Title: Hana no Arch/Brand Boy
Release date: 11 FEB 2015
Version: Type A/B/C
What makes them stand out is not just that each member is featured on either the front or back but there is a theme for each version. Type A has petals, B is water and C is clouds/smoke. The front and back are divided on which track of the double A-side is the focus. The front covers feature the girls that make up the group sub-unit Sun Chu and are in theme with the song Hana no Arch. The back covers feature the girls that make up the sub-unit Bling Bling Princess and have a dark and cool image to go along with the song Brand Boy.
1. 花のアーチ (Hana no Arch)
A spring song from the group that captures that fresh feeling one tends to associate with the season. A nice solid pop song that has a hopeful feeling to it, which again fits the theme of spring that they are going for with it. Overall it is just pleasant to listen to and a good track to listen to if you want to relax.
2. Brand Boy
I love this song and it is one of my favorites from the group. This favors the "cool" side of the group with a bit of a jazzy sound to the usual pop sound from the group with the use of trumpets throughout. Kaede gets a chance to rap in the song and the transition to it and back to the rest of the song flows perfectly. The chorus has a nice catchiness to it and it could easily have been the lead A-side of the single.
3. Brand Boy 11:30 pm
The song exclusively on the type B version of the release. It is another version of Brand Boy but with only half the girls performing it. This is actually nice since gives the girls a chance to really show off their voices with less members to spread the solo lines between. Unfortunately I am not familiar enough with everyone's voices to tell by ear who is in the trio and I cannot seem to find that information anywhere. I swear I could at some point and it is not the sub-unit split like usual. But I do know Kaede is not one of the girls as you can easily tell it is someone else trying to cover her rap solo, and not doing as well with it.
4. Brand Boy - 6:30am
This is the exclusive track for the Type C version and like the one on the type B it also is the Brand Boy song with only half of the group members performing. So there is not too much more to say that I did not say with the previous review. This grouping definitely has Kaede in it as her rapping is really hard to miss.
Overall: Brand Boy really makes the single for me. Hana no Arch is nice in its own way but it is not the song I keep going back to like Brand Boy.
I really like the covers for this release and it does make you want to collect them all, or at least the one with your favorite as they do all get a solo shot for them. But the themes work so well for both sides and it is really something that a smaller group like Chu-Z can do without it feeling like it is too many versions to buy.
The exclusive tracks are something I want to revisit as I recognize voices more and more so I can figure out how the break down for them goes. That and it is nice to be able to hear much more of every girl in those versions.
It is a pity that none of the versions have the PVs for the A-sides on them, so far they are only on youtube for viewing though. That would have been really nice to have had. And that is basically the only negative I can think of for this release. It is just really solid overall and I still love it.