Release Date: May 9th, 2018
- Nakenai ze・・・Kyoukan Sagi
- Kimi Dake ja nai sa… friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)
- Nakenai ze・・・Kyoukan Sagi (Instrumental ver.)
- Uraha=Lover (Instrumental ver.)
- Kimi Dake ja nai sa… friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.) (Instrumental ver.)
Despite being released almost halfway into the year, ANGERME make a loud and exciting splash in their first single release for 2018. Made up of three catchy tracks – two new, one a self cover – and a few unique music videos attached, one of Hello! Project’s more memorable groups creates an explosion of sound and colour in this entertaining new release.
From the onset, Nakenai ze・・・Kyoukan Sagi is an exhilarating ball of energy in tune, featuring a fist-pumping instrumental befitting its electronic dance sound, a feature Hello! Project are reluctant to drop. Regardless, this is a fun song with some vibrant vocals thrown into the mix, as expected from one of Hello! Project’s finer groups, and features a memorable, catchy tune that will be stuck in your head for a day or two.
Matching in its energy, the accompanying music video is an eye-catching experience that pairs well with its song counterpart. This is an interesting mix of colour meets club, and though the choreography itself can become cringe-worthy at times, it fits with the sound and style of the song. There is no denying that the music video Nakenai ze・・・Kyoukan Sagi is a product of H!P’s recent love for colour, chroma key and fast paced editing, but it looks good and it creates an experience that fans are sure to remember.
Uraha=Lover is another upbeat song in sound, yet despite its apparent cuteness this song has an underlying melancholy that becomes more obvious the more you listen to the track. It’s an interesting song in terms of its instrumental and the use of filters, but it works well for ANGERME who deliver a wonderful amount of expression in their vocals. They truly captured the sadness of the lyrics and expressed the turmoil within the song well.
With a gallery theme drenched in blues and pinks, the accompanying music video for Uraha=Lover is a lively and appealing piece, but at times it can seem a little cheap. Still, it’s yet another memorable PV’s from Hello! Project, once again showcasing the companies recent love for quirky edits, fun colours and interesting themes.
Kimi Dake ja nai sa… friends (2018 Acoustic ver.) ends the trio of songs, delivering a raw, pure form the original lacked. Though the song still maintains its emotional quality, it feels a lot more lonely and withdrawn, especially now that the distribution showcases more solo lines than it does duets or group parts. It’s a beautiful rendition of the original, however it might put some listeners off, especially if you are not a fan of ballads. That said, Kimi Dake ja nai sa… friends (2018 Acoustic ver.) is a great look into how each member sounds without the extra help of filters or auto tune.
In stark contrast to the previous two music videos, Kimi Dake ja nai sa… opts for a simple, clean look in its video. With a black background, podiums, lights and white outfits, the members of ANGERME create a distant image as they stand close by, but never acknowledge one another until they come together at the end for the final group lines of the song. This is a simple video in all aspects, but it has been done well enough that it translates the tone and emotions of the song admirably.
Overall, ANGERME’s 24th single is the usual Hello! Pro affair in terms of sound – a fun track, something middle-ground in tone, and a ballad – but it’s still an entertaining mix of music that has a nice range of tones and emotions. Fans will surely enjoy the diversity in sound and line distribution, and the videos will certainly spark some interest from even the most casual of viewers, because at the end of the day, this single is a nice combination of good music and eye-catching visuals.