NEWS – touch

by oroitsme on March 8, 2008 · 3 comments · AddThis

NEWS
NEWS in 2005
Artist: NEWS
Product code: JCEN-67/69
Release date: 2005.04.27
Highest Ranking: #1
Label: Johnny’s Entertainment
Limited Edition: booklet, DVD

In 2003, Johnny’s Entertainment announced the formation of a new idol group “NewS” to cheer for the 2003 world women’s volleyball tournament. “NewS” stood for “North East West South,” indicating that members of the group hailed from all regions of Japan. The group consisted of nine members who performed around the country supporting the games, and they released an unofficial but wildly successful single “NEWS Nippon” that was only sold at 7-Eleven stores.

Moriuchi Takahiro left the group, leaving Yamashita Tomohisa, Koyama Keiichiro, Nishikido Ryo, Masuda Takahisa, Uchi Hiroki, Kato Shigeaki, Tegoshi Yuya, and Kusano Hironori as NEWS. They officially debuted in 2004 with a #1 single; following that, every one of their singles have been #1 on the Oricon charts.

In 2005, they released their first studio album, “touch” containing their first four singles and several songs that they had used in concert performances. The limited edition came with an extra photo booklet and a DVD that contained one song performance, individual member interviews, and individual member “date”.

 

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1. Kibou ~Yell~

This was NewS’ first official single. It’s a catchy and cheerful song, as expected since it was used as a song for sports representation. “Let’s go; bounce with me!” NewS sings, “fly to high with NewS!” that that’s exactly the type of happy, hopeful song it is. It’s a standard pop song – synthesized sounds, a nice beat, and standard vocals – but it has a nice tune.

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

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2. Kirameki no Kanata e

This follow Kibou ~Yell~ with a fast pop beat, synthesizers, standard vocals – unfortunately, it’s not special. It sounds like any of the other standard “Johnny’s songs” there are – extremely peppy, mediocre vocals, and blend in with all the other pop Johnny’s releases. It sounds like a poor man’s version of Kibou ~Yell~, unfortunately without the saving grace of a equally catchy tune.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

 

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3. Akaku Moyuru Taiyo

This song starts off with a haunting and simple melody that explodes into a fast beat song. This was also released as a single. It was based off a Eurobeat song, and has a Eurobeat feel with techno samples, but employs harder percussion to be less ethereal and stronger than the original. The song does not focus on NewS’ vocals, but more on the music’s composition and arrangement. The song is catchy without being a stereotypical pop song, and is one my favorites on the album.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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4. I ZA NA I ZU KI

I ZA NA I ZU KI (what a name!) is a midtempo song that was often used in NEWS concerts. There’s some nice Spanish guitar accents throughout, giving a romantic touch. There’s also a heavy rock undertone as the song swells to its climax. Unlike their singles, this song is darker and more mature, and also the first on the album that focuses more on the vocals of the members. It’s a good song; I feel like this could easily have been released as a single and would’ve been greatly successful.

Rating: ★★★★½

 

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5. LOVE SONG

LOVE SONG is a midtempo ballad – if it can even be considered a ballad in this version. Most of the vocals are provided by Yamashita Tomohisa, as he wrote this song. I love this song; it has a nice melody, a catchy tune, and a nice message. Unfortunately, this song is better suited with less percussion; the ballad versions I’ve heard are much better. The message and melody get lost within the fast, poppy accents. It’s a good song that has a less than stellar arrangement.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

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6. Zutto
Zutto is a ballad, with vocals provided mostly by Tegoshi Yuya and Masuda Takahisa (who later formed Tegomass) and Kusano Hironori, and as the three best vocal talents in the group, the song is unsurprisingly vocally better. It’s a nice, soothing, and mostly synthesized ballad – it’s not the catchiest ever, but it’s a good song.

Rating: ★★★½☆

 

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7. High Ten!

With High Ten, there’s another cheerful, synthesized, fast-tempoed song just like Kibou ~Yell~ and Kirameki no Kanata e. There’s some brass band instrumentals, which help this stand out a little more than Kirameki no Kanata e.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

 

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8. Koi Yake

Koi Yake is more rock based. Vocals on this song are slightly lacking; the tune is nothing special either. Despite having an interesting touch of the instrumentals, the end product is a bland pop song that doesn’t leave much of an impression. This is disappointing with the opportunities they could’ve used with this song.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

 

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9. Shissou Friday Night

The beginning reminds me of 70s pop-rock: with a rock beat, pop vocals, and a happy, infective, and non-threatening feeling. It’s a song with teenage boys singing about Friday Night, and chanting “F-R-I, D-A-Y, Night!” in the middle. Musically, this doesn’t stand out at all; its non-inspired melody, arrangement, and lyrics scream “album filler.”

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

 

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10. Say Hello

Say Hello starts off with some “sha-la-la”s, then goes into a mid-tempo swing and jazz-influenced song, that has a slow piano interlude before jumping back. Vocally and tune-wise, this is less than decent – the composition is unique and I like how it sounds jazzy, but overall it is just a mediocre song.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

 

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11. Cherish

This song is midtempo, happy, and catchy to death – there’s a good reason it was released as a single. You will be singing this one in the shower after awhile. The vocals in here are pretty good for NewS as a group, and also display some wonderful solos. The backing track is synthesized, but simply so – the main focus is on the voices and tune in here.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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12. Yawaranaka no Mama de

This is also a midtempo song; it has a carefree, tropical feeling. Vocally, it’s decent. Composition wise, it’s decent. The tune, it’s decent too. That’s the feeling of this song: it’s decent; while it’s not a bad song, it’s nothing that stands out from the rest of the album.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

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13. NEWS Nippon

This was used as NEWS’ first volleyball promotion song and was their unofficial single. It’s exactly as you would expect from a promotional song: fast beat, majestic-sounding instrumentals, catchy tune, a cheerful, hopeful message and feel, and children singing in the background occasionally. I do like the way it slows down for a portion before regaining energy, but it’s just so stereotypically “sports-song” that it’s hard to take seriously as music. It’s a good, catchy pop song – not musically special but catchy in the commercial jingle, you-can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head catchy.

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

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14. Yume no Kazu Dake Ai ga Umareru

NEWS is an idol boyband. They are singing a ballad. Acapella. When you finish shaking your head in doubt, give it a listen – it’s a short but surprisingly well done acapella, and one of my favorites on the album. Their voices blend well, and with eight members singing this, it gives the song numerous layers.

Rating: ★★★★★

 

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15. Stand Up (Rock Version)

It’s another volleyball promotion song, and was used with NEWS Nippon. It sounds like NEWS Nippon too, but with less synthesizers and more rock percussion, some electric guitar, and clapping and cheering in the background. They’re singing “Stand up! Stand up! for the champions” for a lot of it – so musically, don’t expect anything over the top stellar. But it is catchy.

Rating: ★★★½☆

 

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16. Cherish ~ryoji remix~

The remix is mediocre. It makes Cherish fast-paced and danceable but – really, it’s not a song that is very fitting to be remixed. Their voices are mixed, and are thus unaturally high and quick, and although there’s a nice rap part but – just listen to Cherish already.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

 

Conclusion

There are some albums where the new songs are delightful and high quality – but touch is not really one of them. The songs that have been released as singles are good, and have much variation. There are some stand out non-single songs; however, for the most part, the new songs are merely decent – some are not even that. Instead of an album, it’s more like a collection of singles, with filler songs in between, and there’s really no coherence between the tracks. While it’s a great album for fans, who would enjoy the other songs on the album if only because they are often performed in concerts, a casual listener would probably just listen to the singles and skip over mostly everything else.

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

 

Regular Edition
Regular Edition
Limited Edition
Limited Edition

CD Tracklist

  1. Kibou ~Yell~
  2. Kirameki no Kanata e
  3. Akaku Moyuru Taiyou
  4. I.ZA.NA.I.ZU.KI
  5. LOVE SONG
  6. Zutto
  7. High TEN!
  8. Koi Yake
  9. Shissou! Friday Night
  10. Say Hello
  11. Cherish
  12. Yawarakana Mama de
  13. NEWS Nippon
  14. Yume no Kazu Dake Ai ga Umareru (A capella version)
  15. Stand Up (Rock Version) *
  16. Cherish (Ryoji Remix) *

* Only available on limited edition

DVD Tracklist

  1. Private Date
  2. Concert Clip
  3. Message

Purchase this item: YesAsia US | YesAsia Global

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About the author

oroitsme loves Japanese music and loves writing about them, both here and at her other blog, She likes a variety of j-pop, from Johnny's like NEWS and Arashi to female artists like Otsuka Ai and Perfume to rock bands like chatmonchy and a picking of everything in between, and hopes you can enjoy them with her.

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International Wota » Blog Archive » [Blogs] Channel-Ai Reviews First NEWS Album UNITED STATES
March 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sa-chan FRANCE August 20, 2009 at 9:46 am

I like your review! Not too harsh but just right! Keep the good work ;)

Reply

Haru UNITED STATES June 21, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Nice review :D touch definitely wasn’t NEWS’ best album (I liked pacific better), but I still liked it. ^O^
Just wanted to say though. Zutto is actually only by TegoMass ^^;; Notti doesn’t sing in that song at all ^^;;

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