I don't know why but I really love the translation of the title of Scandal's latest single.
Maybe there's just some sentiment I find in the title. Well, whatever it is, the title of Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne got me intrigued about Scandal again! You guys remember Scandal, right? When we last saw our guitar-strumming, drum-playing band-ols in the Wonderland, they were strutting around abandoned buildings in pencil skirts and high heels and doing adorable idol dances surrounded by backup dancers! Yeah, Pin Heel Surfer was a strange, strange single for Scandal, especially the PV I reviewed. Then the idol band released Queens are trumps -Kirifuda wa Queen- in October, and since then, I've just been waiting to see what the band does next! I admit, I don't follow Scandal very actively, but they do have several songs I enjoy and I like that the members of Scandal play their own instruments! I their more band-oriented image really sets them apart from the other idol groups I review! Well, on May 22nd, Scandal finally came back with another single, Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne. I actually thought about reviewing the PV for that song, but after watching the PV and hearing the B-side to this single, I think reviewing the single as a whole is a better route for me to go! So does Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne bring back the more typical Scandal image that was lost amongst the red high heels of Pin Heel Surfer? Let's find out!
So there are a total of three different single covers for Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne: the Regular edition, Limited A edition, and Limited B edition. What all three covers have in common is that they use projection techniques, which I will say is actually pretty neat. The Regular edition (pictured at the top of this review) is the simplest of the three song covers, only projecting the title of the single and Scandal's name. The girls are posed wearing white and also standing in front of a very minimalistic white screen. While this cover is simple, I actually think the simplicity is nice. The Regular cover just has this very clean look that I think works since the song title is very emotional. The Limited A and B covers take the projection technique just a little bit farther than the Regular edition does. The Limited A cover projects a city onto Scandal so it looks like they're standing in the middle of an intersection with several buildings and people in the background. I really like how this cover has the background of a street projected since there are several lyrics in Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne that allude to an intersection where the narrator says goodbye to the person she loves. I thought that was very clever! Limited B more or less has the same look as Limited A but the image that's projected is slightly different; the girls are still standing in an intersection but that intersection is now surrounded by people crossing through it. So maybe that was supposed to symbolize the fact that after the narrator of the song severs ties with that person she loved, she disappears back into the crowd, never to see him again? I don't know, but I'd like to think that's what the creators of this single's covers were going for! Overall, I like the projection technique used in all the covers and I think it's really what makes the images used for Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne stand out! I also like the outfits Scandal wear in said covers. They look a little 80s but not terribly so, and I think the girls of Scandal match perfectly with the backdrops projected onto each cover!
Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne
Well, what a better way to follow-up Pin Heel Surfer, a Scandal A-side that was just about as un-Scandal as you can get, with an A-side that sounds very much like your typical post-2010 Scandal single. Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne isn't a particularly hardcore rock song but it isn't as softcore as some of the other material Scandal's handled in their past discography. The song is still firmly suited in the vein of rock, but it's definitely one of the more toned down rock songs out there, especially by Scandal standards. I actually think Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne sounds a lot like Harukaze in terms of sound. Both songs have that very flowing, almost nostalgic sound to them, but I think Harukaze flows a teensy bit better than Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne. What I'm trying to say is if you're expecting an edgier A-side from this Scandal single, this is not it. I don't know why but through some miracle, this song really grew on me. I have no reasonable explanation as to why since it isn't even the best Scandal song I've ever heard but something about Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne keeps pulling me back to listen to it. I have an idea of one of the reasons why though. For some reason, I can write to this song very easily. Maybe it's the flow the song but whenever I play Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne, it's like all my magical writing gears click in my head and suddenly I'm blessed with the ability to write cohesively again! For that reason, I can't dislike this song even though when I compare it to other Scandal A-sides, it's really not the best one they've ever released. Don't get me wrong, Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne is still a pretty good song. The lyrics are very sentimental and the structuring of the song is also nice; I like the opening and ending notes of it! I also like that Haruna sings a majority of the song, with Tomomi, Mami and Rina only coming on the chorus. Not that I hate Tomomi's voice but I really don't think it would be suited to this type of song. Again, no way will Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne be my favorite Scandal song ever but I do enjoy listening to it, especially when I'm trying to write material for the Wonderland!
Now I mentioned a few paragraphs back that I'd thought about reviewing the PV for Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne. What made me decide not to review it despite reviewing Pin Heel Surfer? Well, what I try to do when deciding what PVs to review from idol groups and which ones to skip over is seeing if there's material that I can talk about in said PV. I'm not going to put effort into trying to write about a PV when I can easily sum up my opinions in a single paragraph. What also factors into my decision is how screencap-able a PV is. That's why I reviewed Pin Heel Surfer; despite being a very strange and un-Scandal PV, there was a lot of stuff I could talk about reviewing that PV. And it was surprisingly, a very fun PV to screencap just because of the sheer weirdness of seeing Scandal dance and strut around in bright red heels and fishnets. I realized after watching the PV for Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne that I wasn't going to be able to talk about the PV much beyond a paragraph or so hence I opted to do a single review instead. I will say that the PV for Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne projects an image that is much more... "Scandal" than Pin Heel Surfer did. There are no pencil skirts or backup dancers in this PV; the girls are playing their instruments... and that's pretty much the entire PV. See? I can sum it up in one sentence! Yeah, the PV shows the girls playing their instruments under different angles and different filters. In case you haven't figured yet, this is a pretty bare-bones PV. Of course, something I've always praised about Scandal is that the members of the band all know their craft well, and in PVs that show them playing their instruments, you can tell they know what they're doing. It's part of the reason why the PV for AKB48's Give Me Five! failed so much but that's another topic entirely. There's something strangely mesmerizing about watching Scandal play their instruments, and I think it has to do with the fact that the girls hone their craft so well. Overall, you don't have to watch the PV for Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne; it's not that interesting but it is nice seeing the girls actually playing their instruments!
Awanai Tsumori no Genki de ne, gets four apples from me, which is by far much better than what Pin Heel Surfer got on my Apple Rating System. I've heard better songs from Scandal, but this is still a nice song to listen to. And hey, at least the PV doesn't feature the girls wearing fishnets and dancing with backup dancers. That really happened? I didn't just dream that PV, right?
24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae
So I'd only heard one thing about 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae: it was supposed to be a pretty hard song. And then the full song got released. Now something that I haven't elaborated about with Scandal is that I am a fan of many of their more hardcore songs. Shunkan Sentimental is one of my favorite songs period and Nanka no Buttobase, Love Survive, Shoujo S, Roppongi Shinjuu, Doll, and Queens are trumps are some of my favorite Scandal songs. If they're going to do another song similar to any of those songs, I'd totally be up for it! Had I been paying more attention to Scandal's musical activities, I probably would have been able to hear just how hardcore 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae sounded sooner than I did! So anyways, did this B-side live up to its claims? After all, Daijobanai by Perfume was supposed to show off their "cool" side but I've been over just how "cool" I think that mess of a B-side sounds. Scandal's current definition of "hard" may be different from my own personal definition. 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae does start with a pretty hardcore opening with a lot of great guitar. Think Nanka no Buttobase or Shunkan Sentimental only a little bit grungier! Unfortunately, once the verses kick in, the song kind of loses some of the edge from the kickass guitar opening. Not too much, but it does feel like a change in energy, possibly an intentional one. And then the chorus picks back up to the energy level that was left in the opening. I will admit, I didn't enjoy 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae as much I as I thought I would. It's not a bad song, but I just couldn't really get into it. It felt too rough, too unpolished. Then again, that might have been the musical style Scandal was going for when they recorded this song. Who knows? I think 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae has time to grow on me though, and over time, I could see myself jamming to this B-side. I can't deny that it's got a lot of energy and I do like the Scandal went back to something a little bit messier and a little bit grittier! The more I think about it, I guess this was a pretty good B-side!
What the hell, I'm in a nice mood! Four apples for 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae! You go 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae! Well, while this B-side isn't one of those B-sides that outshines the A-side, I still think 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae is a pretty kickass song. I mean come on, the guitar in the song rocks, especially in that opening!
Well, first thing I'll say is I found Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne as a whole to be a much stronger single than Pin Heel Surfer. But I've bashed that song enough, so how does Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne hold up on its own? Well... I think this is an all-around okay single for Scandal. The A-side is definitely pretty normal, almost generic for Scandal, but there's something I still find strangely listen-able about it. 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae is the more interesting of the two songs on this single, bringing a more rocking musical style back to Scandal. Together, I think these two songs balance each other out nicely. Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne is a softer and flowier song and 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae is a louder and grittier song. They're two different tones and it's nice to have that variety on a Scandal single. Something I've kind of noticed with Scandal since 2011 is that a lot of their music leans toward pop-rock, much more so than their earlier singles. Not that I'm saying that's a bad thing, but I did want to point it out. Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne is a song that sounds very similar to Harukaze and even Pride if you squint at it. However, I think 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae is a song that could easily blend in with some of the band's older songs! So overall, I think Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne is a pretty okay single. Is by any means the best Scandal single ever? Not even close. But I think the two songs on this single are songs that I can enjoy and songs that I can see myself still listening to in the future! If you're one of those fans that likes to buy physical copies of Scandal singles, I'd say skip Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne but that's just my opinion. The songs on this single aren't terribly creative but nonetheless, I enjoyed listening to them!
Well, I gave the A-side four apples, I gave the B-side four apples, so that averages the ranking of Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne to... four apples! What a shocker there, huh guys? This is hardly my favorite single from Scandal but I still enjoyed each of the two songs on it. Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne is strangely listen-able and 24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae, while very unpolished sounding, was pretty rocking B-side as well!