Well, it’s one way to set MY soul on fire.
If you’re used to me, then this is going to be hard to believe, but until I started typing this post, I hadn’t even once watched AAA‘s latest music video, Red Soul.
I don’t know if that makes me lazy, if that means I think too much about this blog (because I knew once I watched it I’d want to write about it here), or if I really had an overdosage of AAA a month and a half ago. (Say it isn’t so!)
Then avex renewed AAA’s official site, and Shuuta’s new profile picture made me do it. (Alternately, if you only care for the girls – Misako’s new profile picture.) You see that stare? Some people have a stare that makes you stay as far away as possible. This one makes me want to fly to Japan. Unfortunately, I’m a poor college student who just shelled out another $60 for AAA’s upcoming AROUND album and their 2008 calendar, so the PV will have to do for now.
And does it ever. Mmm.
This PV has been reviewed possibly to death already – because I’m what, three weeks behind on it? (I’m not sure when it first aired, I was in Hong Kong then.) And depending on whether or not the commenter was a fan, reactions have been positive, negative, ehhh, or more focused on how the rock may affect it. (I pretend it doesn’t exist. There is no rock. There is no Spoon. There is, however, AAA.)
The one thing everyone definitely agrees on though, is how insanely red it is. And black. Red and black. So toss one of my cents into that cup. Well, you can’t deny it. Reddish lighting, red backdrops, heavy overcast shadows, and then a dark brick wall with a heavy iron gate? It’s definitely going for that image.
AAA’s wardrobe doesn’t help matters either, continuing the red/black motif with occasional splashes of white, highlighted/dyed brown hair, and, well, skin tone. But they all look good, especially Chiaki with that pompadour, and as always there are pieces of their outfit I totally want and would wear. In this case, Urata’s jacket, Misako’s ruffled shirt and jacket, Hidaka’s jacket, Nissy’s tie (I’ve developed a fondness for ties), and Shuuta. Yeah, just Shuuta. Did you not see the picture I linked up there? He’d be the best accessory ever.
And thanks to the general imagery and color scheme, vampire ideas have been tossed about. AAA themselves alternate between being seductive and vaguely threatening with some literal red eyes, which probably fuels that. Then there are the ornate masks, which even if you’re not looking deeply for meaning to the video, obviously symbolizes hiding one’s true self. And oh, the clocks. Which… are ominous and kaleidoscopic and foreshadowing? I don’t know, I’m going to take the video at face value – a piece of eye candy. Red and black eye candy. That hopefully won’t give you red eyes from staying up too late watching this or black ones from slamming your face into the screen to get closer to them – oh, wait. Bit late for that.
And now the song. This isn’t the first time I heard the song, actually. But that was just the chorus sample spread around the Internet about a week after Otakon, and for AAA songs it usually happens that the chorus grows on me while the stanzas are what catch on me first. Such is the case here.
I hated the chorus per se. But the opening of the song builds up with a slow guitar riff while the synth bits jump in and with Hidaka’s opening MC it sets the mood of the song so cleanly, and then soon after I decided I liked it, the chorus leapt on the bandwagon. We should make it clear, though – this is not BLOOD on FIRE. This is not Let it beat!. And don’t even think of comparing this to Champagne Gold.
Red Soul is still a Eurobeat-influenced song, still keeping to that tradition AAA has with their September singles. But AAA’s abilities have developed, their vocals with a lot more attitude and power, and they seem a lot more at home with the rock-infused music than they did a year ago. And the dance. The dance combines both sharp and fluid movements, and uses AAA’s number advantage (7 dancers), too, instead of having them just do the same dance and run about switching positions every so often. It’s exactly the sort of thing that made me admire the potential a group like this had back when they debuted, and for the first time in a long while, they’re utilizing it. (Sure, no acrobatics, but you can’t win them all.)
Okay, so they’re not perfect. Nissy and Chiaki don’t look threatening or sexy at times. (Chiaki can’t help it though, I think she actually oozes more cuteness while Nissy develops Shinjiro’s deer-in-headlights syndrome.) You can see that some of them are a bit off-beat in the dance portions of the video. And Hidaka’s gone back to his mish-mash style of rapping from way back when for this single, though I think it’s safe to say this time it’s intentional.
It’s also worth noting that they’ve had a bunch of these dark-ish PV with rock elements theme to their releases in the past year, but so far it doesn’t seem to be a definite trend. But the song is good pop, it works for AAA, and they look pretty damn sexy for the most part. (Misako takes short shorts to a different level than Koda Kumi’s, and is still something I’d totally hit.) Why not?