Release Date: December 10th
Formats: CD / CD + DVD
Number of Editions (4): Type A, Type B (CD + DVD) / Type C, Type D (CD only)
The eternal debate between those who love Idol music and those who (usually with no real reason) despise it, fueled by the concept of being performers instead of authors of their own music and concepts, reaches the end when you find yourself in front of groups like TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE, where music gives the ultimate sentence on the above mentioned “dispute” with undeniable quality compositions and performances. These are indeed part of the ingredients that made the TGS recipe so successful in the last years and brought more and more people to the fandom of the five lovely girls, welcomed by funky and catchy tracks as well as more reflective and deep music compositions, other than artistically beautiful concepts and entertaining live performances, obviously without forgetting about the adorable personality of each member.
After the good Killing me Softly album released this year, the best idol unit from Avex Trax is back with a new single just in time for the holidays, bringing both new and old material, with Say Long Goodbye taking the role of Winter ballad and Himawaru to Hoshikuzu (english ver.) coming back from the past acting as classic of the TGS discography proposed once again, clearly directed to the overseas fandom, that more than ever this year saw the five girls dedicating their schedule to it with several shows in Asia and also in the U.S. with their successful performance at the San Francisco J-pop Summit. GAME too is a track previously released, but only on Vinyl and in limited quantities, so it’s definitely a nice addition for the fans who couldn’t get this particular release.
After this introduction it’s clear that this single, while looking both inside and outside Japan, makes a move that’s good but also risky at the same time, as the only real new track from it is Say Long Goodbye. As most of the TGS productions, this Winter ballad tries to be something more articulated than your Idol song, and it’s fairly above the average productions dedicated to the cold season: The song is classy, delicate, and relies on a more melancholic feeling instead of the abused cheesy vibes, and it gets the job done pretty well in delivering the right feelings, with a nice melody in the chorus part and a crescendo in the bridge that also ends the song pretty unexpectedly but also in the right way. Though, the cream of the crop of this track is definitely the vocal part, that more than ever in Say Long Goodbye takes the spotlight: The singing of the girls has an heavy impact on the song itself, and the performance from each member is impressive, especially from Yuri and Ayano, widely known as the best singers of the group (gotta love that high note at the beginning), and not less impressive from all the other girls as well, who see in this track an improvement in their singing skills, a sign of how this group works hard to make their vocal performance both in studio and live better and better, making Saying Long Goodbyea good track that doesn’t necessarily stands out in the TGS discography for anything in particular but that still delivers quality and promises to give chills to all the fans that will be able to see this song it performed live.
With Himawaru to Hoshikuzu (english ver.) the five girls from Avex want to propose again the classic track from their first album with english lyrics (this version has already been released in their third studio album Yakusoku) to gain the attention of overseas fans, and while it doesn’t add anything new to their discography, it still is a great track that represents the more lively and cheerful side of the TGS sound with the classic funky and groovy sonorities that we’ve learned to love over the years and that literally dragged many people to the fandom, that also makes this group different form the shallow sounds that too often compose the Idol world: Funky guitars, slapping bass notes and the generally lively vibe of the song proves that this song hasn’t aged a bit, working as a great entrance ticket for those new to this group, especially knowing how this sound evolved and got even better with time in the course of their career. Old, but good. Same can be said for GAME, that pretty much follows the style of the previous track despite not reaching the same level, but still manages to find its value in the package due to the limited availability of the original release that will definitely make the more dedicated fans happy.
With Say Long Goodbye / Himawari to Hoshikuzu (english ver.) TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE brings new and old music to the table, with a well made winter ballad that summons melancholic feelings and great singing by the girls, and a previously released old classic of their discography to appeal the overseas audience thanks to english lyrics and that amazing funky sound, trademark of this group also followed by GAME, a track that doesn’t pretend to be anything special and follows the quality of the average TGS track. Old time fans may not find anything particularly new or revolutionary in this single, while newcomers will discover the talent of this girl and of their incredible production team, even though one of their (mostly great) previous singles will still represent a better introduction to the TGS world.
Due to its nature, it’s easy understandable that this release isn’t at the level of the previous TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE singles, but at the same time it doesn’t disappoint or exceed any expectation of the fans: Not a particularly influent piece of their discography, but still a well made product and a pleasant listen.
Vote: 6.8 / 10
01. Say long goodbye
02. Himawari to Hoshizuku -English Ver.-
04. Say long goodbye (Instrumental)
05. ヒマワリと星屑 -English Ver.- (Instrumental)
06. GAME (Instrumental)
01. Say long goodbye (Music Video)
02. Himawari to Hoshizuku -English Ver.- (Music Video)
03. GAME – HARDBOILED NIGHT (Teaser)
04. Say long goodbye (Music Video – Making of)
01. San Francisco JPOP Summit Festival – Off Shot Video Footage