06 January 2015

Kis-My-Ft2 - Kis-My-Journey RE album review


Artist: Kis-My-Ft2
Title: Kis-My-Journey
Release date:  02 JUL 2014
Type: album
Version: Regular Edition

Packaging: Standard CD jewel case for this. If anything really stands out it is the fact that there are two booklets. One is simply a lyric booklet while the other is a photo booklet. The lyric booklet is as plan as they come as all images are basically saved for the photo booklet. The photo booklet gives us two sets of solo shots of all the group members as well as two group shots. The two sets are different in style, one more like the cover while the other has a blue sky background and is set around the theme of going on a journey/trip. Both look good and actually do well to reflect the album as it alternates between the dance pop the group has been doing and the more standard pop they seem to be moving into.

Tracks:

1. "3rd" Overture
It builds with the usual electronic dance music the group has been releasing until it blends into the first track of the album. So it basically does what it needs to do.

2. Seven Journey
A nice track with a steady driving beat throughout. It does sound rather repetitive though, and even though there is a change up in the music to break that up a bit it feels too little too late. But still a song I have no issue listening to as long as I am in the mood for it. Otherwise I do get bored with it after the first couple of minutes.

3. 3.6.5
More pop than anything else but still with a touch of the dance style to make it a nice follow up to the lead song. And it does avoid the flaw of that track by changing up a bit more so it does not get too repetitive. Though compared to some of the stronger songs on the album this one ends up more on the forgettable side of things but is still a good album song.

4. Striker
So far each Kis-My-Ft2 album has had a harder sounding track and Striker is that track for this album. These also tend to be my favorite album tracks and this also holds true this time as well. A strong driving beat that is never allowed to overstay its welcome as we get a few breaks and tempo changes throughout the song. The use of spoken/rap lines in the song work out great and overall one of the more interesting tracks on the album.

5. ダイスキデス (Daisuke Desu)
This song is less dance pop and more general pop which makes its placement a bit awkward. Switching out 3.6.5 with Striker would have avoided it, but Daisuki Desu does set the tone for the following tracks as the album moves away from the dance pop style in general. It is also one of the stronger songs on the album with some good arrangement as well as some great moments for the lead vocals to really shine.

6. FORM (Kitayama Hiromitsu's solo)
Kitayama leads the solo/sub-unit portion of the album with his solo. A mid-tempo pop song that has some nice energy to it and does well in showcasing Kitayama's voice. It also works well to lead into the next track with the slower tempo. Honestly I prefer Kitayama's more rockish solo songs and find this song a bit on the mediocre sound of things. It is no way bad but it does nothing to really stand out or elevate itself above good.

7. LU4E ~Last Song~ (Fujigaya Taisuke's solo)
Fujigaya's solo is a ballad this time around and it is a rather plain one. It is saved from being dull is that it does make Fujigaya stretch his vocals with its notes. That and the instrumental is dialed back so his voice is never overpowered by them. So for the album it is a nice change of pace and it fits well between the other two solos in terms of sound.

8. Only One... (Tamamori Yuta's solo)
Tamamori's solo is actually my favorite of the three. Perhaps because he is not known for his vocals they knew well enough to give him something a bit upbeat and musically interesting to help cover for that. And I do think he has been working on his vocals as well. That said this song does not complement his voice all that well so they still need to work on finding a style that will for him. Despite all this though the music is never overly repetitive and has a nice flow which makes this track stand out among the solos.

9. FIRE!!! (Kitayama & Fujigaya duet)
This duet makes up for the lackluster solos for the two. It is more of the dance pop sound but it is done well with great beats that pump energy into the song. It has a nice break that lets them show off their vocals and most importantly it is catchy. Easily one of the better songs on the album.

10. 棚からぼたもち(Tana kara Botamochi) 舞祭組(Busaiku)
I did not care for having this song on the album. Yes it is a fun track and I do like it, but it meant that the four that make up Busaiku were not going to get a new song for the album. Their previous album tracks have been some of my favorites which is the main reason for the disappointment. Outside of that it is a terrible song to have follow FIRE!!! The two songs are just so different in style it is quite jarring. But it is obvious who choice the placement of the songs was really going for having all the solo and unit songs be together in the middle of this album. Or I can only assume so as there really is no good place to put this song on it with just how different it is from everything else.

11. ツバサ(Tsubasa)
One of the more standard pop songs on this album. It works well where it is as it leads off the string of pop songs that take us to the end of the album. And coming after Tana kara Botamochi that feels needed. It has a bit of a relaxing feeling to it, but not because it is threatening to put you to sleep. The chorus is where we get some energy before going back to the calmer versus. This also really lets all three lead singers get chances to be heard clearly in those versus. Which makes me wish the other four would have gotten something more than harmonizing in the chorus for it.

12. 光のシグナル (Hikaru no Signal)
I already reviewed this track, which ended up being the only group single track on the album. Mainly because there was a single collection release before this. But it fits well in this album with this final portion being more standard pop just like this song.

13. 僕らの約束 (Bokura no Yakusoku)
A group ballad this time, and it would be a nice end to the album which for the other editions of it this song was. In fact I can easily see this being a final song in a concert set list and would be surprised if it was. It just has that feel of winding down and with the flourishes of strings throughout it has something that makes it feel memorable. Which is what you want for a finale song.

14. アゲてくぜ! (Agete kuze!)
The bonus track only on the regular edition of the album. This is probably the only song on this album that could have been placed next to Tana kara Botamochi and not felt too out of place. It is a fun pop song that leans more on the fun. It has a bouncy kind of feeling and of course some nice energy. Being a bonus track it does feel tacked on at the end, but at least falls into the standard pop sound of the last few tracks of the album.


Overall: Did you like Kisumai's previous albums? Then you are bound to like this album as well. It does not stray far from their past albums, for better or worse. Like their previous albums there will be a few stand out tracks while the rest will most likely be forgotten after a couple of new releases from the group.

It is more standard pop than their previous albums which seems to be the direction the group is going if their post Kis-My-Journey singles are anything to go by. I can envision that in the future it will be a good transition album if the group is truly slowly moving away from dance pop being their standard sound.

If I have one complaint about all the group songs is that it would be nice to hear more of s-My-2, as for the most part only KiFt is heard. Though Tamamori tends to drowned out by the other two if he does not have a solo line. But I still await the day I do not have to wonder if I will ever hear s-My-2 in any Kisumai songs, but with the final 2014 release perhaps that day is finally coming.

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