I have not been shy in expressing my views on Babymetal. My Sonisphere review was pretty damn harsh and maybe slightly over the top in my hatred for them. However, I like to consider myself a fair person, so rather than completely dismiss them, I thought I should sit down with their album and find out what I really thought about this amalgamation of J-Pop and heavy metal.
Opener “Babymetal Death” has obviously been positioned there for a reason. It’s the track that features the least vocals and is more of a whirlwind of heavy metal noise. I think it’s been well reported that the band behinds these girls is actually full of some very good musicians and this track, plus a lot of the rest of the album, is good proof of that. “Gimme Chocolate!” is as catchy as it was the first time you heard it and even if you can’t understand it, it is hard to not tap your foot along to it. Yet the electronic pop sound of “line!” is too sweet for me to handle, even if it does feature a couple of very heavy breakdowns. I like a bit of pop music, but this is closer to Disney than anything else and it’s a little bit too much for me to deal with.
Yet despite moments like this, I can’t hate this album as much as I want to. It’s too catchy and fun to truly despise. On tracks like “Akatsuki” the young high pitched vocals of these teenage girls swirl along with the metal riffs in a way that shouldn’t work and yet kind of does. It’s hardly great art and repeated listens leave me wanting something with a bit more meat on it’s bones, but as a light snack tracks, these are kind of hard to argue with. On tracks like “Song 4” there are some genuinely great meaty metal riffs, followed by some pop harmonies and a comedy spring effect. It is up there with Lucy in terms of being bonkers, but despite trying really hard I can’t help but have a chuckle and a bob of the head along to it.
I’m never going to love Babymetal, it is all just a bit too much from me, but I have to be honest and say I liked this album a lot more than I wanted to. I kind of liked being the miserable bastard who thought it was all shit, but it’s a difficult album to truly hate. It’s chock full of fun tracks with big metal riffs and sugar sweet vocals and while it is obviously totally ridiculous, the fun is hard to not got caught up in. Therefore, I have to admit I am backtracking on my Babymetal hate, it is hardly going to send shockwaves through the world but it is something I have to accept. I still believe they should be far away from the main stage of our biggest rock and metal festivals, particularly if it means they are sending better bands further down the bill, but I shan’t be shooting myself in the head if I am forced to stand just a little bit more of them.