Monday, July 28, 2008

CD Review :: ARASHI - Iza , Now

Regular Edition Cover :




Limited Edition Cover :



Tracklist :

1) Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono (Important than words)
2) JAM
3) The Bubble
4) Thank you for my days
5) PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE
6) keep a peaK
7) EYES WITH DELIGHT
8) RIGHT BACK TO YOU
9) RAINBOW
10) Hadashi no Mirai (Bare Footed Future)
11) Yasashikutte Sukoshi Baka (It is gentle and somewhat foolish)
12) Dear My Friend
13) Kimi Dake wo Omotteru (Thinking of you and you alone)
14) Check no Muffler (A checkered muffler)
15) Tochuugesha (Stopover)




Iza , Now is ARASHI's 4th album . It was released 4 years ago on 21st July in Japan . The album was released in 2 different versions ; a regular edition that came with an application form for ARASHI's next CD event and a limited edition that included a DVD with the best 5 clips voted by fans .

2 singles are included in Iza , Now in which 1 of them is a double A side .

The 1st track to start things off is the highly infectious no. Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono (Important than words) which's the 2nd 1/2 of the band's 11th single Hadashi No Mirai / Kotoba yori Taisetsu na Mono .

I remembered when I 1st Hadashi No Mirai / Kotoba yori Taisetsu na Mono , I had a bit of problem distinguishing both songs from each other because both are upbeat no.s but at least now I can tell the difference between both songs . Kotoba yori Taisetsu na Mono is more guitar driven unlike Hadashi No Mirai but still good stuff .

The next 2 non singles on the album contains weird song titles but yet they're really great no.s . Track 2's titled JAM & it's quite a chirpy no. while the next track titled The Bubble has some unusual but interesting melody going on in the song .

Track 4's 1 of my fave non singles on Iza , Now . Titled Thank you for my days , it's a slow jam song & it's not as heavily emphasised on the synth factor unlike the other songs on Iza , Now . The guys's vocals compliment each other & are in synth with the melody of Thank you for my days .

The next track's the band's 12th single PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE which's 1 of my fave singles .

The song was used as the ending song of the second movie in the PIKA★★NCHI series which stars all of the members . Their 10th single's called PIKA☆NCHI so you can say that PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE is a sequel of sorts .

However unlike PIKA☆NCHI where it has a hard rock gritter edge , PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE is a mid tempo song that's not as hard edge rock as compared to its 'successor' but stil I really adore PIKA★★NCHI DOUBLE & of course the apperance of Sakurap's great too which made the song sounds even better as each listen goes by .

Track 6's an interlude which's oddly titled keep a peaK . Soon after , it's followed by a really slamming no. EYES WITH DELIGHT . This's 1 really cool song because I really adore the Sakurap going on in there where Sakurai goes A to the R to the A.S.H.I which's very charming & not to mention I really like the lyrics of EYES WITH DELIGHT despite the weird title of the song .

The next non single is titled RIGHT BACK TO YOU which's 1 of the more angsty driven songs on Iza , Now & it's evident in the way the guys sing in the song & also the appearance of Sakurap just takes this song to a whole new level of brillance .

RAINBOW's somewhat the only weak link on Iza , Now because on 1st listen , I did not find the song as memorable as I thought it would have been . But after many listens on RAINBOW , I really appericate the song now especially the lyrics & the melody where you got a saxophone going on .

Track 10's the 1st 1/2 of the band's 11th single Hadashi No Mirai / Kotoba yori Taisetsu na Mono which's of course Hadashi no Mirai (Bare Footed Future) . This song's so insanely catchy on 1st listen & it was used in an ad to promote Coca Cola .

Yasashikutte Sukoshi Baka (It is gentle and somewhat foolish) is up next & it's another of my fave non single on the album simply because it has quite a hard rocking edge attached to it & it's kinda like an Aiba pickup song of sorts since I mainly tend to hear Aiba's vocals quite a lot in this song but regardless of which , The sound transition from Hadashi no Mirai to Yasashikutte Sukoshi Baka is there which's great .

The next song's another slow no. on Iza , Now . Titled Dear My Friend , this's 1 finger snapping catchy tune that's extremely pleasant to the ears & of course the guys's vocals are in synch with the tune of Dear My Friend too .

Kimi Dake wo Omotteru (Thinking of you and you alone) is also another great track on Iza , Now that's being backed up by strong trumpet beats & also I adore the lyrics going on in the song .

The 3rd slow no. on Iza , Now is titled Check no Muffler (A checkered muffler) . When I 1st saw the title of this song , I was going ?? but this's 1 swell no. & as compared to the other 2 slow songs on the album , this's probably the only 1 that's deemed to be called a ballad , well almost .

I honestly find Check no Muffler really charming & the guys's vocals really shine in here .

I thought it's a cool way to close off the album with Tochuugesha (Stopover) which's an upbeat no. that's backed up with strong disco inspired beats .

In general , I'm quite impressed with the way Iza , Now delivers itself & considering that the non singles outweight the singles on the album , it's definitely a task to try to keep the non singles to sound better or if not on par/superior than the singles but I'm glad to say that the non singles on Iza , Now managed to stand out in their own unique way / right .

Iza , Now is an album worth checking out & to be added to your ARASHI discography .


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Karen Pang

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# My music blog consists of JPop/Rock singles & albums reviews that I put my heart , efforts & soul into writing them as I'm disgusted with the way that JPop/Rock music is being treated/written/reviewed in Singapore so to the local media (yes you TEENS , Teenage Magazine & The Strait Times) , screw you all . I basically can write better JPop/Rock reviews , period

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