w-inds.’ Single Mega… Flop.
Hopping on the bandwagon (is there even a bandwagon for this sort of thing?), w-inds. released a Mega-Mix
single album disc.
This comes 9 singles and three albums after their ~bestracks~ album. While you can claim that ~bestracks~ is an actual best-of album all you want, I’m going to refer to it as a Single Compilation with four iffy tracks stuck in.
Here, all 21 of their singles are included in the 23-minute titular w-inds. Single Mega-Mix track. So not only is this “Single Compilation Part 2”, do the math. That’s very slightly over a minute for each single. Just enough to squeeze the chorus and a stanza or two in.
So when I tell you that I’m disappointed – can you really blame me? The disc itself has 31 minutes of entertainment worked in, and normally you can squeeze at least 45 minutes onto an album. Obviously most producers won’t do that, waste of revenue and less profit, but still. You know. Possibilities.
Instead, 5 of the extra minutes are taken up by a radio edit of the original Mega-Mix. Call it a primer to w-inds. if you want, I just found it a lot less satisfying than the original 23 minute thing. The songs are mixed in a different order, but still. May as well just have used the 5 minutes for something else – say, Ryohei and Ryuichi’s solos at the PRIME OF LIFE concert? Can’t call copyright issues on those, they were written by the boys/for the boys themselves!
Speaking of concert-only songs, the other 3 minutes are used by something that will probably be the reason I buy this disc, if I buy it at all – Fire Flower. Originally performed in their ageha concert in 2005, this is w-inds. in pop-rock, and one of the better songs in that style by them. Keita gets the attitude right when he does sing, Ryuichi just naturally lends himself to rock, and Ryohei digs out his rapper’s demeanor for the stanzas. They won’t be the next L’Arc~en~Ciel or ORANGE RANGE (someone forbid), but it’s definitely a nice change in sound.
So. Back to the Mega-Mix. I’ve been spoiled by move super tune, which was an album with 18 full songs, all mixed into each other. Probably the best example of a mega-mix I’ve seen out of Japan, ever. Barring that, then Hamasaki Ayumi’s ayu’s HOUSE MEGA-MIX that was found on the second disc of her Loveppears album. 10 minutes, 9 songs, everything remixed and sounding good, dammit. Hey, even HINOI TEAM’s Mega-Mix tracks from their album were good! (Of course, it’s cheating a bit, what with the songs all being Eurobeat, but still.) Maybe avex just has a thing with Mega-Mixes that PONY CANYON clearly lacks.
In order, the songs in this Mega-Mix are: Yume no Basho e, Kawari Yuku Sora, Izayoi no Tsuki, Yakusoku no Kakera, IT’S IN THE STARS, TRIAL, BOOGIE WOOGIE 66, HANAMUKE, Forever Memories, Feel the Fate, Paradox, try your emotion, Another Days, Because of you, NEW PARADISE, SUPER LOVER ~I need you tonight, Love is message, Long Road, Pieces, Kirei da, and Shiki. Please note how they shoved most of the singles released after the best of album (with the sole exception of Shiki) at the beginning of the Mega-Mix, then included all the early singles, and then jumped back to the rest at the end. And it’s placed in general order of release, too.
I understand how the fluctuations in Keita’s voice as he grew past puberty would make for jarring transitions between w-inds.’ earlier singles and their later ones, and that it’d be too easy to just stick them all in exact order – but there also has to be a better way to arrange the songs. Instead, the gap between HANAMUKE and Forever Memories just seems even larger, not helped by the slow pause in the music where one ends and the other starts.
If these were individual mixes of the songs, it might be nice. Each song has been remixed, with different music and beat. For example, Pieces has a 20’s dance hall sound, BOOGIE WOOGIE 66 is more brassy. However, since we only get about a minute to get into the beat for each song, as soon as you’re grooving to one, you’re pushed into the next. The songs haven’t even been mixed together that well – try your emotion and Another Days seem like completely different songs that were just lazily shoved together because of the sudden difference in beat and music. Because of you suddenly brakes and then we get thrown into a tropical beat for NEW PARADISE (which is barely even heard before we jump into SUPER LOVER). At least take a few extra minutes to mix the songs into each other.
I don’t have any words to conclude this. Just… really. It could’ve been a much smoother roller coaster ride instead of the ridiculous bumper car game it played. There’s making money, and then there’s waste of shelf space. Guess what this one is?