Arashi – Dream”A”live [8th Studio Album]

July 14, 2008 at 1:13 am (Arashi) (, )

Arashi’s 8th studio album, entitled Dream”A”live, was released on 04.23.08. The album is generally a collection of upbeat songs that really keep the listener entertained. Two singles were released before the album: Happiness and Step and Go.

Opening the album is theme of Dream”A”live. After a winding-up sound, the instrumental comes in and there is a mysterious circus-like feel to it. The effect of having that sound really takes the listener into the world of the song before a more dance instrumental starts. The vocals sound great and go with the festival feel that the song then takes on. The introduction ends strongly with the boys singing a few English phrases and then the instrumental makes the song end on a bang. It’s an excellent introduction to the album and shows off a couple different sounds.

The first full track is the upbeat and fun song, Move your body. After a cool instrumental with rock tints, a more poppy sound comes in. The first verse follows the instrumental section perfectly, showing off an addictive flare. The chorus features some great harmonization and a very catchy sound that keeps the listener hooked strongly. The following rap sequence shows off the coolness of the song and the English phrases such as “shake your body” really stand out to the listener. The pure instrumental sequence takes things in a slightly different direction as the instrumentation become slightly slower but picking up the tempo again for the chorus. Move your body is an addicive song that really catches the listener and is a great song after the introductory track.

Happiness is the third song on the album. Opening the song is a rock-filled instrumental before a more happier and poppy sound appears. After some vocalizing, the first verse starts. There is a summer element to the sound that really makes it stand out to the listener. The vocals sound nice and go with the music perfectly. The chorus features great harmonization and some great vocals to really make it pop and make it memorable. As the title of the song is sung as the last word of the chorus, it provides a nice finish and a smooth transition into the second verse. The pure instrumental section is absoutely fantastic, showing off the carefree spirit of the song perfectly before guiding the listener back into the chorus. A nice instrumental brings the song to a great close. Happiness is a fun and poppy track that makes the listener feel that happiness all over.

Up next is 虹の彼方へ.  A cool and fun instrumental takes the listener into the world of the song for a fantastic ride. The first verse features some nice vocals that go with the music strongly and the vocals are shown off nicely over the always interesting instrumentation. The chorus has a certain poppiness it that is so catchy. The twinkling sounds come out nicely and the vocal strength of the group is shown strongly. The rap sequence keeps the song interesting before a cool pure instrumental song comes in. The perfect instrumental sequence closes the song perfectly, making 虹の彼方へ one of the most enjoyable and addictive songs on the entire album.

The uptempo sound of the album continues with Do my best. A more synth-aggressive opens the song up and then some great vocalizing comes in. The first verse has a more relaxing sound to it that works with the pop atmosphere. The chorus is enjoyable as some twinkling sounds work their way into the music and the boys harmonize nicely to further the enjoyment. The pure instrumental section puts a spotlight on just how much synth is crucuial to the music before the third verse. The song is definitely an enjoyable number with that fun pop flavor, although it is not as strong as the previous track.

Things slow down with シリウス a piano ballad. A sweet piano instrumental opens the song and the softness of the song comes through from the first moment. The vocals during the first verse are smooth and capture the song’s emotion very nicely. The chorus sounds nice as the boys harmonize very nicely. The piano is shown off strongly and beautifully during the pure instrumentation sequence. The closing piano sequence is pretty and brings the song to a nice close. The boys’ voices are nice and the music is pretty but overall it doesn’t really capture the listener as well as it should, being one of two album ballads.

Flashback picks the energy up. A very intersting and cool instrumental with a pretty sound starts off the song, creating a mellow and relaxing vibe for the listener. The vocals during the first verse sound nice with the piano, which is the central instrument. The boys show off more vocal strength on the chorus, which makes it stand out. The rap sequence has a certain sexiness that the instrumentation and low-pitch of the voice deliver before the beautiful saxophone takes the listener into another world. The jazzy instrumentation of Flashback is pretty interesting and although it’s not the most memorable, it’s a nice song to listen to.

The eighth song is Dive into the future. A twinkling and out-of-this-world instrumental starts off the song with the boys singing “hey, hey, dive into the future.” The vocals during the verses are smooth and sound great with the music. The chorus picks up the energy as the boys harmonize strongly and the “hey, hey” and “yeah, yeah” really catch the listener’s ear. The smoothness that the boys deliver the lyrics have a certain sexiness to them that is very pleasing on the ears. The final chorus features a slightly higher instrumental and it’s a nice change that is still catchy. After a few less than memorable songs, Dive into the future really packs a punch and hits the listener strongly.

The album’s final ballad is the acoustic song, 声. A simple but gorgeous instrumental opens up the song before the first verse starts. The vocals are smooth and there is a personal feeling that comes out while listening to the song that makes it stand out. The boys do a great job on the chorus as their voices smoothly blend with one another as well as the music. The pure instrumental section sounds very nice and then the chorus comes back in. A peaceful and beautiful instrumental sequence closes the song and gives off a certain dreamy feeling. 声 does a great job of being a standout ballad as there is a personal feeling that can really resonate with the listener. The boys of Arashi do fantastic job of bringing the emotions of the song to life.

My Answer appears as the tenth song. An element of hope comes up with the opening instrumental and the chorus starts. The boys sound nice and happy to really bring out the energy and poppiness of the song. The vocal strength doesn’t go any lower with the verses as they continue to hold their own. The rap sequence is enjoyable like always and has a certain flavor to it that keeps the listener hooked. Following the rap is pure instrumentation, which shows off the guitar flawlessly and even has some little tints of rock here and there that sound great. The final instrumental sounds great and definitely has the fun flavor that puts a smile on the listener’s face. My Answer is a great fun song that just keeps the listener happy and definitely is a song to look out for.

Energy is still held with the next song, Life goes on. A mysterious and slick instrumental takes the listener into the world before the fun dance atomsphere comes in. The vocals sound great on the verse, which keeps the listener following every word and every beat. The chorus sounds very nice and definitely stands out as the boys sing strongly. The pure instrumental break offers the listener that slickness that is so strong and right before the chorus, there is a mysterious video-game feeling that sounds great and keeps the interest up. The happy and fun atmosphere is conveyed so strongly within this song that the listener can’t help but fall in love with it.

Step and Go, which was released as a single before the album, is next. Opening up the song is the boys singing “we’re gonna step and go” over a cool instrumental with a certain video-game quality to it. The vocals during the verses are very nice and have a certain relaxing feel to them before they pop more powerfully with the chorus. The third verse takes thing in a slightly different direction and the harmonica sounds great here. The rap sequence is always enjoyable and in Step and Go, it’s no different. Step and Go hasn’t lost any charm from its release as a single and is definitely an enjoyable song.

The thirteenth song is YOUR SONG. The boys open up with a very relaxing and hopeful section of vocalizing. Their vocals as they sing “your song” sounds fantastic, making the chorus enjoyable from start to finish. Soon the tempo picks up a little and first verse starts. The relaxing feel does not fade and sticks with the listener nicely, allowing the boys of Arashi to bring out some great vocals. YOUR SONG is a nice and relaxing song that really puts the listener in a good mood.

The closing number for purchasers of the regular edition is Once Again, a dark album closer. A more somber and dark instrumental opens the song before the chorus. The boys sound great with strong harmonizing and their voices hold the song’s atmosphere well. Smooth vocals continue to appear on the first verse, which ensures the listener the continue experience of the song. The pure instrumental section is fantastic and the rock tints are really shown off. The rap sequence fits perfectly on the song and really captures the listener before the chorus comes back in. A fantastic instrumental part brings the song to a close, making Once Again the perfect closing song for the regular edition of the album.

For those who bought the limited edition, five tracks were made, sung solo by one member of the group. The first of the solos is Aiba’s song, Hello Goodbye. The song starts off with a sweet and cool instrumental before he delivers some poppy vocalizing. He sounds nice on the verses as his voice is smooth but the instrumentation isn’t that interesting. The chorus is nice particularly because of the way he says the words but overall it’s nothing too memorable. The song is pretty forgettable but there are nice points of instrumentation here and there.

Nino’s solo song, Gimmick Game, is the second solo. A slick and cool instrumental begins the song and then the first verse starts. Nino delivers such a coolness with his voice that fits with the music that the listener cannot help but fall in love with the song. The chorus sounds great as there is a twinkling feeling and his vocal strength his shown off fantastically. The pure instrumental section sounds great as the hot dance sound is spotlighted. The sexy confidence and sleek instrumental of Gimmick Game makes it a definite enjoyable number.

Ohno comes up next in line with Take me faraway. A sweet and soft instrumental starts off the song before the first verse starts. His vocals are smooth and sound very nice on the listener’s ears. The chorus doesn’t pop as much as it should but it’s still enjoyable. Moments when he vocalizes are very nice and help establish the song’s atmosphere. The pure instrumental section brings out the guitar, bringing in some fantastic rock elements that keep the level of interest up. Ohno’s song is a nice listen with a very pretty instrumental and wonderful vocals, although it nothing so amazing.

Matsumoto is next with Naked. A very fairy-tale like instrumental starts off the song before the first verse starts. From the moment the song opens, there is a looming sexual atmosphere that comes alive as the song progresses. His vocals sound a little strange at some points but he hits the higher notes very sweetly. The chorus is very nice as he smoothly sings alongside a fantastic instrumentation. The pure instrumental section sounds fantastic and it really takes the listener into the world of the song. Naked is a great song that Matsumoto brings to life nicely.

Sakurai finishes off the limited edition of the album with his solo song, Hip Hop Boogie. A relaxing and cool instrumental starts off the song. The rapping is a great fit with this funky sound. The chorus is pretty average and nothing that really stands out. Hip Hop Boogie sounds kind of boring and shouldn’t have been the closing solo song but it’s worth the occasional listen.

Album Ranking: A

Arashi’s 8th studio album is a collection of great songs that show off the boys’ talents. The album features two real ballads and 声 is definitely the one that catches the listener’s ear for its personal appeal. The rest of the album is upbeat and fun songs that the boys bring to life. 虹の彼方へ and Life goes on are the real standout songs that hook the listener. Overall the album is pretty much an upbeat and fun album that is extremely addictive. Featuring wonderful instrumentals, great vocals and fun sounds, Dream”A”live is a wonderful album.

The limited edition of the album features another CD, consisting of the boys’ solo songs. Nino and Matsumoto shine brightly on their solo songs, Gimmick Game and Naked respectively. Ohno delivers nicely on Take me faraway while Aiba’s song, Hello Goodbye is pretty dull. Sakurai’s song is cool in that it puts a spotlight on his rap although it is a little boring. The second CD is definitely worth the listen as it shows off what the boys can do on their own.

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3 Comments

  1. Karen said,

    I enjoyed your take on DAL , Kevin although I have to disagree with you on Naked .

    As much as I like dear ‘ol MatsuJun , it’s 1 of the weakest/weirdest/strangest songs on the album

  2. amaiyume said,

    hehehe, I really enjoyed it. I read your review of it as well and expected the worst. I was pleasantly surprised though 🙂

  3. Karen said,

    haha ok 😀

    if time permits , go & listen to their 4th – 7th albums . I highly recommend their 6th ARASHIC & the last studio offering Time though

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