Taiwanese boyband Fahrenheit will make their Japanese debut with the single “Stay With You” to be released on May 21. Well, debut might be pushing it a little – they’ve already released two Japanese language albums – but “Stay With You” is their first original Japanese single.
Fahrenheit is one of the hottest pop acts in Taiwan at the moment. It is made up of four members (L-R: Calvin Chen, Jiro Wang, Aaron Yan, Wu Zun) – who, as typical of Taiwanese pop celebrities, also act extensively in television dramas and have numerous advertisement deals. Due to some popularity in Japan from their Taiwanese drama versions of popular Japanese mangas, they released their first album “Fahrenheit” in Japan with the Japanese version of one of their songs “I Have My Young,” and released a second Japanese album, “2 Faces,” earlier this year
The song is okay – it sounds like standard pop band fare, but it is really catchy and, I have to admit, well-produced. I’m sure fans of Fahrenheit will enjoy this a lot, and fans of general boy-band fare pop will like it too.
I’m not sure how Fahrenheit will appeal to J-pop listeners as a whole. Yes, they’re pretty boys, they have great (read: gay) member relations, and they acted in several popular Taiwanese dramas. However, to be completely honest, they lack superior singing and dancing skills (When your dancing makes Johnny’s Juniors look talented and well-choreographed, you know you’ve got a problem). They also lack Japanese proficiency at this moment.
Still, I might be underestimating their popularity – I can’t find statistics, but if they’ve already got a fanclub established, released two albums with little to no promotion and has done well enough to have their first single get the royal treatment (three versions: CD only, CD+DVD, CD+Photobook), they must really have a decent fanbase already. Also, while they aren’t up to the standards of a vocal acapella group like the popular TVXQ right now, they have decent boyband vocals and seem to be backed by good songwriters.
I think they have promise – they’ve obviously garnered up a large enough group of fangirls already, and certainly could improve their singing, dancing, language; who knows, they just might be the next foreign group that makes a big impact on the Japanese industry. However, already being so big in Chinese entertainment, how much will be invested in them to release in Japan when they already have a sizable fanbase back home? Only time and sales will tell whether Fahrenheit will focus on their Japanese career, their Taiwanese career, or dabble in both.
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