01. way of life
02. Risk (risuku or リスク)
03. You know?
V6 released “way of life,” their 36th single, on December 12, 2007. The song is the ending theme for the drama SP. The single debuted at number one on the Oricon daily chart, and should remain there for the week.
“way of life” is a departure from V6’s traditional strength of fast-paced, catchy pop. “way of life” is still pop, yes, but it is much slower. V6 uses their harmonies to carry the song throughout the dark atmosphere of strings, piano, and synthetic elements. The choruses are powerful, but far from powerfully catchy. The song is very pretty and dark with a very memorable melody, but the fact remains that V6 is trying to be something they’re not. That really comes through on this track, and on the many versions of their cover art. It’s a step up from “Jasmine” on their last single, but not their best.
“Risk” is a powerful pop track with strong techno flavor. It doesn’t have the traditional hook of V6’s lead A-sides, and it much too techno to be the pop they’re expected to put out. However, the track is very dark like “way of life” and has a lot more of the energy their fans like to see. The choruses aren’t extraordinary, but over all, it’s one of their better B-sides in a long time.
“You Know?” is too rocky for V6. Their voices are overpowered by the rock and don’t have the style to handle being on a rock track. It doesn’t sound right. Essentially, it’s a weak filler for the single that really pales when compared to the other tracks.
Both “risk” and “way of life” are good tracks from V6 that are probably worth a listen for boy band fans. They’re both different fare for V6, which is nice for the rest of the listeners of J-pop. It’s a nice single, but it’s not quite amazing. It’s just missing something. That intangible thing is what keeps “Risk” and “way of life” from being extraordinary, although both have the potential to be it.