Release Date: January 29, 2014
- Baito Fighter
- Yoropiku Pikuyoro
- Bishoujo Mokushiroku
- Oh My Destiny
- Douse Osa Renai
- Girl Talk
- Kirakira My Heart
- Mirakuru no Hiketsu
- Happy! Kyou wa Nandaka Isogashii
- Backstage Pass no Theme ~Oshi wa Kimi sa~
- Tobitate! Starship
- Aiya Papaiya
Bakusute Sotokanda Icchome (a.k.a. Akihabara Backstage Pass) are a Japanese idol group affiliated with a café in Akihabara opened by Shikura Hiyomaru and Tsunku. The group is comprised of staff members who work there and it’s probably not a surprise that they are all aspiring idols.
They made their indie debut in August of 2012 with their first single Produce and in May 2013 they made their major label debut on Warner Music Japan with Baito Fighter. In January of this year (2014) they released this, their debut album.
This group is an interesting one to follow. You would think that with Tsunku behind the boards they would sound like another Hello! Project clone. But strangely enough that isn’t the case here.
Sure there are some classic Tsunku types of musical nuances here and there but for the most part you aren’t going to hear what you would expect. For example, random male grunting and English ad-libs.
Instead you get something a little bit out of left field and possibly old school if you’re used to just Tsunku’s current Electro Pop productions. As is the standard with most idol albums the singles are featured prominently and are front-loaded at the beginning of the album.
It’s not until you hit the later half of the album that you encounter some different material. Douse Osa Renai immediately catches the ear with it’s disco pop.
Mirakuru no Hiketsu on the on the other hand is one of those insanely fast idol songs clocking in at 170+ bpm. It has a few interesting sounds that include 8-bit video game samples and some synth patches that sound like strings you would hear in Victorian era period piece. It’s weird but it works.
Near the end of the album is one of the songs used to close shows at the café, Tobiate! Star Ship. For me it’s strange to hear this without actually seeing the members perform it.
You know I’m pretty sure I’ve heard several of the songs on this album in one form or another live during my past two recent trips to Japan and visits to Backstage Pass café. Then again, I was most likely too caught up in the atmosphere of the place to really remember.
Overall this entire album is an enjoyable ride that encapsulates the energy of what their live performances at the café are like.
That must sound weird coming from me since I’m not the most pro-Tsunku dude around. But hey, the man can still churn out some gems every once in while and I’ll give props when due.
1 The Produce (Regular Edition)
1 The Produce (Type A)
1 The Produce (Type B)
1 The Produce (Type C)