KPP scrambles up some serviceable J-Pop…
The whole ‘Wacky Japan’ trope has become a bit tiresome – and us enthusiasts of Japanese pop culture are always keen to explain that Japan counts for more than a collection of bizarre visuals and perverse humour. But then Kyary Pamyu Pamyu rocks up with a new release and everyone is suddenly forced to reevaluate what ‘wacky’ really means.
Keeping to a tradition of seasonly-themed previous releases, the latest offering ‘Easta’ is, as you can expect, dedicated to the traditional springtime celebration of rabbits and eggs. There’s a bit of wordplay at work here as the song title can be read as “Ii Suta” which is Japanese for “it’s alright”.
But things are far from alright in the Kingdom of the Eggs that’s unveiled in the video for ‘Easta’. Looking like the mutant offspring of the California Raisins, the egg citizens of this world will creep the living hell out of you – and when KPP heads off into the wilderness with the city exploding behind her, you can’t help but notice the knowing smirk on her face.
It’s a video that’s packed with nightmare fuel, from the smashed egg people littering the street to Kyary’s faceless profile, it could almost be a commentary on Twitter culture. Then fried eggs appear out of the sky to abduct capybaras and no one knows what the hell is going on anymore.In the middle of all this madness there is, of course, a song. KPP has come in for some criticism for recent releases and there appeared to be a point where writer/producer Yasutaka Nakata was treading water somewhat with songs such as ‘Mondai Girl’ and ‘Crazy Party Night’. But the euphoric pop of ‘Sai & Co.’ and the evocative melodies of ‘Harajuku Iyahoi’ were a ‘stunning return to form’ as a well-overused press comment goes (they also boasted amazing videos).
‘Easta’ isn’t really knocking one out of the park here. It’s got an unusual sound with the use of celtic/reedy melodic elements, but it’s a bit pedestrian compared to previous KPP outings – and is also not a million miles away from ‘Pamyu Pamyu Revolution’.
‘Easta’ marks Kyary’s 14th single, which shows that she’s managed to have some staying power in the years since ‘PON PON PON’. It may not be a classic, but as KPP’s recording output has shown, there’s always a banger in the pipeline somewhere.