Posted in Music, Review

Even unrequited love makes Arashi stronger…

“Kanawanai kedo itooshii boku wo tsuyoku saseru
Dare yori mo, kimi wo…”

Time for another Arashi’s single review. Or commentary. I start getting confused with the categories i created myself.

It’s only been four months since their 2013 album, or eight since their last single, but it feels way longer than that, the time between that release and this release. It’s been somewhat a norm that new single equals a theme song of some kind. So until they have something worth theming for… cut to the moment i read that Jun secured another Getsu9 drama… yes!

Turns out that i wasn’t counting down in anticipation in the wake of 1) having seen its live performance on Hey!Hey!Hey! special well over a month ago — no more curiosity as to how it’s gonna be performed live, including whether or not there’d be dance; 2) me not crazy about the song — more on this later; and 3) the short PV looking every bit like everything we’ve seen the umpteenth times before.

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Bittersweet, the title it goes by. Re-watched the live for several times: “What a plain vanilla song.” Loop it for n more times and that opinion shall change works its magic this time too yet the aforementioned… It comes off like the kind of song that’s good at the moment but wanes soon after (like Lotus, Love rainbow, To be free, or Breathless). The sound isn’t that of Arashi i’m accustomed to either — still not a fan of the use of autotune. The foot-tapping autotuned part in the prelude/coda, catchy as it is, is a reminiscent of that of Perfume’s Nee — the light-footed footwork dance break.

It is however an upbeat song that gives off a happy feeling, performed with all smiles and swift-footed steps. A closer look into the lyrics reveals the dreamy, wistful undertones, especially in the (abridged) second verse and chorus, as portrayed in the PV. Is it too much to ask for a storylined PV like Aozora pedal or My girl, or real outdoor shoots like that in Everything? Or at least make it — the train/platform in this case — look realer and appear less green-screen-y? Oh well…

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Next stop: Road to glory. What a title. It isn’t over the top, sublime track the title may suggest. It is instead every bit an Arashi song with crescendo trajectory and soaring orchestral back instruments, building up towards the big chorus. A nice blend of their vocals despite lack of harmony. Then comes Sync, a bizarre track that doesn’t get better after repeated listens. Even though it’s the only track with (yet another 10-second) Sakurap… Skip.

Lastly, Motto, ima yori rolls in, led in by strings instruments before we get four instrumental versions of the songs. Strings sound! With lively notes and accented beat! I just can’t not love you~ A tad faster and sunnier than Road to glory; tunefully they are pretty much alike, something you must’ve heard once or a hundred times before. Safe choice yet clear winner for me. Plus, both are equally pretty ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Not diggin’ the melody? Well, you may still want to check out the instrumental/original karaoke versions. Unlike most songs that are driven by one~two key instruments, whose chords mirror the main melody, and are damn boring without the vocals, Arashi’s are ofttimes arranged with full on instruments so dynamic as if they have a life of their own, and are definitely pleasing to listen to on their own regardless of whether or not you like the songs they’re backing for. Definitely check out track #5, 6, and 8!

“Sore zore no ashita e, ima yori kagayaiteru sugata de
Doko made yukeru darou? Bokura wa onaji sora wo miagete”

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Author:

I blog sometimes, gush ofttimes, snark all the time.

2 thoughts on “Even unrequited love makes Arashi stronger…

  1. it took me several listens to Bittersweet to really dig it. and yes, I love Motto, ima yori more than the others. I just miss the old Arashi sound and it makes me wonder if they have changed their songwriters. Bittersweet is definitely not their usual sound. it sounds more like SMAP.

    and yes please, a PV with a storyline. I love Aozora Pedal and My Girl too!

    Like

    1. Wew, it’s up! I was battling my internet connection to post the review.

      Anyway, Bittersweet is composed by a familiar name though, yet doesn’t really have the Arashi sound. To me it sounds like something Johnny’s younger groups would do. I’m not against new sound but can’t help spinning Road and Motto more.

      IKR! And they could’ve obviously added a bit more plot to the PV, oh well…

      Like

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