Everyone knows how much I love non-Japanese idols, and how much I try to review them. I believe that jpop is a wonderful music genre, and it should be loved and shared by everyone, no matter where you come from. I am all ways on the lookout for international jpop groups. In the past I have reviewed Weather Girls, who were a Chinese based idol group, and also Sea A, who were from Singapore. Also in the past, I had interest in the US based idol group, Oishii Ichigo before they disappeared. I had no idea that some 4TE members used to be in Oishii Ichigo, so I am even more excited.
So today, I am reviewing a single from a US based group called 4TE (Pronounced “For-tay”) made up of members Chii, Mei, Jenny, and Micchi. I want to thank Jenny, 4TE’s publicist and a member herself, for reaching out to me or I would have never known about this group!
This idol group hails from the Southwest coast of the United States, and uses the internet to make their music. Despite living in very different places, they have come together to make music and form this group. Their music style is similar to Capsule and Perfume. Today, March 4, 2015, they will release their first single in Japan (digital). I love how despite it being jpop and Japanese, they are reaching out to a worldwide audience, not just Japanese audiences.
I’m going to be honest. When I first heard that this group uses “electric sounds” like Perfume, I was a little worried because I didn’t want this group to sound exactly like perfume. I still hear the Perfume influence in the song, but 4TE has made this pretty unique. Right from the start of the song, a sort of very cool instrumental kicks in. I think this is one of the best things about this song. The instrumental is really interesting! I love the use of the English lyrics in the beginning of the song, as well as after the chorus. The repetition of “More” is also really catchy. Whoever is singing first has a very lovely voice! I think it’s Mei? Overall, I think that this song is really catchy, and could find myself listening to this on repeat.
Ippo Zutsu 4.5/5
The instrumental in this song is definitely more “electro” like. In addition, the group uses the electro effect on their vocals like Perfume does. Even though it has that filter, the girls individual voices can be heard. It has a more toned down sound, with a nice and relaxing melody. I think the harmonies sound really nice, and the high vocals in this really impress me. Although it is a nice song, it doesn’t make me as exited as MORE. It also reminds me a little too much of Perfume. It’s still really catchy though!
Overall, I’m really impressed with the vocals of 4TE. They all can sing very well, and their Japanese pronunciation is really good. Their music is something I can go into a Japanese shopping mall and not think is out of place. Their name, 4TE, is unique and original. The cover art for their single looks amazing and professional.
I’m afraid of people labeling them as a Perfume #2. I hate that even though there are a ton of idol groups who produce idol-like music, they are not called copycats, but If a group produces music that it not so common (such as the eletro style music) they will be labeled copy cats. MORE sounds really original, with the use of English lyrics and really cool vocals, while Ippo Zutsu sounds more like a Perfume song. I think that this group has to focus on kind of creating their own identity further, so that they don’t get compared.
In the meantime, I will be keeping my eyes on this group. I have already become a fan.
Do me a favor, and click the link to their website and listen to their music!
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