19 January 2015

Johnny's WEST - Zipangu Ooki ni Daisakusen / Yume wo Daikishimete RE single review

regular edition

Artist: Johnny's WEST
Title: Zipangu Ooki ni Daisakusen / Yume wo Daikishimete
Release date:  08 OCT 2014
Type: single
Version: regular edition / limited edition type C

limited edition type C

Packaging: The regular edition is rather basic with its packaging, though at least there is one more group picture used for the booklet, but outside of that it is all rather bare.

The limited edition type C has its booklet as one of its special features for the version. Each members gets a close up version (with what they are wearing on this cover) and a full body shot (with what they are wearing on the regular edition cover.)

Tracks:

1. ジパング・おおきに大作戦 (Zipangu Ooki ni Daisakusen)
This song sounds like the musical successor to the group's debut single A-side Ee Jya nai ka. It even works in festival chants as the fore mentioned song as well as a good deal of the fun. If you liked their debut single then you will most likely like this song as well as both songs are very much in the same vein and style.

2. 夢を抱きしめて (Yume wo Daikishimete)
This song has an ever so slight Latin music sound to it, much like how some of Hey! Say! JUMP's early songs did. It works though with giving the song a unique sound that still fits the group. Of course a part of that is simply because Johnny's WEST has not really settled into one set style so some switching between different ones works for them. It is not a song that interests me much though when I listen to it and just rather feels like it is just there.

3. SUPERSTAR
The first of two bonus tracks for the regular edition. And I love this song with all its pop glory. It has a nice beat and energy that I just love. But before we get to that energy we get a nice build up from the start until we hit the chorus for the first time. It is also not afraid to take musical breaks which helps make the song feel dynamic, and balances out the chorus that is a bit on the repetitive side.

4. for now and forever
Lots of energy for this B-side from the very first note. A pop song with an electronic dance music influence and the "go west" lines are nice and catchy. Easily one of my favorite songs for this single release for those reasons. It also has a nice break part that changes up the sound just enough to keep the song from sounding tired or getting boring. If I could change anything I would turn up the sound of the guys' vocals to hear them better.

3. WESTERN PARADE
The first track for the type C version of the single. It is more of a standard pop song that has a nice build up going for it with the chorus. It uses background vocals quite a bit but to good effect and they really help make the track stand out and do what good background vocals are meant to do, support the main vocals. And I love the part near the end of the song where they work in the name of their group, as they are a Johnny's group so they need at least one song to do so, but the change up is nice and flows well into the final chorus.

4. Can't stop
Again we return to an EDM influenced pop song but with a different sound. Not as catchy as for now and forever it is still a strong song in its own right mainly because of the chorus kicks everything up a notch. They end up being able to work in some rap lines with the change up for this song that work well, especially as a contrast to the verse that follows it. A good solid track that only lacks catchiness.



Overall: The B-sides really shine with this single. I would have been heartbroken if I missed out on the LE type C and the songs on it as I enjoy them both. The group still has yet to find a style that can be considered uniquely their own, yet the songs they are getting are overall rather strong so it is well worth following them in this stage of their careers.

A good single and a great follow up to their debut single and I cannot wait to get their next single.

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