AKB48 UZA Type K

Release Date: October 31, 2012

Track Listing

Type A

  1. UZA
  2. Tsugi no Season (Undergirls)
  3. Kodoku na Hoshizora
  4. UZA (off vocal ver.)
  5. Tsugi no Season (off vocal ver.)
  6. Kodoku na Hoshizora (off vocal ver.)

Type K

  1. UZA
  2. Tsugi no Season (Undergirls)
  3. Scrap & Build (Team K)
  4. UZA (off vocal ver.)
  5. Tsugi no Season (off vocal ver.)
  6. Scrap & Build (off vocal ver.)

Type B

  1. UZA
  2. Tsugi no Season (Undergirls)
  3. Seigi no Mikata Janai Hero (Team B)
  4. UZA (off vocal ver.)
  5. Tsugi no Season (off vocal ver.)
  6. Seigi no Mikata Janai Hero (off vocal ver.)

Review

AKB48’s 28th single is one with a double center consisting of Oshima Yuko and Matsui Jurina. It is also one that deviates from their typical idol pop sound. In a way this is similar to Beginner, taking the path into more contemporary dance/pop music. With UZA the direction is close to the rave music of the early to mid 1990’s.

If you are of a certain age group or a a dance music historian, you may remember acts like Utah Saints, LA Style, The Prodigy and Moby. (Before he went mainstream.)

I believe in one of the weekly news recaps I stated that it is also reminiscent of this song:

Yup, all that is the kind of music UZA reminds me of.

The song has a very dark tone with minor chords used for the lead and backing synths. Combined with the buzzy electronic bass line, and a lot of atmospheric touches makes for an interesting listen. Much like the video, this is something one would expect from an American or European pop act than a Japanese idol group.

Personally, I dig this kind of sound but I can see this not going over well with the typical wota crowd. After all, one can’t exactly wotagei to this easily. Although manic twirling of glow sticks and jumping up and down may not be out of place with UZA. I also can’t envision thousands of wota dropping E and tripping out seeing all the pretty colors in front of their idols.

The b-sides are the first from the newly shuffled teams created during the Tokyo Dome concert series. Of those provided on each edition the Team A song Kodoku na Hoshizora is the one that is the definite standout.

First, it’s the only slow song on the entire single package and second it takes full advantage of AKB48’s choral group vocal arrangements. Really, there are a lot of pretty vocal layers in play here. Unfortunately Kodoku na Hoshizora sounds like it will be a bitch to sing at karaoke if you can’t hit high notes or have the Mariah Carey or IU vocal range. Good luck to those of you who try.

The rest of the b-sides are what you should expect from AKB48 and are pretty typical of their well established idol sound. I would recommend Team B’s Seigi no Mikata Janai Hero out of the remaining batch of songs. For some reason it works the AKB theme without sounding like it walks over well worn territory too much.

In the end UZA will most likely be remembered for as a short pit stop away from their usual releases. I guess it’s always nice to have a break from the usual right? I wouldn’t mind if they tried a few more songs like this but that may alienate their audience. But at this point in time they could get away with anything and people will buy into it so why not?

Let’s hope that the Shimazaki Haruka lead 29th single is like Drum & Bass or Death Metal or something. Until then, UZA should satisfy your AKB appetite just fine.

UZA Type A

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UZA Type K

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UZA Type B

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