Play (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description
With a few months left before her 30th birthday, the chart-strong J-pop diva, whose previous album Queen of Hip Pop lept to the No. 2 spot on the Oricon charts, returns with her eighth major work. It features 11 tracks including the four hit singles CAN'T SLEEP, CAN'T EAT, I'M SICK, Baby Don't Cry, FUNKY TOWN, and Violet Sauce which was the image song for the Japanese theatrical release of Sin City. Other recommended tracks include the principal song Hide & Seek, the rock-flavored number It's all about you, and Pink Key.
|Product Title:||Play (Japan Version) Play (日本版) Play (日本版) Play (日本版) Play (Japan Version)|
|Singer Name(s):||Amuro Namie 安室奈美惠 安室奈美惠 安室奈美恵 아무로 나미에|
|Publisher Product Code:||AVCD-23343|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1004796673|
Product Information / Track List
01. Hide & Seek
02. Full Moon
03. CAN'T SLEEP, CAN'T EAT, I'M SICK
04. It's all about you
05. FUNKY TOWN
06. Step With It!
08. Should I Love Him?
09. Top Secret
10. Violet Sauce (Spicy)
11. Baby Don't Cry
12. Pink Key
Other Versions of "Play (Japan Version)"
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- Play (ALBUM+DVD)(Japan Version) DVD Region 2
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- Play (Hong Kong Version)
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- PLAY [PLAYBUTTON] (Japan Version)
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- Play [Low Priced Limited Release] (Japan Version)
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- Amuro Namie - Play (CD) (Korea Version)
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- Amuro Namie - Play (CD + DVD) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3
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- Play (ALBUM+DVD)(Taiwan Version) DVD Region 3
- Usually ships within 7 to 14 days
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Play (Japan Version)"
Personally, I thought Japanese pop veteran Namie Amuro's transition into the "hip-pop" genre (hip-hop with a pop sensibility) seemed more like the product of a mid-career crisis rather than a genuine musical reawakening. Fortunately, the self-proclamation that was 2005's Queen of Hip-Pop was a surprisingly engaging and spirited commercial success, despite Amuro not quite fitting into the genre completely with some inconsistent song choices. Plus, I always thought calling yourself the queen of something before you actually start doing it seems a bit egotistical. Two years and nearly 400,000 copies sold later, Amuro returns with Play, another "hip-pop" album that sees the singer diving head-first into the genre without looking back.
With Amuro as the sole producer of the album, songwriting duties are split evenly between star producer Nao'Ymt and T. Kura, both of whom played important parts in creating her musical motif on Queen of Hip-Pop. Thanks to Nao'Ymt, Play gets off to an energetic start with Hide and Seek (Track 1), a loud bassy proclamation of Amuro's arrival that's as addictive as it is repetitive. With an emphasis on more genre-safe melodies and arrangements, Nao'Ymt takes a safer road than the T. Kura. Full Moon (Track 2), Top Secret (Track 9), and Violet Sauce (Track 10) (Can someone please tell me what a "violet sauce" is?) are songs that are created for live performances, sticking fairly close to the R&B genre the producer has shown he's best at. Once away from the serious dance genre, Baby Don't Cry (Track 11) is the closest song to a pop ballad in the album, and does little more than being reminiscent of her early J-pop years. Even the efforts of Pink Key (Track 12) to be a light "hip-pop" track are bogged down by the contrived overstuffed R&B melody.
On the other hand, T. Kura and Giant Swing's contributions to Play are, for the lack of a better word, more playful and even sometimes experimental without straying too far from the formula. The obvious standout of the entire album is It's All About You (Track 4) which blends a little of everything from electronic, rock, and country for a strange hybrid of a side track that doesn't work quite well on execution. However, the highlights of this section - Can't Sleep, Can't Eat, I'm Sick (Track 3), Funky Town (Track 5), and Step With It (Track 6) - are perfect epitomes of the "hip-pop" formula with their addictive choruses and dance-inducing beats that lend Play its relentless energy. Kura's sole ballad contribution, Should I Love Him? (Track 8) ends his section by veering into full R&B territory that thankfully doesn't confuse pop with slow R&B, delivering a rare legitimate Japanese R&B jam.
While the production and writing in Play all come together for an album that epitomizes the "hip-pop" concept more than any Amuro album, the inherent problem is that Amuro's vocals don't fit for the genre. Her voice, which stays safely in the mid-range, fails to expand in some of the high notes. As a result, her vocals in the more difficult songs sounds strained, despite showing a significant increase in maturity since her Can You Celebrate J-pop days. Meanwhile, I urge those that can't understand the English lyrics in the songs to see it as a blessing in disguise; like much of modern-day American-emulating J-pop, the English lyrics are often lacking in grammar and even coherency. Amuro's signature warped English pronunciations thankfully cover up these little imperfections, with the most incoherent mixing of English and Japanese since Love Psychedelico. However, this is all perfectly forgivable, as Play is about pacing and beats more than lyrics anyway.
With stellar production and the right attitude, Play warrants a purchase just for the fact that the music even made me want to join Amuro in all the dancing she's doing in the promotional videos (but unlike Amuro, my dancing is not something anyone should have to see). However, Play, like most Japanese pop albums today, is more about buying an image than just music. Even though Amuro is not a fitting vocalist for the genre, she has always been a trendsetter in Japanese pop culture, and her transition into an R&B/dance artist (which is what "hip-pop" essentially is) is no different - the music creates the atmosphere, and her album booklet picture (with Amuro in pseudo-dominatrix getup, whips and all.) provide the suitable model visuals. This might not seem like a compliment, but Play shows that Amuro has fully embraced her "hip-pop" phase with a mature ease, thus finally shaping a new trendy image worth buying into. Whips, however, will remain optional for now.
by Kevin Ma
Customer Review of "Play (Japan Version)"
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: (17)
See all my reviews
February 11, 2011
This customer review refers to Amuro Namie - Play (CD) (Korea Version)
I was reading other reviews and everyone says "it gets old fast"?
I just received this album as my first Jpop album and I WILL NEVER REGRET buying it. I bought it for cheaper because I got the Korean Version. It's in a regular plastic CD case and I was surprised to see some cute stickers included!!
There are 3 pictures of Namie in all and it came with the lyrics in Japanese and Korean in a black in white printed paper.
THIS ALBUM IS AMAZING. When I first heard it a year ago I disliked it. Now I can happily say this album can't get better. Filled with dance songs and beautiful ballads I could never ever get tired of listening to this.
All songs I give 110% Namie's voice is beautiful!
Go ahead and buy it if you are thinking about doing so...you won't regret it when you hear this beautiful artwork...
See all my reviews
April 21, 2008
|When I listened to this album for the first time, I was enthusiast, all the songs sounded catchy and R&B, my favourite style. Almost 1 year is passed by since the release and I don't listen to this album since months and instead I continue to listen to all her previous album regularly. I have the feeling that something misses, I still like all the songs (especially ''Hide & Seek'', ''Full Moon'', ''Top Secret'' and Hello'') but I don't feel any need to listen to it repetitively. In my opinion it should be better if she included ''White Light'' and ''Ningyo''.|
See all my reviews
March 11, 2008
This customer review refers to Amuro Namie - Play (CD + DVD) (Korea Version)
I didn't know this album was this good.
I heard it from a friend today and was very surprised. I'm not a big namie amuro fan, but after hearing her new single (60s70s80s), I was interested in some of her work. The only cd i ever liked by her was STYLE and i liked the song called 'hello'.
This album is awesome. It has great beats and nice flow between the songs.
My favorite songs are: hello, Should I Love Him, top secret, and step with it ^_^
If i wasn't a namie amuro fan before, I am now. ^^() I'll probably be ordering this along with her new single (even though I'm a little late)
See all my reviews
November 17, 2007
This customer review refers to Play (ALBUM+DVD)(Japan Version)
It's O.K. n_n''
After hearing all the hustle-bustle over this album, I thought I'd give Namie a chance since I've always liked her but never made the step to buy a product of hers. I let this be my first thing to get, but I was let down. I really like "Baby Don't Cry", "Pink Key", "Should I Love Him?", and "Hide & Seek"...but as for the others...I'm not too crazy about!!! I'm sorry if this offends anyone! =( I'm just stating my oppinion.
I do agree the other songs are catchy too..but what else? I like for an album to offer everything - great music, catchy rythmn, brilliant vocals, and powerful lyrics. Most of this album had only the catchy part. The DVD is good too, but is missing energy. I think all dance songs should have hyped energy..don't u think?????? n_n'' The WORLD OF GOLDEN EGGS was HILARIOUS though!!! I'm happy I bought the CD+DVD just because of that. I laughed alot. Namie really has a sweet personality and a good sense of humor. I also like the "Baby Don't Cry" PV because its sweet & special. I just think the really good songs on this album should've had a PV instead of "FUNKY TOWN" and "Can't Eat, Can't Sleep, I'm Sick". "Hello" is okay though. It is very addictive.
Well, Namie isn't for everyone...but I wish her all the best! She's a beautiful girl with a precious heart at least. I'm happy to own this even if I'm not too crazy about it. I just don't really think I'll buy any of her other CDs in the future without listening first. I am gonna grab "Queen Of Hip Pop" CD though! hehehe! That album is really light-hearted & fun!!!!!
See all my reviews
August 30, 2007
PLAY with Namie
|Honestly, I think this si good album, but it's not excelent. When I first listened it, I only loved Hide & Seek, Top Secret and Baby Don't Cry. Other were good, but they left me REALLY empty feeling..I think some songs don't really have emotion IMO. But I gave it still couple listens more...now I think this is really good album. Hello and Pink Key are nowdays also my favourites in PLAY. I highly recomend this if you want try Namie's music, PLAY is good but my favourite is still Break the rules|