Hello! Project is at it again! The mega-group BEYOOOOONDS, ridiculousness aside, consists of two already-formed Hello! Project groups, joined with three winners of the ONLY YOU audition, makes their debut in the summer of 2019 with a triple A-side that addresses the hot topics: will that boy with glasses like me? Will we reach out to Japan? Will we get the body we want?!
I wonder if we get any of these answers through this single release and if they end up being the right ones… there’s only one way to find out!
Megane no Otoko no Ko
If you didn’t already notice, the single bases itself on a manga concept, going for a shoujo theme. To start this (as you might already tell) ridiculously fun single, “Megane no Otoko no Ko” kicks things off with an introductory drama scene that full-on describes the need for these youthful girls to see a ‘boy with glasses’, who is allegedly (‘allegedly’) really attractive. From here, it goes into the song for a full-on 8-bit-like idol-pop jam meshed with traditional Japanese music. It’s a frantic song, which goes into dubstep here and there, as well, before it explodes into heavy guitar, before going 8-bit again with a rap… it’s just all over, but it doesn’t lose any of its fun and charm. While it’s not my favorite of the A-sides on the single, it’s still a fun jam; I just won’t be checking out glasses boy as much…
Nippon no D.N.A!
D.N.A of Japan!
If you were looking for the idol-pop version of DA PUMP’s ‘U.S.A.’, then look no further than “Nippon no D.N.A!” from beyooooond the Hello! Project roster (ha).
Jumping RIGHT into the track, we’re given a HEY YO! intro by Hirai Miyo about Japan before delving into a piano-driven dance idol-pop track filled with cute references to Japanese culture, marks of interlude yells by Okamura Minami and Maeda Kokoro for even more cute and hilarious references, to an insanely sick electronic piano solo by Kobayashi Honoka (who has made claim that the piano is integral to her identity and pretty much takes this into every song on the single). It’s a love-letter to Japan formulated along the anthem-like sound that ‘U.S.A’ somehow managed to make for DA PUMP and America. It’s fun, it’s catchy, it’s crazy, it’s the Japanese D.N.A!
The best song on the single, and it’s a cover!
If you recall ever listening to The Village People and their hit Y.M.C.A., this is not it. However, they did have a little ditty called ‘Go West’. Here, BEYOOOOONDS goes for a different approach to the song, incorporating the original’s fun instrumental but with quirky idol music AND a workout-tape concept, the song being aptly named “Go Waist“. Beautiful.
And boy does it sell! Nothing much is changed in terms of the song’s overall structure apart from the fun electronic sounds, and vocally, it’s not in any way awful. The song just works, and the lyrics are incredibly playful. I forgot to mention that there’s a nice funky rap in between, and the girls even incorporate their own group name into the song for good effect. Did I also mention Eguchi Saya’s incredible cutaway workout sequence that demolishes anything Ishikawa Rika has done for Morning Musume.? No, it wasn’t made just for the video. It’s in the song. It works. This song is hype. 1, 2, 3, pump up! Go waist!
Ame no Mori Kawa Umi
My personal favorite of the B-sides. Performed by Ame no Mori Kawa Umi within BEYOOOOONDS, “GIRL ZONE” is a wickedly fun track, which goes ham pretty much right away as it will have the listener go ‘hey! hey!’ before delving into speedy fun with its quickly-delivered verses. Built on an electric guitar and a dance-pop instrumental, “GIRL ZONE” jumps right into the catchiest chorus with fun ‘ah’s, where the instrumental then goes into overdrive. The song sounds a little disjointed, but that’s its charm altogether: it’s fast and it’s everywhere. We’re in the girl zone, and we’re loving it!
Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi
Cultural Festival Committee Executive Chairman’s Love
The single does start to wane BUT I will still give “Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi” credit. Starting off with a drama set (much like “Megane no Otoko no Ko”), the track goes right into idol-pop territory, almost giving us AOP vibes by taking in an electric guitar sound that sounds quite like it belongs in Osomatsu-san. It’s a fun track, having a slight catchy appeal, with its chorus being hyper in sound. However, it does feel a tad too long, and it doesn’t quite have the catch that the other songs on the single has. Sorry, Miss Chairman, but I’m not quite in love with this… yet (maybe I’ll get there).
Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete
Embrace Me at Roppongi Station on the Toei Oedo Line
The final song on the single, “Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete“, is by the second-formed group of BEYOOOOONDS, CHICA#TETSU, going for a traditional idol-pop sound, incorporating more of the bubblegum-pop sound with its twinkly noise and 80s-like synth. It feels joyful, and its chorus has a sparkly, summery-like vibe that will have you going ‘fukaku’ and ‘hayaku’ all over the place (did I mention how incredibly catchy this song is?). It certainly has a lot of the fun elements that make idol-pop music as incredible as it is. They even have dialogue (BEYOOOOONDS really like to do that, I love it). While it’s no ‘GIRL ZONE’, I give CHICA#TETSU props for giving us a good taste of their sound, and I find I might really enjoy this song with more listens!
I love this single.
The side-unit songs, the A-sides… they’re fun stuff. I’m wondering if BEYOOOOONDS is Tsunku’s version of ‘I need a group that doesn’t take themselves seriously’, and frankly, I am here for this. Whatever the case may be about the formation of this single, it certainly brought the mega-group to the spotlight as the single reached #1 on the Oricon charts when it came out. It worked.
And it certainly worked on me. All my questions were answered. Can’t wait to see what’s next beyooooond this point, but I have my eyes on BEYOOOOONDS!
MUST-LISTEN: Go Waist, ニッポンのD・N・A!, GIRL ZONE, 都営大江戸線の六本木駅で抱きしめて