It’s like they’re back from the dead or something… Maybe the Z stands for Zombie. Ha! Anyway, Momoiro Clover Z’s soon to be released single, Gounn, is finally up on Youtube, giving us the full song and visual spectacle it is at last!
Momoclo has been my favorite idol group to follow since their major debut, and last year they finally picked up steam and some well deserved popularity… Only to completely drop the ball by not releasing any new material for like 9 months after their 2nd album. And no, their album of old indies stuff really didn’t cut it as a new release as far as I was concerned (fun for their nostalgic fans, but not the same as new material). It’s been nearly a year since their last single, and with the different directions that their material headed in, many of Momoclo’s fans, like myself, have been in a kind of limbo.
Momoclo’s music has matured as they have grown, and this is a good thing and a bad thing, for me. One of the things I like about them the best is their youthful exuberance and their wacky, crazy vibe. Their 2nd album new material, while overall strong, was a divergence from the much younger vibe of Battle and Romance. Would Momoclo continue with a more mature sound, like they did in their last single? Would they come out with something spanning multiple styles like Otome Sensou, or something with an unrelenting sense of fun like Pinky Jones?
Well, Gounn is probably closer to the more mature sound of Neo Stargate than it is to the insane ramblings of Wani to Shampoo, but its strange meld of idol pop and Indian themes do make it still “very Momoclo”.
The song is certainly cool, though I have a few reservations with it, namely that the pacing seems a bit slow. I feel like if this were faster paced, I’d be way more into it. That said, the music is incredible and the girls are definitely working to improve their vocals this year.
I don’t want to go on too much about the song just yet, as I need to let it sink in a bit more first, I think. Much like their album 5th Dimension, this really feels like it will grow on me the more I hear it. I’m pretty pleased so far, but not completely blown away like I was hoping I would be after waiting so long. I suppose after waiting so long for something I built up an unreasonable amount of expectation, hoping for something on par with Mouretsu (although thinking that anything could touch that song is ridiculous in itself). The more I hear it, the more it starts to worm itself into my head, so I’m predicting that I will have fallen pretty hard for this song by the time the actual single is out. It’s pretty frickin’ neat. Just not wacky.
Visually, though, no time is needed to sink in. The video for this is impressive! It’s a kaliedoscope of imagery from start to finish and doesn’t disappoint. A PV like this was worth waiting for. It’s an easy contender for PV of the year for me, and definitely a better PV than even Mouretsu was. It’s vibrant and brightly animated. The scenery and animation combined with those amazingly detailed costumes and styling give this PV a look all of its own. If there is one thing Momoclo knows how to do, it’s how to stand out with something original that nobody else is doing.
I’m excited to hear the rest of what’s on this single, when it comes out. Will any of the other tracks bring the energy that I’m craving? Will they be merely sufficient? Right now I’d place Gounn itself squarely inbetween those two categories. Better than “good enough”, but not quite at the level of “obsession worthy” – which is probably a dangerous standard for me to set, even for Momoclo. I really do like it.
Even if their sound has grown up with them, I’m glad to see them back in action, and I hope they stay that way! Their biggest issue for me is their sporadic release schedule, and hopefully Gounn signals a return to regular releases. I’ll be looking forward to them!