It’s finally here! We’ve been hyped with a handful of music videos and a teaser for the full album, but Namie Amuro’s _genic has finally been spread to the world in its full form!
This time, we’ve been graced with not one, not two, not three—but FOURTEEN tracks.
Enough with GIFs, let’s get to the album!
- Photogenic: The instrumental sounds okay in the beginning, but it’s a little difficult to understand what she’s saying (other than the hook). I had to double check that a lot of this was actually English—which surprised me since she sounded so comfortable with the language in FEEL. Still, the song’s not bad, but not exactly a powerful opener either since it doesn’t go anywhere.
- Time Has Come: The piano during the verses is a nice touch. The chorus is a little flat, if not forgettable. I don’t think I’ll have the urge to ever listen to this track again, but maybe it’s a grower. Hopefully it’s a grower…
- Golden Touch: This one’s undoubtedly awesome. Great video and great feel. (Luckily, this one’s not entirely English, ha!) The hook gets stuck in your head immediately. The synths, drums and vocals all work really well—commence the head-bobbing! “You got the golden touch/You got the golden touch!” If there had been a single off _genic, this should’ve been it. I must add, the video alone is praise-worthy—if you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and watch it now.
- Birthday: The intro sounds like “Into the Groove” by Madonna—not a bad thing in my book! Unfortunately, the song goes from 80’s Madonna to “PRISM”-era Katy Perry rather quickly. Also, I don’t know why she’s going on about her “double-birthday” (is she actually 74 years old?).
- It: I’ve given up trying to decipher her lyrics by now, but this one’s given me hope! The whistles add a soft, playful layer to a rather in-your-face song. I’d say this is as enjoyable as “Sweet Kisses” (which I like a lot and I’ll ignore all comments stating otherwise! Be gone blasphemous critics!). Wait, is she saying “Attack you/You attack her/She attacks him/And you can’t save him, no way?” If she isn’t, that’s what I’ll sing anyway. I do hope she is…
- Scream: Oh no, the dreaded Ke$ha “WHOA”s smacks you in the face right when the song starts. I’m bracing myself. English has obviously gone out the window here, but the music is kind of fun… but just kind of. I’ll probably keep this though.
- Fashionista: Everyone seems to love this song… and I can’t seem to. “Swag” should not be present in any 2015 song, no exceptions. Plus, it’s just too busy for my taste. On the bright side, after listening to the whole album, this one’s the one that got stuck in my head. The key-change is a nice twist, too!
- Fly: I like the sound of this one so far. It’s upbeat, but not overworked. This feels like a proper song to drive at night on a sketchy neon highway (which is something, I can proudly say, I’ve never done). This would be my choice as an opener. It would’ve given me a much better first impression.
- B Who I Want 2 B (feat. HATSUNE MIKU): Oh, I can see why the preview was so small—the “feature” was a surprise. Is it funny that Namie seems to have more passion when she’s robotized? All jokes aside, this one’s a keeper, if only for its element of surprise and silliness. It’s so bad, it’s kind of good. Jesus, forgive me. †
- Stranger: AWFUL. By 0:45, I’m begging any and all gods that will listen to heal my ears once this torture ends. Then it gets louder. More obnoxious. “Kill me,” I whisper, but my voice is drowned out by sounds that can only be described as MURDER. This has got to be one of the worst songs I’ve heard all year—and I’ve heard “Flicka Da Wrist.” Certainly, this was produced in hell and brought to Earth to destroy humanity. And don’t get me started on that America’s Next Top Model MV.
- Every Woman: I’m no woman, but this is pretty okay as far as these songs go (or maybe I’m just relieved after the offensive sounds of “Stranger”). Okay, the chorus is a little much to take, but I don’t hate it.
- Space Invader: Namie, dammit! MOVE. There’s a rocket in your face! Oh wait, is this a sexual innuendo? I’ll never know, the lyrics are a mass of confusing syllables after that. But hold up, this chorus is kicking my ass! “You’re such a space invader!” I don’t know what that means within the realm of this song, but I’ll sing along mindlessly anyway.
- Anything: I won’t go into the TLC comparisons because it’s been mentioned by everyone and their mother. I won’t go into the English because I’ve commented on that enough. However, I will mention that this doesn’t belong after “Space Invader”… the flow’s just odd. Overall, this is decent, but I probably need to be in the right mood to listen to it. The video is pleasant (even with Namie passing possibly-fatal, but surely odorless, black gas at 0:43) and probably my second-favorite after “Golden Touch.”
- What I Did For Love (feat. Namie Amuro): So this is a David Guetta track tacked on to the end of _genic. It’s enjoyable. I would’ve put this after “Space Invader” and let “Anything” close the album on a positive note. Is it me or is the ending a little abrupt? I think it could’ve done with a piano solo or something.
No doubt, this will be the best-selling album of the year. While it’s not as enjoyable as FEEL, I think many fans will enjoy it for what it is: a fun, light-hearted and slightly vain album. And that’s fine! But I really hope she brings it out musically and lyrically next time. And please, less English!
- Modern, slick production.
- The packaging is impressive.
- Namie's English seems to have deteriorated with this album.
- The uptempo feel throughout makes the songs sound like one big mash-up after a while.
- Time Has Come5
- Golden Touch10
- B Who I Want 2 B (feat. HATSUNE MIKU)8
- Every Woman6
- Space Invader7
- What I Did For Love (feat. Namie Amuro)7