KAT-TUN Chain Review
Quick Background of the Group
KAT-TUN is now a five member boy band from Japan, created by Johnny's and associates in 2005. The members Include Kamenashi Kazuya, Akanishi Jin,Tanaka Koki, - Taguchi Junnosuke, Ueda Tatsuya, and Nakamaru Yuichi. They made their debut with six members in 2006 with there first number one single Real Face. Since there debut KAT-TUN has had every one of there singles, albums and dvd's reach number one on the Oricon chart. In 2010 KAT-TUN dwindled from a six member group to a five member group losing Akanishi Jin to a solo career. They put out their first full length album since becoming five in February 2012.
The album has 17 songs, 5 solo's from each member, 7 new songs, and 5 songs from previous single releases.
Lock On - Lock on is the title track on the album. Although this was supposed to be the in your face comeback for KAT-TUN it felt lack luster. The vocals were in unison to much , and the one drum beat that kept playing in the back round was flat and unmoving. Combined with the music video this song was quite creepy.
One Day- This song really has an electropop feel to it but not a modern one. It has a sound similar to the europop sound of the early 2000s. The song has a catchy hook with the repeat of "You YOU" and "One Day" but it does not bring out the rock feel KAT-TUN usually represents.This song over all feels like a theme song rather than an album track.
ano hi no you ni- This is quite the relaxing song, it is a breath of fresh air on the album.The flow of this simple ballad really brings emotions to the surface. This is a couple song for sure, you just want to listen to it snuggled up next to the person you love. The only negative was the beginning, they could have cut it and Koki's rap, and just gotten to the beautiful song, the beginning actually kills it a bit.
Smile For You- Somehow the whole feeling to this song was a bit awkward on the album. It was upbeat, but not KAT-TUN's style it was more along the lines of something I would expect from Arashi or Hey!Say!Jump. I however enjoyed Koki singing on this track. Not a memorable track.
Hakanai Yubisaki- This song was great. This was a more upbeat ballad good to listen to when sitting outside on a spring day. Over all this track had a good showcase of vocals.
Hodokyou- This is a beautiful ballad with some upbeat pop elements, it is quite enjoyable, but at a little over five minutes it is a tad bit long. The song flows well with showcasing some deeper vocals from the group along with great vocal unison.
Soilder- By far the best of all the songs on the album, not including the solos. This was the song I had been waiting for from them. This song is upbeat and heavily influenced by both pop and rock genres. It is very moving it grabs your attention right away and is very much the sound KAT-TUN has exuded throughout their career. The song really enforces the fact that they will continue on as five together, leaving the past behind and moving forward However after about 3 minutes and 30 seconds, it switches over to a completely different song aka. Chain, this one is fast paced and very much a pop song, and does not quite fit with soldier so I don't know why its on the same track. Its quite the juxtaposition.
zutto (KAmenashi)- This song felt emotional and was different from any solo songs Kame has done before. It really showcased his vocal talent with minimal music in the back round, it really falls into more of a new wave genre than anything else. Though the song was pleasant it feels out of place on the album. It does not flow with the other ballads on the track, and is the least successful solo track.
Dangerous Cat ~Make Me Wet~ (Tanaka)- In typical Koki fashion this track brought a fresh rap, hip-hop sound. Although this is unlike anything else on the track, that is what makes it stand out. It's a very sensually charged song, which cases the ear right away. Koki's rap's flow well and are integrated into the pop music wonderfully, although his voice is a bit to animated at times.
Finale (Taguchi)- This song blew my mind. Taguchi did a great job with helping to write and compose the song, and it really shows his true ability. The song is very contemporary club pop, it is slow but sensual sounding. Although the lyrics reflect a deep sadness and pain the music is upbeat giving a dynamic to the emotion he is presenting in his song. This was by far the best solo track.
~again (UEDA)- Once again the creativity of Ueda's own personal style flows through this beautiful ballad. This song could be on any anime, the lyrics are simply beautiful. The song was written and composed by Ueda and is written in a girl's point of view. You can feel the lightness as if a female actually touched the song, and it brings out the emotions of a girl in a break up.
Steo By Step (Nakamaru)-People often complain that there is nothing to Nakamaru and he can't sing, but this solo track like many of his others prove that to be wrong. This mid paced pop song, suits his vocals and really shows off his range. One may wonder why he is not given the opportunity to sing like this on tracks with all the members, and it would be because his wonderful vocals would clash with Kamenashi's strong vocals. This song is the second best solo on the album.
On a grading scale from A - F
I would have to give the album a low B. This is because the album seemed incomplete, and songs were incompatible with one another. The transitions between new songs, previously released songs and solos did not flow that well. Many songs left the question Why? But there were some high lights to this album.The Three stand out songs were Soldier, Finale and Step by Step. Everything else on the album was either a hit or a miss.I think they were trying to prove how dynamic they could be without Jin, but it only showed a lack of focus. Hopefully KAT-TUN can come back with something even more exciting in their next release.