CD Review :: KAT-TUN - CHAIN
CD + DVD
1) LOCK ON
2) ONE DAY
4) ULTIMATE WHEELS
5) FINALE (Taguchi Junnosuke's Solo)
6) STEP BY STEP (Nakamaru Yuichi's Solo)
7) RUN FOR YOU
8) Ano Hi no You ni (As Of That Day)
9) Zutto (Always) (Kamenashi Kazuya's Solo)
10) SMILE FOR YOU
11) Hakanai Yubisaki (Fleeting Fingertips)
12) ~again (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo)
13) CHANGE UR WORLD
14) DANGEROUS CAT ~MAKE ME WET~ (Tanaka Koki's Solo)
15) Hodoukyou (Pedestrian Bridge)
CHAIN is KAT-TUN's 6th album & this was released last week on 22nd Feb .
5 singles are included in the latest album offering of the guys & their last album release was 2010's NO MORE PAIИ .
Because of the way CHAIN is structured , I will be reviewing the group tracks & solos separately to prevent confusion from arising .
LOCK ON is the 1st album track & this's the only new song that received a music video although the original choice of song that supposed to get a video was another album track titled SMILE FOR YOU .
KAT-TUN are known for having really great opening no.s for their albums & LOCK ON is no exception . Immediately when the song starts , in comes a surge of mean in your face energy & let alone , it's a very catchy/memorable edgy rock tune .
LOCK ON is definitely the right song to start things & a no. that really deserves to get a video .
ONE DAY is the 2nd album group track & this was used in the ads of Suzuki Solio . Another strong sounding no. , ONE DAY has a much more faster paced beat , coupled with shades of electro & violin thrown in for good measures .
This song sounds a little bit like the group's 16th single RUN FOR YOU & I suppose it's a compliment since both ONE DAY & RUN FOR YOU are equally fantastic .
BIRTH is KAT-TUN's 17th single & this was used to promote NTV's Yokai Ningen Bem drama which starred Kamenashi Kazuya .
Described as a positive support no. that intends to provide encouragement for those who feel uneasy about the unpredictable nature of the world today , BIRTH is still 1 of those songs that I never get tired from , lyrically & musically .
ULTIMATE WHEELS is the group's 14th single & ; this was used in the ads of Suzuki's New Model Solio .
Looking ahead to the future , ULTIMATE WHEELS is about the bond between the members & working together as a group .
I think out of the 5 singles included in CHAIN , ULTIMATE WHEELS is 1 of my most fave & it's a bit unfortunate this comes across as being under-rated as I feel this's 1 track that's extremely grand sounding in terms of the various layering of different instruments & combining that with a rock & orchestra sound , makes ULTIMATE WHEELS a winner in its own right .
Jumping straight to track #7 , it's RUN FOR YOU which was KAT-TUN's 16th single .
A song about chasing a person's dreams & moving forward , RUN FOR YOU is an inspirational gift from the guys to their devoted fans & this's the successor from ULTIMATE WHEELS as RUN FOR YOU was the 2nd song that was in the ads of Suzuki's New Model Solio .
Without a doubt , RUN FOR YOU is an awesome track even up to now . I can never get enough of just how insanely catchy this tune's . It's a bit like THE D-MOTION & RIGHT NOW only that RUN FOR YOU is much more gritter & edgy .
With that said , this's still a song that I love from the guys so I have no complaints to add on for this .
Ano Hi no You ni (As Of That Day) is the 3rd group album track & this's written by singer songwriter miwa* & the presence of JOKER rap lyrics can be felt here .
Out of all the new group album tracks included in CHAIN , Ano Hi no You ni is the only song that include rap lyrics that's delivered by Tanaka Koki .
The 2nd song in KAT-TUN's discography to be written by miwa* after BIRTH's BABY B MINE , Ano Hi no You ni is quite a slow sounding no. & quite possibly 1 of the more mellow tracks included in CHAIN .
This's a pleasant sounding no. but I do admit I find Ano Hi no You ni a bit too slow for my liking but on the upside , it allows the haromnisation of vocals of the guys to get showcase here but I wouldn't consider this as a fave album track in CHAIN although I stil say this's something worth checking out .
Jumping straight to track #10 , it's SMILE FOR YOU which was used in the ads for Mobile Game Site's untag ! .
This's the song that was originally supposed to get a video before it was decided LOCK ON should get it instead & I'm actually glad that decision was made because while SMILE FOR YOU is something that I enjoy , I feel it's not song worthy to get a video .
SMILE FOR YOU is quite a cute song that leans more towards the pop side but at least this showcases another side of KAT-TUN , music wise .
Hakanai Yubisaki (Fleeting Fingertips) follows after SMILE FOR YOU & this's a song that I kind of like . Not as slow sounding as Ano Hi no You ni but then again , Hakanai Yubisaki is very calm & soothing which's pleasant to the ears .
Also a hint of sadness can be detected in Hakanai Yubisaki too .
Jumping straight to track #13 , it's CHANGE UR WORLD which's concidentally KAT-TUN's 13th single .
CHANGE UR WORLD was used as the theme song for NTV's Going ! Sports & News & this showcases the boys' strengthened bond in delivering this energetic dance tune .
Lots of guitar riffs were utilised for the song . KORN's Ray Luzier plays the drums for CHANGE UR WORLD .
The successor of the group's 12th single Going ! , promo wise , CHANGE UR WORLD is the oldest track to be included in CHAIN & it's also 1 of their most angsty driven singles .
Obviously comparing Going ! against CHANGE UR WORLD , the latter will win hands down as I still feel that KAT-TUN is best at delivering mean gritty edgy songs & it's evident in CHANGE UR WORLD .
The 2nd last group album track , Hodoukyou (Pedestrian Bridge) is track #15 . The 3rd slow sounding no. , Hodoukyou has a really good harmonisation of vocals that is showcased here .
Something about Hodoukyou just brings out a different music side of KAT-TUN . It can be easy to dismiss Hodoukyou as an album filler track but to me , I don't have any issues with this song .
WHITE is KAT-TUN's 15th single & this was used in the ads of SOFINA WHITENING LOTION ad & it's the last single included in CHAIN .
Described as a song that has a lively & refreshing melody , WHITE is a cheery sounding no. that the guys delivered which's such a change from their usual aggressive driven no.s .
Unlike their other non harder sounding tracks which took me quite a while to get used to , I didn't had any problems with regards to WHITE .
SOLDIER is the last group track & boy oh boy , this song's really something that I couldn't help but be in awe when I 1st heard it .
CHAIN has a great opening no. in the form of LOCK ON so it makes sense to conclude the album with a grand ending no. & SOLIDER definitely fits the bill .
SOLDIER is perhaps 1 of the most unusual songs I've heard from KAT-TUN in recent times with it being experimental , moody & quite dark but the way the guys delivered this song is brillant .
However , SOLIDER is not the last song included in CHAIN as shortly after the song concludes , there's a bonus hidden track that's supposedly titled CHAIN OF LOVE .
The group's very 1st album to include a hidden track , CHAIN OF LOVE is perhaps an ode to CHAIN .
A pretty cute sounding track just like SMILE FOR YOU , CHAIN OF LOVE I feel is 1 of those standard sounding Johnny's songs . I don't know if it's a good or bad thing but I was definitely surprised to hear this after SOLDIER .
To say that both songs contrast each other , it's evident in SOLIDER & CHAIN OF LOVE .
Now that the singles & group album tracks have been reviewed , it's time for me to review the solos that're included in CHAIN :FINALE (Taguchi Junnosuke's Solo)
Taguchi is not the best vocalist in the group but he's able to select songs that somewhat utilise the strength & conceal the weakness his voice has .
For FINALE which is cowritten by Taguchi himself & NAO , this's quite an upbeat no. . A lot more edgier than LOVE MUSIC , FINALE is 1 of those songs that allows Taguchi to showcase his dance moves onstage & I suppose this's what he's trying to attain with this no. .
In short , I enjoy FINALE .STEP BY STEP (Nakamaru Yuichi's Solo)
Nakamaru's solos always have been consistently good ever since KAT-TUN decided to incorporate solos in their albums & the same thing applies to STEP BY STEP .
Just like his previous album solo FLIM , STEP BY STEP is a funky dance no. . A downside I feel that STEP BY STEP suffered is that this's not something new & it sounded like a song that Nakamaru used to do before .
Then again , Nakamaru has 1 of the best vocals in the talent agency & STEP BY STEP is still worth a listen . Zutto (Always) (Kamenashi Kazuya's Solo)
Even before I take a listen to Kame's latest album solo offering , I kind of have a hunch that Zutto was going to be a ballad .
Zutto is definitely a ballad but comparing this against his previous ballad solos such as Kizuna (Bond) , it's a lot more slower . It can get a bit boring but the upside's that Kame's able to control his voice well in here .
I wouldn't consider Zutto as my fave Kame solo . Zutto is still worth checking out but hopefully in the group's next album , he would deliver an awesome upbeat no. & I definitely don't mind another 1582 !~again (Ueda Tatsuya's Solo)
I consider Ueda as 1 if not the most musically gifted/talented in KAT-TUN but unfortunately for his case , his solos tend to fall either in the hit or miss category .
For Ueda's latest album solo offering ~again , this's written & composed by Ueda himself under the alter ego names MOUSE PEACE "Tatsuya" & MOUSE PEACE "Masami" .
As for ~again , I'm glad to say that this falls in the hit category & it definitely reminds me of another 1 of his solos which's Love in snow .
A very mid tempo smooth sounding track , ~again is definitely a big improvement over the recent solos he dished out in the group's singles & albums but I'm still hoping for the day when Love in snow gets the album treatment .DANGEROUS CAT ~MAKE ME WET~ (Tanaka Koki's Solo)
The last solo included in CHAIN , it's the group's rapper Tanaka's solo no. DANGEROUS CAT ~MAKE ME WET~ & the song's written under Tanaka's alias JOKER .
I frankly have a love/hate relationship with Tanaka's solos as his solo offerings are 1 of those where listeners might be stumped or just get completely grossed out & unfortunately , that's the case for DANGEROUS CAT ~MAKE ME WET~ .
I thought his previous solos were really erotic sounding but DANGEROUS CAT ~MAKE ME WET~ takes the cake in being up there on the weird department & it didn't help that with a song title like this , he decided to use cat & dog sounds to sorta amp things up .
Needless to say , DANGEROUS CAT ~MAKE ME WET~ is something I will be skipping as it's pretty random sounding . I'm still hoping for the day when Tanaka release a solo ballad for a change though .
After close to 2 years since 2010's NO MORE PAIИ , KAT-TUN unleashes their 6th album CHAIN with plenty of attitude & punch .
CHAIN was released a day before de facto leader Kamenashi Kazuya's 26th birthday & this is the group's 1st official album not to include any of former co-lead vocalist Akanishi jin's vocals , songs wise .
All in all , I feel that CHAIN is quite a solid offering & a neat follow up from NO MORE PAIИ . It wasn't easy for KAT-TUN when Akanishi Jin left as all along , they delivered songs with the help of 2 co-lead vocalists so after Akanishi left , the reminding members had to find ways in order to overcome this musical hurdle which I feel they did a great job as evident in the singles that're included in CHAIN .
I said this before in previous albums that include a mixture of group & album tracks in that it's tough for an album on whole to sound really great & that's where CHAIN suffered this fate again .
Group tracks wise , I feel that they're pretty good overall although a few tracks borderline on the album filler factor . On the other hand , the solos this time round are neither good or bad .
The solos could have sounded a lot more better or if they could be separated & put in a different disc as by putting both group & solos together in 1 disc , the sound consistency tends to get messed up .
All in all , CHAIN is a commendable effort coming from KAT-TUN & as the album title suggests , CHAIN refers to the strength of the link that ties the members together , promising that KAT-TUN will stay united as one .