KAT-TUN

 


Singles Below
FACE to Face
Fumetsu no Scrum
To the Limit
Run for You
White
Ultimate Wheels
Change UR World

FACE to Face
Written by Rachel Yarwood
"FACE to Face", KAT-TUN's newest single release, will be being used as the main theme song for the new movie "Ore Ore" and the song itself is quite charming. The vocal work has this continual smoothness that doesn't falter, which is what you would expect from a pop boy band is it not? The song does however pick up in places where there is a development of electronic mixed with classical that brings about a certain rock quality as well making "FACE to Face" that little bit more exciting. 
 On the other hand, "LIVE ON" (featured on the Limited Edition CD) eases any apathy you might have felt with "FACE to Face" because this track eminates a lot more enthusiasm and interesting musical compositions. 
The opening begins with an upbeat and jazzy electronic saxophone that continues more or less through out the song. With this sudden change of style you are instantly more attentive, the mood becoming less of your relaxed pop and more of a lively and spirited pop song. The vocal work is also more emotive and more melodic which really aids to make "LIVE ON" stand out the most on this release and be the track you will want to hit the repeat button with. 
"FACE to Face" will be released officially on the 15th of May and will come in three editions, Regular, Regular with DVD and Limited Editions. 
The Regular Edition will come with six tracks in total, "FACE to Face", "DRAMATIC" and "Ano Hi No Mama", plus the instrumentals for all three. The Regular with DVD Edition will come with three tracks, "FACE to Face", "FLASH" and the instrumental for "FLASH", plus the bonus DVD. Lastly, the Limited Edition will come with three tracks in total, "FACE to FACE" and two editions of "LIVE ON". This edition will also come with a bonus DVD featuring the music video for "FACE to Face".

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Fumetsu no Scrum
Written by Rachel Yarwood
KAT-TUN, comprising of Kazuya Kamenashi, Junnosuke Taguchi, Koki Tanaka, Tatsuya Ueda and Yuichi Nakamura, return with their second single of this year entitled "Fumetsu no scrum". 
"Fumetsu no Scrum", compared with their last single release "To The Limit", is a little less dance-like but by no means does it scrimp on the amount of energy and catchy pop melodies.
This track brings a strong beat and an infectively bouncy rhythm. Whilst combining the pop element, which sounds modern and uplifting, along with a few shy notes of electric guitar and also some classical. The vocal work for this track is complimentary with its youthful sound, combining the elements of melodic harmonies as an entire group, and Koki's rap, hip hop, contribution.
The accompanying music for this new song might sway fans opinions. Whilst it is not as cinematically interesting as "To The Limit", the video for "Fumetsu no Scrum" has been very well directed and includes dance routines. 
Depending on which of these singles you wish you purchase, if not all three of them, each version will give you a different side of KAT-TUN. Whilst "in the DARK" continues with that fresh and charismatic pop boy-band style, "Radio" takes a different route with a slightly more down beat, melodic and more mellow pop style.
"BLACK OR WHITE" on the other hand is the track, which stands out the most. Compared with the title song "Fumetsu no Scrum", this song radiates R'n'B and club dance, whilst Koki Tanaka takes the lead with the vocals. 
Koki Tanaka's vocals for "BLACK OR WHITE" compliment the style of this track really well with a slight “vocaloid” essence to it. This is not overly used but rather it is just enough to give the song an edge and take it away from the sweeter boy band element of "Fumetsu no Scrum". 
 KAT-TUN's "Fumetsu no Scrum" will be released officially on the 12th of September and it will come in three editions in total; Regular, Regular First Press and Limited Edition.
The Regular Edition will feature four tracks in total, "Fumetsu no Scrum", "Radio", "Fumetsu no Scrum" (Karaoke version).
The Regular First Press Edition will feature two tracks, "Fumetsu no Scrum" and "BLACK OR WHITE". This edition will also come with an additional bonus DVD. 
Lastly, the Limited Edition will feature three tracks, "Fumetsu no Scrum", "in the DARK" and "in the DARK" (Karaoke version). This edition will also come with an additional bonus DVD. 

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To The Limit
Written by Rachel Yarwood
Five member pop group KAT-TUN, consisting of Kazuya, Junnosuke, Koki, Tatsuya and Yuichi, will be releasing their newest single "To The Limit" officially on the 27th of June. This will be their first single of the year since the release of "Birth" last November.
"To The Limit" begins with the ticking of a clock, backed by a melody reminiscent of an old 80's arcade video game. This subsides into a slow pace drum beat and guitar melody which almost mirrors the melody of the game type sound, continuing through out the course of the song,  and as the vocals enter (a chorus of the entire band in unison) the feel to this track for the moment is something sensational. 
The pace is rather relaxed through the verses which are rapped (Koki), mixing both English and Japanese lyrics, a well used factor with much of KAT-TUN's material. This track alternates very well between this and the normal singing of the chorus, switching between the two perfectly and giving all of the members their own chance to shine. The harmonies as the full group come together for each chorus are not all that noticeable, which is a bit of shame, but with the interesting score and the inventiveness of the lyrics you can be almost tempted to skip over this small detail. 
KAT-TUN have an exceptional ability to mix genres with each release, between rock and pop, rap and soft ballads. In particular, "To The Limit" offers a pop and dance track with added drums, guitar rhythms, and expressive melodies of background programming. The catchy beats and rhythms, plus the energetic and explosive vocals for the chorus altogether, have provided fans of KAT-TUN with another good opening track to this new single. 
There will be two editions of "To The Limit" in total, a Regular Edition and a Limited Edition. 
The Regular Edition will feature six tracks, "To The Limit", "Sorezore No Sora", "Spirit" plus the karaoke versions of each.
The Limited Edition will feature "To The Limit" and "Walking In The Light" plus an additional DVD with the music video of "To The Limit".
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Run For You
Written by Rachel Yarwood
KAT-TUN are back again with their third single release of 2011, "Run For You", which is their follow up single from "White" which released back in May.
The now five piece vocal group are doing rather well, not just by topping the charts, but also commercially speaking, although the need for vast promotion to the level they are going at the moment is not really necessary.
"Run For You", the title track of the single released officially on 3rd August, will be being featured in the TV advert for 'Suzuki Solio'. It doesn't stop there. Two others of the overall four tracks on the regular edition of this release will also be used likewise, namely "Diamond", which will be used as a theme for 'Dramatic Game 1844' as KAT-TUN's very own Kamenashi Kazuya has been appointed to be special announcer for NTV's live coverage of this years' baseball season.
"Run For You", KAT-TUN's sixteenth single release so far, is a truly brilliant new piece from the pop group. From the very beginning you are drawn in by the upbeat, slightly electro pop, quality of the music and the catchiness of the lyrics, which is damn near impossible to resist singing along to yourself.
From their live performances of this song already, it is hard not to find yourself feeling uplifted by the dance element, and it does not take a mastermind to come to the conclusion that this will be just one of their songs that will do remarkably well for their next tour.
The vocals from each member are impeccable from start to finish. The chorus especially is victorious, the repetition of the lyrics together with the close to infectious melodies, will prove a challenge for sceptics of this group to not find themselves joining in.
Also, the vocaloid (robotic) effects that KAT-TUN have used for "Run For You", an ever increasing and popular element with many popular music artists of today, works really well with the style that the group are working with and sounds even better on their live appearances.
"Run For You" is arguably one of KAT-TUN's best single releases of this year at least. It is definitely a step up from their last and it is only too clear that the guys are still giving it their all and with great results.
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White
Written by Keita Eiri-Uesugi
KAT-TUN bring us “WHITE”, their fifteenth single release to date, which is to be used as the theme song for a cosmetic brand’s (Kanebo) advert.
The single begins with a drum roll, high pitched electric guitars playing a joyful beat, a backing synth that matches the latter sounds comes in, light piano plays and rounds off with a swirl of keys, before a steady beat takes over, and vocal work is introduced. From the get-go, it’s an upbeat and cheerful song, yet not much stands out at this point.
In regards to the rest of the backing music, the most dominant sound has got to be the guitar solo which has a quick and sweeping flow, with a heightened pace and succession of note changes keeping it above all else. The synth seems stereotypically pop-like, with the joyous string sounds and cutesy piano playing.
The vocal work has that KAT-TUN sound to it with a lot of chorus work from them, with over half of the majority of the track being sung altogether, but this would probably appeal to the advert it is aimed at. The rap, done by Tanaka Koki partway through is lifting in a sense that it has the ability to keep you listening, as overall, the composition of the track is a little simplistic and rather short too. The pitch is kept medium-to-high in range, with little variation. Sadly, a little boring to listen too.
“WHITE” is a little plain, with not much to make it stand out like previous songs, such as “CHANGE UR WORLD” and “RESCUE”. But, with it being for a commercial, it’s certain that KAT-TUN will continue to make good, catchy music in the future.
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Ultimate Wheels
Written by Kacey Woodham
As the second release since the departure of Akanishi Jin, following the hit single ‘Change Ur World’, fans have anticipated ‘ULTIMATE WHEELS’ since its announcement on Christmas Eve with great excitement. With their previous single hitting number one on the Oricon singles chart there is high hopes that ‘ULTIMATE WHEELS’ can match its success as well as give an equal, if not more musical enjoyment.
Instantly breaking out with the sounds of violins and keyboards with a rustic feel to the music and while these instruments are not new to KAT-TUN the style is not expected and very different to their usually style. There seems to be a theme of the boys trying things out of their comfort zone to prove their worth and so far it has paid off. As the pleasant intro flares with life and the beat of drums start with the easy going riffs of guitars the very KAT-TUN feel comes to light and Kamenashi Kazuya’s voice drifts in fluidly and smoothes over the music without being drowned by it nor is it over powered. Nakamaru Yuichi and the rest of the members join Kazuya with continuing of the first verse and the harmony is perfectly balanced as each member are given a moment to show their talent and the song already comes together with ease. The chorus crashes all together in a very traditional pop technique that many fans will know and love as the pace increases and the boys draw you in with the vocals they have been only perfecting more and more with each single. With the start of the next verse Ueda Tatsuya’s almost delicately leads with his softer voice and again the rest join him with that strength the band have which still keeps the power melodious and almost caressing. The only thing that ruins the illusion to this almost soothing song is the upbeat guitar and the loud drumming which gives a pleasant mixture of lively music with beautiful singing. The only thing some may find missing is no section for Tanaka Koki to share his addictive solo rap part in this song.
The single is another success for the already popular boy band who have announced a tour for the middle of this year which is planning to fill halls all over Japan and also and Asian tour after October. They have proved strong in the last half a year and while ‘ULTIMATE WHEELS’ may not have the same impact as ‘Chang ur world’ in terms of appeal, they have not disappointed with this easy listening single.
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Change UR World
Written by Dani Wilkinson
KAT-TUN is one of the few bands that most people who listen to Japanese music will at least have heard of. Formed in 2001, they've formed a large fan base over the past nine years with their different abilities and dancing talents. Shock came in 2010 when Akanishi Jin decided to depart from the band in favour of other things - leaving KAT-TUN one man short. But this didn't stop them. 'Going!' was released in May 2010, and showed the fans that yes, they can still continue as a five-man group rather than six. It was their 12th single and managed to top the oricon charts the week it was released. Following that, 'Change UR World' was released on the 17th of November, showing the fans that they're not going to give up on them. 'Change UR World' is the first single following the release of the album 'No More Pain' - but after hearing the song, fans would hope that it will be part of a full-length album in the near future.
The beginning of the song has a heavy guitar riff playing before leading into the vocals - making it sound like KAT-TUN have chosen a more rock-pop concept for their new single. It does flow, however, and keeps the whole song up-tempo. Each member gets a few lines here and there before harmonising together for the chorus in true KAT-TUN style. It still has the catchy sound and feel to it that most KAT-TUN songs have.
The chorus switches to the more pop-feel that fans are used to but then the verses flit back to the pop-rock sound - but it flows well and is pleasing to listen to. Even the bridges leading up to the chorus help keeping it all going, slowing down with drums and keyboards.
KAT-TUN are showing that, even after nine years of working, they can still find the right sound that suits their voices and they still harmonise perfectly.
KAT-TUN are one of the few bands these days that don't go over-kill with the auto-tuning and the fans can enjoy hearing their voices - especially Koki's rap abilities which only get a brief few seconds during 'Change UR World' but it still sounds just as good. Each of the member gets at least one line each - but forever keeping with the theme of Kamenashi getting at least the first line.
Overall, the song goes to show that even after a long period of time, and the loss of a band member, KAT-TUN still have what it takes to make catchy songs that stick in your head. And it could be thought that the meaning behind the song is all about taking your chances and changing your life for the better - breaking off what holds you back and starting new.
This single is definitely worth buying, or at least listening to it. KAT-TUN fans may be disappointed with the lack of Akanishi Jin but this single shows them that they don't need to give up hope on KAT-TUN. They still have what it takes to create a fantastic song with an impressive dance routine and interesting music video. Hopefully this is a good hint as to what is yet to come from the group.