[Review] Popcorn – Arashi

I do like an album with a good look to it, and this one had me watching; heck I got the Limited Edition on Pre-Order. “Wild at Heart”, “Face Down” and “Cosmos” are just a few of the favourites. Check out the album yourself by either purchasing it or getting it HERE thanks to youshikibi. Now down to the nitty gritty.

Welcome to our Party ★ ★ ★
“Welcome to our Party is an interesting opening track which was leaked via radio a few weeks ago. It’s a catchy tune, however its happy beat can’t stand up to the rest of the album, leaving it with an average score.

Kakenukero ★ ★
Unfortunately the second track doesn’t do much better, this theme for the new Nissan CM has a cheery chorus howevers it lacks that certain vibe the rest of the album has, leaving it feeling plain and unneeded. Two stars for this one.

Wild at Heart ★ ★★ ★
Here with track 3, the album begins to get good. Wild at Heart is a fun-filled track that anyone can listen to which was used as the theme to the Fuji TV drama, “Lucky Seven” earlier this year. Definitely a highlight which I can fondly remember catching myself humming the tune to many months ago.

Face Down ★ ★★ ★
Another track used for a Fuji TV drama, this time for the one that filled “Lucky Sevens” time slot, “Kagi no Kakatta Heya”. I’ll be honest, Kagi has been my favourite drama of the year with many of that lying in thanks to acting by Satoshi Ohno and of the appearance of the ever wonderful, Erika Toda. A song which is epic in many ways, Face Down deserves a high score.

We wanna funk, we needa funk (Jun Matsumoto) ★
I have NEVER been a fan of the solos by Jun Matsumoto with the exception of the rock tune “I Want Somebody” in 2006. This time he doesn’t disappoint my low expectations with another bad track which sound like he’s saying rather rude words. A low score for another poor track by Matsumoto.

Two (Satoshi Ohno) ★ ★★
This song doesn’t get points for being a great song or for its re-playability but for Ohno’s voice. He really can sing well and the finale in this track proves that he has improved over his less-than-impressive 2011 solo.

Waiting For You ★ ★★
Waiting for You is a fine track by itself, however stands to depend upon its chorus for re-playability. However it’s still one of my favourites from the album which will go down as a must listen.

Rakuen (Masaki Aiba) ★ ★
Typically Aiba can pull out tracks which I will favour, however this time his track seems to be a bit auto tuned and fake. In preference I would have liked a track such as “Jyanakute” or “Magical Song” which were more “Jazzy”. That’s the sort of sound which suits this man’s voice, whom is admittedly one of the poorer singers in Arashi.

Tabi wa Tsuzuku yo ★
I don’t have much to say about this track, it’s dull and manufactured, I didn’t like it. It seems too childish for the rest of the album.

Sore wa yappari kimi deshita (Kazunari Ninomiya) ★ ★★
Ninomiya has churned out yet another soft ballad song, I was somewhat hoping for something different. However I can’t complain, it’s what he does best, but next time I shall still hope for a rock sound from the sound.

Meikyuu Love Song ★ ★
Meikyuu Love Song was used as the theme for Fuji TVs 2011 drama “Nazotoki wa Dinner no ato de” which was a favourite of mine back when it aired October last year. Overall the song is average but nostalgic, can’t give it too much of a score.

Your Eyes ★ ★
Even Masaki Aiba couldn’t save the mediocre rating of NTVs “Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri” this last April. The theme for this drama is a slow and boring song which in the words of my mother, “No, it’s not right”. This came out less than a month after “Face Down” and yes, it just wasn’t right at the time and doesn’t suit the feel of the album.

Fly on Friday (Sho Sakurai) ★ ★
Oh how I miss the days of Sakuraps, the last two albums have just been pop-girly and boring. Something more like “T.A.B.O.O” would have been nice, but nonetheless he’s still my favourite member for his epicness.

Cosmos ★ ★ ★ ★
A great way to head towards a finale, Cosmos is a clear favourite. It’s powerful “Woah-oh”s are just legendary and it’s rare for an Arashi tune to move me like this. I honestly think it needs a PV.

Akashi ★ ★
I really have something against these soft songs. This Olympics theme is no different, I just can’t adjust to it. So a low score it gets, it’s not bad, but I can’t like it either.

Up to you ★ ★ ★
Sounding like a mix between “Time” and “Boku no Miteiru no Fuukei”, “Up to you” is a good way to finish the album. It’s fast paced and stylish tune perfectly samples what Arashi is. Overall bringing a good album to an end.

OVERALL: ★ ★ ★

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