The girls from the Niigata based idol unit Negicco definitely made themselves notice during the last year in the indie idol panorama: After the release of the strong Melody Palette album and Tokimeki no Headliner single, Nao☆, Megu and Kaede are now back stronger than before with a new single packed by their long time producer connie and a team of talented musicians that made us appreciate their previous releases under the T-Palette label. The three girls proudly hailing from their hometown will need all their strength to show once again their talent and energy, not only to satisfy all the fans that longly awaited for this single, but also to continue the line of good releases and get the exposure they need and deserve for being active for over ten years. Was the waiting worth it?
[A-SIDE] Triple! WONDERLAND
An A-side generally needs to be strong, and Negicco totally did everything possible to follow this concept with Triple! Wonderland. Beginning with a shiny melody, the song kicks in with one of the “idol chants” Negicco have been using for a while, a great boost for live performances, but that kinda slows down the mood set up by the brilliant and exciting introduction during a normal listening session. The verses are definitely the most well developed part of the song, featuring a groovy, slapping bass and a funky guitar that perfectly couple the singing of the girls, each one getting their spot in every verse with great excitement, giving the perfect touch to the upbeat and almost over excited atmosphere. The pre-chorus bridge pretty much follows the same concept, exactly as the chorus, now filled with synths to make everything even more shiny and brilliant. The song goes on with another chorus, a standard vocal-only bridge and a final chorus, for a simple structure that’s almost convincing… or, better, could have been convincing.
To make it brief, Triple! Wonderland isn’t that bad, but there are two major problems. First of all, while the shiny and upbeat mood is surely exciting and good, they went a bit too far with it: Don’t get me wrong, you’ll go insane if you’re a fan attending one of their intimate and funny concerts, but it sounds a bit too cheesy and almost forced during a normal listening session. Second, probably the thing that kills the structure of the track and gets really annoying with time, are the above mentioned “idol chants”; Negicco always used them accurately without exceeding too much, and almost always appropriately, but this time they exaggerated and played with it too much: In all the 4 minutes and half of the song, there are four of these chants, one at the beginning, one before the main bridge, one after the final chorus, and another, probably the only one placed correctly, at the end of the first chorus. All of this not only lengthen the song unnecessarily but ruins what would have been a standard and nicely structured song, ruined by these chants popping out of nowhere when you less expect it. Without these issues, Triple! Wonderland would have been a maybe too cheesy but still good song, and it’s a shame when these girls can express all their personality and the production team craft detailed and good instrumentals. Not bad, but it could have been way, way better.
[B-SIDE] LIFE IS CANDY TRAVEL
The fans of that great song that is Sayonara Music will be happy to know that the production team behind Negicco decided to make the B-side of this single pretty similar from a stylistic point of view, but sadly, the excitement will probably disappear as the song will reach its end.LIFE IS CANDY TRAVEL has a soft mood, definitely relaxing after all the synth euphoria of the previous song, and the instrumental (without considering the way too plain structure) is still on good levels, but the whole song is just forgettable. It doesn’t catch the attention in any way, and it fails in giving something at least interesting to make it enjoyable, and you’ll hardly press the replay button for this track. It’s still convincing in the production and quality fields, but when the singing of the girls is unexpectedly lifeless and the song just plain boring, that alone isn’t just enough to bring up the hopes for this track. Really, there isn’t anything much to add, and there’s no way this song will get stuck in your head or simply be interesting enough to give it a second listen. Totally forgettable.
The biggest issue of this entire single is the exasperation of the formula that made Negicco’s song great, with a messy result that’s disappointing, especially if compared to the previous great releases from the Niigata trio. From the way too over pumped and badly structured A-side to the plain and almost lifeless boring B-side, this single fails in creating a good balance and it doesn’t reach a sufficient or at least reasonable result in none of the two tracks. Triple! Wonderland is still a song with its own live potential, but not that suitable for continuous lonely listens, while LIFE IS CANDY TRAVEL is a failed attempt in proposing the successful Sayonara Musicmood in a softer key that just doesn’t work.
Perhaps what these girls need is to either continue with their own style in the right way as they always did, or take a step forward and evolve their sound into something more mature and fresh. Whatever Nao☆, Megu and Kaede will do, we hope they won’t repeat the same errors and take this single only as a moment of weakness.
1. Triple! WONDERLAND
2. LIFE IS CANDY TRAVEL
3. Triple! WONDERLAND (Instrumental)
4. LIFE IS CANDY TRAVEL (Instrumental)