Pop music comes and goes very quickly here in Japan. Which is no different than many other counties. Some of it, just like everywhere else in the world, is very forgettable. But, every so often something comes along that stands out so much, that you have no choice but to pay attention.
Recently a group called BABYMETAL released their first album in Japan. They have been around since 2010 and have released a few singles. What makes them different is the groups entire approach to pop music.
Seriously, what are they?
The easiest way to describe BABYMETAL is, you take the vocals of any idol group (such as AKB48, who I have spoken about before) and add them to the heavy growling sounds of death metal. The lyrics consist of what you’d expect from a “pop” group. Nothing about death and suicide here. One of their popular songs was an anti-bulling anthem. What would you expect from a “dangerous kawaii” idol group where the average age is 12 year old? Yes, you read that correct, 12 years old.
Advertising for this group has exploded since the release of the album. You cannot step into any Tower Records or TSUTAYA in Japan without seeing a huge display, and their music blaring through the speakers. It’s incredibly strange, but interesting, hearing these cute vocals screaming to over the top guitar riffs. Everyone wants to know who BABYMETAL is. Their promo video for “Gimmie Chocolate!!” has almost 2 million views.
They even were used to promote the opening of Metallica’s Through The Never when it opened in Japan.
Then to make it even more interesting, they seem to be gaining traction overseas. Friends back home have started asking me about BABYMETAL. Saying they are hearing them being talked about on various English websites and through word of mouth.
Next “Big Thing” in Japan?
The group takes a unique idea and plays on an already successful model, in Japan anyway. Cute girls in over the top outfits dancing and singing to equally over the top music. Have you heard of BABYMETAL outside of Japan? What do you make of these incredibly young women singing death metal?
I do not know about you, but I had to pick up the album. It has been on repeat ever since. If you’re wanting to listen to something different then I highly recommend it. You have to admit, it’s pretty damned catchy.
“Put your kitsune up!”
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