Yes, once again it’s time for a another Double A side! This time it’s from C-ute, one of the most popular acts from Hello!Project. This is a landmark for them because they have never used the Double A side tactic, mostly because their sales have always been high. C-ute has been always been a chart topping group, especially due to their popularity with wotas, but as H!P attempts to grow their popularity they have to increase their visibility with twice the music videos. But how is the actual quality of the music? Do they hit two home runs with a single swing, or do they miss spectacularly?
Let’s listen to C-ute’s Kanashiki Amefuri and Adam to Eve no Dilemma.
As always, I will take a look at the videos separately to judge them on their own merits. First is Kanashiki Amefuri, which translates to “Sad Rainfall” with official subs:
The lyrics are about a relationship, as usual, but instead deals with breaking up with a rather unsympathetic and tactless boyfriend. The song talks about all the promises they made and being caught in the (metaphorical) rain, which seems to be a popular visual for getting dumped all over the world. One set of the lyrics comes off as a bit strange. In the second verse, the girls sing about how, now that they calmed down, they realize that “it’s a different view” and that if only he could wait for her to…well, it’s never made clear but I’m guessing it’s to mature. I think this weird apologetic shift for two lines is a weird change in the tone of the song, but is also realistic when you think about girls blaming themselves or thinking that if they can identify what’s wrong things can be fixed. Still for a ballad, it seems a little out of place. I do enjoy it because it’s not a heavily covered topic in J-Pop.
The dance itself both impressive but also a little out of sync with the song itself (it’s a running theme in this video, trust me). The dance in the beginning, end, and in between verses are highly energetic and full of jumps and flailing arms that just don’t fit with the tone of the lyrics. That isn’t to say the choreography is bad. In fact, it’s an incredibly well choreographed numbers, and the members dance it incredibly well, it just seemed a little out of odds with the overall more solemn tone of the song.
In terms of video, it’s actually a pretty impressive video. There are multiple scene and costume changes, including different styles of cuts in the video itself, making it one of the best and most elaborate I’ve seen from Hello!Project in a while. The theme is that the members of the group are at a photo shoot, with alternate shots of them in trench coats being soaked in the rain. The costuming, for the most part, is great even though the trench coats are a bit much. While it isn’t the most plot heavy, the colors are muted and cool and the lines are sharp and clean, which is perfect for this type of video that doesn’t have a narrative. Overall, it works well and does so without the jarring issue that plagues the other aspects of this track.
The beat is a smoky sounding cross between a club-dance song and a ballad. There are points in the song where this mix works, but in the intro and the transition between chorus and verses, it falls flat because of the tonal shift. It’s the same issue with parts of the dance – it just seems too energetic and techno to be asscoiated with a break up ballad. The autotuned voice portions are probably the only reason I haven’t bought this tract; those few seconds are so jarring to me that I have issues continuing the song. In fact, I never finished watching the music video until I decided to write a review for it. The vocals are excellent, as per usual with C-ute, with the deeper range of Suzuki Airi and Yajima Maimi really standing out to me.
Kanashiki Amefuri is a good song which suffers from minor flaws here and there, most notably an indecisiveness of tone. It does deserve at least one full listen because it has great vocals, and the video is stunning. As an A-side single, I think it works well and continues to promote this group’s classy but sexy look that has worked so well for them before.
– Great video.
– Great dance.
– Great vocals.
– Mixed genres cause the overall sound to come off muddled.
– Some of the costuming doesn’t work.
– Dance can be a little energetic for a break up ballad.
Here’s the video for Adam to Eve no Dilemma (Adam and Eve’s Dilemma):
The lyrics here are a little bit more generic than Kanashiki Amefuri. Essentially it’s about being in love (of course) and wanting to form a stronger, more loving bond as they face the world. The theme is about Adam and Eve, and how men and women have been repeating this same problem over and over again throughout history. I will admit this is a clear, not to mention unique, theme, it falls flat because the lyrics rely on the same old cliches they always do with these types of songs. It’s a real shame too, because they had a really interesting idea they could have played with more.
In terms of video, this one has a fantastic aesthetic. It is more artsy than the other track, and works well with the feel of the song. There is even less plot to this one: the majority of the video involved the girls dancing in a while room surrounded by silver vines that have silver apples alternating with shots of them singing and lying on beige sheets with, you guess it, apples. The video is cleanly shot with some great close ups of the members in the vines. I personally think this is one of my favorite music videos ever because of its creativity, simplicity, and design. Anyone says that the days of clean, simple beauty in the video format is dead need only to watch this video.
The dance is incredibly well choreographed. The movements are big and sweeping, there’s a lot of full body movement, and the style of dance fits the style of the song to a tee. It is really in this dance where we can fully appreciate the very impressive dance skills of these five women, who have trained long and hard to get their move so perfectly synchronized. If you can, check out the Dance Shot version (if one comes out) of the video or a live concert rip just to see how amazing the entire dance looks from beginning to end. As far as costuming, I do agree that the look is flattering on them and each costume has enough subtle variation that it keeps it looking uniform but still unique, I just don’t like it very much. I think it looks a touch too bright and club like for the video, but I have seen far worse.
As for the song, it is another tour of force for C-ute. It’s a breathy pop song, accentuated with various “oohs” and “aahs” that makes the song sound sexy while retaining a weird sense of innocence thanks to the higher range. It’s a really lovely song that uses some techno “riffs” to really connect the song without overloading the sound entirely. It might sound in some way more generic like other songs, but I think the power of the vocals alone is able to at least help it stand out a little from the pack.
In the end, Adam to Eve no Dilemma is a great song that avoids some of the flaws of the other song, to the point where I wonder they didn’t make this the first track instead. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have its own flaws but I do believe it is the better track. The single as a whole is great and I am very impressed with it – if they were going to do it for C-ute for the first time, these would be the songs I’d want.
– Great video.
– Great song.
– Strong dance.
– Lyrics are a little generic.
– Unsure about costume design.