CD Review :: Kis-My-Ft2 - FREE HUGS!
CD + DVD A
CD + DVD B
Standard tracklist for all 3 versions :
1) "8th" Overture
2) HUG & WALK
4) THIS CRAZY LOVE
6) Saturday Life
7) #1 Girl
8) Kimi wo Daisuki da
9) Boku Ha Kimi Nashi de Ai o Chi Renai
10) Bring It On
13) Yeah E Yeah!!!!!!!
15) Rura Rurara
Solo songs (only available in the 2 CDs version) :
1) Love=X2U (Fujigaya Taisuke)
2) Catch Ball o Shiyou (Yokoo Wataru)
3) Boku Dake no Princess (Miyata Toshiya)
4) I miss your smile (Senga Kento)
5) DON'T WANNA DIE (Kitayama Hiromitsu)
6) Hug Star (Nikaido Takashi)
7) Love Story (Tamamori Yuta)
Bonus tracks from both CD + DVDs versions :
CD + DVD A :
CD + DVD B :
FREE HUGS! is Kis-My-Ft2's 8th album & it was released on 24th April .
Kis-My-Ft2's last album release was last April's Yummy!! .
FREE HUGS! was released in 3 different editions & this time round , the new album's theme centres on sharing love , beyond the borderline with Kis-My-Ft2's music .
3 singles are included in Kis-My-Ft2's newest album .
The 2nd CD in the 2 CDs version of FREE HUGS! includes 7 solo songs . The group's last album to include solo songs was 5th album I SCREAM but this time round , no videos are made for the new solo songs .
For the new solo songs in the 2nd disc / 2 CDs version of FREE HUGS! , these musicians created them for each member :
Kitayama Hiromitsu - I Don't Like Mondays
Senga Kento - CHEMISTRY's Kawabata Kaname
Miyata Toshiya - Hayashibara Megumi
Yokoo Wataru - Billy Ken
Fujigaya Taisuke - Osawa Shinichi
Tamamori Yuta - Hirai Dai
Nikaido Takashi - Diggy-MO'
Both CD + DVDs of FREE HUGS! included 1 different group track each .
After the album opening "8th" Overture , FREE HUGS! wasted no time diving straight into the 1st album track HUG & WALK .
HUG & WALK is the only album track to have a video made & it was filmed in Singapore , making this the 1st time Kis-My-Ft2 filmed a video overseas .
In addition , Kis-My-Ft2 filmed 2 different videos for HUG & WALK .
I will not deny that I was really shocked when the news media wrote that Kis-My-Ft2 came to my country to film HUG & WALK which happened in February . It was not leader Kitayama's 1st time here in my country unlike the other 6 members as he came here years ago as part of Takizawa Kabuki 2015 .
The fact that Kis-My-Ft2 chose my country to film the video for HUG & WALK out of so many other countries as part of their 1st time filming a music video outside of Japan , it's a real honour especially seeing the numerous landmark attractions in the HUG & WALK video that I instantly recongise .
Song wise , I frankly feel that HUG & WALK is only ok for my liking as I prefer the other new material made available in FREE HUGS! .
The next song A.D.D.I.C.T. is 1 of my favourite album tracks in FREE HUGS! & seeing that the current Dome tour Kis-My-Ft2 LIVE TOUR 2019 FREE HUGS! used that song as the opening no. for the setlist , it's hardly a surprise why so .
When I 1st heard A.D.D.I.C.T. , I straight away love it on 1st listen as it's 1 of the many reasons why Kis-My-Ft2 are still so good when comes to doing extremely rock driven no.s as compared to cheesy Johnny Junior inspired like music .
It's a bit of a shame that a video wasn't made for A.D.D.I.C.T. as it would have been awesome to see .
After 2 back to back upbeat songs , things slowed down a bit for the 3rd album track , THIS CRAZY LOVE .
L.O.V.E. is 1 of 3 single songs included in FREE HUGS! . This was included in Kis-My-Ft2's 21st single LOVE & it was used in the ads promoting topical itch cream Unacool starring Kis-My-Ft2 themselves .
The other song in LOVE ie. Because I Love You is not included in FREE HUGS! .
It's a bit of shame that Kis-My-Ft2 didn't include Because I Love You as up to now , I still like it a lot more than L.O.V.E. but the upside is that at least they made a video for Because I Love You as it deserves to have 1 .
Saturday Life & #1 Girl are the next 2 album material . I think both song are only ok for my liking , same with HUG & WALK but not to the point where I'm turned off by them .
Kimi wo Daisuki da is Kis-My-Ft2's 23rd single & it was used as the theme song for the movie Tora-san ~Boku ga Neko ni Natta Wake~ which Kitayama made his debut lead movie appearance in it .
Described as a rock ballad , Kimi wo Daisuki da was written by Fujii Fumiya & arranged by Kameda Seiji .
Out of the singles included in FREE HUGS! , Kimi wo Daisuki da is my favourite out of the lot . I'm surprised Kis-My-Ft2 do not release ballads as singles often but when they've done so , they do them quite well .
Boku Ha Kimi Nashi de Ai o Chi Renai is probably the most experimental track in FREE HUGS! as it surprisingly has an Oriental flair to it .
Just like A.D.D.I.C.T. , I would have loved to see a video made for Boku Ha Kimi Nashi de Ai o Chi Renai as well .
The next 4 album tracks are pretty good in their own respective right . Bring It On & Distance are 2 back to back angsty driven no.s while HUGTIME + Yeah E Yeah!!!!!!! showcased a more softer + happy upbeat sides of Kis-My-Ft2 respectively .
Kimi,Boku. is the last single song included in FREE HUGS! . Originally 1st released as Kis-My-Ft2's 22nd single , Kimi,Boku. is described as a pop love song & the song conveys the idea that "I am here because you are here . "
Promo wise , Kimi,Boku. was used in the ads of Kowa's Hokkairo Shin Nukunuku Touban featuring Kis-My-Ft2 themselves .
My opinions towards Kimi,Boku. weren't great but after Kis-My-Ft2 kept doing numerous TV performances to promote the song , my perception on it luckily has changed for the better .
Concluding FREE HUGS! in the 1st CD of the album is Rura Rurara which was created by Mrs. GREEN APPLE's Omori Motoki .
Rura Rurara to me is 1 of the best album tracks in Kis-My-Ft2's discography & out of all the other new material in FREE HUGS! , this's my favourite for very obvious reasons .
Same with A.D.D.I.C.T. , I loved Rura Rurara the moment I 1st heard it as it's so enpowering & concludes FREE HUGS! on a great positive note .
The fact that Kis-My-Ft2 chose to perform Rura Rurara and not HUG & WALK when they promoted FREE HUGS! on TV , that means something & it's a real shame that they didn't made a video for the song which would have awesome .
Tequila! -Tequila- & CHUDOKU are the 2 different group bonus tracks included in both CD + DVDs versions of FREE HUGS! .
Ironically , even though they're bonus tracks , these 2 album tracks are my least favourite & given a choice , I would skip them as I think they offer nothing new musically .
With regards to the solo songs available in the 2nd disc / 2 CDs version of FREE HUGS! , I like Fujigaya , Senga , Kitayama & Tamamori solos .
I like Senga's I miss your smile & Tamamori's Love Story especialy Love Story which presents a very different music side of Tamamori .
CHEMISTRY's Kawabata Kaname did a great job creating Senga's solo as I feel he geniunely can sing quite well in Kis-My-Ft2 . As for Fujigaya's Love=X2U & Kitayama's DON'T WANNA DIE , both are not bad and considering that they're both the main lead singers in the group , it's not really a surprise they're able to handle things vocally on their own without that much problems .
For the other 3 solos , I'm not a fan of them & when I 1st heard Nikaido's Hug Star , I was really shocked as I thought it would have been something more suitable for Fujigaya to sing & not Nikaido .
Kis-My-Ft2 is giving out Free Hugs ! The group's 8th original album carries the ambitious and inspirational theme of "hug with music" .
I will not deny that I did not liked Kis-My-Ft2's last 2 studio albums & this happens when artistes release material on an annual basis where quality will bound to suffer which's evident in both Kis-My-Ft2 & NEWS where I was quite disappointed with WORLDISTA .
That's why before I listened to FREE HUGS! , I decided to lower my expectations & luckily that worked as I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed Kis-My-Ft2's latest album .
Kis-My-Ft2's last 2 studio albums to me weren't good as the material in MUSIC COLOSSEUM didn't match the album's concept & Yummy!! was straight up boring except for a few group tracks & the non group tracks that were great .
Kis-My-Ft2's past studio albums had a mixture of both group & non group tracks and in some cases , the new group material tend to be better than the non group tracks & vice versa .
I guess this time round why FREE HUGS! is a lot more better than I thought is that there were a lot more new group material that were able to be on par if not better than the singles which's not an easy thing to do .
Even the not so good album material in FREE HUGS! aren't so terrible until I want to skip the whole album entirely . And it's definitely smart for Kis-My-Ft2 to separate the solo songs from the main disc which's a wise thing to do .
That said , FREE HUGS! is 1 of Kis-My-Ft2 better put together albums on whole . I still feel that they should not release albums on a yearly basis just like NEWS but I doubt this will happen anytime soon .
And it wouldn't be long before Kis-My-Ft2 is back with new material as they will release their 24th single HANDS UP next month on 10th July .