Wednesday, January 28, 2015
KAT-TUN - Dead or Alive
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Dead or Alive is KAT-TUN's 23rd single & it was released last week on 21st Jan .
The quartet's 1st release of 2015 , Dead or Alive was chosen to be used as the theme song for movie Joker・Game starring member Kamenashi Kazuya .
In addition , Dead or Alive was picked to be used in the ads of Listen Radio .
Joker・Game will open in Japan theatres this coming Sat on 31st Jan . The movie is based on a mystery novel by Yanagi Koji that has sold over 800,000 copies .
This's the 2nd time KAT-TUN has provided a theme song for a movie , the 1st time was their 21st single FACE to Face which was used to promote Ore Ore that starred Kame .
Dead or Alive is described as a hard tune which depicts the paper-thin extremity between life & death as in Joker・Game , geniuses put their intelligence to the test in a dramatically impactful & large-scale game . In Dead or Alive , the song showcases how KAT-TUN continues to dig even deeper as they mature .
There're a total of 4 B-sides in Dead or Alive . WHITE LOVER & You are DELICIOUS ! are available in the CD only edition of the single .
WHITE LOVERS is a nice mid tempo track that contrasts the A-side quite well & despite the questionable title , You are DELICIOUS ! is a fun upbeat somewhat poppy no. that I find it enjoyable to listen to .
Polaris is only available in the CD + DVD A edition of Dead or Alive & just like WHITE LOVERS , it's a mid tempo track but equally as good as any other of past slow songs that KAT-TUN's known for .
The last B-side Hanasanaide Ai is only available in the CD + DVD A edition of Dead or Alive & for this song , it's a solo track sung by Kame .
Hanasanaide Ai has a music video & this song was performed live for the 1st time during KAT-TUN's concert 3 years ago during Summer . Song credits wise , it was written & composed by KinKi Kids' Domoto Tsuyoshi .
Way before I found out who was responsible for writing/composing Kame's Hanasanaide Ai , I already had a strong feeling it was Tsuyoshi as his solo influences can be felt quite greatly in the song .
Still , Hanasanaide Ai is a great solo & it might took a bit longer than expected but for it to finally get the CD treatment , it's something worth the wait .
KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya is starring in the new spy thriller Joker・Game & KAT-TUN is providing the theme song to the movie ! Dead or Alive is an intense pulse-pounding song that is the perfect way to bring listeners into the film's world .
Dead or Alive is overall a great solid single release & it's a good 1 for KAT-TUN to kick off 2015 . Except for You are DELICIOUS ! , the other B-sides present a more mellow side of KAT-TUN in which I've said previously that I do feel that the guys shine in both tough hard rock songs + ballads & this's evident with the release of Dead or Alive .
I look forward to KAT-TUN's future music releases for 2015 & for now Dead or Alive is a highly recommended single worth checking out .
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
B'z - Uchouten
Cover for both CD & CD + DVD editions
2) Endless Summer
Uchouten is B'z's 51st single & it was released last week on 14th Jan .
This's the duo's 1st single release of 2015 & their last single release was 2012's GO FOR IT , BABY -Kioku no Sanmyaku- .
Described as a motivational rock tune , Uchouten was picked to be used as the theme song for NTV drama Gakkou Kaidan .
After 3 years of solo activities by the members , B'z are finally back together with brand new material ! Uchouten started off with slow sounding acoustic guitar riffs but slowly but surely the song transformed into a hard rock edge number which really ramped up things by a notch or 2 .
Endless Summer serves as the B-side in the single & likewise with the A-side , it's yet another enjoyable song that's filled with catchy hooks .
The best selling Japan act of all time is finally back with this stellar solid release in the form of Uchouten & frankly I can't think of any reason on not to respect B'z . If their staying power isn't testimonial to their still evergreen popularity , I don't know what else to say .
B'z's 19th album EPIC DAY will be released on 4th March with Uchouten included in the tracklist as track #2 .
On that note , welcome back B'z , you have been missed !
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
NEWS - KAGUYA
CD + DVD
KAGUYA is NEWS's 17th single & it was released last week on 7th Jan .
The quartet's 1st release of 2015 , the A-side is based on a theme of Princess Kaguya from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter , 1 of the best known folk tales in Japanese culture .
KAGUYA is described as an emotional love song that fuses the folktale with the NEWS of the present . The video for KAGUYA was directed by renowned photographer/director Ninagawa Mika & it portrays a colourful present day Princess Kaguya .
There're a total of 4 B-sides available in the single . Butterfly is a really nice mid tempo track that contrasts the A-side quite well .
Wasurenagusa & TOP OF THE WORLD are only available in the CD only regular edition of the single . Wasurenagusa is a lovely acapella driven song & the only downside is that this track's a bit too short . When I 1st heard it , I was surprised as the song ended abruptly just like that .
TOP OF THE WORLD is a fun upbeat number that has slight traces of EDM thrown in for good measure .
TRAVeLiNG is exclusively found in the CD only limited edition of KAGUYA . Out of the 4 B-sides , this's my least fave as there's something about TRAVeLiNG that doesn't feel/sound right to me .
1 of Johnny's & Associates most talented group NEWS kicks off the brand new year with the release of their latest single offering KAGUYA .
With the exception of TRAVeLiNG , KAGUYA is an otherwise really solid release & the A-side is just gorgeous to boot with it having a rather strong Oriental backing , something that I was immediately drawn to the moment I 1st heard it .
I do hope that in 2015 , NEWS will release more material as it's somewhat ironic that their releases have not been that frequent after the departure of their 2 most prominent members Yamashita Tomohisa & Nishikido Ryo . And to me it's a pity that I always feel that NEWS has always consistently put out good music which's evident in KAGUYA .
And speaking of new material , NEWS will release their 6th album White next month on 25th Feb , with their last album release being 2013's NEWS . To top it all off , NEWS will embark on a new tour NEWS LIVE TOUR 2015 White to support/promote the new album .