I finally received my copy at the end of last week, and here is my review for the CD. Mostly it would be reviewing the album songs.
I LOVED 1) Welcome to the Party as the opening song. The "party dance pop" sound of it definitely sets the mood for the whole album. Among all the album songs, it was definitely the easiest to get hooked onto melody-wise. Next song 2) Kakenukero! -the song to Ohba's Hitachi CM- on the other hand wasn't as easy to catch on, but I think I would warm up to it. I don't think it's strong enough to be a no.2 track though, and I almost want to switch it with 3) Wild at Heart because of it. Plus it's a personal preference to not have two singles stuck together (in this case, Waiha with 4) Face down, which still kickass).
Then MatsuJun's solo 5) We wanna funk, we need a funk. Well, it's a no brainer that I'm still speechless at the lyrics...but, it is very MatsuJun, and frankly if it weren't for the lyrics, it's actually quite a catchy tune. Nonethless, I'm gonna have second-embarrassment if I listen while having company LOL. And I find it strange his solo and Ohno's solo 6) two are back to back. But I liked Ohno's solo a lot; it has a mid 90's ballad sound to it. Some said it's like his previous songs, but I really liked how it brought out his vocal range very well. I do wish it didn't end so abruptly though.
I really enjoyed 7) Waiting for You! It's a very refreshing and uplifting tune, and I loved the bells. It's another one of the album songs like Welcome to the Party that's very dance-pop sounding. It's a nice transitioning song to 8) rakuen, Aiba's solo. It seems hit/miss to some, but I surprisingly liked the "cute pop" magical feel to it. It's fun and catchy, though the only criticism I have is that Aiba's voice sometimes gets drowned in the loud instrumental.
9) Tabi wa Tsuzuku yo is so fun! There's a carnival feeling to the melody. There's so much potential for the live performance of this! I totally love how it trails out with that music box sound to get me out of the experience for Nino's solo 10) Sore wa Yappari Kimi Deshita. I never cared too much for Niji, but I loved this sequel to it. Very nice ballad. It's not as over-produced as last year's, which I loved still, but I think this down-to-earth sound suits Nino more. And I LOVED the transition from it to 11) Meikyuu Love Song. I can't describe it, but it was really magical. Maybe because they're both love songs, and Meikyuu is like the "turning point" to the love story. Once again, I'm not exactly fond of the singles back to back, but 12) Your Eyes following after was appropriate placement.
Then Sho's solo 13) Fly on Friday. Here's the "party dance pop" sound again! I think it's a really enjoyable solo, and it's VERY him xD A different genre from what he has done before, and it's like all sides of him in one. The rapper him, the sweet him, the fun him. It's a good song to lead to 14) Cosmos. As everyone said, it's so much like a football anthem, specifically anthem meets pop! It's very different from their usual genre, and although their voices get drowned sometimes, I like the epic sound it a lot. I would be very curious on the live version of this.
Next, from the Olympics-sounding song to the actual Olympics song 15) Akashi. I loved Akashi ever since the beginning, and I'm truly happy to hear the full version. Did I mention the huge cherry-on-top for me is getting my OSM voice combinations :P?
I blasted it on loud stereos, and I can definitely appreciate the intended sound of "party dance pop" genre. There was a very nostalgic sound to it that screams late 1999's/early 2000's, like when DDR used to be the thing. For a '90's baby like me, that sound was a good type of nostalgia. Granted, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it was evident for this album that they were having fun with it, choosing what fulfills them and who they are first and foremost. Ohno picked his favorite genre (according to AD), Jun picked from last year's solo demo tapes cuz he really liked the funkness, and the other three totally matched their personalities.
Genre-wise, it's definitely opposite of Beautiful World. I still like BW a little more.Overall, as the boys suggested, playing the album in order gave the optimal experience. My only criticisms, as stated above, are the initial orderings and that some tracks the instrumentals overpower their voices. Also, while I like most of the album songs, they aren't the easiest to catch along right away. Popcorn is wonderful as a party compilation, but not as much a sing-along one (the tunes will grow on me tho).
But I definitely loved Popcorn's packaging SO much more ♥ The popcorn heads and the popcorn story booklet were just SO fun and unique that I can't get enough of them. It adds to the whole fun theme they were aiming for. And DID I MENTION THE LITTLE GUYS WERE HIDING HERE TOO?