Bet on them or not?
I’ve been informed that I’m pretty lacking as an AAA fan of late, and also because I’ve sort of just left them hanging on this blog. This is apparently not allowed, and justice must be done, especially before their next album comes up.
So let’s go back in time a bit and finish up with the boys-only efforts, before they stopped being an actual boyband and went back to being a boyband with two (possibly 4) girls in it. I’m referring, of course, to the official release, CHOICE IS YOURS.
Actually, this release is a bit of a cop-out. It’s a mini-album at 6 tracks, and gives those who didn’t buy the digitally released songs a chance to own their own copies complete with booklet. As that also probably tells you though, only 2 songs were anything new, so if you did buy the digital release it seems like a pretty stupid thing that you did. (Everyone, meet Raid. Raid, who has rued many of his purchases many a time.)
You’ll notice that this review only has two songs. Because I’m lazy and the school season is starting once more for me, if you really must know what I think of the sandwiching tracks, then you can look it up here.
o3/ ZAPPER: If BET was Hidaka’s song, then this is Shuuta’s song. There is no question – every solo line is his, and his is the clearest voice in the chorus. If Urata and Nissy make a vocal appearance, it’s only as backups in the chorus, and because that’s the only place for them. Hidaka gets his rap, but Shuuta edges his way in there as well. Shinjiro can’t even get a mention. Which is a bit of a shame, because much as I do want Shuuta to sing more, he doesn’t shine as much as he can, even sounding a bit dead during the bridge. This is a track better suited to the five as a group, as I can easily hear Urata or Nissy pulling off many of the same lines with better flair. My problems with the vocals notwithstanding, it’s a great dance track, with a funky beat threaded by light guitar twanging, but it’s still nothing without the sung melody.
o4/ Crying Freeman: Never mind comparisons. In his e-mail, Shinjiro outright (and happily) declared Crying Freeman his solo. Which, well, it is. A sweet pop song with beats you could skip to, Shin-chan’s husky voice takes center stage here. Or tries, seeing as he has an unfortunate tendency to blend in the choruses where he’s backed by the rest. While he handles it aptly enough considering his limited range (he audibly begins to fade when he tries to go high during the first stanza), his best performance comes at the end when he fades out his line into the silent pause. It’s a good listen for the four minutes it takes up, but also not anything you might deliberately choose to go for.
The title of the album emphasizes a line from its 5th track, BET – “Bet on me or not? The Choice Is Yours//erabu erabanai wa kimi shidai” [To choose or not is up to you] – and given the choice, I wouldn’t take it. The boys as a group on their own, and perhaps this mini-album as well. Luckily enough, AAA has continued their activities as a 7-person group instead of a 5-males group, but memo to avex – if you’re going to try and challenge Johnny’s again, give us a better offering.