Sandaime J Soul Brothers: ‘The JSB World’ – Album Review

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Released: March 29, 2017 (Rhythm Zone)

Japanese acts are never shy on cramming a large discography of tracks into one packaged CD release. Take Ms. Ayumi Hamasaki or Kumi Koda for example; both two extremely well-promoted and talent artists that basically have compilations running out their ears every single damn year, and are never scared to conceptually packaged them into theme-based portrayals (remember A Ballads y’all? The album that tears you up, accompanied with a box of tissues?) This time round, it looks like J Soul Brothers—the ultimately good-lookin’ and successful boy band of Japan—have decided to do the same, only this time, they have packaged the record to consist of every recorded song in their career. Yes y’all, ya heard me… every bloody track in their 7-year straight career. What a choice!

The album, titled The JSB World, is the first celebratory release and, considering every song is featured here, it allows even the most casual-of-listeners to be interested by it. Of course, as a typical J-Pop fanatic would know (even myself would know), the entrance of one’s career can seem pretty formulaic; the deliveries of their debut “Best Friend’s Girl” still holds that inner cheesiness; “Fighter” has that recycled rock-instrumentation that comes off pretty dated, and “Go My Way” is that typical delicate J-pop number that kinda… well, does nothing exciting nor bad. But all-in-all, they come of pretty well-sculpted, especially for the first half of the record (well, first of the three-quarters of the record).

But by the time the “R.Y.U.S.E.I.” comes in—the instant club banger that took the J-Pop world by storm, and one of my all-time favourites—you can tell the improvement in the boy’s image and sound is pretty full on (especially on the third disc). Further on, anthems like the four-on-the-floor number “O.R.I.O.N.”, the dope-as-hell trap jams “J.S.B. Dream” and “Feel So Alive”, or the pulsating EDM hits “Welcome to Tokyo” and “J.S.B. Love” are complete BANGERS; like, F-ing catchy and solid to the core! And even the record’s only single, the R&B-inspired groover “Happy” closes the record in joyfulness and sophistication (which isn’t particularly new for a group as slick or cool as them).

Unfortunately, The JSB World is riddled with an enormous collection of ballads and trivial material, most of them which are B-sides from the actual singles, which is a shame because it makes The JSB World a little hard to consume as a whole. It’s not that the songs are bad per say, but if we’re talking a retrospect and collection that represents a so-called first part of Sandaime J Soul Brother’s legacy, than this beats the odds (and not really in a good way…). To me, I just got a lil’ lost once I hit that second disc. The music is fine as it is, but The JSB World never runs as a cohesive collection, rather a bunch of mixed tracks into a disc.

Overall, The JSB World has a decent amount of flair to appreciate. Nearly all the main singles—and a few B-side numbers—are entertaining to watch, and I tell ya, you could easily spot a track that spits pure F.I.R.E., in comparison to a dud. And unfortunately, the other half of the record are duds. I guess for the cost of what it is, and how many recordings there are spread all over this 3-disc package, it’s a pretty hefty deal not to miss out on. But I tell ya; a lot of songs will be quite hard to be hypontized to. All in all; if your a die-hard LDH fanatic who basically screams and chants any (or every…) LDH-related tune, then this is something to snatch up. But if your a casual listen, I suggest you pluck the individual jams as opposed to a collection of tracks that may not be in your favour.

Track list (Bold means best tracks):

  1. Best Friend’s Girl
  2. On Your Mark ~Hikari no Kiseki~
  3. LOVE SONG
  4. Japanese Soul Brothers
  5. FIGHTERS
  6. Refrain
  7. NEW WORLD
  8. Go my way
  9. Saigo no Sakura
  10. Hanabi
  11. YOU SHINE THE WORLD
  12. Kiss You Tonight
  13. LET’S PARTY
  14. Powder Snow ~Eien ni Owaranai Fuyu~
  15. FLAP YOUR WINGS

  1. LOOK @ US NOW!
  2. SPARK
  3. Higher
  4. Sora ni Sumu ~Living in your sky~
  5. BURNING UP (feat. Generations from EXILE TRIBE)
  6. Fuyu Monogatari
  7. T.T.T. (Top to Toe)
  8. SO RIGHT
  9. Waking Me Up
  10. S.A.K.U.R.A.
  11. Kaze no Naka, Aruki Dari
  12. R.Y.U.S.E.I. <<Liam’s Favourite>>
  13. Summer Dreams Come True
  14. Wedding Bell ~Subarashiki Kana Jinsei~
  15. C.O.S.M.O.S. ~Akizakura~
  16. Glory

  1. O.R.I.O.N.
  2. Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe!
  3. starting over
  4. STORM RIDERS (feat. Slash)
  5. J.S.B. DREAM
  6. Summer Madness
  7. Unfair World
  8. Feel So Alive
  9. Share the Love
  10. Born in the EXILE
  11. MUGEN ROAD
  12. Welcome to TOKYO
  13. BRIGHT
  14. HAPPY
  15. J.S.B. Love

 

3.5

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