Blog: Countdown to Are You Happy?

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10 more days till the release of the “Are You Happy?” album!

MV previews for the lead song, “Don’t You Get It” is out and it looks like a fun, funny music video.

The MV shows each of the members trying out something and failing terribly. Whether it’s to impress a girl, or even try and play with a dog.

Personally I’m not as fond of Don’t You Get It. While it sounds unmistakably Arashi, it just doesn’t fit my taste in music. The MV looks really fun though, and I’m looking forward to seeing the making video as well. Arashi sure looked like they had tons of fun doing it!

Something else that undoubtedly piped my interest is the album track listing and all the ‘supervised by Arashi member’ songs. This is an aspect of Arashi that I really like, that they are constantly trying to improve themselves. From the ‘level up’ project many years ago in the All or Nothing DVD Where Ohno tried capoeira, Aiba played the saxophone and ended up with pneumothorax, Sho tried to write rap lyrics and ended up with All or Nothing song, to Arafes 2013 where each member was in charge of designing their own corner of the concert, and the Japonism concert where each of the members learnt a new skill for their solo song… They are constantly trying to test the limits, push the boundaries in an effort to surprise and wow the audience. And this time, supervising the song? What does it mean really, to supervise the song. The song and lyrics are still written by someone else after all. Perhaps the musical direction? Or lyrical theme/idea? Pardon my lack of musical know how but I really have no clue.

What I automatically connected it with though, was whether the individual members will also be in charge of that song in the concert. Like how it will be presented, the theme, the feel. I think asking that all of them do the choreography would be near impossible, with the exception of Ohno that is.

Arashi is deeply involved in their own concerts. Member Matsumoto Jun is the concert producer, meticulously designing and checking every detail. Lighting, sound… Even the LED lights used, he has a part in it all. Ohno brings his dancing talent to the stage, choreographing the dance moves for their songs. Well, not all of the songs, but a fair number. He also consults with producer Jun on the direction of the choreography. Aiba on the other hand, with his wacky personality and love for all things new and fun, has had a hand in their concert goods, like the absolutely hilarious and overdone 2016 calendar from last year’s Japonism tour.

Back to the album though… I’m really interested to hear the songs. Their solo songs too, have really curious titles. Fans have even speculated that the member solos were for each other. Like Jun’s Baby Blue for Ohno (whose member color is blue), and Sunshine by Sho for Aiba Masaki, often referred to as the sunshine of the group for because of his cheerful, positive personality. I guess we’ll have to see wait till the 26th to find out!

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