CD Review :: NEWS - EPCOTIA
CD + DVD
1) EPCOTIA SAFETY GUIDE -INTER-
4) TWINKLE STAR
5) Warp Chu -INTER-
7) Koi Suru Wakusei
8) JUMP AROUND
9) Docking -INTER-
11) IT'S YOU
12) Iseijin to no Contact ni Tsuite -INTER-
16) Hoshi ni Negai wo
18) Kaeri Michi -INTER-
19) HAPPY ENDING
EPCOTIA is NEWS's 9th album & it was released on 21st March .
NEWS's new album is a sequel to last year's NEVERLAND & it has a space travel theme . Only 1 single LPS is included in EPCOTIA .
The new album title stands for EXPERIENCE PLANETS, A CORNER OF COSMOS. LET'S GO TRAVELING INTO ASTROWORLD .
The CD only version of EPCOTIA has 4 solo tracks . Both versions of the album has 5 interludes each .
After the album opening introduction number EPCOTIA SAFETY GUIDE -INTER- , NEWS wasted no time in diving straight into the 1st new album song which shares the same title as the album .
EPCOTIA (the song) sets the tone on what to expect in the subsequent songs found in EPCOTIA (the album) & since it's already mentioned that the new album has a space travel theme , it's not surprising EPCOTIA (the song) follows in this route .
The next song KINGDOM was used as NTV's tournament theme song coverage on last year's FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 .
Before KINGDOM was included in EPCOTIA , NEWS performed KINGDOM last year in TV shows such as Best Artist 2017 . At that time I didn't quite like the song cos it sounded as though they were shouting & not singing .
For the studio version of KINGDOM , I got almost the same feeling when I 1st heard it . Out of the new material in EPCOTIA , KINGDOM is actually my least favourite due to this . My ears were aching slightly after hearing KINGDOM which's unfortunate as if not for this , I would like the song much more .
TWINKLE STAR is the 3rd album track . Unlike EPCOTIA (the song) & KINGDOM , TWINKLE STAR is pleasant sounding . Although not 1 of my favourite songs in EPCOTIA (the album) , I think the song's not bad overall .
Warp Chu -INTER- is the 1st album interlude & this's followed by LPS .
LPS is NEWS's 22nd single & it's the only single song included in EPCOTIA . LPS stands for Love Peace Smile & it's described as the group's most 'peaceful' single in their discography .
This song was used as a special track to promote NEWSICAL last year . NEWSICAL featured NEWS creating a 6 minute long musical of the same name from scratch & the musical comprises singing , dancing & acting .
NEWS began working on NEWSICAL last Aug with each member making use of their own individuality & strength to fulfil different roles .
The next 2 album tracks are the shortest in the album but they're some of my favourite songs in EPCOTIA .
Koi Suru Wakusei is a catchy uplifting song that's quite space travel driven lyrics while JUMP AROUND is a very fun upbeat song .
NEWS performed JUMP AROUND at last month's CDTV 25th Anniversary which didn't surprise me cos I feel JUMP AROUND is 1 of the standout tracks in EPCOTIA .
Docking -INTER- is the 2nd album interlude which's followed by 2 back to back album songs .
I think it's quite easy to see why AVALON & IT'S YOU are side by side each other as they're in the same music genre as both have the inclusion of auto tune .
Iseijin to no Contact ni Tsuite -INTER- is the 3rd album interlude which's followed by some of EPCOTIA's most experimental driven tracks .
On 1st listen , UFO & EROTICA both have slight traces of NEWS's 21st single EMMA which's not a bad thing . I wasn't sure what to expect prior to hearing both songs but they kind of make up parts of EMMA in some ways or another .
BLACKHOLE is 1 of EPCOTIA's most aggressive driven track & it reminds me of NEVERLAND's BLACK FIRE to some extent as both songs are very angsty driven .
Slowing things down considerably are the next 2 album tracks Hoshi ni Negai wo & Innocence which're both mid tempo songs .
Kaeri Michi -INTER- is the 4th / last album interlude which brings to the last song in EPCOTIA , HAPPY ENDING .
Just like NEVERLAND's U R not alone , HAPPY ENDING is a short straight to the point song which concludes EPCOTIA very well on a happy ending note , no pun intended .
Welcome to EPCOTIA ! NEWS follows NEVERLAND with the 2nd release of the group's album project , this 1 themed around space travel . NEWS invites you to experience the cosmos with their 9th album which includes LPS .
1st of all before I go on further , I want to say that EPCOTIA is not NEWS's 1st release to have a space travel theme , the 1st was actually their 1st single NEWS Nippon although that's not counted as their debut single .
With that out of the way , I'm quite surprised with NEWS's latest album release EPCOTIA . NEVERLAND was a surprising enjoyable album as I found it a lot more better than White & QUARTETTO so I was curious to see if EPCOTIA was able to live up to expectations , especially since only LPS is included .
After listening to EPCOTIA , I can say that more or less NEWS's latest album offering managed to live up to expectations and I'm not surprised both EPCOTIA & NEVERLAND are similar , in terms of both albums' structure .
For NEWS to only include LPS in EPCOTIA , this means the album tracks have to be of certain standard & luckily I like most of the album tracks . Also quite a few songs definitely could have been in NEVERLAND which's not a bad thing .
I feel that both NEVERLAND & EPCOTIA flow quite well from start until end , sound consistency wise . Perhaps that's why both albums have interludes to balance things out .
Overall I think that NEWS's 5th self titled album is still their best as a 4 piece cos at that time of release , they set a pretty high standard with their comeback album which I still feel it's great .
Ironically since then , NEWS has been releasing albums on a yearly basis since 2013 unlike in the past where their releases were quite unpredictable .
That said , EPCOTIA is a pretty good solid follow up to last year's NEVERLAND . In a way I was hoping NEWS would release something special to celebrate their 15th anniversary in the business but I suppose in a way they did as for them to utilise a space travel theme for EPCOTIA just like what they did for NEWS Nippon , guess this kind of come back full circle for NEWS ?