Impressions: Never Gonna Stop!

Buono! release their new mini-album “Sherbet” in a few weeks and just recently put out the PV for “Never Gonna Stop!” which features on the release. Join Malcolm and Dae as they share their thoughts on the PV.

 

Malcolm:

Buono! is one of the first idol groups I ever listened to so I’ve always had them near the top of my H!P favorites. It’s always nice to see a release from them. This song seems to be typical Buono! which isn’t really a bad thing. It’s a little bit disappointing though since they have deviated a little bit with their last few singles and their last mini-album. However, I like this song for what it’s worth. The song made the very interesting choice of not really giving any member a real solo line so it really feels like a group song. The instrumentals are well-done and the three girls are really great singers. In essence, it’s more Buono! which is a group we should honestly see much more of.  While I wish this was another song that introduces a change of style, it’s still catchy and really fun to listen to. There isn’t much wrong with it.

I have a similar attitude towards the PV. The PV style shifted from the complicated set designs of the last two PVs to a normal household setting. It gives off a similar vibe as the “Natsu Dakara” PV with the setting and the huge focus on the members. The costumes even toned down from the pink suits in “Hatsukoi Cider” to normal everyday clothing.

I have to admit I thought this PV was a little boring. While it is nice to see the girls have a good time, we have seen shots like these in other PVs. However, I did really like the shots at the end of the girls in Paris. The scenes of the girls checking out landmarks of the famous city made them very relatable. Furthermore, the shots at the end with the fan interaction really showed the huge following they have in Europe. I wish there were more shots like this in the PV. The fact that they passed it off as a flashback was a little disappointing.

In summary, there isn’t much different about this release compared to the others in Buono!’s back catalog. It doesn’t take a lot of risks which really contrasts the drastic changes made in Buono!’s last few releases. But it’s a good song nonetheless and it should please you if you’re an avid Buono! fan.

PV:

Song:

 

Dae:

The latest offering from Buono!, ‘Never Gonna Stop’, makes some interesting changes from their usual catalogue of songs while also coming off as very safe and close to home.

‘Never Gonna Stop’ starts off with an infectious guitar riff and strong vocals as usual from Airi, Momoko, and Miyabi. By the end of the song however, I was left feeling unfulfilled; maybe due to the fact that every line was sung together as a group, giving everything a uniform-sounding coat of sameness. Harmonizing has an impressive effect, but it doesn’t have the punch or highlight because of the structure. There also seems to be a male voice track singing along with Buono! in parts, which gives the vocals a really strange effect.

Leaving out opportunities for letting the individual voices that make up the group shine had to be a very conscious decision but I can’t say it was for the better. The melody has its moments but I felt that the chorus was lacking impact and felt like something I’ve heard before. Still, the strong vocals are able to bring it to a higher level than it may deserve, and the verses are fairly catchy in their own right. There isn’t a single big reason why it seems to fall short; I like the basic structure but a bunch of small strange design choices added up.

The PV brings in a lot of elements from past Buono! PVs: casual cool outfits, dancing in an elegantly ambiguous set, sitting around a table playing a game, eating pizza, etc. Perhaps the best element of Buono! PVs is the absence of Momoko’s trademark crispy pigtails— she looks infinitely better with normal hair that looks and moves like real hair does. The antics are as fun to look at as always, but it was shot in a fairly bland style like many idol PVs are; where everything looks over saturated and overlit, with low contrast and way too much glare. Buono! is a group that screams for clear and vivid visuals, not mushy, dreamlike vaseline-smeared lenses.

The best technical element of the PV is probably in its variety. There’s a wealth of locations here: the pristine white set of domino speakers, the green outdoors, the warm indoors, and finally Paris, each with their own set of unique outfits and hairstyles. Now, let’s talk about that Paris section. I love how they integrated it into the PV, with them reminiscing through their photo album— it was pretty clever and ended the music video on a sweet note that was a really impactful event in Buono!’s career.

But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t look out of place with the rest of the PV. The Paris footage is all documentary shaky cam with a completely new vocabulary of visuals than what the previous 70% had. It almost made me wish the majority of the PV was cuts from the concert in France instead. The frenetic and raw quality of those shots with a simple and stylish dance intercut between them would have been more memorable and refreshing compared to sticking with the usual Buono! tropes.

There are lot of things to be nitpicked, but my overall impression is actually pretty positive. While I feel that it’s got plenty of imperfections and unfulfilled potential, it doesn’t commit the cardinal sin of coming off as lazy. There’s clearly a lot of work put into both the vocals and the PV, even if the result wasn’t really to my liking.

PV:

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About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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3 comments

  1. Suzuki Airi’s hairstyle…… I’m lovin’ it :D

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