NEWS – color [3rd Studio Album]

November 30, 2008 at 6:34 pm (NEWS) (, )


NEWS’ 3rd studio album, entitled color, was released on 11.19.08. The singles released prior to the album are as follows: weeeeek, 太陽のナミダ, SUMMER TIME and Happy Birthday. Much like their previous albums, there are some solos, the trio songs as well as one KoyaShige duo.

The album starts off with the boys’ first single off this era, weeeeek. With its fun and light-spirited sound, it’s the perfect album opener. The guitar brings the song to a strong beginning and the boys come in singing the chorus with that fun atmosphere coming through powerfully. On the verses, some of the boys doing some rapping and it works well with the overall feeling and everyone’s voices sound nice. The hook is a little cleaner as the boys with the softer voices sing their way through smoothly. That pure instrumental section definitely stands out as there is a very grand feeling to it and following is Tegoshi, who tends to give the best vocal performances. The song finishes with more exciting and upbeat music to bring this song to a close. weeeeek is one of the album’s strongest songs and a very memorable way to begin the album.

Following is STARDUST, a midtempo rock number. The song starts off with a calming rock instrumental that gets a little more aggressive as times goes on before the first verse. On the verses, the vocals are okay and they fit with the music well but they’re nothing very special. The chorus picks it up a little more as the instrumetnation becomes more interesting and the boys’ vocals are a little stronger. When they sing “stardust,” that is a pivotal moment in the song and it gives it a little more flavor. The pure instrumental section is all right and is nice because the guitar gets the spotlight but it’s nothing that great. Overall STARDUST is a nice track to listen to when you’re in the mood but they could have (and should have) done a lot better than this.

SUMMER TIME, which was the second single of the color era, is the third track on the album. A very pretty and twinkling instrumental starts the song off before the chorus arrives strongly. Everyone sounds great and they perfectly capture that summer light-hearted atmosphere with the combination of the vocals and instrumetnation. English phrases such as “I want you to know my sweet emotion” and “beautiful days” really pop and make the chorus all the more enjoyable. There is a more relaxing feeling on the verses and everyone sounds good with Massu’s vocals being the real standout. The rap section allows Koyama and Shige to shine a little more and it gives the song even more of that fun flavor. SUMMER TIME is another one of the album’s best tracks and one to look for.

The next track is SNOW EXPRESS, which was recorded previously and even appeared on the boys’ latest tour DVD. Now the song has a physical release on color. The song starts off with a very pretty instrumental that touches the listener’s heart. Surprisingly, the boys’ vocals are a little stronger than usual on the verses (notably Massu’s) as they smoothly move with the music. The chorus is what makes this song so addictive as everyone sounds good together and when they sing “snow express,” it’s heaven. It also stands out because the guitar is spotlighted there for a moment, which sounds fantastic. Yamapi then delivers his rap sequence and it’s a little surprising to hear but it has that Yamapi sexiness which just works so well for him. SNOW EXPRESS is a fantastic song, one that definitely deserved a physical release.

The next song is the sweet ballad track, Forever. From the moment the instrumentation opens, the listener should know that the boys are going to pour on the emotions. The first part of the chorus where they sing quickly is what stands out particularly because of Tegoshi’s vocals but then it doesn’t sound as good. The English is also a nice touch On the verses, the vocals aren’t bad but the instrumentation gets very old very quickly so the listener can’t really get hooked on it. Massu actually provides some strong moments during his part of the verse as does Tegoshi but overall the verses aren’t very impressive. What saves this song is the chorus with Tegoshi being the real star as there is a certain cuteness about this song that really stands out. It could have been much stronger though.

Up next is MOLA, which is Yamapi’s usual solo number. This track sounds so much like an American song that it’s a little strange to hear Yamapi doing something like this. To connect back to the American idea, the song is entirely sung in English and his pronounciation is actually pretty good despite the music interfering to the point when he is somewhat inaudible at points. The song opens up with “lady” and it sounds so much like T-Pain and his vocoder that it’s ridiculous. The lyrics show off the dirty flare as he sings “everybody feelin’ kinda naughty.” Much like his previous song, ゴメンネ ジュリエット (on the pacific album), there is a girl who sings a couple lines and although she provided some pretty vocals on the first song, she is too present here. Luckily for this song, the pure instrumental section is addictive and really shines. Overall, Yamapi’s vocals are so distorted that it doesn’t even sound like him and the sound is so American, it just comes off as annoying. This solo track doesn’t even come close to ゴメンネ ジュリエット.

Luckily, there is one new track that shines above all the other new ones and is even on par with the single songs and that is ケセナイ, sung by the trio of Tegoshi, Ryo and Shige. From the moment the instrumentation starts, there is such a beautiful and peaceful feeling that is instilled with the listener. Tegoshi then comes in on the first verse and provides smooth and calming vocals that match the music perfectly. There is a moment right before the chorus where the instrumentation goes a little higher and even though it’s only for one moment, it has that sparkling feeling that just hits the listener’s heart. Tegoshi then provides powerful and beautiful vocals on the chorus, showing off just how fantastic a singer he really is. On the second verse, Ryo and Shige have their moments to sing (although Tegoshi still is the leading singer here) and both boys sound great too. There is something about the overall feel of the song that just evokes memories of the one you love so the emotions definitely come to the forefront. Although this is a trio song, Tegoshi is the clear star (much like 愛なんて from pacific) and this is easily the best new track for providing the listener with a gorgeous and calming song to listen to.

Ryo’s solo, ordinary, is the next song to arrive. Much like code (on pacific), this song takes on a midtempo rock sound. After some pure instrumentation, the first verse comes in and Ryo provides some nice vocals although the music quickly gets old. The chorus is nothing special as the music doesn’t paricularly change and neither do Ryo’s vocals. One part of the song that does shine though is the pure instrumental section, in which the guitar is put on display for the listener. Overall, this isn’t a bad song and it is a step up from code as it gives us the opportunity to hear Ryo sing instead of scream but it’s not a very memorable one. I think they should give Ryo some different sounds next time instead of the same old rock number (that or give the solo to someone else…).

みんながいる世界をひとつに愛をもっと Give & Take しましょう features Massu as the lead with Koyama and Shige as the backups. The opening instrumentation actually sounds pretty cool like there is going to be a cool and dark rock following but then the chorus comes in full of happiness and cuteness and it’s a little disappointing. The boys’ vocals are good here and the repeating words stand out but not exactly strongly. On the verses, the instrumentation calms down so the focus can be on the vocals. Again, the vocals aren’t bad but the instrumentation and overall feeling of the song isn’t particularly interesting. That pure instrumental section is nice as the music gets that pretty spotlight and there are some elements reminiscent of TEPPEN (from their last album). Overall this song is just nice, nothing spectacular but nothing horrible.

KoyaShige team up again for ムラリスト and this track sounds so identical to their last duet チラリズム (from pacific) that it’s absolutely ridiculous. In fact, the title of that song is even mentioned in this one. The moment the song opens, the chorus comes in and there is such a fun beach feeling to it. Then the verse comes in and Koyama sounds pretty good here since his voice has a certain lightness to it. Shige has a little more trouble since his voice is deeper and when he reaches really deeper, it just doesn’t sound good (Koyama also does this too at points at the song). This song is one of those that you can’t take seriously to enjoy. Unfortunately it loses major points for basically being a carbon copy (and a worse one at that) of チラリズム. If anything, they should have tried to a song more similar to their other duet, アリバイ.

太陽のナミダ is another song released before the album and yet again, one of the album’s strongest numbers. The opening instrumentation features Arabian and Spanish influences to push for an absolutely perfect instrumentation. Following is the first verse and everyone provides the song with that dark coolness that suits the music perfectly. Massu and Koyama stand out since their voices are lighter compared to the rest of the members. The chorus is absolutely fantastic as they come together and harmonize fantastically, with the last word being held with strength. Overall this song is amazing and is one of the best (if not the best) on the album.

Smile Maker is up next and honestly, it sounds like a watered down version of Happy Birthday then tweaked to be a little more upbeat. It’s not that the song is bad but it’s just not interesting. Vocals are okay throughout but the music is just not there. Truthfully, this song’s one grabbing point is the ending when the instrumentation sounds fantastic. Had the song taken on this sound the whole way through, it would have been far more enjoyable.

The next song and semifinale is Happy Birthday. This relaxing pop number is pretty nice although it’s pretty weak compared to the other singles. One thing that stands out from this song is during the chorus when they sing “happy birthday.” It’s a very sweet song and worth the listen and surprisingly, it fits with the overall feeling of the album (and that can be argued as being a good thing or bad thing).

Closing the album is FLY AGAIN. It definitely was not the way to finish the album since it’s just so boring. It’s mostly due to the instrumentation being so simplistic and it just feels like it’s already been done before. This is possibly the worst song on the album so having it be the last one was not a smart idea.

Album Ranking: B –

The thing that makes this album so disappointing for me is that their last album, pacific, was fantastic. The album had upbeat numbers you can dance to (a la 愛のマタドール or サヤエンドウ), the sweet ballads (i.e. 思う夜 and 星をめざして), Yamapi did a wonderful job on his solo and the album tracks were on par with the single ones. On color, the solos were an absolute mess; the single tracks were extremely better than the album tracks; the KoyaShige was a rip-off of their last one and overall the album tracks were not that memorable. The new jewel of this album, ケセナイ, is absolutely fantastic though and is the perfect example of why Tegoshi belongs in this group. The album was definitely lacking in dance songs so I sincerely hope they pick it up on the next album to make up for this one.


  1. akasatana said,

    I agree – the songs on this album weren’t that great compared to pacific. Although as an avid NEWS listener, I listen to the songs a lot, but most of them don’t stick into my head like the pacific songs did :/.

  2. amaiyume said,

    yeah…I hope they step it up next time. Where are the sexy songs a la Ai no Matador or Alibi? I just feel like you can’t really dance to this album and those upbeat dance numbers is what NEWS does best so…

  3. blackmager said,

    No dance songs?
    Damnit, and this was going to be my first NEWS album.

  4. amaiyume said,

    Well there’s Taiyou no Namida, which is incredible so if nothing, you should check out that single (Bambina and Lady Spider awesome as well). And then there’s MOLA…so pretty much Taiyou no Namida…

    If you wanna give a NEWS album a try, you should try pacific. It’s muchhhhhh better and it will show you the true power of NEWS 🙂

  5. Karen said,

    well I don’t know what’s your definition of ‘bad’ to begin with but I actually like color a lot . For me I could see or should I say hear the sound transition of the guys from touch all the way to now

    it’s really 1 of the good & better albums I came across this year unlike others

  6. Karen said,

    & erm Kevin isn’t it a bit funny that you gave color B where you practically “trash” the whole album itself ? I thought you might flunk it & gave it C or something since you don’t like it a lot , erm ironic much ?

  7. amaiyume said,

    hahaha, I know I did kinda trash the album but I wasn’t like this album sucks, I hate it, it’s garbage. Most of my trashing was in comparison to pacific. lol, I definitely wouldn’t have failed the album cause they had good singles + Kesenai was amazing. And it’s not like all the new tracks were horrible persay but…not memorable.

    I’m just really disappointed because I loved pacific. Had I not listened to pacific first, I would have been less dissapointed but I dunno…this album just isn’t my style. Honestly, I feel like color was just too samey for me. pacific had variety in its sound and this one didn’t really…

    Maybe next time boys…I’m hoping for Hey! Say! JUMP to do a better job than this…

  8. anonymous said,

    this was actually one of my favorite albums by them especially because they didn’t have any dance songs. I just dont like them as much. Personally i thought that the songs in here were perfect and that this was the first one where i loved all of the songs in it.

    Kesenai wasn’t as beautiful as ai nante, however but i think it was because ai nante was too perfect. Muralist was actually better than chirarizumu for me and i loved ordinary and smile maker. The worst songs in my opinion in here was probably Mola and Happy birthday.

    Awsome review btw but just wanted to say that personally i thought it was better than pacific and some other people might love it like me too. (our own opinions of course)

  9. amaiyume said,

    yeah, I’ve heard people say that they like this album better than pacific. What I see is usually they really like one and feel the other was just okay.

    I feel NEWS is really good at dance songs and there were like none on here, which I why I don’t particularly care for the album. As for Ai Nante and Kesenai, I’m not really in the mood for Ai Nante because it’s so angsty and whatnot. Kesenai is just really pretty, which works for me 🙂

    And I’m sorry but MOLA was just a mess XD

    totally, we’re entitled to our opinions 🙂

  10. alicianishikido said,

    I completely agree with anonymous. I loved this album because of the lack of dance songs. The songs here are toned down and more beautiful as compared to some of the loud, dancy songs on pacific. I loved FLY AGAIN, didn’t find it boring at all. Forever was also one of my favourites. And ordinary was beautiful too, it was my favourite track on the album when I had first gotten it. (I might be biased, but I sincerely loved it.) Smile Maker is nothing special, but it makes me happy (: And I didn’t find Taiyou no Namida that fantastic.

    Favourite tracks here: weeeek, Forever, ケセナイ, ordinary, FLY AGAIN.

    Kudos for your extremely detailed review though. (:

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