These are the coolest pop videos and songs I have seen and heard so far this year. “Fly away” is dynamic, with teeth, and even though the music video is not really edgy and it’s not even all that entertaining (no story line, no discernible context for the lyrics), it’s this conventionality that works in favor of, rather than against, the music. In a time when experimental drivel like MEG’S FREAK is coming out (and OK, I acknowledge and applaud the hypothesis, but I reject its aural conclusion), it’s the simple songs that seem most stimulating; “Fly away” and “Eien” use technology that compliments the genre, rather than bastardizes it.
In fact, “Eien” is almost quaint: boy meets girl, girl falls in love, boy shares text messages, boy breaks up with girl, girl cries. The sound comes from mid-90’s era R&B and the music video is much like Maki Goto’s: amazing, entertaining dance routines, set amid some useless shots of a somewhat, to not at all related backstory. BoA looks androgynous and pulls it off beautifully and even though the dancing is kind of a Michael Jackson rip-off, what isn’t? Plus, it lets BoA show off the extent of her skills. Now there are some major gender issues that make these music videos a tad repulsive (there’s the obviousness of Maki Goto, squirming around blindfolded on a bed, following by high-heeled thrusting, but then there’s the suited, crop-haired BoA, who makes this masculine image appealing only because despite the attempt, BoA is still portrayed as so goddamn feminine, it’s regressed to an almost condescending “cute” status), but they’re still entirely enjoyable as a whole; there’s real talent here, despite how the marketers are selling it.