Jin Akanishi and Ryo Nishikido have finally released their album, No Good, this past week. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I do, yet here we are. Like my last post, this isn’t really a review.. More so just my feelings on the album overall.
N/A No Good
Released on September 9th, 2020
Official MV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIWAsD0PKNM
The album opens up with your standard introduction titled, N / A Introduction. I mean, it’s an intro track. It does its job of getting you properly hyped for what’s to come. Immediately following is a track in all English, Get Loose. Honestly, when I first heard this one, I didn’t like it. It’s kind of grown on me, but the chorus kind of grates through my head.. If that’s even a proper way to describe it. It’s one of those tracks that I think solely exists to be performed live immediately following the introduction, especially going by the lyrics.
Now, we get to one of my favorite tracks which I wanted to put on my previous post, but didn’t because I can talk about it here instead. No Good. This song is CATCHY. I would have much rather had this as the album opener and just cut Get Loose completely, but what do I know? Anyway, No Good is such a feel good, good vibes type song that I have on repeat constantly without even realizing it. It just puts you in that type of mood, and I’m very thankful for that because we could all use that feeling right about now.
The next two tracks, Not Bad and Lap Dance have that mellow vibe to them. Though the title may not seem it, Lap Dance has a lot of positive vibes about wanting to have fun and live life. Hey, What’s Up? Is a song originally by Jin, which I really like. This version is more of a remix of it that adds Ryo and a band atmosphere. It’s still a good song! And I love the tweaks that were made to it and the addition of Ryo’s vocals.
Point of Departure almost acts like a type of interlude, though it arrives more than halfway through the album. It’s another song entirely in English, and discusses moving on to the new, which I think is really symbolic for Ryo since he just left J&A last year and has moved on with his solo career and this venture with Jin. Though, it’s also symbolic for Jin and his history.
Kingdom is probably tied as my favorite track along with No Good. It’s just really good. The production, composition, and vocals are top tier here in my opinion. Just go listen to it. It’s amazing. I think this was the moment I realized that I actually was enjoying this album a lot. I just love songs that have that slow build up throughout the entirety of it, adding layers of vocals and instruments as it continues onward. The melody is also lovely and very catchy.
Now Eve is a more upbeat song and it sounds very… Johnny’s-esque to the point where I was trying to see if I missed something and maybe this was a re-recording of a random solo from years ago that they had the rights to, but couldn’t find anything. It’s kind of cute. Well, as cute as you can get from Ryo and Jin these days.
Blue has that sound that seemed to be in almost every single song from a few summers ago. Maybe it was 2015-2016. That chorus where there is just a mellow EDM instrumental playing alongside a distorted and pitched voice repeatedly saying the same phrase over and over again. So, this one sounds a bit dated, but it’s still alright. It was a mellow way to end the album. There’s a bonus track called Hey Girl but I haven’t found it and it’s not on the streaming release so I’m just pretending the album ends here.
If you have a spare 30 minutes, check out this album. It’s worth a listen. Even from ex-fans. I hope they continue to make music together. Maybe they’ll do an online concert or tour whenever the pandemic goes away. This would be a fun album to see live. Until then, I’ll go catch up on their YouTube stuff.