Release date: April 15, 2009
- The Next Door
- Aisu Beki Mirai e
- Someday (Instrumental)
- The Next Door (Instrumental)
- Aisu Beki Mirai e (Instrumental)
- Generation (Instrumental)
Back in March Exile merged with J-Soul brothers to form a 14 member group that will continue under the Exile name. While not surprising (c’mon, J-Soul brothers were basically an extension of Exile anyway) it did make me wonder what the group would sound like with 4 vocalists. With this EP I got my answer. Unfortunately not the one I wanted.
The music is the typical R&B/Dance Pop that the group has mastered to an exact science. There isn’t a breaking in period with this merger since both groups basically made the same music before they joined forces. So the transition to more people was rather smooth.
This EP starts off with Someday, which is an uptempo dance track featuring the vocals of Atsushi and Takahiro. It’s similar to a lot of their previous songs so it’s not exactly a giant leap forward or anything. But it’s still some catchy stuff.
The second track is the theme to Street Fighter 4, The Next Door (a.k.a. Indestructible). I always wondered if it was Exile who sang the theme to that game (I don’t read production credits on video games). I was kind of not sure because the lyrics were all in English in the video game, but I was fairly sure I heard that kind of sound before. Well, now it’s confirmed with this single release.
Compared to Someday this is a much more aggressive track, but just as catchy. This also features the vocals of Atsushi and Takahiro. It was interesting to hear them sing over a song with a bit of an edge to it. Their smooth type of vocals contrast well with the backing track.
Aisu Beki Mirai e is another Exile ballad. Not to say that it’s bad, in fact it’s a pretty song free of crazy vocal gymnastics that ruin the mood. It’s just nothing overly spectacular given their catalogue of other songs like this.
The last song is Generation which features only the vocalists imported from the J Soul Brothers (Nesmith & Shokichi). It’s an uptempo dance/pop track. It doesn’t sound much different from the material from the self-titled J Soul Brothers album. But the vocals are strong & the song is definitely attention grabbing.
Overall this is good outing by the newly christened Exile. I would have liked to have heard one more track featuring the guys from the J-Soul brothers and/or a song featuring all four vocalists trading lead. But what was offered here was a decent enough teaser to keep me interested. It will be interesting to hear what the group sounds with 4 vocalists. With the talent they got in the group now it could be some good stuff.