This week’s featured releases come from Berryz Koubou, GEM, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku and Tokyo Girls’ Style.
Berryz Koubou’s new single is a bit like a game of football (or soccer to you Americans) in that it’s a game of two halves. A fairly timely metaphor given that the World Cup is only a couple of weeks away. Anyway, the first half; “Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no naka ni” isn’t really my kind of thing. I’m not generally a fan of that kind of vocal structure or instrumental arrangement so it was fighting an uphill battle from the start. However, “Futsuu, Idol 10nen Yatteran nai desho!?” is definitely something that I can get behind. It’s one of my favorite songs that I’ve heard lately and that’s a pretty good compliment right there. The only downside is that random horse sound effect that I’m slowly starting to be able to ignore now. Overall it’s a pretty good Berryz single and you should check it out.
GEM (Girls Entertainment Mixture) as some of you probably know are the latest group to be spun out of Avex’s iDOL Street project. I thought their debut “We’re GEM!” was decent as far as debuts go so I was moderately optimistic going into this one. “Do You Believe?” very patently draws its influences from K-Pop and I guess that’s fine. I kinda wanted them to do better than just an average to below average K-Pop song though but I guess they’re still pretty new so you have to cut them some slack. It’s hard to talk this release up because while not inherently flawed, there’s just not really a ton here to get exited about. Hopefully things will be a bit more interesting on their third single which I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing before the year is over.
Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku (and I suppose Stardust in general) are usually good for providing us with some pretty weird and wonderful songs and “Butterfly Effect” does well enough to continue that trend. Though it does sound a bit like they’re trying to mature Ebichu’s sound which, if they do it anything like Momoiro Clover Z, will be a disaster. We’ll see though, it’s a pretty big conclusion to jump to based on one single. I guess my main problem with the song is that it hits a decent stride but then doesn’t really go anywhere after that. I just feel like they could have given us a bit more and spiced things up a tiny little bit. Otherwise a perfectly acceptable release.
I was just thinking that it was about time for a new Tokyo Girls’ Style album and hey look, here it is. “Killing Me Softly”, like most TGS albums features roughly the past year’s worth of singles, such as “Unmei“, “Jujika“, “Partition Love” and “Chiisana Kiseki“. It also has a few new songs like the title track “Killing Me Softly” as well as the now standard Royal Mirrorball remixes. For me this past year has been a lot better musically from TGS so I can say I recommend this album more than their previous “Yakusoku” release. There’s some really solid songs on here and if you’ve never checked TGS out before…well you should start with the “Limited Addiction” and “Kodou no Himitsu” albums but this is definitely required listening.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
This week’s other releases aren’t really anything to write home about. They’re pretty middle of the road idol fare. Still, it was a pretty strong week despite my minor criticism of the things I featured. Although I’m getting a bit tired of having to feature so many things, a break please! Until next week then.
If you missed any of the last few weeks’ worth of new music you can check out past editions of This Week in Music here.
What new music are you looking forward to this week? Leave a comment and let us know!