata introduced some Perfume stuff, like the cute electronic bleeps, with made this song stand out. If there’s a weak track on this album, then this one’s it. Even though it’s pretty good.

LOVE MAIL is a lot more low-key than the rest of the stuff on this album, and provides a far more relaxing listen. After change my life, LOVE MAIL is the second Perfume-like song, and Ami even sounds a little bit like the three girls. Another great track, especially when she shouts the title. 

Next is the B-Side on ONE, A token of love. Another B-Side I didn’t really like, but at the limit it’s OK, because it fits onto this album. But here again we have a long, repetitive techno track that’s longer than the A-Side it was originally placed with. Six minutes is too long for techno.

Perfume again? Well, not really. TRUE may sound cute, but Ami’s mature voice is always the one thing which makes her many, many times better than the overrated trio. This is the umpteenth really good, catchy track on this album. After TEN, this is my second-favorite track on this album. The verses are catchy, but the chorus is insane!

flower is sort of traditional-sounding, even though the techno sort of erases that. The strings are another addition that I wasn’t expecting and would’ve never thought possible, but, hey, we’re talking about the lord of J-Tech, everything’s possible! Because ONE has bittersweet sidenotes to it, flower has hints of that as well, moving us away from the general happy sound of the album.

Ending the album is ONE, the insanely catchy tenth anniversary single released earlier this year. The heavy techno and the extended vowels really work their magic on this track. Go Nakata x Ami!

After that cover I was expecting either something really crappy, or something decent. But hey! Surprise! This album is Ami’s best, and Perfume’s GAME wouldn’t stand a chance against it. This album is powerful, unique, varied, catchy, and maintains that throughout over an hour. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is the magic of Yasutaka Nakata x Ami Suzuki. I hope they continue to collaborate, because this is really working for Ami. Five stars!

Ami Suzuki: Can’t Stop the DISCO

1. Can’t Stop the DISCO

2. Climb Up to the Top

3. Super Music Maker (SA’08S/A Mix)

Can’t Stop the DISCO is Ami Suzuki’s 29th single, released on September 24th, 2008. It reached #10 on Oricon. It is the last single before the release of her next album, and was produced, just like ONE and FREE FREE, by Yasutaka Nakata from capsule.

Can’t Stop the DISCO reminds me of FREE FREE, bizarrely enough, but this song is easier on the ears, more laid-back, and the chorus is very nice. One problem for me was the awkward and clumsy transition from verse to chorus and vice-versa. The beats are given more attention than the actual synth, which is probably what makes this song lighter.

Flowing out of Can’t Stop the DISCO, Climb Up to the Top was really American, or at least that’s the feel it gave me. Ami’s voice is not too great on this track, but Climb Up to the Top is pretty catchy. But also really repetitive…

Super Music Maker (SA’08S/A Mix) is, well, the remix of the second A-Side on FREE FREE/Super Music Maker. Then again, I hate remixes, for the most part, and this is the kind of remix that proves that. I really prefer the original version of Super Music Maker, and I remember I wasn’t too fond of it either…

Ami Suzuki: ONE

1. ONE

2. A Token of Love

3. A Token of Love (FM88 mix)

ONE is Ami Suzuki’s 29th single, released on August 2nd, 2008. It reached #17 on Oricon and has sold 6 683 copies so far. (Don’t you find she looks ten years younger in the cover?) It was released to commemorate her tenth year in the music industry.

ONE is definitely one of the best dance tracks ever! After FREE FREE, she’s back with another Yasutaka-produced hit. I haven’t read the translation of the lyrics yet, but there’s definitely a hint of bittersweetness in the verses. It’s really sparkly and it’s infectious, really. I’m not and I never will be a big fan of techno and electro-pop, but this song is plain goodness. The end is kind of clumsy and not exactly what I was expecting for an ending to this awesome dance track, but I’ll let it pass in favor of a song worthy of ten years of musical experience.

Ah… my opinions get really biased when I reach the B-Sides, and A Token of Love is supposed to be added onto her upcoming album too. As usual, it’s a boring, repetitive song which is really low-key, whereas the whole idea of techno is to be loud. Not bad in the overall, but average.

The FM88 mix of A Token of Love is shorter and was arranged by Yasutaka. It’s far more upbeat and well-pronounced than the original. How should I say… a tiny, tiny bit above average?