Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jpop Mix: Juice=Juice, Wonderful World/Ça va ? Ça va ?

Another Music Mix post? Yes indeed. I realize that this is the third one already this month, but there have been tons of releases in 2015 that I wanted to review so I've been trying to knock them out as quickly as possible. 

This time, Juice=Juice's newest single is up. Juice=Juice is an idol group signed to Hello Project! (the same group that manages C-ute, Morning Musume and Country Girls). They are considered a newer group, since they debuted two years ago; despite being one of the newer groups, they are largely considered a professional and sleek group, with strong teamwork that mirrors C-ute. The two groups are compared often as they both have 5 members, 3 main vocalists and 2 supporting vocalists. In addition, Juice=Juice is remarkably versatile, just like their seniors. 

Juice=Juice originally boasted a very unique sound. The majority of their music featured strong jazz undertones and really made them stand out amongst the other groups in Hello Project! The release of songs such as Hadaka no hadaka no hadaka no kiss and Black Butterfly marked a departure from their earlier style and the girls began to release music in a variety of different styles. They continue in this new direction with their newest release, the double A-side single, Wonderful World/Ça va ? Ça va ?

Upon first listen, I took Wonderful World to be an unremarkable song and completely forgettable. However, when I watched the music video and watched a live performance (where you can see just how talented these girls are and how well they work together) I found that I couldn't stop humming the tune in my head. I love the uplifting mood of the melody and the lyrics. It's like a breeze of fresh air and with Spring just around the corner where I live, it's a song that I play over and over. The harmonies at the end of the song are my favorite part, particularly when Sayuki begins to sing at the end. Her voice and the melody sound so good together during these parts and it just solidified for me that Sayuki is definitely my favorite member.  The music video wasn't spectacular, but it works for this song. This is a 4.5/5. 

Ça va ? Ça va ? is definitely my favorite of the two songs. I loved it on the first listen. The fact that I studied French for 2 years and Japanese for 3 plays a large role in why I like this song so much. Seeing the two languages I have studied and love meet together in one song is great. Furthermore, this song has a very classic "French" feel to it, with the accordion playing in the background. My favorite part(s) of this song is when the girls sing "Ça va ? Ça va ? Ça va ? Oui." The dance break is great, I just love it. Of course, it would help to not have a guy speaking French, trying to sweet-talk a girl in the background, haha, but it's not so bad. I think I would have preferred if the girls themselves spoke the French dialogue, but it doesn't really bother me too much. Watching a live version of this song, I realized how great the dance break is and how well it works with the rest of the song. That final "Je t'aime bien" that Karin sings is so cute! This is a 5/5, I cannot stop repeating it since I bought it on iTunes. 

A 4.8/5 is the final verdict on this single. It's definitely one of my favorite releases of Juice=Juice, although I do miss their more jazz inspired releases. I look forward to seeing this group continue to develop. They are already amazingly talented and I can't wait to see what other surprises they have up their sleeves. Needless to say, I really admire this group of young girls and I consider them to be among the strongest units that Hello Project! has to offer.

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