|Title: Dear WOMAN
Release date: 2006.04.19
Debut Ranking: #1
Product Code: VICL-36555
Label: Victor Entertainment
SMAP starts out the year 2006 boldly with the release of their 39th single, “Dear WOMAN”. They’ve come a long way since their debut in 1991 and once again present to us a lively single–one that definitely stands out from their previous hits. Both of the songs included in this single are upbeat, which is a step out of their previous “Triangle”, a more mellow and serene song. Though the CD cover appears quite bland, don’t let its dull simplicity drive you away. To make up for their inactivity in 2004, SMAP proceeded to release three new singles in 2005, each with its own message. Now in April 2006, they welcome bliss – their “Dear WOMAN” – to Japan.
This popular group, SMAP (acronym for Sports and Music Assemble People), is a five-member group formed by Johnny & Associates in 1988 who made their debut in 1991 with their first single, “Can’t Stop!!-LOVING-”. Upon their debut, the group consisted of six members: leader Nakai Masahiro, Kimura Takuya (often referred to as Kimutaku), Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, Katori Shingo, Inagaki Goro, and Mori Katsuyuki. Katsuyuki parted from the group in 1996 to pursue another career, just two years before they released their first million-selling CD, “Yozora no Mukou”. Other million-selling CDs include “Lion Heart” and the highly regarded “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana”.
Aside from their show, SMAPxSMAP, each member takes part in other activities including dramas, movies, voice-acting, published writing, and various television hosting. SMAP has gained immense popularity since their debut in 1991 and can easily be deemed the most famous and recognizable entertainers in Japan to date. Those who listen to SMAP may not find their vocal talents impressive, but a reputable history in the entertainment business gives them merit on its own standards, thus earning them a chance to be listened to rather than compared.
“Dear WOMAN” is a song dedicated to all women in Japan. This theme is expressed throughout the entire song, acknowledging the female audience with first line of every chorus, “WELCOME youkoso nihon e,” (“Welcome to Japan”). Like several of SMAP’s other upbeat songs, this one starts out with a female chorus leading into a solo, usually by Kimutaku since he, without a doubt, can be considered the most talented vocalist of the group. A powerful opening proves to be quite effective in this song, and it is followed up with other member solos, each performing to the best of his own ability.
I love this song! Over an approximate fifteen-year period, we can clearly hear how each member’s voice had matured since SMAP’s debut. Their distinct voices are extremely well-suited for this song, I think, and their vocal talents are slightly above-average for their standards. They do a great job with the Masahiro/Tsuyoshi and Shingo/Goro duets! As far as their upbeat songs go, I don’t think they’ve had a song quite as catchy as “Dear WOMAN” since their 1993 single, “$10”. Though these two songs vary slightly in sound and style (“$10” is much more hyper and young-upbeat), both are very, very catchy and will leave you filled with energy. The lyrics complement the song rather nicely with charming lines, such as thanking destiny for their fateful meeting with a dear woman. Indeed, very charming!
“Dear WOMAN” is by far one of SMAP’s best songs yet. I can’t help but to smile every time I listen to the chorus–it’s just that good to me! I hope that you all can find something you like about this song, as it’s not one to simply overlook!
“buzzer beater” is this single’s B-side track, and it does very well to complement “Dear WOMAN”. This is a lighthearted song, similar to their 2005 hit single, “BANG! BANG! BAKANSU!”. When I first listened to it, I felt that the “reR (real)” and the “Good morning!” at the end of the choruses sounded a bit awkward, but I eventually grew to enjoy the entirety of this blithe song.
I think “buzzer beater” is best listened to on warmer days when taking a refreshing walk or doing some other outdoor activity. SMAP released this single during the spring, so it is more than likely to be suited towards such. The promotional video of “Dear WOMAN” featured shots in many different places, all of them showing activity in warm weather. The impression I get from listening to this song draws me in, so I typically enjoy it. Actually, I like it a lot!
“Dear WOMAN”, in my opinion, is very well done. Being more of a lyrics-person, I found the captivating charm of these songs to be enjoyable and great to listen to. The catchy rhythm caught me off-guard, and the single very much exceeded my expectations. I still remember the feelings I got when listening to it for the first time – I was both impressed and excited.
I’m very enthusiastic about this single, and I can only hope that you’ll enjoy it as well! Please give this “Dear WOMAN” a warm welcome!
- Dear WOMAN
- buzzer beater
- Dear WOMAN (Instrumental)
- buzzer beater (Instrumental)