Posted in Music, Review

My fellow ARASHIANS, are you ready~

Hora, mou tomaranai~ze!

Zero-G is officially Shake it! 2.0. No denying. The choreo, especially during the chorus, just screams Shake it! part 2. The pelvic thrust, the hip swivel — it really is the booty they’re accentuating, not body. I thought such moves aren’t their thing that’s why P.A.R.A.D.O.X was a bit uncomfortable to watch (lol)… boy i can’t be more wrong.

Not that i dislike it, intrinsically the tunes and lyrics aren’t as sexy as the other two, somehow i was just hoping for bigger, more powerful movements since the song gives loads of rooms for that. From what’s shown on the PV, the steps are pretty simple, but i gotta watch the full choreo* before i can make the final call. Still, our Riida gives us those naughty moves, what’s not to ogle at appreciate? Uchi no riida da zo! XD

Talking about the moves, leave it to Jun sensei to show everybody how to shake, rotate, and thrust you-know-what the proper way, which will either make every fangirl go “KYAA~!!” or collapse from hyperventilation. To the other four: learn more from him! ;’D

Another thing that i totally appreciate is how nifty the PV looks. The backdrop is as monochrome as it can get — pitch black and greyish white — yet so sleek and stylish. Not to forget the visual effects — an added oomph which i lo~ve — particularly when the members closing in on the camera and giving us their best pose-shots. And Arashi in white ❤ ❤ ❤ It shows the extra effort (and money) put into it. The most delightful PV in a long while (i enjoy Wild at heart’s and GUTS!’s but the feel is different) and arguably one of their best PVs.

zgpv-21h11m47s51

The solos
Ohno’s & Aiba’s: have not much to say, so i’ll just combine the two. First stop, Ohno’s Imaging crazy. What is it exactly? Anyway, it exudes sexiness and has some rapid popping beats. Our dance leader gets to flaunt his vocal range and showcase his fluid, popping dance chops he favors. Next, Aiba the Disco star? Maa, show us your moves! What makes his solo different from the rest is the piercing oriental tunes on the background. Or is it the “boogie woogie” part? Snerk. These two solos also sound retro to me.

Jun’s: As always, i listen to Jun’s solos with apprehension. I knew it’s gonna be eccentric — it isn’t titled STAY GOLD for nuthin’ huh — but being the techno master The Digitalian‘s concept shall suit his style best. The grinding beats and heavily robotic delivery in the beginning are quite an earful but the song gets better past the 1-minute mark. And the pre-chorus and chorus are unexpectedly tuneful, much to my surprise. His voice also somehow doesn’t come off as nasally — the autotune toned it down perhaps? Regardless, i am pleasantly surprised; STAY GOLD is currently my #2 solo of the album (and my fave solo from him).

Nino’s: Co-wrote, composed, and co-arranged by our big ol’ softie resident brat, cheery and christmassy (duh) Merry Christmas is peppered with his trademark sweet-cute lyrics. The tunes get repetitive toward the end, which is expected from his solos, but it is a happy song and i can’t say no to happy songs. Wait, does this even sound digital at all? Hmm… I always look forward to his brainchild the most and often end up liking his the most, but sorry Ninomi, Sho takes the crown this round.

Sho’s: I’m also pleasantly surprised by this song. I feared he would choose another song that doesn’t befit his style or vocal… not this time. Hey yeah! is feel-good, clap-along number that captivates me upon first listen. Then i checked the lyrics and realized the depth of it. A cheer-on song filled with comforting-propelling lines:

“Just what is happiness? It’s when the smiles overflow naturally
My friend, what happened? Wipe your tears away […] Don’t worry!

Then, what are dreams? They’re a huge sign to guide your way
Let’s go forward, even if it’s only 1 mm! Step by step! Step ahead!
Brother, you’re frustrated, aren’t you? Don’t cry […] Don’t hold it in!

1 2 3 4 Let’s get on! This world is beautiful
Don’t worry about the small stuff, try looking at it from space — Hey yeah!
5 6 7 8 Feel it! Vivid, unique, feelin’ good
Let’s make the world go around again today — Hey yeah!

1 2 3 4 Let’s get on! Life is so precious
No matter how small, it’s important, gather it all together — Hey yeah!
5 6 7 8 Feel it! Vivid, unique, feelin’ good
Let’s fly around in the sky — Hey yeah!”

zgpv-21h05m48s130 zgpv-21h16m56s161

Singles and the new songs
(check my previous individual posts on the singles, Bittersweet and GUTS!, if you’re interested. I didn’t manage to review Daremo shiranai but i touched on it briefly here.)
By now, Zero-G is on permanent repeat. After giving the record a listen, i get why it’s the promotional single. It has the oomph, punch, hook also a clear progression till it reaches a crescendo. It is also the record’s synth-heavier track besides Asterisk and TRAP. The amount of digital effects applied to the latter two are at Intergalactic’s level. The vocals in Asterisk are fully autotuned, including the 27-second Sakurap, the parts are delivered robotically aside from the peppy chorus. Those in techno-rock TRAP aren’t (i think?) which is pretty hard to tell since the instrumentation is loud and overpowering.

Digital may be the record’s concept, but i’m pretty sure some tracks are clean. Plus, it isn’t a complete Arashi’s album without frisky track (Wonderful), broody ballad (Tell me why), so-Arashi kind (Kimi no yume wo miteita), uplifting song (One step), and the grandiose one (Hope in the darkness).

I keep coming across fans commenting how K-pop-ish certain Arashi songs are, especially the techno ones, and while some aren’t Arashi-poi, i’m no pundit to judge that it’s K-pop-sounding. What’s the defining difference between K-pop and J-pop anyway? However, if i shall name one song, it’d be Tell me why. The first verse is not really, but the chorus onward just screams K-pop to me: resounding synth beats, glum delivery, and rap bits during the chorus; deep rapping transitioning into the badass one, followed by dramatic instrumentation apt for dance-break… I could totally picture a K-pop group belting this song.

For me who have a fondness for brass and strings sounds, Wonderful and One step should appease me. The former is uptempo and brass-full, the latter is laid-back despite the strings-heavy intro. Wonderful gives me CONFUSION’s vibes while whistles, ukulele-ish twangs, swingy melody in One step give off a very summery song that’s soothing and refreshing. The lyrics are as beautiful and heartwarming as Hey yeah!‘s you just want to sing along to it.

“If we can share our tears, we’ll be okay
If we smile and hold each other tight, we’ll be okay”

Then there’s Hope in the darkness. Booming wuoohh~ reminds me of Cosmos. I love the individual parts — they’re powerful! — although the song gets humdrum midway. Not as spellbinding as Cosmos or Ai wo utaou unfortunately.

zgpv-21h15m06s10

Take off !!!!!
(i counted how many exclamation marks behind it just to be sure, and of course there are five of ’em.)
I’m totally not biased — ‘cuz Sho is the lyricist — but this is the best track of the album. Uber jaunty and enthralling you cannot NOT be on your feet when the song is on. The verses have the members speak-rap the lyrics in rapid succession like they did in Fight song or Energy song. The song is bursting with energy from beginning to end, accelerating from the first note till we’re soaring with them during the irresistibly addictive and insanely eargasmic choruses. I just want to insert as many adjectives there 😉

And when Sho spurts, “My fellow, ARASHIANS!” i’m all ear-to-ear. I could imagine how frenzied the concert-goers must be when he makes the call live. Not once, but twice. (Oh gosh, can i be an attendant??) It’s impossible to miss the line since it is in English and his articulation is clear.

“Yeah, this is our message you know…
Everybody, what’s our name?
Ready? 3-2-1, come on!
A to the R-A-S-H-I
A to the R-A-S-H-I
A to the R-A-S-H-I
A to the R-A-S-H-I
and you!”

So much feels in this song i can’t even. How i wish Take off !!!!! is on air longer than 3 minutes and 23 seconds long… Can’t get enough if it; Arashi captains, MOAR!

While the track isn’t composed or arranged by the members, i am sure they are more than capable of writing a song that’s single-material — Take off !!!!! is one. Arashi consists of talented and creative individuals and they are also so involved in everything they put out, especially for their annual concerts. Here’s hoping we can get future single that’s entirely produced by the members. It’s not far-fetched to have Sakumiya combi in charge of the song lyrics, composition, and main instruments; Aiba on the jacket cover; Ohno on the design and choreography; and Jun direct the PV and oversee the entire production.

In the meantime, Arashi has just released another crowd-pleaser number that surely becomes the new staple concert song.

zgmaking-17h43m07s72

_
*) Psst! The Making turns out to be more than just that. If you think 2PM’s Go crazy! dance practice was fun and hilarious, watch Zero-G‘s: Jun’s fixation on “so tell me what you want” part, Ohno’s “Matsumoto!”, Nino’s singing his part when he doesn’t need to, and Sho’s fixing the loose tile are precious little moments. Geez, how many pleasant surprises does The Digitalian have??

~ lyrics translation: yarukizero ~

Advertisements

Author:

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

4 thoughts on “My fellow ARASHIANS, are you ready~

  1. I just read all of your reviews on Arashi. Sorry that I didn’t take the time to comment on all of them. But thank you for it!

    I agree with a lot of your opinions about The Digitalian. 🙂

    Like

    1. Wow, thanks for checking all of my posts on Arashi and taking the time to leave a comment here, Kanu! Most — if not all — fans enjoy the album so there may not be many differing opinions out there, but i’m glad ours are similar too 🙂

      Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s