Ami Suzuki – DOLCE

February 15, 2008 at 7:20 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | 4 Comments
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The cover of the CD only edition

DOLCE is Ami Suzuki’s 6th studio album and it was released on February 6, 2008. It’s also her 2nd collaboration album. It reached #26 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 10,835 copies.

♦ ♦ ♦

Opening the album is none other than FREE FREE, Ami Suzuki’s insanely hot and infectious electro pop dance track produced by Yasutaka Nakata of capsule. It’s the perfect way to start the album and I still love this song to death. It’s definitely the song that made me appreciate this genre of music a lot more.

Thank goodness that a shorter, more tolerable version of feel the beat is on the album. The original 8 minute long version that was the B-side on the Potential Breakup Song single was just way too boring. About 3 minutes was chopped from the original version so it’s a lot better. This song was a collaboration with Suguirumn.

Next up is Potential Breakup Song, Suzuki’s Japanese version of the popular Aly & AJ song. With a stronger electronic influence, this version features more synthesizers and faster dance beats. If you listen closely, you can hear Aly & AJ singing during the English parts.

The album slows down a bit for this gorgeous track. Bitter… is a collaboration with STUDIO APARTMENT and he has created an interesting song that combines a depressing string arrangement with a relaxing lounge club beat. When these two elements come together, it sounds quite unique. Suzuki’s calm vocals are great and they blend with the music very well too. This song was also the album’s main promotional track.

2 of the album’s new tracks are collaborations with RAM RIDER and they are also covers of his songs. The first one is his 2005 single SWEET DANCE, a song that begins quietly and slowly builds up to a pleasant mid tempo dance track. Since RAM RIDER produced this cover, Suzuki’s version is quite similar except for some changes in key on some of the instruments.

The next track is the upbeat party song The WeekeND, a collaboration with CAPTAIN FUNK. The song is heavy on synth and frequent on the beats so I thought the music was pretty catchy. The overall atmosphere of the song felt very 1970s disco to me and Suzuki’s vocals sounded very good on this track.

I was also glad to see the radio edit of SUPER MUSIC MAKER on the album, since the original was too long for me. The more and more I listened to it, I began to grow a liking to the fun and catchy dance club vibe of the music. Just like FREE FREE, this song was produced by Yasutaka Nakata of capsule and features computerized vocals.

I loved the next track because it sounds so funky. The 2nd collaboration with RAM RIDER is a cover of his 2001 single MUSIC. The bass is so infectious and my favorite aspect of the song. I absolutely loved the vocal manipulations of Suzuki’s voice too. The biggest difference from the original is the major change of key of the music so it could accompany Suzuki’s lower pitched vocals better.

The collaboration with Tomoe Shinohara, titled Stereo Love, definitely sounds cuter than the rest of the album’s electro pop tracks, but it’s still quite upbeat. The music has a very “girly” sound to it, especially during the chorus. The song even ends with the sound of Suzuki giggling.

We know reach a low point in the album with Ai no Uta, a collaboration with ROCKETMAN and YOU THE ROCK★. The music itself is very fun but it also marks a complete change in the album’s musical direction as it deviates from the electronic sound of the first 9 tracks. I honestly couldn’t stand the rapping by YOU THE ROCK★ either. He even performs more lines that Suzuki does, who only sings the chorus and one extra verse. It gets especially annoying when he starts yelling Say love and peace! and Clap your hands everybody!. It’s the worst song on the album, sorry to say.

The next track sounds so…outdated, but in a sort of good way. Suzuki collaborates with Hoff Dylan for Futari wa POP, an overly cute song that reminded me of those old fashioned songs from the 50s and 60s. The verses are creepy when Hoff Dylan sings with Suzuki because their voices sound horrible together, but I found the chorus to be oddly catchy.

Perhaps the most out of place song on the album is Atarashii Hibi, a collaboration with YO-KING. It’s your average pop / rock track and it just left me thinking, “What’s it doing on here?”. It’s a nice song with surprisingly good vocals from Suzuki, but still. It sounded like a song from her first collaboration album CONNETTA where it would’ve definitely fit better.

The first pressing bonus track is the only song on the album that’s not a collaboration. if is solely performed by just Suzuki and the music really reflects that. It’s a nice listen and song is quite charming with its overall pop sound. Even thought it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album, I’ll cut this song some slack since it’s not a collaboration.

DOLCE is a great album and it far exceeds her first collaboration album CONNETTA in nearly every department. The overall electro pop theme of the album is amazing, with the exception of those last couple tracks which are completely deviant and out of place. Those songs would have fit better on CONNETTA! Anyways, Suzuki chose way better collaborators this time around and every song has something different to offer. Yes, even “those songs”. I really think that she has found the genre of music that suits her best and I hope she sticks with it in the future.

Overall Rating

4 stars

1. FREE FREE / AMI SUZUKI joins Yasutaka Nakata (capsule)
2. feel the beat (album version) / AMI SUZUKI joins Sugiurumn
3. Potential Breakup Song / AMI SUZUKI joins Aly & AJ
4. Bitter… / AMI SUZUKI joins S.A.
5. SWEET DANCE / AMI SUZUKI joins RAM RIDER
6. The WeekeND / AMI SUZUKI joins CAPTAIN FUNK
7. SUPER MUSIC MAKER (radio edit) / AMI SUZUKI joins Yasutaka Nakata (capsule)
8. MUSIC / AMI SUZUKI joins RAM RIDER
9. Stereo Love / AMI SUZUKI joins Tomoe Shinohara☆☆☆
10. Ai no Uta (アイノウタ) / AMI SUZUKI joins ROCKETMAN feat. YOU THE ROCK★
11. Futari wa POP (2人はPOP) / AMI SUZUKI joins Hoff Dylan
12. Atarashii Hibi (新しい日々) / AMI SUZUKI joins YO-KING
13. if [First pressing bonus track]

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue

4 Comments »

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  1. Great review!
    I love DOLCE and I totally agree with everything you wrote in this review.

    Awesome <3

  2. Hey Lex, I was wondering if you could perhaps tell me where you found the album scans. I’ve been looking for a while but haven’t found all the stuff. I’ve found most of the scans and the booklet but I can’t find some of the scans you’ve found.

  3. Thanks so much Lex! I was gonna cry if i couldn’t find that FREE FREE disc lol, i already had the SMM, just wanted both =D

  4. I love all the songs on this track! <3


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