Gesu no Kiwami Otome.’s “Ryoseibai” was the best selling studio album of January, and the third best selling album of the month (behind the “Monogatari” compilation and Masaharu Fukuyama’s best album). I was given the task of reviewing the album for The Japan Times.
I couldn’t talk about this album and ignore the Enon / Becky scandal. It was the first big story of the year and outlived the other big story of the year so far, the near disbandment of SMAP. Gesu no Kiwami Otome. entered 2016 on a high, fresh off of their Japan Record Award nomination and their Kohaku debut. But the scandal did affect them, contrary to popular belief. They were the breakout act of 2015, so their sales should’ve been more on par with those of Hoshino Gen and back number’s, acts who also really broke through last year. Instead, Gesu no Kiwami Otome. finished the month with a little under 100,000 copies sold, less than the first week sales of their previously mentioned counterparts.
But the scandal isn’t the big issue here. The elephant in the room here is that Gesu no Kiwami Otome. just isn’t an album act. The band works best in the single and mini album formats. The disappointment that was felt while listening to their debut album, 2014’s “Miryoku ga Sugoi yo”, could be felt while listening to “Ryoseibai.” Anticipation for both albums was high going into the release based on their previous releases for the era, but the albums just failed to live up to expectations.
“Ryoseibai” suffers from needless padding. There was no reason for B-sides to be on this album. They weighed the album down and took away the spotlight from new album tracks that deserved it more. Why the felt the need to pad the album out to 17 tracks is beyond me. A leaner and meaner album would’ve fared much better.
My full review can be read here.
Again, thank you all for your support!