TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE
1st BEST ALBUM Kirari☆
Review by DJ Greg Hignight (Tune in Tokyo)
There’s a real treat for J-Pop fans on iTunes. The 1st BEST ALBUM Kirari☆ from TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE is now available, laying down 26 tracks of pop perfection. The vocal and dance group, also known as TOKYO JOSHIRYU, was launched by avex trax in 2010, and has since delivered a string of solid Sophisti-Pop, electronic, funk and disco-infused dance rhythms with heavy influences from 60s and 70s jazz, soul and pop.
Singles including the slick “Jujika”, the provocative “Partition Love” and floor filler “Never Ever”, arranged by frequent collaborator Hiroshi Matsui a.k.a. Royal Mirrorball, are among the fantastic grooves in the compilation, spanning the group’s history from their debut single “Kirari☆” to the present.
At a glance, TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE might appear to be just one of many girl groups who have debuted in Japan in the last few years, but there’s something special here. It becomes evident the moment you see their tight dance choreography, refined image and contagious hooks, built upon a strong vocal foundation. They are in fact not an idol group, but rather an inheritor of the J-Pop legacy built by 90s artists like SPEED, and Namie Amuro and Super Monkeys / MAX, informed by R&B vocals and jazz funk dance moves.
Matsui’s big production sound evokes the gloss of world jazz, electronic, and 80s New Jack Swing, with a sophistication and purpose that stands apart. As J-Pop girl groups go, TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE registers like a fine wine.
At $17.99, the download is a great value. As the group prepares to release their new album Reflection in 2016, this is a wonderful opportunity to survey their catalog to date.
Recommended tracks include “Bad Flower”, “Limited Addiction”, “Kodou no Himitsu”, “Unmei”, “Liar” and the previously mentioned “Never Ever” (the ending song for hit anime series Fairy Tail).
Download the TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE 1st BEST ALBUM Kirari☆ at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/1st-best-album-kirari-type-a/id985995628