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Namie Joshihatsu Kumiai – Namie no wa / Aruke Aruke

14/05/2020 2020-05-14 02:30:00 JaME Author: retrorandy

Namie Joshihatsu Kumiai – Namie no wa / Aruke Aruke

A review of Namie Joshihatsu Kumiai's debut single.

© Ja Namie - All Rights Reserved
Single Digital Release

Namie no wa / Aruke Aruke


Namie Joshihatsu Kumiai, or JA NAMIE for short, is an idol supergroup of sorts composed of members of Amefurasshi and B.O.L.T, units from the Stardust Promotion agency. The group has seven members currently, and it is produced by Momoiro Clover Z's Sasaki Ayaka. The group formed in 2019 and on February 29th, they released their first single.

This unique mix of idols from different groups might lead one to wonder just what to expect from JA NAMIE's first recording effort. As Stardust groups are known for their varying styles and personalities, surely one might expect a gathering of members from the agency's groups to deliver something just as diverse. However, the result is surprising.

It would be difficult to have a group as cohesive musically or visually as JA NAMIE if the differing personalities of each member's group were taken into account and implemented. The direction they've chosen is quite different. Instead of a mixing of quirks, we get a clean, unified group. Everyone is in a uniform that gently transforms from pink to purple starting from the center and gradating outwards, and their musical style is more familiar than it is boundary-pushing.

Of course, not all music has to push boundaries. The two songs on this single probably serve as the best possible jumping off point for this group. Both songs are mid-tempo, upbeat, light and slightly nostalgic tracks that, despite being a little by-the-numbers, still offer a great feel-good experience.

Namie no wa tugs a bit on nostalgia, as the song utilizes a synthesized strings section sound that has become popular in Japanese pop music in the last decade. This, along with the simple melody that is easy to sing along to and the overall familiarity of the track, helps to provide a sense of comfort and calm along with a generally positive feeling.

Aruke Aruke is more on the side of a sentimental ballad. Its prime characteristic is that it is in 6/8 time, which helps to give it a unique drive. The song's harmony is roughly centered around variations of Pachelbel's Canon, which is a bit of a cliché in idol music, but thanks to the song's unique drive it feels fresh and, at the very least, doesn't rely on this trope as much as other idol songs. Aruke Aruke also allows each of the members to have their own share of the spotlight. While Namie no wa does this to a certain degree, Aruke Aruke has each of the group's members singing a phrase or two as a duet. This helps to showcase the unique characteristics of each individual voice more clearly and also highlights how the members' voices interact with each other. As a fun aside, for any music nerds, it can also be pointed out that Aruke Aruke's title goes perfectly along with the rhythm the piano plays throughout the song when spoken aloud in unison with it!

JA NAMIE's debut single is probably not going to knock anyone's socks off for being on the bleeding edge of music today, and neither is it really anything very complicated. Instead, Namie no wa / Aruke Aruke is a single that is like comfort food for the ears. It's music you listen to on cold, rainy days to help you see the clear, sunny skies, if only in your mind. We all need that sometimes, and this single does a great job of delivering it.

The single can be downloaded or streamed from Spotify, iTunes / Apple Music and many other digital music platforms here.
 Download or stream "Namie no wa / Aruke Aruke"

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