Look, I understand seemingly frustrating practices in the entertainment industry serve some sort of practical function. I’m on the outside, tapping at the proverbial glass window separating me from the inner workings of the J-pop industry. They must know what they’re doing! That’s where Momoiro Clover Z comes into the picture.
Short version music videos, though. How are these still so prevalent in 2019? This frustration isn’t limited to just me, but people actually working within the machine.
— 22/7 Sally Amaki/天城サリー(Gintoki/Kuroo Enthusiast) (@sally_amaki) May 23, 2018
The latest previews of idol heavyweights Momoiro Clover Z’s forthcoming The Diamond Four album underlines just how annoying this practice can get. First, watch the clip for new song “Revival” below.
Based on the music present here, “Revival” hints that the group’s next full-length release is going to see them trying out a whole bunch of different sounds. Not a totally unexpected move from a project fond of swerving all over the place. This number showcases an interest in more mainstream pop trends, which makes sense given the quartet’s embrace of rap before this one. “Revival” finds Momoiro visiting the shores of tropical-house-style beats, singing over sleek music accented by a coastal-worthy sound palette. They fit in well among the breezy flow of the song, making the eventual rise in drama come the chorus hit pretty well and…
…right, then the short version ends. How about the other preview of The Diamond Four they put out over the weekend? Watch that clip below.
Another twist, this time to slow builds and string swells. Dramatic, and constantly climbing towards some huge payoff. Too bad you can’t find out what that is from watching the video they provided.
In theory, this is all in service of getting people to buy the actual album when it comes out on May 17. Give them a tease of how the song sounds, and they’ll want to hear the rest buy plunking down money (or patiently waiting for streaming services to update). That’s not how people consume music now, though. The strategy now is to either give them a lot of tiny teases leading up to a full unveil (look at this K-pop schedule of release…so organized!) or give it to people all at once. I’m not sure what this approach accomplishes in a digital landscape where simply getting as many people the final product as you can tends to be the endgame. I don’t listen to music to get “to be continued” messages.
Thankfully, can’t sell “short versions” of an album. That one comes out soon, and then listeners can actually get a solid idea of what Momoiro Clover Z is up to in 2019.