Wednesday, June 15, 2016

NEWS - Chumu Chumu LE A/LE B/RE single

Limited Edition A
Artist: NEWS
Title: Chumu Chumu
Release date: 24 June 2015
Type: single
Version: LE A/LE B/RE

Limited Edition B
Packaging: The release is pretty similar to their previous single KAGUYA and the packaging is basically the same. The regular edition is in a thin jewel case so there is only the front cover which doubles as the CD jacket. The only image of NEWS used is on the cover and the rest uses the images of the rug patterns used on the covers for the pages which have the lyrics and credits for the CD.

The limited edition type A continues to keep things simple with the usual jewel case and the only image of the group members being on the cover.

The type b limited edition though is the one with the packaging that comes off as premium compared to the other ones. The cover booklet has the group picture of the group on the cover as well as a group picture in the booklet. There are also solo shots for all the members in the booklet as well. The bonus item for this edition is a set of four cards with solo shots of each member on them.

Track Listing:

1. Chumu Chumu
Honestly I cannot get into this song. I was really hoping to enjoy it as I really loved the single before it but Chumu Chumu does nothing for me. It goes for an Indian influence, which is not bad in itself, but only seems to use generic Indian musical sounds with the most interesting parts of the song being basic Japanese pop, which is mostly the chorus. The only part that the Indian music is used in an interesting way is the music break past the midway point of the song. I am overall just disappointed with this.

2. Nichi wa Mata Noboru
After the disappointment with the title track I am quite glad this song is on this single as a B-side for all the versions. Love the instruments used in the song, especially how it opens up with the song with the strings, and move into the chorus where the song soars. It is a solid song and fits well with NEWS’ usual group sound, as they seem to be moving in the direction of using classical instruments with some of their newer songs. That said the song itself is best left a B-side as it does not really have a hook to keep it in your head for long but it is a nice listen.

3. Megalomania
This is an exclusive B-side for the limited edition type B of the single. While the RE B-sides are more on the relaxing side this song has plenty of energy, with the chorus being the most energetic section of the song. This is a more techno/dance track with a nice driving beat that goes throughout the song. I love how it opens up with a haunting sound that comes and goes throughout the track. I feel that really helps make the song standout. Outside of that it is a solid track that follows the usual build and break down of pop songs and generally a nice listen.

3. Sweet Martini
The first bonus B-side exclusive to the regular edition of the single. It is one of their “cool and sexy” songs that they do from time to time. I love the chill vibe it has going on throughout and the chorus is the kind that will stick with you throughout the day. I actually like the use of autotune in this song, it is used smartly to work as an element of the song that is never overdone and the different modulations used give it a dynamic sound.

4. Sasabune
The other B-side that is exclusive to the regular edition and is ballad. Of course Tegoshi Yuya and Masuda Takahisa shine with their vocals in this song but Koyama Keiichiro and Kato Shigeaki are not shafted but definitely get the lines that do not require as much vocal work as the other two. But that only helps the song as it keeps everyone sounding good which for a ballad is pretty important as the vocals are a key element to them. That said Sasabune is a song I see getting lost within the group’s discography after their next album. They have plenty of ballads already and there are others that actually stand out unlike this one, which is nice but forgettable.

5. Chumu Chumu (original karaoke)

Regular Edition
DVD track listing:

This PV feels like they want to continue in the same vein as KAGUYA but not getting the director back for it. But it still works out as the India theme lets them bring in a lot of color with both sets and costumes.

There are also nice little touches for fans of the group to take notice of, like the use of member colors with solo shots. And the solo shots were dynamic, from having the close ups as the members rode a conveyor off screen to give the look of movement to them dancing in front of a curtain..

 The dance is really energetic and like the song itself takes inspiration from India. The screen caps really do it no justice and while I was not won over by the song itself the PV helped make up for it, especially the dance parts that even worked in back dancers.

The making of feature is a treat to watch from just watching NEWS interact with each other. They are given the opportunity to just talk about the PV and song as a group. You can tell the members have no trouble being at ease with each other as they joke around from time to time.

One of the things I really liked about this making of is that there is more of the behind the scenes footage shown with the members discussing things with the production crew. It helps show how involved the members are with their work.

As the dance is an important element of the PV we get quite a bit of footage of the guys working with dance choreographers on the set to get the moves down.

And of course it follows the entire filming so we get to see the guys watching the footage as it is being filmed and get their thoughts about it.


While I did not like Chumu Chumu as much as KAGUYA there is still plenty from the release that made it a worthwhile single to get as a NEWS fan. The B-sides are solid and the PV is fun to watch with a style similar to KAGUYA's without being a complete carbon copy of it. I just wish the title track was a stronger song.

That said, I can still say that I feel confident in the direction NEWS is going as a quartet and look forward to future releases.

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