Flower Taiyou to Himawari

Casual J-pop listeners might recognize Flower as part of the popular 28-member group, E-Girls. Unlike otaku-targeted idol acts like AKB48, Morning Masume, and Momoiro Clover Z, Flower’s a talented troupe of dancers that specialize in very pretty melodic pop songs. They’re currently engaged in a girl group battle-to-the-death of sorts with fellow E-Girls, Happiness, which sees both groups competing against each other by releasing singles on the same day and then determining a winner based on criteria like record sales and concert attendance (can we please get one of these for Rihanna and Beyonce?). Flower’s entry into the fight, “Taiyou to Himawari” (roughly translates to something about sunflowers), premiered online late last week, and it’s frickin’ gorgeous.

Flower subscribes to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” school of thought, so all of their songs follow a similar formula of twinkly piano over radio-friendly, midtempo production. “Taiyou to Himawari” is no different, but it gets points for being the prettiest song they’ve done to date. The R&B-tinged beat echoes post-“Irreplaceable” Stargate up until the final twenty seconds, when it gets chopped & screwed and starts playing in reverse so Flower can get crunk in this bitch.

The music video sees the skilled Flower performing choreography, twirling chiffon around in slow motion, and singing while sticky-taped together. Oh, and one girl gets all wet and starts delivering some flawless Flashdance realness.

Happiness doesn’t stand a chance.