CD Review :: ARASHI - 「untitled」
CD + DVD
1st CD tracklist
1) Green Light
5) Power of the Paradise
6) Ari no ma Made
8) I'll be there
12) Kanata e
13) Song for you
2nd CD tracklist (only available in the 2 CDs edition)
1) BazuriNIGHT (Aiba Masaki , Ohno Satoshi & Sakurai Sho)
2) Yoru no Kage (Matsumoto Jun , Ninomiya Kazunari & Ohno Satoshi)
3) UB (Aiba Masaki & Ninomiya Kazunari)
4) Come Back (Matsumoto Jun & Sakurai Sho)
5) Kanpai･Song (Bonus Track)
「untitled」 is ARASHI's 16th album & it was released on 18th Oct .
The group's last album release was last Oct's Are You Happy ? . 「untitled」 was released in 2 versions , 2 CDs & CD + DVD . The new album includes single songs Power of the Paradise , I'll be there & Tsunagu . Album track ｢Mikan｣ is the only new song to get a video .
The 2nd CD in the 2 CDs version of 「untitled」 has 5 bonus tracks , inclusive of 4 unit songs & a group track . The last ARASHI album not to include solo songs was 2006's / 6th album ARASHIC .
「untitled」 is purposely titled to suggest that it is 'unfinished' , thereby sublimating ARASHI's legacy in their 18th year since their debut through their bold challenge to produce this album .
In 「untitled」 , ARASHI makes their 1st attempt to create a 'suite' . An exceptional song was created by incorporating the melodies from various genres into a long song of over 10 mins . When listening to it in its entirely , you can sense ARASHI's past , present & future .
Kicking things off in 「untitled」is Green Light which I feel it's only an ok sounding album track .
Tsunagu is ARASHI's 52nd single & it was used as the theme song to promote leader Ohno Satoshi's movie Shinobi no Kuni .
For Tsunagu , it lyrically leans to a world's view & melody . The high energy song follows a path to an era of hope & love even to war torn countries .
The thrilling melody of prominent electric guitars & shamisen which perfectly melds 2 different music styles of past and present resonates an emptiness that matches ARASHI's vocals , making Tsunagu their 'ultimate love song' .
｢Mikan｣ which's 「untitled」 lead album track epitomises the album's title in every way as it has elements of Japanese Wa , Digital , Classics & Hip Hop . Sakurap is included in ｢Mikan｣ , which's a song that disperses all the themes ARASHI has ever taken on to create a single core out of that chaos that evolved into a musical piece brimming with the sense of speed .
Sugar is the next album track & I honestly feel this should have been the opening number as I like it much more than Green Light .
Power of the Paradise is ARASHI's 50th single & it was used as NTV's theme song in covering the 2016 Summer Olympics that was held last year at Rio de Janeiro , Brazil .
Member Sakurai Sho served as the main caster in covering last year's Olympics . Power of the Paradise is described as a support song for the athletes as well as for all the people who keep on challenging & it has a positive vibe that wraps around listeners with refreshing vigour & kindness .
Ari no ma Made & Fuun are the next 2 album tracks in which both of them are polar opposites . While Ari no ma Made is a mid tempo song , Rock influences can be felt considerably in Fuun which I miss that aspect in ARASHI's music as it reminds me of their older works which were very Hip Hop/Rock driven .
I'll be there is ARASHI's 51st single & it was used to promote Fuji TV's Kizoku Tantei drama that starred member Aiba Masaki . It's described as a cool song with a dynamic melody that goes along with the drama's mysterious world of view .
Houyou sounded as though it borrowed elements from I'll be there as it's also another Jazz inspired no. that has Sakurap .
Pray is the only album track that's a ballad & this's something that I enjoy .
Hikari is the next new song & out of the new material in 「untitled」 , this's my favourite . I was expecting another ballad but instead it's an upbeat gospel inspired like song that I really like and this's another example where ARASHI took a typical boring song title & make it sound better than I expected (1st was Sakura) .
Kanata e is the 2nd last album track and this empowering no. is another song that I find myself liking quite a lot .
Concluding things in the 1st CD is Song for you & it's the longest album track in ARASHI's discography , clocking in at a whopping 11:29 mins .
Song for you is basically a mix mash of any type of music genres made known possible & it reminds me the same thing what V6 did for their 2012 / 40th single kEEP oN. except for ARASHI's case , it's twice as long & it sounds like 5-6 different songs rolled into 1 long track .
I will only do a short summary regarding the songs found in the 2nd CD in the 2 CDs version of 「untitled」 . Out of the 4 unit songs , I surprisingly like Come Back the most which's sung by MatsuJun & Sakurai . Also Sakurap is present in the song .
BazuriNIGHT that's sung by Aiba , Ohno & Sakurai is a fast paced number while Yoru no Kage is a mid tempo song that's handled by MatsuJun , Nino & Ohno .
UB is the only unit song that's a ballad & this's sung by Aiba + Nino . UB actually stands for Unit Bath and lyrically it's quite amusing .
Kanpai･Song is the only song in the 2nd CD that's sung by the whole group & it's a fun cheery number . And in a way it's not surprising that this's the last song to conclude their current ongoing ARASHI LIVE TOUR 2017-2018「untitled」 .
ARASHI boldly takes on new challenges & music styles in their 16th album 「untitled」 & ARASHI's latest album offering is so much better than I thought .
It's no secret that I was quite disappointed with last year's Are You Happy ? as that to me is their most boring album to date & for the 1st time I felt really disconnected from an ARASHI album .
Hence before listening to 「untitled」 , I kept my expectations for it as low as possible but I was overall pleased on how 「untitled」turns out to be .
Unlike Are You Happy ? , I feel that ARASHI took on a lot more music risks in 「untitled」& in this sense , it paid off as it's overall much more memorable & engaging .
Also I think switching up the album's format helps too as for once 「untitled」 doesn't have any solo songs since their 2006's / 6th album ARASHIC which's pretty crazy but I don't mind as normally ARASHI will only perform the new material once during each tour & after that they will not do so .
Overall 「untitled」 is better than I expected . As I said before I rather ARASHI release a new album once every 2 years as in recent years , their albums have been quite inconsistent sound wise but luckily they haven't lost their touch when comes to singles (yet) .
All in all I'm pleased with what ARASHI released this year & I look forward to see what they plan to do so in 2018 , music wise .