Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meika's Music for Thought #5 - LIVE

Welcome to the 5th installment of Meika's Music for Thought! So, instead of music videos like I usually do for this segment or even in just single PV reviews, I decided to do lives on groups I have never looked at before. I myself much prefer watching PV's over lives. But with littler-known idol groups especially, only live videos are available to watch. And sometimes, there are "surprises" that can happen in lives that might not appear in PV's as much, like acapella, dance solos, skits, and crowd surfing. Will that happen in these videos? I'm not sure since I haven't watched any of them, yet, and will write my first impressions as I go. I'll also probably review lives in the future, but I'll see how it goes. So, let's get started!


Before watching - Searching them up, I was surprised to see two guys in a group with five other girls. The only other "idol" group about their ages that I can think of that includes both sexes is Dream5, and they're not even an idol group. Out of the seven, the two guys and four girls make up the dancers, while the girl left is the sole vocal. I was at least hoping for two vocalists since listening to one singer might get boring, but hopefully, her voice keeps me interested.
Watching - When the video starts up, five out of the seven members are on stage wearing awesome black and white costumes that look like a twist on prom clothing. Once the song starts, although the instrumental is kind of hard to hear, I can hear that it has a slightly funky (slightly) and yet calm sound. This is personally my type of song and I quite like it a lot! But what I'm really impressed with is the vocalist's voice! For the most part if not for the whole time, she has stability, power yet softness, can hit those high notes, and she sounds like Kotori from Dream5, whose voice I love! XD The choreography is alright; it's simplicity and repetitiveness kind of disappoints me since I would've liked to see the dancers show off their skill more, even with a not so fast song. (I mean, they wouldn't be dancers otherwise, right? :P) And the unity was kind of off which might have to do with the slow speed of the dance; with fast dances, mistakes are less visible unless you freeze for one or two seconds. They tried their best, though, and it was still enjoyable to watch. But when the guys started to do some B-boying at the end and then it STOPPED... What a tease. I really wanted to see what kind of moves they'd pull off, but at least from what I saw, they're great and cute B-boys. XD
After watching - JuRias has only released their debut single in July, but I think they already have a lot of potential to be great! I just wish they were given better choreography since I think they can handle it, (And I'm a sucker for dancers!) but their vocalist and their music style are on the right track... Unless the song is a cover since I was going to review another one of their lives and the first song they sang was a cover of Happiness' Friends. So far, so good.


Before watching - On looking them up, the three members look quite young and ARE quite young, as the range is from the 6th year in elementary school to the second year in middle school. Their picture shows them in caps and vibrant tees, and right away I'm guessing that their main style is hip hop. Sure enough, in the description I can see "R&B HIPHOP", along with the pleasing words of "dance and vocal unit". Yes, another dance unit!
Watching - When the song starts, it really does carry the style of RnB and Hiphop; Lyrical hiphop, which is one of my favourite, if not favourite, music styles. It's calm again, yet hip. A lot of the instruments they use in hear I have heard in Western RnB songs from when I wasn't a Jpop fan, and I think they work well together. The vocals are autotuned. GRR!! But... Somehow... I'm sort of okay with it because of the awesome instrumental. Sort of. Still, I'd rather much hear their real voices since I believe their good singers. But it's nice to hear more than one singer as a contrast to JuRias. Overall, a wonderful song to me!
The choreography is better than the last one but still isn't the most exciting. At least it's less repetitive, but something about how all or some of the girls dance makes it look awkward... Maybe how they were hunching over? Maybe they weren't putting a lot of effort into it? I don't know. They also could be more united in their dancing, but individually, they're good dancers that I also think could use better choreography to fully show what they're capable of.
After watching - ... In the middle of the video is where I seriously just realized that it's just a rehearsal. ^.^; So obviously, some of my opinions can be argued as unfair since they are still practicing it, but I'm still not gonna change it because I'm lazy. ANYWAYS, I love this group's style and how all the girls are singing and dancing, but with better choreography and less to no autotune, we could see how much potential they really have to be a great idol group! Still, even with those things, they seem to be pulling it off, so I can't wait for future lives from this group!

Takasugi Minami

Before watching - Well, no soloists so far in this post, but that's about to change right now! From her Ameba blog profile, she's one year older than me, likes to sing and dance, and can do handsprings! Sounds like the perfect idol so far! Actually, I don't know if she's officially an idol, but I'll use it in this review to make it easier.
Watching - When the song first comes on, I thought the instrumental sounded cute but too empty. And what made it even worse was that it was very repetitive. I swear, I don't think I heard barely any variation in the instrumental when I was listening to it. Luckily, the composition itself is much more interesting. I think it could've worked with an upbeat rock kind of sound. Even more lucky is Minami's voice that really stands out! I feel it has an "oomph" to it and a young, fresh yet maturing "feel". Sometimes, she might've sounded nasally to me, but whatever; her voice is just excellent to my ears!
Actually looking at the video (Since I was solely listening to the song to focus on just that), I think she moves around just fine, though the times when she slouches makes her stage presence awkward to watch. I also she pulls of good facial expressions that are genuine, and the big smiles she makes are contagious! I think she could work on pumping up the crowd more during instrumental breaks, but for now, her just performing might be enough to hype the crowd. :P
After watching - In general, Minami's a really wonderful and young singer who I think deserves better songs than Darling. I mean, the composition wasn't that bad, but maybe, I'd like to see her challenge other styles of songs since I can really hear her voice in rock songs, or at least more serious songs. I'm also looking forward to seeing her stage presence blossom and just get better with time! That's really weird to say about someone who's older than me. ^.^;


Before watching - This group looks REALLY intriguing from their photos! For me, it's because of their outfits; they wear clashing patterns, bright colours, shirts with different lengths and necklines, bottoms with different lengths and accents. Even wigs (I'm 99.9% sure) in one of their profile pictures. In their individual pictures, they already excude confidence and probably experience, whether in modelling, already being in an idol group etc. I really can't wait to see what the video has to bring!
Watching - The song first comes in and... Hmm, not what I was expecting. In both vocals and instrumental. The instrumental is much more idol-like than I thought it was going to be. (Though it still sounds good) And the high notes weren't exactly executed that well. Heck, I didn't even know there was going to be high notes. XD As the song goes on, I think I've come to the conclusion that the girls are much better at singing in duos or whatever groups they were in rather than unison lines. That, and I think the instrumental was better to listen to in comparison to the vocals. Man, I just wish there wasn't so much high notes in this song; I think they'd pull it off better, and in turn, make it a better song to listen to. On the bright side, I definitely heard some individuality in their voices, and that may be enough for me. So, more smaller group lines in future songs, please~!
The outfits are in the same style as the ones from their website, which I loved from their weirdness and uniqueness... Can't say the same about the choreography. So. Fricken'. SIMPLE. Maybe they aren't dancers like I was expecting, but this simple? On the bright side once again, I actually think they were quite united in their moves which is surprising for such a slow dance. I can also tell they put in effort and their facial expressions were all nice! I guess I'll just need to wait some time before I can see some better choreography and songs from this group.
After watching - Sorry, it wasn't a completely live video since there were backstage clips, (Which were fun to watch!) but I've come this far and am not going to another video. Moving on~. This group I feel has a long journey ahead of them in order for their singing and dancing to get better. For now, they should get songs that are more suited for their voices (i.e., less high notes) and maybe more challenging choreography that they can still pull off. Other than that, I think they already have the personalities, the looks, and the effort to be however successful they wanna be!
Out of all the groups today, I think I was most impressed with JuRias; even if they debuted less than two months ago, they already are pretty good dancers, have an awesome vocalist, and have a music style that appeals to me. But I think all acts have potential to be better, so let's hope they grow on their individual journeys! All in all, I think this first live review went well and I'll most likely be doing another in the future! If you wanna know more about these acts, please don't hesitate to check out the links below:

JuRias Official Site
MAGIC Profile on Hatafes
Takasuga Minami Official Ameba Blog
Chu-Z Official Site

1 comment:

  1. I was reading the descriptions of what you wrote before I watched anything, and one group caught my attention: JuRias. The JuRias video would have been better if there wasn't a mall announcement blaring over the music. There aren't many idol groups with a mix of girls and boys, but Dream5 and JuRias aren't the only two. At avex artist academy, they train young singers and dancers, and then put some of them together in temporary groups that sing avex cover songs. I didn't realize that they were temp groups until one of my favorite groups didn't perform for a few months, only to see the members return in new groups. Chou-Chou was split up three ways, and Mori Hanano went into Sparcle. Originally Sparcle had five members, with three girls and two boys. One of the boys left or was removed by avex (I don't know which), and that left Naoki-kun as the sole boy in a very girly group. (Look at their costumes in the videos I will link, and see what I mean.) Sparcle and Sparcle Girls (only two of the girls) are in this playlist I made. Videos 12, 21 and 25 are what you want to see (25 is Sparcle Girls without Naoki.) http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2D33B84DA267AEE2&feature=plcp


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