NEWS – Happy Birthday [10th Single]

October 7, 2008 at 7:24 pm (NEWS) (, )

NEWS’ 10th single, entitled Happy Birthday, was released on 10.01.08. The title track was used as in the HAPPY BATH DAY CM for Kose.

Happy Birthday is a sweet pop song that has a relaxing atmosphere to it. The song starts off with a very pretty upbeat instrumental that dives right into the first verse. Ryo’s voice works really well with the music here and there’s something almost soothing about the combination of his voice with the music. The vocalizing section following Ryo’s part gets a bit annoying since it lasts so long but then comes to chorus to the rescue. There’s something indescribably catchy about the chorus as the way the boys sing the lyrics in a way that holds that sweetness so well. They sing “happy birthday” and it’s a part of the chorus that stands out very strongly. Of course Masssu and Shige sound very smooth on their parts of the verse before Koyama and Shige have their little part singing together. Happy Birthday is a very catchy song with a sweeter sound that the listener can fall in love with.

ガンガンガンバッテ is the B-side present on both editions of the single. Opening the song is an instrumental that has a sort of video-game like quality to it, carrying some cool edgy sounds. However, once the chorus comes in, there is more of a cute atmosphere. The music actually accentuates certain notes like the final one and the final “come on” in the set of three as the boys sing a little higher and this makes for certain parts the listener can listen for. The pure instrumental section nicely spotlights the guitar, putting back some of the edge in the instrumentation. It’s an enjoyable song with a fun atmosphere that just keeps the listener enticed.

The limited edition is home to GAME of LOVE. This song has an atmosphere similar to older American songs but the boys’ voices suit it perfectly. The song begins with part of the hook and the slight distorted feeling really works in establishing a sexual atmosphere. The chorus then follows as they sing “give me one more kiss, take me higher sky.” On the verses, each member provides smooth vocals that go perfectly with the music and the certain note that they hold momentarily longer than the others always stands out. The full chorus is addictive with more English lyrics and more sexiness. There is one real star of this song and that is Tegoshi as he provides stellar vocals, overshadowing the others. His pronounciation during his part is quite impressive. During the final choruses, Tegoshi does some vocalizing and once again, he shines as his vocals really catch the ear. Closing the song is the hook, which makes for a perfect finish. This song is infectious with its catchy sexual atmosphere and Tegoshi’s fantastic vocals.

Push On! is found only on the regular edition of the single. It’s the slowest song on the single as well as the most boring. The song starts off with a pretty and sweet instrumentation but once the verses come in, it loses that spark. The vocals aren’t bad but the telephone sounds that run through the instrumentation get really annoying. The hook gets a little bit better for the “ring ring ring ring” and “1 2 3 4” and the following line allows Tegoshi to shine once again with great vocals. Unfortunately the chorus is pretty forgettable and just doesn’t capture the listener. Push On! certainly isn’t a great song but it’s one to listen to.

In order to promote the single, a PV for Happy BIrthday was made. The video is amazingly cheesy with the boys singing in a fake kitchen. They are dressed like they are on the covers so at least they look good. It’s not a very interesting video because of all the fake special effects but the dancing part was quite enjoyable with all six boys lined up.

Single Ranking: A –

Although this single isn’t as strong as previous singles that NEWS has released this year, it’s certainly one to listen for. The title track and the first B-side both carry a certain sweetness that works well with the boys’ voices. Of course they bring a little more sexy on GAME of LOVE and Tegoshi is absolutely wonderful here. Push On! is actually pretty dull and really not worth checking out. Nonetheless, it’s a good single but hopefully the boys will take on more dancey stuff in the future.


  1. Karen said,

    ok this time round I feel the B-sides were a bit weaker than SUMMER TIME or Taiyou no Namida but still it’s quite a good single overall . Happy Birthday’s really addictive as time goes by & my younger sister bought both editions for me recently when she was in Japan =D

  2. amaiyume said,

    I think there’s always one B-side that just doesn’t connect with me as of the singles this year…

    Taiyou no Namida -> ….Beautiful Eyes
    SUMMER TIME -> Baby! Be My Baby!
    Happy Birthday -> Push On!

    The other 2 from Taiyou no Namida were fantastic, SUMMER TIME were really catchy and these were nice too…I honestly expected a litle more from them but hey, what can you do?

  3. Karen said,

    eh I like Beautiful Eyes from Taiyou no Namida . In fact I like all the B-sides from there as well as SUMMER TIME but to each his own , Kevin

  4. amaiyume said,

    haha yeah, people seem to like Baby! Be My Baby! but I think a lot of people thought Beautiful Eyes was kinda boring…but yeah, different tastes different people. I love love love Ai no Matador despite others thinking it’s cheesy 😛

  5. kaori. said,

    I’d give this single a C+. The only good songs were Happy Birthday and Push On! and they weren’t even that great. GAME OF LOVE and Gan Gan Ganbatte are seriously terrible. I’m glad they won’t be on the new album.

  6. amaiyume said,

    really? you liked Push On! I thought it was soooo boring. I honestly can’t even remember what it sounds like XD

    But yeah, this single is easily the worst of the four from this album but only Happy Birthday will be there anyway and it’s the best one [or maybe GAME of LOVE].

    But hey, different people, different tastes as we’ve seen various times with us hahaha

  7. Karen said,

    it took me forever to remeber how Push On ! sounds . I find Gan Gan Ganbette a bit cheesy & GAME of LOVE is either something you like or don’t which probably applies to Kaori in this case

  8. amaiyume said,

    yeah, I actually like GAME of LOVE but there was this element about it the first time I heard it that had me on the fence of me hating it or loving it and I think Tegoshi sealed the deal for me on that one to push me to like it 🙂

    When Ganganganbatte first opened up, I was excited and then the first verse came and I was like oh…this isn’t as awesome as I expected it to be…

    Push On! is a snore XD

    But I’m excited for the album nonetheless since I LOVE all the A-sides 🙂

  9. Karen said,

    well at least for JE’s case , they will not include the B-sides in their albums which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it .

    I’m excited for the release of color now ❤

  10. amaiyume said,

    I’ll consider it a good thing cause either way, I (and many others) will be buying the singles regardless so it’s nice to have them be worth something since they won’t be on the album. Plus they have a tendency to be really good! And it takes up less space on the album…honestly I’m a little mad they put SNOW EXPRESS on here since I already heard it from the tour…but luckily I don’t remember how it goes!! XD

    I’ll be ordering it with Suzuki Ami’s “Supreme Show” so it’ll be a double party when both CDs come together 🙂

  11. Karen said,

    I skipped SNOW EXPRESS with regards to the pacific dvd so for my case I have no idea how it sounds so yup

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