X21 seems to be mostly overlooked by western fandom. I can somewhat see why. Their music can be a little more mellow in tone, and the girls are more elegant than idol-ish. They’ve always given off a Nogizaka-esque vibe for me, so maybe that’s why. Nogizaka46 wasn’t exactly welcomed with arms wide open in western idol fandom either at first, even though the bandwagon hit that group pretty hard a while back. Anyway, X21 is definitely worth a look in my opinion.
The PV for “Yakusoku no Oka” is pretty basic. A majority of it is the rather gorgeous dance shot mixed around some solo and group shots of the members. Despite there being not much to write about this video, I’m really impressed with the camerawork. It feels like they picked every perfect shot. I’m not sure if credit is due to the editor or this gorgeous set of girls. Maybe a little of both. In any case, it feels like anywhere you look in this video, everyone is on their a-game with exemplary expressions and lovely poses.
The outfits are really cute looking with white frilly tops with a pink half-skirt, half shorts…thing. They’re fairly elegant looking as is usually expected for X21. My only complaint about the PV is there is a fair amount of color saturation to it, but hey, this is J-Pop, so we know to expect it more often than not. That aside, this is a nice PV. Not a lot to it, but that’s not an issue when you present it nicely.
“Yakusoku no Oka” as a song is perhaps not amazing, but it’s nicer than nice. This doesn’t sound like an idol song at all, but would rather fit in with general J-Pop. It reminds me a little bit of mid-2000’s Avex, which I guess makes sense with them being on board that label. There’s also a little early 2000’s K-Pop in there when it comes to the hook of the song. It alls works together nicely, and I like how I can’t put a particular group’s name to it. It’s unique for sure. I really want to call it a dated sound, but in a complimentary way. Retro, perhaps? Yeah, let’s go with retro. Modern retro. I dunno.
Seriously though, give this group a try. They’re pretty cool.
X21’s 7th single drops March 30th.
Watched: YouTube (Official)