It’s sometimes incredibly difficult for weird to top itself. Lady Gaga proved there’s so far you can take the image before you need a break. Somehow, single after single Kyary Pamyu Pamyu manages to do it. Maybe it’s the conviction with which she does it, maybe its her huge team of designers and developers, or maybe it’s just the mixing together of words picked out of a hat to create the absolute randomness. Whatever it is, it works for her. Has she finally made a video that was too weird for even her image?
Let’s listen to the new Kyary Pamyu Pamyu single, Mottai Night Land.
My big issue with reviewing any Kyary Pamyu Pamyu song is my initial opinion is that it’s okay or even down right bad but then falling in love with it. That’s the strange charm of her music — it wiggles its way into your heart and refuses to let go afterwards, like a musical tape worm. So with this song, I gave myself a long time to listen to it and to absorb it and come up with as close to a final verdict as possible.
Here’s the official music video with (mostly) translated lyrics here:
Mottai Night Land is a pun, which the singer is very fond of using. “Mottai” means wasteful and it sounds like the English “Nightland” so the song is about a wasteful dream world. The lyrics talk about wanting more than you deserve and the most beautiful and disturbing parts of a dream/nightmare. To be very honest, it’s just a song fitting a theme more so than the other way around. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it doesn’t add to the power of the lyrics themselves.
The video is as strange as any other of her ventures so that’s no surprise. It’s definitely on the more extreme end of the spectrum which is what really threw me off about it. Because it’s about a dream world, the imagery is especially random, including candle ghosts, the moon in a tuxedo, half naked sexy versions of the candle ghosts, an animated action sequence and a paint-splatter-floor dance. It took me a while to really understand the video, or at least not be weirded out by it and I think it fits the style of the song best — colorful but creepy, wonderfully bright and interesting but ultimately too superficial to be more than a dream. It’s not the most immediately pleasing video but it is a very well made one, so you may need to watch it a few times to really get used to it.
The dance is the same sharp movements with jumping around, which makes it fun to learn and to watch. Kyary has a strong dancing skills which really show in this video — a preciseness of movement that’s hard to emulate. The costuming choices are actually relatively normal, though there haven’t been any weird costumes for quite some time. The dog costume is by far the cutest though the party dress is also very cute, though neither is likely to be her concert outfit.
The song itself is where this single really shines. The piano intervals between the chorus and the second verse and after the last chorus is actually strangely addicting to listen to. Because there are parts played in the minor keys rather than the typical cutesy major ones, it gives the song a creepy and twisted feel, almost nightmarish. This is a song where Kyary’s higher sing pitch works well, adding to the dream-like quality. Even if the video was not very good, the song would still make the single worth owning.
In the end, Mottai Night Land is a catchy, light-hearted song with an inspired melody, adding more to Kyary’s range than her previous work. Its video is strange with parts that genuinely delight and disturb, and sometimes both at the same time. If you’re a big Kyary Pamyu Pamyu fan you don’t need me to tell you to go out and get this. If you’re new to J-Pop or just Kyary and her style, definitely check this one out first and foremost — it’ll be a good indicator whether you’ll enjoy her work.
– Great song.
– Interesting concept.
– Great video.
– Lifeless lyrics