Monthly Idol Music and PV Mega Review January 2015

ebichu music monthHey, Mechku here, bringing you this huge review of this month’s idol singles and albums that I’ve listened to. I review almost everything released and I hope this review can help people find good idol music and/or aid them in figuring out a top ten list when we reach the end of the year. If I don’t cover something and you want to see it, I’ll add it to next month’s post. I am going my-pace with this so enjoy!

01/07 – Aoyama Saint Hachamecha High School [Mechahai no Gyakushu ~Beyond the Darkness~]

PV – This PV seemed very cheap with the set as it only included green screen and some clips of some random variety they managed to staple together. The random flashing lights were a bit annoying and the light sabers were a bit corny in my opinion. The only things I sort of liked were the outfits of the members. Other than that it was kind of weak.

Rating: 3/5

Song – The song is an uplifting sound that may sound like an idol group’s theme song. They put in the cyborg skit “dame dame” line which I thought was kind of funny. Great electro-rock instrumentals and the idol vocals were full of energy.

Rating: 4/5

01/07 – Doll Elements [Kimi ni Sakura Hirari to Mau]

PV – This PV was well directed, well shot, and had some classic ideas of how a good idol PV should be. Lots of strong colors to accompany the white background color of the set and the members are presented well. Having good lighting on the members and great close ups are key ingredients to a solid PV.

Rating: 4/5

Song – The song is catchy and not offensive at all. It aims at the traditional idol pop sound with a good mix of Japanese instrumentals. This song is very soothing and cool.

Rating: 5/5

01/07 – Pla2me [Unit]

PV – This PV was about teamwork and the effort of climbing a mountain, sort of like a documentary. I guess it’s implied by the title “Unit” that the members are trying to build a sense of unity and partnership. This PV has some great close ups of the members and is a cool thing to watch.

Rating: 3/5

Song – I found this song to be a sort of a mediocre BiS soft ballad rock song. It had no big hooks where it really grabbed me.

Rating: 3/5

01/07 – YuiKaori [Neo Signalife]

PV – This PV was like a cool “Macross Frontier” theme. It was very space anime mecha inspired and really kind of brought out the fun fantasy of it. It sort of makes sense with a duo that has a lot of work in anime therefore we get this sort of PV. The dance is energetic, fluid, and the costumes look cool. I feel the set could have been a tad bit better, but it’s still a solid idol PV.

Rating: 4/5

Song – I love this song for its catchy jumpiness. By no surprise, the song sounds like it is out of an anime.  Some very cute vocals make this one of the best electronic duos around.

Rating: 4/5

01/14 – KOBerrieS [Omoide Yell]

PV – Omoide Yell is one of those typical, boring, “look at me I am graduating, let’s walk down memory lane” PVs. It’s shot well but the idea is pretty generic; let’s walk around town and do club things.

Rating: 3/5

Song – This song is the basic graduation-sounding song with horns, guitar, and drum combo. It is pretty much a less hype version of Give Me Five.

Rating: 3/5

01/14 – Q’ulle [Mic Check One Two]

PV – Good concept that was poorly executed. I like the idea of showing lots of distortion to show the parallel world but the shaky cam and grey-scale is a terrible idea because it sucks the life out of the members. They also have a costume at the end I would rather see more of than the boring, casual, walking-around-town clothes.  If this PV had more action that made sense and less terrible shots, I would enjoy this more.

Rating: 2.5/5

Song – This is a song that delivers an energetic and upbeat sound. The chorus is strong, catchy, and doesn’t waver. The breakdown is nice and is accompanied by good scratches. It later pulls out some light dubstep and rap.

Rating: 4.5/5

01/14 – Tentenko [Good Bye.Good Girl.]

PV – This is an old school looking PV as it looks like it was shot with one of those VCR camcorders. I thought this was very artsy and nostalgic with lots of good shots that made it look like it was made back in the day. Lots of fun and great scenes with my girl Tenten walking around town and dorking off.

4/5

Song – If you’re a fan of retro pop this really hits home and brings you back to the good chill funk.

Rating: 4/5

01/21 – Dianna☆Sweet [Deep Snow]

PV – The members are shot nice and the yukata costumes with golden fans were cool. I found that the fan choreography was fresh and fun. The set was unchanging so it gets a bit boring, but there should be no reason to stare at the set as the members seem to be the focal point with all the great lighting.

Rating: 4/5

Song – The song was a catchy jazz idol pop song with hooks, but I feel like it extends a bit much and takes a while to get used to. When they say, “deep snow” it sounds a bit off, but other than that the whole song is pretty solid. This song is one that gets better after a couple of listens.

Rating: 4.5/5

01/21 – Icle Girls [I no Hikari]

PV – This is one of the standard Christmas music videos with the, “go on a date with my girlfriend” simulator feeling. The concept was cute with date scenes. Occasionally this music video will cut to a stage that looks cheap. When I say cheap it was one of those random small indie stages they have for unknown idol groups that sing underground and don’t get much hype.

Rating: 3/5

Song – The song is a rock pop song with a fun chorus. It stays very safe with the idol harmonies. There is on cute part that stands out when they try to spell something, but overall it is an idol song.

Rating: 3/5

01/21 – Karat [Ima wo Ikiru]

PV –  Ima wo Ikiru is a well shot PV that has typical idol choreography with pointing, spins, and hip thrusting. This is the definition of, “normal idol PV at a school.” There are shots from all over the school for each member and the group shot on the roof. The members look great and the blur white filter appears a few times.

Rating: 3/5

Song – The strong solo beginning turns to this typical idol song done very solidly. Although it presents a safe instrumental, it is paired with strong vocals. That kind of makes you wish they would try something more, “out there” to extend their potential. This group seems capable and does a really great job bringing out its shine with the strong vocals. It polishes the typical idol song into a rock hard diamond of a song that gives the greatness of quality one can expect.

Rating: 4/5

01/28 – LaPomPon [Bump!!]

PV – The clothes in this PV are strange choices. For example, they are at the beach wearing clothes like it’s so cold that it can freeze a bucket of water, but then they switch to a pool in a hotel where they wear short sleeve shirts and dresses which makes you think, “did we time travel into summer or something?” It makes me confused for what they were going for and it was very random.

Rating: 2/5

Song – The song is short. This sounds like something you would hear as a One Piece opening. It’s short, fun, and simple. It builds on the chorus to reach a climax and has a good beat with lots of synthetic noises, as well as piano in the background.

Rating: 3/5

01/28 – Momoiro Clover Z vs KISS [Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina]

PV – This PV is amazing as balls. The animation style is top tier and the concept of the story with KISS vs Momoclo is something I found very fun. Although the animation style works for me, it can either make or break it for many people as some people are not a fan of  Imaishi Hiroyuki’s art style.

Rating: 5/5

Song – The song is really amazing if you listen hard for the rhythm of the guitar. It has some good mixes of traditional Japanese sounds with a western rock sound. In the PV the song sounds a little bit toned down, but is fixed on the single mp3 so don’t fret about it too much when you hear it online.

Rating: 4/5

01/28 – nanoCUNE [Higeki no Macho Man]

Song – Nanocune is your typical rock idol group with high vocals. This song is very basic idol and doesn’t bring anything new to the table. If you are just looking for more tracks that are idol and rock, then this satisfy your hunger but not quench your thirst for personality.

Rating: 3/5

01/28 – Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku [Kinpachi (Album) ]

Kinpachi is an album by Ebichu full of excitement and variety.  It includes the main A-sides from the past 4 singles (Mikakunin Chuugakusei X, Butterfly Effect, U.B.U., Haitateki!). Some of the other songs include Kinpachi Dance Music, which is a strong electronic beat with some 90’s guitar sound. This song is a trail mix of crazy and cool. The next new song is Teburadesuki ~Seishun Liberty~ which sounds more like your common idol song with awesome fast guitar and drums accompanied with a ton Ebichu personality; this song really pops. On the fifth track we have King of Gakugeikai no Theme ~ Nu Skool Teenage Riot~ this song has some interesting choices of synth and piano that are not too electronic. It has a nice rhythm that builds up and has some insane breakdowns, something you expect from a crazy group like Ebichu. In the 8th track we have Chichinpui. Chinchipui is a rock track with your old school shouting singing vocals. This song is one of the more cool and collected songs in the album. Next we have an interesting track composed by the usual composer for BiS. Fuyukoi is a great song especially for you folks that are grieving for BiS and are looking for something to fill that void. This song is like a usual B-side you would hear from BiS, cool and rock with soft vocals. Now on to my favourite track PLAYBACK. PLAYBACK is the perfect song for getting people into Ebichu. It is soft and the instrumentals feel deep. It has an electronic sound similar to something you would hear in a “World Order” song. This song has some light use of auto-tune, but is generally a song that is easy to consume with a great melodic beat.  Next up we have Shiawase no Harigami wa Itsumo Senka ni. This song is one of the stranger songs that get either more annoying or fun as you listen to it. There is a ton of cute vocals in this and has a strange “floaty” sound to it that might not be for everyone. I can only imagine if you are a person who likes strange vocals this song may be for you. Tairyou Ebisu Bushi, my second favorite new song in the album, is a song with a traditional Japanese instrumentals and cool rock vocals. In simple words: the ultimate song for the samurai yankee. Lastly we have Kaimono Shiyouto Machida e. This song is similar to Wani to Shampoo in vibe, but has a Brazilian sound to it. This is a fun and catchy song to party to. In all, this is a great album for anyone who wants to listen to something new and it doesn’t disappoint fans who have listened to Ebichu previously. This album shows some respectable hints of the group maturing, but keeps all the qualities of the group.

Rating: 6/5

01/28 – SiAM&POPTUNe [Tsugi x Hagi Maker]

PV – The PV is as budget as it gets with the costumes and a white set. There are a ton of filters, abstract breaks, and blurs. The members are lit well, but the choreography is out of sync where the filters sometime cover mistakes the members make so maybe you won’t see it.

Rating: 2/5

Song – The song sounds like a typical shounen anime opening. It has a bunch of guitar and synth to make it sound like an action anime. It could get boring but is okay for the first listens.

Rating: 3/5

If you like this or want to contribute something to this post you can contact me on Twitter: @MachinaKingu

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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