Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Momoiro Clover Z – The Diamond Four

Gonna need to find two and two-thirds more diamonds…


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Ryo Miyauchi: Funk rap is just one of many styles Momoiro Clover Z have taken on while going through what seems like their rebrand period: a self-titled album as a four-piece after operating as a quintet for nearly a decade. And as “The Diamond Four” shows, rap suits Momo Clo by maturing their personalities, enhancing their usual athletic trading of lines and providing an opportunity to get witty and self-referential. The opening verse feels especially sentimental as they nod at their trademark songs: the pun of “Kaito Shojo” reminds of their roots as idols out to steal hearts, and their mention of traveling the country reminds of their gazetteer “Momo Clo No Nippon Manzai,” but from the voice of grown pop icons who can now drive themselves throughout Japan. While the constant play on syllables may amount to gibberish fluff, the silliness of it pads the serious side of this act of growing up.
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Katie Gill: It’s cute? The song is sweet and peppy, like a injection of cotton candy straight to the veins. But honestly, the adorable swing-esque instrumentation is doing the most work. The music is bright, saccharine, and fun in an unexpected way, while poor Momoiro Clover Z are relegated to just rapping cutely.
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Alfred Soto: The addled production is the star, but Momoiro trade Minnie Mouse vocals, interject monosyllables, and act like Andrew Sisters playing at Jabba the Hutt’s Tatooine palace. Where’d they come up with this guitar riff or that piano line? 
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Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: “The Diamond Four” is about as astounding a balancing act as any I’ve heard recorded, with the beat flipping at rates that make the “SICKO MODE”s of the world seem banal. And yet, regardless of whether Momoiro Clover Z’s quartet is accompanying us through uncanny valley funk, muscular power pop, or piano balladry, “The Diamond Four” works. It’s impossibly catchy, the work of a full armada of hooks.
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Alex Clifton: (Stefon voice) This song has everything: a Western-style guitar to start off, a horror violin screech, rap interludes, DJ scratches, that ’90s flute noise, a nightmare piano, big band flourishes, funk guitar, and a … distinctly normal chorus. I’m in awe of the production and also deeply afraid of it.
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Ian Mathers: The production on this is so nuts (in a good way) that at one point I looked over assuming that five minutes had passed and discovered I was two minutes in. Multiple listens later I still feel like I have no particular idea what’s going to happen next, except that it’s going to be fun as hell.
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2 Responses to “Momoiro Clover Z – The Diamond Four”

  1. “I’m in awe of the production and also deeply afraid of it” is PERFECT

  2. Seems like ‘invisible manners’ is their new Hyadain, having also produced Mahorovacation and Blast. It’s a perfect development for the group. invisible manners takes the frenetic genre-hopping style that Hyadain started with, but adds more rhythm and matures the production to fit the aging of the group, as well as letting them swagger a bit more, as befitting their top dog place in the industry. Hyadain’s appeal was in making you notice how hard they were working to perform those songs, but invisible manners goes for the image of making it look easy.

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