Artist: Namie Amuro
Album: “Genius 2000”
Label: AVEX Trax
“Genius 2000” by Namie Amuro came out in, of course, the year 2000. This marks the fourth studio album from Amuro. Not only does she work with Tetsuya Komuro on this album, but she also works with the famed producer and writer from the United States, Dallas Austin, who has worked with such artists in the West like TLC, Monica, and Madonna. It is a step towards a new sound to reinvent herself.
I feel like this is a blending of sounds and direction with the familiar and something new with the two producers. It’s also something of an East meets West. Obviously, Dallas Austin doesn’t speak Japanese, but his lyrics were translated into Japanese.
“Genius 2000” marks the time when Namie Amuro because infatuated with the hip-hop and R&B sounds that were getting more and more popular in the United States. This LP is just a taste of what’s to come later on in her career.
I do feel like this album gets better and better as you dwell deeper into the album. It also helps that it has four singles which are “Love 2000”, “Respect the Power of Love”, “I Have Never Seen”, and “Something ‘bout the Kiss”. At first, you get that familiarity of the material from her that you’re accustomed to, and later on, you get some of that brand new sound. It’s a small hint of urban sounds and not full fledge.
Some may have questioned her decision to switch it up after three releases since her previous albums weren’t necessarily declining whatsoever. It takes some getting used to for her longtime fans. They say it’s better to change early on instead of too late. Namie Amuro knows what she was doing at the time. Long term wise, it made sense.
This album is maybe a precursor to her LP seven years later called “Play”. The hip-hop and R&B sound have helped her out during the course of her career. In this case, this release definitely needed a new direction.
Overall rating: 4/5
Reviewed by: Timtastic