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.”