Release Date: July 5, 2023
- LOOK AT ME
- Short Trip
- All right
- CLAP CLAP
- Love & Like
- Love Yourself (Mako, Ayaka & Miihi) [Deluxe Version Bonus Track]
- secret (Rio, Maya & Riku) [Deluxe Version Bonus Track]
- Jump (Mayuka, Rima & Nina) [Deluxe Version Bonus Track]
- Take it (Mayuka & Rima) [Deluxe Version Bonus Track]
The last time we visited the world of NiziU, we reviewed their debut album U. Since that time, they have been a busy group reaching many firsts in 2022:
- First appearance at KCON in Seoul
- First Japanese tour and Japanese dome tour
- First ballad release, Blue Moon
- First theme song, Paradise (Doraemon: Nobita’s Sky Utopia)
In July, they released their second studio album called Coconut. It contains all their single releases from April 2022 up to March 2023 except for Blue Moon.
ASOBO and CLAP CLAP are the clear standouts of this batch of songs. Both capture the fun and playful nature of what was released in their debut year.
Adding Coconut to that list would also make sense. However, I find it similar to Chopstick, where it sometimes feels a little too corny.
Taking those tracks and their associated b-sides out of the equation, you get five new songs to enjoy on the regular edition of the album, nine if you get the Deluxe/First Press Limited Edition B version.
That’s a lot more value music-wise than the typical Japanese idol release, so you can’t go wrong with either version if you’re into buying physical albums. Those who prefer streaming music will have both available to switch between. Assuming your country has both versions in the streaming platform of your choice.
So what do you get with these nine album cuts? A lot of what NiziU is good at. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all since it shows consistency.
However, the real surprises are when the group deviates from their usual brand of pop. For example, All right has a dark and aggressive sound, which makes it feel like it should be for a boyband (or Kumi Koda). Yet, NiziU takes on this song successfully and also shows some versatility.
The real gems are the four tracks at the end of the Deluxe/Limited B edition. These unit tracks are probably the strongest album cuts the group has released so far. secret and Take it are again deviations from the typical NiziU template. Which one catches your ear will depend on your mood.
Do you want a bit of R&B flavour? Then go with secret. Or are you looking to have some Hip-Pop in your life? Then Take it is more your style.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from NiziU and this album. Their early post-U releases were solid, and then they dropped snoozers like Blue Moon and Paradise. I prefer not to have this group sing sleepy ballads, so ignore my bias.
I can say that, as a whole, Coconut is a pretty good follow-up to U. There are minor but noticeable steps forward in the types of music they are given. That’s a good sign for future releases, hopefully.