So I’ve been pretty zen about the whole label change. Partially just my personality and personal experience with music that I’m not terribly bothered by these kinds of things. (That isn’t to say I wasn’t at all because I did have a bit of a knee-jerk reaction immediately about the whole thing.)
One of the things I did worry about was retention of staff members. But now that I think about it - in hindsight that was really silly of me. See, my immediate concern was what happens to people like YOKAN or Peach, those relationships they’ve cultivated and started to develop with who have significantly contributed to the construction of this group.
This is dumb because:
1) I was already very, very aware that most of the people doing Kanjani’s music on Teichiku were not in any way exclusive to Teichiku. A lot of staff writers on those albums have done work for other J&A artists.*
2) They took some of their backing people on NTV with them for The Music Day. You get a backing band you like and trust for concerts (and tv), you generally want to keep them.
* This of course doesn’t apply to guest artists who have appeared, and that might actually be where we see the most change. I doubt any label that’s specifically designed to keep more profits in-house is going to want to jump through the royalties hoops of guest publishing companies but…I don’t have a firm grasp on the Japanese recording industry’s policies and practices (doubt they’re that much different from everyone else, though). It also doesn’t exclude the potential of going with more independent artists (not a bad thing necessarily…I think 山森大輔 ‘s last release was on a smaller label called OCTAVE [which actually might be owned by Avex]). Larger point: who knows.
Anyway, now I feel pretty stoked seeing the credits for CloveR/言ったじゃないか.
Who’s involved in the writing and arrangement?
大西省吾, 久米康嵩, Peach, GAKU.
大西省吾 did arrangement for: Life, Ai Deshita, Crouton, 365, Baby Baby, Fly High, Takoyaki, and that double A side I never bother to remember the name of because YOUUUUUKOSO~ <— laziness at its finest, folks.
久米康嵩 did arrangement for: King of Otoko, ER2, Omoidama, Kokoro sora moyou, Kurage and Dear Summer.
Peach is their backing band guitarist in concert (probably had some session credits on Juke Box but those sleeve notes are way across my room 8|) and arranged Rescue Rescue, Your Wurlitzer and wrote West Side.
GAKU is almost solely responsible for Dear Summer and wrote ER2 (and a few bside things).
So - if you haven’t been digging the music as of late or those particular titles, that might be really bad news for you.
But it’s good news for me because I like most of the songs I just named and it indicates yes, people will be retained for use on the new label. There’s a slight chance it’s a final obligation to use them on these new singles, but I highly doubt that. I’ll be interested to see if YOKAN will continue to do brass for them or if those marching band b-sides on King were a final thank you present to him (nah, he has to stay HE HAS TO).
Not only are those songs generally ones I like, but Peach and GAKU especially haven’t been around that long relatively, which means there’s potential for them to develop alongside Kanjani. Who knows, that might turn out for the worse if everyone stagnates - or it might be a really good relationship. I look forward to seeing the next album. 8D<
In the meantime, I *like* both CloveR and 言ったじゃないか (and I get the feeling the general fandom ether maybe doesn’t? Who knows. I can’t say that I really care because I find the loudest opinions in fandom to be really bizarre sometimes and that’s why I mostly keep to myself XDa)
言ったじゃないか starts off really blase and kind of an uninspired blah garage band song, but gets better as it goes along, adding harmonies, a really catchy chorus - that I love the production on - and ends up a fun band song.
CloveR I fucking love with a giant passion despite Maru’s lone solo line being in the key of MatsuJun for some reason. 8|; I love band things and musical depth, but I love me some 80’s music like whoa (a side rant: people dismissing all 80’s music as fluff without recognizing the many well written songs and that there’s musical depth there too). CloveR is all 80’stastic and …uses handbells and a few other instruments I wasn’t expecting. XD
I’m not shaken to my core by any means, but I am pleased and this promises to stay in a vein I particularly like (while simultaneously feeding my need to have a nice mixture of things that satisfy my taste for more than a single genre).
Okay, fine. I sort of wanted to support the change no matter what. This makes it a lot easier. *orders singles*
Now, to see how terrifying the PVs might be since CloveR looked like Celtic Suspender pride and Maru’s sneak peak pic of Itta promises potentially scary puppets. 8|a