I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, September 7, 2015

MAX -- Rough Cut Diamond (ラフカット ダイヤモンド)

In 2009 I was still kind of new in the J-Pop world, so “Rough Cut Diamond” was my first contact with veteran sexy aidoru group MAX. At first, I thought they were a new girl group, but I soon discovered they were, in reality, returning to their official lineup after Mina’s eight years absence from the group (she suspended her activities with MAX when she got pregnant).

I liked how “Rough Cut Diamond” sounded back then, and I still like it, even though I usually listen to MAX’s Eurobeat classics from the 90s with more frequency. In addition, comparing to other girl groups that were making huge success in 2009, such as Perfume and AKB48, MAX showcased a more mature pop sound that was really kind of reminiscent of 90s pop music with all the strong vocals and Latin dance beat.

As for the video, it’s not a very high-budget work, but, as always, MAX’s beauty and the overall colorful backgrounds, are a nice treat. Personally, Mina is my favorite in the group. I always loved her long black hair and the very big smile that is probably one of her best features (she’s not that smiley in this video, though).

"Rough Cut Diamond" was released in July 2009. The single reached #28 on the Oricon charts, selling 3,342 copies. Lyrics were written by tetsuhiko, while music was composed by tetsuhiko and Tomoji Sogawa (十川知司). As for the arrangement, it was done by tetsuhiko and Sungho Lee.



  1. Hi, Marcos.

    That's a pretty brilliant title for a song there. MAX does sound more mature and mellow here compared to their 90s heyday. The video actually strikes me as being pretty retro with all of those lighting effects. I thought I saw something similar with some of the episodes of those old disco shows back in the 70s.

    I remember seeing MAX having fun on the variety shows as much as I did on the stage. They were quite the giggly bunch.

    1. I like MAX and, nowadays, suffer all the trashy songs thay have been covering since 2013. Well, I know they became known for the Eurobeat covers in 1995 and 1996, but they actually started recording their own stuff in 1997 with the single "Give Me A Shake".

      Now that Mina came back, Reina went away from the group to concentrate on her new-born children. No that she is wrong, on the contraty, but I think that with so many setbacks over the years time has probably passed for MAX.

      I think the Latin/disco "Rough Cut Diamond" was one of the last songs released by them that wasn't a cover. I did like their Eurobeat rendition of ANRI's "CAT'S EYE" in 2010, though.


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