Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jpop Mix: Tsubaki Factory, Seishun Manmannaka!

How long has it been since I've done one of these? Wow, a while. There have been a lot (and I mean A LOT) of releases among my favorite singers/groups in the last few months but I'm going to zero in on one and post my thoughts on their newest release. This time I will introduce a new group that just made their indies debut earlier this month: Tsubaki Factory. Hey, doesn't that sounds a lot like Kobushi Factory? Yes, yes it does and this is because the groups are meant to be "sister" groups of sorts, thus the "Factory" in both of their names.

I will be the first to admit that my initial impression of Tsubaki was not all that great. This is probably because the girls of Kobushi Factory are so polished. While not bad singers nor bad dancers, Tsubaki factory lacks the vocal prowess that their older sister group is consistently praised for. Further, the girls are still a bit awkward on stage. While I would normally find this endearing, it is a stark contrast when compared to Kobushi's confidence and obvious superior stage presence. While I know the two groups shouldn't be compared, I really can't help it. Since they were formed so close to each other and have the sister group tag, it's so hard not to compare them!

Anyway, as time has progressed I have seen them improve their stage presence and the way(s) they work together as a team. Further, their vocals have definitely improved. While it took longer, Tsubaki has officially debuted in the indies scene with their single: 青春まんまんなか! [Seishun Manmannaka!] 

Honestly? I was blown away by this song. Something about the gentle, sweet appearance of the girls made me think they would release really sweet, mellow ballads or maybe a song that so sugary that I would find myself wincing. But no, they drop this heavy electro pop dance track. Like..whaa? I loved it on first listen and still love it now! Kobushi have distinguished themselves with their pop-rock sound. I certainly hope Tsubaki also sticks to an electro/dance genre for the time being until they start branching out to other genres of music (similar to how Juice=Juice started out heavily influenced by jazz and blues in their first year or so).

Tsubaki's debut song has a great beat in the background. I like how the different elements come together to create the song. I'm a huge fan of the background suddenly stopping and the focus being on the vocals for parts of the song. And that dance break - gosh I don't even know why I like it so much. At first the robotic voice used was kind of freaky but I don't mind it anymore and believe it just adds another layer to the song that works well in harmony with the rest of the song.

Sweet job Tsubaki. I will definitely be looking out for further works from you and following you more closely as a group. Good luck and I hope that major debut comes for you soon! 5/5 Stars.

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