Asian Kung-Fu Generation: World World World

World World World, Asian Kung-Fu Generation

World World World

After Dark

Tabidatsu Kimi e

Neoteny

Travelog

No. 9

Night Diving

Laika

Wakusei

Korogaru Iwa, Kimi ni Asa ga Furu

World World

Aru Machi no Gunjou

Atarashii Sekai

*****

Songs in bold are previously released singles. Songs in blue (with a link) have already been reviewed. Those songs will, however, be reviewed in context of the album once more.

*****

World World World is Asian Kung-Fu Generation’s fifth studio album (counting Hokai Amplifier as a mini-album), released on March 5th, 2008. It reached #1 on Oricon and has sold 163 470 copies.

The most obvious title for an introduction theme for this album would, of course, be World World World. I would compare this song to Coldplay’s Life in Technicolor, the opening track on Viva la Vida, in the way that both songs have this very catchy tune which wouldn’t be bad as a regular song. A thumbs up for this 1’18” long intro!

After Dark (single originally released on November 7th, 2007) is my second-favorite song of theirs, after Aru Machi no Gunjou. The music video depicts a man who wakes up with wings on his back, and does everything to hide them, so I suppose that the actual message is that having an extraordinary talent (in this, case, flying) is often more of a burden than it is a help. The actual music is just awesome: it starts out with the drums, then adds one guitar, another, and finally the third and last guitar enters in play. Asian Kung-Fu Generation is good at making aggressive songs which reach into punk, and this song is the very proof of that.

Tabidatsu Kimi e (to you, the departed) is a very fast-paced song following the same style as After Dark. It begins well, but when the vocals come in, the whole thing just falls into pieces. Not their greatest album song.

Watch out! Neoteny follows directly after Tabidatsu Kimi e, without a few seconds between the two (that is to say that you could mistake Neoteny for being the same song as Tabidatsu Kimi e). However, after picking up from where Tabidatsu Kimi e left, it becomes a much better song. The first few moments are completely instrumental, and they remind me of World World World. There are very few lyrics, instead, there’s a lot of “ooooooh”.

Travelog begins more aggressively before the vocals come in, at which point the music slows down. The refrain wasn’t too bad, but in the overall, this song could’ve been better.

OK, now we get to my favorite part of the album. No. 9 begins nicely and sticks to it. Just like in Travelog, the music slows down when the vocals begin. The refrain was pretty neat, I’ll give them that.

Night Diving begins with a mix of island music and rock, very slowly, but progresses slowly toward a typical AJIKAN punk song. The chorus is great! I loved everything about this song, from beginning to end. It’s definitely the best album song on the album.

Laika is a bit of a weird one. It swings an awful lot between low and high, and it did work for them. The opening turned me off immediately because of its monotonous guitar riffs and Goto screaming at higher pitches than should be permitted. The rest of the song is just as the beginning as a matter of fact: monotonous.

Wakusei (planet) is a pretty nice song with slower lyrics, but the same “fast beginning, low vocals” pattern. At this point the music tends to get kind of repetitive. Wakusei remains one of the best songs of the album.

Korogaru Iwa, Kimi ni Asa ga Furu (rolling rock, morning light rains down upon you—single originally released on February 6th, 2008) is the first calm song on the album. The music has an almost mesmerizing effect, but it loses it when the music becomes quicker, but the bridge and verses make up for that gap.

World World is an interlude which manages to create a good liaison between Korogaru Iwa, Kimi ni Asa ga Furu and Aru Machi no Gunjou, but the song is terribly boring.

Aru Machi no Gunjou (some city in blue—single originally released on November 26th, 2006) is the best single of the World World World era. The beginning switches between hard and soft a little, but it stabilizes itself later. The instrumental section between 1:47 and 2:14 was definitely the best part, and vocals after that were sung on the perfect tone. I don’t really like Masafumi Goto as a singer, but I did like his vocal work on this song.

Atarashii Sekai (new world) is the last song on the album. The album seems to be focused on the word “world”, going from World World World, to World World, to “New World”. Anyway. Atarashii Sekai is a song that does say “ending”. It’s not quite as good a song as I would’ve wanted for a finale, but it ends the album on a good note. 

World World World is pretty much on the same level as Fanclub, or maybe a tiny step up. As with all their albums, I don’t like listening to them in the whole quite as much because the album songs aren’t too good. However, if Asian Kung-Fu Generation continues with singles like the ones on this album, I know that they’ll score very high with me! (One last thing: I love their album covers.) 

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