I actually did not see this coming.
In my brief time as a AKB48 fan, I had pretty much come to expect from them and any other idol group, that the idols sang the songs and dances and that was it. Other people always wrote the songs and performed the music. So here I was once again finally beginning to accept the lack of Akimoto Sayaka in the Senbatsu and replace of Undergirls with Special Girls when Aki-P dropped even more shocking news.
AKB48 will be playing their own music.
Has this ever happened? I think I only know of one other group that plays their own instruments and that's Scandal. Then again, they might be a band and not an idol group but I really don't follow them (but maybe I should...). The Baby Blossom lineup consists of six core members (Takamina on lead guitar, Acchan on rhythm guitar, Yuko on bass, Yukirin on drums, and Mayuyu and Harunyan on keyboards). The other twelve members do stuff ranging from trombones to percussion to chorus to... shakers? Poor Tomochin, it must be embarassing to play the easiest instrument in the world. I saw a live performance of Give Me Five! and I was really amazed at how everyone played. Granted it wasn't Jimi Hendrix-level but factoring in the short amount of time they had to learn, it's still pretty good. Special points go to Takamina for her awesome guitar solo! The only problem was the six main members were so busy concentrating on their instruments their vocals were a little soft but I can understad that.
In the radio preview the instrumentals sound even better. It might be just studio enhancements, but I'm still very intrigued at the idea of a big-band concept for AKB. It's a new and fresh idea so it's bound to garner sales for the group and I hope it sells really well. Maybe Aki-P will let them do a single like this again if Give Me Five! succeeds! As for the song, I enjoy it! It sounds like a combination of their past songs (Heavy Rotation, Iiwake Maybe, 10nen Zakura, Chance no Juban) and the genki sound is a nice contrast to last year's sakura single! Is it anything special? No, but for what it is and the amount of effort put in from the girls, I'll take it! The covers are also pretty neat but very simple. Still, I like the black and white contrasting with the colored background they were photoshopped into! Actually, it's quite stylish and polished!
In other news, it was also announced that Aki-P was hiring other songwriters to help compose the songs for the other 48 groups. I can see why considering he's writing for 5+ groups and at this point he's written all the songs. But I'm actually kind of happy other people may help write the songs because maybe it can provide some diversity and different styles! And Kitharie Rie is getting to write a song for Not yet, the subgroup she's in! Which is totally awesome because if she's getting to help out with the songs maybe some of the other girls will get to as well! I admit this could be very hit or miss depending on their songwriting skills but there has to be at least a few members who are competent at writing decent songs! And who knows? Maybe some of the other members could provide instrumentals and others could write lyrics and it would be like a giant effort of idols!! Again, that could be hit or miss but if it succeeded, that would be awesome.