JC Chasez is stepping back into the pop spotlight, but unfortunately, it’s not to release his long-awaited sophomore album. Instead of blessing us with The Story of Kate, he’s launching a girl group called Girl Radical. And guess what? They’re modelled after Japan’s biggest pop act, the almighty AKB48.
JC officially unveiled Girl Radical to Billboard earlier today, and had this to say about the AKB48 connection:
“One day we ended up working with this Japanese artist and she showed us this thing called AKB48. Basically it’s a Japanese group that started with 48 members and has fluctuated anywhere from 48 to 60. We saw one of their music videos and I was blown away. It was like this army on stage performing, and I’ve always been attracted to the spectacle. The next day we went back into the studio to start writing another song. I was like, ‘We should build our own pop group, but in our own way,’ and Jimmy agreed.”
JC’s given us the first taste of the group (which currently stands at 11 members, but is looking to expand to 21) by having them cover No Doubt’s “Just a Girl.” He says it’s just a pre-debut thing that they’ve put out to gather feedback on the project, so I’m just gonna cut right to the chase and tell him everything that needs fixing about Girl Radical.
- Why do half the members look like Pussycat Dolls and/or Girlicious rejects? You need to do a better job at differentiating them from Robin Antin’s manufactured stripper troupes.
- Please fix the member wearing the hot pink tank and white tutu. Avril Lavigne wouldn’t have even worn that shit on The Best Damn Thing tour, and that’s saying something.
- AKB48 built their initial fanbase by marketing themselves specifically to the Japanese otaku community. It wasn’t until later that they grew beyond that to become what they are today. Who is Girl Radical being marketed to? Who is their core fanbase that’s going to get them off the ground?
- One of the main reasons that AKB48 is so popular is that they have a unique system in which fans can support individual members by voting for them, and the girls with the most votes get more lines in the songs, more exposure on the album artwork, etc etc. It’s kind of like American Idol, but taken to the next level. AKB48 also do tonnes of fan service by performing daily and regularly holding “handshake events.” Does Girl Radical have a clever gimmick like that, or is their only differentiating factor from other Western girl groups the large number of members?
- Girl Radical needs a Nicole Scherzinger or a Maeda Atsuko. They need an undeniable star to put a face on the group. It’s still too early for fans to dictate the star, so JC needs to be the one to find the new Diana Ross and then promote her until the fans say otherwise. (And it’s NOT that tutu chick, okay?)
- Make sure all the members aren’t just a bunch of L.A. whores who are all burned out from years of unsuccessful auditions and desperately grasping at their last chance at success. Sure, you can have a few, but don’t build an entire group out of them. Also, go for looks over vocals. There’s so many members that you’ll be able to get a good vocal by mashing all their voices together, anyway.
- I love the name Girl Radical, but most of the members look like grown ass women. Just sayin’.
I still don’t think this will work, but I’d like it to. MKS is currently the only girl group from an English-speaking country worth anything, and even though Girl Radical is a hot mess right now, at least they’re doing something beyond the boring Little Mix/Fifth Harmony X Factor group bullshit.
This will be a fun project if JC just tweaks it some more and incorporates fan involvement, just like AKB48. Can you imagine how good The Pussycat Dolls would’ve been if they were like AKB48 and had let fans be more involved in the lineup and promotion? We could’ve voted to have Melody take the lead over Scherzy, and then laughed at Melody’s melodramatic over-singing while Nicole stared daggers at her from the back next to Ashley and Kimberly.