Negicco – Hikari no Spur | SINGLE REVIEW

5767423

Release Date: December 2nd
Formats: CD, CD + DVD, 7′ Vinyl
Number of Editions (4): Limited Edition Type A (CD + DVD), Limited Edition Type B (2 CDs), Regular Edition (CD only), Analog Limited Edition (7′ Vinyl)

In their eleven years career, Negicco experienced lots of changes in terms of music directions, spacing from classic Idol music to Techno-pop, Jazz and Pop rock, and even a bit of Trance, all of them built on their solid J-pop core sound; But despite this numerous and sometimes repentine change of directions, the three girls from Niigata always managed to deliver good music and expose their pure and down-to-earth personalities their fans love, giving coherence and excellent flow to their bigger productions mainly represented by their 2013 album Melody Palette, able to unite several music influences under the same roof and make them work greatly, for a result that represented one of the best Indie Idol albums of 2013.

Lately, though, this loss of a precise music direction and trademark sound started to influence negatively the Niigata-based group, with their last two singles falling in bland tracks that, while still finding some value during their energetic live concerts, don’t even represent half of what these really talented girls and their long time producer Connie can do. In this sense, Hikari no Spur doesn’t represent the revolutionary single some fans were waiting for, and not even the birth of a definitive style that could widen the girls’ popularity, but it’s a step in the right direction that brings Negicco outside that sense of monotony and shallowness that recently hit their career for the first time, despite the shadow of it still slightly lurking around.

The truth is that Hikari no Spur is a nice single that fully achieves its main goal, which is to be a Winter/Christmas release to warm your bones during the shivering season and to enjoy these girls’ adorable personalities in such a festive period of the year. The first track and A-side takes a little step back to the Negicco classic formula, that first of all brings back the order with a standard structure finally free of the repetitive Idol chants and replaced with the classic verse-bridge-chorus that works just fine with this kind of tracks. Nao☆’s solo singing welcomes the listener with a catchy and happy chorus, later followed by verses where each girl gets her spot, showcasing once again their different but cute and not excessively cheesy singing, well balanced during the whole length of the track. The above mentioned chorus comes to full life as all the girls’ voices join in, with a melody that will easily get stuck in your head while summoning happy and thoughtless feelings, for a simple but definitely well made passage enriched by a shiny and delicate instrumental that shyly gets the spotlight in different parts of the track, giving the right feeling and variousness to it.

The following track 1000% no Kataomoi keeps the wintery and festive atmosphere alive, but differentiate itself with a funnier and upbeat vibe; The entire track exposes its identity with the happy and thoughtless singing of the girls and with an instrumental that emphasizes each instrument delicately, from the piano to the electric guitar, coupled by occasional more exposed bass notes and dreamy synths that refine the atmosphere with class and delicacy, with a very nice result that elevates this entire single as a perfect Negicco Christmas single.


Verdict

Hikari no Spur wants to be nothing but a cheerful and happy single to listen to during the Christmas season, and it achieves this goal with simpleness and delicacy, composed of quality instrumentals and good interpretation by the girls, who literally fit the festive atmosphere in the best possible way (who wouldn’t feel like it after traveling to Finland?). Negicco fans will love it, while occasional listeners will find a pleasant single that will deliver great atmosphere and an adorable personality. It’s great to see Negicco going back on track with a nice single, and we hope the new year will ultimately see the three girls from Niigata coming back with more quality music, leaving behind the shallow sounds that represented their most recent period. For now, we can enjoy this single and wait for a thoughtless and happy Christmas to come. Konnichi Negi Negi!

Vote: 7/10


Tracklist

[CD]

01. Hikari no Spur
02. 1000% no Kataomoi
03. Hikari no Spur (Instrumental)
04. 1000% no Kataomoi

[CD 2 – Limited Edition Type B only]

01. Koi no Express Train (ayu toky0 arrange version)
02. Soushisou Ai (Ara Koi remix)

[DVD – Limited Editon Type A only]

01. Hikari no Spur (Music Video)
02. Hikari no Spur (Making of MV)
03. T-Palette Records president prank (!)

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