Kat-Tun

No More Pain

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    6
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Still powering their way to the top of the boy band rankings whenever they release an album, in No More Pain Kat-Tun show that they are continuing to develop musically, but at the same time their sounds hark back to other boy bands and earlier musical ideas. The album opens in epic fashion, signaling a comeback despite the band not having left the scene. They go through a couple of simpler affairs quickly, but come back for a particularly tweaked piece of electro-dance with "The D-Motion" and an extra dose of Auto-Tune over steeper electro-dance in the vein of Juno Reactor with "Right Now." Corniness seeps in during the following track, and remains for a while in the middle of the album. The standard selection of solo tracks from the various members is thrown into the mix on No More Pain rather than relegated to an add-on disc, a refreshing attempt to both fill space and make the solo numbers more relevant. There's a simple but nice ballad in the early-'90s U.S. R&B vein from Kamenashi Kazuya, a bit of rap that actually works out well from Taguchi Junno (he makes strong use of the syllabic structure of Japanese), and Tanaka Koki provides a bit of fairly straightforward dance music. The remaining members put together interesting bits, both forgettable (Ueda Tatsuya) and memorable (Nakamura Yuichi's attempt at a Ken Hirai-like pop number). The album finally finishes up with classic Kat-Tun motifs in "Hello," combining acoustic guitar, drum machines, and a marching beat. The album doesn't deliver anything new to the world of Japanese boy bands, but it keeps Kat-Tun in form. They don't obviously improve on previous works or detract from their legacy, as it were. Perfectly middle of the road.