Release Date: April 10, 2013
- NEO Stargate
- Kasou Dystopia
- Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dai 7 Gakushou (Mugen no Ai)
- 5 The Power
- Roudou Sanka
- Get Down
- Otome Sensou
- Tsuki to Gingami Hikousen
- Birth Birth
- Joykyuu Monogatari -Carpe Diem-
- Sora Tobu! Ozashiki Ressha
- Srabata Itoshiki Kanashimi Tachi yo
- Hai to Diamond
Momoiro Clover Z. If you are unfamiliar with them, you should be as they are touted as the next “big thing” in the Japanese idol landscape, poised to challenge the larger organizations such as UP-FRONT’s Hello! Project and the current “big thing” AKB48.
Known for their hyperactive music and performances, the group is noted for bringing the archaic energy of a punk band with every appearance. With that said, their second full-length album, 5th Dimension, was highly anticipated before its release back in April.
Much of the hype started with the release of the video Mouretsu Uchu Koukyoukyoku Dai 7 Gakushou Mugen no Ai and the follow-ups NEO Stargate and Birth 0 Birth which indicated that the album would have a space opera theme. That is rather deceiving after listening to the entire thing in order.
There is a concept, but I certainly did not pick up on it. Reading other reviews on the Internet, I am not the only one lost on what message Momoiro Clover Z was trying to convey. In the end, does it matter? Idol music is fun and easily digested, so who cares about the concept?
If we go along that line of thinking then yes, the 5th Dimension is a huge success, with many of the songs following the bombastic aural assault that Momoiro Clover Z is known for. For the uninitiated, that means a mish-mash of genres most likely chosen by throwing darts at a dart board.
That may be jarring for those who like a bit of consistency in their idol music or cannot process multiple shifts in the short span of the typical idol song. But if you can get past that, you are in for a real treat, as there is much to take in beyond the previously released singles.
5 To The Power has the group attempting to channel their inner MC as they rap over a funky Hip-Pop beat. Normally idols rapping is fairly awful, but Momoiro Clover Z manages to sound on point, switching from dropping idol thuggery to singing catchy hooks rather seamlessly.
Get Down on the other hand, has a bit of a swing beat type of groove. This would also be appropriate within the whole Jive Bunny type of music. Imagine the old folks getting their groove on this. My Filipino peeps know what’s up regarding that statement, which can either be good or bad depending on the image that pops into your mind.
It’s not an all-out assault on your ears on 5th Dimension, and there are 2 ballads present to give the listener a break from the insanity. After listening to both, it’s obvious that slower songs are not among Momoiro Clover Z’s strong points.
Neither Hai to Diamond nor Tsuki to Gingami Hikousen can be considered ear bleeding, but they are not great. Go with Tsuku to Gingami Hikousen if you need to slow things down. It covers the group’s vocal flaws much more with its dramatic production.
In the end, 5th Dimension had plenty for hardcore fans and the uninitiated to appreciate. Each song made an impact without outstaying its welcome. This lived up to the hype.