Amuro Namie’s 32nd single, entitled 60s 70s 80s, was released on 03.12.08. After the great success of her last studio album, PLAY, Namie participated in the new project entitled Fashion X Music X Vidal Sassoon. On the single, Namie sampled parts of three songs all from different eras [60s, 70s, 80s]. As Namie’s first triple A-side, she certainly brought her best game.
New Look, the first song, is a creation that was inspired by the 60s. Sampling The Supremes’ hit single, Baby Love, New Look is a poppish song about fashion. The opening instrumentation booms amazingly into the chorus, which stands out the most from the song. Even from the chorus, the frequent use of English is displayed and despite some dated phrases “we so fly” and even some newer phrases “lol” and “omg,” there is a cuteness element that comes across perfectly. Throughout the verses, her voice consistently remains controlled in a lower register while her voice brings out more power on the chorus. The song ends with her strongest vocals yet as she sings “baby love” [an ode to the original song sampled]. Overall the song was the weakest on the single but is still very enjoyable and worth the listen.
The second track, Rock Steady, was influenced from the 70s. Sampling from Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin, Namie’s song has a rock flare alongside a pop sound. The opening instrumentation transitions perfectly into the first verse with strong vocals that compliment the beat perfectly. The chorus is easily the most addictive with strong vocals and even a small countdown reminiscent of FUNKY TOWN. The third verse has Namie singing in a lower register with a slight instrumentation change. The song ends with the chorus and then a closing line of “get steady.” The song is the second strongest on the single and definitely a Namie song to remember. The song could have been a little stronger if the arrangement had a little variety in it and seperate other parts of the song aside from the chorus.
The 80s era has produced What A Feeling, the strongest song on the single. Sampling What A Feeling by Irene Cara, Namie’s track features a techno sound that comes through very strongly. From the opening lines of the first verse “I love to dance yeah, everybody call me dancing queen,” the energy of the song is presented. The vocals are consistent as they remain in a lower range until they reach the hook. As Namie sings “ooh,” the vocals grow stronger and show their true power when the chorus comes. Although simplistic, it captures the energy and supports the atmosphere perfectly. The third verse gives the song in a slightly different feel as she sings “forth” repeatedly, sung in a lower key. The lines following are sung in the same lower register and blend perfectly into the small instrumental section. The song ends amazingly with pure instrumentation and finishes off the song with as much strength as it began with. Overall the track was the strongest on the single and it was smart to release this song as the final song of the campaign.
The cute atmosphere of the PV for New Look focuses on fashion. With clothes scenes and hair scenes and various colors splashed throughout the video, the director definitely brought the atmosphere of the song to a wonderful visual representation. Rock Steady’s PV features some great choreography and Namie with attitude [The opening car scene is a prime example of the cool demeanor Namie possesses]. The overall video definitely captures a music life with chart positions, live performances and even street dancing. The PV for What A Feeling is very original and primarily uses dark colors. The robots are a nice touch and contribute to the whole 80s atmosphere. Of course the strongest point of the PV is Namie’s dancing, which reflects the era’s style while bringing a modern flare to it.
Single Ranking: A
Although I was nervous about Namie’s 32nd single when the project was first announced, 60s 70s 80s really blew me away. While New Look is really cute and poppy, Rock Steady has an edgy element that stands out proudly and What A Feeling presents a hot techno sound to finish off the single with the best track. As Namie’s first triple A-side, she definitely brought strong material and it keeps me hopeful that her next single will continue the amazing quality that only she can bring.