Destiny Line – Ai no Matador –

Arashi – One [5th Studio Album]

Posted on: July 30, 2008

Arashi’s 5th studio album, entitled One, was released on 08.03.05. Only one single, サクラ咲け, was released prior to the album. The album features a solo song sung by each member of the group.

Overture serves as the album opener. The song starts off with a sweet instrumental that established a very relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. Soon the sound changes as some rapping starts and the tempo picks up. Once the boys begin singing, the vocals really compliment the music and the English phrase “I love my girl” really stands out to the listener. The boys then sing “it’s ok, it’s all right, we’re gonna have a good time” and with the jazzy instrumentation continuing, it sets up the listener for an enjoyable album.

夏の名前 starts the energy off nicely in a soft way. The song starts off nicely with an uptempo piano interlude and the first verse starts. There is a certain mysterious element to the music and the boys’ voices sound nice here. The chorus stands out as the boys’ voices go well together and really capture the upbeat spirit of the music. The rap sequence sounds great and is probably the most ear-catching part of the song as his voice is pretty deep but compliments the lighter music very well. Overall this song is a very nice first full song and is definitely enjoyable.

The poppiness comes through strongly on the third song, ROMANCE. Opening the song up is a very enjoyable and upbeat pop instrumental that hooks the listener. With the first verse, there is a mellow feeling that the listener can’t help but love as the boys sound so smooth on it. The chorus is very strong as the boys give off more vocal strength and the English phrase is a very nice touch. ROMANCE is definitely an album standout as the boys give strong vocals and the poppy instrumental captures the listener’s ear from first listen.

Following is Lai-Lai-Lai, a fun pop number. The song starts off strongly with a pop instrumental, supported by the boys singing “lai lai lai” and their voices sound great. The first verse features more enjoyable vocals that go with the music perfectly. The boys sound absolutely fantastic on the chorus as the instrumentation becomes as addictive as ever and the combination of vocals and music hooks the listener. The pure instrumental section features a nice spotlight on the spanish guitar, that hadn’t been put in the instrumental forefront before. Closing the song is the boys repeating the title of the song and then an instrumental finish. Lai-Lai-Lai is a fantastic number and certainly one to look out for on this album.

The first album ballad is Days. The piano begins the song and soon the instrumentation becomes more varied and a certain magical feeling arrives. During the first verse, the boys give nice and smooth vocals that go with the music perfectly. The chorus is nice and all the boys’ vocals go well with each other but the instrumentation didn’t really change so it’s a bit lacking in that area. The moments of pure instrumentation show off the jazzy flare and provides the song with a little more variety. The song beautifully closes with the softer music, pushed by the sounds of the piano. Although the chorus isn’t particularly strong, the verses are nice and Days is a good ballad for the album.

A rock sound comes out on 素晴らしき世界. Beginning the song is a nice and smooth instrumental and soon elements of rock come out to play while the boys sing the chorus. The first verse then follows and the vocals are nice but aren’t particularly grabbing. The rap sequence is okay but the vocalizing in the background is a bit off-putting. Overall this song isn’t capturing and the rock tints sound a bit misplaced on the song.

サクラ咲け is the only song released as a single from the album and is the seventh song. The song starts off with a fun and upbeat instrumentation. The first verse then brings in some very nice vocals to go with the fun atmosphere established by the music. Then the chorus comes in and it’s nice, but nothing that really stands out in the listener’s mind. There is more energy with the rap part, which fits very nicely although the vocalizing in the background is a bit annoying. It’s a nice song but it doesn’t grab the listener’s ear very well.

Ohno’s solos song is the eighth song, Rain. The song begins with an interesting and sweet instrumental, fused with pop sounds and a midtempo sound. He then goes into the first verse with strong vocals that carry emotion and go perfectly with the music. The chorus stands out as the continues to deliver strong vocals and the music leads him and sounds addictive. The song becomes even stronger as the song goes on, particularly when he sings “this is just the beginning.” Rain is definitely an album standout and just goes to show that he consistently delivers strong solo songs.

いつかの Summer is Aiba’s solo song. The song begins with a very upbeat and cheerful sound that really stands out. His vocals during the first verse carry a certain poppiness to them that sounds very nice and goes with the music well. The jazziness somces out on the pure instrumental section with the saxophone giving power and strength, making a nice transition back into the chorus. Aiba gives the listener a very enjoyable solo song and it fits perfectly on this album.

W/ ME follows and is Matsumoto’s solo song. The song starts off with a slightly mysterious instrumental with some breathing and then the song’s true sound comes in. His vocals go perfectly with the music and they really catch the listener’s ear. The chorus is nice and is sung in complete English, standing out strongly. The pure instrumental section with the girl giving some smooth vocals is really fun and a nice part of the song. W/ ME is a fantastic song and is definitely an album highlight.

Nino’s solo song, 秘密, is next. The song starts off with a fun and poppy piano instrumental. Nino gives some very nice vocals during the first verse and keeps with the light and upbeat music. The chorus stands out as his vocals are strong while still going with the happy atmosphere of the instrumentation. This song is a very strong song and one of the album standouts.

夢でいいから is the final solo song, sung by Sakurai. The opening English phrases are a good way to open up the song with a smooth instrumentation. The first verse then comes in and he delivers a nice rap sequence although it doesn’t fit as well with the music as his raps usually do. The chorus sounds much stronger as the vocals go perfectly with the music and comforts the listener beautifully. The rapping doesn’t really fit with the song’s overall atmosphere but the singing is a perfect match, thus the song has its ups and downs.

Yes? No? is the album’s semifinale. The chorus is nice with the boys vocals strongly but it is the instrumentation which really grabs the listener as there are electronic traces that stand out very strongly. The first verse has a certain coolness to it that really is catchy as the music continues to be the driving force of the song. This song is a great song and shows off the  boys trying something new.

風見鶏 appears as a bonus track present on the regular edition and the final song on the album. There is something enchanting and pretty about the instrumental that keeps the listener interested throughout the course of the album. The vocals are consistently strong and move with the music very well. It’s a really great way to end the album.

Album Ranking: A –

One is a very enjoyable album with a little something for everyone. The solo songs are particularly capturing from Ohno’s fantastic song, Rain to Matsumoto’s addictive, W/ ME to the light and fun song 秘密 from Nino. Album tracks such as ROMANCE, Lai-Lai-Lai and Yes? No? prove what the boys can do when they come together. There are a few forgettable songs such as 素晴らしき世界 and サクラ咲け but overall it’s another enjoyable album from the boys.


6 Responses to "Arashi – One [5th Studio Album]"

Arashi never disappoints because they attack every single genre possible so that everyone is satisfied in some way or another. Much unlike KAT-TUN sticking to heavier song or NEWS sticking to the bubblegummy songs.

It’s good talent yes, but it’s great planning and even greater marketing.

in response to what Raid said , in a way ARASHI’s music stood out against the rest is because they have some great harmonies going on in their songs & also I realised at least all 5 of them have their fair share/chance to sing in their songs .

I don’t like it if it’s just 1 or 2 people in the band do the singing & the rest are just doing the whole backing up & etc , it seems silly & defeats the whole purpose of being in a band in the 1st place .

next album for Kevin to review’s their 4th album Iza , Now . Another fave of mine 😀 & so’s Kaori’s too !

so far, I’m halfway done with Iza, Now so it’s coming soon!!
Personally, I prefer NEWS’ music. I know people will disagree with me but I feel a lot of Arashi’s music has a jazzy feeling to it, which I love but can feel a little repetitive at times.
Vocally, I prefer the boys of NEWS and I enjoy the raps more.
Arashi has good music but as I listen to their albums, at times it feels like it’s really long even when it’s the same length as most albums…
They do have good songs though and I much prefer their newer works [Step and Go, One Love]

well to each his own , Kevin because one man’s treasure is another man’s trash & vice versa .

It’s your own preferences & dislikes to begin with so I have no right to disagree with you on that 🙂

yep you’re right, many prefer the songs that others don’t but it’s a good thing that at least there is something for everyone for both Arashi and NEWS, at least IMO 🙂

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