Album arts + tracklisting: Namie Amuro - Ballada

Namie Amuro - Ballada | Random J Pop

Namie Amuro is releasing Ballada - a best album of ballads would competee June 4th. Avex were probably just waiting for Namie to have enough ballads so that they could put this shit out. 7 years ago, Avex would not have been looking to Namie to put out a best album of sorts. But Kumi and Ayu aren't worth the yen it costs to host their websites at the moment, so of course it falls to a Les Namiserable release to keep the Avex staff from facing redundancy.

Namie has been the surprise golden girl on the ORICON charts for the past 5 years. We thought she would fall off with her first week sales for her comeback album Uncontrolledshe shitted on us. We thought there was no way in hell she would compete with those first week sales with her follow up album Feel - she shitted on us again and then got her 16 year old son to shower us with confetti made out of doo-doo flakes. So let's all think carefully before we turn around and say how much this shit won't sell. Because regardless, when June 4th rolls around, Ayu will be sitting at home wondering why she's even bothering with life.

  1. Love story
  2. Can you celebrate? (Re-recorded with new vocals)
  3. Tsuki
  4. Sweet 19 blues (Re-recorded with new vocals)
  5. The meaning of us
  6. Four seasons
  7. Never end
  8. I will
  9. Let me let you go
  10. White light
  11. HimAWArI
  12. Dreaming I was dreaming
  13. All for you
  14. Wishing on the same star
  15. think of me
  16. Contrail (Ballad version)

A moment for Namie's military hat and tartan dress please.

Namie Amuro - Ballada | Random J Pop Namie Amuro - Ballada | Random J Pop

Namie does it for me best when she is sounding lifeless and fed up over club bangers. Not lifeless and fed up over slow strings, a piano and some random koto pleng-plengin' in the background. Although I did grow to like "Tempest" and really liked "The meaning of us", which I feel a lot of fans gravitated towards at the time it released as it was the first original ballad Namie had recorded in 6 years up until that point. I find it strange that "White light" got a spot on this album though, yet "Tempest" didn't. I love "White light". The utter lack of festivity in Namie's vocals resonate with me, because on Christmas day I usually just sit in pyjamas, refuse to talk to anybody and clutch a bottle of rum. But "White light" should not have taken precedence on this album over "Tempest", which is a legitimate ballad and a good one at that.

I could of done with a Super Monkey's reunion instead of this Ballada crap, with Namie giving me new life with a 2014 rendition of "Try me ~Watashi wo shinjite~" and "Taiyo no season", but I know I'm asking too much and throwing a penny into a pipe of which there is no dream.

To show that Namie isn't completely and utterly lazy with this release, she has recorded all new vocals for "Can you celebrate?" and "Sweet 19 blues" and has also shot new videos for both songs. If these 'new videos' are just montages of her performing the song live, I will buy a copy of Ayumi Hamasaki's Party queen in protest.


  1. Carolina Pinedo11 April 2014 at 02:06

    It wasn't unexpected for me, there was a voting for the best ballad. I'm so happy all my faves are there. and she can have my money with those re-recorded hit singles

  2. The fact that Namiserable Slaymuro is releasing a best of album is not a surprise to me; this is Japan and best of albums are all the rage. What gets me is that they're making it a *ballad* best of album. Like, what the fuck? Some of her ballads are decent (Baby Don't Cry = love), but who the hell wants an album full of 'em?

    "If these 'new videos' are just montages of her performing the song live, I will buy a copy of Ayumi Hamasaki's Party queen in protest."

    You're low as hell for this XD At least buy Thirstumi's Bon Voyage :P

  3. Namie releasing a best album isn't a shock. We know bests are a given in Japan (never forget those 'Best fiction' album sales). But for it to be themed around ballads is, because Namie's discography isn't really known for its ballads, and even with the selection of songs on this; some of these songs aren't actually your typical J-ballads at all.

  4. I'm honestly not that surprised, love story was Namie's biggest hit over the past couple of years, and tsuki did well digitally. It seems as though ballads are what the Japanese public want right now. I think it's a part of the reason Beni was so successful with those pieces of shit cover albums, and that other bitch who makes a crap ton of ballads comes to
    Mind as well. I really don't know why her name is escaping me, but she's the only other semi relevant solo artist I can think of.

  5. "Namie has been the surprise golden girl on the ORICON charts for the past 5 years. We thought she would fall off with her first week sales for her 2013 comeback album Uncontrolled - she shitted on us. We thought there was no way in hell she would top those sales with her follow up albumFeel - she shitted on us again and then got her 16 year old son to shower us with confetti made out of doo-doo flakes."

    Um... Uncontrolled was released in 2012. Feel substantially undersold Uncontrolled.

  6. save your coins for Ayumi's new album out in July y'all!

  7. and FEEL managed to debuted on the Top Spot of the ORICON weekly charts, how's your solo female artist fave doing?

  8. throughout the history of Japanese music, Ballads are considered to be the fave of the Japanese people, showing their sentimental side. When SWEET 19 BLUES was released, the song was so successful that it was released as a recut single, same as Utada's First Love, the song was so popular it was also released as a recut single.

  9. I hate best albums and I hate ballads. Not to mention that stupid hat she wears on these terrible covers /o\

  10. Nana Mizuki still rising with those single sells that slay every other solo female artist anyone cares about atm.

    Albums could use some work, but they still hit over 100k easily :P

    Shes so underrated.

    Thought id chirp in :)

  11. James Smith III12 April 2014 at 08:03

    im very excited, namie got me hooked on jpop and i was always jealous of the love that ayu and kumi were getting in the mid '00s but now...bow down to queen Amuro

  12. James Smith III12 April 2014 at 08:04

    But was still the best selling solo album last year.

  13. *¡DEAD!*

    Avex better save their coins and CANCEL IT!

  14. That picture of her wrapped in that picnic table blanket looks like she is creeping up on your faves in slow motion! LOL!

    Like Solid Snake or something! Straight faced. LOL

  15. still rising? all I can see is that after BRIGHT STREAM (her only single that hit 100k), sales went down with Vitalization, how can you say that it is rising? don't make me laugh, she needs her gay friend Takanori to hit 100k in single sales

  16. She's shooting new PVs for CAN YOU CELEBRATE?, SWEET 19 BLUES, Four Seasons, and HimAWArI, not CYC? and Wishing on the Same Star.
    Nevertheless, I can't stand the magazine outtake-style covers and the fact that only three songs have new material, but hey. At least we're getting some revamps + some older PVs in Blu-Ray quality.

  17. Ugh Sweet 19 Blue remake.. thank god because the original makes my ears bleed. I swear that song is one of TK's down syndrome hits.

  18. The fact that Namielackofemotionwhilesinging Amuro is releasing a ballad compilation album completely baffles me. When it comes down to it, she's the only prominent solo female Japanese singer whose ballads I find severely lacking. And the album covers are too high fashion photoshoot-esque for my liking.

    Her releasing a compilation album this year was to be expected and I'm glad she's spacing out her original album releases so she can come back with much better original material next year. I do hope she manages to sell very well and continues her streak of success.

  19. You're a shady bitch, and I fucking love you

  20. May J is that semi relevant chick.

  21. Lmfaoo it's most definitely not her. She's a flop of the crystal kay variety. It was kana nishino that i was thinking of.

  22. Well May J had her small sucess with Summer Ballad Covers, she dropped an original album and did not perform well, so she took the Beni path and released TWO more cover albums right away. She's promoting her latest one right now, she became semi-relevant with those. And Nishino is something between relevant and semi-relevant... Idk how to describe her ass.

  23. Or how about Music? She definitely is a ba lladeer of the highest order now and is one of the pioneers of the R'n'B music scene coming in the late '90s and early 00's. Her album and single sales have dipped lower than whale dung in recent years (like everybody else in Japan and beyond, but especially the females) but at least she can really sing at a full 5 octaves and remains relatively consistent in quality. Better than Namie, Koda and Ayumi in terms of that vocal prowess. Its fascinating how this superstar act with millions of sales and few public appearances in comparison is largely left aside in the J-pop scene...

  24. It doesn't matter so much for her being prominently known for primarily ballads or ones of high quality (i.e. Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Britney Spears or any other major female recording artist of the moment) as it is the blatant over- commercialization of J-pop and the music industry generally and idol status appealing to multiple demographics of tastes and ages. So much of Japanese culture and people is, I think, unfairly stereotyped as being emotionally vacant or apathetic its easy to see why its an unwritten rule to release a compilation like this eventually. Avex is the worst at this kind of artistic exploitation with Koda and Ayumi being Whored Exhibits 1 and 2, but Namie's album, single, airplay, concert and advertising demands have been on such an unexpected and consistent upswing there was no way to see this but being anything besides inevitable.
    Every act on HMV Japan's "100 Greatest Japanese Pop Artists" or "30 Best Japanese Singers" of All Time surveys and beyond have released an album titled similarly if not a compilation of B-Sides, demos, covers or previously unreleased tracks that may or may not be smash singles, if given proper promotion.

  25. who is Utada? hahahaha, kidding aside, like what I've said before, Japanese do love ballads. And when it comes to best albums, if not, are doing very well both in sales and in charts, I know it is quite annoying as how other acts tend to release a best album frequently compare to releasing an original album. But since we are talking about Namie it is pretty unusual since she did this for the first time, we all know that when it comes to ballads, MISIA (let me correct you with this one, MISIA is not the one who pioneered RnB in Japan, if you're familiar with DOUBLE, then you'll know what I'm talking about), Utada Hikaru are some of the prominent people who can deliver ballads best, being a fan of Japanese music for almost 2 decades, I see a lot of acts who are not suited to sing ballads, and I can also say that Namie is not one of them, but like what I've said, it is indeed unusual as Namie is never known for singing ballads, that is why when Namie release a ballad song, the Japanese people really dig it up, remember how "Love Story" became the best selling digital song in 2012? this shows how Japanese people really loves ballad songs.

    as for the reason that the album is also fan picked album, yes, I agree with you that at some factor, that this album is also a way of milking people's money (business perspective), but then again, with the trend Namie make for the past 6 years, since the release of "BEST FICTION", we can see that every album is theme oriented, yes, even "Uncontrolled" is theme oriented, so I'm not surprised if this album is theme oriented also.

    oh and last thing, as I can see how you obviously want Utada to be the better one than Namie with the fact that her era is nowhere to be seen than before, with this kind of post, I can also say that Namie is on her legendary status, she may not have the discipline of a songwriter to do this, but she is one of a heck of a performer who, for the past 2 decades, still breaking records never realized in the Japanese music industry.


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