Posted in Music, Review

Arashi got our guilty pleasure

Who knew the day when i could embed Arashi’s official video would come?

Well, i never thought their music would be available for streaming either, but here they are: out of the blue on October 9, dropping five out of 57 singles they’ve released physically on various digital platforms. Because 5 is their magic number.

That we’re all thrilled to finally be able to stream or watch their music/PVs online and on official accounts is an understatement.

But it doesn’t end there.

They started uploading iconic concert performance of those five songs every other day from October 22… and then a short clip announcing a live stream on their 20th anniversary’s CD debut day. But that’s probably only the tip of the iceberg of the Arashi news we’re getting in the past three weeks (most of which i still need to catch up to since these trolls decided to drop a bucketload of announcements/activities when i was away, including stopping by my country when i was in theirs *facepalm*). When it comes to their official YouTube channel, however, besides marveling at the 1080p quality of their pre-2013 clips, i didn’t expect to see their newest stuff on it, moreover the full version of their latest single… but who am i kidding?

Arashi continues to be the gift that keeps on giving, and we fans continue to be pampered. The day their debut single turns 20 years old, they are debuting another thing: their first digital single, Turning Up. The PV of which is available exclusively on YouTube.

We knew this was coming, or what it would sound like, since the dorks were spotted filming for the music video in downtown LA on the first weekend of October. It sounded upbeat, which it actually does, and they seemed to be in high spirits, which translates nicely into the final footage. The PV is a hella lotta fun! i may need to update my favorite PVs list after just a week month. Ha.

It is about “a mysterious, colorful storm” traveling across the globe and sweeping everyone up in its energy and off their feet with its music. Which isn’t an exaggeration; the fivesome’s joy and vigor is infectious and their brand of music is generally heartwarming or uplifting. And Turning Up captures the essence and encapsulates those qualities really well. The arrangement is considered simple for their ‘standard’, but with the right amount of sunny mood, bouncy beat, heartening vibe, earworm melody, and foot-tapping raps, it has a great balance of groove, bop, house, and synth to delight current fans and hook new listeners.

Turning Up also captivates me on the first listen, which hasn’t happened in a while. Oh well, maybe one and a half, since i checked out the audio version a few hours before the PV went live yet wasn’t feeling it — i had thought the voices had sounded ‘off’, because of the slight autotune — but was totally digging it before the PV was over.

I was pleased to hear a bit of Aiba’s rapping in the clips, which Jun also gets to do in first pre-chorus, but i didn’t expect a full Sakurap in it, that when his part came, i was all *!!!* *heart eyes* The 12-second part is so silvery smooth and hits me with the “Hey everybody, omatase! / Zutto chikaku de smile again, again…” lines it became my favorite Sakurap post-Daylight.

And only after looping it for the nth number of times did i realize it’s peppered with English lines, well-enunciated at that, especially in the chorus:

“We got that something, your guilty pleasure
With pockets full of funky beats to drop
We bring the party, let’s get it started
We got it going, yeah, we’re turning up with the J-pop!”

The PV also showcases a healthy dose of the group’s charm, personality, and dorkiness; not to mention inside jokes like the content and size of their suitcases. It isn’t as crack as Happiness, Wild at heart, or Don’t you get it, but you’ll get a taste of their dynamics. I also appreciate the reused concert outfits: the sequins from Are You Happy? and the pink suits from the still ongoing 5×20.

I’m not sure if there’s certain meaning in the chosen locations (like how the rap was filmed inside a concert hall in LA) or the ending scene where they’re woken up from their sleep (if performing in the US is one of the ultimate unfulfilled dreams of theirs, or if that’s the scene they’re envisioning and in the road of realizing, as they prepare for landing). Jun divulges that there are still lots of things in the planning that are yet to be announced, so it may be something we know in time… or not. Only time will tell. Because, weren’t we all worried that BRAVE might be their last single? But hey, we got this barely two months after its release. So for now, i’ll simply enjoy the freshness and the funky beats this single delivers… till the next big thing in their year-long pre-planned schedule comes to fruition.

If anything, Turning Up proves the superiority of their outdoor PVs compared to the studio ones.

For full lyrics translation, visit amnosxmatsujun’s LJ.

Pssstt, do you know that ALL of their pre-released singles totaling 65 songs are already uploaded onto their YT channel? Apparently they’re streamable on other platforms too!


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

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