Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ami Suzuki - Free Free

Earlier this year I posted "Tell Me" by the fabulous Wonder Girls and wrote about my tentative exploration of the Asian pop scene. I'm still taking baby steps but since then I've discovered a wealth of poptastic acts to rival anything Australia or Europe has to offer. Funnily enough I'm completely underwhelmed by the big names. The appeal of J Pop megastars like Ayumi, Utada and Namie is lost on me. Instead my taste in Asian pop mirrors my English language listening habits. Basically, I'm partial to trashy pop tarts with plastic surgery addictions and nude calenders, floptastic girlbands and middle aged divas who are still dressing in school uniforms well into their 40s. It seems my yearning for pop trash is truly universal!

Ami Suzuki isn't the trashiest diva in Asia but her pop trash credentials are impeccable. 15 year old Ami shot to stardom in Japan after winning a televised talent show in the late 90s. Her first album sold almost 2 million copies and she briefly enjoyed a level of fame to rival that of J Pop queen Ayumi. That is until Ami's father sued her record company for a larger share of the profits (she was only being paid 3 million yen a week!) and the poor bitch found herself blacklisted by the music industry, thus experiencing an almost unprecedented fall from grace. After five years of relative obscurity, Ami was re-discovered performing at university and signed a record deal with Avex - a Japanese dance label similar to AATW. Since then Ami has developed a large gay following by releasing a string of trashy club anthems that rarely tickle the top 30. In other words, she's the Japanese Dannii!

At the beginning of 2008 Ami released her third album for Avex called "Dolce" and unveiled a sexy new baby doll image. "Dolce" is an irresistibly upbeat collection of Japanese house tracks with a hefty dose of bright and shiny pop thrown into the mix. The first single "Free Free" is one of my favourite songs of the year. Another #32 smash hit for Ami, "Free Free" is an eccentric dancefloor stomper with an endearingly uplifting English language chorus. The heavy beats are fantastic and I love the crazy vocoder effects. The more concise single edit is slightly superior but the album version I'm posting is a weird and wonderful treat. Make sure you check out the fabulous video (above), which steals shamelessly from Kylie and Madonna. Ami's latest single should be of interest to fans of the American girlband Aly & AJ. It's a sparkling dance cover of "Potential Break Up Song"! Check out Ami's stunning version here. You can purchase "Dolce" from YesAsia and HMV Japan. It's definitely worth hunting this gem down.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great song and choice! Ami's album is fabulous. If you like FREE FREE I would recommend this..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU0g8dO8fXI

It samples the Flashdance song What A Feeling and is just as gay as one would imagine.

Lexy said...

Wow anon I love Namie Amuro <3.

I'm glad to see that you like Ami so much Mike! The last picture you used really caught me off guard LOL

Anonymous said...

Namie's WHAT A FEELING is a great song. Another great track would be Namie's NEW LOOK (accompanied with a camp-as-a-drag-queen's-tits video)
http://youtube.com/watch?v=xdh0X7j2rCM

Poster Girl said...

LOVE it! Could that musical backing be any catchier? Plus, any song with a video like that has to get my approval! What a great popstar.

Mike said...

I'm not a huge fan of Namie "bad perm" Amuro but that interpretation of "What A Feeling" is fabulous.

Hi Lexy, thanks so much for turning me on to Ami. Her talent is truly astounding! I love that lipstick photo - the pose, the pink gloves... it's the campest thing I've seen in ages!

I'm glad you're feeling Ami, PPG! "Free Free" is one of my favourite tracks of 2008.

Jamie said...

Another fabulous post Mike. I love love love this! Mind you anything with vocoder vocal effects gets my vote.

Oh and my 'Summer Heights High' DVD and Mr G CD arrived. I almost cried laughing at some of the Mr G scenes. He's such a great comic creation.

Mike said...

I knew you'd love "Summer Heights High"! Mr G - The Musical gets me every time. Particularly when he's forced to cast Toby as himself!

Ami is the epitome of trashy fabulousness. Glad you approve!

AcidJasmine said...

The Japanese Dannii! Fab!

Jump! said...

Avex the Japanese equivalent of AATW?! They are more like the Japanese EMI- actually beating Sony as of this year in Japanese market share.

Ami Suzuki is a bit tragic, she has scored a few massive hits with her J-trance comeback singles. I'd say she works nearly twice as a hard as Dannii to be half as successful. This song is great though.

Mike said...

I would hardly call Ami half as successful as Dannii. Lord knows I love Minogue Jr but Ami's singles actually reach the top 40! I think Ami's too much fun for Japan, she needs to go international!

bro said...

Namie's 'What A Feeling' is brilliant - excellent use of a sample.

Gag Halfrunt said...

I don't know if you've heard Ami Suzuki's "Delightful", but you'll be thrilled to learn that it was produced by Axel Konrad, who has also worked with your beloved 2 Girlz...

P.S. Here's a Japanese remix of 2 Girlz' Fallin Angel, which is not quite as trashy as the original.