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The long awaited album from V6 after Ready? in 2010. On the way to their 20th anniversary, V6 seems to get stronger in the recent years and it shows in their songs. With this album, they show how the group has matured over the time without losing its personality. V6 is one of the most stable boyband group that I've encountered, from music wise. For all of their song, regardless of the genre, tune, tempo, you can tell, it's V6's, especially if you've been listening to their songs from the very beginning, Music for the People. You can identify V6's identify in them. And that's why I've adored V6 from their debut and never waver. Other boyband groups may come and go, but not V6. So, what's the strong point of V6?

I'd think V6 has finally re-affirmed their identity after their Sexy Honey Bunny single. As a group with strong vocals capabilities (minus Miyake's duck voice, off course, but I still love him regardless), V6 is capable of pulling of lots of different genre, from ballads, hip hop, R&B, even Broadway musical kind of songs. For the past few years, up to Ready, I'd think V6 kept experimenting on what defines V6. Some style works, some style not so. What fits the current market is also another factor to consider as V6 is still fall under the main stream idol group, and they have to appeal to broad general public to gain market share and compete with the rest of other groups. Granted V6 is not the best selling group despite of all the talents it has, but they survive. Being still existing and charting year by year is the prove of their survival.

With Sexy Honey Bunny, it seems V6 realized what works for them. First, the song must be catchy! It has to have catchy phrase, no matter how weird they are in the first place, but that few words will stuck in people's head. Take example, after Sexy Honey Bunny, all their title songs has catchy title, Bari Bari Buddy, Keep On, Rock Your Soul. They can yell out these catch phrase in the song, which gives a kick to the song itself, and it works! Then, the melody. Tonisen will always describe their song as 80's sound while Kamisen will come up with the more catchy description to describe their song personality. Yes, the core point of V6 songs is bold and full melodies plus retro sound. This not so much applied to their ballads, which also have their own way to identify that these are V6's ballads. Next point is the tune. No matter you spin them, V6 songs will always sound timeless. It'll fit just nicely in all their concerts. You can mix them up with their older songs and you see little gaps. That's why they always have the retro sounds for the dance numbers, happy cheery sounds for the likes of Bari Bari Buddy or Latin beat sounds for the likes of Chou. Then, you get the lyrics. V6 songs never ever have meaningless lyrics, never. Over time, they play a bit with the lyrics, hinting seduction to make it more sexy, but it always has meaning. And that leads to the strong point of their ballads. Besides beautiful tunes, their ballads has beautiful lyrics. And adding on Tonisen's beautiful vocals, and you have ballad songs pleasing to your ears.

And they compiled all these strong points, and package it in the Oh! My! Goodness! album. To make it even powerful, the members take one more step further by involving themselves in the production. The results? You can tell their personalities shine in the songs. Take for example, Otona Guyz. Miyake involved in this song and the result? A fun, colorful song and it'll remain as fave for lots of fans for a long time. Why? Because it has V6's signature all over the place. I personally think this song is the best song in the album :). To make your experience better in indulging yourself with this album, you have to listen to the tracks in order, don't shuffle. There's a reason why they arrange those songs in that order. I can't really describe it but as I listen to the tracks, I kept thinking 'ah, yeah, it makes sense'. The flow of these songs is so smooth, and you'll feel the maturity beneath all those fun songs. This album is really well thought off and neatly packaged that it's worthy for fans to wait that more than 2 years after Ready?. I can't even imagine how awesome the concert will be with this set of new songs, and unfortunately I won't be able to witness it live.

V6 is not just taking what works for them in Oh! My! Goodness! There are also some aspects of experiments in some songs, but with better judgement. They tweak what already works and add more personalities. For example, BING♂. They add tons of fun element in this songs. You can bet it'll fit nicely in John Travolta's 'Saturday Night' movie, so yeah, it's that retro. But, at the same time, it's so V6. You'll hear Tonisen jamming to the tune and Kamisen busy rapping away and they wrap it out with 'bing bing bing, bing bing bing, bing bing bing... GO' and that Go sounds are so playful that it's fun to listen to. Want something even more retro? Try 'D.I.S'. This song is so YMCA era, and by the time you finish listening, you'll be humming 'D.I.S shiyou, D.I.S shiyou.' I'd think no matter which generation you are from, you'll enjoy this song, just like how you'd enjoy the YMCA song. Or how about something more rocking but with retro sound? You can listen to 'Exotic Trip.' As you listen to it, you'll feel as if you're up there on the way to venture to a fun exciting adventure... exotic trip. The song suggest that you're to taste something new, therefore exotic. To change the mood, there's Senkou Hanabi... the only ballad in the album (yeah, this album pack with so much punch that V6 only need to rest with 1 song). Again, even the ballad is so V6. Beautiful vocalwise, the lingering lovely ballad, you'll never get enough of it. Not the best V6's ballad (especially if you compare it with the likes of WALK), but for this album, it flows nicely and works as a bridge. Another so-called ballad is 'May Be.' I don't consider this ballad though, it has more R&B feel and lots of autotune, but it works for this song and it's very kakkoii. I hope they perform this song in SCP someday, a glimpse of it in Music Lover is not enough. And let's not forget the flag song for this album, Supernova aka the sexy song. Only V6 can sing this song and I definitely can't imagine Sexy Zone singing this song (well, maybe 20 years later they are eligible to sing this song), or even Arashi. This song is really made for V6, and they rock every time they perform this song. My favorite part? Ken's! Gotta watch his face expression when he performs this song... the seduction level goes to a different level, haaa...

I always have high expectation when it comes to V6 and I'm very seldom disappointed with their releases and it's been like this for years. Unlike some Western bands who rarely come up with releases or worse, just a one time hit wonder, V6 has consistently coming up with releases and they maintain the quality, not just for the sake of releasing something.
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V6 - Rock Your Soul

There are saying that 40s is when human will start to show signs of aging.. rapidly... well, normal humans... but not V6! 20th Century are going 40, passed 40, but they're getting cooler and the Kamisen boys don't look their age at all (well, except Go, but look at Ken... sigh...). And music wise, their music is actually getting cooler and more thought of before releasing. I'd think since Sexy! Honey! Bunny!, yeah, after so many years and singles, V6 finally finds the core music style that they're good at, the cool party music with 80s disco sounds for the title song. And after that, no matter how you spin it, the 80s sound is there, plus minus auto tune and all the mixing, layering and whatever stuff you do in music arrangement. The results? My ears are happy and satisfied and Rock Your Soul will be played during my commuting hours. 

Rock Your Soul, Yeah!!! )
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I always consider working out as a torture, especially running on the treadmill. I've tried other types of workout but none of them last that long and my gym membership is just a pure waste of money, Yeah, I may be just have lots of excuses, but the main reason why I hinder gym at the end of the day is because of the music! It's very simple. I like Johnny's music (fluffy, bubbly, pleasant to the ears and heart type of songs) but there's no way normal gym not in Japan will play those, right? And worse, no matter how good your earphones' noise cancelling feature are, you're still going to hear the blasting standard gym music. So, to not feel so bad of wasting my money over gym membership and to keep myself for not getting too fat from the cakes, I bear with going to gym and exercise for quite years... until... Arashi concert DVDs! Yeah, with concert DVD, I'm bring the gym to my dear home, buy my own treadmill and heck care with my gym membership because at least I work out, healthier and definitely happier.

But why concert DVDs?

Simple answer. Arashi concert set lists have repeated patterns that are perfect for me, at least to my workout routine. For me, the lazy girl, I only need 30 minutes to work my butt off on a treadmill, any workout after that is a plus but not a must. So, this routine fits well with Arashi concerts because they offer you:
  • Disk 1: Opening portion - they have upbeat tunes to hype up the audience for about 15-20 minutes, then about 5-7 minutes slowing down and move it up again. If you'd like to extend the routine to 40 or 45 minutes, that'll even better because the up tunes will be there for another 10 minutes until the next solos or another slowing down. The plus point for this? You don't need to cut, skip or fast forward anything, just let it run on your TV while you're spinning the wheel like a hamster. My fave Disk 1 are Time (the best because 30 minutes is about Yes? No? or Carnival Night and if you feel like it, just run for another 5 min longer until Carnival Night ends), AAA (for AAA usually I end up extending because they slow down after 20 minutes and I like to cool down with Subarashii Sekai LOL), and 5x10 (my work out usually done a bit after Aiba's solo).
  • Disk 2: About 20 minutes after it runs, they'll have a series of high dance tunes again and usually it'll last about 30 minutes including the always cool performances up to their grand dance song of the year and a bit of some cooling down song if you want to stretch a bit. Perfect, right? Again, you don't need to do anything, just let it play and you just need to start running. Example: in Beautiful World, Nino's solo ends at about 20 minutes after the Disk 2 starts, you can start from there and by the time it's aisatsu, 30 minutes has passed!
  • Encore time: Usually is about 30 minutes as well. I usually use this for light treadmill work out (not really running). Time's encore is slightly longer, but that's fine as you can stop anytime.
The other Johnny's concert DVD with similar pattern is V6's Ready, Sexy Honey Bunny and Vibe concert DVD. I like Sexy Honey Bunny concert for workout better because their have lots of upbeat dance song in their set list. V6's older concerts have lots of broken down MC, so it's difficult to just let 30 minutes playing w/o skipping, unless you feel like running while watching the boys talking. It doesn't really work for me because my running is also slowing down as the songs get slower or worse, it's MC time (which is why watching drama on treadmill doesn't work for me as well). NEWS concerts is also adopting the same breaking pattern, so I rarely use NEWS for work out.

What's so nice about this though? Well, for me, Johnny's concerts are always so colorful, full of glitters and pleasing to the eyes. And instead of just sitting on the sofa and be a couch potato, why not be more productive and sweat a little of fats off? :D.

I haven't tried non-Johnny's concert DVD because I'm satisfied with using Arashi's.

Note to Johnny's: If you can come up with proper DVD workout using Johnny's songs, doesn't matter if it's body combat or simple aerobic exercise, or even better, have the boys demonstrate the work out, this fangirl will definitely be slimmer and happier in near future and won't consider work out as a torture, promise! LOL!!!

I'm so happy to see this kind of beautiful scene when I work out, how about you? :)
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Just watched SP today in the theater, am actually impressed that I get to watch SP first before Gantz (it's coming to SG next month, yay!), and actually never really expect to see it released here. It's good that you watch the drama first, or you just watch the SP episode which is basically a summary of the whole drama, in other words, a waste of time if you already watch the whole drama, before going for this movie to get the background on the characters. But, even if you never watch the drama, the plot itself is quite easy to follow because everything is already layed out for the audience, not much twist like what you have in the drama. So, what makes this movie ranked as #1 for few weeks in Japan then, besides being released at the good timing?

First of all, the actions. In deed it's more packed with action compare to the drama. You'll see Inoue (Okada's character) jumping up and down over rows of cars, running a lot (literally), doing lots hand-on-hand combats. And Inoue is much less blur now, although his series of migraines is getting more frequent, but nevertheless, he's becoming more like the model SP. More explosives and more crowds are used to prove that this is a movie, not a drama. I particularly like the scene towards the end when Inoue throws back the dynamite to the baddies and blows up their car. That's just kakkoii. And then when he challanges the snipper to shoot him, that's to show how pissed off he is with the baddies haha...

The plot, well, it's after the biggest twist from what the drama left off, so you basically know who the baddies are, and in this movie, you'll come to know that there are more of them and even more powerful ones. And the nerdy guy with the glasses who is always around in the corner on almost every scenes be it in the drama and now in the movie, turn out to be the a somewhat good guy. I wouldn't go as far as saying he's really a good guy yet, but judging from the current plot, he's working to uncover whatever behind the suicide of the Chief Police. Off course, the additional point that's not included in the drama is that the suicide of Ogata's dad. And that he planned to kill the prime minister himself, if not the incident with Inoue's parent occured at the point of time. They didn't go as far as to give more hint on what makes Ogata wanted to kill the PM then or how he starts harbouring the intention of changing the world by doing something revolutionary, as with intention of planning fears in society, which is none other than terrorism. In the middle of this whole mess, there're lots of politics going around as the setting itself is the circle of politicians with the SP officers guarding them and caught up in the middle, and Inoue is the perfect example, of being standing out too much that the baddies wants him dead, but as of this movie, they didn't manage to kill him yet.

And, the last part, this is not the last part of the story! There's 1 more movie coming up, the Kakumei Hen! There's no news yet on when it's going to be released in SG, but the last bits of the movie show a trailer of the supposed to be 'Last part'. The OST, it's still the same old 'Way of Life'. Overall, it's a good and entertaining movie, not much on the acting, but hey, it's Okada, so I'm in, V6 FTW!


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