Every so often, a new group makes its way into the world and tries to sell single. Or, well, at least in Japan they do. New to the stage is Hello!Project’s new egg group Juice=Juice (pronounced Juice Juice. Why that equal sign in there I will never understand.) and they are still in the indie singles phase. For those of you not in the know, some companies in Japan will have new groups release “indie” singles to test the market and see how they’ll do before making their official debut. So as their second venture out into the musical arena, how do they fair?
Let’s take a look at their new indie single, Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru.
Here is the music video with subtitles provided by Hello!Project:
The lyrics, from what I have gleaned, are more nuanced than the very rough and literal translation done with the company and thus make it very hard to make a translation into English. For example, the title is officially translated as “Samidare Girl It’s Crazy” but other have translated it as “Early Summer Rain Beauty is Crazy,” which is also a reference to people. That being said the official subs are awful for this video, so I wound up reading a modified translation here. The lyrics are essentially about a girl (or perhaps girls, depending on the context) are coming out and growing into maturity, essentially coming into one’s own. It’s a good sentiment, not lovey dovey like their first indie single, Watashi ga iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne. Overall, they are enjoyable lyrics, though perhaps not the most unique.
If we’re going to compare it to their first song, however, the dancing really declined from one single to the other. The first was full of energy and complex moves, hair flying and fists pumping. This one, on the other hand, is full of arm flailing, awkward positions, and a decidedly unenergtic feel, which is a real shame because these girls can dance. It could be due to the fact that performing complicated dances during concerts makes them more out of breath and thus makes the song sound worse, to which the easiest solution would be to simplify the dance. As it stands, however, it just looks awkward and sloppy at most times. Still, at least the costume choices are subtle and fresh, not bombarding us with the members colors as this particular agency likes to do.
The music video itself is pretty plain. It’s a black background with lanterns hanging from the ceiling, with occasional shots of the different girls holding parasols. The background for their first single was simple, but elegant with the use of lighting. This looks sort of cheap and generic, almost like something you’d see at a party, or in one of those fake music videos people make for karaoke machines. The lanterns add a nice tough of color but even they just look generic and not very interesting. The flood lights in the back help add depth because otherwise it’d look flat, but it is also hard to unseen once you’ve noticed it, like lens flares. The scenes with the parasols do help to change it a bit, and give the girls something to do other than stare directly into the camera. It’s not a bad video, there just isn’t very much there.
The vocals are one of the saving graces of the song. While I had some doubts about the singing abilities from this group, since as eggs they have only had some training and some background dancing with some of the bigger group’s concerts. In their first single and subsequent live performances they seemed a little shaky though trying. The song wasn’t as good for their voices as a group as it could have been, but that was fixed with this single. They sound more together, and better harmonized overall. The instrumental is heavily rocked based, which works for the tone of the lyrics and their vocals more so than the pop-jazz did from their previous single.
Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru in and of itself is an okay song – it holds together well but it is certainly not going to be on my most played lists. It’s a good stepping stone forward in their career as a group and hopefully shows that they are in fact ready for the big time. This group, I believe, could do very well if given a chance and certainly has a lot of talent, which is partially showcased in this track.
– Strong vocals.
– Good costuming.
– Good lyrics (just poorly translated).
– Simplistic video.
– Mediocre dance.