There’s plenty of points to hit Enon Kawatani on, but got to give the guy credit for pure output. The singer/songwriter helming a bunch of bands has been productive so far in 2019. The last month alone has seen a new song from indigo la End along with a YouTube-buzzing number for his TV-born group Genie High. Now he’s pulled off the hat trick with “Himenai Watashi,” the newest from his most popular project, Gesu no Kiwami Otome. Watch the video below.
The thing about being prolific is that a lot of output doesn’t mean any of it is good or interesting. Kawatani, though, seems to be pushing himself in recent months to mix up what is expected from his groups. “Himenai Watashi” actually manages to connect some dots to Genie High’s recent “Genie High Rhapsody.” Most immediately, both songs feature Kawatani rapping at various points, and it feels like he’s making hip-hop more of a reference point as of late. This is a lot more clear than back when Gesu broke out into the mainstream and he described his singing as being similar to rap — that sounded like a good pull quote. This time, from the vocal delivery to the beats, Kawatani might actually be taking notes with his work.
It’s still pretty apt for Gesu no Kiwami Otome’s lane, however. At their best, this quartet does sudden shifts in tone and style just right, and “Himenai Watashi” pinballs from rapping to little interludes worthy of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory to big dramatic hooks reminding of Kawatani’s emotional-rollercoaster approach to lyric writing. The little details sprinkled throughout help even more — check the quick “yada” from drummer Hona Ikoka, or the little aside from bass player Masao Wada. Kawatani might be pumping out music, but he’s managing to keep it fresh too.