Feel (Namie Amuro album)
|Studio album by Namie Amuro|
|Released||July 10, 2013
(see release history)
|Namie Amuro chronology|
|Singles from Feel|
|Digital singles from Feel|
Feel (stylized as FEEL) is the eleventh studio album and second bilingual album by Japanese recording artist Namie Amuro, released by Dimension Point through Avex Trax on July 10, 2013. After launching Dimension Point in early 2013, Amuro recorded new material with both Japanese and International producers and songwriters in both Japan and Los Angeles, California. The album is predominantly a pop music album which orientates into dance-pop, house music, rave and other various EDM elements. The album's lyrical content regards love, partying, relationships, self-empowerment and courage. Amuro promoted the album with her Namie Amuro Feel 2013 concert tour.
The album received generally favourable reviews from contemporary music critics, many of whom commended Amuro's progression with international producers, and their production work on the album, alongside the composition and fluidity. However, some critics had criticized Amuro's incomprehensible English pronunciation. Feel became Amuro's eighth number one album on the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipments of 250,000 units, and sold over 400,000 units in total. The album also charted in South Korea and Taiwan at twenty-five and six, respectively. Feel finished at number six on the Best Selling Albums of 2013 in Japan.
Feel spawned one physical single and three digital singles. Released in March 2013, the physical single "Big Boys Cry/Beautiful" reached number four on the Japanese Oricon Singles Chart but has resulted as her lowest-selling single to date. The three digital singles; "Contrail", "Hands on Me", and "Heaven" all charted on the Japan Hot 100 chart, their component charts, and the first was certified platinum by RIAJ for digital sales of 250,000 units.
After releasing her double-platinum selling album Uncontrolled in June 2012, Amuro announced she would launch her own record label under her contract with Avex Trax. Reports during late 2012 in Japan rumored that Amuro was ready to move on from Avex and her management Vision Factory after seventeen years together, but Avex confirmed that Dimension Point, Amuro's record label, would be put into place in order for them to allow Amuro to take control of her music and personal ventures; they referred it as a "private label". She also launched a management through Dimension Point, but stayed with Vision Factory and did not sign herself with it until her twelfth studio album Genic (June 2015).
For Feel, Avex and the Dimension Point management hired producers and songwriters including Tiger, Emyli and Nao'ymt to work on the album and who had previously worked with Amuro on Uncontrolled. Feel includes work from new international producers including the Dsign Music team, Zedd, Steven Lee, Hailey Aitken and Hook N Sling. The album is recorded in both English language and Japanese language, with six full English, five bilingual tracks and one Japanese track.[A] Several tracks from the studio album were employed as commercial advertisement theme songs for several companies and cosmetics throughout Japan and other parts of Asia.
The album opens with "Alive", an up-tempo EDM track that features an a cappella introduction. Heavily highlighted as an album stand out for its lyrical content and production, a reviewer from Arcadey.net said "The spacey, pounding production is utterly relentless — once it gets going, it doesn’t stop for anything", while Michael McCarthey from Otakudx.com compared the production to the work of German music producer and disc jockey David Guetta. The second song "Rainbow" was sonically compared to the work of Dr. Luke and Icona Pop's song "I Love It" for its electronic and Hip-hop mixture, and contains verses of Amuro rapping. The lyrical content deals with a girl overcoming a broken relationship, with Amuro singing positively "I'll be waiting for the rainbow". The third track "Can You Feel This Love?" is a fast-paced electropop song that was compared to previous TV theme songs that Amuro previously recorded.
The album's lead single "Big Boys Cry" was negatively reviewed from most music critics, who felt the R&B-influenced "confidence-brimming" sound was forgettable where Japanese music critic Random J from his own music blog commented ""Big boys cry" is just rubbish. I expected better from Dsign music. I am appalled that it took a team of 7 songwriters who were responsible for the perfection that was Girls' Generation's "Genie", Jasmine's "B*TCH*S" and Crystal Kay's "What we do" to come up with something this bad." However, McCarthey found it her "most original pop song" and labelled it "unique". The fifth track "Hands on Me" incorporates "strong kick bass line and the sexy, assured tone that brings back the Amuro style that was all over Uncontrolled", and was labelled a "lifeless in-the-club" by Patrick St. Michel at The Japan Times. The sixth song "Heaven" was produced by German-Russian DJ Zedd and is a house song that was influenced by eurodance, club music and rave. The seventh track "Poison" is a "futuristic" club song that was noted for its "fierce" and "devilish" vocal delivery by Amuro.
The eighth track "La La La" was noted for its R&B and reggae elements, and was also commended for Amuro's clear English pronunciation, while "Supernatural Love" is a "confident" club track that features use of autotune pyrotechnics. "Let Me Let You Go" is the only pop ballad track on the album that employs simple piano riffs, and was labelled a "vulnerable" performed by some critics. The eleventh track "Contrail" is the only Japanese-sung track on the album; McCarthey commented about the composition that "It's not quite a dance song and it doesn't fit your traditional pop mold either", and labelled it "progressive pop". The twelfth track and album closer "Stardust in My Eyes" is a drum and bass song that features instrumentation of violin strings and synthesizers; it is also influenced by dubstep and 2-step garage music.
Promotion and release
Feel was made available on CD in Asia and digital download worldwide. The CD was made available in three editions; a standalone CD, a CD and DVD bundle and a CD and Blu-ray bundle including the music videos of "Alive", "Big Boys Cry", "Hands on Me", "Heaven", "Let Me Let You Go", "Contrail", and a behind-the-scenes of the album with an English recording of "Can You Feel This Love", all housed in a digipak. The album was released by Dimension Point in Japan and Avex in Taiwan on July 10, 2013. The album was released digitally in several countries around the world including Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Germany, and the North America region.
Amuro commenced her Namie Amuro Feel 2013 tour on August 16, 2013 and ended in December 23, 2013, where she toured Japan and other parts of Asia. The DVD for the concert tour was released in Japan on DVD and Blu-ray on March 26, 2014 by Dimension Point and Avex Trax in Taiwan. The DVD peaked at number one on the Oricon DVD chart and was certified gold by RIAJ for shipments of 100,000 units inside Japan.
Feel spawned one physical single and three digital singles. "Big Boys Cry/Beautiful" was released on March 26, 2013 as the physical single and featured an exclusive a-side single "Beautiful", which did not feature on the studio album. Both singles were to promote Amuro's campaign for cosmetic company Kosee, which promoted their make-up line Esprique; she made an appearance to the Tokyo Girls Collection 2013 Spring/Summer Fashion Show to promote the singles. The single reached number four on the Japanese Oricon Singles Chart and Japan Hot 100 and sold 32,000 copies according to Oricon, making it her lowest selling single to date and her lowest since "Put 'Em Up" in 2003.[B] A music video was shot by Japanese director and film producer Nino, featuring Amuro at a Christmas park dancing to the track.
"Contrail" was released as the lead digital single on May 19, 2013, as used as the theme song for the Japanese TV series Flying Public Relations Office. The song was positively received from music critics, who commended the lyrical content and production of the song. It charted and reached number eight on the Japan Hot 100 and sixty-five on the Annual Countdown Chart for Japan Hot 100; It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for digital sales of 250,000 units. The three tracks "Hands on Me", "Heaven" and "La La La" all charted on the Japan Hot 100 after the album's release, peaking at nineteen, twenty-three and fifty-nine respectively. All but "La La La" received a music video that was directed by Nino.
|The Japan Times||(Mixed)|
|Random J Pop|||
Feel received favorable reviews from most music critics. Random J awarded the album seven-and-a-half stars out of ten, and highlighted the tracks "Alive", "Contrail", "Hands on Me", "Heaven", "Poison", "La La La", "Supernatural Love" and "Stardust in My Eyes" as the album stand out tracks. He commented "Feel holds on its own as a solid album and is certainly in the running for one of the best produced J-Pop albums of 2013. It is a great addition to Namie's discography and anice showcase of what she's able to pull. I never would have thought Namie could hold her own on some of the styles she exhibits on this album, but she really does own her shit." Michael McCarthey from Otakudx.com was positive in his track-by-track review, concluding "Suffice to say that Feel is the perfect title for this album because if it doesn't make you feel something then there's clearly something wrong with you because it's just beaming with gorgeous sounds, inspiring lyrics and loads and loads of sweet emotion."
Dave from NekoPop.com was mixed, commending the "strategically-engineered album, slickly produced and aimed squarely at the dance floor", but criticized the majority of the tracks for being "generic". Patrick St. Michel from The Japan Times was mixed in his review, questioning "Listening to it, you have to wonder what Amuro — and her contemporaries — are trying to do with this approach. Is it a bid for late-stage American success? Or just a new look for the Japanese market?" He concluded saying "Had Amuro and her team focused on perfecting this sound, “Feel” would match up to any Western electro-pop album from 2013. Unfortunately it doesn’t, and the inconsistency makes for a frustrating listen [...] Amuro told Billboard Japan in advance of her last album (featuring her first foray into all-English tunes) that she didn’t have foreign audiences in mind, but rather the songs just sounded “better” in English. This refusal to really get ambitious holds Feel back from being great … and is a surefire way to stymie any late-career transformation."
Official tracklist from Dimension Point site.
|3.||"Can You Feel This Love"||
||Ryuichiro Yamaki||R. Yamaki||4:00|
|4.||"Big Boys Cry"||
|5.||"Hands on Me"||
|8.||"La La La"||
|10.||"Let Me Let You Go"||
|12.||"Stardust in My Eyes"||
|DVD and Blu-ray (Music Videos)|
|2.||"Big Boys Cry"||Daisuke "Nino" Ninomiya (IKIOI)|
|3.||"Contrail"||Daisuke "Nino" Ninomiya (IKIOI)|
|4.||"Hands on Me"||Daisuke "Nino" Ninomiya (IKIOI)|
|5.||"Heaven"||Daisuke "Nino" Ninomiya (IKIOI)|
|6.||"Let Me Let You Go"||Daisuke "Nino" Ninomiya (IKIOI)|
|7.||"Can You Feel This Love (English ver.) -Making Movie-"||IKIOI|
Personnel details were sourced from Feel's liner notes booklet.
Visuals and imagery
Performers and musicians
Technical and production
- English tracks: "Alive", "Hands on Me", "Heaven", "La La La", "Let Me Let You Go" and "Stardust in My Eyes". Bilingual tracks: "Rainbow", "Can You Feel This Love", "Big Boys Cry", "Poison", "Supernatural Love". Japanese tracks: "Contrail".
- Sales provided by Oricon database and are rounded to the nearest thousand copies.
- ゴールド等認定作品一覧 2012年6月 [Works Receiving Certifications List (Gold, etc) (June 2012)] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. July 10, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- "Amuro Namie to release a new album with her own record label". Asianjunkie.com. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "安室奈美恵「ファーストクラス」主題歌をCD化". Natalie. October 16, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- "Did Amuro Namie flip out at Avex?". Aramajapan.com. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- Uncontrolled (Album liner notes). Namie Amuro. June 27, 2013.
- Feel (Album liner notes). Namie Amuro. July 10, 2013.
- "Feel". Dimension Point. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- St. Michel, Patrick. "Namie Amuro "Feel"". The Japan Times. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "Namie Amuro releases Feel: Listen to her massive club anthem, "Alive"". Arcadey. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- McCarthey, Michael. "Namie Amuro: Feel". Otakudx.com. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- Random J. "Namie Amuro: Feel (album review)". Random J Pop. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- Dave. "Namie Amuro – Feel (Review)". Nekopop. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- Feel (CD and DVD). Namie Amuro. July 10, 2013.
- Feel (CD and Blu-Ray). Namie Amuro. July 10, 2013.
- "iTunes – Music – Namie Amuro – Feel". Australian iTunes Store. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "iTunes – Music – Namie Amuro – Feel". New Zealand iTunes Store. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "iTunes – Music – Namie Amuro – Feel". English iTunes Store. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "iTunes – Music – Namie Amuro – Feel". German iTunes Store. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "iTunes – Music – Namie Amuro – Feel". American iTunes Store. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "iTunes – Music – Namie Amuro – Feel". Canadian iTunes Store. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- "ｎａｍｉｅ ａｍｕｒｏ ＦＥＥＬ ｔｏｕｒ ２０１３ （DVD付）" (in Japanese). Tsutaya. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- ゴールド等認定作品一覧 2014年2月 [Works Receiving Certifications List (Gold, etc) (February 2014)] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Big Boys Cry/Beautiful (Single). Namie Amuro. March 26, 2013.
- "オリコンランキング情報サービス「you大樹」" [Oricon Ranking Information Service 'You Big Tree']. Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved May 21, 2014. (subscription required (. ))
- 安室奈美恵のリリース一覧 [List of Namie Amuro's Releases]. Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "Big Boys Cry: ミュージックビデオサーチ" (in Japanese). Space Shower TV. Space Shower Network Ltd. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). June 17, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定" [Record Association Investigation: January Digital Music Download Certifications] (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. February 28, 2014. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- "Japan Hot 100: 2013 Year-End Charts | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). July 22, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "Japan Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (in Japanese). September 16, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Music video directors:
- "Contrail: ミュージックビデオサーチ" (in Japanese). Space Shower TV. Space Shower Network Ltd. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Hands on Me: ミュージックビデオサーチ" (in Japanese). Space Shower TV. Space Shower Network Ltd. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Heaven: ミュージックビデオサーチ" (in Japanese). Space Shower TV. Space Shower Network Ltd. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Oricon 2013 Yearly Charts : Albums". Tokyo Hive. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- Feel (Media notes) (in Japanese). Namie Amuro. Tokyo, Japan: Avex Group. 2013.