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YMMV / Namie Amuro

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  • Audience-Alienating Era: Official biographies tend to conveniently gloss over her career from 1999 to 2004. She still sold reasonably well and had a few hits during this period, but her popularity was a fraction of what it was during her peak and she seemed to lack a distinctive sound of her own after parting ways with Komuro Tetsuya. A few years and a Genre Shift later and she rebounded in a big way in the late 2000s; see Career Resurrection above.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: "Let Me Let You Go" from FEEL can be seen as one. It's a stripped-down, somber piano ballad about ending a broken relationship... on an album which is otherwise made up entirely of upbeat dance tracks about love, sex and partying. It makes somewhat more sense when featured on the ballad compilation ''Ballada'', but still has noticeably sparser instrumentation than the rest of the tracks, and is also the only track to be entirely in English.
  • Black Sheep Hit: Downplayed. The vast majority of her discography is uptempo dance-pop songs, but her two most successful singlesnote  are ballads. That said, she has recorded a decent number of slower songs, enough to be able to release a ballad compilation album - though many of the "ballads" on the album are really mid-tempo numbers.
  • Career Resurrection: Her career was never dead per se (her least successful album, STYLE, still went platinum, and her singles continued to chart decently well), by the early 2000s her sales and popularity had diminished massively from her peak in the 90s, and she was widely regarded as being well past her prime. Starting with Queen of Hip-Pop in 2005 she saw a revival in her popularity which peaked with her album BEST FICTION in 2008note  and has maintained consistent popularity since then.
  • Dye Hard: Has black hair naturally but has dyed it reddish-brown her entire career and is very rarely seen with any other hair colour.
  • Fetish Retardant: As noted on the main page, she looks quite young for her age. Earlier in her career (and even now at times) she sometimes looked very young, which might make her more risque songs and performances a bit uncomfortable to some.
  • Follow the Leader: During her initial period of peak success she was the biggest female singer in Japan, and was arguably the catalyst for a huge boom in popularity for female soloists in the late 90s and early 2000s, though the degree to which they were musically influenced by her varies. She also spawned the "Amuraa" fashion trend and is often credited as the inspiration for Ganguro fashion as well.
    • For better or worse, most of Namie's own output arguably qualifies. Her musical style since the turn of the millenium can generally be categorized as "whatever happens to be popular in US at the time", with her Genre Shifts tending to closely follow changing trends in American pop music. This makes sense as she's worked with western producers and songwriters for a lot of her music, especially from Uncontrolled onwards.
  • Narm: Has fallen into this a few times, often where Gratuitous English is involved.
    • "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?" is a romantic, heartwarming ballad, but the chorus' English lyrics kill the mood (at least the romantic one) a bit:
      Can you celebrate? Can you kiss me tonight?
    • "ALARM" from Queen of Hip-Pop has this Lyrical Shoehorn in the middle of otherwise sexy lyrics:
      Kick me harder, kick my booty
    • The random panting and moaning in "Hot Girls" can be seen as either sexy or extremely silly-sounding.
    • The gratuitous references to twerking in "Ballerina" and "Every Woman". Note that the former song is explicitly about dancing like a ballerina.
    • Her collaboration with Ken Hirai, "Grotesque" features angsty, dark lyrics about hiding one's true self and feelings, but the English lyric "It's me, why don't you kill me?" in the chorus arguably crosses the line into just being funny. The giant stuffed rabbit judge in the music video doesn't really help.
  • Narm Charm: Any of the above could also be this depending on the listener.
  • Popularity Polynomial: She was one of the biggest acts of all time in Japan from around 1995 to 1997, but by the turn of the millenium her popularity had dropped by quite a bit while a wave of new female soloists such as Ayumi Hamasaki, Utada Hikaru, Shiina Ringo, MISIA and Ami Suzuki rose to prominence. Most of these singers note  started to see declining sales in the late 2000s... right as Amuro was experiencing a Career Resurrection to the point that she was one of the top female soloists once again by The New '10s.
  • Signature Song: "Body Feels EXIT" and "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?" are two candidates. "Love Story" from Uncontrolled could be one for her later material.
  • Stillborn Franchise: DANCE TRACKS VOL.1 never had a second installment, presumably because Amuro left EMI Music Japan right after it was released.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Want Me, Want Me" has a repeating background riff that is very reminiscent of "Get Ur Freak On" by Missy Elliott.
  • The Woobie: Went through quite a rough patch in her personal life starting in the late nineties. In 1999, less than a year after the birth of her son, her mother was brutally murdered by her step-uncle, who committed suicide afterwards. (Her step-father was also attacked but luckily survived.) This also forced her to cancel promotions for her single which was released the same day. Following this, she got divorced from her husband in 2002 and lost custody of her son. This coincided directly with her professional Audience-Alienating Era and major decline in popularity and reputation. Things did get better for her as she went through a Career Resurrection and regained custody of her son in 2005.