Babymetal (album)

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Babymetal
The Babymetal logo, set over a red circle on a darker red background, surrounded by an explosion of silver particles
Standard edition cover
Studio album by Babymetal
Released February 26, 2014 (2014-02-26)
Recorded 2010–2014
Genre
Length 54:55
Label
Producer
  • Chibametal (exec.)
  • Inabametal (exec.)
  • Kobametal
Babymetal chronology
Babymetal
(2014)
Live at Budokan: Red Night
(2015)
Singles from Babymetal
  1. "Doki Doki ☆ Morning"
    Released: October 22, 2011
  2. "Babymetal × Kiba of Akiba"
    Released: March 7, 2012
  3. "Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!"
    Released: July 4, 2012
  4. "Ijime, Dame, Zettai"
    Released: January 9, 2013
  5. "Megitsune"
    Released: June 19, 2013
  6. "Gimme Chocolate!!"
    Released: May 31, 2015
Live music video from the album
Babymetal "Gimme Chocolate!!"
Alternative cover
Three red coffins, closed, with kitsune (fox) masks affixed close to the top front of each. They sit below a statue with the same face as the masks, in an area that looks like a church, with stone walls and stained glass windows. The area surrounding the red coffins is in grayscale.
Limited edition cover

Babymetal (stylized as BABYMETAL) is the debut studio album by Japanese heavy metal band Babymetal.[2][3] The album was first released on February 26, 2014 under Toy's Factory in Japan, in several editions, regular and limited.[4] The limited edition comes with a bonus DVD containing video clips and live footage from Summer Sonic Festival 2013.[5] It reached the 4th place on Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 37,463 copies during the first week.

Several singles were released for the album, including the commercially successful songs "Ijime, Dame, Zettai", "Megitsune", and "Gimme Chocolate!!". The album had a physical release internationally mid-2015.[6][7]

Background[edit]

The earliest materials for the album surfaced as early as October 30, 2010, when the members of the band recorded their vocals for the song "Doki Doki ☆ Morning".[8]

On February 5, 2014, Babymetal was announced on the official website with a release date in Japan for February 26, 2014, the artwork for both editions revealed, and a promotional video featuring five songs from the album.[9]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was released in a regular edition, a standard limited edition, and a special limited edition for members of the group's special "Apocalypse Web" site. The limited edition, originally released in Japan, has an identical track listing on the CD to that of the regular edition; however, it also includes a DVD containing the group's music videos with commentary by the three members, a live music video of "Gimme Chocolate!!", and footage of the group's performance at Summer Sonic 2013. An encore pressing of the limited edition version of the album was released on July 26, 2014 with a special cover to commemorate the band's 2014 world tour.[10]

The Apocalypse limited edition of the album is solely a CD release; its track listing is revised to have alternate versions of "Akatsuki" and "Song 4"; the former was performed live at Legend "1997" Su-metal Holy Birthday. It was only made available to people who had previously signed up for the group's "Apocalypse Web" site.

In mid-2015, the album was re-released worldwide under different record labels with two bonus tracks: the new song "Road of Resistance" and a live performance of "Gimme Chocolate!!". The limited edition of the album also had its first international release in Europe, containing a DVD with the group's music videos, but without the commentary of the Japanese edition. A live music clip of the song "Road of Resistance" from the live concert at the Saitama Super Arena was released May 2015.

Singles and other songs[edit]

Prior to the release of the album, Babymetal had released five singles, ranging from 2010 to 2013. The first single, "Doki Doki ☆ Morning", initially appeared on the Sakura Gakuin debut album Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo: Message, before being released independently on October 22, 2011.[11] "Babymetal × Kiba of Akiba", a joint single with the band Kiba of Akiba, was released on March 7, 2012, featuring the Babymetal song "Iine!". "Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!" was released on July 4, 2012 and included a neck corset on the limited editions. "Ijime, Dame, Zettai" was the first major label single released on January 7, 2013, but did not appear in the annually released Sakura Gakuin albums. "Megitsune" was released as the second major label single on June 19, 2013, and is the first song released after the split from Sakura Gakuin. The five songs, as well as five B-sides, are featured on the album.

Two songs from the album, "Akatsuki" and "Rondo of Nightmare", are performed solely by Su-metal. Two other songs from the album, "Onedari Daisakusen" and "Song 4", are performed mainly by Yuimetal and Moametal, under the stage name Black Babymetal; the latter of which was written by the two.

Prior to the international release of the album, a sixth single, "Road of Resistance", was released digitally on February 1, 2015. "Gimme Chocolate!!", although not initially released as a single, brought the band and the album to international success; the song peaked at number 5 on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart and its live music video performance at the concert Legend "1997" Su-metal Holy Birthday has garnered more than 77 million views as of September 25, 2017.[12][13] The song later served as a digital single on the United Kingdom iTunes Store on May 31, 2015.[14][15]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
CD Journal Positive[16]
The Japan Times Positive[17]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars[18]
Music Magazine 8/10 stars[19]
Music Magazine Japan Positive[20]
Rock Sound 4/5 stars[21]
Rolling Stone Japan 4.5/5 stars[22]
Rossiyskaya Gazeta Positive[23]
What's In? Positive[24]

Babymetal received critical acclaim from Japanese critics. Kazumi Nanba from Rolling Stone Japan positively reviewed the album, calling "Song 4" a highlight and calling the work filled with elements of "quality, heaviness, humor, and cuteness", and a unified masterpiece that can no doubt be representative of the year 2014.[22]

The album also received positive reception internationally. Tim Sendra from Allmusic gave the album four and a half stars out of five stating: "It's clearly not an album for metalheads who like to follow the clear definitions of what makes metal metal, or one for J-pop fans who are scared of huge guitar riffs. But those who don't really care about rules and just want to jump around like idiots to the brightest, silliest music imaginable will find exactly what they never dreamed about asking for in Babymetal's brilliant debut."[1] Sarah O'Connor from Rock Sound wrote that the album was "oodles of fun" and "completely and utterly absurd, but when has that ever been a bad thing?"[21] Paul Travers of Kerrang! called the music "cynical and fabricated", yet "utterly brilliant". Recommending the songs, "Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!" and "Catch Me If You Can", he stated that the band is using the "fine line between genius and insanity […] as a skipping rope".[18] Tristan Peterson from Metal Obsession stated, "This band was created for the demographic of “Music that your Japanese Boyfriend/Girlfriend, who doesn’t really like Metal, would enjoy.” He continued saying, "This is a unique album from a unique band that has not compromised on their intent, and that is to create a charming, and pretty damn heavy, dichotomy of sound for you to enjoy. It has made metal cute without losing any of its edge and that is not something you can say about, well, any band."[25]

In July 2016, Metal Hammer readers voted Babymetal as the best album of the 21st century.[26]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album quickly rose to number 1 on both the US and UK iTunes Metal charts. The album also received attention from western journalists like Brian Mansfield of USA Today.[27] It reached number 1 on the Japanese Oricon Daily Chart and peaked at number 4 on the U.S. Billboard Heatseekers chart as well as 187 on the Billboard 200.[28][29][30] In December 2014, Babymetal was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan for more than 100,000 physical copies shipped to stores.[31]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Arrangement Length
1. "Babymetal Death" Kitsune of Metal God[A] Kitsune of Metal God Yuyoyuppe 5:46
2. "Megitsune" (メギツネ)
  • Mk-metal
  • Norimetal
Norimetal Yuyoyuppe 4:07
3. "Gimme Chocolate!!" (ギミチョコ!!)
  • Mk-metal
  • Kxbxmetal
Takeshi Ueda Ueda 3:50
4. "Iine!" (いいね!) Nakata Caos (中田カオス) Mish-Mosh Daiki Kasho 4:08
5. "Akatsuki" (紅月 -アカツキ-)
  • Nakametal
  • Tsubometal
Tsubometal Kyoto (教頭) 5:25
6. "Doki Doki ☆ Morning" (ド・キ・ド・キ☆モーニング) Nakametal (ナカメタル)
  • Norizō (のりぞー)
  • Motonari Murakawa (村カワ基成)
  • SOH (Oh! S-D)
  • Murakawa
3:44
7. "Onedari Daisakusen" (おねだり大作戦)
  • Nakata Caos
  • Ryu-metal
  • Fuji-metal
Team-K
  • Tatsuo
  • Kxbxmetal
3:15
8. "Song 4" (4の歌 Yon no Uta) Black Babymetal Black Babymetal
  • Tatsuo
  • Kxbxmetal
4:01
9. "Uki Uki ★ Midnight" (ウ・キ・ウ・キ★ミッドナイト)
  • Ryu-metal
  • Fuji-metal
  • Nakata Caos
Team-K Yuyoyuppe 3:17
10. "Catch Me If You Can" Edometal Narasaki Narametal 3:53
11. "Rondo of Nightmare" (悪夢の輪舞曲 Akumu no Rondo) Yuyoyuppe Yuyoyuppe Yuyoyuppe 3:33
12. "Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!" (ヘドバンギャー!!)
  • Edometal (江戸メタル)
  • Nakametal (ナカメタル)
Narasaki Narametal 3:59
13. "Ijime, Dame, Zettai" (イジメ、ダメ、ゼッタイ)
  • Nakametal
  • Tsubometal
  • Kxbxmetal
  • Tsubometal
  • Takemetal
Kyoto 6:04
Total length: 54:55

Notes

A. ^ "Kitsune of Metal God" refers to a god figure frequently mentioned in band materials and interviews (often as "Kitsune-sama", or "the Fox God" and "the Big Fox" in English media).[35] Songwriting credits are instead given to Kei Kobayashi for the international release.
B. ^ This is a live performance.
  • "Babymetal Death" and "Catch Me If You Can" are stylized as "BABYMETAL DEATH" and "Catch me if you can", respectively.
  • "Song 4" lists its credits for lyrics and music as Black Babymetal, the stage name for the duo of Yuimetal and Moametal without Su-metal.
  • Although the word 輪舞曲 in "Rondo of Nightmare" is normally read as rinbukyoku, the booklet contains a note that the word is to be read as rondo.
  • Herman Li and Sam Totman appear on "Road of Resistance", and are featured artists on the United Kingdom digital release.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Babymetal album liner notes, Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo: Message album liner notes, "Babymetal × Kiba of Akiba" single cover notes, "Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!" single liner notes, "Ijime, Dame, Zettai" standard and limited "I" single liner notes, "Megitsune" standard and limited "Tsu" single liner notes, Metal Resistance liner notes,[36] and Google Play.

Recording and management

  • Recorded at S.O.L.I.D. Sound Lab, Heartbeat Recording Studio, MukuStudio, Sound Arts Studio, Wacken Open Studio, and ABS Recording
  • Mixed at S.O.L.I.D. Sound Lab, Heartbeat Recording Studio, Art Pop Entertainment, Hama Shobo Studio (濱書房スタジオ), and King Sekiguchidai Studio
  • Mastered at Form the Master and Parasight Mastering

Personnel

Charts and certifications[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2015 CD Shop Awards Grand Prix[54] Won

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Edition(s) Catalog Ref.
Japan February 26, 2014 (2014-02-26)
  • CD
  • digital download
  • CD, DVD
  • Standard
  • limited
TFCC-86461
TFCC-86460
[55][56]
CD "Apocalypse" limited PPTF-8058 [57]
July 26, 2014 (2014-07-26) CD, DVD Limited (re-release) TFCC-86460 [58]
Europe May 29, 2015 (2015-05-29)
  • CD
  • digital download
  • CD, DVD
earMusic
  • Standard
  • limited
EMU02103957
EMU02104001
[59]
United States June 16, 2015 (2015-06-16)
  • CD
  • digital download
Standard RAL0096922 [60]
Japan June 17, 2015 (2015-06-17) Vinyl
  • BMD Fox Records
  • Toy's Factory
TFJC-38024 [61]
United States January 15, 2016 (2016-01-15)
  • RAL
  • Sony Music Entertainment
RAL0509692 [62]
Japan September 14, 2016 (2016-09-14) CD, DVD
  • BMD Fox Records
  • Toy's Factory
"Visiting Japan Commemoration" limited TFCC-86571 [63]

References[edit]

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  63. ^ "BABYMETALの1st&2ndアルバムが"来日記念盤"で". Natalie Music (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2017-11-04. 1stアルバム「BABYMETAL」と2ndアルバム「METAL RESISTANCE」の“来日記念盤”が9月14日に発売される。来日記念盤はどちらも紙ジャケット仕様。1stアルバム「BABYMETAL」は初回限定盤のジャケットデザインで、特典DVDにはオリジナル盤とは異なる内容の映像が収録される予定だ。 

External links[edit]