The Need To Be Naked (Thunderpuss Remix Bonus Track)
With 7 top 10 dance singles (3 were number 1) under her belt, Amber returns with her explosive 2002 album Naked. It's packed with hits including the single, 'Yes' which was #1 on the Billboard Dance Single Chart. The alb... more »um features a bonus remix from Thunderpuss of 'The Need To Be Naked'.« less
With 7 top 10 dance singles (3 were number 1) under her belt, Amber returns with her explosive 2002 album Naked. It's packed with hits including the single, 'Yes' which was #1 on the Billboard Dance Single Chart. The album features a bonus remix from Thunderpuss of 'The Need To Be Naked'.
Michael Stoil | Springfield, Virginia USA | 06/27/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Marie-Claire Cremers, aka Amber, is still a wonderful talent and a star of the Dance genre. She has a great, expressive voice and she writes amazingly. Naked is a good CD for Amber fans to listen to and acquire: Yes, in particular, is a remarkable collaboration between Amber's voice, the stream-of-consciousness writing of James Joyce, and a solid dance genre beat. But the highlights don't change the fact that Naked has a lot of disappointments, based on two delusions: that Amber can sound like a Motown R&B diva and that fans who love the driving rhythm of her hit singles really want Amber to sing slow ballads. The first delusion is encouraged by one of her collaborators, Wolfram Dettki, who co-wrote "You're Sent From Heaven,""If There Would Be No Tomorrow," and "He." Sorry, Wolfram, Amber's accent imitating an African-American is a pallid substitute for soul. She lacks the belting gutsiness in her voice and the Gospel music background to pull off these selections. The second delusion shows up in the two songs, "Don't Say Goodbye" and "The Smile of My Child." I could hear Streisand or Dion making these into show-stoppers...but Amber doesn't have the power to pull it off. And do we really want to hear her mimic Streisand with a slow, lyrical love song?
Other reviewers correctly identify these last two cuts as faith-focused, family-value material: the lyrics of "Don't Say Goodbye" opposes divorce and the other cut tells us "The Smile of my child/Makes my life worth living." Even a sexist knows anti-feminism when he hears it (and doesn't feel comfortable with it). Perhaps Amber could create a separate album for Christian Rock fans...and Wolfram can find a real Black singer to work with."
Very dissapointing release from Amber
guillermoj | Washington, DC United States | 08/29/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you want Amber at her best buy "Remixed". I was very much looking forward to this release after hearing the first single "Yes", but I was extremely disappointed by almost every other song on the CD. This woman is extremely talented and has worked with great people, but this does not pack the punch of previous efforts. The Afterlife Chillout Remix of "Sexual" (an incredible song that Amber's record company finds a way to put in every release) is miserable. There are a couple of good songs: "Sex and the City" and "The Need To Be Naked", but no "Sexual" to be found here. The song "The Smile of A Child" has got to be most akward song placement is years and it's the worst song I've ever heard from Amber. I'll still be watching this talent, but this release is not worth your hard earned money."
Amber shows us her most sophisticated side yet
Nelson Andrews | Dortmund, Germany | 09/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After her self-titled sophomore effort, which witnessed Amber's development from a canned dance diva to a full-fledged song writer with something to say and the talent to sing her message powerfully, I had very high hopes for Naked.I can honestly say that my extremely high expections for Naked were met on the first listen, and that this album has continued to grow on me over the months. The more I listen to it, the more I can't get enough of it. Amber's lyrics have a poetic nature to them that goes far beyond the shock value of titles such as "The Need to Be Naked." Furthermore, the songs all have strong hooks, and the production values are interesting, new, and innovative.Highlights on this disc include Anyway (my favorite track on the album) Love One You (a nice, slow burn) You're Sent From Heaven, in which the verses seem to explode into the chorus, The Need To Be Naked, and Yes!, which features the words of James Joyce in the chorus.In the world of dance/pop albums, Amber's Naked fully deserves a place next to Madonna's Ray of Light and Kylie Minogue's Fever. It simply doesn't get much better that this."
Naked, But Natural Talent Is Often Missing
C. Heath | Seattle, WA USA | 11/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although not nearly as good as her most recent release My Kind of World, Amber's third album Naked has a style and attitude worth exploring. In general, the album is very laid back and modern. The most prominent characteristic of this album is the sensuality it emits. From the album cover to nearly half the songs, this is a passionate and lustful album with simple but powerful lyrics.
For the first time, Amber opens an album with a mood setting song, titled Yes. Radio stations made the mistake of not playing this song; it could have easily catapulted Amber to superstar status. There's a haunting quality about it; almost as if Amber herself is in a dream. Full of sweeping chords and syncopated backing rhythms, this song is one of my personal favorites of the album. (6/5)
The club hit The Need To Be Naked is the second track; this is the song that got me interested in Amber. Lyrically, there's nothing too innovative about this song. The lyrics are simple and easy to comprehend, and the title pretty much sums up the entire song. Needless to say, there's something special about this track that almost seduces you. Amber's breathy vocals in the chorus are a real tease, and I'm sure any male would love this song. (Personally, I think the Guido Osorio's Virgin Mix from the remix single of The Need To Be Naked is actually a better version than this one, although it's quite long) (5/5)
The third track Anyway (Men Are From Mars) is one of my favorites, and somehow in its simplicity you'll find yourself bobbing your head. It's a very cute track, almost melancholy in a way. The song is very catchy, and Amber does an excellent job of blending the vocal and instrumental arrangements for a complimenting effect. (5/5)
Though the fourth track You're Sent From Heaven is a beautiful song, I don't feel that Amber's vocal talent is best displayed here. There are moments of vocal greatness, but in general, she sounds slightly uncomfortable. Despite that, she still has the same conviction and emotion that you would expect from her when she sings. The end of this track is truly spectacular however, with a choir accompanying Amber on her ad-libbed vocals. (4/5)
Dirty Thoughts, the fifth track, is a song full of guilt, remorse and grief. Amber sounds much more at home here than on the previous track. The lyrics are beautifully written and the acoustic guitar arrangement is dazzling. This is probably the most heartfelt song on the album; the most sensitive song. The strings balance the ballad wonderfully. (5/5)
I applaud Amber for the sixth track He, although it feels somewhat out of place on such a sensual album. Quite simply, it's a song about God guiding her through her life. Such content brought criticism from many of her fans. Clearly, Amber took a risk including this song, however I admire her for it. As far as the musical arrangement of the song goes, it's a very well done dance number. With syncopated echoing keyboards and a jazzy baseline, Amber's vocals shine. (5/5)
The seventh track is yet another sensual anthem called Sex Without Sex. A tender and emotional song, the content could have easily been ruined had it not been written well. But Amber successfully took the idea of being totally in tune with someone's thoughts, feelings, wants and desires and transformed them it into a well written piece. She sounds whimsical in this tune, with very breathy vocals and an easy-going singing style. (5/5)
Love On You, the eighth track, is a little more innocent, but still a very sexy song. Lyrically, the verses are very generic and a little rugged when thrown together, although they still make plenty sense. Listening to this, especially if you have someone special next to you, you really will want to ditch work and `stay home for one day'. More laid back and slower than the previous track, there's plenty of lush chords backing Amber's once again breathy singing. (4/5)
The ninth track will remind older fans of Amber's previous work, and it's titled If There Would Be No Tomorrow. Going back to her more classic dance roots, Amber's vocals stand out in this song as the foundation of a very lively track. She has some fun with her singing, and the balance of strings and rock guitar make this one of the most memorable tracks on the album. This would have made a great single, however it was never remixed. (5/5)
At first listen, the tenth track Heavenly Proximity didn't have any special qualities. However, after listening to it several times, you begin to notice the delicate balance of the beautiful piano, strings, soft keyboard loops and deep bass that make this an inspiring song. In particular, the bridge portion of the song, which builds in volume and intensity, is gorgeous. Unfortunately, the musical descent after the buildup is a bit of a letdown, leaving the listener feeling a little incomplete. (5/5)
Although the title suggests another sensual tune, track eleven, Sex In the City, is a disco dance fest in which Amber vents about the stresses of constant changing relationships. Personally, this song doesn't appeal to me as much as the first two tracks of the album do, but it is very catchy and you'll find yourself humming it for hours. With surprising drum hits and many different types of percussion, this is primarily a drum loop song. The brass in the chorus is refreshing to hear. (4/5)
On track twelve, titled Don't Say Goodbye, Amber puts all her efforts into singing a beautiful slow ballad. As with previous slow tunes, while she never lacks for emotion, she just doesn't sound her best here. The song is still beautiful, with very intense chords and simple but heartfelt lyrics. While it's not one of her finest moments, it's still a very well done song. (3/5)
Track thirteen is the Sexual Afterlife Chillout Remix. This remix was the first version of Sexual I had ever heard, and it's a great warm version; initially I couldn't tell it was a remix. After hearing the original dance version of the song, I still don't prefer one or the other. This remix is very slow and subdued, with no percussion except a light hand drum loop. The lyrics flow smoothly with the sweeping keyboard effects; this song reminds me of something you might hear in an expensive massage parlor. (5/5)
Track fourteen, which is the last official song of the album, titled The Smile of My Child, is very cute in it's own way. Unfortunately, it doesn't sum up the album well, and it sounds like a song from a Broadway stage play. The song itself is nice, with all its live strings and glockenspiel toward the end; the child singing in the beginning and the end (I think it's actually Amber's son) is rather cute as well. The concept of the song is a sweet one and it's very heartfelt, but again, it's one of those songs that doesn't seem to fit with either Amber's voice or the rest of the album. (3/5)
The Thunderpuss remix of The Need To Be Naked is the fifteenth track, and it's a good thing she threw this in at the end, otherwise the album would not have been concluded well. As with all Thunderpuss remixes, it's very danceable, lively and full of impact. (5/5)
After hearing Amber's more recent work, you may notice that she sounds almost muted or timid in many of the songs included on this album. There are many great songs here, but too many experimental tracks that didn't allow Amber to show her true talent. In my opinion, the best songs on Naked are Yes, The Need To Be Naked, Anyway, He, Sex Without Sex and the Sexual remix. I suggest purchasing the remix singles for Yes, The Need To Be Naked and Anyway (Men Are From Mars), as they all have at least one great remix on them. And more than anything, I recommend Amber's newest release, My Kind of World; it's her best work yet!"
Words really do make a song!
Ryan Swedlund | San Diego, CA USA | 08/26/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Amber is back. C'mon, the music is great on this CD, danceclub ready, but I can't believe how stupid the words are. Solid Goop! Especially the song,"The smile of my child." Let's face it, most of the people who listen to this cd are not going to have kids, so this won't "speak" to them, at all!! I was excited about this CD, but as I listened, well...she just needs to get better writers. If you don't care what a song says, buy the album, it really does have great music."