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I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Arashi -- Love So Sweet


Do I feel weird when I listen to this song? Yes.

Should I feel weird for listening and liking this song? Yes. Wait, no. Uh, I don't... know.



Those were the 2 questions that went around my mind as "Love So Sweet" by the mega-popular Arashi (嵐) played through my earpieces. Technically, I shouldn't feel strange for doing so as I still am within the aidoru quintet's target audience, but I cannot help but feel that way. I'm guessing this is due in part to a couple of reasons: 1) As you all know, I always stick to the senior performers, most with receding hairlines, of the genre the older crowd listen to, so the sudden switch, albeit for less than 5 minutes, to something people of my age may listen to was a shock. 2) Apologies to Arashi fans but Arashi is one of the many aidoru groups I tend to diss/ignore/roll my eyes at; having taken a liking one of their works was like eating a big scoop of irony with crumbs of humble pie sprinkled on top.

*Sigh* But a nice song is a nice song... ... There, I said it.

As to how I came about knowing "Love So Sweet", I'd like to take you back to when I still watched and was able to watch "Music Station" - the channel showing this pop music version of "Kayo Concert" got cancelled after a couple of years... Honestly I'm not surprised. If my memory serves it was during a Christmas Special and of course Arashi was one of the guests as they're always in Oricon's top 10. I think Keisuke Kuwata (桑田佳祐) was on too, which was why I tuned in. But moving on, Arashi did a medley of some of their past hits and though I was zoning out, one song managed to capture my waning attention for a brief moment. I never took note of its title so for the longest time since that "Music Station" episode, I knew it as "The only Arashi tune I don't mind". It was only until a few months back when J-Canuck had written his article for "Love So Sweet" did I finally solve this not-particularly-dire mystery. I had a feeling that that was what I was (sort of) looking for, and lo and behold I was right.

Listening to "Love So Sweet" once again, I'd describe it as your typical sweet (no pun intended) aidoru song with its jaunty and oh-so catchy melody and the boys going "Yeah, yeah, yeah". The piano part that greets you at the beginning was pleasant too. No wonder it was a hit. But the clincher was the chorus that made me wave my white flag... I suppose it was bound to happen some day. If I were to ever like Arashi, I think my favourite would have to be Kazunari Ninomiya (二宮和也). I mean, he has that innocent little smirk that is, let's be honest, cute.

A pretty good cover. It's what I listen to most of the time.

Also in J-Canuck's article as well as Marcos's comments was the topic of the quintet's choreography as they sang "Love So Sweet". They weren't a fan of it and neither am I. I find it rather cheesy - trying to be smooth and cool with varying degrees of success. However, if I were to view it from the perspective of a fan or just a normal teenage girl for that matter, I'd probably see their dancing as what I just mentioned, smooth and cool, and maybe cute too.

To end off, I guess I'll share this tidbit of personal information with you guys. One of my ultimate music fantasies, as odd as it may be, would be to see the enka-yo singers Mae-Kiyo, Hosokawa, George, Yoshi and Itsuki tackle "Love So Sweet". I think it'd be hilarious, especially when they try their hands at the choreography. Itsuki would do a fine job at that, the rest on the other hand...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_So_Sweet

Oh, I almost forgot. A Happy Chinese New Year!

7 comments:

  1. Hi, Noelle.

    Let’s say I feel the same way when it comes to Arashi. And I’m a big 25 years old brazilian guy, which makes things even worse. However, I learned – well, still learning, to be honest – to not feel bad for listening to the music I truly like. You probably know I’m an aidoru fan, and that’s far from what is usually played here in Brazil. But people listen to things even worse here, so I’m kinda safe.

    Back to Arashi, just like you, I just ignored them. It’s almost common sense to any non-Johnny fan that Johnny’s acts are bad... plain bad. But one of my best friends kept showing me songs from Arashi, until I finally found a couple of tunes I liked. In the end, I almost smashed my head on the wall for liking Arashi, but it couldn’t be helped: as I wrote in one of my past articles about them, they’re a group with 15+ years of career, and a big ammount of work (almost like an album per year), so they surely have a couple of nice songs for any J-Pop fan.

    “Love so sweet”, and also Arashi most of the time, is pure cheese, but I don’t care at all. It’s fun, I can sing it, and the music is not bad at all, if you listen to it without prejudice. It's also my mom's favorite from them. As for Ninomiya, he’s one of my least favorite. Aiba-chan and Sho-kun are the best, hahaha.

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    1. I can only imagine what are some of those things other people in Brazil listen.

      Couldn't agree with you more about Johnny's acts being bad, Marcos. Well, at least the Arashi fellows can still sing... sort of. Better than SMAP, that's for sure. That bit where you said that you almost smashed your head against the wall was funny, but I too was close to doing that myself (probably the table rather than a wall), even if it's just for one song. But yeah, Arashi's been at it for more than a decade so they have to be doing something right.

      Haha, oh wow, that Aiba fellow is actually the one I dislike! (Going purely by looks here) But Sho isn't too bad. He actually looks like someone from EXILE or J-Soul Brothers.

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  2. Hello, Noelle and Marcos.

    Well, I'm twice as old as Marcos and I can still like "Love So Sweet". :) In fact, there are probably a lot of songs that I've liked on this blog that I cannot really tell most of my friends outside of you guys. I guess I can say that some of these tunes can be considered guilty pleasures.

    As you said, Noelle, a nice song is a nice song. As long as it sounds fine to you, that's fine with me. Most of anything by any of the Johnny's groups is stuff that I won't touch but some of the really big hits by SMAP, Arashi and Tokio I can go for. However, I reallllly cannot abide by the choreography. I once saw SMAP provide backup dancing for the American group Black-Eyed Peas, and my eyes just started watering.

    Picking out who one's favourite Arashi member is was a pastime with a number of my colleagues. I'm not sure myself but I guess if I had to make a choice, I think I would go with leader Ono since he's got that rather button-down personality.

    I would be interested in seeing that enka lot trying out some Arashi dancing. We can all place bets on which singer cracks a hip first. :)

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    1. Ah, yes. "Guilty pleasure" is definitely a word to describe "Love So Sweet" and other (older) aidoru songs for me. I don't mind Tokio, and for SMAP I only like one song by them but I always listen to Noriyuki Makihara's version... Your eyes watering over SMAP doing the backup dancing for Black-Eyed Peas is understandable.

      Leeets see, I'd bet that either Yoshi or Mae-Kiyo would be the first to crack a hip!

      Well, seeing you guys who are older than I am saying that you enjoy "Love So Sweet" too makes me feel a little less weird about liking it myself, all while providing me some laughs. So thanks for that. :)

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  3. Noelle,
    Wow, I guess this is the breakthrough you mentioned in your comment to my earlier article. I enjoy it very much.

    When I was in high school, I had a number of friends who looked down on people's taste of music, especially if it's from an idol or idol group. In fact, they looked down anything mainstream, even in the realm of classical music. I remembered there's a Mahler fan who considered Mozart's music conventional and superficial. He may be right but I couldn't stand his attitude. Since that high-school experience, I've been hesitate to share the music I love with other people.

    It's alright to like Arashi's Love So Sweet. I just met with J-Canuck 2 days ago and he said that this site is all about guilty pleasure :) Besides, you can't stop your loving of something, correct? So, let's embrace it.

    I was also impressed by the catchy melody of Love So Sweet. I don't like their dancing though. It feels forced and may I say, a little bit silly :)

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    1. Hi Larry.

      Yup, this is one of the articles where I'm going to touch on songs that I don't normally listen to, so stay tuned for the next one. :)

      Oh wow, I find it hard to believe that there are people who'd look down on those who like Mozart. :/ I presume this Mahler guy must be quite "up there".

      Believe me, I too hesitate to share the music I love with people... outside this blog that is. This blog is effectively my only other outlet to express my views. What I like is the complete opposite of what people my age like, which would bring puzzled reactions from those in my age group. But as you said, I've decided to embrace my interest in enka... be proud of it. It's sometimes good to not go with the mainstream.

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    2. Well (blush), I kinda feel as if this blog is almost like a sanctuary for all those who "inexplicably" love Japanese music. :) Hey, that's all good for us!

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