“愛するより飛ぶ”? Not here, at least.
I want to say that I am still, 100%, an Arashi fan.
I think, in all likelihood, I probably am.
It still doesn’t mean One Love is going to get it easy from me.
To be honest, since I still have Dream “A”live to review for this blog, I wasn’t even going to touch One Love at first. I watched the PV, noted it, groaned at Nino’s capris, and then moved on. But something happened.
The talks for Maou, Ohno (and Ikuta Toma)’s new drama, started popping up.
And like any good promotional talk, they played the theme song – truth, also by Arashi, and presumably coming to a single being released near you. If you’re a lucky fangirl who lives in Japan. I fell in love with it at first listen, and One Love is going to suffer all the more for it. Too bad.
Actually, I keep saying bad things about One Love, but I don’t really hate it. The use of bagpipes is unique, and I’m rather fond of the music. I could listen to the instrumental over and over again, in fact. The vocals are as good as you can hope from any Arashi song, with the usual Ohno/Jun and Aiba/Nino/Sho combinations, and I still melted when Nino started the second set of stanzas (of course, my tension went back down when Aiba continued the next line, but we can blame the summer heat).
But I still don’t like the song, and I think a great deal of blame goes to its automatic association with prior singles WISH and Love so sweet. Due to them and Hana Yori Dango as a whole being fangirl favorites, I’m thoroughly sick of them – singing, mixing, coding, listening, talking, seeing – especially when Arashi has many other singles. One Love still has time, but it’s inevitably going to fall into that same category, so I may as well give it a head start.
Speaking of that, the bonus track on the limited edition of this single happens to be the FINAL Remix feat.WISH, Love so sweet, & One Love. If you couldn’t get an idea of the track from that title alone, you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog. I actually had a huge paragraph (twice) dedicated to going over this, but WordPress ate it (twice). So forgive me if I’m sick of it and don’t especially want to bring it up for listening to once more. What you need to know – each song has about a minute and a half dedicated to it, fast ragtime-style piano has been added to WISH, One Love got some unnecessary electric guitars and brass horns, and Love so sweet has had its “wow wow wow//yeah yeah yeah” refrain relegated to an annoying position with a vocal filter placed over it and repeated behind the stanzas. Surprisingly, I rather enjoyed the Love so sweet mix, given it was a refreshing take on the original.
But I still don’t like the original, or the track as a whole. (No prizes for guessing which version of the single I won’t be picking up.)
How to fly, the B-side to the regular edition (which also had the instrumentals), will probably end up being the only song I like, but with good reason. It takes quite a bunch from Latin pop in its music arrangement, and probably wouldn’t be too out of place on the discography of, say, Enrique Inglesias. The vocals deliver both attitude and strength beautifully, the chorus is amazingly catchy whether you prefer to express it through dancing or singing, and the music works well with Arashi’s blend of voices. The lyrics carry an inspirational message that doesn’t stray too deep into the realm of cliche, and also a refreshing break from the love story of the aforementioned two tracks. While it’d be a decent A-side all on its own, I especially want to see this on an album, especially after gypsy-style wonder that was Once Again. Oh, and the chances of me getting sick of this song within the next 3 months isn’t likely.
Basically my entire problem with the single lies with its association with Hana Yori Dango. Which is all fine and good as far as I’m concerned – there’s no rule saying I can’t dislike HYD and still be an Arashi fan. (And if someone tries to make up such a rule… I didn’t like Kimi wa Petto either and haven’t bothered to watch Stand Up! yet. What are you going to do about it?) But then again, probably most other Arashi fangirls are romantics. Me? I’m Ready To Fly.