After being teased by the short preview clips of Arashi’s “Beautiful days” for weeks it seemed that the November 5th release date had come to approach us at a crawl….until today and the delivery package finally arrived. My immediate thought was how wonderfully different the cover artwork is for each edition…night and sunrise or is it sunset? Both the RE & LE’s look lustrous with the simplicity of an orange hued and dark skyline stretching across their backgrounds respectfully but as this is a Johnny’s release, aesthetics are only the beginning…
The Limited Edition version (scanned above) includes the tracks “Beautiful days” and “Boku ga boku no subete” as well as the inclusion of a most welcome DVD containing the title track’s promotional video. =D….if only H!P would get on board with this format and include the original versions of all of their pvs with their accomapanying audio releases.
The regular edition (scanned below) is once again not ordinary or “regular” at all as it contains in addition to the two main tracks found on the LE, a third bonus track titled “Wasurerarenai” and with that karaoke tracks for all three songs! The thing that really caught me off guard when I first placed the RE CD into the player is that the display read: 61:41 in total time. O__o………Eh? nande? With six tracks total and songs usually having a play time of 4-5 minutes on average why was the CD so long? I let it run all the way through including the karaoke tracks noticing nothing odd in terms of song length…that is until the final karaoke track (6) had finished and when I approached the player to hit repeat I noticed that it wasn’t stopping and after a brief moment of silence an “ear on the wall” (haha ears can’t see!) experience began as the audio had turned into a gathering of the members of Arashi all with their distinct voices as they entered a mutual room. The candid conversations…just in case you’ve always wanted to know what Arashi discuss over a meal together in their down time, continued on for a whopping 34 minutes and 21 seconds!!…giving track 6, “Wasurerarenai” a total playing time of 38:35! Okay mystery solved and really so unexpected as there was no indication of this on the outer or inner packaging to speak of. I must say that Aiba has by far the most easily recognizable voice and the best laugh in Arashi……everytime he laughed I had to laugh! ^-^
Before getting to the title track’s awesome pv let’s start with the other coupling with songs including the bonus track on the regular edition.
At first listen I didn’t notice it readily but each track really has a distinct personality to them. The title track “Beautiful days” is the “elegant” one, following in the large foot steps of other “grand” ballads such as “Blue”, “Hero” and “Be with you” to name just a few here. The second track (uploaded above) “Boku ga boku no subete” is the “genki” one and it’s no less effective even in a mid tempo format. So we have elegance and genkiness which leaves a void of what type of feel…? Track 3 fills that need perfectly as it’s the embodiment of the “dramatic” one giving this release as a whole the trifecta of emotions in music.
And now for the main event, “Beautiful days.”
~ARASHI “Beautiful Days” (music video)~
I’m pretty speachless about this one but I’ll give it a try. This is really a production at its very finest as the engaging emotions put forth on screen couldn’t be made any more a perfect compliment to the heartfelt emotions of the song. The room is a slightly melancoly setting with a deep contrast found in the ceiling lights as well as outside lighting which appears later in the pv flooding the room with an aura of optimism and hope. The artistic touch of the off balance frames, ladder and woodwork in the room make for a memorable and distinct look for the room giving it an odd yet comfortable appeal. Also very much notable are the casual wear of all of the members giving both the song itself as well as the pv a “real” and down to earth sentiment. Beautiful yes, and the special effects of constellations, angel wings, and tears add a sweet feeling of heart and enlightenment….so adore the little frog too! ^-^ And the song itself…soft, uplifting, engaging, keenly poignant, sweet…..beautiful. Simply no one does it better than Arashi.
And one frog