Ami Suzuki joins Yasutaka Nakata / FREE FREE / August 22, 2007
Ami Suzuki joins Yasutaka Nakata from Shibuya-kei electronic/house duo capsule for FREE FREE, an almost hypnotically perfect electronic disco number with an equally delicious c/w track entitled “SUPER MUSIC MAKER.” What makes this single even more astounding is the impossibility of the math behind the music:
a) Ami Suzuki’s music = Crap
b) capsule’s music = Crap (until 2006’s FRUITS CLiPPER, anyway)
c) Ami Suzuki + capsule = Disturbingly Brilliant
In what universe these laws make sense I have no idea, but it’s obviously not of this Earth, as demonstrated by the quality of the collaboration. Is there even proper genre distinction for what constitutes “FREE FREE” and “SUPER MUSIC MAKER”? It’s arranged completely by computers and keyboards and even Suzuki’s vocals are tweaked beyond recognition. I almost have a hard time believing this was Suzuki (the PV where she dances around an invisible strip pole doesn’t help). Is this seriously the chick who released alone in my room in 1998? I’m further baffled that the same lonely, pouting face is thrusting her ass towards the audience on the cover of the limited edition (because when I think night clubs, I think ass), taking Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor to the next level (this logically being the V.I.P. room, where one can only imagine what hearing the song on E is like when hearing it sober is a trip in itself).
“FREE FREE” starts out with a twirling discoball melange of keyboards before the thumping beat comes in and layers upon layers of vocals are pasted amidst the frenzied electric melody. Like most dance anthems, it has little to say in substance (the main lyrics consist of “free / I wanna’ be free / set me free“, ahhhs, and heavy breathing). However, this matters little as the foundation of the song rests on the speed and consistency of heavy rhythms jumping in and out in intervals, leaving behind a dizzying set of ascends, descends and shocks of silence before breaking back into the nasal shrills of “freeeee.”
“SUPER MUSIC MAKER” begins as a slightly more toned-down number but refuses to take second place with regards to rank on the single. Instead of resting on the laurels of the title track’s number, it prompts “FREE FREE” to a dance-off (song-off?) and lets the listener (clubber?) be the player while it takes the controls and frantically pushes buttons in a frenzied, haphazard manner (that’s what I always did during Street Fighter anyway). But this analogy is superfluous. What matters it that “SUPER MUSIC MAKER” ends up being a sister to “FREE FREE” in a way most singles with c/w tracks can only dream of being. While “FREE FREE” is more catchy for its liberal use of English, “SUPER MUSIC MAKER” stays more traditional in its Japanese but adds chants of “Yeah!” and “Music!” to guide the listener. Anyway, who’s really listening to the lyrics with such a catchy dance track? That’s obviously not the point of the single. Analyzing its seriousness is like finding existentialism in a banana; wouldn’t it be more logical to just consume it? Consume this single. Revel in the brilliance that is the two short versions and the two extended versions of the song (a tad unnecessary, but surprisingly badass in a status extended mixes rarely achieve *cough*”Domino Dancing”*cough*).
The only thing that makes me hate this single is that fact that Suzuki has already collaborated with several artists in past singles and a full Suzuki/Nakata project seems unlikely. Or maybe the transience of the single is what makes it so beautiful.