CD Review :: Kanjani∞ - KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou
2 CDs Normal Edition Cover :
2 CDs Limited Edition Cover :
2 CDs + DVD Cover :
Disc 1 Tracklist :
1) Big Sky Blues
2) Speedy Wonder
3) Osaka Obachan (Auntie) ROCK (type LAK2)
4) Futari no Namida Ame (Our Rain Of Tears)
5) Goujou ni (Unrepentantly) GO !
6) Great Escape ~Daidassou~ (~Great Escape~)
7) Sayonara wa Itsumo (Goodbye Is Always)
8) Jimoto no Ousama (King Of The Local)
9) Zukkoke Otokomichi (Go For It ! Man's Road)
11) Tabi no Hate ni wa (At The End Of The Journey)
12) Arigatou. (Thanks.)
13) Kanfuu Fighting
Disc 2 Tracklist :
1) Ryuu Ware (Subaru Shibutani's Solo)
2) Watashi Kagami (Mirror Me) [Shota Yasuda's Solo]
3) MAGIC WORD ~Boku Nari no ...~ (~Of The I ...~) [Maruyama Ryuhei's Solo]
4) Mamoritai (Protect) [Okura Tadayoshi's Solo]
5) WONDER BOY (Yokoyama You's Solo)
6) Forward (Murakami Shingo's Solo)
7) stereo (Ryo Nishikido's Solo)
8) Gachinko Session "Itsuka Mata (And Someday) ..." [unplugged version of Itsuka Mata] (2 CDs Limited Edition Track)
KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou is Kanjani∞'s 2nd album . It was released 2 years ago on 6th June in 3 different editions , a 2 CDs normal edition , a 2 CDs limited edition in which the 2nd disc contains a bonus track (Gachinko Session "Itsuka Mata (And Someday) ..." [unplugged version of Itsuka Mata] & a pack of 7 character cards while last but not least , in 2 CDs + DVD format in which the footage of the DVD contains a short movie entitled Zukkoke Otakara Panic .
3 singles are included in KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou & the title of the album means Zukkoke THE GREAT ESCAPE (alternative spelling used on album covers – Zuccoke) .
Unlike their previous album KJ1 F·T·O which featured some albums tracks that were done by sub bands within the band / duet / trio , in KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou , you get a 2nd disc containing solos from all 7 members which's a 1st for Kanjani∞ .
Big Sky Blues is the 1st album track to get things started . Even though I feel this's slightly less catchy than F·T·O , but still Big Sky Blues's a nice funky blues inspired no. .
Speedy Wonder follows suit after Big Sky Blues . Both are considered to be slightly mid tempo tunes & frankly I couldn't recall how Speedy Wonder sounded on 1st listen . It was only til I gave it a few more listens & after that I managed to recall how it sounds .
Osaka Obachan (Auntie) ROCK is the 1st A-side of the guys's 4th single Osaka Obachan ROCK / Osaka Romanesque & you wouldn't find Osaka Romanesque in here but instead you can do so in disc 1 of KJ1 F·T·O as track #3 .
In KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou , you get a type LAK2 version of Osaka Obachan ROCK . The single version sounds more crazy & over the top while the album version , it's somewhat more mellow but yet it still has that crazy whack attitute that it displayed which I like .
Futari no Namida Ame (Our Rain Of Tears) is track #5 & it's probably no doubt 1 of my fave album tracks on the guys's 2nd album simply because it has a great enka melody & it's so catchy & for this mid tempo ballad , you just need to make use of really good vocals & a melody & you combine both aspects & you will get this which's no doubt a star track in KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou .
Not to mention I love the trumpets that're blaring in Futari no Namida Ame which gives the song the much added edge it needs .
Goujou ni (Unrepentantly) GO ! is another fave album song of mine as it's quite a crazy & fun pop/rock tune . You can tell that the guys have so much energy & fun in singing Goujou ni GO ! which's really cute .
Great Escape ~Daidassou~ (~Great Escape~) is another somewhat weak link in KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou as I really find it un-memorable on 1st listen just like Speedy Wonder but in due time , I manage to figure out how both tunes sound after undergoing numerous listens for both .
Sayonara wa Itsumo (Goodbye Is Always) is the album only ballad & it's such a keeper & no doubt a gem . You can tell from the title it's pretty much a bittersweet song . I love the way the guys harmonise themselves in Sayonara wa Itsumo which makes the song sounds even better as each listen goes by .
Jimoto no Ousama (King Of The Local) is an amusing tune & that goes for the song title as well . It's quite a crazy song like Osaka Obachan ROCK but it's subtle to a certain extent but still this's a nice pop song to listen .
Zukkoke Otokomichi (Go For It ! Man's Road) is the group's 6th single & this's actually 1 of my fave singles of Kanjani∞ . I love it that it's fun , crazy , over the top in a good way & this song would definitely put a smile on your face super big time the moment you listen to it .
Prior to Musekinin Hero which was the song that changed my whole perception on the group music wise , Zukkoke Otokomichi was considered as my Kanjani∞ gem .
Energy is track #10 & this's a cute fun light hearted song . It's a real relaxed guitar pop no. & I like it when the guys go 'e-n-e-r-g-y' all over the place in here .
Tabi no Hate ni wa (At The End Of The Journey) is track #11 & surprisingly with a title such as Tabi no Hate ni wa , at 1st I thought it might be a ballad but boy was I so wrong .
It's an upbeat pop/rock tune even though I must say that just like Speedy Wonder & Great Escape ~Daidassou~ , I found Tabi no Hate ni wa really forgettable on 1st listen but unlike Speedy Wonder & Great Escape ~Daidassou~ , it was easier to remember how Tabi no Hate ni wa sounded like because of the somewhat strong electric guitar backing pertaining to the melody .
Arigatou. (Thanks.) as the song title suggest , is a song that the guys sung in thanking their fans & it's a nice tune that the group delivered straight from their hearts which I adore in them .
Kanfuu Fighting is the group's 5th single & at that time of release , it was their best selling single until the 1st week sales of Musekinin Hero outsold the whole total of Kanfuu Fighting .
As the song title suggests , it's pretty much an amusing enka tune that has shades of well kungfu influences & it's quite funny in a good way that they thrown in a few chinese words for good measures in the spirit of keeping Kanfuu Fighting to what it supposed to sound like .
I've reviewed disc 1 of KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou & now it's time for me to review the solos that're found in the 2nd disc so here we go !
1) Ryuu Ware (Subaru Shibutani's Solo) -- What a great mid tempo song that lead singer Subaru delivered . It's no secret in that I considered him to be the best singer in Kanjani∞ & in here he didn't disappoint in the form of Ryuu Ware .
It's quite old school to a certain extent , with the big bang jazz , blues , trumpets & saxaphone influences going on in here but still this's fantastic stuff .
I look forward to hear his brand new solo no. words in the group's upcoming 3rd album PUZZLE when it will be released in exactly 2 weeks later from today .
2) Watashi Kagami (Mirror Me) [Shota Yasuda's Solo] - a pretty cool solo that Shota sung in the form of Watashi Kagami .
He doesn't really have the best vocals in the group but he makes up for it with plenty of spunk in here & nice guitar pop/rock melody going on in here .
This's a keeper .
3) MAGIC WORD ~Boku Nari no ...~ (~Of The I ...~) [Maruyama Ryuhei's Solo] - A cute & amusing song done by Uta no Onii-san Maruyama . It probably sounded like something that you might hear on Uta no Onii-san in a way with the whole cheerleading inspired tune of sorts .
But still this's a nice energetic no. . I suppose Maruyama decided to do such a song in a bid way to conceal his somewhat weak vocals just like Shota & it served him well in here .
4) Mamoritai (Keep) [Okura Tadayoshi's Solo] - The only ballad among the solo mixes , this's a really good no. that Okura has chosen to sing .
I adore Mamoritai the very moment I heard it & it's great that the song that's backed up by a simple piano melody sounds better as each listen goes by & kudos to Okura for being such at ease in singing in this context .
5) WONDER BOY (Yokoyama You's Solo) - what a statement that Yokoyama made in WONDER BOY . His solo's the only one that contains rap & singing that were both done by him .
I must admit that this's a really catchy piece of tune although you shouldn't take this seriously if you choose to listen to it if you're in a bad mood as it might tend to get you annoyed in a matter of mins in a way .
If not then this's a cool song to perk your day .
6) Forward (Murakami Shingo's Solo) - nice finger snapping melody that compliments Murakami's vocals in the form of Forward .
I like songs that fall under this type of category as it will bound to make you get addicted within an instance & Murakami sounded like he had a lot of fun singing in Forward which's good .
7) stereo (Ryo Nishikido's Solo) - written & composed by Ryo , this's pretty much a standard pop/rock affair that he dished out although I must say that compared to code (found on NEWS's pacific album) , I prefer stereo anytime of the day as there's not much yelling going on in here .
Aside from that , stereo has a neat melody hook which makes it a winner in its own right . Kudos to Ryo in taking charge of the lyrics & melody for stereo .
Disc 1 - The 1st disc in KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou is no doubt a mature effort that the guys have put in as compared to their debut KJ1 F·T·O although I must say that there're at times when I found disc 1 quite samey .
I didn't like the fact that the beginning of KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou was real slow but at least it began to pick up the pace & the fun crazy mood sets in soon after Futari no Namida Ame was out of the way .
Not to mention a few songs took me quite a longer time than expected to remember how it goes but in a way after a few listens , the songs get the best of me & I really enjoy listening to KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou now .
That & also I like that no 1 song sounds the same on disc 1 which's a good sign as it shows that they're not afraid to try out different type of music genres .
Disc 2 - the guys really surprised me in that they actually do can sing after all ! I like the various music styles that the guys executed in here & it goes to show that they do know what their strengths & weaknesses are , vocals wise .
Props should be given to Subaru , Shota , Okura & Ryo for writing (if not writing/composing) their respective solos which's really commendable .
I can't wait to see what Kanjani∞ has in store in their upcoming 3rd album PUZZLE that will be released in 2 Wed's time & in which it will follow the same concept as KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou .
Until that comes about , do yourself a favor & listen to KJ2 Zukkoke Daidassou , you'll be glad that you did so .