A lot of people were asking me why I wasn’t posting the fifty million music videos from Namie Amuro‘s _genic album. The truth is, I was torn on the songs. Some were fantastic (“Golden Touch” is easily one of the best things she’s done in years), but others sounded like generic J-diva pop, which always occupy a portion of Namie’s albums.
_genic‘s now leaked and overall it’s won me over (there’s a few serious bops on there), but I want to talk about her song with with British producer/artist SOPHIE, “Be Who I Want 2 B,” featuring superstar vocaloid Hatsune Miku.
Namie’s been making a real effort to collaborate with big names in the EDM scene over the past couple of years (including Zedd, David Guetta, and The Nervo Twins), but SOPHIE is definitely her strangest and most unexpected move yet.
On paper I loved this idea, but now that I’ve actually heard the song I’m not so sure. SOPHIE’s music all sounds the same; the first time you hear it it’s exciting, but the novelty wears off fast. Pretentious stunts like the “Hey QT” experiment don’t really help matters either.
SOPHIE and Diplo worked together on Madonna’s weird, ratchet, tacky, and altogether fabulous “Bitch I’m Madonna,” which still sounds like Madge doing a contemporary pop song despite the copious amounts of SOPHIE autotuning. On “Be Who I Want 2 B,” Namie’s vocals have been so tweaked and pitched that I can’t tell her apart from Hatsune, which would be fine if it was a SOPHIE single featuring Namie, but Namie’s the lead artist so it should feel more like her song than the producer’s. Everything screams SOPHIE, nothing says Namie.
Don’t get me wrong–it’s cute, and by far one of the most interesting tracks on an album that’s filled with a lot of noisy electro-pop. It just feels like it belongs somewhere else, like I was getting my life to “Photogenic” in the mirror then accidentally hit skip on my iPod while striking an awkward pose and then a SOPHIE song came on.
Anyway, take a listen below and let me know what you think of _genic overall.