Thursday, March 31, 2016
KAT-TUN - Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume
2 CDs + DVD
Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume is a new song included in 1st best album KAT-TUN 10TH ANNIVERSARY BEST "10Ks!" .
KAT-TUN 10TH ANNIVERSARY BEST "10Ks!" was released on 22nd March , on the same day when their debut single Real Face , debut album Best of KAT-TUN & Real Face Film DVD were released exactly 10 years ago .
A ballad that expresses the group's thoughts and gratitude , Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume was written & composed by Suga Shikao whom was responsible for composing Real Face . The collaboration was realised as strongly wished by the members .
Suga quoted the lyrics from Real Face in Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume and soon to depart member Taguchi Junnosuke is not featured in Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume .
I think KAT-TUN couldn't have picked anyone else aside from Suga Shikao to write/compose Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume especially since he's the 1 that wrote their debut single .
Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume itself is really touching & it's the 1st song that featured Kame , Udea & Nakamaru vocals wise . And lyrically , it's great for Suga to quote the lyrics from Real Face and incorporated them into Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume .
Also before hearing Kimi no Yume Boku no Yume , I had doubts if the soon to be trio will be able to synch together well but turns out they're able to .
A 10th anniversary landmark is supposed to be a joyous thing but it's unfortunate for KAT-TUN it's a bittersweet feeling but no matter what happens , I will continue support KAT-TUN .
As for Taguchi who's leaving both the group & talent agency today , all the best to him as he will be missed dearly by fans .
Friday, March 25, 2016
Kis-My-Ft2 - Gravity
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Gravity is Kis-My-Ft2's 16th single & it was released on 16th March .
The group's 1st single release of 2016 , Gravity was picked to be used as the theme song to NTV's late-night drama MARS: Tada , Kimi wo Aishiteru. which's a live-action drama adaptation of Souryo Fuyumi's popular manga MARS. .
Member Fujigaya Taisuke and actor Kubota Masataka were cast as the leads in MARS: Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru.
The A-side is described as an uptempo dance tune with a sense of speed .
There're 3 B-sides in the single . The 1st 1 is something called MU-CHU-DE Koishiteru .
MU-CHU-DE Koishiteru was used to promote Ginza Calla which Fujigaya stars in the ads . A recording movie video was made & included in the single .
Despite the weird title , MU-CHU-DE Koishiteru is actually a nice uptempo song although I feel it sounds like something that should have been released during Winter as it has that Christmas vibes when I listened to it .
Crystal Sky & Gravity -Ballad ver.- are only available in the CD only edition of the single .
Out of the 3 B-side , Crystal Sky is my favourite as this's EDM autotune at its best .
Whereas for Gravity -Ballad ver.- , I'm not so keen on this version of Gravity . The A-side itself is fantastic but somehow I'm not feeling the ballad version of the song .
Perhaps the group was trying to recreate what they did for their 2012 / 5th single Ai no Beat where they did the song in 2 different music styles (which both the Dance & Rock renditions were good) but for Gravity -Ballad ver.- , I would have prefer it much more if the rap verses were excluded as end of the day , I still can hear traces of the original melody in it .
Kis-My-Ft2 musically kicks off 2016 with Gravity , which's a solid release and just like the song title , you can't help but be drawn onto this catchy track the moment you 1st hear it .
2016 will be the group's 5th anniversary since their music debut & it feels like yesterday when their debut single Everybody Go was 1st released .
Hopefully they will have something special planned to mark this milestone . But for now , Gravity is highly worth checking out .
Sunday, March 20, 2016
CD Review :: NEWS - QUARTETTO
CD + DVD
1) Theme of "QUARTETTO"
10) Chumu Chumu
12) Hikari no Shizuku
QUARTETTO is NEWS's 7th album & it was released on 9th March .
The group's new album was released 1 year 1 month after their previous album White . 2 singles , 1 DVD single & 1 DVD single B-side are included in QUARTETTO .
The CD only edition of the album includes 4 solo tracks while the CD + DVD edition excludes them . This time round , the album theme centres on "four people playing an instrument" .
Opening number Theme of "QUARTETTO" kicked things off in the new album & unusually , a video was made for this track despite it being an introduction no. with little/no singing involved .
However , the video itself showcases perhaps 1 of the coolest innovative video I've seen Johnnys wise as NEWS utilised a variety of different sounds to create Theme of "QUARTETTO" and frankly , the CD version does no justice to the video version of the track .
Sharing almost the same title as the record , it's the 1st proper new album track QUARTETTO . This track has a slight tint of Classical vibes thrown in and I think it's not bad , although the downside is that it's under 3 mins long and I wished it could have been longer .
ANTHEM is found as the 1st B-side in NEWS's 1st DVD single Yonjuushi & promo wise , it was used as the official song for FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015 .
At that time when I reviewed Yonjuushi , I enjoyed ANTHEM a great deal so seeing it making the cut in QUARTETTO , I have no issues with .
Sirius is the 2nd album track & this was used as the theme song to promote the Miss Slender underwear .
Despite the rather odd promo tie in , Sirius is hands down my favourite new song in QUARTETTO as it's a great uplifting no. . The 1st time I heard it , I already knew immediately this was something I was going to like .
Touch is the 2nd A-side of NEWS's 19th single Hikari no Shizuku / Touch .
Promo wise , this light Pop love song was used as a tie up no. for Nissen & NEWS themselves appeared in the ads .
NEWSKOOL is the 3rd group album track & this song showcases NEWS attempt to rap , both individually and/or group . It's a commendable effort as rapping is not their forte so it's actually quite fun for them to do something different .
Yonjuushi is NEWS's 1st DVD single & it was used as the opening theme song for the 2nd season of the anime Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R .
Described as a Classical Pop song which sampled Sergei Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini , Yonjuushi was arranged by female conductor Nishimoto Tomomi . Conducted by Nishimoto , IlluminArt Philharmonic Orchestra was in charge of the music .
Before QUARTETTO was materialised , I was wondering if Yonjuushi would be included but in the end , I'm glad to see it in the album tracklist as it rightfully deserves so .
Wonder & Life are the next 2 new group tracks . Oddly/hilariously , when I 1st heard Wonder , I thought I was listening to Golden Bomber as the style is a bit similar to what they do .
Whereas for Life , it frankly doesn't stand out to me despite the numerous times I listened to it .
Chumu Chumu is NEWS's 18th single . The Indian Bollywood inspired driven no. is described as an upbeat love song that everyone can sing & dance to . Chumu means kiss in Hindi , which is the official language of India
Departure is the last group new track available / 2nd last song in QUARTETTO (if you purchase the CD + DVD edition) & when I 1st heard it , it sounds like White's Weather NEWS slightly .
Hikari no Shizuku is the 1st A-side of NEWS's 19th single Hikari no Shizuku / Touch & it's the last song in the CD + DVD edition of QUARTETTO .
Promo wise , Hikari no Shizuku was picked to be used as the theme song for Fuji TV's drama Kasa wo Motanai Aritachi which was based on member Kato Shigeaki's short story of the same title . Shige himself stars in the drama & likewise for Kiryama Renn , Sakata Masanobu Adachi Rika , Watanabe Mai , Takeda Rena , Minamisawa Nao & Raita Ryu
Hikari no Shizuku is described as a support song for young people who are troubled or hesitant , a support song that gently shines a light on the troubles and doubts of young people .
NEWS welcomes fans to Quartetto world ! The Johnnys group's 7th album takes on the emphasis of the music & vocal harmonisation of the four members in the group .
1st of all , let me start with the positives of QUARTETTO . Concept wise , I definitely prefer it over White as I found their last album to be rather depressing & the covers didn't helped matters .
Next I applaud NEWS for choosing to make a video based on an album introduction track which has little/no vocals & I think utilising a variety of sounds to make a song is a lot more harder . They could have picked something else to make a video of but to do what they've done for Theme of “QUARTETTO” really opened my eyes in a different manner .
And lastly , the singles included in QUARTETTO are stellar as last year the singles that NEWS released were some of their most entertaining/musically diverse to date .
Despite the positives , QUARTETTO also has flaws too . While the singles found in the album are great , the album tracks suffered as they struggle to sound on par if not more superior than the single songs .
Except for QUARTETTO , Sirius & NEWSKOOL which I generally like , I feel that the other group album tracks had something lacking in them .
Ironically , I find the album material in White more stronger than QUARTETTO which's a real shame as I like the concept they've gone for in QUARTETTO but somehow unfortunately the group album tracks pushed the overall quality of NEWS's new album a few steps back .
I'm not sure why but I think when NEWS made their comeback as a quartet with their self titled / 5th album , it set a rather high music benchmark because subsequently , White & QUARTETTO weren't able to match up .
Perhaps what NEWS can do for their next album release is to release an album on its own , without any single songs preceding the record . I know it sounds risky but it's possible & it has happened to artistes before which I have reviewed previously on my blog but somehow I doubt it's possible for NEWS to do something like this .
If not , the next alternative is for NEWS to be more selective on their group album material .
That said , QUARTETTO isn't an outright bad album but if you ask me , just listen to the single songs and watch the Theme of “QUARTETTO” video , alongside with listening to QUARTETTO , Sirius & NEWSKOOL while just forget about the rest .
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
KAT-TUN - UNLOCK
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
UNLOCK is KAT-TUN's 26th single & it was released last week on 2nd March .
This single was released back to back with TRAGEDY which was released last month . In addition , UNLOCK is the last single to feature member Taguchi Junnosuke who will be leaving both the group & talent agency end of this month .
UNLOCK was chosen to be used as the theme song used in NTV drama Kaito Yamaneko which member Kamenashi Kazuya stars in . Kaito Yamaneko is based on Kaminaga Manabu's mystery novel series Kaito Tantei Yamaneko & in the drama , Kamenashi plays a genius phantom thief Yamaneko & his co-stars include Narimiya Hiroki and Hirose Suzu .
The A-side is described as a powerful Rock song which Kamenashi commented as "A very KAT-TUN-ish song which only KAT-TUN could sing is ready . It's an aggressive song that would match your image of us ."
There're 4 B-sides included in UNLOCK . The 1st B-side GREATEST JOURNEY was chosen to be used as the opening no. for TBS's variety show KAT-TUN no Sekaiichi Tame ni Naru Tabi! .
Also just like TRAGEDY's Atsukunare , a video was made for GREATEST JOURNEY .
Compared to UNLOCK which has a more serious uptight feel , GREATEST JOURNEY contrasts the A-side as it's an extremely goofy song that's meant not to be taken seriously & the video is humorous as it showcases a more jovial side to the group with them performing intentionally bad cheesy robot like dance moves alongside with vacation inspired like footages .
HONESTY & JET are only available in the CD only edition of the single . HONESTY is mid tempo driven while JET has a pretty cool mysterious feel to it .
Ame ni Saku , Yoru ni Naku Ai is exclusively found in the CD + DVD A of UNLOCK . I thought it might be a ballad but it surprised me with it being an upbeat song that has a rather strong guitar backing .
Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year , KAT-TUN keeps the releases coming with the group's 2nd single of the year . UNLOCK is an explosive Rock-style track that serves as the theme song for Kamenashi Kazuya's drama Kaito Yamaneko .
I enjoy what both TRAGEDY & UNLOCK offer back to back but I wouldn't deny that it's a bittersweet feeling that I have , as both releases overshadowed considerably surrounding Taguchi who announced last year live on TV that he was planning to leave the entertainment business which left pretty much everyone was caught offguard including myself as nobody expect this to happen .
I've been supporting KAT-TUN since 2008 and to see the original 6 members lineup eventually now going to be a trio from next month onwards , it's a really sad situation especially since back in 2001 when they were originally put together as a 1 off group , they were extremely popular until it was decided KAT-TUN would become a permanent unit & they had to wait 5 years before they were finally allowed to make their official debut in 2006 .
I will continue to support the reminding 3 members as they have said they will not disband despite Taguchi's impending departure but it reminds to be seen on how they will gel together musically because for now it's hard for me to visualise .
To me KAT-TUN stood out from the other Johnnys as they had members that know how to beat box & rap which they utilised both unique distinctive traits in their music extensively , that's until 2013 when rapper/ex member Tanaka Koki left unexpectedly .
For now , their 1st best album KAT-TUN 10TH ANNIVERSARY BEST "10Ks!" will be released 2 weeks later on 22nd March , on the same day when their debut single Real Face , debut album Best of KAT-TUN & Real Face Film DVD were released 10 years ago & this release is a fitting 1 in bidding Taguchi a proper farewell which he will be sorely missed by many fans .
Friday, March 04, 2016
ARASHI - FukkatsuLOVE
CD + DVD
FukkatsuLOVE is ARASHI's 48th single & it was released last month on 24th Feb .
The group's 1st single release of 2016 , this single was used to promote the ads of NTT docomo's d Hits .
FukkatsuLOVE is described as a love song . Credits wise , it was composed & arranged by Yamashita Tatsuro , with lyrics written by Yamashita's wife Takeuchi Mariya .
A catchy guitar melody has been added to Yamashita Tatsuro's unmistakable chorus & rhythm . ARASHI heartrendingly & melodiously sings the universal story of love between a man and a woman that could be taking place in any era .
As such lyrically , FukkatsuLOVE is a dramatic love song that's moulded into like a novel .
ARASHI requested the couple to create a song for them when both of them attended their concert in 2013 . Member Sakurai Sho described this as a seasonal project & they're real pleased to release FukkatsuLOVE .
In addition , fellow Johnnys colleague Ikuta Toma appears in the FukkatsuLOVE video . Ikuta recounted that ARASHI provided Sakura for his drama Ouroboros last year & this time he appears in their music video .
Ikuta commented , "Being able to work on something with comrades I've known since way back makes me really happy . Also , as a fan of them , I couldn't be happier to have been able to do so . "
There're a total of 4 B-sides available in the single . The 1st 1 Ai no Collection is an upbeat pop song that has a rather mature dreamy sounding feel .
As for the next B-side Bang Bang , I can imagine this song to be used in some police theme drama or movie as that was the feeling I had when I 1st listened to it .
Are you ready now ? didn't leave me with much impression initially but after a few listens , it does leave an impression on me .
affection is only available in the CD + DVD of FukkatsuLOVE . Let alone it's the only B-side that's a ballad and this's done really well and it's my favourite B-side out of the lot .
ARASHI got off to a solid start in 2016 with the release of their latest single offering FukkatsuLOVE .
When I 1st heard FukkatsuLOVE , it struck me as something that I can see KinKi Kids do because of the music style the track has . FukkatsuLOVE sounds like a good 90s throwback tune which's not a typical straightforward love song .
Credits has to go to Yamashita Tatsuro & Takeuchi Mariya for doing a really good job in creating FukkatsuLOVE and it's hard to believe this song has been 3 years in the making but it's well worth the wait .
Likewise , it's really cool that Ikuta Toma is featured in the video as frankly that's the only saving grace seeing that the video leaves things much desired but for Ikuta to appear in it , I guess it's to 'repay' ARASHI the favour for providing Sakura to be used in Ouroboros last year .
Also , the B-sides in FukkatsuLOVE are able to stack up against the A-side rather well . A while ago , ARASHI's B-sides tend to be rather forgettable but in recent times , they have improved slightly as I like the B-sides from their previous single Ai wo Sakebe & likewise in FukkatsuLOVE .
Hopefully their next music release will be a double A-side single as it's about time for them to do another 1 again but at the meantime , for some feel good nostalgic vibes , FukkatsuLOVE is worth something to check out .