Thursday, August 4, 2016
Kobushi Factory -- Samba! Kobushi Janeiro (サンバ!こぶしジャネイロ)
I can’t tell whether Rio de Janeiro is ready or not for the 2016's Olympic and Paralympic Games, but, apparently, Japan is already showing the world how to create great pop anthems with the Olympic Games in mind.
I could talk about Namie Amuro’s (安室奈美恵) official NHK Olympic song “Hero”, but that’s the kind of motivational anthem I tend to avoid. So, instead, we were also blessed with an Olympic song by Hello! Project’s Kobushi Factory (こぶしファクトリー), which is an aidoru group created last year, in 2015.
Called “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro”, this new single (July 2016) is an over the top combination of aidoru pop with Latin rhythms. In fact, it’s samba, carnival and the Olympic games in one song, which might displease many people worried about stereotypes and things like that, but certainly not myself. I can tell it’s cheesy and – yes – very, very stereotyped, but c’mon... that’s part of the Olympic fun. Not only, it also finds time to mention 2020’s Tokyo Olympic games.
The song, written and composed by Shou Hoshibe (星部ショウ), is catchy and full of hooks, but, as always, what makes me like it even more is the attention given to the arrangement. From the brass sections in the background, courtesy of Yoshinari Takegami (竹上良成), to the percursion and the lively samba features, the song is a great piece of work that came to life thanks to hasiejaneiro’s arrangement.
Other than that, it seems to get some inspiration from the famous German Eurodance song called “Samba de Janeiro” (1997), by Bellini. Besides the similar titles, Kobushi Factory shouts samba... kobushi janeiro – the song’s title – in a close manner to Bellini’s classic hit right after the first chorus and the bridge, right when the melodic ya ya ya chant arrives. As I’m a big fan of the original “Samba de Janeiro”, thanks to a fun racing game I used to play a lot some years ago, called “Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing”, it was a good surprise to see bits of if in Kobushi Factory’s song.
In the end, I’m sorry to say that, but Namie’s “Hero” is far from being my 2016 Olympic anthem. This title goes to the amazing “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” by Kobushi Factory. In fact, I’d love to see them perform it at Copacabana beach.
The single reached #3 on the Oricon charts, selling 39,662 copies.