To commemorate AAA’s new single “PARTY IT UP” (to be released on March 13th), for a limited time, a real shop in Harajuku will be opened titled “e~Shop in URAHARAJYUKU”.
People can purchase various “e~panda” (pronounced as “eh-panda”) goods which is the official character of AAA.
AAA will be going on tour in April for the AAA TOUR 2013 EIGHTH WONDER.
Oricon Music Charts (Top 10 CD Single and Album Daily Charts in Japan): EXILE/EXILE ATSUSHI takes the #1 spot on the Singles Charts, AAA takes the #1 spot on the Album Charts (09.14.11)
Buy the #1 CD Single & Album from CDJAPAN or YesAsia.com:
or purchase from:
ORICON TOP 10 SINGLE DAILY CHARTS
NOTE: EXILE takes the #1 position, Morning Musume at #2 and Rainbow at #3.
As for the #1 Indies release on the Oricon Indies Daily Charts, the #1 indie song in Japan goes to Golden Bomber for “女々しくて／眠たくて”.
For Oricon Weekly Chart Rankings, please click here.
SOURCE: Data was translated from Oricon CD Single Daily Charts
NOTE: AAA takes #1, Ayumi Hamasaki at #2 and Che Nelle at #3.
For rankings comparison, please compare to Oricon’s NINKI Poll predictions for Album Sales.
Note: This page will be continually updated as we add more to the list.
The devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has affected millions of people. No one knows how much damage was caused, nor is Japan even close to tallying how many people are missing, injured or dead as rescue efforts are continuing.
When the earthquake hit, during the first few hours, J!-ENT was monitoring our J_ENTJAPAN Twitter site and reading posts from various followers and also following the posts of various music celebrity twitter accounts and noticing how stars such as Ayumi Hamasaki, TM Revolution, MICRO of Home Made Kazoku, Hikaru Utada, Issei Ishida, model Natsuki Katou, GACKT and MIYAVI were using their celebrity status on their Twitter accounts to direct people to emergency services and also some providing information in English for the international followers who may be living in Japan.
Here are the initial tweets that took place right after the earthquake occurred. Some tweets were done several hours later and while most were in Japanese, some stars addressed their international fans in English. Here are a few of those celebrity tweets:
Saihuun/AAA (Attack All Around) – Break your name/Break Down/Summer Revolution (A J!-ENT World Groove CD Single Review)
“The 21st CD single from AAA is another fantastic release from the group featuring three solid triple-A sided singles which includes the debut of the 15-member group known as Saihuun.”
ARTIST: Saihuun/AAA (Attack All Around)
CD SINGLE: Break your name/Break Down/Summer Revolution
LABEL: avex trax
CATALOG #: AVCD-31701/B
RELEASE DATE: July 29, 2009
BUY THIS CD SINGLE
DVD: Region 2, 16:9 LB, Duration: 7 minutes
AAA’s 21st CD single triple-A sided single for the Summer titled “Break your name/Break Down/Summer Revolution” continues the trend of AAA releasing four different versions of their CD single. One that features a normal CD version with 11 tracks, the second version that features a Summer-themed cover featuring all seven members and comes with a DVD of “Summer Revolution”, a third version featuring the seven members with Takahiro Nishijima in the center and comes with a DVD for “Break Down” and a fourth version of the CD single which I’m reviewing, which features for the first time, the mysterious 15-member boy band known as Saihuun.
Saihuun’s first single “Break Your Name” consists of the five members of AAA but ten other members that no one knows the true identity of at this time. For the single cover, each has a hood on their face with kanji letters large on top sporting “Saihuun”. And this version comes with a DVD featuring a music video for “Break your name” and a live performance of Saihuun at C.C. Lemon Hall from April 2009.
The single kicks off with “Break your name” by Saihuun and features an upbeat, synth pop track and although I think that the members that are singing primarily are members of AAA (yes, the guys have performed live with hoods covering their faces), I am guessing that Saihuun may be similar to EXILE in which the primary members on vocals are AAA and the others are possibly background dancers similar to the recently expanded EXILE.
The second track “Break Down” is an uptempo dance track that incorporates break beats but overall, a very solid track from AAA. And possibly one of the most exciting upbeat tracks I have heard from the group in awhile. Definitely a solid track and wonderful vocals from Misako Uno and Takahiro Nishijima and crew.
The third track on the CD single “Summer Revolution” features the female duo of AAA – Misako Uno and Chiaki Ito. Definitely an upbeat track with that trademark avex trax club sound.
The remaining three tracks are the instrumental versions of the three vocal tracks.
As for the DVD, the DVD includes the music video for “Break your name” and a live performance of the song by Saihuun.
The music video features all 15 members of Saihuun performing and dancing and members of AAA reveal themselves when they take off the hoods while the other ten keep their hoods on. The group then performs on top of a CG background of a futuristic city or an all white background.
The live performance of “Break your name” was done at C.C. Lemon Hall LIVE back in April 29, 2009. Mainly featuring the 15 members of Saihuun and of course, all members in their hoods. So, you really don’t know who is singing (well, actually you can tell its probably Takahiro Nishijima, Naoya Urata and rap by Mitsuhiro Hidaka. While everyone is primarily dancing. And of course to further confuse the audience, all members of AAA then join Saihuun onstage to thank them. But if you pause the DVD, you will then notice that only ten members of Saihuun remain on stage.
As for the CD insert, the insert is a tri-fold with the lyrics and production credits for the songs. Also a flier which contains information on AAA’s “4th Anniversary Live” and an AAA collector’s card of one of the members.
Overall, the CD single is pretty solid.
Although, I still wish that they would stop with the four CD single versions. I know, it has worked with other idol groups but I can imagine how costly it is for the fans trying to collect all releases. But with each version, they offer extra tracks and the main three which include a DVD offers a different music video. As for the three A-sided tracks, all tracks are all enjoyable, uptempo dance tracks and pretty much showcases the music that we have loved from AAA, which is that synth pop club music that avex trax artists are known for.
As for Saihuun, it’s an interesting concept and it will be interesting to see if the group is the real deal and is permanent or if it’s just a marketing gimmick, or the fact that the group is following a similar direction like the music group EXILE with many members while a few sing and most of them dance. I have no idea how far avex trax will be taking Saihuun for the near future.
Overall, another fantastic AAA release! If you are a fan of AAA, this single is definitely recommended!
BUY THIS CD SINGLE
“AAA’s (Attack All Around) fourth full-length album is overall a good album. A good variety of catchy and energetic music that the group is known for but also a few elegant and awesome ballads as well!”
BUY THIS ALBUM:
GROUP: AAA (Attack All Around)
LABEL: avex trax
RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2009
DVD 1: Region 2, 4:3, DURATION: 30 minutes
Another energetic and enjoyable album for hybrid boy and girl band, AAA (Attack All Around). “depArture” is the fourth album from the seven member group which consists of Takahiro Nishijima, Naoya Urata, Misako Uno, Mitsuhiro Hidaka, Shinjiro Atae, Shuta Sueyoshi and Chiaki Ito.
The album features their 18th CD single “BEYOND~Karada no Kanata” (rel. May 28, 2008), their 19th CD single “MUSIC!!!/ZERO” (rel. Aug. 27, 2008) and their 20th CD single “Tabidachi no Uta” (Rel. Jan. 12, 2009).
The album kicks off with an introduction in English with a woman announcing the “AAA” flight depArture and leading into the first music track “MUSIC!!!” which was the group’s 28th CD single. An upbeat, fun dance track with a good balance of vocals and rhymes. The song is written by Shigeco Oguta and music by Koichi Tsutaya.
The third track “SAVE YOUR SOUL” features an R&B pop track with a cool groove and catchy chorus.
The fourth track “Jamboreee!!” is one of the fun, happy pop tracks that AAA fans are used to hearing with the group singing “Let’s enjoy yourself!”
The fifth track “Wonderful Girls” features an upbeat dance track by the male members of the group.
The sixth track is a third version of “Deai no Chikara III”, a slow jam that is elegant and focuses musically solely on the piano and slowly transitioning to incorporate bass and percussion.
The seventh track “a piece of my word” features a song written by Kenn Kato and a mid-tempo ballad sung by Misako Uno and Chiaki Ito.
The eighth track is the second A-side single from their 19th CD single which was used for the anime “World Destruction: Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokunin”. Opposite of the other A-side track “MUSIC!!!” which was more happy and energetic, “ZERO” features more electric guitar and is more rock-oriented.
The ninth track “HORIZON” features a drum machine-centric pop track written and music by Kami Kaeru and a collaboration with producer Tomokazu “T.O.M.” Matsuzawa.
The tenth track “BEYOND ~Karada no Kanata~”, the group’s 18th CD single featuring a pop track that is percussion heavy and primarily sung by group leader Naoya Urata. Upbeat track written by keyossie and one and a song used as a pre-Summer Olympics song back in 2008.
The eleventh track “Mosaic” is atrack written be kenko-p and music by Lori Fine (COLDFEET). An upbeat dance track that features primarily vocals by Takahiro Nishijima and Misako Uno.
The 12th track “始まりのキセキ” is a happy, pop track by the group written and produced by BOUNCEBACK. A usual and typical happy AAA track.
The 13th track “Tabidachi no Uta” features a wonderful slowjam and probably my favorite ballad to come from the group. The song is a sad ballad and is a song about saying goodbye or departure.
As for the accompanying DVD, the DVD comes with five music videos including their off-shots. The DVD is about 30 minutes long and is 4:3 and for DVD players that can play region 2 DVD’s.
The music video for “BEYOND~Karada no Kanata” was a music video which I actually wasn’t thrilled about when the CD+DVD single came out features an energetic pre-Summer Olympics music video with the group running and trying to reach the finish line and and dancing with a flame behind them.
The second music video is for “MUSIC!!!” which is a fun and colorful music video with the group dancing outdoors. This video features cool clips of the group and each member. Like the way the video was cut. It’s simple but yet a fun music video.
The third music video “ZERO” which is a darker music video which features each member of the group in solitary confinement with a video watching them and the group showing fear, insanity and anger.
The fourth music video “Tabidachi no Uta” is a very cool slow jam and a music video that is different from various AAA music videos as it features each individual member around Tokyo, then the group around a children’s jungle gym with the Tokyo city lights behind them. A music video that has more production value of showing more locations rather than the special effects or CG type of music video.
The fifth music video “Jamboree” features a simple music video with the group dancing with a few props and an AAA billboard behind them and individual shots featuring a member carrying a product or food and getting together to eat on the rooftop and having fun.
The remaining five videos are the “off shots” which are literally the behind-the-scenes footage. No interviews but behind-the-scenes footage for each music video.
“depArture” comes in a cardboard slipcase featuring a different cover that is on the CD insert booklet. The CD insert booklet features lyrics and production credits but also photos of each member individually.
Inside are two fliers, the first is promoting the group’s upcoming DVD and theatrical performance of “Mirai Seiki Shakespeare” wich the group will be performing live from February through April 2009.
The second is a promotion for a Best Mix Album & DVD, plus a promotion for the Official AAA Fan Club – AAA Party and the debut album by AAA leader Urata Naoya titled “TURN OVER” and their upcoming “AAA TOUR 2009 – A depArture pArty~” concert set for April 2009.
I’ve been quite supportive of AAA since their first CD single and when the group released their third album “announced” and started breaking into the top 5 and eventually the #1 position on the Oricon Music Charts, I definitely liked where the group was going.
No more rush of CD singles and taking their time with their releases.
Their fourth album “depArture” contains a lot of fun tracks and even an impressive slow jam with “Tabidachi no Uta”. Songs such as “MUSIC!!!” and “Jamboree!!” showcases the group’s energy while tracks such as “BEYOND ~Karada no Kanata” was a good vehicle to showcase Urata Naoya’s solo career.
Definitely a fun album that manages to contain a good number of fun, catchy tracks.
The CD+DVD version is what I would recommend for AAA fans since you do get five of their last music videos and the “off-shot” videos. I will say that I was suprised that this album did not contain an AAA short film which I was getting accustomed to. But then again, the group did release several DVD’s of their TV show (aired in the Kansai area) titled “Mirai Seiki Shakespeare” recently.
But overall, the album was enjoyable, fun and overall pretty good. Check it out!
BUY THIS ALBUM:
“AAA returns with a new mini album but this time featuring only the male members of the group. Overall, a solid mini-album with six upbeat tracks and a cool ballad. Definitely worth checking out if you are fans of AAA.”
BUY THIS ALBUM:
ALBUM: CHOICE IS YOURS
LABEL: avex trax
CATALOG #: AVCD-23595/B
RELEASE DATE: June 18, 2008
DVD: Region 2, 4:3 for the music video, Duration: 11 minutes
With a lot of the male idol groups dominating the charts, AAA’s hybrid idol group which features five guys and two women has a new mini-album that came out in June 2008 spotlighting the male members Takahiro Nishijima, Naoya Urata, Shuta Sueyoshi, Shinjiro Atae and Mitsuhiro Hidaka.
In the past, Avex has done quite a few tests with AAA with multiple CD single releases with songs by the male members, songs by the female members and songs with all members together.
But AAA has been quite an interesting experiment as it managed to successfully take a group of guys and girls together with singing and dancing talent and see how it would catch on with fans.
Of course, AAA was not a midnight success as it took several years before the group would break the #1 spot on the Oricon Charts and have CD singles that would constantly debut in the Oricon top 10.
With the release of “CHOICE IS YOURS”, I would image Avex marketing trying to do another test to see how a mini-album would fare if the women were not in the group. As mentioned before, it’s one thing to see Johnny’s Jimusho boy bands constantly dominate the #1 ranking in Japan and then avex’s Rhythm Zone’s most successful boy band at the moment, Tohoshinki, also having similar success.
So, how good is this mini-album? Or is it any good at all, especially without female members Misaki Uno and Chiaki Ito?
The album starts of with a very energetic and catchy track titled “Crash”. The song is used for the Nintendo DS video game “World Destruction ~Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokunin” (note: AAA’s “Zero” is used for the anime theme song for “World Destruction). I actually thought this song was pretty awesome! Vocals were well-done and just found the overall song pretty enjoyable.
The second track titled “Hasta la vista” features a song entirely written and musically produced by MONK. Another catchy track that I can envision showcasing the group’s choreography. What I like about this song is that it has a style different from typical AAA tracks. Overall, another awesome track on the mini-abum.
The third track “ZAPPER” is an interesting song because it has some old school “Zing’s” but probably a track that is comparable to the AAA style of sound that fans expect from the group. A fun, upbeat track.
The fourth track “Crying Freeman” features the group working with Kenn Kato and h-wonder in a mid-tempo track. Not sure if there is a tie-in to an anime series due to it’s title but for the actual song, another track I enjoyed.
The fifth track “BET” features a rap driven track with vocals. All in all, it’s another track that is different from a typical AAA track but I appreciate its differences because it’s a pretty fresh upbeat track.
The sixth and final track is “あきれるくらいわがままな自由” which is the main slow jam on the mini-album. The song is well sung, Nishijima on top of his game in this track. An awesome ballad!
As for the DVD, the DVD features two videos. The music video for “Crash” and the making of.
The music video features the guys dancing and a CG machinery and looks to take place in the cave. The guys appear to be miners, thus have grime on their faces. Not sure if this look has a strong relationship with the video game or anime series or not. Unfortunately, the background CG doesn’t look to natural but fortunately, the videos are focusing on the guys (or a single member) dancing.
I have to admit that I was expecting a bit more energetic choreography but if anything, the choreography is more arm movements than anything. All in all, the video was ok.
As for the making of, the video features the guys performing in front of a green screen and with rocks in the front. The guys joking around with each other and gives you an idea of how the music video was shot and the timing involved with the camera shots.
Instead of a camera fixed on the group dancing, you get one side (75%) doing a lot of the dancing and then 25% (2 guys) just waiting and messing around until they merge with the frame and start dancing and a switch from 75/25 from left to right and then right to left. So, in a way, I can see how this style of filming affects overall choreography.
But the making of video does provide some footage outside of the choreography, as mentioned, the guys joking around with each other, then outdoors and playing with a dog.
The CD insert features lyrics to the songs on the album and the center section unfolds to showcase photos of each male member of the group. Also, included is a mini-flyer for “Crash” featured as an opening theme for the Nintendo DS game “World Destruction ~Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokunin” and also a promote for AAA Party. Also, a promotion for upcoming performances of AAA’s 3rd Anniversary.
I suppose that so many things could have gone wrong with this album but I have to admit, this is a solid mini-album from the guys of AAA.
I found all tracks to be awesome and have had the CD on rotation for days now. But that does not mean I want to see AAA get away from it’s female members, because part of the enjoyablity to AAA’s music and also watching them perform is the hybrid interaction of the guys and girs. There is really good chemistry with the group and I dig that!
But if you are a fan of AAA, you can’t go wrong with this mini-album. A solid release from the guys and would be interesting to see how these songs are carried out into the live performances. Definitely recommended!
BUY THIS ALBUM:
“AAA’s 19th CD single features a collaboration with ALI PROJECT’s Takarano Arika and remixer Kusama Kei which features a fusion of the three styles for an all out interesting song used as the opening theme for the anime series ‘WORLD DESTRUCTION’.”
CD SINGLE: ZERØ/MUSIC!!!
LABEL: avex trax
CATALOG #: AVCD-31438/B
RELEASE DATE: August 13, 2008
DVD: Region 2, 4:3, Duration: 3 minutes
AAA’s 19th CD single features a double A track featuring “ZERØ”, which is a collaboration with ALI PROJECT vocalist/songwriter Takarano Arika.
The song was used as an opening theme song for the anime series “World Destruction: Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokunin(ワールド・デストラクション～世界撲滅の六人～)” that aired in Japan starting in July 2008 and based on a Sega RPG game for the Nintendo DS that comes out in September (note: The video game has received hype because it is created by members of the SquareEnix team that created “Xenogears”).
For those familiar with ALI PROJECT music, the music is tightly based around synth and rock n’ roll and has a strong anime tie-in with theme songs for “CODE GEASS”, “SUPER ROBOT WARS OG: DIVINE WARS”, “Rozen Maiden”, “My Hime”, “.Hack/Roots” and many more anime series.
The song is also a collaboration with KURID INT’L's Kusama Kei known for his remix work for YMO and work with Suzuki Ami who provided the musical arrangement.
So, by combining these forces, you get a song and consecutive CD single that deviates from AAA’s dance music style to a song that features a lot of electric guitar but also a lot of electronic beats courtesy of Kusama. So, this makes it a song that either AAA fans will enjoy or dislike because it’s a sound different from their previous works.
As mentioned in my last review for “BEYOND ~Karada no Kanata~”, I welcome the changes and it appears from various reviews of the anime series “World Destruction” that many people enjoyed the opening theme and enjoy the song. And it does incorporate the AAA style by Hidaka Mitsuhiro’s rap and overall the vocals are pretty good in the song. It’s just if the music is your cup of tea or not.
I found it a unique mixture of AAA, ALI PROJECT and Kusama KEI wrapped in one. So, for me it was different and I embrace things that are fresh and new.
As for the second A-track, “MUSIC!!!”, the track is an upbeat pop song courtesy of Tsutaya Koichi and arrangement by Chewzen Ogoyz. A very fun pop track from the group that is happy and an overall fun track.
The coupling song “Crash” is an extended track by the guys of the group. The song is from the AAA mini-album “CHOICE IS YOURS” which is an album that features only the guys from the group. The song is an upbeat dance track that I’m accustomed to from AAA, especially the guys and I enjoyed the song.
This CD+DVD version features the music video for “ZERØ” which is a trippy dark music video featuring the members in a cell (solitary confinement) with just cement walls and lights all around them while they are being filmed. And you watch the group’s acting skills as they grow crazy in their cells. Interesting lighting used in the music video sporting a black/bluish hue.
As for the CD single insert, the insert is a tri-fold featuring lyrics and production credits. There is a wrap around cover featuring a sticker from “World Destruction”
Now, there are three versions of this CD single available. This version that I’m reviewing features the music video “ZERO”. This single is notable for it’s much darker cover while the other two are much colorful. These other versions features the music video for “MUSIC!!!” and the third version features a short film featuring AAA. Personally, I am quite interested in how the short film is because AAA short films tend to be quite enjoyable to watch.
It seems that the direction for AAA this summer is a bit of experimenting with various music styles and I know that some fans have been either open or not as open to the musical direction with the last CD single “GROOVE ~Karada no Kanata~” and with the collaboration with ALI PROJECT and the song not being a straight out dance track, I’m sure there are fans who will not be into it as much.
But all in all, I found the CD single to be different and something new with the collaboration and personally, I thought it was a cool song. Not great and not one of my favorite AAA songs but overall, a cool song. I did enjoy both “MUSIC!!!” and “Crash”.
All in all, it’s a cool CD single from the group and it has something for everyone. If you are a fan of AAA or the “World Destruction” anime series, definitely check it out but choose which CD+DVD version suits you.
Check out more of our reviews at J!-ENT’s World Groove
Buy this CD Single:
“AAA returns with their 18th CD single that features a departure from their upbeat pop/dance roots for ‘BEYOND~Karada no Kanata’ which I found enjoyable after repeated listening.”
CD SINGLE: BEYOND～カラダノカナタ
LABEL: avex trax
CATALOG #: AVCD-31400/B
RELEASE DATE: May 28, 2008
DVD: Region 2, 4:3, Duration: 4 minutes
It’s been awhile since I reviewed an AAA CD single. As an early listener of their music and reviewing their DVD’s, the group eventually grown on me and last year, proclaimed the group as my favorite pop group.
So, when their CD single “Mirage” (17th CD single, rel. Jan 2008) became their first #1 hit on the Oricon Charts, I couldn’t help but be happy.
In May 2008, AAA released their 18th CD single “BEYOND～カラダノカナタ” (BEYOND~Karada no Kanata), featuring a song that featured a different musical style from previous CD singles.
This time the vocals seem to feature more of the leader Urata Naoya which is an interesting decision since Nishijima Takahiro is typically used for the male lead for a lot of their main CD single releases.
But when this CD single started to grow on me is when I started listening to it during my summer commutes. At first listen, I felt it was different but during repeated listening of the CD single, I think that the fact the music had that underlying deep groove, the percussion and electric guitars combined with the typical AAA fun, enjoyable track courtesy of Uno Misaki and group especially hearing the chorus of “Burn your blood, felsh and bon, turn your wheel of fortune now” and just finding that portion quite fun, especially to figure out if that was indeed what they were saying.
As for even though Urata for me is not a great vocalist but everyone has their part vocally in the song and somehow I found myself listening to the CD single over and over and really enjoying it.
But it is a departure from their dance music that people enjoy and I can understand if listeners and fans may feel let down by “BEYOND ~Karada no Kanata” for being different but from Shimatani Hitomi to Suzuki Ami to LISA and other avex artists who have gone the experimental route of tackling on variety of musical genres, I’m a bit more open to change.
As for the coupling song, “One Night Animal”, we have a dance track arranged my Wall Five, Mase Masao and Watanabe Atsuhiro. It’s actually a catchy pop track that you would expect from AAA. Interesting arrangement as it has an 90′s J-Pop feel but at the same time employs vocalizer and a hint of digital sounds and electric guitar. All in all, a fun track.
The remaining two tracks are the instrumental versions of the first two tracks.
As for the music video, I’m not sure if the song was used for any pre-Olympics programming but the music video features the group running in a track and jumping CG hurdles. It’s a bit corny but somehow I enjoyed it since I’m used to their comraderie and if anything, I found myself focusing on the various clothing styles by each member.
The CD insert features a standard bi-fold with the lyrics and photo of the group on the other side. Included is a promotional for the “Choice is Yours” mini-album released on June 18th ( featuring the male members of the group) and on the other side promoting the group’s AAA 3rd Anniversary Live 080922-080923.
Also, a note that there are three versions of this CD single. This CD+DVD version, a CD extra version which features a video of “AAA Gokuhi Club 2″ and a CD version that has an extra track (Mirage 83key remix).
I actually enjoyed this CD single after repeated listening and during my long hours of traveling, found myself listening to the main track over and over again.
One thing I enjoy about AAA is the group’s camaraderie. Their music, their DVD’s and overall, when you see them together, it’s just fun to watch and music that I find enjoyable overall.
The music of “BEYOND~Karada no Kanata” was an obvious departure from their pop/dance sound that I’m sure is not going to win fans who enjoy that but already, I’ve reviewed many CD singles and albums in this past year alone that features artists trying different genres and changing things up a bit.
Even the main cover of this CD+DVD single was interesting to see Ito Chiaki instead of Uno Misaki along with Nishizawa on the main cover. Definitely the label changing things up a little for this CD single.
But overall, I did enjoy the CD single and although not as enjoyable as “MIRAGE”, I still enjoyed it nonetheless.
Check out more of our reviews at J!-ENT’s World Groove
Buy this CD Single:
CD SINGLE: Natsumono
LABEL: avex trax
CATALOG #: AVCD-31246/B (Group), AVCD-31247/B (BOYS), 31248/B (GIRLS)
DVD: Region 2, 4:3
(AVCD-31246/B) – GROUP – Music Video for “SUNSHINE” (4:08)
(AVCD-31247/B) – BOYS – Music Video for “No End Summer” (4:01)
(AVCD-31248/B) – GIRLS – Music Video for “Hanabi” (4:49)
With the weather beginning to warm up, I thought about AAA’s “Natsumono”, the title of the 15th CD single which features three vocal tracks – “SUNSHINE”, “No End Summer” and “Hanabi” (and their instrumental tracks).
To celebrate the Summer, avex trax has released four different releases of “Natsumono”. The normal CD release would come with a remix of “Hurricane Lily, Boston Mari” while the DVD versions will each come with a music video for one of the songs.
“SUNSHINE” is a fun CD single that embraces the Summer scene with a pop song and a video showcasing the group performing in the beach and embracing the Summer may it be hanging out the beach, lighting fireworks at night or enjoying the food such as soba or ice cream and just having fun. Also, showcasing three heavy-weight men kicking it at the beach, getting some R&R and the girls accidentally dropping their ice cream and shaved ice on them. All in all, a fun AAA track and fun music video.
“No End Summer” features the guys of AAA for their Summer pop track. The music video features the guys performing and dancing with two blondes in a bikini in the background.
“Hanabi” featuring the girls of AAA is actually a very cool but sad mid-tempo track by Uno Misako and Ito Chiaki. The video focuses on the children in traditional Japanese outfits sad and waiting for their parents to take them out. In a melancholic type of setting as sunsetting and the women looking very sad. The kids being taken by their parents one time but then the next, the time the parent is no longer there. The song can be interpreted as reminiscing of the days of going to a Summer Festival with your parent(s) or loved one and that person no longer being there.
The CD inserts for all three CD+DVD singles features the lyrics to the songs and track credits.
During the time this CD single first came out in 2007, I was still a bit bummed that Goto Yukari retired from the group weeks before the release of the CD single. One of the reasons why I enjoyed AAA was because of Goto’s bubbliness but looking at how AAA has done a year later with their career, the group is doing very well in the charts and are about to release their 18th CD single in May.
All in all, this CD single is definitely fun for the Summer pop songs and I’m sure if you are an AAA fan, you probably own one, two or all versions of the CD singles already.
But nevertheless, the CD single features a variety of fun, up-beat pop songs that J-pop fans will enjoy.
LABEL: avex trax
CATALOG #: AVCD-31364/B
RELEASED ON January 9, 2008
DVD: Region 2, 4:3, Duration: 3 minutes
When AAA (Attack All Around) debuted at #1 with their 17th CD single “MIRAGE”, I was very happy for the group. I’ve been following them and just watching as they improve as a group musically and also improve on the Oricon Chart ratings.
“Mirage” was their first CD single to debut at #1 on both the daily and weekly charts for the group and overall since the release back in January and a DVD release in the beginning of the year, the group has done quite well in 2008.
For those not familiar with AAA, the group is a hybrid boy band and girl band. That is, the group features five men and two women and the core of their music is all out J-Pop. Dance music that you can groove to and enjoy listening or even watching them perform live.
They are amongst the most energetic acts from the avex trax label and with their CD single “MIRAGE”, the song has a Middle Eastern vibe in the intro but transitions immediately to an up-tempo dance track.
What I like about the track is that it has the same energetic vibe as their music in 2006. I actually enjoyed their musical releases from 2005-2006 because of that in-your-face music which is awesome to watch on their live concerts. So, it’s definitely great to hear Nishijima Takahiro and Uno Misako (who are typically the primary vocalists on many AAA songs) at their best and to hear the overall group vocals work well. The music is cool, energetic and lively and the vocals are pleasant and again, reminds me of why I enjoy AAA’s music.
The coupling track is “Love Candle”. The song is breezy and fun but I did find the vocals by a few of the guys as average on this track. I’ve heard the guys sing many songs (with just the guys only) and vocally, “Love Candle” was not their best. But nevertheless, I like the music, I like the women singing in the background but all in all, the vocals by a few of the guys were OK.
As for the DVD, the music video features the group in their Middle Eastern fused with Asian influence and focusing on the group’s choreography. All in all, the video is nothing spectacular but I actually enjoyed it for the overall choreography and for those who are Nishi and Misako fans, you’ll definitely enjoy this video.
The regular CD version features a third vocal track which is a live performance of “SUNSHINE” at Budokan which took place back in Sept. 2007.
The CD insert features a bi-fold, opened up you get the lyrics to both songs.
It’s actually interesting to see how 2008 has been so far because we are not getting back-to-back releases of AAA compared to last year. There is actually a three month gap until the group’s next CD single (April 2008), so no churning of CD singles for this group (Avex’s 2008 churning of CD singles goes to Tohoshinki with five CD singles in a six week period for Feb.-March 2008).
But all in all, the song is energetic, fun and actually a CD single that I have listened to repeatedly over and over again. So, another cool CD single from the group and great to see them finally reach #1 on the Daily and Weekly Oricon Charts.