so i didn't realize this single was coming out so soon. is there a tie up? it's not for jun's drama. is it for sho's? or is it *gasp* without a tie up? I know it's a commercial song, but alas it is not arashi who is advertising a new compact. (god how crackalific would it be if it were Arashi? I mean a lot of people think they are complete tarts anyway. lol)
anyway, just watched the Utaban performance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2267JB2zT
Here are my thoughts.
1. Not too keen on the song. It sounds very 90s. It also doesn't sound very Arashi to me. It reminds me of Smap. It has the kind of self-conscious aren't-i-being-hot? quality that i really don't like. I am not saying that self-consciousness is bad. Truth was very self-conscious, but they took it to the kind of level that you could almost call it artistic, and art is the most self-interested and self-conscious enterprises of them all. this didn't quite get to that level but it also doesn't have the easy, casual feeling of songs like Kaze no mukou e. And the lyrics are rather inane too. Arashi had released a spate of songs with good lyrics so a bit disappointed there. I think Kaze no mukou e, Boku ga boku no subete and Beautiful Days all had nice lyrics and I was hoping it would be a longer lasting trend. But "kiss crazy. i don't know. don't stop baby. i can't stop." Yawn.
2. The dancing. The dancing isn't bad but again it's very self-conscious. It's like "Oh oh oh! Let's prove yet again we are a group that can sing AND dance!" We get it Arashi. You can sing and dance well enough for people who don't know better to think you are actually talented. (wow I am in a really harsh mood tonight aren't I?) Like I said before I think Arashi as a group isn't exceptionally good at dancing or singing. They can do both, but I mean, they're trained to do that, it would be more surprising if they couldn't do it. I did think the part in the musical interlude where Sho starts off and then Matsujun, Nino and then Aiba and Ohno join is pretty cool to look at. But that's just because we as humans are trained to like repetition and symmetry. The corps de ballet in ballet are based on this notion. Which single in the past did that move that they do in this section? It's like a super deformed pas de chat. Was it Sunrise Nippon? Looks better now. i tried doing this move and i couldn't pick it up. why??? i got the other moves... i think i have a mind block because I keep on thinking it's a pas de chat and I keep on trying to do it with my center of gravity in one place. but i think for this move, you have to shift your center of gravity and i can't seem to get my mind wrapped around that since I keep on thinking I am just doing a pas de chat. also, the left leg goes in-out, not out-in, and that's throwing me off. argh. frustrating.
3. But enough about my own deteriorating dance skills. Now, let's take a look at what the individual members are doing.
Ohno. Very good and by the book as usual. Not much to complain about. He displays his typical boredom/lack of enthusiasm that he displays when dancing with the rest of Arashi. He just tosses off the right step at the exact right tempo like it's nothing while around him, the members try their hardest to look good. It's kind of a funny dynamic. A couple of notes. At around 1:19, he does a dance with Aiba and they do a little attitude (http://www.abt.org/education/dictionary/i
Jun: this piece was a collection of gay jun hand movements, starting from the very beginning. this guys has flexible wrists. I don't know if I have ever seen so man pinkies or wrist flaps in my life. He needs to work on controlling those beasts before they eat him alive. too bad he got cut off at 1:18 and you can't really see his break dance move. Oh and at 1:40 why is he holding his arms differently than anyone else? He has them spread out and his right hand is all splayed out whereas others have the right arm bent at a right angle and have their hands in a loose fist. But at 1:34, nice choice to cock your head to the left when you bring your right arm down. it takes the move from boring to hot. excellent choice that Sho and Nino failed to make. Jun has the advantage of height and relatively good proportions so he as a default looks good when he is dancing (aw, same here Jun! I was always told I had an elegance that I am sure did not come from my (relatively speaking) abysmal technique. But we will never have the kind of precision and control that midgets like Ohno do. They have less limb to control, of course they're not going to flail around like we do sometimes. It's okay, we get to be the noble main characters while midgets like them play the gifted yet comedic sidekick.)
Nino: It was refreshing to see Nino dance and look like he meant it. Koodos to him for that. He did a pretty good job too, not too much flailing. But he does tend to get ahead of the beat, like he does in most fast songs (Love Situation comes to mind). At 0:20, I won't comment on the hand moves since I am not trained in that kind of dance (whatever that is), but nice, tight 4th position! (although it could be the angle). You look stately, hun. At 0:50, you didn't quite get around in that turn, did you? And your move at 1:21 sorta scared me. Must that right hand be so claw like? You would have looked 120% gay, but a nice, soft ballet hand would have been so much nicer. Or if you must do the jazz hand, do it with the palm facing behind you so we don't feel the urge to run away. But at 1:38, when you come forward from behind Sho and Jun, it was ALL about you, hun. You looked great. Sure your dance looked spazzy. But it was just so cute and dorky and I loved it. Go you. But at 1:45, you do that move again (you know right hand at right temple, snap hand up and bring it down) and I wish you would come up with a new move. this one's nice and all but you do it all the time. Like Jun's diva hand snaking up into the air only to snap down with tremendous force. Or Sho's "I am number one" move or leaning forward with one shoulder while he looks diagonally and sings intently at someone off to the side. Boys, you gotta come up with some new moves, or just not have any (like Aiba and Ohno). Then I will have one less reason to pick on you.
Aiba: mmm not really much to say. My biggest thing was the overly turned out and too large knee popping moves, but i already talked about that. Oh, and at 2:21, the two backward steps you take are too big and look sorta awkward. and the very end, don't let your body (especially your right arm!) swing like that. the music ends and you are still moving when everyone is still. destroys the impact of the ending. oh and your hip swaying move at 0:30 is so gay and totally something a 17 year old girl (or Jun) would do, so stop. you can do the cute version of it but don't try to make it look sexy.
Sho: your strut up to the camera at 0:32 is channeling too much kimura takuya (he is still alive, you know. at least wait until he's dead to start channeling him). we already have matsujun imitating kimu taku 90% of the time, we don't need TWO kimu taku wannabes in Arashi, kthnx. Also, why must you always point up when we talk about night skies? You did it in kitto, you are doing it here at 0:40. the night sky is up there, we get it hun. And you also almost didn't get fully around in that turn at 0:50, did you? I saw you stumble, don't think I didn't catch it. At 1:40, something is not right about your arms. your wrists are going above your shoulders, and you look cutesy instead of hot. Notice Jun and Ohno's stay below their shoulder line. Nino's right hand goes above his shoulders a bit, but he's Nino. He's supposed to look dorky cute when dancing. But man, scrutinizing this move, I am amazed their mikes don't go flying out of their hands.
oy. i need to go to sleep. i just spent like 2 hours on this post. god.