Released: February 10, 2016
These days, a greatest hits album—or two—can be seen as a premature sense of promotion. I mean, every damn musician and band I have witnessed, and begun to really enjoy in the 2010s decade, are poppin’ out compilation albums left, right and center, to the point where you think, “like really?” Some artists only bloody START their career, and next minute… won’t you look at that; three years later, a greatest hits of some sort. And as an example, E-girl’s first retrospect, E.G. Smile: E-girls Best, serves that purpose too well.
I know, I know… The 20-plus girl group from the Kawaii capital Japan were on the scene for five years until they released this record, even with a selection singles and few studio releases to keep their fan base full with blood-pumping dance beats and oh-so-cute bangers. But come on, with a year of album releases and singles, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to tell which track list and single releases belongs to each record; it isn’t hard y’all. But in defense of this irresistible idol group—who have been literally growing on me insanely like a rash—E.G. Smile: E-girls Best boasts a slick blend of overbearing cute pop bangers, and some mature offerings that encapsulate the band perfectly.
I for one was not a fan of E-girls since their debut, so with a collection like this, it makes perfect sense to re-live moments that we may have skipped; re-listening to the disco anthem “Celebration!” is like a bunch of fireworks going off in your head, while the commercial hits “Follow Me”, “Candy Smile” and “Diamond Only” spark up the extra oomph that was needed in comparison to their debut efforts. But as we go on a mega trip of cutesy aesthetics, fluffy clothes and every color on the bloody color chart, the girls start to show their fierceness and diva-realness in the infectious “E.G. Anthem: We Are Venus” and groovy funk number “Dance Dance Dance”. But from all these hits, the one smash is the new track “Dance With Me Now!”. Like, gurz… this is nothing but B.A.N.G.E.R. written all over the wall. Not only is it one of their best dance cuts, but the video?!?! Lord have mercy on my J-pop soul! EPIC!
All in all, E.G. Smile: E-girls Best is a cool and catchy little collection that will get you moving on the dance floor (on with your earphones in, and basically dancing anywhere whilst making a fool of yourselves in public.) Now, subsequently, of course the girls don’t have dynamic vocals, or a set idol-like image, which isn’t an issue for me. And while the group heavily rely on the composition, they serve it all with solid dance performances, straightforward deliveries, and hit the nail on the head with irresistible hooks. Makes me think twice about this whole greatest hits “released-in-like-every-two-or-four-years” ordeal. Shucks.
Track Listing (Bold means best tracks):
- Celebration! ~Liam’s favorite~
- One Two Three
- Follow Me
- THE NEVER ENDING STORY
- CANDY SMILE
- Gomennasai no Kissing You
- Diamond Only
- E.G. Anthem: WE ARE VENUS
- Odoru Ponpokorin
- Highschool Love
- Mr. Snowman
- Dance Dance Dance
- Merry x Merry Xmas
- DANCE WITH ME NOW! ~Liam’s favorite~
- Shukko sa: Sail Out for Someone