Destiny Line – Ai no Matador –

Arashi – いざッ, Now [4th Studio Album]

Posted on: August 1, 2008

Arashi’s 4th album, entitled いざッ, Now, was released on 07.21.04. ハダシの未来 / 言葉より大切なもの and PIKA★★NICHI DOUBLE.

言葉より大切なもの is the album opener. The song starts off with a guitar-driven instrumental and strong vocals to support the overall atmosphere of the song. On the first verse, the vocals are very nice and smooth. The chorus is okay as the boys’ voices are nice but the music is a little lacking. The pure instrumental section is nice as the guitar really shines through and then there is a rap sequence, which seems a little misplaced for this song. Overall the song is nice but not strong enough to serve as the album’s opening number.

Up next is the jazzy upbeat number, JAM. The song begins with a sweet instrumental and soon there are some jazzy elements that come in and make the listener fall in love with the song. The first verse features smooth vocals that go with the music perfectly. English comes out on the chorus and really makes it pop nicely and is very ear catching. An absolutely fantastic pure instrumental section then comes in and sucks the listener into another world. JAM is wonderful and certainly a track to look out for.

Song number three is The Bubble. The song starts off with a nice although somewhat strange instrumental. Soon the first verse begins and the vocals are nice as they go with the clear beat of the music. The chorus features smoother vocals to make it enjoyable although it does get a little repetitive. With the rap part, it’s nice and an okay fit with the song’s overall atmosphere. For this song, the music is easily the most addictive part of the song and really stands out nicely. The Bubble definitely has a nice beat and although the chorus is a little repetitive, it’s a nice song to listen to.

Thank you for my days comes as the album’s fourth song. Opening the song is a sweet piano instrumentation and then the first verse begins. The boys’ vocals go well with the slower music and carry power as well as emotion. The slight instrumental change on the chorus makes it pop although one set of vocals doesn’t particularly fit with the music. This song is the album’s first slower song and does a good job of keeping the listener interested.

PIKA★★NICHI DOUBLE, which was released as a single before the album, is song number five. The song starts off with a fun guitar piece that evokes a feeling of happiness. Good vocals help the first verse stay in the listener’s mind while keeping that upbeat and fun sound. The chorus is nice although it doesn’t stand out in the listener’s mind as much as hoped. Overall the song is nice although it isn’t as grabbing as the earlier tracks on the album.

The sixth song is the short interlude, keep a peaK. The song begins with a strange and upbeat instrumentation that continues throughout the song. Although there are no vocals on this interlude, it definitely would have made a truly fantastic and standout song for this album.

Following is the upbeat pop song, EYES WITH DELIGHT. The song begins with an upbeat instrumental and the chorus, which features some nice and smooth vocals from the boys. Soon the first verse begins and the vocals here are continuously a strong fit with the music. The rap sequence was not needed on this song and it doesn’t really go with the music very well and the following cheering part definitely should have been taken out. Although there are some faulty parts, EYES WITH DELIGHT is a great album track and a very good fit for this album.

RIGHT BACK TO YOU is the next song. After an interesting moments of instrumentation, the first verse begins and the music takes on a more dark feeling. The boys’ voices sound very nice and they show off even more power on the chorus, which feels a little empty although the music does a very nice job of keeping the listener. The rap is okay this time around, nothing particularly noteworthy. The pure instrumentation sequence is really good as the music is spotlighted very nicely. Overall the song is okay but nothing really ear-catching.

RAINBOW, a smooth pop track, is the album’s next number. The song begins with a very smooth jazzy instrumental that catches the listener’s ear and leads into the first verse. The vocals are nice and go with the music very well. For the chorus, there is a happiness that comes out on the boys and strikes the listener on a good note. The pure instrumental section is nice although it’s nothing that really stands out as being strong. Overall it’s definitely a nice song and one to look out for.

The tenth song is ハダシの未来. Opening the song is a fantastic aggressive instrumentation that goes perfectly into the first verse. The vocals take on more of a poppy feeling and the music takes a lighter approach in order to match that sound. The chorus is nice although the vocals are a little lacking but it’s nice. An aggressive rock instrumentation with jazzy hints is what really makes this song stand out to the listener but the vocals could have been a little stronger to help guide the listener.

優しくって少しバカ follows as the eleventh song. A nice guitar-driven instrumentation starts off the song and then the first verse begins. The vocals are okay and the music doesn’t stand out as much as it should. When the chorus comes, there is no particular instrumental change and the vocals don’t demonstrate any more power so it doesn’t pop very nicely. The rockier side of the music is highlighted on the pure instrumental section but it isn’t particularly grabbing. This song is definitely one of the weaker songs on the album and isn’t really worth checking out.

Dear My Friend. The song starts off with a guitar-centric instrumental that really catches the listener’s ear. The boys’ voices sound very smooth and definitely go with the music perfectly. The chorus is very nice as the boys harmonize wonderfully and the vocals help capture that sweet atmosphere. This song is a very enjoyable one and definitely one to look out for.

The jazzy sound comes back on 君だけを想てる. The opening instrumentation and chorus is really enjoyable as the listener is caught by the fun jazz atmosphere. The final phrase “smile tonight” also closes it very nicely. The verses feature smooth vocals that go with the music very well and keep the listener interested. For the pure instrumental section, the listener becomes hooked and it’s a very great part of this song. This song makes very good use of the jazzy sound and is a very strong track on this album.

A slow jazz song, チェックのマフラー, is up next. Overall there is a certain familiarity to this song that resonates nicely with the listener. The vocals are smooth and carry emotion so well that the listener can smoothly sail throughout the song. Overall the song is a very nice way of bringing down the tempo while keeping that jazzy sound the boys continue to come back to.

The album closes with the pop song, 途中下車. Unfortunately this song is rather forgettable: the vocals are nothing particularly noteworthy, the music is a little dry and the overall atmosphere isn’t very memorbale.

Album Ranking: C

This album faces its ups and downs. Songs like JAM, 君だけを想てる and チェックのマフラー are great songs that stand out to the listener. Unfortunately, the album features many forgettable songs that aren’t very ear-catching. The album also feels very long, despite only being 15 tracks (one of them an interlude). Their later albums show much more growth but this album isn’t very strong.

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11 Responses to "Arashi – いざッ, Now [4th Studio Album]"

LOL at your review Kevin . You & I so don’t share the same musical tastes at all -_- . I enjoyed Iza , Now & with the exception of RAINBOW which I find it weak on 1st listen , the rest of the non singles & singles are great but ah well to each his own .

hahaha, yeah I guess so XD
I felt the album was really long and it took me a while to actually get back to it. But yeah, you obviously like Arashi a lot more than I do [myself, I much prefer NEWS] 🙂

yeah I suppose so . I did not listened to their 1st 3 albums so I can’t be the judge for that but I can tell starting from Iza , Now , their non singles began to improve as each album goes by & of course the musical peak comes in when they put out ARASHIC & Time .

NEWS – they only have 2 albums being put out so far in their career so I can’t comment that much on them yet since ARASHI has put out 8 albums in their career so far but I do like pacific yes !

yep yep, I haven’t listened to their previous albums and I plan to do so…just after a while lol. Although I agree with you, I do feel they have been growing more with each album and I really have enjoyed their new sigles Step and Go + One Love so I’ll definitely take a look at their next album 🙂

It’s true NEWS has only put out 2 albums and truthfully I’ve only listened to one. But the reason I prefer them is that I enjoy their voices more and feel that their music is more varied. Arashi has a lot of jazzy sounds in their music which is great but I feel like they could try out different sounds.

But yeah, to each their own 🙂

D:
A C? Iza, Now! is probably one of Arashi’s best albums. Honestly, I’d give this an A+, and not just because I’m an Arashi fangirl. I think it has a lot of their strongest material. 2004 was a great year for Arashi.

And I think the jazzy sounds really work for their voices. It’s like their niche, as like KAT-TUN sticks to the more rock ones. NEWS doesn’t really have one and they flop around with random music that doesn’t really work well for them. pacific is great, but it jumps around so much. and touch is just terrible, minus four or five songs.

I’m probably the only 1 who can’t really detect that jazzy sound/influence in ARASHI’s music . Maybe in ARASHIC yes but the non singles on Iza , Now are really awesome & I dare to say that the non singles on Iza , Now are probably even more superb than their singles counterpart .

@kaori: truthfully I love my jazzy songs so when one pops up on the album I’m like “oh cool, they’re trying out a jazzy sound” but for me, it comes up to often on Arashi’s music that it loses that touch. So then other types of songs become the “special ones” but then they aren’t as strong and thus I feel the jazziness is kinda the glue of the album and it gets to be a little old.

KAT-TUN I feel does have some really great songs if they can stick to a more aggressive rock but most anything else doesn’t connect with me. Even if NEWS doesn’t stick to like one genre that holds the album together, I think I like that better so that I get to hear a variety of sounds. I’d rather have more types of songs than have one overall sound so I didn’t think that pacific jumped around cause it wasn’t like they were sticking to one particular genre. If Arashi’s albums were like HEART STATION (Utada Hikaru) in which there was one overall sound but pulled off in a variety of ways then I’d totally be on board. To me, their jazzy songs sound too samey. But that’s okay, we have different tastes 🙂

@karenL lol, maybe it’s a good thing. Then it just feels like music to you without noticing that element that runs through. However I agree with you that the non-singles are better than the singles because I didn’t think they were very good XD

ya, we do have different tastes Kevin. ❤

I don’t think their jazzy songs sound a like, b ut then again I guess I get where you’re coming from. But as with pacific, I felt it was jumping around a lot because not only would they switch up a genre, but they’d also switch up the songs. Some members got to sing on the album more than others because they were their solo songs on Shokura or something during their hiatus. I think that’s so dumb. And don’t get me started on touch. =X lol

oh totally, although I don’t really think of pacific as jumping around, I must agree with you about having certain members singing certain songs so that ~1/2 the album was the group together and the other had solos/duos/trios. Honestly, first time I listened to it, I didn’t really think about the voices and just assumed there were no solos XD

But at least with Arashi’s albums, everyone gets to sing. I don’t know their voices too well so I can’t say everyone gets their fair share but at least there all on the tracks (except for the solos, which everyone gets) [and Ohno always does awesome on those] 🙂

I had a bit of problem with pacific at 1st because I didn’t expect in the middle of the tracklist , only a few of the guys sang which confused me for a while but I’m ok with it now though .

I still think outta the whole lot of JE bands that I listened to , ARASHI’s up there in which the rest of the bands like KAT-TUN , KinKi Kids , NEWS , HSJ followed suit after that

yeah, I can see where that would be a little off-putting. Luckily I didn’t even notice first listen. Next album, I wouldn’t mind if they did the same thing but I would like a Tesshi solo and Massu solo [Pumpkin was just too good not to be on an album]. The songs where they are together though [Ai no Matador, Sayaendou, Hadashi no Cinderella Boy, TEPPEN, etc.] are some of my favs 🙂

Although Arashi does have some good songs and overall, I consider them 3rd in line for my JE following: NEWS (Tegomass included) -> Hey! Say! JUMP -> Arashi

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