CD Review :: ARASHI - THE DIGITALIAN
CD + DVD
3) Tell me why
5) Imaging Crazy (Ohno Satoshi's solo)
6) GUTS !
7) Disco Star (Aiba Masaki's solo)
8) Daremo Shiranai
10) STAY GOLD (Matsumoto Jun's solo)
12) Merry Christmas (Ninomiya Kazunari's solo)
13) Kimi no Yume o Mite Ita
14) One Step
15) Hey Yeah ! (Sakurai Sho's solo)
16) Hope in the darkness
17) Take Off !!!!! (CD Only Track)
THE DIGITALIAN is ARASHI's 13th album & it was released last month on 22nd Oct .
The group's latest album offering comes in almost a year since the release of their previous album LOVE .
THE DIGITALIAN includes 3 singles , 8 new album tracks , 5 solos & a bonus track Take Off !!!!! that's only available in the CD only edition .
In THE DIGITALIAN , ARASHI embraced a new sound for this new album , adding plenty of EDM & electronica elements into the tracks .
Kicking things off in THE DIGITALIAN is the album opening track titled Zero-G .
Zero-G is also the only album track that gets a video . It's a strong memorable track that sets the tone on what to expect in the later further tracks found in THE DIGITALIAN .
I wouldn't really want to compare Zero-G against LOVE's P・A・R・A・D・O・X as both songs are completely different but I would say that Zero-G do deserve to get a video .
In keeping up with the EDM electronica theme of THE DIGITALIAN , the next 3 songs after Zero-G are also in the same vibe as well . Wonderful is an ok song in which I feel it's 1 of the weaker links in the album as it doesn't really stand out that much .
Tell me why & Asterisk are 2 tracks back to back that have the inclusion of Sakurap which's always a plus point in ARASHI's songs . Tell me why is the closest you can get for a ballad in the album while for Asterisk , it's a seriously fast paced upbeat number that hits the right notes .
Imaging Crazy is the 1st solo track in THE DIGITALIAN & this song is sung by the group leader Ohno Satoshi .
Ohno's solos consistently have been good all the while but surprisingly this time round I feel that his latest solo offering is the weakest if not my least fave in the album .
It's not that Imaging Crazy is bad and/or boring but something about this song lacks character especially when I compare it with the other members' solos . The song overall is ok but coming from Ohno , I guess I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed over it .
GUTS ! is ARASHI's 43rd single . It was picked to be used as the theme song for the drama Yowakutemo Katemasu ~Aoshi Sensei to Heppoko Koukou Kyuji no Yabou starring member Ninomiya Kazunari .
Described as an encouragement song to spur you on to pursue your dreams & hopes , GUTS ! is something that will inspire anyone's youthful spirit , regardless of age .
Disco Star is the 2nd solo track in THE DIGITALIAN & this song is sung by Aiba Masaki .
Just like LOVE's Yozora e no Tegami , Disco Star is another stellar no. that Aiba delivered . While Yozora e no Tegami is a ballad , Disco Star is a full on dance number which's super fun to boot .
1 thing about Aiba is that even though he's quite limited in the vocals department , he's able to pick solos that utilised his vocals' strength and/or showcase his jovial personality as evident in Disco Star in which I enjoyed it tremendously .
Hence out of the 5 solos available in the album , Disco Star is my fave out of the lot .
Daremo Shiranai is ARASHI's 44th single & it was the last single released before THE DIGITALIAN .
This song served as the main theme no. for the drama Shinigami Kun starring member/leader Ohno Satoshi & it's described as a high-energy pop number with a gothic flavour .
TRAP is the 5th album track & honestly if not for Zero-G getting a video , I rather TRAP gets it instead because it's a very interesting no. + it's 1 of those songs that's in your face with plenty of attitude to boot .
STAY GOLD is the 3rd solo track in THE DIGITALIAN & this song is sung by Matsumoto Jun .
In addition , MatsuJun had a hand in cowriting STAY GOLD with Macoto56 .
MatsuJun's solos have always been rather inconsistent as his solos could be good or just plain weird/bad . Luckily that's not the case for STAY GOLD .
STAY GOLD is surprisingly not bad & it's also quite a catchy upbeat no. . Both the opening & closing of the song are quite interesting + also props to MatsuJun for co-writing it too .
Bittersweet is ARASHI's 42nd single & it's the last single included in THE DIGITALIAN .
The song was picked to be used as the theme no. for the TV series Shitsuren Chocolatier starring member Matsumoto Jun . Shitsuren Chocolatier is a live-action drama adaptation of Mizushiro Setona's popular manga of the same name .
Merry Christmas is the 4th solo track in THE DIGITALIAN & this song is sung by Ninomiya Kazunari .
For this song , Nino cowrote it with Ogawa Takashi while Nino himself composed it & co-arranged it with ha-j .
With a song title like Merry Christmas , it's no surprises it's quite fitting given that Christmas is coming real soon + it's a fun festive no. coming from Nino .
1 thing from Nino's solos that I like is the personal input that he does , be it when comes to writing , composing or both . Merry Christmas might not be his strongest solo but you can't help but feel appreciated of his efforts upon hearing it .
Kimi no Yume o Mite Ita & One Step are the next 2 album tracks . Just like Wonderful , I find Kimi no Yume o Mite Ita to be on the weak side as I find it quite unmemorable on 1st listen while for One Step , it's a cute enduring no. that's quite crowd friendly .
Hey Yeah ! is the 5th/last solo track in THE DIGITALIAN & this song is handled by Sakurai Sho .
A Sakurai solo would feel incomplete without Sakurap & this's where Hey Yeah ! comes in .
I enjoyed Sakurai's previous solo sugar and salt in LOVE . While sugar and salt is a ballad , Hey Yeah ! is a fuss free fun upbeat no. which's catchy + memorable .
Sakurai's solos can be inconsistent from time to time but luckily that's not the case for Hey Yeah ! which showcases what he does best , be it when comes to singing and/or rapping without going over the top .
Hope in the darkness is the final track in the album (for the CD + DVD edition) + it's a great fitting no. in concluding THE DIGITALIAN .
The song started off in a rather haunting mood but slowly Hope in the darkness is able to lure in listeners as the dynamics of the no. is interesting & frankly I can't think of any other song more suitable than this to wrap things up .
Take Off !!!!! is exclusively available in the CD only edition of THE DIGITALIAN . For this song , the lyrics were written by Sakurai .
This's 1 song that's not meant to be taken seriously as Take Off !!!!! is quite an amusing no. . From rapping coming from all 5 members to random singing to Sakurai speaking English in the background , it's 1 of those songs that's all over the place .
Celebrating their 15th anniversary in the business + in line with their upcoming 5 major domes tour ARASHI LIVE TOUR 2014 THE DIGITALIAN that will start next week on 14th Nov , 1 of Japan's most formidable group ARASHI has released their latest album THE DIGITALIAN .
I have to be honest when I 1st heard that THE DIGITALIAN was going to include a lot of EDM , I was skeptical as it could whine up to be good or bad but luckily the overall effort ain't that bad even though on 1st listen , I thought it was not as good as LOVE .
Some of the songs in THE DIGITALIAN take a much longer time for me to remember since the tracks all utilise EDM unlike LOVE where most of the tracks have their own unique identity .
That said , THE DIGITALIAN is overall not a bad album , there're still quite a few good tracks worth enjoying & except for Bittersweet , the other 2 singles are still solid .
The latest solos included in THE DIGITALIAN are also quite top notch & another thing I want to bring up is that sound consistency wise , THE DIGITALIAN flows quite well from start til end .
It takes a lot for ARASHI to able to sustain themselves in the business for 15 years & counting as compared to their early days , not a lot of people cared about them + say what you want to say about them but there's no deny that they really worked their way up to get to where they're & not a lot of artistes are able to enjoy a 2nd surge of popularity like them .
On that note , happy 15th anniversary ARASHI + may there be many more anniversaries to come !