NEWS BEST, released on 6.13.12, NEWS’ first best of album and the first release after ex-members Yamashita Tomohisa and Nishikido Ryo left NEWS.
ALL SINGLES BEST
Features all A-sides released by NEWS. None of them were re-recorded to take out the ex-members’ vocals.
Their first single, 「NEWSニッポン (NEWS Nippon)」 is a mix of energetic (in the chorus and bridge) and laidback song (the verses) as they sing, “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 it’s big NEWS!” It’s a fun song and really nostalgic for any NEWS fan to listen to (since it features all the members when they were still teenagers).
Next is their 2nd single 「希望～Yell～ (Kibou ~Yell)」. It’s another mix of energeticness plus laidback vocals as Yamapi starts off the song with slow vocals before going into energetic cheering followed by a mid-tempo first verse as most of the members get a line to sing.
「紅く燃ゆる太陽 (Akaku Moyoru Taiyou)」 is their third single, following the energeticness of their previous singles, but it has a more hot, fierce feeling to it. Lots of dialogue from Yamapi. The first thing that I remember whenever I hear this song is the MV where they’re playing basketball while the floor is full of water.
「チェリッシュ (Cherish)」 is my favorite from their earlier singles. It’s a cute song coupled with a little bit of autotune and electronica to make a light hearted instrumental. I love doing the little hand dance they have for this song, haha. It’s simple, but really adorable.
「TEPPEN」 is another song along the lines of Kibou ~Yell~ with upbeat vocals and instrumentation, this time the instrumental having a band behind it.
「サヤエンドウ (Sayaendou)」 is the perfect song for One Piece (which it was the theme song for… a movie I think?) and I love the European beats coupled with the mischievous vocals from the members.
「裸足のシンデレラボーイ (Hadashi no Cinderella Boy)」 is another fun energetic song with lots of synthesizer and guitar with some mysterious airs about it. It is about a Barefoot Cinderella Boy after all, haha.
「星をめざして (Hoshi wo Mezashite)」 is another one of my favorite songs. It has a sentimental feel to it as Yamapi starts it off slowly with a beautiful piano and orchestra instrumental before they go into an energetic, encouraging chorus.
「weeeek」 is a fun upbeat song that is about how the days of the week pass by for young adults. The boys sing with such energy which adds to the affect that this is a very fun song. This starts off the album well, making the listener excited for more.
「太陽のナミダ (Taiyou no Namida)」 immediately starts with the boys singing, “taiyou no namida” with instrumentation after that. The boys sing their lines smoothly and matches the tone of the song. The chorus especially sticks out in ones’ mind (or maybe it’s just because I’ve listened to this before..?) and you are able to imagine their dance for it. The song is brings a mature image to the boys and is a nice song as well.
「SUMMER TIME」 has a very fun, summery feeling to it and starts with the boys singing, “This is the summer time,”. Each of them deliver their lines well and help keep the song upbeat and fun. The chorus is especially fun as they sing of waiting for the beautiful days of the summer after falling in love before summer. The rap that Shige and Koyama sing matches very well with the song and keep the song really fun. The song ends brightly with the boys continuously singing, “this is the summer time!”
「Happy Birthday」 starts with a sweet instrumentation with Ryo entering with quick paced lyrics. Their “Woah, woah woah, yeah yeah…” adds even more sweetness to the song and the chorus as well adds to the sweetness as they sing about celebrating that special one’s birthday. The fast paced lyrics are a little too fast, but do somewhat match. The chorus is especially addictive and will be especially fun to sing during birthdays.
「恋のABO (Koi no ABO)」 Koyama begins the song saying, “Youtachi, nani gata?” (You guys, what is your blood type) The verses go in the pattern of them saying “HEY _” (the _ being the blood type) as each member coolly sings their parts. The chorus is addicting and really gets you into the dance fever.
「さくらガール (Sakura Girl)」 has bittersweet lyrics coupled with a rather bright instrumental to balance things out. They sing of a love they once had and are still in love with but lost. I’m really liking their vocals a lot in this song because it’s really obvious that as a vocal group they’re slowly improving. Even Yamapi’s vocals sound pretty good in this song! For a sad love song, the overall beat and sound of the song is somewhat happy but I think that is as if the happiness of the instrumental is “hiding” the sadness of the lyrics in a sense so it goes really well together.
「Fighting Man」 is an energetic piece with the guitar and percussion giving the lively, electric feel to the song. Nishikido starts up first with his stark vocals before being followed by Yamapi then the rest of the members. The way the lines are sung is fast-paced, but confident, as they sing “don’t think, feel! bring it on!” in the chorus. The chorus lyrics are a bit iffy to me, but otherwise it’s a nice upbeat song.
FAN SELECTION BEST
These songs were voted for on a website and personally selected by fans.
With a soft guitar strumming as its base, 「エンドレス・サマー (Endless Summer)」, the piano and orchestra add that touch of lightness to it. The instrumental gets heavier during the chorus and ah, when these guys stress their vocals to reach those high notes… it’s really hard to keep listening. A really nice, refreshing song though, but sometimes I feel as if the instrumental is overpowering their vocals just a bit.
Next is the much loved 「Share」. The instrumental has a very comforting, special feel to it as Koyama begins the song singing his fast-paced lyrics. The members that follow also sing their fast pace lyrics (which, by the way, was wholly created, both lyrics and music, by NEWS themselves) and goes into a comforting chorus. The song has a peaceful, but happy feeling to it as they sing of sharing their times with us, the fans. You can really feel the love from NEWS to us. I can kinda see how fans were really mad with Yamapi and Nishikido because this song promised they’d always stay together.
First image in my mind of 「I・ZA・NA・I・ZU・KI」: Shige doing that lip rub with his hands during a NEWS concert. There is a twinkling chime in the beginning as the members sing, the key lines “Get away, zukiyouni, kakurete, be silent. We just can’t get away~” Their vocals are a bit muted, soft and smooth over the acoustic guitar with a bit of mysteriousness to them.
「SNOW EXPRESS」 is definitely one of my favorites. It starts with a winter-y feeling that is accompanied by the electronica as the boys sing with vocals that match well with the song. Yamapi’s rap after the first chorus gives a mysterious feeling to the song with certain English words such as “my heart” and “amazing kiss” standing out.
「DREAMS」 is a pretty acoustic guitar instrumental as Massu starts up with soft, curious vocals. This is a really lovely song, especially because it’s about going towards your dreams. The boys harmonize together and it’s touching how they convey the emotions of this song.
「FLY AGAIN」 begins with DJ quality to it (spinning the turntable, I think?) and electric guitar. Their voices sing smoothly with a bit of echoing. Ryo leads into an upbeat chorus that shows how well they sing together, with “FLY AGAIN” standing out. After the 2nd chorus, they sing in trios (I think?) leading to Yamapi’s solo verse which in turn leads into the final chorus. The pure instrumentation at the end was a nice touch.
「Smile Maker」 starts with the piano and Yamapi’s low voiced rap. The starting chorus is fast and upbeat and leads into an equally fast verse. Though the verses are fast, the boys manage to not sing too fast and cause confusion in what they are singing. The ending has some edited voices that end the song pretty well.
「Forever」 starts off brightly with, “you are my precious baby, itoshikute”. The song continues to be bright as the members sing and lead well into a fast, upbeat chorus with many English phrases in it. After the second chorus, Yamapi sings a verse all in English in a low voice and allows the instrumental to lead into the last chorus. The singing ends with a sweet, “zutto, I will love you forever”.
「バンビーナ (Bambina)」 is an upbeat electronica song. As soon as the first verse comes around, the instrumental quiets down as the boys almost whisper in low vocals their lines in a mysterious tone. By the bridge and into the chorus they go up in volume as they sing about “bambina”. Yamapi does this short dialogue in a low voice which I’m sure can make a fangirl squeal haha.
「きらめきの彼方へ (Kirameki no Kanata e)」 begins with a pretty orchestra coupled with guitar and piano to make a light, upbeat instrumental. This song is reminiscent of TEPPEN and their style from early debut (pretty sure this song was released in one of the singles before TEPPEN).
「夢の数だけ愛が生まれる (Yume no Kazu Dake Ai ga Umareru)」 uses pretty piano notes and some use of other instruments to make a pretty ballad. It reminds me of something… can’t place what it is right now though. Maybe it’s when you watch tv shows and all the characters start to sing in unison, it sounds like this song. Or vice versa, haha.
Creating a soft, but uplifting atmosphere with is 「2人/130000000の奇跡 (Futari/130000000 no Kiseki)」. There is an upbeat guitar instrumental (along with the synthesizer, etc) at first, but that soon quiets down as the members sing smoothly through the soft electronica instrumental. The chorus brings back the upbeatness and it’s quite interesting to the note the English: “I want you, I need you, I miss you, my love. Forget you, goodbye, I don’t want to do it.”
An acoustic guitar and orchestra start up 「真冬のナガレボシ (Mafuyu no Nagareboshi)」 which is led by Yamapi before Massu comes in for a mid-tempo beginning chorus. It’s another light-hearted song with laidback but still sweet verses.
「チェリッシュ ＜Ryoji（from ケツメイシ）Remix＞ (Cherish -Ryoji Remix-)」 is a autotuned, mix of guitar and electronica to make the sweet Cherish into a more upbeat, happy song. The boys’ vocals are slightly sped up and autotuned to match the new remix. I personally like the original better though.
「永遠色の恋 (Towairo no Koi)」 starts with a twinkling instrumental as Yamapi starts by singing smoothly with an echo in the background. The others follow suit and lead into a nice chorus as they sing together pretty well. After the pure instrumentation, which was after the 2nd chorus, TegoMass sing with Masuda leading and Tegoshi singing the higher notes. The ending is quite nice as the drums and chimes fade.
These are all solo songs that should be familiar if you’ve watched all of NEWS’ concert DVDs. None of these solos have been released on CD before so these are all new studio versions of their much loved concert solos.
Starting off with Koyama’s solos, is 「Love Addiction」. It’s a hot track as female vocals whisper “Love, addiction” in an upbeat electronic instrumentation. Koyama starts off with a low rap which comes off as really suave and sexy. He ups the volume in the bridge and belts out his vocals, which later go into the more upbeat chorus where he sings, “Love (Rabu) Addiction~ Show me your affection~” It’s a fairly short song, ending at just after three minutes.
「Private Hearts」 follows the mood of Love Addiction, this time with a mix of the synthesizer and keyboard as this song is more of an elegant kind of seduction. Lots of awesome rapping from Koyama in this song. This is another short solo, ending at just under two minutes and thirty seconds.
Last of Koyama’s solos is 「Uri Sarang」 (title means We Love/Our Love in Korean) which is a mid-tempo R&B instrumental mixed with autotune and later synthesizer. I got so confused at the beginning of the song (I haven’t heard this solo before) because I thought he was singing in Korean and I’m pretty sure he is, but I’m not exactly sure because his lines in the verses are heavily autotuned. The chorus is definitely in Japanese/English though. This really follows kpop trend though, in my opinion. Not sure if that was what Koyama was going for? Especially with the title being in Korean.
Now we’re onto Massu’s solos! 「暁 (Akatsuki)」 begins with some Taiko and traditional Japanese instruments to create the right mood for the song and I envision the image of daybreak (the meaning of Akatsuki) immediately. Massu also does the right thing to direct the mood the same way with the way he’s singing and his quick paced lyrics. A really short solo, under two minutes long.
「Pumpkin」 is full innuendos, I swear. He starts off with, “Yo! What’s for dinner tonight? I wanna pumpkin!” The instrumental is full of low electronica while Massu’s vocals are sorta muted by the instrumental. His vocals are mischievous and sly. I think the studio version gives off a totally different feeling from the live version, which is a case where I think maybe this song would’ve been left off better just being performed live and no actual studio version be recorded. Another short one.
Last is 「SUPERMAN」 starting with a kid’s voice going, “Ah! Superman!” before Massu comes in going “SUPERMAN!” The instrumentals are a mix of club sounds as Massu sings in low vocals, almost making this song, although about Massu being Superman, seem really mysterious and trying to draw in the listener’s attention. This song is the longest one; at just over three minutes.
Starting Shige’s solos now! 「HAPPY MUSIC」 is an upbeat, overly energetic rock song as Shige’s vocals are radio edited in the first few lines of the verse before it gets taken off and it’s just Shige’s raw vocals. The chorus is fun as he sings, “Baby, listen to the happy music!”
「カカオ (Kakao)」 is another rock song that’s both interesting and incredibly fun to listen to. We start off with the band playing lines and pausing. Rinse and repeat. Once we hit the verses, this song turns into a semi-jazz/rock song as Shige’s smooth vocals give the song its sweet connotation.
「シャララタンバリン (Shalala Tambourine)」 is another fun one, and, as you guessed it, another rock song! This time with the tambourine, of course. Shige takes charge of this song, singing with a upbeat lift to his vocals which really helps the mood of the song.
Lastly, it’s time for Tegoshi’s solos. 「ごみ箱 (Gomibako)」 starts with a quiet acoustic guitar before a soft percussion comes in. Tegoshi’s vocals are soft and gentle and as we get closer to the chorus, his vocals become more powerful and rich. Tegoshi really lives up to being NEWS’ best vocalist and it really shows here (and in the next few songs).
「Stars」 is another ballad, this time with a romantic guitar spicing things up and Tegoshi’s low vocals. Love the way that Tegoshi connects the bridge and chorus together and his strong vocals really bring the emotions to this song.
The album ends with 「愛なんて (Ai Nante)」, which most fans should know was originally sung by Nishikido, Shige, and Tegoshi as a trio. Tegoshi used this song as his solo in their last concert tour (before Yamapi and Nishikido left) and considering most of the original was already all Tegoshi’s lines, he’s just filling in the other 1/3 of the song.
All in all, an awesome album. There is nothing new in this album, just a bunch of songs that make fans feel nostalgic (and myself) over what NEWS used to be.