Normally when Puffy announce a new single, it's a time of much rejoicing across the land. We all look forward to new Puffy music all the time - that's what fans do!
This time, it seems like the reaction to Puffy's latest announcement - specifically the collaboration with "faux-punk twit" Avril Lavigne - has been mixed, at least in the United States. From some of the comments on my earlier post about it to this thread at the puffyamiyumiworld.com forums (yeah ok, I'm one of the whiners there) to the mother of all slams, this nasty and NSFW blog post at Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama. (Nasty to Avril, that is - nice to Ami and Yumi.) I gotta admit he said pretty much what I was thinking, but I'm sure I have some Avril fans here and I didn't want to upset them.
I believe those that say this collaboration is more intended to promote sales in Japan than the United States. Avril is, if anything, more popular overseas than she is here, and her fan base is broader. Japan wasn't the birthplace of punk, so there's never been the same level of backlash against Avril among those old enough to remember what punk is really "supposed to" sound like. (Somehow Puffy actually get it right most of the time, when they try.) I also doubt that Avril's mispronunciation of the names of well-known western rock musicians (e.g. David "Bow-ee") has done as much to hurt her street cred there as it has here.
But my advice to Puffy (not that they asked) is to clam up about it a little bit here. I know you guys probably think it was a big coup scoring Avril to write you some lyrics. In Japan, maybe that's true. It's not really true here. Yeah, Avril's got a lot of really young fans - mostly teens and younger. The rest of the country just thinks she's a big hack. And promoting yourselves by linking up with Avril Lavigne makes it look like you're trying to ride her coat-tails into a fickle 'tweener audience that's just going to desert you again in another year. Have a little self-respect! You're better than that.
I'm not saying erase her name from the single and never bring it up again. I'm just saying don't make a big deal about it in your western promotion. Her fans will find her name on the single and will promote it amongst themselves. The rest of us probably would have been happier not knowing. Ignorance is bliss.
To put it bluntly, I don't think Avril Lavigne is qualified to clean Puffy's toilets, much less write music for them. She's out of her league.
You guys know where I stand. I'm curious how many others really feel this way.
Feel free to comment too.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Posted by Jeff Williams at 6:10 AM