|Sexy Zone poster, CDs (LE D & RE) and Kanjani8 Fight album RE|
I only took a closer photo of the RE version of the single as it was easy to get most of it in one photo. I got the special tickets for the handshake event in December in both CDs, but alas, I won't be able to go as I just can't afford to travel to Japan right now. And I got the card for Yo Marius, which I scanned for the Marius fans out there.
|Sexy Zone - Sexy Zone RE 1st press goodies|
|Yo Marius card front|
Here's a quick run down about my impressions of the tracks:
Sexy Zone - Still not a fan of the song, it's okay but I really wish they had something more fun sounding for their debut track.
With You - I liked the song since they began performing it on Shounen Club months ago and still enjoy it. I love the beat that drives it and the change ups in the track.
I see the light ~Bokutachi no Suteejii~ - A nice slow song with a gospel choir singing back up in parts. It sounds pleasant overall and the English sung sounds like English and not Engrish. It has a winter ballad feel to it and a bit of a retro sound like NYC's ballads.
Knock! Knock!! Knock!!! - This is my favorite song of the whole single. It's really fun and catchy. I'm really curious who has the English speaking bits in this song as it's very good English. In fact outside of the group's name the pronunciation of English in this song is good.
|Yo Marius card back|
Overall I think the singles are worth it for the B-sides, they are all songs I'll be listening to for a good while to come. And even though the first day sales are a bit lower than expected I still believe it possible for the single to at least do about 200K for the first week as there is still a lot of week left for promotions so it's going to depend on the sales numbers for the rest of the week if they'll manage to get that #1 single with their debut. I think it'll really depend on how much Johnny's wants them to get that #1.
And even if they miss it personally I would not feel too bad. The current most popular groups, SMAP, Arashi and Kanjani8 all went through a period of lackluster sales before they hit it off and I think it's partly because not always being on top really made them feel like they needed to work harder which allowed them to approve and eventually get that hard work noticed and rewarded.
And then the other part of my order, Kanjani8's new album FIGHT, which I got the RE for because it comes with more songs than the LEs. I love the pack of "baseball" trading cards included. As someone who used to collect trading cards when I was younger it was rather nostalgic opening the pack up. I do have to wonder what the person was thinking when they chose clothes for them for the booklet photos as it looks like they're all dressed like Yasuda Shota dresses like normally.
|Kanjani8 - FIGHT album RE w/baseball cards|
A quick run down for the tracks for this:
Monjyai Beat - Such a fun and energetic opening track. It's the kind of song that makes you forget that this group is made up of men from 30-26 as it could easily be a song given to any of the much younger Johnny's groups.
Uchuu ni Itta Lion - From the moment the song started I just knew I was going to love this track and I did. One of the stand out tracks for me on the album.
Fight for the Eight - Another fun track and I will say that I just love the current rockish sound this group has moved to. And I love how it sounds a bit like a surfer rock song right before it kicks off a more big band sound.
T.W.L. - Okay I admit I didn't really bother to listen to the singles for this album but honestly I'm kinda glad I didn't as this song fits so well with the rest
Fly High - Love how it starts off with an electronic beat before joining then giving way to the instruments in this song. And then the kick back to that beat is a nice switch back to make the song sound really fun and fresh. I think I kinda wanna marry this song.
365 Nichi Kazoku - And we get the first ballad of the album, which seems oddly placed after Fly High. But honestly I don't care, I love this song and how after bouncy around to the songs before it it's nice to relax to.
Dye D? - They change things up with this song and go more pop and it's dance-ish but with a nice driving beat. Like how they distort some of the lines, it really helps give the creepy feeling it has going with it. The instrumental break is very much horror ride inspired. I think it's interesting that they go for this kind of thriller sound for a song with lyrics like "I just can not tell how to love you. /But I know that I need you now. So trust me." Looking at the booklet Yasuda Shota wrote the song and I think I now understand why my K8 fan friend was so excited for this song, it's good.
Water Drop - This sounds like a song any Johnny's group could do, especially KAT-TUN or NEWS, so I'm not so impressed with it. It's not a bad song but pretty forgettable and doesn't really have the kind of sound I would associate with K8.
Tsubasa ni Koi - Another slower song but not as slow as 365 Nichi Kazoku. I love the chorus and the build up to it. I'm really glad to have it here on the album as it raises my hopes for the rest of it after the lackluster Water Drop.
Yellow Pansy Street - I love big band music so the start of this song is wonderful to me. I also love the slight jazzy-ness of the song as well. It's a good mid-tempo song.
Freedom Riron - Another mid-tempo song and is a good solid pop song. Doesn't have as much as a signature K8 sound but isn't too different than songs they've done in the past so I don't feel disappointed with it like I did with Water Drop.
Kagayakeru Butai e - Now we get another faster paced song and I'm in complete love again. It's fun and bouncy and I'm love the 'woah, woah's at the end.
My Home - Another slow song but like the other two very enjoyable to listen to and has a good build up like Tsubasa ni Koi. And it has a guitar solo, one of my great loves, especially when nicely done like in this song, though I do kinda wish it was a bit longer.
wander - Another song the moment it began I fell completely in love with. A slower song which has a drum beat going through it that I am so in love with. It just makes it sound so epic to me. I'm in love and it just comes off as so emotional which just might be more me than the song but I don't care.
Scarecrow (Nishikido Ryo solo) - From listening to his solos on both K8 and NEWS albums this song is very in line with what he's done before. I do like the violins used and the pace changes in it. It's nice, but not very stand out, especially if you're familiar with his other solo songs.
Yona Yona Yo NIGHT (Murakami Shingo, Yasuda Shota & Ohkura Tadayoshi unit song) - The moment it started with the wedding march tune I knew I was in for something special. It's a good return to the crack!song that I instantly connect with K8. It has some interesting switch ups but it sounds like the guys had a blast recording it and it's a fun song to be goofy to.
Pan Panda (Yokoyama You & Maruyama Ryuhei unit song) - So cute. So very, very cute. It's the kind of song you expect to hear on a children's program and I really want to see this performed to see if it will as cute visually as it is audibly.
A (Shibutani Subaru solo) - When I saw the title of this song my mind went directly to Superfly's song Aa, which was released earlier this year and I simply adore even though it has no lyrics. I was worried that this song would just completely pale in comparison. Thankfully the songs sound different so I was able to push Aa out of mind. It's a "thank you" song so it sounds like something that will be great to see live so you can have audience participation. It also has a reggae-ish beat going on with it which I enjoyed as it helps make the track memorable.
So in short this album is already my favorite K8 album and one of my favorite Johnny's albums. It's fun and energetic with some really nice ballads mixed in. The only stinker on the album for me is Water Drop, and like I mentioned it's not that it's a bad song just nothing special and nothing about it really makes me think of K8. The album really makes me wish I was in Japan as I would love to go to the concerts for this album as I can imagine some of these songs being a blast live. Perhaps if I hear the concerts meet my expectations I may finally purchase my first K8 concert DVD.
Overall I'm in a great mood because of these releases and hope others are enjoying them as much as I am.