C-ute will be releasing their 29th single, “Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou? / Summer Wind / Jinsei wa STEP!” on April 20, 2016.
Recently, C-ute has been pursuing a more mature sound. Their past few singles had slower-paced songs with emotional singing and relevant lyrics. Their lyrics did not always describe the tribulations of falling in love or being broken-hearted, but focused more on real-world issues such as office life, giving thanks to those around you, and the troublesome road that people take to achieve their dreams. This single is no different as the songs focus on unique themes such as war, adulthood and routine life.
Although the songs in this single are slower-paced, (and I am not a ballad-loving person) I really like this single. C-ute took these mature themes and mixed them with unique song and video concepts. The group sets themselves apart from other Hello Project groups not only by age, but through music as well.
Naze Hito Wa Arasoun Darou? (Why Do People Fight?)
This is my favourite song and music video of the single. This song has a retro-ballad concept. It reminds me of music from the 70’s. This concept is different from their previous releases, and anything released by Hello Project within the last few years.
What I really love about this song is the background vocals. Hello Project enlisted the talent of The Soulmatics, who sang the adlibs and harmonies in the song. Their singing made the song even better. To be honest, I do not think I would like the song as much as I do now without The Soulmatics.
The song also had very relevant lyrics. In the lyrics, the girls question the reasons for fighting and wars. They hope that the world will be able to find peace. This song is relevant because of the state of the world today. There are so many wars going on throughout the world. Every day on the news you hear about another bomb being dropped somewhere, or soldiers invading another country. Let’s not talk about domestic wars as well. Terrorism does not have to be international, it can happen right within your own country. The fact that shootings and rising death tolls have become a norm in the media is quite saddening. The girls reflect this feeling in this song, and plead that the world can find happiness once more.
The music video was beautiful. It seems that management is spending more money on their music videos because I could not take my eyes off the set. The set was draped in shining gold and silver. There were real instrumentalists and background singers in the background. C-ute stood front and center on the stage in glimmering silver dresses, retro hairstyles and with vintage microphones. It was a true 70’s scene. I am very happy that management decided to create a music video that matched the concept of the song.
Not much effort was placed on the choreography, and that does not bother me one bit. This is a more feel-good song, and a lot of focus was placed on the girls and the set. Just these few elements, along with the lyrics, made this an enjoyable music video.
This is my least favourite song and music video of the single. It may be at the bottom of my list, but I still enjoyed the music video.
If someone asks me about the growth of C-ute, I would first show them the music video for “Massara Blue Jeans” and then show them “Summer Wind”. One can easily see how much the girls have grown, and this is reflected in their music as well.
This is another soft ballad. According to Tsunku, this song is about the girls going into adulthood. Unlike “Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou?” which was more Airi and Chisato-focused, the lines in “Summer Wind” were more equally distributed among the members. For some reason, I really liked Saki in this song. She is not the best singer in C-ute, but I think her softer voice suited this song. I believe Saki could be a good singer, once she is given the opportunity to use her voice.
The music video was beautiful and clean. The set had a contemporary design. The background was all white, and the girls really popped with their black and white dresses. Black and white is sometimes correlated with maturity, so I guess that they were dressed like that purposefully to fit the theme.
There were scenes of the girls walking along the beach as the wind caress their hair. I am guessing the beach relates to the “Summer” part of the title, while the wind blowing around them refers to the “Wind”. It is simple, but adds an elegant and refreshing touch to the music video. The choreography also contributed to this “elegant” theme. It incorporated graceful ballet-like steps. There were a lot of dramatic movements in the dance that emphasized the emotion in the song.
The effects and transitions also made this an interesting music video to watch. There were many filters, double effects, pauses, and fades used throughout the video. Each transition was effectively timed to match the song. Normally, I do not notice things like this, but these effects enhanced the quality of the music video. It made a simple video even more interesting to watch.
Jinsei wa Step!
This is my second favourite song of the single. It also uses a retro concept, but is a more upbeat and funky song. I can’t exactly point out which era this type of music is from, but I know it is old school.
My favourite thing about this music video is the choreography. Tap dance was a clear inspiration. The choreography mimicked tap dance steps, and the video had an actual tap dancer in some scenes. It brought up the energy of the video and made it fun to watch.
I really like the set in this music video. It looked like a grand theatre. The girls performed in front bright red curtains and a disco ball. This background looked so much better than a plain white room or CGI backdrop. I really hope that Hello Project continues having music videos in beautiful places like this. Just the set can make a music video more bearable to watch. The soft lighting reflected off the gold embellishments in the set design. This especially looked good during the close-up scenes. It accentuated the girls’ beauty. The black and white walking scenes and the posed scenes complemented the lighthearted and jazzy feel of the song, but emphasized the girls’ maturity.
Overall, I really loved this single. I was not a big fan of their 28th single, and my interest in the group diminished a bit. However, this single made me fall in love with the group again. They showed their experience and seniority as a Hello Project group. They showed that there is much more to life than crushes and finding love. I hope C-ute continues to set themselves apart with awesome music and performances.