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Super late post but I still wanna do it! I have a lot to ramble about this single xD





Title: ONE -for the win-
Artist: NEWS
Release date: June 11, 2014
Tracks: 5
neeenews-oneforthewin
►L-R: the Limited Edition A and B jacket covers◄

General comments:

This single... Is one of NEWS' most powerful releases, because--and not just because--three of its songs were used in the World Cup. Musically speaking, here are the reasons why.


• Dominantly fast-paced. Even the obligatory ballad is moderately upbeat!

• Contemporary sound. It's obvious in the included remix. But there are other elements in each of the songs that show this single sounds new, fresh, and evolved in terms of style.

• No prominent use of traditional instruments; it's more on technical mixes, effects and experimental beats. This is in relation to bullet #2--contemporary, which is what I'd like to emphasize throughout the review. Read on, I hope you grasp what I mean.

• Flexible member parts. Ever since NEWS became four there has been a more noticeable pattern of how and where the members sing their solo parts. But I've observed that this single breaks the pattern and therefore, it's more unpredictable and unconventional (yes, regardless of the fact that the single has three songs of the same team--I mean, theme!)

• Talking about the members' vocals... Damn, I never knew NEWS would still improve greatly. First of all we get to hear more of Massurap goodness! I approve of Massu becoming the resident rapper in NEWS. His rapping style is unique: his raps are sung. Rap is meant to be spoken with a certain rhythm but Massu coolly sings his rap and you'd still consider it rap. Aaaand I really like the way he does it. Way to go Massu!

• Tegoshi's high notes is the norm in NEWS songs.  But even the norm becomes 'upgraded', with him belting more complicated melodies. Before this single he'd only scream one note flawlessly. (Example: "Chankapaanaaaaaa!" *the last note, which is B flat*) Yet in this single, he belts more than a single high note, sparking out series of high-Cs arranged in the manner of an obbligato* instead. In my mind I have always used the term soprano obbligato for Tegoshi (yeah soprano is for females but I just love calling it that way :p) but it is now that he has finally shown how much of an effective obbligato he can be.

*obbligato =  a prominent countermelody, often written to be played or sung above the principal theme (in a higher pitch range) [cr: Wiktionary]*

• Shige's vocal power has become vital in 4-nin songs because obviously, the texture of his voice is entirely unlike the three. That texture is what's especially needed in this single, with its generally fast and intense rhythms that gonna have some spunk and guess where would you get it? Definitely, by the coarseness of Shige's voice. It doesn't take long for one to realize that even though his voice is the "odd one out", it has the needed balance for NEWS. It was already heard in the last two singles; but so far in all of the 4-nin releases, the balancing deed is done very well here. In other words, his parts in this single, long or short, adds adrenalin to the excitement initiated by the songs' contemporary feel.

• If Massu improved his rapping, Tegoshi improved his belting, and Shige improved his balancing, Koyama, to be frank, didn't improved in this single... Because I saw his improvement earlier than the rest, in the previous single and album! He has no stand-out moments here, however I realized one thing: he's good with ballads. He isn't the main 'ballad guy' in NEWS but between fast and slow songs, Koyama's tone color is more suitable for the easygoing, relaxing type.

Song by song comments:

01 ONE -for the win- fits World cup in Brazil like a glove. The tropic sound and rhythm; percussion rolls, the chorus of ethnic voices to the inset sound of people cheering in the intro, the build-up in the refrains, and the "Viva la vida Brazil" at the start of the choruses... It's truly a high-spirited song with the spirit of the recent World Cup. The highlights in this song a.k.a. the-most-wonderful-thing-I've-heard-NEWS-sing-of is the 32 countries mentioned, all the countries that participated in the said event! See the effort there... And the Engrish. Lots of Engrish. Ostorariya is Australia, Kuroachiya is Croatia, Nejaran is Netherlands and so on. Massu's rap part where he sang 1/3 of the countries and 1/2 of the Engrish was a laughingstock to me the first time I heard it! Nevertheless, this song, with its melody and lyrics, is a celebration of unity among these countries. This is a very influential A-side with a fun yet unfortunately low-budgeted indoor PV (as always. ><)



02 SEVEN COLORS is undoubtedly the most energetic song in the single... And maybe in all of NEWS songs? It would be perfectly classified as a cheering song; with 'cheering' I mean cheering squads, pompoms and stunts--SEVEN COLORS gives that kind of vibe. Many fans love this song because of its positive ambiance. With a steady fast beat, fast changing member parts (somehow I've noticed that most parts are excessively Tegoshi's), and the slight burst of techno sprinkled throughout makes the song a contemporary one--fresh, a lot more lively than traditional upbeat songs. Massu's rap bridge is autotuned. Tegoshi's brand new belting obbligato-style is executed stunningly in here. I love the verses the most, although the chorus part where they literally sing the seven colors of the World Cup is the catchiest of them all!

03 Kimi Ga Ita Natsu, while being not so happy, nostalgic, the only 'ballad' in the package, it is cute. Really cute. Ironic isn't it? I'm basing on the music-box-style tune at the intro, nonetheless the whole song is cute! Note: not the Pokoponpekorya-style cuteness, just the relaxing, bell chime-infused melody of a midtempo love song. Or more like a 'season' song. Speaking of season, Kimi ga ita Natsu, at least for me, sounds like a winter track rather than a summer track. The music box and the chimes are to blame. But it's good to have an unusual sound because for the most part, it sounds rainbows-and-fluff Arashi. (Again, ironic for a ballad, isn't it?) You bet, in this song you'll hear Arashi pop cover by NEWS. Or maybe it's just my ears betraying me for my limited knowledge of Arashi songs. But!! I love crossover styles, especially if it's in Johnny's!

Anyway, shrugging off the cute factor, the lyrics of the song tell about the memory of a summer love--which isn't really happy because it ends up being just a memory, but not sad either--the memory itself is happy! 'Tis the song where I realized Koyama's good at singing ballads. The four voices fits the song, no doubt, but it was the emotions in his voice I felt and "understood". His voice's shaky effect works best here, I should have known earlier.

04 FLYING BIRD is a typical 'genki' JPop-rock song reminding me of Full Swing and its great meaning. The short prelude has a futuristic flair before revealing its real genre, which is pop-rock as said. One thing this song has that the others in the single do not have, but is actually a common thing in JPop, is its key change--in this song's case, from A to A flat major. This happens abruptly in the chorus parts. (Now it also reminds me *again* of a certain Arashi song!) FLYING BIRD has no bridge, making it supposedly shorter than the rest of the tracks, but because the cadence* part is is long where they are just practically repeating the line "...kitto flying bird... flying bird... Flying bird...", the song went from too quick to draggy. But it's my instant favorite among the five songs! I loved it from the first listen. JPop songs that talk about hope and courage really get me the most, in terms of sound and delivery. And the abrupt key transition that NEWS does for the first time (?) is lovely.

*cadence = a melodic and/or harmonic configuration at the end of a phrase, section, or piece of music [cr: Wiktionary]*

05 WORLD QUEST [R-midwest remix] took most of my time in this review; I simply didn't know what to say! I'm not particular with the techno genre. I would like to comment on the whole remix thing though, as a pro and a con. Pro because it has practically made WORLD QUEST a party music from being a soccer song; and con, because the song need no remix. I don't see the point. But the pro outweighed the con. We all love to see a NEWS song in a different light~~

Wrapping it up:

The past two singles, Chankapaana and WORLD QUEST/Pokoponpekorya showed what NEWS with 4 members can do. ONE -for the win- isn't about that anymore. It's now what they can challenge to become a more efficient and appealing singing group. They aimed for power and they earned it with power.

I have come to a conclusion that NEWS members have always been, and will always be, cohesive in terms of musicality, no matter how different their voices and styles were/are with one another, 9 or 8 or 6 or 4. This release is the newest (and arguably the strongest) proof. Turns out, ONE -for the win- is more than a product of the World Cup hype... It's NEWS setting the bar up, higher than what they've reached in the past ten years.

Album rating: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ / 5 lovely eighth notes out of 5!
Download the album (including the PV and the making in one!) go to [livejournal.com profile] rockthecliche. For the lyrics and translations, go to [livejournal.com profile] aitamashii :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-10-04 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kumohime102.livejournal.com

I haven't been around you lj for quite sometime but I really like your musical reviews. I even learn music terms Lol. Yes, I do agree that they get better with each release and ONE for the win is one of the best and I'm never happy with remixes, I personally tend not to like them but I found I actually did like this even if I agree, the song didn't really need one XD. And well, Tego's singing... that's the reason I started liking him and he keeps forcing me time like him, Damn man Hahaha.


Well, I'll stop here since I don't know much about music and I can't add much. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-04 08:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leitoph.livejournal.com
Late reply, I haven't been around LJ too ><

Thanks for the comment! I never thought NEWS would still improve after Chankapaana, but they did, you could really hear each member's improvements not only in the increase of parts but also their voices~ ♫ But lately NEWS is missing in action again, it's frustrating but exciting (as to what they will present to us this time... Not soccer-themed songs anymore, I wonder what's next xD

Tego's singing is asdfghjklklsadnkwlhndqiowophmnvnkl~ nuff said ♥

(no subject)

Date: 2014-11-07 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kumohime102.livejournal.com
Yeah, again it's a slow period (although, really, there has been worse moments) However, I have to say that I'm used to these periods and when they come back they never disappoint so I'm fine with them taking their time... not too much though hahahahah

and yes fhkdsjfdskdbfvskjndkajsdoiushk

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