Some thoughts on “Guilty”, the latest album from JyuJyu.
Release Date: September 12th 2021
Serial Number: DAIP-5013
2. Noroi Hajime
6. Zenbu uso
7. Atashi wa MAMONO
As I sort of stop to look around and take stock of the current Idol landscape it dawned on me that (in large part) due to the massive amounts of upheaval in the scene and just really the world in general over the last 18 months that there aren’t a whole lot of long-running groups left anymore. I suppose in some ways that could be considered a good thing or a bad thing as things certainly haven’t stagnated, but man do I feel a bit old when I don’t really recognize a lot of these young up and comers.
JyuJyu are definitely not considered one of those at this point though, having been around for going on for *checks notes* 8 years now…holy hell am I old. Anyway, they are what you would consider one of the scene’s few surviving veteran groups at this point and there really is something to be said about having that kind of staying power as an Idol group. I wouldn’t call myself a huge follower of them necessarily but I usually check out their stuff whenever they have something new out and I’ve never come away feeling disappointed from the experience. It just hasn’t fully clicked for me like some people I know though.
“Guilty” is the group’s latest album release after their absolutely epic in proportion “Melian” from a year or two back. This outing looks to collect the handful of songs that still hadn’t quite made it from the live venue onto tape, along with a couple of newer ones to give the longtime fans something new to get excited about. Like I said, I’m not a huge follower of the group so a lot of these are going to be brand new to me but that’s kinda cool too as I got to check them all out with a fresh set of ears and no real preconceived notions.
Dark Fantasy is definitely one of the heavier vibes this release is giving off but to what extent that it’s featured does vary quite heavily from track to track. “Kinenbi” and “Higanbana” are two examples of where it plays more of a leading role but we’re also treated to quite a bit of Rock, at times verging on Metal from say “Atashi wa MAMONO” which is easily one of the harder hitting songs that has been collected here. It was actually quite refreshing to hear so many different genres and influences being called upon over the course of the 9 tracks on offer here and I think for the most part it allowed them all to have their own distinct personalities.
That being said, I obviously have my preferences when it comes to musical taste so the slower, more serious sounding stuff like “Genzai” and “Fake” didn’t really land quite as well as the more upbeat, fun sounding “Chakushin” or “Kinenbi” but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re still really great songs that are incredibly well laid out and produced. To be honest there’s at least one catchy vocal hook or riff/melody on each track here so depending on what sort of sound floats your boat there should hopefully be a track or two that you think is pretty cool even if you aren’t a diehard JyuJyu fan, so kinda like me I guess.
“Guilty” offers JyuJyu fans new and old alike a pretty diverse collection of tracks, though all of them do follow a very rough theme of sorts as I mentioned earlier. It does feel a little bit like they’ve taken a bunch of songs they had laying around and put on them on an album at times and I suppose to be fair that is what they’ve done in a way. The material is still great though and definitely deserves to be heard but if you’re used to their more heavy theming then this one might feel a bit more loose to you than past offerings.
Probably not enough here to turn me into a raving JyuJyu fanatic after all but I did really enjoy my time with these songs, as do I enjoy my time whenever I get the occasion to sit down and listen to JyuJyu. They’ve been in the game for a long time now and you can definitely tell that just by how well rounded their music and performances are. Enjoy and appreciate them while they’re still around because if anything the last couple of years has taught us is that things can change pretty quickly and nothing lasts forever.