Juice=Juice made a comeback on October 26, 2016, with their 8th single, “Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~/Keep On Joshou Shikou!! / Ashita Yarou wa Bakayarou”.
Juice=Juice has shown a different side of themselves with this single. While I love this single much more than their previous one, “Next is you! / Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai”, I was not really impressed. I will go on into detail as to why this is the case as I review the individual music videos below. I will be reviewing the “Promotion Edit” music videos that are uploaded on their official Youtube channel.
Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~ (Dream Road ~My Heart is Dancing~)
I heard a preview of the song before the music video was released. From the first few seconds, I fell in love with it. The instrumental was amazing. It was an unconventional sound that incorporated brass, wind, and traditional musical instruments and elements. This was then infused with new age dance music, fade and crescendo effects, and the girls’ soothing vocals.
The lyrics of the song are also inspiring. Just as the title, “Dream Road” suggests, the lyrics are a source of encouragement to overcome any trials that you face and continue doing your best in life.
When I finally saw the music video, I was SO disappointed. Actually, disappointed is an understatement. A song this great had the potential to be a beautiful aesthetic music video. However, it was the usual dimly lit, basic Hello Project music video. It was a bit tedious to watch. This song deserved much more than a general performance music video.
There were a few scenes in the music video that I enjoyed. This included the close-up shots of the girls lying in the petals of their respective official colours.
The girls were also standing in the rain for some parts of the video. They looked as gorgeous as ever.
There were also random scenes of flowers in a negative effect. These were the only “aesthetic” parts of the video.
The video focused mostly on the choreography. I have a bittersweet feeling towards this dance. I do love the stepwise slow-motion movement at the beginning. This worked well with the acoustic sound. They continued their domino effect as if they were pounding something in the air, and then continued slowly running into the other direction. The choreography at this point was pretty much theatrical. They told a story through dance. Unfortunately, my interest in the choreography plummeted after that point. Nothing really retained my interest after that.
There was a point in the choreography during the dance break that made me feel uncomfortable. There was a sudden change in music to a more dance-intensive beat. Sayuki and Karin performed some special choreography at this point where the other girls swayed side to side. At that point, I was perplexed. I guess there are some people that appreciated this part of the choreography, but I did not really like it.
They repeated the domino slow motion dancing at the end of the song. However, the song fades at the end. I hate to compare two completely different genres, but it reminded me of NCT U’s choreography for the “The 7th Sense” where the song fades off at the end. I really loved how they ended the choreography there. However, the way Juice=Juice ended their dance for this song made me cringe. The way the music video ended was pretty lackluster.
I do not hate the music video entirely, but I just had higher expectations for it. When those expectations were not met, I was highly disappointed. I just wish they used better scenes, focused a little less on the choreography, had a better set and used better effects in the music video. I have been really impressed by Hello Project music videos lately, so I pretty sad that this one did not make the cut for me.
Keep On Joshou Shikou!! (Keep On: The Ambition to Succeed!!)
This is my second favourite song of the single album. It is upbeat, funky and addictive. The song was also meant to be a source of encouragement, but the lyrics are more tough love in comparison to the lyrics in “Dream Road”.
The first thing that came to mind when I saw the music video was Michael Jackson. The song and video clearly drew inspiration from him and his talents. The choreography included toe stands and hip thrusts – two dance moves that Michael used a lot in his performances.
I also saw some references to Michael’s “Thriller” dance.
During the song, Sayuki even copied Michael Jackson’s famous “hee hee” that he used in many of his songs and live performances.
A performance-focused music video was more than appropriate for this song and concept. The set was beautiful. It looked like a club, concert hall or banquet hall. It was big and it incorporated many lights. It was the opposite to the music video for “Dream Road”. I was hooked from beginning to end. It was definitely a disco party.
I really love how they used their outfit in the choreography. At the beginning of the video, they wore their hoods. However, as soon as the singing started they threw back their hoods and really got into the dance. This was the dramatic beginning that reeled me in.
Can I also mention that I really love the colour of their outfits? It reminds me their “Senobi” outfits.
Right after the dance break, there was a point in the choreography where the girls come together and casually and clap to the beat while singing. This was a nice break from the choreography. I really liked that part of the dance, especially since they smoothly transitioned into the chorus choreography.
Another scene that I loved from the video is the group close up scene on the couch. Not only did I provide a little lively difference to the usual Hello Project video format, but also the video effects and transitions used during these scenes made the video a lot more energetic, upbeat and enjoyable to watch.
There were also solo dance shots that they sprinkled throughout the video. You got to see each girl’s individualistic dance style. I wish there were more of these scenes used in the video. It added a bit of personality to the overall music video.
Sayuki stood out to me the most in this video. She fit the concept the best and her voice really shook up the song.
This was my favourite music video of the single. It was lively and was a great energetic song to contrast the other two songs of the single. I really love that they drew inspiration from Michael Jackson. He was a legend and his music and choreography is known globally. Great job Juice=Juice on combing his style and concept into your music!
Ashita Yarou wa Bakayarou (“I’ll Do It Tomorrow” Are the Words of a Buffoon)
Ex-ANGERME member, Fukuda Kanon, wrote this song. I am not surprised. They lyrics sound very Kanon-like. They were a bit blunt, but relatable. I did not really like the song, but I respect Kanon for writing lyrics that everyone can relate to.
Although the song is my least favourite of the single, the music video was enjoyable. The music video actually related to the lyrics of the song. This is something that Hello Project never does in their music videos, so it was a huge surprise to me. The music video was simple. There were not any big flashing lights like in “Keep On” or beauty shots like in “Dream Road”. The video pretty much described the lyrics with a few shots of the dance thrown in there.
Each girl portrayed a scene that was described in the lyrics. There are several examples of this where I can draw from. Tomoko was the girl that is never on time, so people tell her to come earlier than is really needed. I try to be on time for events, so I have a habit of getting there a lot earlier than is needed. However, people from the Caribbean are known to be notoriously late. I am also always late with my blog posts, so I can relate on a certain level (LOL).
Akari was a girl who always tells herself that she will go on a diet. However, she falls victim to sweets everyday. This I can totally relate to. I try to change my diet and exercise more, but I would be lucky if these “lifestyle changes” last more than one week.
Yuka was a girl who complained about not studying, but yet did not get anything wrong in her exam. I relate to that to an extent. I always complain about not studying much, but I sometimes do better than I expected. My peers often call me a liar because of this. I do not mean to lie! I am usually shocked myself!
Sayuki confided to Karin about her upcoming confession to a guy she likes. However, Karin secretly plans to confess to the same guy! Oh, the drama and suspense! It is too much! Unfortunately, I cannot relate to this scenario. My love life is in shambles and I have never really confessed to a guy, especially by letter.
The music video was super relatable and causal, which made it fun to watch. Even the casual clothes they wore made the video a lot more easy-going. There was a significant focus on the story being told in the lyrics rather than the dance, and concept. I am really happy that the director took this route for this song.
There were also captions showing the song title, which is repeated during the chorus and throughout the song.
The first time I heard it, I did not really like the song. However, the music video made it a lot more enjoyable for me. The lyrics and video was very relatable and casual. It was different from the first two songs of the single. It is a relaxing end after two upbeat and strong songs.
This single was much better than their 7th single. I had mixed feelings about the songs and music videos, but I am still proud of this group for improving so much since their debut. I hope they continue to work hard and release awesome music like this.