Release Date: January 17, 2024
- Heart of Gold
- Like A Flower
- iSyyy like that
- Shiny Shiny
- Pom Pom Pop
- Kuchi Yakusoku
- White Love
- ALL MINE
- Yumeiro Tear Drops
- Koisuru Planet
- Love Me Better
- Rock Steady (with Girls²)
- The Finest (with Girls²)
I’m going to be upfront before I start this review and say that since the E-girls and the groups that made up their membership disbanded, I have paid little attention to LDH groups outside of the primary EXILE group. I tried the EXILE TRIBE groups, but they are clones of each other and don’t hold my interest much.
So, it surprised me that active female groups were still on the label’s roster releasing music. I accidentally discovered this when I heard about SG5, whose members came from Happiness and a group I had not heard of before called iScream (not to be confused with the SM Entertainment sub-label of the same name.)
They released a song called Firetruck that some J-pop fans seemed to be all over because BloodPop produced the track. I reviewed the song when it first came out, and while it wasn’t to my liking, the member who stood out to me the most when watching the music video was RUI. Who happens to be the leader of iScream.
With my interest piqued, I went on a research mission to learn about this group, which I will briefly summarize now.
On February 1, 2020, Yokoi Rui, Yamashita Yuna and Sato Hinata were introduced as members of LDH’s newest girl group, iScream, at the first concert of E-girls’ E-girls PERFECT LIVE 2011 – 2020 tour. The trio officially debuted in June 2022 with their first single, Maybe… YES. Since then, they have released four more singles, one collaboration single (with Girls2) and one studio album.
That is the super abbreviated version of iScream’s journey so far. I’m not here to talk about their past releases; that is not the focus of this article. I’m here to chat about their latest studio album, Selfie.
iScream’s second album features the pre-releases Pom Pom Pop (released Oct 2023), the title track Kuchi Yakusoku (released December 2023), and Heart of Gold (released January 2024.) Also included on Selfie are the collaboration songs with Girls² Rock Steady and Finest.
The feeling I get from the pre-release songs reminds me of the 19-member version of E-girls before their reformation in 2017. The vibe is most present in Pom Pom Pop. It’s a song that would not sound out of place in those six years of E-girls’ career.
Taking those previously released tracks out of the equation, we have nine songs left. Of those nine, four of them are transplants from the special edition of their first album, i. (Catwalk, Koisuru Planet, White Love and Yumeiro Tear Drops) Of that batch of songs, I gravitated towards White Love and Yumeiro Tear Drops since I’m a sucker for a good slow jam.
That leaves five fresh songs to absorb. The remaining tracks follow the styles of music that LDH girl groups of the past have performed. For those who forgot, that would be ear candy-friendly urban or dance pop combined with a few slow jams to allow the members to express their inner chest-thumping diva.
The album cuts that stood out to me the most were Like A Flower, Shiny Shiny, and ALL MINE. Shiny Shiny and ALL MINE, in particular, appealed to my musical sensibilities.
If you’re familiar with the sound of LDH girl groups, what is on Selfie will be much the same as what you’re used to. Not that this is a bad thing by any means. My opinion is the female groups on the LDH roster had the more consistent discographies, and you could quickly tell them apart by look, concept and sound, unlike their male counterparts. And that is no different with iScream.
Usually, I would find a 14-track album to be exhausting since the potential for pointless filler tracks is high. However, I found Selfie to be an engaging listen from start to finish, and I had no urge to hit the skip button at any time while going through the album multiple times.