Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Keyakizaka46 – Mou Mori E Kaerou Ka?

Electro sounds – yes! Bland vocals – maybe?


Ryo Miyauchi: “Mou Mori E Kaerou Ka?” seems no different from other Keyakizaka singles, where they again preach this need to break away from society’s attempts to mold you a certain way. While these underdog anthems of rebellion come from a songwriter who also handles the biggest idol franchise in Japan, the group has thrived commercially as they lean more into the irony and flirt with the bombast. “Mou Mori E,” though, carries the group’s usual shtick with more restraint. The premise is still a touch ridiculous: the city dream fails them, so they reason going Walden must be the cure. But the icy, soul-crushed dance beat plus their usual flat singing suggests the feeling that, well, what else is there to do? And retreating from life to a personal utopia isn’t a new concept especially to the devoted fans, perhaps a metaphor that hits a bit too close to home.

Rebecca A. Gowns: The kind of standard shimmery pop I’d expect to hear under a conversation about lunch on “Terrace House.” Nothing out of the ordinary, but it sure makes that debate over “eating out or eating in” bounce!

Katherine St Asaph: Dance-pop of the cheerful, uplifting Robert Miles-inflected and EDM-conversant variety, which is not particularly my thing; even if it were, I’d probably still find the vocals a dull blanket smothering it.

Cassy Gress: For a song about escaping the cold, concrete shackles of the city to a forest utopia (metaphorical or no), their voices are awfully gray, and the sparkling accompaniment almost seems to be anxiously tugging them away. Maybe that’s the point.

Claire Biddles: My current favourite (maybe forever favourite, but it’s so pleasingly prominent now) pop thing is the juxtaposition of big banging electro choruses and vocal lines that are almost reserved in their resigned longing. “Mou Mori E Kaerou Ka?” is a lovely addition to this canon of millennial melancholy. 

Will Rivitz: The trance-y backdrop is blindingly brilliant, fireworks on the Fourth of July. The flat, bland vocal delivery is like sitting in your room scrolling mindlessly through Instagram while the fireworks explode outside. 

Jonathan Bradley: The familiar headiness of the idol-group rush is dreamier and more wistful in the hands of Keyakizaka46; the spacey middle eight, in particular, could have come from Korean dream-pop act Neon Bunny. The murmuring, layered vocal array contrasts with the approach of sister group AKB48, who prefer to overwhelm through sheer numbers. “Mou Mori-e” leaves some of its impulses unspoken; there are hints of shadows and magic in its trance thump.

Reader average: [10] (2 votes)

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