MCM Buzz were lucky to get the chance to review SCANDAL‘s new album “Yellow” before its release, it’s one very impressive journey of growth throughout the whole album.
The album begins with “Room No.7”, which feels like a song to prove that SCANDAL are not a normal band of girls who are in it for the fame and fortune. Reminiscent of late 70s rock, this is a stand to show these girls can play their instruments. “Stamp!” is fresh, fun, upbeat and modern, keeping that summer feel, it’s a song that shows you can keep pop-rock and still have fun. The music video for this song is visually entertaining and pretty. “Love Me Do” is simple, yet a key song for this album; transitioning from the rock side of their entertainment to the more ska inspired territories. “Morning sun” goes back in time and pace, with a strong resemblance to their previous works. There is the feeling that they are baring their roots for all to see.
We have all heard that song “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. Well “Sunday Drive” is similar in style, the way it catches you in the chorus and in the exact same way you will be humming and singing this song all day long; This is an obvious favourite off the album, and a definite windows down, stereo full blast, driving into the sunset kinda song. “Konyawa Pizza Party” plays with words, cuteness, and a lot of punk mementos – who said a girl band couldn’t successfully put punk and pop together and create something pretty damn heavy, yet cute, at the same time? Halfway through the album and “Heaven Na Kibun” turns dark and heavy like a flip of a coin. Think back to those dark skater days where you wanted to dance your own dance in the middle of an empty room – this is something completely different to what I’m used to hearing from SCANDAL, and it is definitely an area I would love for the band to explore more.
Keeping consistent, yet not dwelling on the darkness any longer than needed, “SUKI-SUKI” brings the listeners back to slightly familiar ground, yet the slight techno feel with the rock instrumentals really give the vocals of the song something to contend with. “Love” brings back that ska element and begins to chill everything down just a notch. Like a Caribbean summer, this song allows the listener to come down from the heavy stuff and relax through enjoyment of movement – it’s one of those songs that makes you nod along. For something a bit more empowering towards females around the world “Sisters” gives a happy go lucky, yet powerful embrace to their female counterparts; cheerful, fun, and pop all the way.
If your birthday is coming up be sure to ask your friends to play SCANDALS’s “Happy Birthday” at your party for all-round dancing and laughs. It does what it says on the tin, and literally wishes you a happy birthday in the best SCANDAL kind of way – full of pop-rock and cute background noises. “Chiisana Honoo” is the theme song to SCANDAL’s documentary DVD of their Hello World tour, so it plays a key point to give over the general feeling of their tour as well as them as performers, which it achieves, whilst also showcasing some beautiful vocals from Haruna, Mami, Rina and Tomomi. Lastly we have the re-recorded, fully English “Your Song” from SCANDAL’s previous album. As if the the previous version wasn’t already kick ass, being translated into English just gives the song a little more oomph whilst sounding like the 90s punk generation of Britain.
SCANDAL’s “Yellow” album is everything but mellow yellow. I’m talking danger reds, dark blacks, and some fluffy bright white colour coded songs. Showing growth from their earlier releases, it truly feels like the girls are settling within the rock world and have finally found their footing. From beginning to end, there was not a song that wasn’t enjoyed. It elaborated on a new level of different types of emotions, senses and periods of musical time. This is one album we could recommend to those who are new to the scene for its fresh and modern take to genre collaborations, but also an album recommended to those who are more knowledgeable about the Japanese music scene for its truthfulness towards Japanese rock & roll.
A huge congratulations to SCANDAL for producing one of their best albums to date! If you would like more information please check out SCANDAL’s official website, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. For more information about European releases please head on over to JPU Records.