Our number-one favorite coed-experimental-theatre-art-idol duo, Cinema and Boy CQ (You may call them Densho to shorten it.) have graced us with a new release! Following up their groundbreaking album The Soundtrack of Different Dimension Travel”, the pair have digitally unveiled their second full-length. due out on a physical disk on May 18.
For the more adventurous masses who yearn for bold, left-of-center experiences that push the edges of what one typically considers to be within the “idol” genre, this is the far and above one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2020. However, due to the recent historical-scale health crisis, this album was actually delayed slightly, but like all great art, it just simply wasn’t right to suppress work that yearns to be heard. And so Densho and TRASH-UP!! Records have generously gifted us this release in advance courtesy of digital streaming platforms, and you should by all means immerse yourself in this rich audio/visual journey…
♫This is Cinema and Boy CQ’s new album. “The Picture Show of Chronic Deja Vu”
— 【電影と少年CQ】Official (@cinemaboycq) May 1, 2020
The new album is called “The Picture Show of Chronic Deja Vu”, which right off the bat is a pretty cool sounding title that conjures up feelings hallucinatory projected images that match up (or even clash) with relaxed moments of solitude. It wouldn’t be the first time visual and audio art colluded to make for a serious headtrip, y’ know?
Anyway, right on cue with the new album, there’s also a couple of MVs to help get you in the Densho mood. First up is “No. 9”, directed by Yukkyun himself…
No.9 might be the closest thing to a straightforward pop song on this album, it’s mighty catchy! It’s a great song with the right balance between being danceable and being unusual and quirky enough to stand on it’s own without resorting to comparisons to another artist’s work. And the video is deliriously cool with it’s awesome sense of style, fashion, and sharp images. The choreography is really nice too!
Then a couple of days later a second MV debuted for the track entitled “apple yard”. This time directed by Ruan, which I believe is her first time coordinating a video!
This song is so lovely and haunting… Beautifully melancholy and lush with it’s multilayered arrangement. And the video is sooo perfectly dreamy. One of the other things I really love about Cinema and Boy CQ is the clearly strong friendship between these two: It permeates everything they do and really goes a long way in building up the different elements that make this group work so well. I don’t know of many idol duos who bond as a team with the close-fitting ease they do.
As a whole, the entire album is, much like their previous one, a highly varied listening experience that I personally wouldn’t suggest you listen to in a casual pop-music-in-the-background sort of way. Many of the tracks on this album are more attuned to an audio skit more so than simplistic verse-chorus-verse hooks. One thing I thought of while listening was the feeling of a childhood book and record set, turning the pages when you hear a chime. Only this time the stories are surreal and intensely evocative.
I guess you could listen to this while doing the dishes or running errands, but I really think this release is a headphone experience. Cinema and Boy CQ have always described their music as “fictional movie soundtracks”, so perhaps the right idea might be to cut out the lights and watch the movies within your mind. Sit down, take your time, and let this album take you on a meandering journey. I believe that’s where you’ll really reap the awards of what Densho has to offer.
One thing that’s apparent from their tweets is that Ruan, Yukkyun, and their manager/producer Sokichi Osada are all extremely proud of what they’ve accomplished with this album, as they should be! This is a real milestone of the creative and artistic potential that the idol genre can achieve. They’ve requested that they’d love to hear from those who’ve listened and share their thoughts, so by all means, if you’ve as taken with this album as I am, reach out and let them know! We need to support work like this that has the power to take the genre we love and elevate it to a new level.
Cinema and Boy CQ: “The Picture Show of Chronic Deja Vu”
(Please note, these are not sponsored links, and there’s no financial incentive here to share them. This is all out of love, man.)