Keyakizaka46: “Futari Saison” – Single Review

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Released: November 30, 2016

I reviewed Keyakizaka46’s single “Silent Majority” and noticed a musical departure from the typical idol sound, which in my books, is a “thank f-ing god moment” because it really worked out for the band’s debut. However, the other tracks on the single were crap and generic, so I wasn’t looking forward to any further releases by the idol group. Then they announced the release of “Futari Saison” in October last year, which… ehhh, didn’t get me excited. So, I had another listen this month to really see if I could TRY and listen more in depth with the idol sound, or just switch the computer off.

Dare I say it, and I’ll say it quite proudly too (well, not really, but with enjoyment), but “Futari Saison” is probably the best-packaged release by an idol group. Period. Dot.com (yes y’all, it has its own domain). What struck me with this single is that, unlike the work of their sister groups—and yes, rival bands—is that there is a substance of emotion and consistency within its sound and songwriting, which actually startled me a bit (yes y’all). The title single is a subtle acoustic number that riddles an undertone of electronics and synths. Yup, pretty typical. But once the chorus starts, your in for a big blast; it is really catchy and the repetition of “Futari saison” is quite an earworm. At times, I feel the beat of AKB48’s “Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai” in there, but “Futari Saison” still stands pretty well by itself. But what I enjoyed so much about the track is that there is a bit of melancholy behind all the warm and fuzzy presentation of the group, which to me, is impressive towards an idol group’s sound. Lord, I can hear the amazingness just blessing my ears.

To its extent, the bonus B-sides aren’t bad either. “Otona wa Shinjite Kurenai”, a rock-inflicted anthem that discusses the switch of adolescence (yup, we all go through it), is F-ing catchy once it hits the chorus I shit you not. Plus, I’m loving the real grunge-like strumming and danceable beat. Speaking of dancing, the pleasantly surprising “Dare Yori mo Takaku Tobe!” give’s me a bit of Nogizaka46 vibes, but the producers of the track clearly induced a little Latin flavor with some banging synths as well to keep it apart. YASSS, a bop of a tune! And even the classic-sounding J-pop track “Yuuhi 1/3” breaks the quintessential tradition and features some vocalists singing solo instead of a tight unison style, which is a little refreshing. The only crap tunes here are “Bokutachi no Sensou”, which is some dated-as-hell video game-like track, and “Seifuku to Taiyou” maybe sweet, but is slightly ruined by the monotonous delivery by the band.

Apart from those two bumps int he road, “Futari Saison” has set out to be quite an amazing little release. I never really got into idol music, and probably will never get infected by it immensely (I guess that’s a good thing… maybe), but “Futari Saison” and it’s B-side tracks have really got me into the swing of a new horizon… again, that’s a maybe. Catchy, delicate songwriting in contrast to a strong production, I can tell you that I’m looking forward to Keyakizaka46’s upcoming release… but hopefully it still serves the same thrills as this. Or gurls and boyz, next (no initial shade, but loving this track).

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