CD Review :: Fukuyama Masaharu - HUMAN
2 CDs + DVD & 2 CDs + muffler towel
4) Toribi !
9) Showa Yattane
1) Kazoku no Narou yo
2) fighting pose
3) Ikiteru Ikiteku
4) Around the world
5) Beautiful life
7) Tanjoubi ni wa Masshiro na Yuri wo
8) Get the groove
9) Koi no Maryoku
HUMAN is Fukuyama Masaharu's 11th album & it was released on 2nd April .
Fukuyama's last original album release was 2009's Zankyou & in this case , HUMAN was released in a 2 CDs edition , alongside with a 2 CDs + DVD & 2 CDs + muffler towel set .
The jacket cover of HUMAN features a cross sectional X-ray of Fukuyama's brain .
Because of the unique structure the way HUMAN was released , each disc will be reviewed separately as so .
The 1st disc in HUMAN consists of 9 songs that includes 2 tracks that Fukuyama provided for the ads of Asahi Super Dry .
Kusunoki is the 1st track in disc 1 of HUMAN which's a slow tempo song that's piano driven .
After Prelude , the next song shares the same title as the album , HUMAN .
HUMAN (the song) is the only new album track that gets a music video . Promo wise , it was used in the ads of Asahi Super Dry .
It's easy to see why HUMAN (the song) has a video as it's a heart thumping no. which's quite in your face . I honestly feel that this should have been the 1st song in disc 1 & not Kusunoki as I feel it would have set a better tone on what to expect for the album in due course .
On the other hand after HUMAN , the next track Toribi ! is a light hearted song . It's quite strange but when I 1st heard Toribi ! , it gives me the whole feeling as though I'm in some beach that's found in Hawaii .
Miscast is track #5 & unlike Toribi ! which's happy sounding , that's not the case for Miscast which's quite an angsty song . While it's not a full blown out rock tune , Miscast still packs quite a lot of attitude .
Right after Miscast , it's 246 which I feel it's probably the weakest song in disc 1 . Perhaps it's because of the song title or that there're other better/memorable songs which as such it took me quite a long time to remember how 246 sounds like .
But after taking a few listens , 246 is actually quite a heartfelt no. but it's something I wouldn't consider as a fave track of mine in disc 1 .
Thankfully the next song Cherry is a whole lot more better . This's actually 1 of my fave songs as it's catchy , groovy & upbeat . Honestly if not for HUMAN (the song) , Cherry should have been 1 that gets a video as it's 1 of those songs that puts me in a good mood should I hear it .
Akatsuki is the 2nd last track in disc 1 of HUMAN . Just like HUMAN (the song) , it was also used in the ads of Asahi but for their Asahi Super Dry Premium series .
Unlike HUMAN (the song) , Akatsuki is a ballad just like 246 . It's actually a bit better/stronger than what 246 offers but surprisingly in disc 1 , the ballads offered by Fukuyama are the weak link .
Showa Yattane is the last song available in disc 1 & I like this song as it's basically a fuss free track . In addition , it's also quite listener friendly if not quite easy to sing along too , making this song a good fit to conclude things in the 1st disc of HUMAN .
Disc 2 of HUMAN also has 9 songs that includes 4 singles Fukuyama had released since 2011 to last year .
Kazoku no Narou yo / fighting pose is Fukuyama's 27th single . The 1st A-side Kazoku no Narou yo was used in the ads of Zexy which's a Japanese wedding magazine .
Described as a heartwarming acoustic guitar ballad , Kazuko ni Narou yo is Fukuyama's very 1st wedding song in which he wrote it with the theme of family in mind .
Fukuyama was forced to stop his nationwide tour for a month after the March 11th 2011 earthquake took place . When he resumed touring , he performed Kazuko ni Narou yo for the 1st time . It's said that the performance of this song caused a lot of Fukuyama's female fans in the audience to tear up .
In commenting about Kazoku no Narou yo , Fukuyama said , "I believe many people started reconsidering about family bonds with this situation & I wrote Kazuko ni Narou yo using family as the theme . I hope you think about your loved ones while you listen to this song ."
The 2nd A-side fighting pose was used as the WOWOW broadcast image song . This song was written to aid the March 11th 2011 earthquake relief with a portion of the sales donated to relief funds .
Ikiteru Ikiteku is Fukuyama's 28th single & it was used as the theme song for the movie Doraemon Nobita to Kiseki no Shima ~Animal Adventure~ .
In 2011 , Fukuyama joined the Doraemon animated television series as his animated alter ego Fukuyama Masa-aki .
Around the world originally served as the B-side in Ikiteru Ikiteku & it was used in the ads of Asahi Super Dry . This's also the only B-side included in disc 2 of HUMAN .
Beautiful life / GAME is Fukuyama's 29th single . The 1st A-side Beautiful life was used in the ads of P & G's SK-II & it's described as a heartwarming ballad .
On the other hand , the 2nd A-side GAME was used as the theme song for the 2012 London Olympic coverage that was broadcasted via TV Asahi & it's described as a hot-blooded rock tune .
Tanjoubi ni wa Masshiro na Yuri wo / Get the groove is Fukuyama's 30th single . The 1st A-side Tanjoubi ni wa Masshiro na Yuri wo was used as the theme song for Uchino Masaaki's drama Tonbi .
Tonbi is based on a best-selling novel by Naoki Award winner Shigematsu Kiyoshi . It portrays a story about a man (Uchino) who raises his son (played by Sato Takeru) by himself after his wife passes away .
Tanjoubi ni wa Masshiro na Yuri wo is described as a heartwarming touching ballad about a father-son relationship , Fukuyama received a request from producer Ishimaru Akihiko to create "a song that will make 1 have feelings to return to their hometown ." As such , for the very 1st time , Fukuyama wrote a song with his parents in mind .
Fukuyama commented , "I've always wanted to turn my feelings towards my mother & father into something , so I did my best to write it without being embarrassed . Even though we're apart , I turned my expression of love into a song ."
Even the title is filled with appreciation for Fukuyama's mother as he sends her flowers every year on his birthday . Producer Ishimaru stated , "When I first heard Tanjoubi ni wa Masshiro na Yuri wo , the world that Fukuyama spins opened up before me . I was very happy that he made a straightforward song ."
The 2nd A-side Get the groove was used in the ads of Asahi Super Dry CM song & it's described as a spirited rock tune .
Koi no Maryoku is the final track found in disc 2 of HUMAN & this's Fukuyama's self-cover of KOH+ , which's a unit that Fukuyama formed alongside with Shibasaki Kou .
Promo wise , Koi no Maryoku was used as the theme song for the Fuji TV drama Galileo .
KOH+ was formed in 2007 when Fukuyama & Shibasaki co-starred in Galileo . They attracted attention by singing the drama's theme song & were also in charge of the theme song for the movie Yougisha X no Kenshin which was released in 2008 .
Koi no Maryoku is described as an uptempo love song & since I never heard the version that KOH+ sung , I will take it that Fukuyama's self cover of the song to be something new .
The only song that's not released as a single & also the last song included in disc 2 , Koi no Maryoku is an uptempo no. which's just in your face . I'm sure Fukuyama had a lot of fun in recording this self cover of Koi no Maryoku & I definitely have a lot of fun in listening to this ditty .
After being in the business for 24 years , there's definitely no signs of Fukuyama Masaharu slowing down anytime soon which's evident in his 1st album release in 5 years titled HUMAN .
It's daunting to know that Fukuyama hasn't released a new album in such a long time with his last album release being 2009's Zankyou but I must say , listening to HUMAN was quite an interesting thing in that with it being a 2 disc album & let alone in the way the album is being released/structured .
Usually an artiste's album will 'dump' the singles + new album tracks into 1 package but for Fukuyama to separate/do things in an album tracks only & a singles tracks only discs respectively , that's something quite unheard of if not rarely seen/done .
Honestly to me this's something I don't mind as before HUMAN was released , the singles included in the 2nd disc of the album are mostly songs that I already enjoyed a great deal (except for Fukuyama's self cover of Koi no Maryoku) & in this case , both discs allow me to listen to the pre & post release of HUMAN .
1 drawback of any artiste's album is the tendency that it might/might not flow well as there's a possibility that when you include both singles & new album songs side by side together , the chances of an inconsistency music flow might happen which I think in HUMAN , it's something that Fukuyama wanted to avoid .
That said , both discs are equally enjoyable . The new material found in disc 1 of HUMAN is quite good except for the ballads which I already mentioned upfront that they're the weak links but other than that , the release of HUMAN proves on why after being in the business for so long , Fukuyama Masaharu still got it going on in him as evident on what he offers in his latest album offering , HUMAN .