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Archive for the ‘Arashi’ Category

SINGLE REVIEW: Arashi- Step and Go

Arashi- Step and Go

I didn’t mind Arashi’s last single, but I really wasn’t blown away by it. It’s fun to watch Arashi on TV since they are all great characters, and I’ve been able to do it alot lately due to heavy promotion of Step and Go. They’ve been on every show week after week, so I’m guessing this single is going to sell well. However, you can’t judge quality by sales. Let’s see how they did; Arashi’s ‘Step and Go’.

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Step and Go starts off with Arashi… saying they’re gonna Step and Go!! Whoo…! No, I actually do like the energy in this song. The percussion and sparse synth work well together, and though the upbeat nature is typical boy band, they pull it off. The melody in this track is so much catchier than that of Happiness. They’ve been advertising this as a ‘graduation song’, but I don’t really see what they’re graduating from. This song, though considerably better, isn’t that different from their average pop. I actually enjoyed the rap segment because of the short breaks of actual singing. It relieved my annoyance that they weren’t singing. Plus they were at least talking fast to the point I was impressed. I like the squeaky synth featured in this track, but I just wish it was a bit more present instead of just in the intro and instrumental breaks. This song is much more my taste than Happiness‘ blandness. As expected it features grammatically correct but odd and awkward English. I’ve learned to ignore that. The composition is good, but there are a few boring moments that I wish they had fixed up a bit. Oh well, I’m just happy that I’m not asleep half way through. Their vocals are well done, though I still don’t hear any gorgeous power notes. I’m waiting for an impressive ballad. I think that they could pull it off. Maybe.

Vocal Performance Grade: A- — Musical Performance Grade: A — Composition Grade: A-

Overall Grade: A-

I hate the world sometimes. Fuyu wo Dakishimete was gorgeous for four seconds until the percussion came in and averaged it up. The song begins with gentle acoustic guitar that almost instantly expands into a big fluffy pop song. Well, overall it’s not too bad. The melody and composition are nice, but I’ve had enough pop. Vocals are also nice, but again I’m done with this upbeat happiness, I’d really like a break. The strings, brass, piano chords, and percussion create a full background, but it’s all a waste when theres nothing really unique or engaging about the track. Sure it all has the potential to be engaging, but it’s just not. I don’t know, I guess this song will appeal to some, but I can’t find the light in this song. I’m being drowned in repetitiveness. It has all the ingredients, it’s just didn’t turn out right.

Vocal Performance Grade: B+ — Musical Performance Grade: B+ — Composition Grade: B

Overall Grade: B-

SINGLE GRADE: B+

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Arashi’s ‘Happiness’

SINGLE REVIEW: Arashi’s ‘Happiness’

I’m really not at all familiar with Arashi, but a friend in Japanese class reccomended that I listen to their music… Sooo, I have basically been dropped into the world of another Japanese boy-group that I know nothing about… It was the same with KAT-TUN and almost all of the artists under Johnny’s Entertainment. I’m pretty sure they’ll resemble KAT-TUN, mostly based on the fact that I they look the same. I don’t know how people differentiate between some of these groups… I swear it’s just one group popping up after the other, each another version of the previous… Wierrrrrrd. Well, I guess, with nothing to lose, I leave you with the review of arashi’s ‘happiness’.~

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Happiness is an interesting song, though my fears were confirmed. To me, arashi pretty much sounds like KAT-TUN, but maybe geared towards a bit yonger of an audience. Their songs are kind of mid-tempo pop with a bit of a rock influence. The music for the song isn’t bad, but really unoriginal. Their vocals are okay, but I still hear a striking resemblence to KAT-TUN. Generally speaking, they’re not bad. I’m not sure I can say I really care for this song, which, although technically okay, is just kind of bland and average. I’ve heard songs like this from many artists, and I’m just generally not impressed, especially since this isn’t one of the better versions of this kind of song that I’ve heard. I ended up having to force myself to listen to it more than once, and I just can’t get myself to like it all that much. I want to hear a ballad by them, because that’s where the vocals of artists are really tested. This song seems to just use their voices rather than actually need them. It kind of just rambles on in a puddle of uninteresting guitar and amateur vocals.

Vocal Grade: B- — Musical Grade: B+ — Consistency Grade: B+ — Harmonizaton Grade: B

Overall Grade: B-

The second song on the single, entitled Still…, is a little bit better. When I heard the calm and relaxing intro guitar I thought that maybe they were going to actually answer my wishes for a ballad, but I ended up wrong… naturally. The slow chords disappear quickly and flow into a very typical mid-tempo pop song that features incredibly repetetive vocals and some happy beats in the background. There wasn’t much about this song that I cared for, and I found it to be a bit obnoxious at times. The music for this song is OKAY, but I’m really not impressed. The song also has a rap sequence in it, which I thought was poorly done and random. I don’t like rap at all, and to hear these boys do it only made me want to laugh. I don’t really see how anyone thinks that talking in rhyme is music, but whatever. I’m not impressed with something that I know I could do just as well [meaning the rap].

Vocal Grade: B — Musical Grade: B+ — Consistency Grade: B — Harmonization Grade: B

Overall Grade: B

The third and final track on this single is Snowflake. There was once again a slow intro, which I completely thought was going to melt away into another manufactured pop song. However, I was thankfully wrong. I still think that their vocals are not that great, but I thought this was definitely the best song on the single. Their vocals are better in this song, and so is their harmonization. It kind of bugs me that they don’t do more interesting things with their harmonization other than take turns singing, and then have a small part where they all sing at the same time. Of course, their voices sound pretty much the same, so I don’t know if I would even realize it was a group. Arashi gives me a very amateur vibe, and I really thought this single was kind of a disappointment. It shows that there isn’t much standard for becoming a musician in Japan. At this rate, you’ll just need six people who aren’t mute to form a musical group.

Vocal Grade: B+ — Musical Grade: B- — Consistency Grade: A- — Harmonization Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B

SINGLE GRADE: B-

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