CD Review :: KAT-TUN - NO MORE PAIИ
CD + DVD
1) N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN)
2) Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ (~I Hate You I Love You~)
4) THE D-MOTION
5) RIGHT NOW
6) ROCKIN' ALL NITE
7) Going !
8) SWEET (Kamenashi Kazuya's Solo)
9) LOVE MUSIC (Taguchi Junnosuke's Solo)
10) MAKE U WET ~CHAPTER 2~ (Tanaka Koki's Solo)
11) RABBIT OR WOLF ? (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo)
12) FILM (Nakamaru Yuichi's Solo)
13) PROMISE SONG
14) HELLO (CD Only Track)
NO MORE PAIИ is KAT-TUN's 5th album . It was released on 16th June & the group's latest album offering contains 2 singles which were released this year .
This's the guys's 2nd album since cartoon KAT-TUN II you not to include the vocals of their 2nd co lead vocalist Akanishi Jin (aside from their 11th single Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~) .
With songs written & composed by songwriters/composers who hail from LA , London & Stockholm , music genres such as Rock , R&B & ballads can be found in NO MORE PAIИ .
NO MORE PAIИ comprises of 14 songs in total & this's inclusive of solo songs done by the members except Akanishi so this's basically their 3rd album overall to have solo songs in the tracklist , after cartoon KAT-TUN II you & last year's Break the Records -by you & for you- .
As always , I will review the album tracks & solo songs separately to avoid complicating things .
Sharing the same title as the album , it's N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) which's incidentally their 2nd album track to get a music video after cartoon KAT-TUN II you's YOU but it's the 1st album track not to include Akanishi's vocals .
I can understand why the guys choose to make a video for N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) as this's 1 really strong opening track for an album . I reviewed/wrote before that it's easy to dismiss N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) as a T∀BOO rip off .
But in N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) , the reminding members prove that they're able to carry off a really great track without Akanishi flawlessly .
Thrown in Tanaka's signature rapping & Nakamaru's beatboxing skills , both guys take N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) to a whole new level of solidness .
Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ (~I Hate You I Love You~) is the group's 11th single .
The song was used as the theme no. for the drama Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge which starred the group's 1st co lead vocalist Kamenashi Kazuya , NEWS/Tegomass's Tegoshi Yuya & also Johnny Junior Uchi Hiroki .
Despite the fact that Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ was released way back in Feb 10th this year , this's 1 A-side that I'm still not bored with til now .
It's 1 of the group's less harder rock edge singles but this doesn't stop me from enjoying Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ as this's still 1 very solid & catchy no. .
FARAWAY is the 2nd album track & I guess you can count this as a mid tempo ballad . It sounds as if it's a continuation from where SMILE (last B-side of their 12th single Going !) left .
Not that it's a bad thing because I actually enjoy SMILE but FARAWAY to me is a lot more stronger if not prominent than the former .
Found as the B-side in Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ , it's THE D-MOTION & this's the group's 1st B-side to be included in their albums & let alone to get a music video .
Similarly like the A-side , THE D-MOTION is still a great addictive piece of tune up to now . I don't really like club music so much & that goes for autotune being utilised in songs but I suppose a little bit of something's ok for me to handle .
Also I'm happy that the guys choose to include THE D-MOTION in NO MORE PAIИ as it really deserves so .
RIGHT NOW is the 3rd album track & it picks up from where THE D-MOTION left . Both songs are in the same vein .
The utilisation of autotune can be heard/feel quite significantly in both songs but to me , I feel that RIGHT NOW has a more Americanised flair/twist attached to it .
Having said that , I have to admit , I was drawn to RIGHT NOW on 1st listen .
The next album track ROCKIN' ALL NITE is quite an interesting song . I thought it might be another autotune / club no. when I saw the song title but guess not since ROCKIN' ALL NITE sounded as if it belongs to a rock jamming session .
ROCKIN' ALL NITE is quite fun to sing along to but I wouldn't really consider it as my fave album track in NO MORE PAIИ .
Going ! is KAT-TUN's 12th single & it was used as the theme song for the NTV show Going ! Sports & News , which featured Kame as a special weekly commentator .
I had a lot of dislike towards Going ! initally as at that time when the single was released , it was so bland if not boring/unmemorable to me .
This is despite the fact that for both Going ! & Love yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~ were written & composed by the same group of people .
I'm ok with Going ! now but out of the singles the group has released from Real Face til now , this's probably 1 of their weaker sounding A-sides .
Jumping all the way straight to track #13 , it's PROMISE SONG .
PROMISE SONG can be considered as the successor from Break the Records -by you & for you-'s Neiro (Tone) since both songs are ballads .
I was quite bored with PROMISE SONG on 1st listen . Maybe because of the duration as it's the longest song on NO MORE PAIИ , clocking in at 5:25 mins .
But I wouldn't deny there's some nice harmonisation group effort that the members put into .
Found only in the CD only edition of NO MORE PAIИ , it's HELLO .
This's some fancy finger snapping no. ! I thought I might get annoyed by the numerous/various yelling of HELLO that's humming in the background but I wasn't that bothered by this .
Instead , the guys give this song a much needed life & personally I find this to be quite the perfect album song to conclude NO MORE PAIИ .
Ok I have finished reviewing the singles & the new album tracks , it's time for me to talk about the solos , 1 by 1 .
1) SWEET (Kamenashi Kazuya's Solo) - I reviewed SWEET last week or so in my blog & I will more or less say the same thing in that I feel this's not 1 of the Kame's strongest solos to date .
The saving grace for SWEET is that it's an easy listening mid tempo song & he sounded pretty much at ease in belting out this no. but it does not have the edge/oomph factor that I was looking for , unlike his previous solo songs such as 1582 , someday for somebody & let alone Kizuna (Bonds) .
Still I take SWEET over w/o notice ?? anytime of the day .
2) LOVE MUSIC (Taguchi Junnosuke's Solo) - LOVE MUSIC is the 2nd solo song that Taguchi has a hand in writing after WIND .
Similarly like Kame's SWEET , I frankly do not find anything special to shout about LOVE MUSIC but I commend Taguchi for writing LOVE MUSIC .
What I like about Taguchi is that despite his limited vocals capability , he's able to sing/choose songs that suit/conceal his vocals which's good .
3) MAKE U WET ~CHAPTER 2~ (Tanaka Koki's Solo) - Written by Tanaka , be it when comes to the lyrics & rap , this's MAKE U WET ~CHAPTER 2~ .
Chapter 1 of the song can be found in cartoon KAT-TUN II you where Tanaka had a solo song called Make U Wet .
Usually I'm not a fan of Tanaka's solos but MAKE U WET ~CHAPTER 2~ surprised me in the sense that I thought the same melody from Make U Wet might be utilised but this solo song takes on a different direction/light .
I'm still waiting for the day for Tanaka to dish out a solo ballad as it's not as if he can't carry ballads well on his own .
4) RABBIT OR WOLF ? (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo) - RABBIT OR WOLF ? is written & composed by Ueda .
This's probably 1 of Ueda's most unusual solos as it's very fast paced guitar driven & also Ueda sounded as if he was 1/2 singing & also 1/2 rapping at the same time in RABBIT OR WOLF ? .
It's not easy to carry off such a song & I was surprised when I 1st heard RABBIT OR WOLF ? as this's something that he has never done before .
RABBIT OR WOLF ? is not my fave solo of Ueda but as always , I salute him for writing/composing this seeing that I consider him as the most musically gifted in the group .
Ueda's other self written/composed songs are much better & more solid but if you ask me , I take RABBIT OR WOLF ? over LOST anytime of the day .
5) FILM (Nakamaru Yuichi's Solo) - FLIM is the last solo song on NO MORE PAIИ this's sung by the beatboxer of the group Nakamaru .
Nakamaru cowrote FLIM with T-OGA .
All this while , I always have like Nakamaru's solos as I feel he has a really nice voice in KAT-TUN & he definitely has a lot of talent that I admire in him , be it when comes to the vocals & beatboxing department .
So I was not surprised that I like FLIM on 1st listen . You also can detect some slight autotune being utilised in FLIM .
The usage of autotune in FLIM is not as significant as compared to THE D-MOTION & RIGHT NOW but it's ok as you don't need any extra stuff to mess up with Nakamaru's vocals & it's evident in FLIM where a little bit of something's good enough .
NO MORE PAIИ is released to concide with the group's current ongoing tour in Japan & also in line for their upcoming 1st Asian tour too .
I wouldn't deny that initally I thought everything happen all too suddenly & quickly but thankfully my fears were unfounded in a way or 2 when I gave NO MORE PAIИ a listen from the start to the end .
Album tracks wise , most of them are really solid & a lot more stronger & well put together as compared to cartoon KAT-TUN II you , which was quite a big mess for me to handle .
I think it's great to know that this time round , the reminding members know what works / doesn't work for them as it's definitely not easy to carry off a song if not a whole album without their 2nd co-lead vocalist Akanishi so for this , it's commendable .
But on the other hand , the solos in NO MORE PAIИ are weaker . Some of the solos did not leave a big impression on me & this in the process I had to relisten to some of them again .
Like what I said with regards to SWEET & LOVE MUSIC , both solos do not have the needed edge/spark that I was looking for .
So this in a way or 2 drag NO MORE PAIИ down quite significantly .
However if you were to compare NO MORE PAIИ against cartoon KAT-TUN II you , it's quite evident that NO MORE PAIИ is a lot more put together & more solid .
Even though I said the solos in the group's latest album are quite weak this time round , this should not stop you from listening to NO MORE PAIИ as the album tracks are more or less the main highlights of the album , especially with regards to N.M.P. (NO MORE PAIN) .
Hopefully I wouldn't have to wait that long for KAT-TUN to release something new but I don't see this from happening anytime soon since both KT-TUN & Akanishi are tied up with various activities , be it whether solo or group related .