Music

Revisit the biggest albums of Namie Amuro’s career

by Patrick ST. Michel

Contributing Writer

Namie Amuro officially retires this weekend, but you can still get into her music. Here are five great gateways into her career.

“Sweet 19 Blues” (1996): Amuro’s debut with Avex finds her taking producer Tetsuya Komuro’s Eurobeat-inspired sound into pop’s mainstream, with some curveballs thrown in.

“Concentration 20” (1997): This sophomore effort features more rock, but also dance-pop earworms like “A Walk In The Park” and, her most famous cut, “Can You Celebrate?”

“When Pop Hits The Fan” (2003): Every superstar needs a detour. The Suite Chic project found Amuro collaborating with Japanese rappers and R&B singers. It can get choppy, but the LP has enough highlights and is the most unexpected moment in her catalog.

“Play” (2007): Amuro’s big return both in terms of sound and sales — it went to No. 1 on the Oricon album chart, her first since 2000. It’s here that she nails down her R&B style while also hinting at future musical directions.

“_genic” (2015): Amuro’s final original album is a delight. She dabbles in EDM, Vocaloid and more, topped off by the summer bounce of “Golden Touch.”