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Review: Arashi - Whenever You Call
Arashi are one of the most legendary J-Pop artists of all time. Debuting in the late 90s, they proved a constant major player in the Japanese market, and despite a mid-career dip, they came back. It can be argued that their 2017 album is their best album. They are going into an indefinite hiatus at the end of this year, and have been releasing single after single for their upcoming farewell album (I presume). Of them, the quality varied. We got the excellent 'Kite' to the below average 'In the Summer', new English single "Whenever you Call" is between these two.
The moment the production starts, I am reminded of a classic J-Pop song of the late 2000s: TVXQ's 'Why Did I Completely Fall In Love With You', I cannot talk about how much I love that song without mentioning the guitar in the climax, and the natural vocal ability shining through despite it not being in the singers' native language. It also is remembered as one of TVXQ's last major singles before a near career defining hiatus. These thoughts went through my head in just the opening moment, increasing the expectations too high.
While it never reaches the vocal sweet spot as the TVXQ song did, the vocals are well-modulated, and there is some solid lines sung by the group together. I just wish it was performed in Japanese. Most fans that this song is dedicated for have heard Arashi in Japanese all these years, and they sound a bit strained in English. Other than this, the vocals work well.
The production is a lot more percussion based than I would like for a mid-tempo, and it never fully explodes with a guitar nor do the guys hit a proper end high-note. In the end, a bit more Japanese and Production flourish would push this to the amazing level. In the end, it is pleasant, but lacks ambition. So ignore me as I listen to 'Kite' again for the thousandth time.