All thoughts and opinions within this post are completely my own, and no one else's. I believe in the right to speak your mind, and here I speak mine. If you do not like what I say, that is fine, I do not expect anyone to agree with me, however please do respect my opinion. If you respect my opinion, then I shall respect yours, but do not expect acceptance of your opinion and then disregard the opinions of others. Thank you.
Within our fandom of Idols and all that is adorable, a part of this fandom is made up of coverists; fans who sing or dance along to the tracks made by their favourite artists and groups to share with the rest of the community. I admit, I am one of those coverists; it's fun to get together with others who love these songs, and to create something amazing together. When you've created a successful fan cover, it can become the best feeling ever, right next to the feeling of successfully writing a blog post.
For the group REMOTE GIRL☆ however, it's not just about singing a song that already exists, but about paying homage to the original in their own distinct way, and with their latest cover, pay homage and create their own version of the product is just what they did!
Compromised of three members, REMOTE GIRL☆ brings together 4TE's very own Chii (who shares my nickname, whoo~) and Jenny, who has just debuted with REMOTE GIRL☆, as well as the talented producer of 4TE, PromWolf. With a focus on covering various J-Pop songs and turning them into more J-Rock styled arrangements, REMOTE GIRL☆ has a different sound to that of 4TE's, but allows us to see the diverse style of Chii, Jenny and PromWolf as singers and composers. As of now, the group has six songs under REMOTE GIRL☆, with one of those songs being an original composition.
For now, however, we will be talking about the latest cover from REMOTE GIRL☆, and the first to introduce their latest member, Jenny. So, without further ado, let's take a look at REMOTE GIRL☆'s take on Perfume's latest single A-side, Relax in The City.
So, before I start this review, I would like to say that I was contacted by Jenny herself this month regarding the groups up-coming cover release, as well as to inform me of the group itself and of course her addition into the group. As I have previously written for 4TE beforehnad, I am thankful that Jenny thought to once again contact myself and others regarding her activities as a J-Pop / J-Rock singer.
I also want to say that I apologise for how late this review is, as it could, and should have, been written and posted sooner. That said, let's dive into the review, and relax as we do so! Let's go~
So, I have to admit something here, and I might get trampled on for saying this, but I kind-of did not listen to Perfume's Relax in The City before I heard REMOTE GIRL☆'s cover - taboo, I know, but in my defense, and you all know this well, I am not a big follower of Perfume, no matter how much my lovely friend Nia wishes that to be. That said upon hearing this cover of Relax in The City, I did actually find myself wanting to hear the original song, simply to hear the original track as well as to test the difference between the two songs.
Essentially, I wanted to hear how Perfume's very own song fared against its cover counterpart, and to see which one I preferred.
Honestly speaking, when it comes to its sound, I do think that I prefer REMOTE GIRL☆'s cover. This is partly because I did hear it first, I admit that, however I like this version over the original because it's punchy and far more energetic than the original is. I do like the original sound to Relax in The City, it is sweet and gentle and definitely a relaxing sound, however thanks to REMOTE GIRL☆ amping up the song a little, I find myself choosing the cover over the original in terms of what I prefer.
In terms of video, I was pleasantly surprised; I didn't anticipate that the song would come with its own music video, however when the video was finally released, I was welcomed to what I think is a very well-made, fitting video that suits the pace and tone of the song, creating a fun yet relaxing atmosphere befitting of the on-coming summer season.
Taking a slight turn from Perfume's original PV for Relax in The City, which held a beautiful country setting from dusk till evening, REMOTE GIRL☆'s take mixes the classic filming styles of hand-held, home-video footage with more professional looking one-shots of the members, but all the while allowing us to feel relaxed in a natural, sunny setting that is bright and inviting.
It's a fun video to watch, one that is delightful in its use of the home-video style and the tones that are used to contrast what has been recorded previously to what is being recorded in the now, such as the close-up shots. It gives a balanced feeling of 'past and present' for me as a viewer whilst also showing us as the viewers the relationships between all of the members and just how close they are.
Seeing the video displayed in such a way really allows for Relax in The City to truly feel as if it is relaxing to watch, because it's comfortable and, in every way, warm and welcoming.
For me though, it has to be the home-video sequences that I enjoy the most about this music video - the dulled-down, sepia-toned tarnished look of this footage really allows you to sink into the video and feel as if you are truly watching your friends or family play around gleefully, bringing forth this sweet homey feeling that you would typically find in a home-made video. The fact that it feels natural and effortless is a bonus too, adding to that relaxed and homey feeling that I get when watching Relax in The City.
Simplistic scenes and edits like this can really add to the effect of a video, and what REMOTE GIRL☆ have done is take a concept that we will all know quite well - one that we have possibly done ourselves with an old video camera in the past - dulled it down a bit to create that cosy, worn-out vibe, and created this fun and relaxing music video that is easy to follow, yet still fascinating to look at.
Even with simple scenes such as walking down the street, hanging out with friends or driving down the road and recording passing scenery, you still feel as if you are a part of it, and it still looks professional.
The performance sequences are really pretty too, and when watching them I couldn't help but think of Fairies, especially when it came to watching Chii's solo shots - Chii herself gives off these very Forest Girl, Fairy like vibes that are only enhanced when she adds the flowers to her hair and stands by the leaves of the bush or hides mischievously in the garden.
Though simple, I like that these scenes showed us a little bit of the members' personalities, as well as allowed us that balanced contrast between the worn video footage and the bright, natural look of the close-up scenes.
I would say that the only thing that I didn't particularly care for in the video was the use of the overlay, but I openly admit that when it comes to overlay, I'm extremely picky; generally, I don't like it and find it rather old-fashioned, possibly a bit cheesy, however I know that a few of my beloved Idol groups will use it in their videos, too.
Still, the video for Relax in The City by REMOTE GIRL☆ is rather old-fashioned in its own way, what with is use of home footage, and to a degree I understand why it was used here and how it ties in with the video itself, however it isn't my favourite of all the transitions out there, and I doubt I will ever truly care for it here.
No matter what transition was used though, this video is still really well made, and a very enjoyable watch.
REMOTE GIRL☆'s Relax in The City is a fun and effortless take on Perfume's original song, creating a vibrant and enjoyable sound accompanied by a video that is just as warm and open as the song is, and just as relaxing. The song, though I at first was a bit apprehensive about it, is a great cover of the original and a sound that has really grown on me whilst also intriguing me of what this group could do in the future.
For the video itself, I just thoroughly enjoyed it; yes, I have my own little issue with the overlay effect, however it really doesn't detract from the rest of the video. No matter what, REMOTE GIRL☆'s self-made Music Video is something that I enjoy watching and a work that I find quite fantastic to watch. It doesn't feel like a cover songs PV, nor does it feel like it was made by fans. It's professional, wholesome and engaging, something that a music video should strive to be for any group or artist, and REMOTE GIRL☆ definitely engaged me here as a viewer.
The ending, however, was especially delightful, I have to say. I really enjoyed the final sequence.
REMOTE GIRL☆ have payed great homage to Perfume's Relax in The City, and whilst I was unfamiliar with them before now, I hope that the group releases more in the future, honing their great talent as they do so, and that I become even more familiar with them as they continue their activities. For now though, I can only wonder what they will release next, and how they will give it their own personal touch? My guess is as good as yours~
If you are interested in listening to any other songs from REMOTE GIRL☆, then be sure to check out Chii's youtube channel HappyChii and tune in! For now though, be sure to listen to REMOTE GIRL☆'s Relax in The City, and enjoy!
Until next time, and be sure to take care and enjoy Idols with all your heart!