Thursday, July 26, 2012

PASSPO☆: Rock at the Shrine in "Natsuzora HANABI"

PASSPO's 5th major single, Natsuzora HANABI, is to release on August 15, and recently, the
full PV to the A-side was released!

From the name, I was expecting a song that sounded more like generic idol pop. Probably because when I first listened to PASSPO's indies, I thought the same thing and just assumed the trend would continue. (Why I don't follow PASSPO) But to my delightful surprise, it's an uptempo rock song with some parts that mimick traditional Japanese music. I probably said this before, but I'm not much into solely rock music since it can get boring to listen to the same instruments being played over and over, especially when listening to a rock album. Here, they mix in the traditional instruments very well with the instrumental (Even if only for a short time) and they don't sound out of place at all. I even find some of the composition mimicking traditional music, like in the chorus' first lines. I find it quite refreshing and clever when old music is reinvented for new generations, and in this case, it was used in an amazing way! 95%, if not more, is still rock music, but there's something about the tempo, composition and, of course, their voices that make this more suited for an idol group than a rock group, in my opinion. Plus, it gets me, if not anyone else, bobbing my head along to the beat and wanting to play air instruments when no one's watching. Like I said before, the composition mimicks traditional music in the chorus, which I like a lot, but besides those parts, I find the rest of it really awesome. Seriously, there's nothing else I can say about it because it's just that fantastic! I wouldn't want
it changed in any other way; I find it quite perfect.

The song on its own is powerful and rocking; it's powerfully rocking! However, with the traditional reinventions, I personally find that there's a fragility to the song that fits with the whole puzzle. I don't have any PASSPO songs on my iPod, but I definitely wouldn't mind putting this on there!

The PV consists of four main shots: dance shot, close ups, "rock" shots (That is, shots in very rockin' outifts! :D), and the "throwing suitcases" shots. First off, the close ups, dance shot and the suitcase shots are filmed in front of a shrine with a band playing in the back. The close ups show them singing into the mic while they sing their hearts out. They all put a lot of attitude and movement into each word they sing, bringing out their inner rock stars. In a lot of the shots, it almost looks like their begging and crying out when you look in their eyes. It's quite heart-piercing to watch! XD

In the dance shot, they incorporate fans in the dance, further utilising traditional aspects into the product. If I didn't know any better about idols, I'd think it was a bit out of place with the music, but somehow, it works
in a really weird and unusual way. I think the fans flow the most in the chorus, but the choreography when they're jumping on one foot, waving their fans around in the instrumental breaks with serious faces... Yeah, I have to admit that looked pretty strange. ^.^; At first, I thought the dance had a lot of movement in it, but forgetting about the camera movements (Which also looked awesome in here), it actually is quite tame than what I would've liked, especially keeping the tempo in mind. But, like I already said, the camera movements made them look quite cool!

Suddenly, in the middle of the song, there's a black and white shot of the girls standing in a neat arrangement. Then a few seconds later, they throw their suitcases out and up towards the direction of the camera... My first thought is "WHAT ARE THEY DOING!?!". But then, after thinking for a bit, maybe this is just a symbollic scene. Perhaps what it meant was that they're throwing out their image of exclusively being an airplane-themed group and branching out to try out new things. After all, after these scenes is when the rock shots start to appear. If that's the case, then even though it was a little weird, it still looked cool... Then again, maybe they just wanted the girls to look rebellious and awesome. If so, then it was a little weird but still cool, once again. :P

The rock shots appear to be filmed inside of the shrine, instead, or a whole different area altogether. Darkness envelopes them with just a sole yellow spotlight on the girls to light the room for them. These shots really are rockin' with the setting, the outfits, the makeup, the expressions on their faces, their dancing, and the camera movements once more. Besides some shots where the camera placement and movement is awful, these shots look amazing and match the song really well. After, in the same outfits, they stand in front of a pool and fall into it. What can be more rockstar than that? Seriously though, I'm cringing at the camera placement... UH... BUT, forgetting about that and the randomness of this whole scene, the way the girls are trying their best to be like rockstars is laughable since they still seem so idol-ly cute to me. All in good fun, though!

The PV looked a little cheap, but I think it was executed well enough from what they had, and the inner rock attitude of the girls really made it enjoyable!

Overall, I give it a 8.2/10; the song was REALLY amazing and although the PV didn't perfectly match the vision in my head, it still looked quite great, especially from all those camera movements... And that is the last time I am saying that phrase for this review. :D

Watching this PV, I really want PASSPO to do well for this single. At the very least, better than their previous single. But, referring back to Candy's post about their decline (Brilliant, by the way), that goal might not be possible. I wouldn't necessarily call myself a passenger at all, and I'm sorry for the upcoming cheesiness, but I hope that PASSPO are able to pull through to make their dreams possible because they're really worth it!

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