村田実果子 (MURATA MIKAKO) – KILLERQUEEN (Birthday Photobook)

村田実果子 (Murata Mikako)

KILLERQUEEN is the birthday photobook of 村田実果子 (Murata Mikako) from BLACKNAZARENE, featuring many noble-looking pics of this doll-like idol.

Yes, I’m just a tiny bit late; but it’s not my fault, you know how huge delays have been affecting many deliveries in the entire world. The item I’m going to talk about has been released a few weeks after a certain idol’s birthday at the beginning November, and it took almost two months to arrive here in Italy. Was it worth the wait? Of course it was.

KILLERQUEEN is a photobook made to celebrate the birthday of Mikako Murata, one of the three remaining members of BLACKNAZARENE. The name comes from a famous Queen song with the same title which talk about a high class call girl; the classy theme indeed is part of these pics as well.

Comprised of 32 pages, the album shows Mikako in what seems to be a noble European palace of a few centuries ago; her doll-like aesthetics, expressed through both her features and her dresses, perfectly fits this kind of elegant environment. Whether she is relaxing on her luxurious sofa and bed or taking a stroll while bathing in the gentle light of the Sun, the girl’s charm never fails to enchant and you won’t be able to take your eyes off her.

However, despite the elegant theme, Mikako doesn’t always act like an irreproachable noble girl: sometimes, she will stick out her tongue or give you a mischievous smile, or even a mysterious and slightly provocative look; it’s almost as if she wanted to tell us that behind that perfect-looking porcelain doll there are also the souls of a bratty child and a full-fledged lady, mixed together in the idol and model we already know.

村田実果子 (Murata Mikako) - KILLERQUEEN

村田実果子 (Murata Mikako) – KILLERQUEEN

The costumes, the details of the set, the lighting: everything is beautifully arranged, but instead of catching your attention, they enhance the appealing and bewitching aura surrounding the girl. This photobook is literally made to celebrate Mikako Murata and nothing else.

KILLERQUEEN is not available anymore, as it was a special item made to order; however, like Mikako Murata, many idols are also models and sell this kind of items every now and then, so you should keep an eye on their social accounts. So this review was not just a way to make you envious for this amazing album — it’s not only that, at least — but I also wanted to show you the huge effort idols put in their works and the high quality of their products.

Mikako‘s next birthday is still far away and we don’t know if she’ll do another photobook this year too; in the meantime, I recommend you to follow her on Instagram.

femme fatale – femme fatale

femme fatale

Listen to the self-titled mini-album of femme fatale, a self-produced synth pop idol duo made by two sisters already known in the idol world.

Will synth pop ever get old? Hopefully not, since femme fatale‘s self-titled mini-album once again proved that this genre can still be enjoyed even after four decades from its origins. I’ve been following these sisters from the beginning, so it’s nice to have a chance to talk about them.

Singles aside — some of which are included here anyway — this is the first release of the self-produced idol duo which last year fell straight from the heavens and into the idol scene with its otherworldly pop sound. The 80s-like aesthetics of the fun and uplifting music and the MV of “down shout leaf” are still one of my favorite idol moments of the last few years and I was happy to find it right at the beginning of the album.

Things get even better with the dreamlike atmosphere of “after light”, which also got a MV a few months later. Despite the joyful synth melodies, the often energetic rhythms and the happy-sounding refrain, the song also features a more intimate sound that is perfectly represented not only by the more quiet parts, but by the video as well. “after light” was the song that made me realize why the name femme fatale fits them so well: as a man, I can’t really stop listening to them. Let me know if it works with girls too.

Next up is “フェイズ” (Phase), the most recent of the singles included in this mini-album, bringing back the purely cheerful sound with a very catchy chorus and an even more colorful music video, although everything is lighter, less intense compared to “down shout leaf”. The vocal melodies here shine more than ever, with the two sisters alternating and giving life to a very enjoyable track.

Surprisingly, the first previously unreleased song “サバイバー” (Survivor) shakes things up a bit, adding some future bass elements to the usual synth pop formula, which sounds like past and future got blended together. While it’s not the best one in the EP and some may not enjoy this different approach, the (not so) bizarre mix really works and is a nice change of pace after the first three tracks.

Don’t worry though, as “JR” keeps out the futuristic music to focus only on the typical femme fatale style; as it often happens with their music, one of the main selling points is the bass line and it is especially true here, which gives it a nice groove and helps supporting the ethereal, goodnight-like aura provided by the synths. I never thought a goodnight-like aura could be a thing, but that’s the best way I can describe this atmosphere.

And, as to wake us up after the sweet dreams of the previous song, “バタフライ” (Butterfly) ends the album on a more hyperactive-j-pop-idol-oriented sound, full of chiptune elements and with a quite fast and intense beat. There is also some wobbling stuff going on in the middle of it and… let’s just say that it’s there.

femme fatale‘s first mini-album is definitely a good release, even if we already knew half of its songs; considering that the duo has already been releasing more MV’s, the two girls seem to be quite passionate with this project, and it surely shows.


TENRIN – アーティファクト (Artifact)

TENRIN

Listen to アーティファクト (Artifact), the debut album of TENRIN featuring eleven songs of rock and alternative metal oriented idol music.

I said multiple times that I was waiting for them to release something cool, and so here they are: TENRIN‘s debut album アーティファクト (Artifact) is finally here, so let’s give it a try.

The imaginate produced group released a few lyrics video in the last few months in which they showed us what they’re made of: the not-too-heavy modern alternative metal/rock sound of those songs already got the IdolOnChaos seal of approval, but at that time they had barely unveiled their members; lately, they had also been featured in our September Top 10 MV with their first music video for the titletrack of this album. “Artifact” is indeed a very good song perfectly representing the greatness of this unit.

Most of the tracks features this mixture of aggressiveness and catchiness, relying especially on the five girls’s vocals and on the powerful guitar riffs supporting them. Sometimes you may think that the rhythmic side of the music could have been a bit more prominent in the mix, and although it is partially true, you’ll soon get used to it.

Due to this, the sound usually feels not too extreme for a metal-oriented group, but every now and then things get a bit heavier: take “鎧袖一触” (Gaishū Isshoku), which starts off pretty intense, despite featuring a very enjoyable and catchy hook. “IZAYOI” is another track that gets quite heavy, even adding some sort of blast beat at some point.

On the other hand, the more pop-ish soul of TENRIN comes out especially during the refrains, which are one of the most enjoyable elements of the group’s music: many vocal lines get stuck in your head right after the first time you listen to them, like in “鬼ごっこ” (Onigokko) and “SAWAGE”. Some songs also add more variety with not surprising, but very welcome elements like the piano and synths in “アライズ” (Arise).

But it’s towards the end the album gets more heterogeneous: “ジャンピングソイヤ” (Jumping Soiya) sounds more like a typical cute and happy idol song, despite the electric guitars and the drums pounding throughout the track; and while doing something similar, “黎明ハイドアウト” (Reimei Hideout) also shows that the group is not afraid of diving into the EDM style with their music.


All in all, Artifact is a very solid release which will be surely enjoyed by fans of rock and metal idols. TENRIN are definitely a strong unit and I’m glad I’ve kept (and still keep) an eye on them.


1 2 3 8