Released: April 6, 2016
Here’s the deal; I am no fan of idol groups, particularly the ones in this generation. Back in the 1990s–2000s, regardless if they were innocent J-pop beginners or even Westerners channelling a similar aesthetic, they had a more catchiness and accessibility to the public where it was on every one’s lips (yup, call me old-fashion, but ehhh whatever…). These days, you couldn’t even tell the difference between each member whether they wore slightly different clothing or hair colours (a.k.a. clean or ratchet-as weaves). To say the least, the appeal has become quite monotonous since its evolution. But hey, if they’re selling well, do ya thang, do ya thang… or ironically, go by the producers requests (no shade y’all).
One of the more recent idol groups are Keyakizaka46, who are the sister group to yet another idol group—surprisingly *sarcasm*—Nogizaka46, both whom serve as rival’s to the top idol group out there, and inevitably, AKB48. Yup to me, there’s no difference; I’ve listened to each groups and no matter how hard I induce into their sound, it just doesn’t do anything for me. Next… Annnnnyyyway, Keyakizaka46 are quite younger and bare the similar pure and Kawaii-aesthetic like every idol band. But their debut single, the chilling anthem “Silent Majority”, is, dare I say, an intriguing release. The single was released back in April last year, but the production of the track is that good, it’s pretty memorable; sophisticated acoustics are the key here, but the subtle synths and electronics actually make it quite bouncy and fun, oddly enough. And, the biggest bang of all is the bands vocals; at times, I keep getting annoyed by the overly dull vocal performances by idol groups, but the presentation of “Silent Majority” is actually quite listenable, and at times, entertaining.
But then we get the other single tracks, which have always been a “mehh” affair (no duhh of course). None of the other the B-side tracks are as accessible and catchy like “Silent Majority”, so it’s a skippable phase. However, there are some traits that I actually enjoyed, only served by quantities though. “Yamanote Line” has a 80’s throwback vibe that sounds very prominent to the work of solo idol artists, so I’ll give it that for the producers revisiting the oldies. Same goes to the poppy “Noriokureta Bus” and closing number “Kimi ga Inai”, which are quite happy-go-lucky little gems. Not the best, but it’s still quite pretty.
So, has “Silent Majority”, or even the appeal of Keyakizaka46 impressed me? Well, no. Only the title track was thrilling whilst the rest was “NEXT” material. So no, there isn’t anything special with the entirety of the package here. But is it far better than other idol singles? Well, considering that I enjoy this track, yes and no. But having said that, there is still a LOT more improvement if they’re gonna debut into the world of fluffy, kawaii-school girl-ish idol phenomenon, so hopefully something works. But til’ then, the title track is pretty dope.