Nami Tamaki – STEP

March 15, 2010 at 9:40 PM | Posted in Nami Tamaki | 5 Comments
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The cover of the CD+DVD edition

STEP is Nami Tamaki’s 5th album and it was released on February 24, 2010. The album reached #55 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 3,106 copies.

Somebody was using a fan machine! *shifty eyes* Nami looks good even with that funky pose.

♦ ♦ ♦

First of all, I blame Nami Tamaki’s stupid new label Universal Japan for royally screwing up her career. I have seen nothing but bad decisions regarding her musical direction and it’s like they don’t know what to do with her. I definitely get a feeling of “indecisiveness” from STEP because it tends flip-flop every now and then. The transitions from the cutesy pop songs to the serious R&B-ish tracks are awkward, too. 

Before I talk about the album’s new tracks (there’s only 5 of them), let’s go over the older stuff which makes up a big chunk of the tracklisting. The material from her first 2 singles are the album’s brighter songs. GIVE ME UP, Friends!, and the B-sides Negai Hoshi and Happy Forever, are all cheery tracks. Then with the next two singles, we see a different side of Tamaki as she begins to perform more R&B oriented songs. I really liked Moshimo Negai ga… but hated Omoide ni Naru no? so I was wondering if the album was going to be a disaster if she was going to continue with the R&B stuff.

I am happy to report that all five of the new tracks are pretty good! Yes, these songs are mid-tempo R&B styled tracks but they are done quite well. I can’t say the same about Omoide ni Naru no? because that was messy and overproduced. The new tracks feature simpler arrangements and tone down the synth. Zero no Sora and Tokyo were my favorites. Most importantly, Tamaki’s vocals were great because she was singing within her range. She sounds awful when does those screechy high notes (once again, I have to mention Omoide ni Naru no? but also that horrible B-side in my life).

STEP might be her weakest album to date but it has grown on me. At this point, there’s only 3 tracks that I still truly dislike. I know you’ve seen me ranting about how her music has taken a turn for the worse since the label change but there has been the occasional gem. My hope that Tamaki will improve has been tested time and time again but with this album, perhaps her new label will treat her better because the light R&B/pop formula does work for her if it’s done correctly. We might not ever see the “upbeat techno” Nami from her Sony days but I’ll be okay with this.

Pros: Check out the new tracks! Tokyo is a very sweet song and my personal favorite on the album.
Cons: I still hate some of the older stuff. They could have been replaced with better B-sides like Mata ne or Sukiya de ~Itoshii Hito e~.

BASICALLY…at this point in Nami’s career, it’s all about baby steps.

Overall Rating

3½ stars

Tracklisting

1. GIVE ME UP
2. Friends!
3. Sayonara Shite Ageru (さよならしてあげる)
4. Uso (嘘)
5. Kimi no Namida (キミノナミダ)
6. Negai Hoshi (願い星)
7. Zero no Sora (ゼロの空)
8. Moshimo Negai ga… (もしも願いが・・・)
9. Omoide ni Naru no? (思い出になるの?)
10. Happy Forever
11. in my life
12. Tokyo (東京)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

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5 Comments »

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  1. LOL, she’s the “leather studded kiss in the sand” GaGa was talking about. That’s what I think of when I see the covers.

    I haven’t listened to the new songs very much, but you’ve piqued my interest in “Tokyo.”

  2. Yeah I was expecting the worst for this album, but I thought Tokyo was great.

  3. I miss her Sony days. :( I loved her techno sound and I’d love to see it make a return but I doubt that’s happening. Universal Japan is really screwing her over… She’s never flopped this badly.

  4. I so agree with you, Zero no Sora and Tokyo are my favorite non-singles track from this album! The rest is … to forget ?

  5. Rauza, Sikandra Fort, Radhasoami Satsang, Fatehpur Sikri, plus Akbar’s Tomb. Esther’s Hobby Shop in Altoona7.
    Things to remember: For those who can identify wines by smell and taste and review were
    purchased at the full retail price.


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