The Shuffle: m-flo + Yoohei Kawakami - FLY
Okay, see this music video and song are actually interesting for a couple reasons. First off, because it'll probably be one of the few times I'll be using The Shuffle to talk about a song that, on first impression, I don't actually enjoy, lol.
Now my not liking an m-flo song is nothing new--the closest thing they have to an album with zero skippable tracks for me is COSMICOLOR, and if I'm not in the right mood I'll skip Love Long and Prosper at "Soko wa, saigo no Frontier..." I've never tried to portray them as a perfect group, just one that I really enjoyed.
With Fly, I noticed a couple things about half way into the video:
- The video itself is gorgeous, and probably the single most representative video for the experience m-flo has tried to provide with it's music almost since day one: the idea of leaving Earth behind for the stars and having intergalactic parties at space station clubs. Whoever directed this is a genius and should stick with m-flo to help develop their vision for videos from now on.
- The actual music is pretty infectious. Yes, it's another dance track but it's still beautiful. DJ Taku hasn't lost his touch in the slightest.
- Where the song falls apart are the vocals. Yoohei Kawakami sounds just good enough at English for the Engrish to be grating. And this is coming from someone who's listened to Japanese music for over a decade, from people who speak perfect English to those who spoke the most mangled English ever. It was so awkward that whatever there was to the lyrics was impossible to connect to. And VERBAL?
*sigh* VERBAL is probably one of the coolest artists I've ever been a fan of. He just seems to do whatever the fuck he wants, from music ("I'm gonna make a group called the TERIYAKI BOYZ and get people like Pharrell, Kanye, and Daft Punk to produce my shit.") to fashion.
C'mon. You really think a guy who walks outside wearing THAT gives a shit what anyone thinks? And that's cool, because within reason we should pretty much all think like that--all too often, we let our perception of what others think about us alter what we think about us, and that's wrong.
But wow. That verse was truly, truly terrible. There've been songs where all VERBAL does is show up, say some "hey, ho, let me spell my name", old-school 80's "emcee" type shit and that's his entire contribution to the song, and I've still been totally into it. This wasn't that. This was a man walking onto a song that desperately needed some part of it's vocals to be decent, and sinking all hope of that with a giant fucking proton cannon. The worst part was that his lyrics had some emotional weight to them, but they were strung together with a lazy, almost non-existent flow and rhyme scheme.
Now, it's....possible I'll like this song more as time goes on, or that I'll like it more in the grand scheme of the album. But I dunno. I just hope it works in the opposite way SQUARE ONE's singles did in attracting me.