This week’s featured releases come from Up Up Girls and Watarirouka Hashiritai.
The pickings are pretty slim as far as new music goes this week, which is probably a good thing because I just slept my entire Sunday away so now I’m trying to catch up with a ton of stuff. With that being said, let’s get this show on the road.
With the recent arrival of groups that deviate wildly from the typical idol formula, it begs the question: how far can you go before they stop being classed as idol groups, and simply become female rap groups or rock bands with a collection of female vocalists. Unfortunately, these arguments are often not really used to define a genre but just as a lazy way to dismiss groups that a person may not like. However, it’s an important question worth asking: how exactly do we define an idol group and how much variety is allowed in our genre?
I tried coming up with an interesting introduction for this post but in the end I gave up. This week is a pretty varied selection as far as releases go but there’s a bunch of Sakura inspired and love themed songs doing the rounds. Not my favorite time of year for new music from the J-pop scene but I’ll make do with what I can get. Let’s get right into it shall we?
Lately Hello!Project appears to have been infected by an EDM virus which has been affecting all of its recent output. This has been especially apparent in Morning Musume’s last few singles. Ever since “Renai Hunter” with its Dubstep inspired instrumentals came out, the rest of the group’s singles have shown electronic influence in them. It is my opinion that this is the best thing that could have ever happened to the group especially since many people honestly have not been paying attention to them for the last couple of years.
To understand why I am so positive on this change, it’s sort of important to look into my music history. Unlike most idol fans, I never was a gigantic fan of Hello!Project. I did listen to a few singles on Youtube and they did help introduce the concept of idols to me but I wasn’t too crazy about it. At the time, I was a fan of Perfume, Capsule and other electronica-influenced groups. They were the groups that were most like my first musical love, EDM. I was a big fan of Hardcore, DnB, Hardstyle and other genres and I really enjoyed the instrumentals of these groups because of it.
So, given the recent change in Hello!Project’s musical style, you can imagine that I’m pretty happy about it. It has renewed my interest in Morning Musume and has given me the incentive to actually learn the names of the newly added members. Never before would I have included a Hello!Project project song in my top ten singles, but this year I would include several songs in my personal top ten.
Furthermore, I believe that this was a very wise change, with regards to the current music market. The mainstream is currently becoming more and more inclined towards EDM. Dubstep, House, and Trance have become the favorites of many people who would have in the past written off electronic music as boring and repetitive. As a result, many popular artists are incorporating EDM into their music and Tsunku seems to be following suit. Finally he is following modern music trends that will make his music more popular and allow more people who had completely forgotten that Morning Musume existed to get involved with the group.
In short, I love the current trend in Tsunku’s music and I hope he continues with it. It’s currently making me very interested in Hello!Project. The trend, in my opinion, might give Morning Musume and other Hello!Project groups the chance to gain more fans and sell more singles. I just hope that it won’t get overused to the point where we get tired of it.