Ami Suzuki – KISS KISS KISS / aishiteru…

November 11, 2009 at 7:25 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | 194 Comments
Tags:


The cover of the CD+DVD edition

KISS KISS KISS / aishiteru… is Ami Suzuki’s 31st single and it was released on October 28, 2009. The single reached #28 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 2,448 copies.

IDGAF what anyone says. Ami looks HOT. ♥ The other cover is great too.

♦ ♦ ♦

The last single Reincarnation was crap (minus the Dub-I-Dub cover lol) so I didn’t know what to expect from Suzuki at this point. Fortunately, she stepped it up with this single! Both A-sides have their strong points but I definitely prefer one over the other. I’ll explain in a bit.

First of all, let’s go over KISS KISS KISS and its multiple versions. The Japanese version is track 1 and it’s an upbeat dance club number. I thought the music was good with its various synth and beats but what I liked the most about this song was the rhythm. The chorus is very catchy as well since it has a simple hook featuring English lyrics. Vocally, Suzuki sounds great and she isn’t all over the place like she was in Reincarnation.

The 2 extended versions of the song are the same except for the different languages of course. You know the drill with this stuff but I just have to mention the English version (track 4). Suzuki’s English is so hard to understand but there’s this line about sandwiches and sauce that is so funny. Look up the lyrics and see what I mean.

While KISS KISS KISS was good, I was extremely surprised with aishiteru…, a song that utilizes heavy synth riffs. It was produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka (he’s better known as Fantastic Plastic Machine) and in the end, I thought this track was just plain awesome. Once again, it has an infectious rhythm and Suzuki’s vocals are controlled. Here is a production that is done RIGHT! I love it. There’s also an extended version that appears as track 5.

Pros: aishiteru… is the star of the single but overall, everything is a HUGE improvement over Reincarnation.
Cons: I will never care for these extended versions. EVER.

BASICALLY…both A-sides are catchy as hell. Nice rebound, Ami.

Overall Rating

4 stars

Tracklisting

1. KISS KISS KISS (Japanese Version)
2. aishiteru…
3. KISS KISS KISS (Extended Japanese Version)
4. KISS KISS KISS (Extended English Version)
5. aishiteru… (extended)

Ami Suzuki – Reincarnation

March 15, 2009 at 8:48 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | 9 Comments
Tags:

Tracklisting
1. Reincarnation (Original)
2. Dub-I-Dub
3. Reincarnation (Extended Version)
4. Reincarnation (Instrumental)

This is Ami Suzuki’s 30th single and it was released on February 25, 2009. The single reached #42 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 3,193 copies.

Instead of Yasutaka Nakata, Ami Suzuki worked with Taku Takahashi for Reincarnation, an upbeat dance tune. I’m going to flat out say that I do not like this song because it is a stinky hot mess. Almost everything about the song is disjointed and unorganized too. I mean, what the hell is going on? Seriously though, the arrangement has no direction whatsoever and the transitions are pretty sloppy. Don’t get me started on Suzuki’s vocals either, especially during the chorus. Enough of that yelling, girl!

Fortunately, the B-side is much better. I enjoyed Suzuki’s cover of Dub-I-Dub, a eurobeat song that was originally performed Me&My. The chorus is my favorite part because it’s very catchy and I liked the song’s overall laid back atmosphere compared to the confusion heard in Reincarnation. This is definitely a case of “simpler is better” as well. It would have been cool to see a Japanese version of this song since it would have made an ideal A-side for Suzuki.

The next track is the extended version of Reincarnation. Ugh, talk about worthless and adding insult to injury. You just get more dumb stuff in the form of elongated instrumental sections and that just makes things worse. The original version is already bad enough!

Overall Rating

2½ stars

Ami Suzuki – Supreme Show

November 23, 2008 at 11:32 AM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | 12 Comments
Tags:


The cover of the CD+DVD edition

Supreme Show is Ami Suzuki’s 7th album and it was released on November 12, 2008. The album reached #16 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 13,094 copies. It’s also her first album to be produced by Yasutaka Nakata and it commemorates her 10th anniversary in the music industry.

♦ ♦ ♦

To start things off for this 10th anniversary album in a very fitting way is TEN. Alongside the normal synth and beats, what I liked the most about this song is the piano. I love the instrumental sections that feature the piano and they provide an interesting twist to the otherwise electronic sound of the song. The lyrics are in English and even though they are quite simple, you can tell that they are about her music career. Words such as challenge, success, setback, and surprise describe the various stages of her career. A great way to open the album in my opinion.

All of the tracks from the can’t stop the DISCO single appear on the album and in their original tracklisting order. I must say that I really like can’t stop the DISCO now and it was one of those songs that took a while to grab a hold of me. It’s also a good representation of the more laid back club sound that the album has.

Now we have climb up to the top, the B-side from that single. I still haven’t gotten over Suzuki’s annoying yelling but the music proves to be hot anyway. The crazy and constant synth riffs are cool and they never let up, actually making this song the most aggressive on the album. If you can get past the yelling, you’re set.

I honestly felt that it wasn’t necessary to include the SA’08S/A mix of SUPER MUSIC MAKER on the album but since it’s so different from the original, I think it’s okay. The remix is less electronic than the original and the vocals sound less distorted as well. A new mix of FREE FREE would have been great too though.

After all of that, a new track finally appears and it is awesome. Mysterious is my favorite of the album’s new tracks and I find it to be an addicting mix of laid back synth and thumping beats. In this case, the song’s repetition is GOOD and the main reason why I think it’s so damn catchy. Despite the lack of variety and the sameness of Suzuki’s vocals, the rhythm is very infectious.

Imagine The WeekeND, a song from her last album DOLCE, but about a million times better. That’s what I make of change of my life, a retro inspired track that has a heavy 80s new wave sound. The synth lines are funky and I like the constant beats that go along with them. Suzuki’s vocals are similar to what was heard in Mysterious, but that is not a bad thing at all.

The next track features a more involved and synthed up arrangement compared to the previous two songs. LOVE MAIL is filled with higher pitched synth riffs and upbeat vocals from Suzuki. I liked her “cuter” sounding vocals most of the time, except for when she yells “LOVE MAIL!” to signal the beginning of the chorus.

The ending of LOVE MAIL goes right into the aggressive sound of A token of love, which was originally the B-side on the ONE single. I think this song is pretty cool and I love the strong, rampant techno beats mixed with that deep synth. The verses are actually my favorite parts of the song because of the great rhythm heard in Suzuki’s vocals.

I want to say that TRUE is something that Perfume would do because of the way it starts but Suzuki eventually makes it her own. Her deeper vocals are a good indication of that and the bridge features an interesting organ-like sequence. It’s not exactly the most memorable song, but the music has more sweeping synth riffs compared to the previous tracks.

flower is probably the most unique song on the album because of the inclusion of strings. The beginning is very pretty with the flowing strings but there is also a strong beat as well. The overall arrangement is melodic too, the chorus being the best part. Suzuki’s vocals are slower paced for the verses and she showcases elongated notes, but her voice gets stronger for the chorus. This song is definitely a welcome addition to the album.

Ending the album in the most absolutely perfect way is none other than ONE. I love this song to death and I think it is one of the best songs that Yasutaka Nakata has produced for Suzuki (along with FREE FREE). It’s such a strong techno track that is just saturated with intensity. It’s incredibly catchy with a rhythm that never slows down, except for the effective beats that end the song.

Without a doubt in my mind, Supreme Show is Ami Suzuki’s best album. While I said her previous album DOLCE was “great”, this album is far greater in terms of overall sound and Suzuki has found a genre of music that suits her the best. Nakata has created a niche of the “J-tek” genre that really fits her and she excels at it. While the album as a whole isn’t as aggressive as I initially thought, I take Supreme Show for what it really is: club and house music at its best. This is NOT a true dance album and more songs have the laid back, mid-tempo sound of can’t stop the DISCO than the high octane dance vibes as heard in ONE. Even so, the entire album is very addicting and each track compliments the next perfectly. To end this review, the album is the epitome of FIERCE and one of the best of 2008.

Overall Rating

5 stars

Tracklisting

1. TEN
2. can’t stop the DISCO
3. climb up to the top
4. SUPER MUSIC MAKER (SA’08S/A mix)
5. Mysterious
6. change my life
7. LOVE MAIL
8. A token of love
9. TRUE
10. flower
11. ONE

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!

Ami Suzuki – can’t stop the DISCO

October 9, 2008 at 3:40 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | 3 Comments
Tags:

Tracklisting
1. can’t stop the DISCO
2. climb up to the top
3. SUPER MUSIC MAKER (SA’08S/A mix)

This is Ami Suzuki’s 29th single and it was released on September 24, 2008. The single reached #17 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 4,655 copies.

can’t stop the DISCO is a different taste of electropop from Ami Suzuki. I only thought the song was “okay” at first but it has grown on me. I still don’t think it’s as good as her previous single though. This Yasutaka Nakata produced track has a more laid back house style compared to the full blown dance sound of FREE FREE and ONE. For instance, there is less emphasis on synth but rather on the beats instead. As a result, I thought the music flowed very smoothly. Suzuki sings in a lower pitch but her vocal performance is pretty catchy and sleek as well. This is most evident in the chorus, the most infectious and memorable part of the song.

The ending of can’t stop the DISCO flows right into the sensual introduction of climb up to the top (you heard the sound of women moaning and stuff). This song is in English and features Suzuki literally shouting out the lyrics. It gets borderline annoying but fortunately this song focuses more on the music and I have to admit that it is HOT. The synth lines are amazing, especially during that crazy section in the second half, but that’s about it. If Suzuki changed her vocal style instead of just plain yelling, this would have been a lot better.

At least the remix of SUPER MUSIC MAKER is awesome. I actually liked the overall presentation of the SA’08S/A remix more than the original. It features less distorted vocals and a more pop oriented sound while still having a club feel. I also loved how the ending vocals of the original transformed into a new bridge section for the remix.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

Ami Suzuki – ONE

July 21, 2008 at 8:45 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | 4 Comments
Tags:

Tracklisting
1. ONE
2. A token of love
3. ONE (Instrumental)
4. A token of love (FM88 mix)

This is Ami Suzuki’s 28th single and it was released on July 2, 2008. The single reached #17 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 6,683 copies.

Ami Suzuki celebrates her 10th anniversary in the music industry with a bang. She once again works with Yasutaka Nakata for ONE, an extremely infectious dance track. Since Nakata produced all the songs on this single, the familiar electronic vocal distortions are here. I really liked the constant and upbeat pace of the music and its use of various synth lines mixed with glimmering beats. The rhythm just never lets up and Suzuki’s quick vocals blend in very well for an extra dose of energy that help create the phenomenal chorus.

The B-side, A token of love, is a little slower paced but it still has a very strong, high octane sound. What struck me as the most interesting aspect about the song were all the elongated notes that Suzuki performed. With Nakata’s vocal distortions thrown into the mix, these parts sound very nice. This song easily tops her other recent B-sides by a huge amount.

After the instrumental of ONE, there is the FM88 mix of A token of love which was arranged by Nakata. The original version is 6 minutes long while this remix is 4 minutes. Besides the length, the remix only features a few additional synth lines. It’s pretty much the same song, but shorter.

Overall Rating

4½ stars

Ami Suzuki – DOLCE

February 15, 2008 at 7:20 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | 5 Comments
Tags: ,


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

AMI SUZUKI joins Aly & AJ – Potential Breakup Song

December 4, 2007 at 7:17 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Tracklisting
1. Potential Breakup Song
2. feel the beat
3. Potential Breakup Song (Sugiurumn Remix)
4. Potential Breakup Song (Instrumental)

This is Ami Suzuki’s 27th single and it was released on November 28, 2007. The single reached #34 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 5,315 copies. The title track was used to promote the film XX – Makyou Densetsu.

I was pleasantly surprised with Ami Suzuki’s Japanese language cover of Potential Breakup Song, the popular song originally performed by the American pop duo Aly & AJ. Suzuki’s cover features a more electronic dance sound as it includes synthesizers and frequent beats. This version seems to have more going on than Aly & AJ’s when it comes to the music. Aly & AJ provide background vocals during the English parts, as several phrases from the original are mixed in with the Japanese lyrics. Believe it or not, I thought the original was pretty good and Suzuki has made a worthy cover.

The B-side is the 8 minute electronic snoozefest feel the beat. This track wasn’t really my thing because I still haven’t completely warmed up to electronic club music yet. The song is just like SUPER MUSIC MAKER, but nowhere near as good because of boring instrumentals and the lack of any real singing. Maybe if the song was shorter, I would have liked it more.

Included on the single is an 8 minute remix of Potential Breakup Song produced by Sugiurumn. Some of the extra instruments he adds in the remix are nice, but it sounds just like all his other remixes (it reminded me a lot of what he did to Mika Nakashima’s Sunao na Mama). The slowed down vocals along with the elongated instrumentals just scream Sugiurumn. However, it is a little more unique thanks to some additional vocals by Aly & AJ, which were borrowed from the original of course.

Overall Rating 

3½ stars

AMI SUZUKI joins Yasutaka Nakata (capsule) – FREE FREE / SUPER MUSIC MAKER

August 29, 2007 at 7:13 PM | Posted in Ami Suzuki | 1 Comment
Tags: ,

Tracklisting
1. FREE FREE
2. SUPER MUSIC MAKER
3. FREE FREE (extended mix)
4. SUPER MUSIC MAKER (radio edit)

This is Ami Suzuki’s 26th single and it was released on August 22, 2007. The single reached #32 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 8,384 copies.

When I first listened to FREE FREE, I was instantly pulled in by the catchy synth and thumping dance beats. The producer and composer of this single, Yasutaka Nakata (from the 2 member group capsule), does a fantastic job with this song’s overall production value. Those who are familiar with Ami Suzuki’s more recent works under the avex trax label will be very surprised with the heavily distorted and electronic enhancements in her voice. It doesn’t sound like her at all since her actual singing voice is quite deep. Anyways, the electronic vocals go extremely well with the song, so I didn’t really mind them. The chorus is entirely in English and definitely my favorite part of the song because it flows so well.

The next track is the more dance club friendly SUPER MUSIC MAKER. This song has a faster pace and rhythm compared to FREE FREE but I didn’t like it as much. Once again, Suzuki’s voice is electronically distorted but not in the same degree as FREE FREE either. The song can be a little too long-winded at times since it’s over 7 minutes long.

The extended mix of FREE FREE opens a little differently as if it continues from where SUPER MUSIC MAKER left off (which I thought was kind of cool). The instrumental segments of the song have been lengthed while the parts that feature the main vocals have been left alone.

For those who thought that SUPER MUSIC MAKER was a little too long for their liking, the radio edit condenses the song into 5 minutes. You get the best parts of the song and not the extended instrumentals that separate them. I really liked how this single included the long and short versions of each song, so both sides can be happy if song length is something that a person considers.

Overall Rating

5 stars

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.