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New Galileo Galilei: “僕から君へ”

Galileo Galilei, like their sonic forefathers BUMP OF CHICKEN, work best when they shoot for big-gesture rock. Give them huge choruses and an accompanying video full of people staring at the camera, and you’ll probably end up with a standout track. It’s a double edged sword though – this very same drama can also leave a J-Rock song feeling like a glorified pop ballad, the sort of schmaltzy garbage left for the end credits of some new animated movie. And those stare-tastic videos always seem kind of stupid too. Galileo Galilei’s new single “僕から君へ” comes with big emotional strokes and a clip brimming with people staring off into the distance, yet the band avoid falling into the usual trappings of J-Rock, the same pitfalls that left much of their 2010 output sounding rather limp. This single feels labored over, Galileo running through all sorts of different segments during the track’s five-minute length. Mellow build-up gives way to huge chorus relief which eventually becomes…kinda dancey. The whole thing sounds a little too wide-eyed and melodramatic, but unlike previous Galileo go-arounds this feels compelling. Here’s the J-Rock song to beat one month in to 2011.