"Hero" didn't grow on me yet. It's like a "Contral 2.0", and I don't feel the song at all. Well produced, the PV is cool, but I can't sense something special coming from it. Hope I'll change my mind soon.........
About Hero, now that I listened to it in full I can say the song is a grower. It grows on me on every listen. Show Me What You Got is good, but in my opinion, it seems more like a song Koda threw away...
At this point it's really difficult for me to choose a favorite album by Namie, since they are so different. Lately I've been paying more attention to her early stuff... It took me so long to realize how good it was back then. Both GENIUS 2000 and break the rules album/shows are masterpieces.
Well... I would recommend PLAY, Queen of Hip-Pop and STYLE... Perhaps you should try the BEST FICTION album. It's my favorite age of Namie, when she was doing R&B stuff. But I also love her early stuff two (pre-2001). You should definitely give it a try.
@Taishaku you should listen to 'Concentration 20'. It's her most experimental album and one of TK's best works. SWEET 19 BLUES is good too (it's worth for 'PRIVATE' alone), but the remixed versions of the singles kinda ruined it.
Yesterday, I was fixing some tags of her singles i've downloaded long ago, and I realized how her style changed through the years! Her discography is rich and diverse! She released some bizare songs in the past, but she had / has no fear to try new things.
I haven't even seen break the rules and GENIUS 2000 tours in full yet. I have only seen digest videos of both on youtube once and they both seem pretty awesome concerts. I think I liked break the rules tour more judging by that 15 minute clip I watched.