Destiny Line – Ai no Matador –

Posts Tagged ‘NEWS

NEWS’ 6th single, entitled 星をめざして, was released on 03.21.07. It’s the group’s first single following their suspension and the title was used as the theme song for the Japanese release of the film Happy Feet, which features member Tegoshi Yuya starring as the main character.

星をめざして is a hopeful song filled with spirit and energy. The piano opens up the song as sweet instrumentation and moves into the first verse. The boys’ vocals sound very strong here as they move with the music perfectly and the listener gets a sense of the emotions the boys emote. It’s the chorus that helps the energy come up as there is a more poppish sound as the boys display their happiness. The instrumentation evokes a sense of hope and is certainly something not to miss. The third verse sounds fantastic as the boys continue to give strong vocals with a beautiful instrumental. Closing the song is the same sweet instrumentation, which offers the listener a smooth way out. It’s hopeful, upbeat and realy reflectiive of the emotions the boys went through so it’s definitely worth a listen.

Up next is Boom! Boom! POWER. There is a very cool and almost mysterious vibe that starts off the song and once the guitar comes in, the listener becomes fully engaged in the song. Shige sounds great singing the English and it’s a nice way to start off the song’s vocals. RIght before the chorus, the instrumentation changes momentarily and lets Massu have his chance to shine. The chorus has a certain catchiness and poppiness that the listener can enjoy as the boys give good vocals that fit with the music. The pure instrumental section allows that sleekness to be put to the forefront before the third verse comes in. Fantastic instrumentation brings the song to a close, making the song enjoyable from start to finish.

Best Friend is a sweet song about friendship that really shows the true bonds between these boys. A sweet atmosphere comes in the moment the music starts as an enjoyable midtempo sound. The vocals during the first verse sound great as the boys smoothly sing their way through. The chorus stands out, particularly for the phrase “you are my best friend,” which opens it. Both Ryo and Massu hit their more powerful notes with strength. Best Friend is a great number that reflects the boys strongly and certainly is one to look out for.

Single Ranking: A –

This single is a strong one, consisting of the hopeful and upbeat title track, the cool and edgy Boom! Boom! POWER and the sweet number, Best Friend. The boys really brought out their A-game for this single and it came through.

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NEWS’ 5th single,  サヤエンドウ/裸足のシンデレラボーイ, was released on 03.15.06. The single was the last one before the group’s suspension and the first single to not feature previous members Kusano Hironori and Uchi Hiroki. サヤエンドウ was used as the theme song for the movie One Piece.

The first A-side is the addictively catchy サヤエンドウ. The song starts off with some vocalizing before the first verse starts. The verses are split amongst most of the members, which is a nice way to create a unified feeling. All the members sound great singing the verse: Ryo opens the verse nicely, Shige stands out the most vocally and Massu does a great job of closing. Before each chorus is one line, sung with powerful vocals to create a climax effect in order to introduce the chorus. Yamapi does a great job here and shows off just how strong he is, vocally. The first part of the chorus consists of the phrase “bravo bravo” before each line, which really cements the catchiness. The second half of the chorus also repeats a phrase, this time in Japanese,  and it’s the last part of the entire chorus that stands out in the listener’s ear. The notes are held well and sound great. The pure instrumental section is amazing and spotlights the light-heartedness anf fun spirit of the song before Tegoshi delivers an impressive solo line. The song then finishes with the chorus and then the same vocalizing that opened the song. サヤエンドウ is a fantastic song and certainly one of NEWS’ strongest.

裸足のシンデレラボーイ is one of NEWS’ more aggressive and upbeat songs. Opening the song is a twinkling instrumentation that soon becomes an in-your-face addictive sequence. The first verse features great vocals that are smooth and deep to go with the music perfectly. The chorus is really what stands out to the listener. The boys harmonize perfectly and the note held on the last note of the chorus is absolutely fantastic. The more poppy side of the chorus definitely works as a nice compliment to the verses and helps it stand out. Before the final chorus, Massu sings two lines that sound great with the instrumentation, which have kept their magical feeling as well as having a hollow feeling. Strong instrumentation finishes the song off, making 裸足のシンデレラボーイ an excellent number.

In order to promote the single, a PV for サヤエンドウ was made. However as the first single without previous members Kusano and Uchi, the PV consisted of clips of a live performance and an animated version of the NEWS crew to fit the tie-in with One Piece. It’s nothing particularly memorable but it’s cute for what it’s worth.

Single Ranking: A +

NEWS’ first double A-side single and the first as a 6 member group certainly is one to be remembered. From the catchy and happy sounds of サヤエンドウ to the more aggressive 裸足のシンデレラボーイ, the boys from NEWS bring their A-game to the table and it paid off.

NEWS’ seventh single, entitled weeeek, was released on 11.07.07. The single was released on the same day as their second studio album, pacific. weeeek was used as the Crymson/Russ-K CM song. Both editions of the single feature the B-side, with me. The limited edition features Why while the regular edition is home to Rainbow.

weeeek, an energetic and uptempo track, is the title track. The song starts off with a cool instrumentation with rock elements in it that really make it stand out before delving into a more catchy pop sound in time of the chorus. The boys of members sing the chorus with such energy that it really catches the listener’s ear from the first moment. Yamapi, Ryo and Shige sound great with the first verse with a sort of rapping approach that still carries that singing sound. The hook sounds great as the vocals are smoother and help create a more relaxing atmosphere. Massu and Koyama sound great here as their vocals suit the sound strongly. Following the chorus is a nice pure instrumental section that shows off the coolness and fun-ness of the music. Tegoshi, Yamapi and Ryocome strongly on the third verse, which stands out nicely and then the chorus comes back. The song ends with a fantastic pure instrumental sequence, showing off the true energy and style of the song. weeeek is one of NEWS’ more catchy and addictive songs with the energy coming out from the very first moment.

with me is a beautiful ballad that shows off the boys’ voices nicely. After a gorgeous instrumental with a certain magical feeling to it, the first verse starts. The vocals along with the sound of the acoustic guitar really does create a simple feeling that resonates in the listener’s mind. The chorus features some nice harmonization from the boys and the English phrases “cry with me” and “smile with me” among others, really make it stand out. Following is a lovely pure instrumental section that is great on the ears. The actual pure instrumental section following the second verse is wonderful, showing off a fanciful sound that further enhances that magical feeling. Tegoshi smoothly sings his way fantastically on the third verse, delivering some great vocals. Massu then sings the chorus after and he captures the emotion nicely through his voice.  A sweet instrumental finishes the song off, making with me an excellent B-side and definitely worth the listen.

Pop flares come out for the B-side present only on the regular edition, Rainbow. The song starts off strongly with the chorus, which sounds great with the music. English phrases such as “we can fly” and “we can change” pop nicely and make the listener want to hear more. The boys voices sound wonderful with each other and following a small section of pure instrumentation, the first verse starts. The lyrics are delivered somewhat quickly but it catches the listener’s ear and keeps the interest high. The third verse is slightly different but the vocals are still strong and move with the music perfectly, particularly with the final note of the verse, which is held strongly. An absolutely brilliant pure instrumental section closes the song perfectly. Rainbow is a wonderful B-side and an a fantastic song from NEWS.

In order to promote the single, a PV for weeeek was made. The general theme of the video was a comic strip (which ties in with the regular edition cover of the single) as there are various scenes of the boys in comic-book format. The central set features the boys singing in a red and gray room with pictures of each member from the limited edition cover. They are dressed in all suits, tying in with the lyrical thoughts. It’s an excellent video that shows off the fun energy of the song perfectly as the boys’ faces show it as clearly as can be.

Single Ranking: A +

NEWS’ seventh single is definitely that cannot be missed. The leading song, weeeek, is a fun and energetic song that is absolutely addictive. The B-sides, With me and Rainbow, both are gems that show off the boys’ vocals nicely. The former is a sweet ballad while the latter is a great pop song. NEWS is the best of the Johnny Entertainment boys and this single continues to prove it.

NEWS’ second studio album, entitled pacific, was released on 11.07.07. Since their last album, touch, the group became six members after Kusano Hironori and Uchi Hiroki were suspended for underage drinking. The album features many songs with the six of them singing together, a few solos and some duos and trios. Three singles were released before the album: TEPPEN, サヤエンドウ/裸足のシンデレラボーイ and the always uplifting 星をめざして.

The album opens up with the extremely addictive and dirty 愛のマタドール. The song opens up with a pop instrumentation with Spanish guitar tints hidden before the first verse starts. Both Koyama and Ryo do a good job with their vocals to really keep with the music and they deliver their lyrics strongly. The hook features English phrases such as “don’t leave me” and “I’m lonely.” The chorus is very catchy with pretty dirty lyrics for the boys but the vocal talents and the interesting instrumentation keeps the listener hooked. The pure instrumental section in the middle of the song allows for a perfect dance break, as the hot music keeps the song alive. The song ends just as strongly as it began, finishing with an absolutely hot dance instrumentation that keeps its addictive quality. 愛のマタドール is an absolutely perfect opening track for the album and it shows off a more kakkoi side of NEWS that works extremely well on them.

Up next is サヤエンドウ, which was released as a single before the album. The lyrical theme of the song centers around pirates and the unbreakable bond of friendship. The song opens up with some vocals followed by the first verse, in which nearly everyone gets to sing a line. All the voices sound great and Massu does an excellent finish to them. Before each chorus is one line sung by one of the boys and the vocals during these lines are particularly impressive. The chorus consists of both English and Japanese as each line begins “Bravo bravo” before a Japanese line comes. The second half of the chorus is just as addictive as the first and the final line shows off the boys’ vocal talents as the effortlessly hold the final note of the final word. The pure instrumental section spotlights just how light-hearted and fun the instrumentation is before another solo line and the final chorus. The song ends much like it began with the same vocals to bring the song to an excellent close. サヤエンドウ is a perfect song right after the opening one and makes for a fun and enjoyable listen.

TEPPEN was the last single to feature Kusano Hironori and Uchi Hiroki before their suspension and the happy song appears as the third song on the album. The song starts off right with the chorus, which is the perfect opening to capture the happy and uptempo atmosphere of the song. When the first verse starts, the vocals sound nice over a simple instrumentation primarily driven by the guitar. The hook sounds great as there is more of an instrumental presence, which is a strong build up to the chorus. The third verse keeps the interest in the song high as the instrumentation slightly changes and for a moment, the song goes into a ballad moment before the chorus comes booming in strongly. The song ends on a great note with the fun instrumentation to round out the song as strong from start to finish. TEPPEN is a fun song that finds its home on the album.  

The boys explore rock with the fourth song on the album, Change the world. Aggressive rock instrumentation opens up the song before the first verse starts. Shige does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of the song because his vocals are somewhat deep and capture the song’s atmosphere perfectly. The hook and chorus are more poppy in contrast to the verses but they still work together to make a cohesive song. Massu’s voice is as clear as a bell on the hook and he does a good job of capturing the more uptempo and positive element of the chorus. The boys harmonize nicely on the chorus to continue that hopeful sound from the chorus. The pure instrumental section really spotlights just how cool and slick the music of the song is and shows off some amazing guitar playing. The song finishes off with the chorus and the following aggressive instrumentation to bring the song to a perfect close. Change the world is a nice change of pace and a good venture into rock sounds, which suits the boys very well.

The album’s first slow song, 君想フ夜, appears as the fifth track. The song begins with an instrumentation that somewhat is reminiscent of Japanese traditional instruments. The verses feature vocals that go perfectly with the music and serve as good connectors to the chorus. The chorus is the strongest part of the song as the boys harmonize wonderfully and the emotional presence of the song really comes to life. The pure instrumental section is very enjoyable and introduces the third verse very nicely, which puts Massu into the spotlight and show off some good vocals. It’s the final chorus that really features the song’s most powerful vocals before the song ends with the same pretty instrumentation. As the album’s first slower song still with uptempo elements, 君想フ夜 is an excellent addition to the album.

Koyama and Shige have their chance to shine with the smooth and sexy アリバイ. The song opens up with a smooth instrumentation before Koyama delivers his verse. His vocals sound great over the music and he shows off both his ability to hold notes and a bit of his vocal range is showed off as well. The chorus features both boys in order to really bring the song to its finest point. Shige takes his verse and his voice is somewhat deep, which really fits perfectly with the music. The third verse is really where both boys are able to show off more of their vocals, particularly Koyama, to keep the song all the more enjoyable. Near the end of the song, “happy birthday” is said and fits with the lyrical theme of the song. The mentions of both Massu and Tegoshi are a nice way of making the song feel like a story. The song then finishes with the same smooth instrumentation with some nice vocals to bring the strong song to a close. Both Koyama and Shige delivered extreme talent on this song and although they don’t have as many solo parts as the other members, this proves that they definitely have that magic.

Ryo shows off what he can do with his solo song, code. The song begins with the guitar driven instrumentation with some nice and somewhat rapid lyrics from Ryo. As the instrumentation begins to show off its more rock sound, Ryo’s shouts work perfectly to capture the song’s atmosphere. The verses are nice as Ryo’s vocals work with the music but it’s when he screams alongside the rock instrumentation and during the chorus that the song comes to life. code is nice but it doesn’t take the listener along for the ride like the other solos and duets on the album.

Shige and Koyama team up again for チラリズム, a fun song with a carnival-like atmosphere. The song begins with a very uptempo instrumentation with the chorus, which is catchy and one of the most memorable parts of the song. During the verses, English phrases such as “hey boy” and “hey girl” repeat and because of the always interesting instrumentation, once again Koyama and Shige create the atmosphere of a story with their voices. The pure instrumentation section shows off the flare of the song as well as spotlighting some great guitar playing. The song isn’t as strong as their other duet, アリバイ) but it’s definitely a fun pop song that is worth the listen.

愛なんて offers a chance for Tegoshi, Ryo and Shige to have their talents spotlighted on this ballad. Tegoshi opens the song wonderfully with great vocals over the piano-driven instrumentation and the emotional spirit comes through slowly. The chorus is really where the emotions of the song come out with more emotional vocals to bring the spirit of the song to life. It’s after the chorus, that the instrumentation becomes more varied than just focusing on the piano. The chorus really is what makes the song what it is as one of the most emotional parts on the album appears here. 愛なんて  is a nice song in which the three boys bring the emotions to the surface with powerful vocals over a beautiful and complimentary instrumentation sequence.

Massu, Yamapi and Koyama work together on なんとかなるさ, a fun song that captures the sounds of summer perfectly. The song opens up with more of a softer sound before Massu brings the listener into the sounds od summer with some vocals before the first verse comes in. The vocals over a simplistic instrumentation really combine to capture the feel of the song wonderfully. The happy and poppy atmosphere really comes to life with the chorus, with some very nice vocals. The pure instrumental section is really fun and is perfect for summertime and shows off just how much flare the music is carrying. The song ends with the chorus and then much like the beginning, a slower and softer sound. なんとかなるさ is an excellent summer song in which Massu, Yamapi and Koyama do a fantastic job of portraying.

Yamapi has his solo with ゴメンネ ジュリエット. The song opens up with a twinkling instrumentation that creates a beautiful and magical feeling before the first verse comes in. Yamapi sounds great here as his voice follows the direction of the music while keeping his voice in conjunction with the music. The chorus really stands out as Yamapi displays even more vocal power as he sings the title of the song for the last line of the chorus, there is an unidentified female singing a short smooth vocal line that gives the song that extra push. He then delivers a rap section with rapidity to his lyrics and it doesn’t sound out of place at all. The same beautiful instrumentation finishes the song off just as wonderfully as it began. Yamapi does an excellent job on his solo song and keeps the listener following every vocal and every piece of instrumentation from start to finish.

裸足のシンデレラボーイ  features the boys coming together for a great semifinal track. The song opens up with a magical feeling as well before the song’s true aggressive instrumentation comes in. The verses feature a variety of great vocals that go well with the music to create that story-like atmosphere. The chorus is more poppish than the verses but the boys harmonize perfectly to keep the song just as addictive as it began. The holding of the note on the title of the song definitely stands out and connects to the pure instrumental section that re-introduces the verse. The aggressive and addictive instrumentation brings the song to a close and really shows off the rock flares that are present in the music.

The album closes with the hopeful song 星をめざして. The song begins with a beautiful piano interlude before the first verse starts with the vocals combined with the insturmentation form a beautiful sound that keeps the listener hooked. The verses really do sound great and show off the boys’ voices perfectly. The energy is picked up with the chorus, which features a more uptempo sound with the element of hope within the instrumentation. The combination of the two elements form to make the song even more enjoyable. The third verse is just as beautiful with a slightly different instrumentation to put an emphasis on the wonderful vocals. The song ends with the instrumentation to bring the song and the album to a perfect close. The song is a great album closer as it signals that the boys of NEWS will be reaching for the stars for a long time to come.

Album Ranking: A

The second album from Johnny’s Entertainment group NEWS is certainly something not to miss. 愛のマタドール, サヤエンドウ and 裸足のシンデレラボーイ are perfect examples of what the boys of NEWS can do when they come together. The KoyaShige duet bring definite quality with both of their songs, showing they can shine on an upbeat song and a slower song. Yamapi’s solo is definitely noteworthy and Ryo’s solo is somewhat worth the listen as well. Tegoshi shines on 愛なんて and his presence on the group songs is key for the song’s addictive quality. Massu shines on なんとかなるさ and much like Tego, he brings something special to the group songs. pacific is a great collection of songs and shows that NEWS is a definite must-listen-to.