(Taiyou no Namida)
(Tears of the Sun)
Lyrics & Music: Kawano Michio / Arrangement: m-takeshi
In unison, my first Johnny’s Entertainment group introduces me to their #1 hit, Taiyou no Namida. With a stylized Gypsy sound, the group weaves either solo or in unison through a forest of flutes, fiddles, and traditional rhythm sections to produce a slightly impressive song. Vocally, the group is well staffed. Some of them have very nice, lyrical qualities with pure, uninhibited ranges; while some have a grit and virile distinction. I enjoy the variety of voices and find them affable at least. Very light harmony occasionally adds to some of the phrases, but very rarely. The song has a very beautiful falsetto lift towards the end of the chorus which I really like since I’m a tenor myself. The song has a good hook, a memorable chorus, and a fun sound.
美しすぎて Beautiful Eyes
(Utsukushisugite Beauitful Eyes)
(Your Eyes Are Too Beautiful)
Lyrics: Date Ayumi / Music: Shusui, Peter Hallstrom / Arrangement: Abe Jun
A light, up-tempo feel pervades this number that uses some airy synth to introduce us to two of the group singing solos. Together they sing an endearing chorus which uses a gospel backup choir to add drama. After each chorus, another two guys sing. The bridge incorpates a very cheesy saxophone solo. It’s a bit sickening. The entire song is rather cliché. Their voices blend very well and they are able to pull it off.
Lyrics: Marezuki Materu / Music & Arrangement: m-takeshi
This song sounds like a reject track from the Sailor Moon soundtrack. The chorus is cool, though and uses some interesting instrumental harmonies. The vocals sound a bit more breathy on this track and the lyrics a bit more staccato (a musical phrase meaning to make the notes really pronounced and to not hold them out). That’s about all there is to this number.
Lyrics: Matsumura Ryuji / Music & Arrangement: Shusui, Martin Ankelius, Henrik Andersson-Tervald
And I wasn’t expecting this, a techno piece? It’s actually pretty cool. Sizzling synth glides across the smooth vocals of NEWS. The song is definitely in the modern Eurobeat category and reminds a little bit of HINOI Team in its arrangement. The chorus is slightly similar to ‘太陽のナミダ’ something I fear will rear its ugly head in future releases and any releases I may review from before. There are no exceptional vocals in this piece. Some ad. lib. is employed towards the end as we head into a downtempo bridge. There’s some chilling speaking parts, don’t ask me what they’re saying. The looping techno never falters until the end.
So, I basically forced myself to review this single. I’m not a big fan of boy groups, but NEWS was alright. It took me awhile to get used to their sound and style, but I at least liked the title track. In all truth, my biggest problem with all of them is that they usually steal #1 from an act I think should have had it. But overall, this was a good single.
*Found only on the Limited Editon Single