“KARATE” aka “Seiya/Soiya” among fans ever since it debuted at Yokohama, did in fact strike me as a possibility for the first single/video from the album; they could have gone the sounds-like-“Gimme Choko” route with “Awadama Fever” or gone with the more typical “YAVA!” (“Chigau”), but “KARATE” does have the sound of a crossover track, like you might hear it on rock radio’s drive-time hour as opposed to just on the late shows.
I did mention earlier that I’d have thoughts about that, and I do, and it really boils down to this: I didn’t want their lead track from this album to be “KARATE.”
Like, I’m sure that pretty much everything was focus-grouped and researched, and probably in several markets, and that probably got the best overall response, and that’s fine from a marketing perspective — sell first what sells best.
But I really didn’t want Babymetal to be pounding on an exoticism angle, intentionally or not. Their sound and look are different enough for a genre that features everything from guttural vocals to banshee screams to dudes dressed as imprisoned clowns banging on kegs, and the raw manic energy that their songs sometimes carry can bring the wow factor on its own.
if you haven’t been fortunate to see any of the fan video that’s made its way around the interwebs, is ultimately an uplifting song. It’s positive. It’s good. And, just from a musical perspective, it’s very good. I’m just having this nightmare vision of Moametal and Yuimetal doing that dance routine in front of a million-strong U.S. TV audience when they’re on Colbert, and that basically telling people “Babymetal=Japan=martial arts=of course” because I’m not optimistic about subtitles and, let’s be honest, most people are jags.
Like, orientalist mindsets are the problem of the people who carry them, not the people they’re directed toward, and I’m not trying to say that Kobametal/Amuse/whoever is making a bad choice; this is a wish that something else were the lead and I wouldn’t feel like cringing when a whole bunch of people who aren’t already Babymetal fans get their first or possibly second look at them.
But we’ll see. If Babymetal management has made any mistakes yet, I have no idea what they would be, and they must feel confident that this is the best move. I can support that.