BEST FICTION was Namie Amuro’s 3rd compilation album. It was released on July 30, 2008 and reached no. 1 on the Oricon Charts with 681,187 copies sold. In all this album has sold over 1,495,781+ copies, making her best selling album since Concentration 20 back in 1997. This album includes all the singles from Wishing On The Same Star (2002) to 60s70s80s (2008). The album also included two brand new songs to further promote the album along with PVs for both. *This is a special review that will not be as detailed as normal reviews*
1. Do Me More
2. Wishing On the Same Star
3. shine more
4. Put ‘Em Up
5. SO CRAZY
7. ALL FOR YOU
8. GIRL TALK
9. WANT ME, WANT ME
10. White Light
11. CAN’T SLEEP, CAN’T EAT, I’M SICK
12. Baby Don’t Cry
13. FUNKY TOWN
14. NEW LOOK
15. ROCK STEADY
16. WHAT A FEELING
17. Sexy Girl
Although this is a really late review, Namie is back better than ever! One of her hottest tracks of 08 is still Do Me More. This R&B sensation and infusion of synth beats and the blaring brass is one of her strongest tracks. The music is eerie yet intoxicating with all the synth riffs and ominous ahhs. The arrangement is really genius, it’s like a fusion of R&B and synth, some old and new. The chorus is really outstanding in this song, I mean it’s to die for. The melody has a lot to do with it, but it’s infectious as can be. The music is a little more aggressive and Namie’s vocals are at the peak of perfection. All and all it’s so hard to get it out of your head. It might be the addictive music or the memorable melody, either way it’s amazing!
The straightforward ballad Wishing On The Same Star follows next. You can tell it’s a been a while since she’s recorded this, different vocals and all. This ballad has somewhat of an R&B flavor but for the most part it’s really epic and romantic with the lovely strings arrangement.
A little on the edgier side is the R&B shine more. It’s a fast moving R&B tune that’s filled with the sounds of the strings oddly enough. Again you can tell that it was during the middle of her career. Somewhat lackluster but it still sounds nice.
My personal favorite Put ‘Em Up is up! Currently her lowest selling single, but her most infused R&B / Hip-Hop song to date. There are a lot of American influences, just keep that in mind. The fast moving beats and music really works for this song and makes it catchy.
Boring R&B is the best way to describe SO CRAZY. Seriously Come was so much better. It’s not all that memorable and all that fun, just plain mediocre.
I’m still trying to get into ALARM. The slow R&B beats aren’t all that great, and the music doesn’t do much for the song. It just seems too slow and there’s hardly any climax.
Another lovely ballad appears on this album, this time it’s ALL FOR YOU. It’s a simple ballad with a rather simple and expected arrangement, strings and piano with some snaps. Epic and magnificent for the most part.
Cutesy R&B follows with GIRL TALK. This lighthearted R&B sensation is light and overall really sweet. Just the might amount of innocence and strings, which make it more enjoyable. It’s actually somewhat catchy too.
The naughtiest song on the album perhaps is WANT ME, WANT ME. This fusion of bhangra and reggae is about as sexy sounding and as infectious as the song is dirty. It’s a little guilty pleasure of mine, maybe it’ll be yours too.
As much as I love Christmas music I still don’t like White Light all that much. The mid-tempo arrangement of light R&B music and the occasional acoustics and occasional bells is just mediocre at best. It doesn’t even sound all that jolly either, simply a filler track.
The album gets better with the more up-beat more recent hits like CAN’T SLEEP, CAN’T EAT, I’M SICK. R&B beats and the brass make the song along with the extra vocals. Namie’s vocals sound great and I love her English, but for some reason I seem to love the Japanese even more. Catchy and energetic!
Still a fan favorite is the lovely light-hearted R&B Baby Don’t Cry. The simple snaps and simple arrangement really prove that simpler is better. It’s still one of her greatest songs to date, especially considering how catchy and nostalgic it is.
FUNKY TOWN is funky to say the least. It involves a lot of different elements as well as some interesting music. The R&B touch is always good but I’m not sure the brass helped this song all that much.
Onto the more recent additions! NEW LOOK samples the melody of Baby Love, and after a while it’s grown on me. It has the Motown music feel, making it sound nostalgic. It’s not all that bad once you give it a shot.
A little more energetic and catchy is ROCK STEADY. Again there are some great R&B elements, but there are also some pop elements. Either way it’s extremely catchy, English and all.
And now my favorite of the 60s70s80s single, WHAT A FEELING! It stands out as the most dance oriented as well as the most electronically influenced. There are a lot of beats and techno elements that make it perfect for the club scene. Infectious and dramatic.
Edgy and electronic is the best way to describe Sexy Girl. The music is edgier and features more distortions than the opening track. There’s still a heavy R&B vibe to the song. The melody is entirely different than most of her older stuff, but it works out for the song. The chorus a bit repetitive with all the English, but it does get the point across. I wasn’t too impressed with her vocals, but towards the end there was a little variety. All the new electronic beats were really good though, especially during the bridge. I think it’s a little weaker compared to the 1st promotional track, but it can hold it’s own.
Overall Review: BEST FICTION was a nostalgic fantasy! Listening to the album really brought me back to the old days so many years ago. I loved most of the songs on the album, especially the newer ones. It was nice to see how Namie has grown and evolved as an artist with each track. The two new songs were just outstanding and could hold their own easily as singles. It’s not hard to see why it’s one of her best selling albums!
Final Grade: 100A+