World World World by AKFG Album Review

Posted by Sandstorm in Music, Reviews on March 23rd, 2008.
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Japanese rock scene is a crowded one. Hundreds of bands make so-called Jrock and most of it is enormous crap. Luckily for us, there are some very good bands out there that really make good music. The best band is Asian Kung-Fu Generation and they’ve released their new album World World World.

The albumThis is their fourth real album and after one year of silence, they finally released it. The huge fan pleaser Sol-fa had the real AKFG sound, meaning, simple melodies with a hard rock/punk sound to it. With Fan Club, they abandoned that route and made with succes more complicated melodies, like angou no waltz. The new album however goes back to the roots of AKFG and sports simple melodies with simple guitar riff, nice drums and good bass.

Before I talk about the songs themselves I’ll say something about the boxart. The CD comes in a nice artworked sleeve in the traditional AKFG style. The booklet is made of somewhat harder paper than the booklets in Europe and the USA which gives the CD a very good (A.K.A. NOT CHEAPO) look. The Western CD publisher can learn a lot from Ki-oon records in this department. Another good thing is that AKFG finally realized that they have an international fanbase, so they decided (THANK YOU) to include official translations in the album. This is very very nice, because the lyrics are of quite a high level and really sketch a beautiful picture.

The album starts with the song World World World which is clearly "just" an intro to the album. I’m saying "just" because the intro is quite nice to listen to. It has a guitar part in it, which consist of an arpeggi for the most part, something AKFG uses a lot in this album. Essentially the song is one big crescendo until it ends and then the very very good song After Dark (for anime watchers: it’s the intro song of Bleach).

The melody of After Dark is very catchy. It start with a very good rythm in drums accompanied by nice accents in the guitar department. After the first verse there is a nice syncope part played by the two guitarists together, while at the same time the bass has a complete different melody. The bridge is in the style of the well-known Rewrite (something they do quite often in the album).

After After Dark we get Tabidatsu kimi he. It’s quite a nice song with a nice chorus, but the song does not have real character till the end of the song, but it doesn’t really stick in your head. The song directly "morphs"  in the next one: Neoteny. You can see this song as tabidatsu Kimi He part 2. It has the same vibe but musically it’s somewhat more interesting. The guitar plays interesting little notes that function as an accent more than melody and the good drums and bass make it complete. In the middle, it becomes quiet, an effect that lets you listen more concentrated to what follows. It all sound very well, but normally in songs the chorus is the catchy part, but in this song the verse is much more interesting. One of the reasons is that the chorus comes very very late. This is compensated by the beautifull ending though.

After Neoteny we get the song Travelogue. The beginning of the song isn’t interesting at all (the drum part with syncopes is the most interesting part there) but after the second chorus you get a guitar melody with reverb like the intro to rasuto Shiin.

The three last songs are quite good if you listen to them apart from one another, but on the album it’s more or less one big song; they don’t have a real character on their own. All songs have sweet parts in them but they dont stay in your head for a long time which means that the melody just isn’t very very very special.

After these three songs we get to the real big shots (together with after dark then) of the album, beginning with No.9.  This is one of the most catchy songs from AKFG, and that is quite a feat. If you read the lyrics, you’ll notice that it is in fact a protest song against certain people who wage war (…..B**H?). Musically it’s very nice too, with nice guitar and a very good bass. The bridge is an intro to the guitar solo which is very simple, the only thing I think that could be better about the song.

Night Diving is the next song and it is quite frankly the best song of the album. The lyrics are beautiful the reggae style beginning really sets the tone. After the refrain a very nice guitar solo starts after which the guitarist sings the lead part in a new melody supported by the lead singer. This is a very beautiful part and in the end both melodies (the reggae part and the more melodic one) are being sung at the same time. Superb song.

Laika is another good song. It’s about the little stray dog that was shot into space by the Russians. The lyrics are very dark (howl as much as you want, there is nobody out there) but the song on the contrary is very happy. This is quite sadistic. The chorus is very nice and the guitarsolo is very good too. In the bridge the somewhat sad tone is reflected in a good way… poor Laika….

Wakusei is a song that is floating between the likes of night diving and tabidatsu kimi he. It sounds quite alright, with a good introduction that sets the tone, but the chorus starts quite slowly and is not very convincing.

After wakusei we get the very nice Korogaru iwa kimi ni asa ga furu (yeah, sick long name….). This is the most relaxed and beautiful song on the album. The introduction is simply brilliant and the whole song breathes a very nice air. In the lyrics department this is one of the best songs: it deals with the uncertainty in love and all sorts of things, quite nice. Like a lot of songs on the album, the guitarist backs the lead singer with very good backingvocals which are superbly harmonised together. The only thing that could make it any less brillian (isn’t the case though) is the fact that the chorus is less interesting than the verse, but the overall vibe of the song compensates for it and the bridge in the song is simply brilliant.

Now we get to a song that’s quite strange. World World. I still don’t know what AKFG exactly wanted to do with this song. It’s an acoustic intermezzo kind of song, that functions as a sort of resting point before the final two songs. Why put it here? Why not in between track 7 and 8? Quite strange if you ask me. Overall this isn’t a real standalone good song. It’s a bigger chance to hear some adorable strange pronounciations of English words by our big Japanese friends.

Aru Machi No Gunjou is the song that follows, and is the oldest of the songs of the album. It featured as the theme song for the Tekkon Kinkreet movie back in 2006. Although the song wasn’t written at the same time as the rest of the album it fits in quite well and obviously it adds up to the overall quality. The beautiful intro that morphs into a fast paced rock song followed by a strong chorus and beautiful guitar solo. The only real shame in the song is the distortion in the cymbals; they weren’t mixed optimally. The bridge and ending are compensating for it though, with beautiful guiter and bass melodies.

For the last song AKFG must have thought, let’s end this album with a bang. Atarashii Sekai is one of the fastest songs ever made by AKFG. It has a simple but very strong chorus and it radiates power. The only question that pops up in my mind is: why didn’t they end with Aru machi no gunjou, so the album would disappear in thin air? Why immitate the big bang?

In the end, I can only say that the album is quite super, except for the characterless (but still good) tracks 3, 4, 5 and the strange placing of Atarashii Sekai and World World. But mark my words very well: those songs are still good (except World World, which is just strange) and do not spoil the fun. Then the only thing that’s left is the mark.

Due to the points named above the album does not get a 10, but a very well deserved 8.5. Great album, great comeback after 2 years of silence. A must have for every J-Rock lover and for fans of Western music, best album you can get when it comes to the Jrock scene, although the quality of AKFG is universal. Get into this band is my only advise.

Score

8.5/10

PS. For your help: the must listen songs (quite a list):

After Dark, No.9, Night Diving (best song of album, and best new track I heard for a while), Laika, Korogaru iwa kimi ni asa ga furu, Aru Machi No Gunjou, Atarashii Sekai.

Semi must listen song:

Wakusei

Have fun listening





11 Responses to “World World World by AKFG Album Review”

  1. simon.v says:

    I love AKFG and this review.
    I enjoyed reading it but and Ajikan album I’d give 10/10 (or more :mrgreen: ) simply because I’m a fan.

  2. simon.v says:

    Woop.. I meant to say “…but ANY Ajikan album I’d..”

  3. simon.v says:

    and I meant to say Woops…

    lol I hate typos!!!!

  4. Thilagan says:

    i agree with you simon.v. b’cause me too will give 10/10 . I haven’t listen the new songs yet but im sure that the songs are perfect and thanks for review guys.

  5. Shadice says:

    I Thought that having “Atarashii Sekai” was symbolically a great idea :smile:!
    It’s meaning is about the creation of a new world, which suits the concept of the album.
    So at the end of the album, a new world is born. :mrgreen:

  6. Assangenug says:

    Did you know that USA and Europe blocked Wikileaks? What do you think about it?
    Thank for all
    bye bye ;))

  7. anteniaencuby says:

    =^______^=
    Nya!

  8. Jeno says:

    man the reviewer is TRIPPIN
    the whole damn album was near perfect
    the only two songs i don’t listen to religiously are raika and aru machi no gunjou, and i still like both

  9. fayji says:

    šŸ˜› I like this album

  10. My friend referred me to your site, so I thought Iā€™d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more!

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