The queen of J-R&B~Hip/Hop returns with her now eleventh original album “FEEL” just released on July 10th and with it comes the choice of either a Bluray edition (recommended!!), a CD + DVD edition as well as a CD only release. The additional Bluray/DVD contains 6 music videos of the featured tracks which highlight the album nicely and with that all of the stylish production efforts we’ve long come to expect from everything/anything which is Avex! In a word “FEEL” is simply aggressive in overall nature bringing Amuro’s current running style of R&B dominance to new heights keeping up with her production of highly produced and slick numbers although the album does present the sweet bareness of just an accompaniment of piano (check out “Let Me Let You Go”…!) and strings as her ever powerful vocals have never required much as hers are truly an instrument in themselves. “FEEL” features also a dominance in English lyrics as 7 out of the 12 songs included are performed in English in entirety while other tracks too feature English lyrics just not in their entirety although some are also dominate in that manner. And for anyone who also purchased Amuro Namie’s most recent 38th single release “Big Boys Cry” it’s a delight to now have this title track music video included within the six visual tracks on the accompanying Bluray/DVD versions as it marked a rarity in some years in which a single of hers has not been made available as a DVD+CD edition as the single was without its usually expected music video(s). First press editions also include a gorgeous external bonus poster (above photo) which is printed on high quality stock paper along with digipak styled casing which also beautifies the release further.
Here I opted for the Bluray+CD version which cost about $13 more than the DVD+CD version but is so definitely worth it! Just consider the always crisp choreography as well as those highly stylized visuals incorporated into pretty much the entirety of Amuro’s Avex partnership when it comes to her music videos and that alone makes the experience of these visuals presented on Bluray that much more dynamic and memorable. So today I spent the better part of the afternoon encoding the videos to mp4 and loading them with a heightened resolution setting of 1440×810 which is significantly higher than I’d typically set the encoding at although I’m not sure if some of that may get lost within WP’s Videopress output?? but still I’m hoping that they’ll still appear as close as possible to their designated output settings. And actually I had to load them twice in entirety as I had accidentally set all of encoded videos with a 5.1 audio setting xD!!! which actually made them sound a bit odd and incomplete as I played them back, as I don’t have 5.1 surround sound hooked up to my laptop..so after re~upping them all that’s where my entire afternoon went =/!
~Amuro Namie “Alive” (music video)~
Fittingly, the visuals of “Alive” which appear on the Bluray/DVD as act one appear as an opening to the entire album with an imaginative array of Amuro Namie billboards morphing seamlessly into the natural physicality of the cities urban structures as well as the ambiance of nature itself. The graffiti artist along with the drive upon the freeway with the above signage whizzing by with Amuro’s album art upon them are particularly cool effects as are the dynamic city lighting and with the elements of black & white exclusively playing with light and shadow lending itself artistically, that also gives the entire pv a most profound effect overall.
~Amuro Namie “Big Boys Cry” (music video)~
“Big Boys Cry” provides sleek dance choreography as expected with an abundance of accompanying colorful and rich visuals throughout and while at times I could easily imagine Beyonce doing this number it’s still got that Amuro charmed style overall despite a song which perhaps could have benefited from just a bit less producing on the vocal side. We all know how awesome she sings naturally and I totally get the whole glossing of vocals in producing a particular stylized sound but here still I think it was a bit heavily done in that one aspect as the song itself could have benefited from a more lively vocalization. Sometimes it works great having a densely digitized vocal but with the heavily repetitive melody of “Big Boys Cry” surely any bit of nuances from Amuro~chan’s vocal chords would have given the final product a much more memorable vibe. Still the song gets a thumbs up overall and the visual aspects are truthfully a saving grace here.
~Amuro Namie “Hands On Me” (music video)~
For “Hands On Me” just imagine a wild spring break weekend with Amuro Namie headlining the music throughout the partying atmosphere! Also love the cool camera angles and the athletics of the dancers, skateboarders and roller skaters alike with the powerful R&B fusing perfectly with the rapid and sexy choreography and vivid colors abound throughout this hip pulsing number.
~Amuro Namie “Heaven” (music video)~
The entire video plays out like a digital tapestry grid which never ceases its revolving of sets and with a sexy array of wardrobes to boot along with that ever present disco infernal ball decor, “Heaven” is one of the smoothest dance tracks of the album and easily one of its most eye catching! And with all of its magical film editing you won’t want to blink even for a second.
~Amuro Namie “Let Me Let You Go” (music video)~
Here is Amuro Namie at her very best, free of the styling of highly produced over~vocals in her lead and accompanied by a just her ivory white piano which radiates beautifully against the shadows and light reflecting from the setting sun. The weather worn platform with its open canopy along with the night glow of the countless candles bathed in shades of sepia create an immaculate ambiance surrounding Amuro’s angelic wardrobe, and along with the flow of emotional lyrics and a vocal delivered with a most heartfelt conviction this is by far my most favorite track of the entire album, easily. Amuro’s tone is just so sensational here as she sings with a deep rhythm from within, you just couldn’t imagine a more gorgeous production in every aspect.
~Amuro Namie “Contrail” (music video)~
In some ways I wish the album had concluded with “Contrail” as it surely builds and leaves the listener with a sense of euphoria, here Amuro~chan simply glows with a sweet radiance and vocals with a smile which is infectious for any viewer I imagine! Also note a bit of a rarity of late as Amuro~chan is donning a most girly~girl appeal with her hairstyle as well as with her cute as can be wardrobe! The song’s steady marching rhythm perfectly complimented by the visuals of a youthful marching band give the song its crescendo like feel, all of course highlighted by Amuro~chan’s commanding deliverance and ever bright melodic tone culminating in that lovely contrail of rainbows and clouds…love love the visuals here and as a whole this collection of music videos provide plenty of replay value for fans and R&B enthusiasts alike~.