Yeesh, you guys. So despite the perhaps apparent statements to the contrary, I actually listened to a good bit of idol during my hiatus — I just didn’t have the energy or wherewithal to do anything with it, which sucked! But yeah, plenty of listening, and I’ll eventually get around to musing about much more of it as a way of making it seem like I’m not a completely lazy jerk. Today, though, I’m only going to bring up my single most disappointing idol release of the year, and in fact maybe in the last several. Is it the worst? Didn’t say that! Is it bad? That’s subjective, player! But, like, pick for yourself synonyms of “disappointing” and “boring” and “uninspired” and “cash-grab” and you’ll be all set to fill out the Mad-Lib that you’re using to review ayumikurikamaki’s latest single, “”, because that’s all the level of care and concern it deserves.
“Whoa” you say because you’re astride a horse that’s about to gallop headlong into a giant sinkhole, and then “wait” you say because, whoa, hasn’t ol’ Maniac made his bones and indeed those of the fancy-ass Homicidols Dot Com on the premise that people should be allowed to like what they like and that idol is itself, deep down, a net good and something to celebrate, and because we’re all here having fun let’s act like it? True! However, put yourself in my shoes: I love ayumikurikamaki; their very distinct and utterly fun sound has always been one of my very favorite things in idol, and tracks like “Jet Kuma Star” are in the playlists of things that I most love to listen to. They were a project that absolutely radiated good times — fun music, fun people, like the soundtrack to a life I think we’d all like to have.
And then their ascent to the ranks of major acts all but killed them. When they were de-beared, I felt like a part of my very idol fandom was taken away; when release after release regressed further from Peak Ayukuma, I had this awful feeling that they would never be themselves again. Sure, they had some high spots, but nothing that could approach the era when Ayumi first joined. And then this happened:
Again: Is it bad? That depends on your taste, I guess. And maybe individual taste is behind things like whether it’s as boring as I think it is, sure, okay. But you know what I think is absolute objective truth here? Nobody involved in the making of these tracks seems to give a crap about it. It’s all an ayumikurikamaki masquerade, as if by going through the motions of being the funnest bear-bedecked act in idol and putting on airs of endless optimism and Andrew W.K. levels of affirmation you can somehow communicate the same manic joy that permeated everything that the trio based their career on.
I don’t like this single, and it makes me sad. Whoever sucked all the fun out of Maki needs to be slapped.