Tohoshinki – T [3rd Japanese Studio Album]

February 1, 2008 at 2:39 am (Tohoshinki) (, )

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Korean boyband, Tohoshinki (their Japanese name), released their third Japanese studio album, entitled T, on 01.30.08. With a variety of sounds, vocal strength and both  cute and playful sexual elements, Tohoshinki delivers a solid album. From beautiful ballads such as lovin’ you and Love in the ice to hot dance songs such as Ride on and Purple Line to sweet pop songs such as SHINE, there really is a song for any type of mood. The singles preceding the album are SUMMER ~Summer Dream / Song for you / Love in the ice, ~ SHINE / Ride on, Forever Love, Together and Purple Line.

The opening song, TRICK, is actually a mash-up of five different songs compiled into one. The song opens very strangely and the transition into the actual song is a bit abrupt. The chorus is very catchy with the strange line “break a trick.” Each verse contains a rap and a vocal track belonging to another song.  As the song progresses, the chorus seems to have a darker element to it, which introduces different members’ songs. While the idea of putting together various songs into one certainly is creative, the finished product came off kind of strange and even a little “all-over-the-place.” But the different songs do sound pretty good on their own and in a way, they have a nice flow, despite how little that might be.

The second song, NO?, is one of the most relaxing songs on the album. The instrumentation creates a soft and relaxing vibe while there is an upbeat element to the song itself. The vocals on the whole are very controlled and have a soft vibe to them that provides a somewhat sexual energy that aligns perfectly with the music. The English lines such as “oh baby, kiss me darling,” also supplement the slight sexual nature of the song. The adlibbing section at the end definitely finishes the song off perfectly and then for a slight moment, it goes acapella. This relaxing song is one of the boys strongest on the album.

The third track, entitled Purple Line, has a poppish urban sound and is pretty addictive. When the song opens, it has an American sound to it but when the real music comes in, the Japanese sound comes across strong. The English in the lyrics can come off a little strange at times [I wanna touch myself] but there is a playfulness that is charming. The chorus is the most addictive part of the song and the verses carry the song along nicely. Although the vocals sound a little strained at times, the vocals are well maintained as a whole. The final rap of the song sounds really awkward since the pitch sounds really strange and the segway back into the song is pretty bad. Despite those small problems, Purple Line is definitely one of the best tracks on the album.

Forever Love, the fourth song on the album, is the first big ballad on the album and the longest song as well. Strangely enough, although the song clocks in at just under six minutes, it’s so beautiful that it doesn’t feel nearly that long. The song opens up with low vocals in keeping with the atmosphere of the song and blends very well into the chorus, which is the strongest part of the song. Although there is a distinct strong sound, there is a cuteness element found during the chorus. Perhaps it is the ending lines of the chorus such as “forever love” and “believe in love.” The third verse brings new life into the song and sounds so beautiful and leads effortlessly into a pure instrumental section. This ballad is one of the album’s stronger tracks and is very memorable.

Summer Dream, the fifth track,… is a pop song with the image of a fun summer day. The song opens very strangely with what sounds like an entirely different song. Usually the chorus is the most addictive part of the song but in the case, the verses shine brighter. With English phrases such as “Touch me,” that playful sexuality comes through clearly. The chorus is nice but it could have been stronger if it held a greater similarity to the melody of the verses. The hook after the chorus features adlibbing sounds that actually sounds annoying but it’s somewhat forgettable. The air-guitar coming after the second verse & chorus introduces an extremely catchy purely instrumental section, which melts greatly into the rap section. These raps absolutely mix with the beat, showing the versatility of the melody. This is one of the standout tracks of the album.

Ride on, the sixth track, presents a more mature side to Tohoshinki and comes through with flying stars. The sexual atmosphere of the song is clear from the urban beat and the vocals of the group. In the appropriate spots, the boys showcase powerful, soft or edgy vocals. These vocals are consistent throughout the entire song so that the flow is not broken up. The chorus is the most addictive part of the song, especially the “wowowo” line that runs through it while the verses also maintain a sexual charm. This song is the best song on the album and Tohoshinki should do more songs like this one.

Track number seven, DARKNESS EYES, is a midtempo track with somewhat of a dark poppish element to it. The vocals are nice but at times, the music overpowers them and because the beat plays such a key element in the song, the darkness element comes across clear but the song never really goes anywhere. The rap in the song sounds very breathy and the music really overtakes it there. Overall the song is a “nice” song but it feels very continuous (no part really stands out).

The eighth song, lovin’ you, is one of the album’s full fledge ballads. From the opening instrumentation of the song, it is clear that the song is going to be very strong. The hook takes the song in a different direction from the verses, creating a climax effect as a bridge to the chorus. The vocals are incredible on the chorus and all the boys blend very well. The verses are mellower but shine and stand apart as being great too. The third verse stands apart as well with a slightly different sound that still compliments the rest of the song. Following the third verse is a pure instrumental section that is incredible. The instrumentation behind this song is absolutely beautiful and letting that sound close the song was a perfect decision. This song is the strongest ballad on the album and one of the strongest tracks as well.

Rainbow, the ninth song, is a cute midtempo song. The track is another relaxing song with a softer instrumental and smooth vocal accompaniment. The English phrases and words in the song add to that cute charm to the song. The third verse does separate itself a little from the rest of the song and it’s nice to hear a little difference since the song does sound slightly repetitive. The song ends with a shimmering sound that gives the imagery of a dream. So there’s the cuteness factor that makes the song enjoyable and sweet and for this song, that’s enough. It’s a nice song to close your eyes and listen to.

SHINE, the tenth song on the album, is a sweet pop track made for dancing. For me, there is an image of sunshine associated with the “sparkling sounds” within the beat, which even furthers the relaxing pop sound of the song. The vocals throughout the song are consistent and mesh with the beat very well. The verses are definitely more mellow and take a different direction from the chorus and are a fresh way of keeping that spirit of the song alive. However it is the chorus that stands out most and is adorable. The section after the second verse & chorus set is a great instrumental section that is very addictive. There is no rap in this song and I think it’s a nice change of pace since a rap addition wouldn’t fit in with the pop image of the song. Tohoshinki did a great job on this song and it’s one of the strongest on the album.

The eleventh track on the album is entitled LAST ANGEL – Tohoshinki Version. – The original version of the song is a collaboration with label-mate Koda Kumi from her studio album, Kingdom and truthfully that version sounded better. The song opens up with the same “Welcome To Nightmare World” and even at the point, the vocal difference between the two versions is clear. During the first verse (Kumi’s original verse), the vocals are high-pitched and sound a little strained. The chorus still remains strong and maintains that power in the original. Unfortunately the song really isn’t the same with Kumi there to provide vocal accompaniment for the boys. So overall it was a nice effort but the vocals just weren’t up to par with the original version.

CLAP!, the twelfth track, is a hot dance song that definitely stands out on this album. The boys show their vocal strength on this song, especially the adlibbing during the chorus. I’ve never been really fond of the raps but in this case, they enhance the song by making it truly catchy and addictive. The adlibbing during the hook really gives the song a playful energy and the vocals don’t sound strained at all and compliment the beat amazingly well. After the second verse & chorus set, there is a small instrumental section in which the slight Indian influences really come through. The song ends with a looming Indian sound and is a perfect closer. This is definitely one of the best tracks on the entire album.

Love in the ice, the thirteenth song on the album, is one of the album’s true ballads. The central instrument in the instrumentation is a piano and it gives the song that spirit. The vocals during the first verse are quite low pitched in keeping with the atmosphere of the song and as the instrumentation changes slightly, the vocals show their true power during the chorus. The adlibbing throughout the song really showcases just how strong the voices of the boys of Tohoshinki really are. This is a beautiful ballad and is another strong track.

The fourteenth song, Forever Love – a cappella version, – is just as the title states, an a cappella version of the song. Hearing the boys without musical accompaniment really shows their vocal strength. The harmonizing is great and all of their voices work so well together, it seems effortless. The a cappella clocks in at just under three minutes so although it’s roughly half the length, the magic of the song is still preserved.

Lovin’ you –Haru’s “deep water” mix, the fifteenth track, maintains the beautiful melody in the original version while creating a “deeper” sound in the instrumentation. Because of this, the attention is spotlighted on the vocals, which are preserved and compliment both the melody and each boy’s respective vocals well. This is a wonderful mix of the song that does not detract anything from the beautiful original and adds its own charm.

The final song on the album, Together, is a great closing song for the album. The “la la la” line is pretty random but doesn’t detract from the overall flow of the song and even adds some edge. The cuteness element is definitely present in this song as seen by the beat and the English line that repeats during the chorus, “let’s get together.” Vocals are strong once again on this song. Both the verses and the chorus are extremely addictive and the ending section of the chorus really brings it home. The third verse consists of “I love you” and “You’re my friend,” which only drives the cuteness factor even further. Together was the perfect way to end the album and is one of the album’s standout tracks.

Album Ranking: A

Tohoshinki’s third Japanese studio album, entitled T, offers something for every mood and there is such strength in each of the songs. On cute songs like SHINE and Together, vocals are strong and the music really can make you smile. There are more relaxing songs such as NO? and Rainbow which are perfect to listen to with closed eyes since the smooth vocals compliment the beat so well. The boys show they can step it up with hot dance songs such as Purple Line and Ride on with a sexual energy that makes the song even hotter. The ballads on the album such as lovin’ you, Love in the ice and Forever Love should definitely not be overlooked either. Each being beautiful in their own way, Tohoshinki really did a great job on this album.

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4 Comments

  1. Nick said,

    This is by far Tohoshinki’s most powerful album to date. I disagree on the quality of some songs, but overall I think I agree on the quality of the album. They did a great job. And they’re already releasing singles… again.

  2. Blax said,

    I love your reviews you know that?
    You’re so thorough.
    I agree that this album is pretty good.

  3. chen yin yin said,

    i think their third album are good…
    because i get so many inspiration from there..
    arigatou ne Tohoshinki desu..

  4. fefo said,

    Good job , Good lock…^_^

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