Over the past two years, Tokyo Girls’ Style have undergone a massive transformation. The foursome officially transitioned from being an idol group to a regular J-pop group, expanded their promotions outside of Japan, lost member Ayano Konishi, and have experimented with a more fashionable, ‘90s-inspired image.
But, the biggest change to come from Tokyo Girls’ Style is their music, with the group ditching their signature 8-bit disco sound for Westernised EDM-pop.
TGS 2.0 has been a mixed bag at times. After all, K-pop already has it nailed when it comes to repackaging the commercial EDM of the West, while J-pop has always been better at catering to more niche musical tastes. However, the group’s new single, “Predawn,” is a total triumph that easily holds its own against the higher BPM offerings coming out of America, Europe and South Korea.
Label Avex bills “Predawn” as “hip-hop x EDM,” but MB Melodies more accurately assesses it as another trendy tropical-house track. The song opens like a pulsating dance ballad before a huge beat drops on the hook, while the chorus has a few English lyrics thrown in for international listeners. If you replaced the adolescent singing with more mature vocals and some rapping, then “Predawn” could easily pass for a K.A.R.D. single.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Tokyo Girls’ Style’s old sound, and I loved their foray into Japan’s indie scene with their Maltine Girls’ Wave album. But if their dance music is going to continue being this good, then I’ve really got nothing to complain about.
“Predawn/Don’t Give It Up” will officially be out March 3.
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