© ももいろクローバーZ. All rights reserved.
Updated 13th August 2019.
Starting in 2008 within Tokyo itself. The current line-up comprises of; Kanako Momota (Red), Shiori Tamai (Yellow), Ayaka Sasaki (Pink), and Reni Takagi (Purple). There were a lot of changes when they began, turning into a solid six for their professional career. However when Akari Hayami (Blue) left the group the group added Z to the name to not honour her per-say, but to show there would be no more changes and no-one replacing her. In early 2018 another member, Momoka Ariyasu (Green), graduated at the group. Currently signed to Evil Line Records (a subsidy of King Records), the group have released five albums. Very impressive considering their humble beginnings of performing at the weekends in Yoyogi Park outside of their school hours. They have also provided songs for Pokemon, Dragonball Z, and Sailor Moon. To add to this list of achievements they have also released a collaborative single with the U.S. hard rock band KISS. At the time of writing they have performed outside of Japan, but the closest to the UK has been France. We can only hope next time they make an appearance in London too!
I feel compared to other idol groups, Momoiro Clover Z don’t have a consistent sound as such, it’s more within a spectrum from a pure pop to a heavier rock sound. Although the vocals give each song a pop twist, so even when the instrumental is heavier it still maintains the J-Pop thrust to it. It isn’t like Babymetal who juxtapose J-Pop and metal within their songs, it is more of a constant sound in each song but varies across the album. There is a tendency for a more rock sound but it’s nice to have the variation. Plus it allows them to pull off a range of different sounds and makes sense of the collaboration with KISS. Sure rock instruments are usually what are used but there are other instruments involved, usually replicated by synths. These are dropped in here and there, or the drive of the song in the J-Pop dominate tracks. It’s good as it maintains the pop element beyond the vocals, keeping some consistency across the album.
Like all idol groups, music is only the half of it. What makes Momoiro Clover Z unique is how they incorporate action like sequences into their dances. The rock twist to their sound works really well with this, making it like an epic fight scene in places. I can imagine this would make their live shows filled with energy and a great thing to experience. It is extended beyond this to their videos, such as “The Pledge of Z” featuring the group dressed up and acting in similar ways to Dragon Ball characters, and they also parody Power Rangers in a few of their videos. This really captures the fun element of idol groups, and again fits with the action theme of this particular group. It’s great this goes beyond their live shows and brings a nice extra feature to their videos.
My Top 5 Hits
『Z』の誓い [Pledge of “Z”]
ザ・ゴールデン・ヒストリー [The Golden History]
夢の浮世に咲いてみな (Vs KISS) [Try to Bloom in a Dream About the Floating World]
サラバ、愛しき悲しみたちよ [Saraba Itoshiki Kanashimi Tachiyo]
Their discography is available on iTunes, physical copies are avaliable in some places as they are distributed by Cleopatra Records in the West but they are hard to come by so may be easier to import from Japan.