Sunday, March 22, 2009

CD Review :: ARASHI - Dream"A"live

Regular Edition Cover :



2 CDs Limited Edition Cover :




Disc 1 Tracklist :

1) theme of Dream"A"live
2) Move your body
3) Happiness
4) Niji no Kanata he (Rainbow's Edge)
5) Do my best
6) Sirius
7) Flashback
8) Dive into the future
9) Koe (Voice)
10) My Answer
11) Life goes on
12) Step and Go
13) YOUR SONG
14) Once Again (Regular Edition Track)

Disc 2 Tracklist (Limited Edition) :

1) Hello Goodbye (Aiba Masaki's Solo)
2) Gimmick Game (Ninomiya Kazunari's Solo)
3) Take me faraway (Ohno Satoshi's Solo)
4) Naked (Matsumoto Jun's Solo)
5) Hip Pop Boogie (Sakurai Sho's Solo)



Dream"A"live is ARASHI's 8th album . It was released last year on 23rd April & this's currently the group's 2nd best selling album .

2 singles are included in the album & the regular edition contains a bonus track Once Again while the limited edition features solos songs for each member , making this the 3rd time for them to feature solo material , after their 5th album One & 7th album Time .

In a March 2nd '08 airing of member Sakurai Sho's radio show ShoBeat , it was revealed that the Dream"A"live title was created by Sakurai & Matsumoto Jun . The original title was "Alive" , then "A Live" ; purposely divided to indicate the group's name and the live performance . Matsumoto added "Dream" to the title to signify how "dreams can turn into reality .

theme of Dream"A"live is the introduction song which starts the ball rolling & it has a very nice & cool circus carnival feeling .

Move your body follows after theme of Dream"A"live & it's 1 of the more stronger & prominent tracks in the album & it flows really well from the introduction for that matter .

It's a dancey & rather upbeat tune & the appearance of Sakurap just makes the song even better as each listen goes by .

Happiness is the group's 20th single & this's a really peppy tune as the song title suggest & it's 1 of my fave singles of ARASHI too . The instrumental mix for Happiness can be considered to be quite unique with the utilisation of an electric guitar & an organ in the background which's cool .

Niji no Kanata he (Rainbow's Edge) on 1st listen was real bland & un-memorable for my liking . It took me quite a long time to remember as to how this somewhat upbeat tune sounds but at least Sakurap saved the song from falling short of expectations .

Do my best is 1 of my fave album tracks on Dream"A"live & just like Move your body , it also falls under the dance/upbeat category & the beats , the groove for Do my best are the strongest at max .

Definitely 1 of the star tracks on the album for sure .

Sirius is the 1st album ballad in Dream"A"live & it's a real tender no. . I like the way the guys harmonise their vocals together in Sirius even though I frankly can say that this's not really my fave album ballad that the guys have delivered .

Flashback & Dive into the future hand on 1st listen both sounded real boring for my liking just like Niji no Kanata he .

It took me quite a while to remember as to how Flashback & Dive into the future sounded like as to me I thought both these upbeat & thrown back into the future music styles of the songs doesn't seem to go well with the guys's vocals .

Koe (Voice) is the 2nd album ballad & between Sirius & Koe , Koe is definitely my fave ballad in Dream"A"live as it just employed the simple use of an acoustic guitar & some percussion melody wise & it's nice to hear Aiba opening the song . Koe's another star track on the album & a keeper .

My Answer is a great upbeat peppy tune & it's quite fitting for Sakurai to start the song seeing that he tend to sound good in doing such tunes & of course the appearance of Sakurap helped the song to propel to even greater heights .

Life goes on follows in the same music vein as Niji no Kanata he , Flashback & Dive into the future except unlike these 3 songs that I mentioned , I actually prefer Life goes on because at least it's somehow more stronger sounding & not to mention memorable as compared to the rest .

Step and Go is the group's 21st single & the last single included in Dream"A"live . I guess you can say that Step and Go was the beginning of the ARASHI boom as it became the group's single to sell over 300,000+ copies in the 1st week when it was released last Feb & since then , every single release of theirs after that has propel them to even greater heights & popularity , sales & then some .

Song wise , I adore Step and Go big time . I just like how funky & different it sounds as compared to their other singles . The Sakurap in here is 1 of my faves as Sakurai just makes the song sound even better than before as each listen goes by .

YOUR SONG is another fave album track of mine as it's a very simple song boosted with strong vocals & harmonisation of the whole group . The overall mood for it is real heartwarming & sweet that's for sure .

Only found in the regular edition pressing of the album is Once Again & well once again , this's another fave song of mine in Dream"A"live . It sounds pretty angsty driven boosted by strong strumming guitar riffs which's a sharp contrast to the other album tracks .

It sorta reminded me of a milder version of Cry for you which was found in their Time album . I love the Sakurap on here too .

Now to review each of the guys's solo material which're only found should you purchased the 2 CDs limited edition of Dream"A"live .

1) Hello Goodbye (Aiba Masaki's Solo) - This's a pretty upbeat guitar pop/rock tune that Aiba sang . I supposed the style of Hello Goodbye fit him pretty well in a bid way to conceal his somewhat weak vocals .

Still he make up for his lack of vocal power with such spunk in this tune & for him I have to give him credit for delivering quite a decent solo no. .

2) Gimmick Game (Ninomiya Kazunari's Solo) - Nino's solo songs are either a hit or a miss for me & unfortunately Gimmick Game falls into the latter category .

I honestly don't like the way Gimmick Game sound as the music style doesn't seem to go in tune with his vocals which's quite a pity .

The only saving grace for Gimmick Game is that he had a hand in writing & composing this which's commendable .

3) Take me faraway (Ohno Satoshi's Solo) - Ohno has never disappointed me with his solo songs since the beginning when it was Incorporated into their 5th album One & Take me faraway has proven the fact as to why he's the best singer & also the best dancer in the group .

The group leader really shined a great deal in Take me faraway where he delivered such a heartfelt & pretty much aching ballad . Definitely my fave solo in Dream"A"live .

4) Naked (Matsumoto Jun's Solo) - This is my least fave solo song on the album & it doesn't help that with a song title like Naked , it's quite ugh .

I wouldn't go much detail as to how bad this song's seeing that MatsuJun doesn't have good solos to begin with (other than I Want Somebody) so my suggestion's to skip this at all costs & I thought his previous solos were bad .

The only saving grace for this is that he cowrote it but other than that , a thumbs down on my part .

5) Hip Pop Boogie (Sakurai Sho's Solo) - just like Nino , Sakurai's solos are also a hit & miss on my part & I guess I can slot Hip Pop Boogie in the middle . Sometimes I have issues with it , sometimes I don't .

I suppose the admirable fact on Hip Pop Boogie is that it sticks to what Sakurai does best which's rapping . It's tough doing a full rap solo song but you have to give Sakurai credit for pulling off such a stunt .

------------------+++------------------


Dream"A"live is frankly 1 of ARASHI's weakest albums that they have put out to date . I feel that the production was really rushed & some of the album tracks tend to sound the same if not samey .

Not to mention with just 2 singles , it's tough to strike a balance & to make the album tracks sound on par if not even better than Happiness & Step and Go . Some of the album tracks managed to accomplish that feat while others just fell flat beyond expectations & that goes for the solos songs too .

After the brilliance that's of Time , I'm quite sure that long time ARASHI fans might feel a bit short changed/disappointed in Dream"A"live . I did had that feeling at 1st but I eventually began to change my perception towards it in due time . I wouldn't call it my fave album of the guys but I'm very sure that they can come up with something even better than this .

They did so for their past albums & hopefully they will be able to release another new album soon & this might be a challenge for them to live up as the singles that they released after Step and Go were really fantastic but I have faith in them in that they'll be able to bounce back with something really good .


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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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Upcoming New JPop/JRock Releases


# Kis-My-Ft2's 22nd single Kimi,Boku. , 031018 , Wed

# GRANRODEO's 1st mini album M・S COWBOY no Gyakushuu EP , 241018 , Wed

# ARASHI's 56th single Kimi no Uta , 241018 , Wed

# SPYAIR's SPYAIR TOUR 2018 -KINGDOM- Live at NIPPON BUDOKAN 2018.4.18 DVD + Blu-ray , 241018 , Wed
# Kobukuro's 30th single Kaze o Mitsumete , 071118 , Wed

# ayaka's 5th album 30 y/o , 141118 , Wed

# GLAY's 56th single title tbc , out in November

# Yamashita Tomohisa's 5th album UNLEASHED , 281118 , Wed

# Kobukuro's best album ALL TIME BEST 1998-2018 , 051218 , Wed




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# Aoyama Thelma - HIGHSCHOOL GAL

# ayumi hamasaki - TROUBLE EP

# Hilcrhyme - One Man EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Yummy!!

# NEWS - EPCOTIA

# FLOWER FLOWER - Spotlight

# Koda Kumi - AND

# B'z - DINOSAUR

# ARASHI - 「untitled」

# BREAKERZ - X

# Aoyama Thelmas - 10TH DIARY

# SPYAIR - KINGDOM

# SID - NOMAD

# V6 - The ONES

# Shota Shimizu - FLY

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# Acid Black Cherry - Acid BLOOD Cherry

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# Koda Kumi - W FACE ~inside~ & W FACE ~outside~

# GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

# GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancin'

# Hilcrhyme - SIDE BY SIDE

# Kanon Wakeshima - luminescence Q.E.D

# ARASHI - Are You Happy?

# Mao from SID - Maison de M EP

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - DEAR.

# Ken Hirai - THE STILL LIFE

# BENI - Shiki Uta summer

# Kis-My-Ft2 - I SCREAM

# ayumi hamasaki - M(A)DE IN JAPAN

# MUSCLE ATTACK - HERCULES ROAD

# Aoyama Thelma - PINK TEARS EP

# Shota Shimizu - PROUD

# flumpool - EGG

# NEWS - QUARTETTO

# AKi - EPHEMERAL EP

# BENI - Undress

# SPYAIR - 4

# ARASHI - Japonism

# Aoyama Thelma - GRAY SMOKE EP

# ayumi hamasaki - sixxxxxx EP

# BREAKERZ - 0-ZERO-

# Domoto Koichi - Spiral

# Kis-My-Ft2 - KIS-MY-WORLD

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMPing CAR

# Namie Amuro - _genic

# ayaka - Rainbow Road

# THE TURTLES JAPAN - ELECTRONIC HUMANITY

# ayumi hamasaki - A ONE

# Hilcrhyme - REVIVAL

# MUSCLE ATTACK - ATTACK

# Koda Kumi - WALK OF MY LIFE

# B'z - EPIC DAY

# Acid Black Cherry - L

# Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

# NEWS - White

# FLOWER FLOWER - Shiki EP

# AKi - ARISE

# FLOWER FLOWER - Mi

# ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN

# Anna Tsuchiya - LUCIFER EP

# Yamashita Tomohisa - YOU

# Aoyama Thelma - Lonely Angel

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Asobi EP

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-Journey

# ayumi hamasaki - Colours

# KAT-TUN - come Here

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - smart

# Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN

# Miliyah Kato x Shota Shimizu - THE BEST

# JASMINE - Welcome to Jas Vegas

# SID - OUTSIDER

# Shota Shimizu - ENCORE

# Hilcrhyme - FIVE ZERO ONE

# DAIGO - DAIGOLD

# Koda Kumi - Bon Voyage

# Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun

# MUSCLE ATTACK - MUSCLE

# KAT-TUN - Kusabi -kusabi- EP

# ARASHI - LOVE

# Yamashita Tomohisa - A NUDE

# Matsushita Yuya - #musicoverdose

# JASMINE - Complexxx

# SPYAIR - MILLION

# BENI - Red

# ON/OFF - DICE EP

# NEWS - NEWS

# Namie Amuro - FEEL

# AKIHIDE - Amber

# Kis-My-Ft2 - Good Ikuze !

# girl next door - Life of Sound

# V6 - Oh ! My ! Goodness !

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE again

# Mika Nakashima - REAL

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# ayumi hamasaki - again EP

# Hilcrhyme - LIKE A NOVEL

# ayumi hamasaki - LOVE EP

# ARASHI - Popcorn

# Domoto Koichi - Gravity

# SPYAIR - Just Do It

# SID - M&W

# Yamashita Tomohisa - Ero

# Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled

# Hey ! Say ! JUMP - JUMP WORLD

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# Acid Black Cherry - 『2012』

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# ayumi hamasaki - Party Queen

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#
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# ayumi hamasaki - (miss)understood

# ayumi hamasaki - Duty & MY STORY

# Muse - Blackholes And Relevations

# Utada Hikaru - ULTRA BLUE

# ayumi hamasaki - Secret

# Utada - Exodus

# Vanessa Hudgens - V

# The Veronicas - The Secret Life Of The Veronicas

# Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me

# Maksim - Electrik

# McFly - Motion In The Ocean




Other Posts Worth Checking Out


# Fave Songs Of 2010

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2010

# Fave Albums Releases Of 2010

# Fave Songs Of 2009

# Fave Singles Releases Of 2009

# Fave Albums Releases For 2009

# The Best Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2009

# Fave New Acts Of 2008

# Fave Songs Of 2008

# Fave Singles Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2008

# The 1st Song I Heard From My Future JPop Acts

# The Best & The Worst Music Releases For The 1st 1/2 Of 2008

# Fave Albums Of 2007

# The Click Five - The Band Behind The Band Documentary

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# Hot Review Of Maksim's Electrik

# Lu Yong Find My Shoes Journey

# Eric Dill Of The Click Five Got Punk'd !




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