By now, you’ve probably heard the stream of “Starlight”, Babymetal’s first release in (/checks watch) two and a half years, good lord. There’s an MV, too, which we’ll get to in a second. First, though, let’s take these things in meta-chronological order and note: Yuimetal is officially out of the group:
— BABYMETAL (@BABYMETAL_JAPAN) October 19, 2018
Hot take to follow! First that MV:
And now to go ahead and reverse that order …
I love this song so much, you guys. “Distortion” was fine, cromulent and whelming and safe; this isn’t necessarily not-safe, but it’s just such a fine composition, evocative and bursting with emotion. The in/outro bits and choruses are probably what are going to be remembered, but the verses are right there with what made me love Babymetal in the first place and sent me on this stupid wild wonderful idol journey. I’ll keep the superlatives in check, as well as the hyperbole for now, but good lord, this is what I needed from them. It would have been so easy to dial things back a little bit, keep those melodies poppy and heaviness more of a rhetorical flourish than a central theme … hell, between the preview and the first few bars, I thought that it was going to take an easier way out. Thank the Fox God that it didn’t.
At first, like a lot of people, I associated the song with the passing of former Kami Band member Fujioka Mikio, who died tragically at the turn of the year, because lyrics:
— Babymetal Italy (@babymetal_italy) October 18, 2018
But that was before the Yui announcement was made. And even after the Yui announcement was made, because I’m still pretty sore about the way the Yui business was conducted, all I could think was about how chickenshit Amuse was being by hiding the news behind the single release. But then I decided that today wasn’t a day for hot takes (my head hurts) and thought for a second, watched the video again, and … look, I’m not saying that it’s not about Mikio at all, but I’m taking this as the closest thing to a formal farewell for Yui, the Angel of Dance, that we’ll ever get. She’s not going to be in these final tour dates in Japan, and that decision was clearly made a long-ass time ago (because “The Chose Seven” and all that), but now it’s official and the congruence of events lines up.
We older fans, who came along when the group was still directly connected to Sakura Gakuin, we’re obviously the ones the most left out to dry here, and I think we’d all love to know exactly what it was that went into this year-long drama about Yui, but here’s the closure. Thanks for everything, Yuimetal, and may you achieve whatever dreams you have.
Also: Somebody please tell me what that vocal melody in the verses is reminding me of. Literally right on the tip of my tongue.