30 December 2014

Nakayama Yuma - High Five RE single review

Artist: Nakayama Yuma
Title: High Five
Release date:  02 April, 2014
Type: single
Version: RE

Packaging: Like most releases from a Johnny's label the CD case is slim with only enough room for a front jacket and  the CD itself. The jacket is the lyric booklet but has a couple pages to use on extra photos of Yuma, though one page is shared with the track listing for the CD.

I rather like the cover. It may be simple but it looks good and ties in well with the title track. And of course it helps that Yuma is looking good as well.

The first press came with a poster, but I did not care for the photo of Yuma they picked for it. I would have much rather had it be a poster version of the cover or something than him just standing looking forward.


1. High Five
A rather standard J-pop song. The beginning comes off as weak but once it hits the chorus for the first time things pick up and the following versus are stronger. The chorus is really the best part of the song but even then it just does not really grab me. But it is one of the stronger tracks on the single so I cannot fault it for being the A-side.

2. 愛までがナイフ (Ai made ga Knife)
Easily the strongest B-side track and it was no surprise that Yuma was performing the song before the song came out on Shounen Club. In fact it could have been an A-side along with High Five and would not have felt out of place. It is more of a dance pop song and has this interesting background choral part in it that grabs my attention. It gives it an epic feel to it, though it never goes too much further in that direction.

3. so Crazy
A rather tame pop song that never feels like it goes anywhere. I do get bored listening to this song and it gets skipped often for basically any of Yuma's other songs. I really do not have anything else to say about the song as so little of it makes any kind of impact on me.

A slow paced song that I like, though Yuma's voice sounds strained at times during it. But it has a nice build up throughout the song and while it is far from being one of Yuma's more stand out songs is still a nice one to listen to from time to time.

Overall: I feel that after loving Missing Piece so much I had my hopes too high for this single. While the single is not bad there just is not a lot there that I really love. Especially when the single before and the one after it have songs that I do love on them. And honestly this single put me on the fence with continuing to follow Yuma's music releases and thankfully Get Up! was a stronger single and rejuvenated my interest in those releases.

That said I do find myself liking the songs on this single a bit more than I recall when I first heard them. But I doubt they will end up as favorites but I will not skip over them so much when listening to Yuma's songs.

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