Dream Alive

Dream Alive

by Arashi

CD

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Overview

Dream Alive

Ultra-supergroup Arashi are at the forefront of the Japanese boy band craze, as engineered by the Johnny & Associates folks. On Dream Alive, Arashi stay in their comfort zone, using their individual stylistic elements toward a unified, highly harmonized whole. There are a couple of stray ballads and a couple of short instrumentals on Dream Alive, but the key to the sound is, as always, light and poppy works. The boys of Arashi don't disappoint on that element. The album opens with a slight circus instrumental (a surprisingly common element in live performances), then moves immediately into a high-energy dance track complete with brief harmonizing, rapping (courtesy of member Sho Sakurai, whose delivery sounds strangely like Falco despite the linguistic differences), and the echo of female fans screaming in the background. "Happiness," a strong summer-themed song, invokes some mainlined, concentrated "Walking on Sunshine"-style energy. Some more basic pop numbers flow easily from the quintet during the next few tracks, with stylistic accentuation by way of pass-the-mike methods and turn-taking among the members. The ballad "Sirius" provides a chance for the boys to show their requisite softer side, but connects fairly well -- nothing surprising or new, but a well-crafted bit of pop candy. There is more rapping in "Flashback," this time with a strong touch of worthwhile jazz riffs and Sakurai mixing a little bit of Gerardo's delivery in with the aforementioned Falco sound. Mixes of English and Japanese come out regularly, shown off with decent effect in "Dive into the Future." Again, more basic boy band material is paraded through its steps, all hitting its intended marks (female fans, many having grown up listening to Arashi), ending the album with a few tracks anchored by the strong dance single "Step and Go." Dream Alive is a decent album throughout, well-crafted and well-performed. The basic J-pop aesthetic won't fulfill the strongest desires for authentic emotion and songcraft, of course, but in the realm of J-pop there are few groups with a sound sweeter than that of Arashi. [One edition includes a bonus disc featuring solo tracks from each of the five members.]

Product Details

Release Date: 04/29/2008
Label: Imports
UPC: 4580117621221
catalogNumber: 776060
Rank: 257071

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Arashi   Primary Artist
Shiro Sasaki   Trumpet
Masanori Suzuki   Trumpet
Ikuo Kakehashi   Percussion
Satoshi Sano   Trombone,Chromatic Harmonica
Jun Usuba   Tenor Saxophone
Susumu Nishikawa   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Naoki Hayashibe   Acoustic Guitar
Masaki Aiba   Vocals,Group Member
Jun Abe   Piano,Keyboards
Gen Strings Ittetsu   Strings
Jun Matsumoto   Vocals,Group Member
Hideaki Sakai   Percussion
Takeshi Taneda   Electric Bass
Takahiro Miyazaki   Alto Saxophone
Daisuke Kawai   Organ
Tetsuya Takahashi   Keyboards,Choir, Chorus
Melvin Lee Davis   Electric Bass
Satoshi Ohno   Vocals,Group Member
Masato Ishinari   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Electric Sitar
Akira   Choir, Chorus
Ryoji Yamashiki   Electric Bass
Tomohiko Tsuya   Choir, Chorus
Tanakam Ayuko   Choir, Chorus
Hiroomi Shitara   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Yasushi Sasamoto   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Mike Rose   Contributor
Jun Abe   Programming
Gen Strings Ittetsu   String Arrangements
Tetsuya Takahashi   Programming
Julien K.   Producer
Youth Case   Contributor
Carl Utbult   Contributor
Alfred Tuohey   Contributor
Shigeru Tanida   Engineer
Akitomo Takakuwa   Engineer
Yasushi Sasamoto   Programming

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