Released: January 1, 2015
Dropping hits left, right and center, the collective unit E-girls surfaced yet again in 2015—but bear in mind their previous album Colorful Pop was a YEAR from this—with their record E.G. Time. And as the title suggests, it sure was. Though, not much of a wardrobe change or change of vocalists, the girls journey through the world of J-Pop and Western elements as they teamed up with a variety of producers to create a variety of sounds in order to squeeze these girls into their set pigeonhole.
Thankfully to their advantage, the girls play it safe-ish and manage to work within every realm. They linger with a funky fuse of disco-pop (“E.G. Anthem: We Are Venus”), a re-visit and re-vamp of their classic J-pop sound (“Mr. Snowman”, “Odoru Ponpokorin”, Jiyuu No Megami”) and a couple of generic ballads (“Again”, “Chocolat”). Lucky for the girls, E.G. Time isn’t spoiled by any tempo-killers and all managed to work in unison; even the ballad-esque numbers “Again” and “Chocolat” emphasizes a quirky twist to keep it up to your quintessential E-girls standard.
But one moment that grinded my gears were the final tracks; “Gomenasai no Kissing You” and “Follow Me”, the… how you say, E.G. Time versions. I can understand a return to the former track, where you could only hope that the producers intended to give it a refreshing mix. But as a person who literally gives a damn about the entire craftiness of an album, the mix hits hard… on the ground… face first. And, as for “Follow Me”… Really? Another mix of “Follow Me”? Okay guys, you’re really milking it now. The ONLY slow pace song, the gentle ballad “Kibou no Hikari ~Mirai wo Shinjite~”, makes an uneven appearance at the end, but because the track is actually nice, top-notch quality and quite charming, I’ll let this one slide as an album closer.
But apart from the horrible re-mixes, the best moments of E.G. Time was the girl’s ability to really extend their horizons with various notable producers, such as Yasutaka Nakata. He producers the house-anthem “Music Flyer”, which is like… fire. Complete fire. An empowerment anthem that boasts only the best euphoric and uplifting sounds in J-Pop (in my opinion), it is their first real club-anthem since “Rydeen (Dance All Night)”. Also, what I immediately noticed is that unlike many of the ka-billion acts Mr. Nakata producers, “Music Flyer” brings a lot more personality and depth which only earns more brownie points to the hit-maker and E-girls. But keeping it Kawaii-fied, E-girls served another smash with “Highschool Love”, which is just as hotter and catchier.
So, as a whole, it looks like the girls have really done a good job with E.G. Time. It’s an infectious collection of J-Pop and other numerous sounds that circulate to pure efficiency and sparkle, and makes other girl groups these day sound like amateurs (no T no shade). The material fits, the hooks are there, and the beats a hot-as-hell fire. What could you ask for from a cute little album like this?
Track list (Bold means best tracks):
- E.G. Anthem: We Are Venus
- Mr. Snowman
- Music Flyer ~Liam’s favorite~
- Move It!: Dream and E-girls Time
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Widow
- Highschool Love
- Odoru Poponkorin
- Jiyou no Megami (Yuvuraia)
- Ureshii! Tanoshi! Daisuki!
- Gomenasai no Kissing You (E.G. Time mix)
- Follow Me (E.G. Time mix)
- Kibou no Hikari (Mirai wo Shinjite)