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Garuneku’s Debut Single

Garuneku’s Debut Single

by Rinoa on August 31, 2010 · 1 comment · AddThis

Guuzen no Kakuritsu photoshoot
Guuzen no Kakuritsu photoshoot
Artist: GIRL NEXT DOOR
Product Code: AVCD-31478/9
Release Date: 2008.09.03
Highest Ranking: #3
Genre: Pop/Electronic/Rock
Label: avex trax
Format: CD or CD+DVD
First Press: Cardboard Slipcase and Photobook

Two years ago, the avex produced band GIRL NEXT DOOR, nicknamed Garuneku released their debut single in September 2008. This band of three members center around Chisa, the vocalist, who originally was a dancer in the Kansai area. She attracted the attention of avex trax, was encouraged to go to Tokyo and enter Avex Artist Academy on a scholarship. There she met Suzuki Daisuke who composed tracks for other artists. Together they started working on demo tracks and they caught the attention of Max Matsuura. Shortly afterwards Inoue Yuji joined them as guitarist and they started preparing for their debut. avex packaged this band as their 20th anniversary product. Since it was a 20th anniversary project it was quite a challenge to reproduce the signature sound of avex and bring forward something new…

Chisa in Vegas
Chisa in Vegas

Naturally this single was promoted quite aggressively, in typical avex style. A lot of the promotion was in blog advertisements. As early as from the 29th May 2008, the title song Guuzen no Kakuritsu was placed online on several websites and in July 2008 it was recorded that there were two million views.

GIRL NEXT DOOR made their first appearance at a-nation ‘08 where they performed their debut single a few days prior the release of the single. Following this performance GIRL NEXT DOOR would perform on four major variety shows. A few months later Garuneku would win several awards and get invited to end-of-year specials where they performed their debut single. Furthermore three tracks from this single were used as theme songs for several television shows.

A lot of work was focused on the production of this single. Chisa teamed with songwriter Kenn Kato and together they penned the lyrics for the three tracks. Daisuke worked on the composition of the songs. The first promotional video was aired a month and a half before their debut. The team spent three days filming, two in Los Angeles and a day in Las Vegas.

It’s not quite surprising that this single did really well on the Oricon charts. On the first week Guuzen no Kakuritsu secured the #3 position at the weekly charts with 30,025 copies. It charted for a total of 174 weeks and sold a total of 58,137 copies, which is quite an excellent figure for a debut single. It is the highest ranking for a debut single since ayaka’s “I Believe” in 2006, which had also charted at #3.

 

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Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Probability of Coincidence)

Guuzen no Kakuritsu has quite an interesting style. It deceivingly starts of as a soft, classical piano piece which explodes into a powerful and refreshing electronic-rock segment with the keyboard and the guitar, which feels similarly to a dash of cold water. Shortly after Chisa’s clear vocals are introduced.

Throughout the whole track has an arrangement with the keyboard, sythns and guitar, which fit in quite well with the uplifting mood. The whole song has quite a fresh and a particular appeal to it, with a particular twist, that it’s quite easy for it to shine on its own. The youthful and modernistic mood of this song is a perfect combination for a brilliant debut title song.

It borrows from the rock, techno and electronic genres and blends them with pop. Although it’s not very upbeat it has a very catchy and up-tempo beat. Chisa’s vocals might not be particularly powerful but they carry an infectious sense of enthusiasm which match really well with the tone of the song and her vocals flow well with the track. There’s a very strong element of 90’s pop, which can be especially observed within past avex releases.

This track was had quite a lot of exposure, especially through television. It was used as the theme song of the Beijing Olympic Games and the theme song of several TBS shows. Unsurprisingly enough this track became quite popular and became a firm fan favorite with fans.

The promotional video is definitely the most exciting part of this single. It is obvious that a huge budget was allocated to the production of the video. The well known director Masashi Muto, who recently directed Kelly Rowland’s Commander was the director for Guuzen no Kakuritsu. The video gives off quite a vintage vibe. It starts in a theater in Los Angeles where Chisa is watching a movie where Chisa herself is the protagonist. The Chisa featured in the movie travels in a desert and encounters a giant scorpion which gives cue to a fight scene. The following scene portrays Chisa and several other people in a circus setting set up a stage where Chisa and the rest of the band perform. In several scenes Chisa also has some simple dance segments but the final conclusion seems to be that all these scenes were part of the “movie”. Finally it ends with Chisa exiting the theater with the twist that the actual Chisa is also wearing “circus” make up.

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

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Breath

Breath is a soothing and pleasant rock ballad. It manages to get the listener in the atmosphere of the upcoming winter, especially since the mood is rather desolate and lonely, with a hint of mystery. It certainly has the emotional elements which make it quite moving.

Chisa’s vocals might verge on being slightly high pitched but they somehow work well with the instrumentals. Once again the arrangement features the piano, stings, guitar and keyboard and it’s done rather well. The guitar riffs in the chorus manage to give the track a dramatic flair, while the piano and keyboard were cleverly used in the beginning and end of the song to create a melancholic mood. It managed to live up to the standards of the title song quite well. Since it’s quite a strong song on its own, this song was chosen to feature also in their debut album. Breath was chosen as the Rumors! Tokyo Magazine ending theme.

Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Red Ribbon ~Unmei no Hito~ (Red Ribbon ~Fated Person~)

Red Ribbon is a mid-tempo electro-rock song. Once again the pop elements from the 90’s are quite predominant. Although it’s not a particularly strong track it sounds quite pleasant to the ear and Chisa’s sweet vocals blend in perfectly with the mellow arrangement. The arrangement feature the piano as the main instrumental in this track, giving a lighthearted and happy vibe. The chorus is even more lively and quite catchy. In the verses the guitar gives this song additional energy and a hint of assertiveness. Overall I would consider this song an average track and quite fitting for the b-side status.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

Guuzen no Kakuritsu (ice cream mix)

What is interesting about the title of this mix is that they gave it a personal touch. It’s quite a well known fact that Chisa loves ice creams and that was probably the reason why this mix got such a name. This mix also got exposure by being a theme song for a couple of TBS shows.

This final track is slightly different from the original mix. The whole rock element is completely removed. It has a more summery feel, with elements from the dance and trance genres and more emphasis on synths. Once again not an outstanding track but quite enjoyable to chill to in a summer afternoon in the sun.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

 

Conclusion

The creative production of the music seemed to focus on producing “that avex sound” which was so popular in the 90’s. Rather than sounding rehashed and outdated, Garuneku successfully managed to produce something which was the perfect mix of nostalgic retro eurobeat music and modernistic house and trance, by mixing rock, pop and electro genres. Maybe this was the secret of their success for their long awaited debut…

This single has certainly exceeded expectations of a debut single within the pop scene. It seemed to contain all the extras that could be fitted in a single to make it jam-packed with exciting elements. The arrangement of the instrumentals provide an interesting array of songs, while Chisa’s fresh vocals might not be anything outstanding but they definitely do the job rather well. With an excellent package of an exciting promotional video, an interesting selection of tracks, a mix and eye catching cover art, I feel that Garuneku’s team did a good job at providing an exciting debut and build the anticipation of things to come with future releases.

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

 

Tracklist

  1. Guuzen no Kakuritsu
  2. Breath
  3. red ribbon ~Unmei no Hito~
  4. Guuzen no Kakuritsu (ice cream mix) )
  5. Guuzen no Kakuritsu (Instrumental)
  6. Breath (Instrumental)

DVD Tracklist

  1. Guuzen no Kakuritsu

Author’s Note: I haven’t noticed it has been almost two years since I have reviewed a single or an album. Time does sometimes fly without even noticing so I decided it was high time to review something exciting for me. Lately I have turned by attention to GIRL NEXT DOOR so I thought it would be interesting to go back to the origins of this band. Hope you have enjoyed reading this review!

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About the author

Rinoa enjoys spending her free time writing articles, most particularly reviews, biographies and news articles. Her favourite artist is Ayumi Hamasaki but she enjoys listening to a wide range of musical talents from all over the world.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

JPop FRANCE December 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Woow! She is gorgeous and.. I do love her songs!! I’ll keep an eye on her!

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