KAT-TUN – Break The Records: By You & For You [4th Studio Album]

May 1, 2009 at 5:01 pm (KAT-TUN) (, )

breaktherecords

KAT-TUN’s 4th studio album, entitled Break the Records: By You & For You, was released on 04.29.09. The singles released before the album are as follows: DON’T U EVER STOP, White X’mas, ONE DROP and RESCUE.

DON’T U EVER STOP, the first single released before the album, is the opening track. The song starts off with a cool and interesting instrumental that builds anticipation in the listener. Then the rock sound comes in and it’s pretty nice although it doesn’t carry the aggression that one would expect from the title. On the verses, the rapidity that the lyrics are delivered with stands out to the listener quite nicely. The repeating “don’t stop” in the chorus is catchy and they all sound great together, staying in perfect balance. Koki’s rap section fits in this song perfectly with the attitude he delivers to hook the listener. DON’T U EVER STOP is an enjoyable song and the strongest single to be released in this album’s era.

SADISTIC LOVE, the first new song, is up next. Beginning the song is a very pretty and dark instrumental that gives the image of moonlight before moving into the true aggressive instrumental that suits KAT-TUN so well. On the first verse, those vocals ooze sexuality and make the listener melt. Even the rap section carries a sexiness to it that is unforgettable and that instrumental run just is addictive. The chorus kind of has a different feel to it since that aggression in the instrumentation is lessened and the focus is put on the vocals. The pure instrumental section is quite interesting as it gives the image of a war of sorts, further taking the listener deeper into the song. SADISTIC LOVE is a good song because it has that aggressive instrumental that catch the listener’s ear and it takes a few twists and turns to not stay on the same path the entire way through.

RESCUE goes back to the rock sound while keeping the mysterious feel. A heartbeat starts the song off on a strong note. Then comes the instrumentation slowly creeping in and there is a creepy feeling that arises in the listener. The chorus is next and the vocals sound great, staying perfectly with the music and amplifying the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the verses fall a little flat since the music sounds a little empty so a more diverse or aggressive instrumental could have tied the song together very well. RESCUE is a pretty good song although it could have been better.

WATER DANCE is a cool track that shows the group’s sleek side. That opening instrumental sequence sounds great and it kind of does give the atmosphere of a water ballet before moving into the song’s true sound. The beat becomes clearer and the overall music more aggressive. The vocals are good here because they are very sleek and smooth, carrying a kind of sexual atmosphere that catches the listener’s ear. What makes this song so memorable though is the chorus because of its haunting quality. There are the background vocals, singing English lines such as “kiss me” and “love me.” Then there are the center vocals and the combination of the two makes an interesting contrast in terms of tone. The rap section was unexpected but it does give the song a little extra flavor so it’s definitely welcomed. The pure instrumental section is nice and relaxing and the “I’m dancing in water” line sounds great. WATER DANCE is a very strong song and one to look out for.

ONE DROP, released beforehand as a single, is the next song. It opens up with the guys saying different words in English such as “eternity” and “love” before a very mysterious and cool sound comes in. Following is the chorus, bringing out the guys’ emotional side. The song’s standout point is the last line of the chorus: only lonely your teardrop. Even though it sounds a little strange, it definitely catches the listener’s ear. Once the usual rock sound comes in, it’s a bit disappointing. The rest of the song just follows that formula and never really hooks the listener.

Nakamaru Yuichi is the first guy to have a solo with WHITE WORLD. It starts off quite nicely with a soft sound that has a sort of upbeat sound to it, which makes it more interesting than a usual piano ballad opening. He opens with “do you remember” and from that phrase alone, the nostalgia of the song comes out. He sounds great on the chorus and he portrays the emotions of the song perfectly. It has sort of a wintery atmosphere that is wonderful without going too over the edge. WHITE WORLD is one of the best songs on the album and Nakamaru shines strongly here.

care is Akanishi Jin’s solo song. The guitar starts the song off in a very calm and natural way, suiting a feeling of waking up in the morning. He then comes in on the first verse and his vocals sound very good with the music, staying in the lower tone but carrying something magical about them that the listener can pick up on. On the chorus, it sounds more rock-oriented as the music becomes more diverse and he shows off those vocals very nicely. He brings the emotions out and this section serves as a good contrast to the more relaxing verses. Jin definitely shines on his solo song as he draws together soft and loud elements to make a cohesive song from start to finish.

 Kamenashi Kazuya is up next with 1582. Starting off the song is a very interesting futuristic instrumental that really sounds great. When he comes in to sing, his vocals support the music perfectly and at certain points, it sounds like there is a slight distortion on his voice in order to connect him further with the music. Of course there are a few rock elements thrown in to tie him to the futuristic sound and they come out strongly on the chorus, which makes it a part to remember. He does a little breathing afterwards and it shows that he can definitely bring the sexy to spice things up. Kame does a very good job on 1582, bringing a futuristic sound and his sexiness to the forefront.

Tanaka Koki steps up for PIERROT. It opens up with a cool rock filled instrumental that is extremely ear-catching and it has that aggressive element that makes KAT-TUN songs so addictive. Koki then comes in for the first verse and there’s something about his vocals that sound different than usual but they really work with this song. He is portraying emotions and at some points, he does sound like he’s screaming rather than singing but that’s kind of the charm of his voice. This is true especially on the chorus since his vocals are extremely loud but that works since the music is so powerful and commanding as well. The rap section adds some nice flavor to the song and gives even more attitude. PIERROT is a great solo for giving the audience that aggressive rock instrumental to overtake them.

花の舞う街 is Ueda Tatsuya’s chance to shine. Opening the song is the piano, which really gets its job done of showcasing beautiful emotions and sorrow for the listener to enjoy. Then it turns into a more upbeat and cute sound, which is a bit awkward. Ueda’s vocals on the first verse are good and portray his loveable personality very well. The chorus is a little plain and it doesn’t have the necessary magic to make it sound amazing. It’s an okay song but it’s a little too basic and a more interesting instrumental would have made all the difference.

Taguchi Junnosuke gets the last solo with WIND. The song begins with the beautiful piano, instantly notifying the listener that the emotions are going to come through. Taguchi sounds great as he sings the first verse, his vocals really staying smooth and portraying emotions. Suddenly, the instrumentation becomes more diverse and even a little jazzy. The combination of the music and Taguchi’s vocals is perfect since it really puts the listener in the atmosphere of the song. He sounds like he’s having such a good time on the chorus and you can tell that he’s putting his all into singing. The pure instrumental section is just fun and sweet, really standing out to the listener. Taguchi definitely did his thing on WIND, giving his loveable and adorable personality for everyone to love.

君道 has a light-hearted feeling to it that sets it apart. Opening the song is a very sweet and carefree instrumental that introduces the atmosphere of the song nicely. Then comes the first verse and the vocals are a little on the low side and there’s just something natural about them that works with the song. There are some light rock influences that come in, adding to the carefree atmosphere of the song. The chorus is nice with a more diverse instrumental and everyone sounds great together, particularly on the very last note of the section. 君道 is a cute song and the group actually pulls it off quite well.

春夏秋冬 is a beautiful mysterious track. The song begins with a very pretty instrumentation that carries a beautiful element of mystery to it. All the guys sound great on those opening few lines and nicely portray the beauty of the song for the listener. Then the first verse comes in and the guitar has a bigger part in the instrumentation while that cold beauty continues to come through. The vocals are great and go with the music perfectly. Somewhat surprisingly, there is kind of a dual feeling on the chorus as there’s something kind of upbeat and almost cute in conjunction with the mysterious element. One part that stands out particularly nicely is the “bye bye” since it’s sung a little higher than the other lyrics and sounds just heavenly. It’s a great song and a gem on this album.

White X’mas brings the wintery feeling to the album. Beginning the song is the piano, showcasing a loving and sweet atmosphere for everyone to hear. On the first verse, the vocals are smooth and support the music very well. As usual, the chorus features some great harmonizing and everyone sounds great although the emotional context of the song should have been pushed further in terms of instrumentation. The problem with the song is that it doesn’t really seem to reach that needed climax point but it’s still a nice song.

NEIRO is the final track on the limited edition. The piano begins the song on a strong note, having a feeling of windy hope blow through to the listener. For the first verse, the vocals are nice and carry an element of fragility to them. The chorus is good since everyone vocalizes well and harmonizes well together although it does sound a little simple. Vocally, this is a very good song but the music is just a little too basic and it lacks that magic that would have made it a great ballad rather than just an okay one.

MOON appears as the last song on the album only on the regular edition. It starts off channeling the sounds of enka and it does so wonderfully, really giving a traditional beauty. Then from nowhere, the song goes into rock mode and an aggressive instrumental comes crashing through. What makes it memorable though is those enka influences never disappear completely and appear here and there throughout the track. They sound great on the first verse and their vocals pop against the music strongly. The chorus could have been stronger since it does sound a little formulaic but it’s still enjoyable. That pure instrumental section is absolutely fantastic and definitely strikes the listener strongly. MOON is the perfect incentive for buying the regular edition since it’s one of the album’s best tracks.

Album Ranking: B +

Break The Records: By You & For You certainly gets creativity points. With their last album, the group stuck a little too much with the rock sound but they try out different sounds here and bring them to the rock sounds to form something new. Some of the best tracks have a very mysterious feeling to them like SADISTIC LOVE and WATER DANCE, also bringing out the sexual energy for everyone to hear. In terms of solos, Koki and Nakamaru take first place with Kame right behind them. MOON is a wonderful track and one of the most memorable numbers on the album so it’s a great incentive to get the regular edition of the album. Break The records: By You & For You is a solid release and brings various new elements together although it would have been nice if they had more aggressive danceable tracks.

Most Memorable 5 Songs: DON’T U EVER STOP / SADISTIC LOVE / WATER DANCE / WHITE WORLD / MOON

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