Flower – Elegance in Bloom

This is part of my personal hype train, for my first E-Girls concert. So I’m bringing out the big guns and doing a bit a introduction section, along with a bit of analysis of the most recent tracks for every unit. I’m so excited to jump back into writing about Japanese musicians, and what a better way to start then with a company and the girls, I love so much.

Flower as a word evokes a certain imagery with most. You think elegance, refinement, something that’s fleetingly beautiful and something you can’t take your eyes off of. That certainly describes not only the women of the group, Manami Shigetome, Mio Nakajima, Reina Washio, Nozomi Bando, and Harumi Sato. This imagery encompasses the very essence of the musical styling of the group as well. Much like Happiness, Flower took a very different turn from standard Jpop groups. Flower songs are not going to be played at the club, or a song that you’re going to use to raise your spirits. Flower’s songs are rooted in more of an understated pop vibe, closer to ballads. Don’t get too discouraged though; the music has appealing hooks that will have you coming back for more.

Similarly, I have not been with Flower since the beginning. I found out about Flower from Happiness, and immediately fell in love since Flower’s dance style is so distinct. You just don’t have a ton of dance groups using elements of lyrical, modern, interpretive, and even ballet elements as their stables. I was hooked beyond belief.

Somewhat tragically, Flower has suffered at the hands of several member changes. This has rendered them the only unit in E-Girls Family, and within LDH to have only one vocalist within the group, Washio Reina. I got into Flower via “Monochrome/Colorful” in 2017, and I was smitten with the member Fujii Shuuka (the sister of Fujii Karen of Happiness).

Shuuka due to a neck injury left the group in late 2017, wounding the group. This lead to an unintentional nearly two year hiatus, until 2019 with E-Girls “Power to the Dome” tour. Re-establishing their foothold in the industry with the single, “Kuranai no Dress” or simply “Red Dress”, Flower has come back back strong.

I can’t tell you how heartbroken I was with Shuuka leaving. Waiting for a group with such an unsure future broke my heart. They were too unique to go out without a fight. There was absolutely no one who could touch what they had done.

Then Kurenai no Dress; I don’t have words. This song may have come out in January; it’s my track of the year. I am calling it here and now. There is absolutely nothing and no one who can top this. Each piece of this song is perfection, in my opinion over due but well worth the wait.

The opening piano, combined with koto and I believe biwa and lute; iconic. I rewatched this MV and immediately got shivers all over again. It’s not just a song, or just an MV; this is art. The choreography is innovative and unique, while maintaining Flower’s roots in modern/lyrical dance. The use of effects for each member had me shaking without it being over bearing. Of course, there’s Reina giving it her all for the entire song by herself…

The only flaw is that they failed to post the whole MV to the official channel. Although, they have opened the channel up to be region free finally.

Just from one comeback single I am moved and my faith in humanity renewed. To top it off, Flower announced their long awaited fourth album “F” just last month! They dropped a lyric video as below, and just… Reina did not have to do what she did.

Not only did Reina write the lyrics for the song all herself, but some composed the piece as well. I teared up, because this is powerful and wonderful music. Yes, it’s pop but it really moves me much more beyond that. This is a group that’s not attention seeking, constantly switching styles. Much like how a real flower has roots, Flower has never betrayed their own and just continued to blossom and bloom with or without being watched.

Am I being sappy? Absolutely. I’m not embarrassed at all to admit that. Flower is not the group that I will be turning up to at the concert. I will stand there with baited breath, watching and absorbing their energy the feeling, and just be there in the moment with them. I could only see Flower’s performance and I would still considered myself blessed for life.

Flower, is probably the group to know about in E-Girls Family, no joke. You will not find a single group like them in or out, of Jpop. They are well worth taking the time to listen once, and twice through on Spotify. Their MV’s are a bit scarce, and a few are region locked still but the ones you can view will leave you breathless. Again, SNS is another factor so please check out Sato Harumi, Nozomi Bando, Reina Washio, Mio Nakajima, and Manami Shigetome.

 

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