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Posts Tagged ‘Morning Musume

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Morning Musume’s 35th single, entitled みかん, was released on 11.21.07. The single represents the girls’ childhood memories of eating mandarin oranges.

みかん takes a break from the mature dance songs to take on a cuter and brighter vibe. The song begins with a sweet and pretty instrumental that moves into a cute atmosphere with the chorus. The vocals are enjoyable and they capture the excitement of the song very well. That excitement continues onto the verses and Ai in particular shines on her lines. Unlike other songs, it doesn’t go into a mellow mode but keeps that upbeat fun atmosphere that the listener can enjoy. The pure instrumental section gives it a new sound with the guitars coming to pump up the energy. Even though this song goes more along the cute road, it doesn’t go too far past the line and keeps a dance tune so the listener can enjoy it.

We get a cute jazzy style on this single’s B-side, ボン キュッ! ボン キュッ! BOMB GIRL. It was a very nice surprise to see the girls try out this jazzy sound that sounds like it belongs on a game show and they surprisingly managed to not go too cutesy, letting the listener really get a feel for both their voices and the music. This song is definitely one of the best Morning Musume B-sides and deserves a listen.

In order to promote the single, a PV for みかん was made. Matching the happy and sweet atmosphere of the song, the video features animated effects and cute dancing. It’s actually a quite pretty video and not as corny as it might initially seem.

Single Ranking: A

Both the A-side and B-side are more on the cute side but take on other traits to make them interesting. みかん features a fun dance sound that combines with the cuteness to be memorable while the B-side introduces jazzy elements for a good time. It’s an overall strong single that allows the girls to try different things while keeping a common tying sound.

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Morning Musume’s 33rd single, entitled 悲しみトワイライト

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Morning Musume’s 27th single, entitled 色っぽい じれったい, was released on 07.27.05.

色っぽい じれったい shows the girls adapt to a Spanish setting. Opening the song are a few lines spoken by Koharu and Eri before the girls dive into the first verse. The whispering adds a certain desperation and sexual atmosphere, which hooks the listener. Soon the Spanish influenced instrumental comes in and leads the listener along into the first verse. The girls split into pairs to sing each line and all the combinations sound good as they compliment the other girl. The chorus is enjoyable although the “SEXY ISLAND” phrase sounded a bit strange. Ai did a great job however of ending that section with her solo line. The pure instrumental section nicely gives the listener to fall into a lovely Spanish sound before the chorus re-emerges. As the last vocalist of the song, Reina gives her strong vocal presence and makes herself known. Overall it’s a very enjoyable song with a very fun atmosphere for the listener to enjoy.

愛と太陽に包まれて is the B-side and it’s surprising that it’s another cute poppy song. This one is a slow number with more of an emotional setting. However that doesn’t stop it from being not particularly interesting. It was a nice attempt to stray from the usual B-side formula but it just didn’t work out this time.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 色っぽい じれったい was made. The video is quite simple, just featuring the girls dancing along with close-ups of the girls. They are dressed in red outfits and fit with the whole Spanish theme of the song very well.

Single Ranking: B +

Although it isn’t as strong as their previous single, 色っぽい じれったい is still an enjoyable track taking on Spanish influences. At least the B-side isn’t another boring cutesy song even if it didn’t come out as strongly as hoped for.

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Morning Musume’s 26th single, entitled 大阪 恋の歌, was released on 04.27.05. It is the last single to feature both Rika Ishikawa and Mari Yaguchi.

大阪 恋の歌 is a addictive edgy song that will have the listener moving. The song begins with a very mysterious instrumentation with some talking over it to only add to the ominous atmosphere. Soon the song’s true hot dance beat comes in and the first verse arrives. Hitomi does a great job of giving sleek and cool vocals to match the song’s atmosphere and the backing vocals add a nice little touch to the song. Ai jumpstarts the chorus with strong vocals, evoking an emotional presence that catches the listener’s ear. As usual, Miki delivers wonderful vocals whenever it’s her turn to sing so she stands out on this song. The small pure instrumental section doesn’t show much of a different side but that’s okay because the music is addictive as is.

NATURE IS GOOD! is the single’s B-side. It should have been very obvious from the title that this song was going to be an upbeat happy number and that’s exactly what it is. It’s just another more “traditional” H!P sound that focuses on cuteness but this track isn’t really worth checking out. It’s no surprise though that the song was going to turn out like this since H!P B-sides tend to be pretty lackluster.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 大阪 恋の歌 was made. The video features a blaring red that makes it difficult to see the girls during the dancing sequences. Although it might seem slightly annoying, it does fit with the coolness of the song quite well. There are also scenes of the girls as angels under an ominous sky which add to the whole mysterious vibe. It’s actually a pretty enjoyable video worth checking out.

Single Ranking: A –

大阪 恋の歌 is definitely one of the girls’ strongest songs and one to check out. There is a cool and sleek atmosphere that drives the song, fueled by a genuine emotional presence. It’s a great combination and the girls get to show off their vocals nicely as well. The B-side is pretty generic but it was truly expected.

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Morning Musume’s 34th single, entitled 女に 幸あれ, was released on 06.25.07.

女に 幸あれ is an aggressive angry dance track. The song starts off with a hot upbeat dance instrumental that carries enough emotion in it to make the listener realize that there’s more than just an energetic beat. The first verse features Koharu and Ai and their vocals are very good here, managing to compliment the music perfectly and to portray the song’s emotions. The hook definitely stands out because of the repeating “baka ne” part and the newly strong instrumentation. On the chorus, there are strong vocals and the instrumentation remains interesting. The only thing is that it sounds so similar to the hook and a little change could have made it stand out more. Following the chorus is an absolutely addictive pure instrumental section which is perfect for a little dance break. The full pure instrumental section is probably the climax of the song since we get a new instrumental that makes the listener want to continue moving before the chorus is re-introduced. This is definitely a great song worth checking out since it shows the mature side of Morning Musume with emotions in it that make it stand out from their other songs.

This single’s B-side is Please! 自由の扉. Opening the song is a very interesting and laidback instrumental that soon grows into an upbeat and catchy sound. On the first hook, Ai takes the step and does a good job of providing strong vocals with conviction and ease. The verses are enjoyable as the girls divide up into pairs and compliment each other so well and although it may not be quite so noticeable, there is a note in each line that is slightly higher than the others and it really is grabbing. The chorus is nice even though it’s a little bland.

onsa2In order to promote the single, a PV for 女に 幸あれ was made. The video is more of a flashy and cool video, featuring the girls dressed up in fancy yellow showgirl costumes as they get some close-ups, stand (or sit) with their singing part and do some dancing. The thing that stands out about this video is that you get to see the girls mouth “baka ne” and their faces perfectly portray the emotions of the song (especially Reina). Even though it was kind of weird to see them mouth it they didn’t say it in the song, it’s still cool.

Single Ranking: A –

Morning Musume certainly did a good job on this single. The title track is emotion-filled dance track that will keep the listener moving. The B-side is pretty nice although a little predictable. Nonetheless, it’s another strong single release from these girls that is definitely worth checking out.

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Morning Musume’s 25th single, entitled SEXY BOY ~そよ風に寄り添って,~ was released on 03.15.06.

SEXY BOY ~そよ風に寄り添って~ is an addictive parapara number that shows off the girls’ more mature side perfectly. The song begins with some sort of string instrument that makes for a smooth transition into the song’s powerful and catchy instrumental with a clear beat alongside it. On the verses, a few of the girls get the chance to say a few words and then everyone comes together to finish the line. The chorus stands out as three girls get the chance to sing a solo line. Reina gets to sing one each time and her vocals are so strong that it’s no wonder why. That pure instrumental section is absolutely addictive before we come back into the string instrument, allowing for a little break before the chorus again. If there was one girl who really stood out to me, it was definitely Fujimoto Miki. Her vocals were perfect each time she sang and she absolutely nailed that last solo line. Overall, this is definitely one of Morning Musume’s best songs to date and certainly one to listen to.

The single’s B-side is チャンス チャンス ブギ. The opening instrumental just carries that fun and sweet atmosphere that is somewhat reminiscent of a circus. Eri and Risa take on the first verse and their vocals are pretty good here, showing off their vocal strength while still keeping with the overall atmosphere of the song. The hook is a little iffy with the loud “chance chance.” Miki takes her role on the chorus, which is nice but it still feels so similar to the hook that it just doesn’t stand out. Overall this song was not very memorable and didn’t even come close to the awesomeness that is the A-side.

In order to promote the single, a PV for SEXY BOY ~そよ風に寄り添って~ was made. The video is extremely simple, just featuring the girls dancing in a white room as well as each girl getting some close-up shots. All the girls are dressed in white so it really is a color tying video. Some of the girls [primarily Miki] look gorgeous so despite the simplicity of the video, it turned out very nicely.

Single Ranking: A

SEXY BOY ~そよ風に寄り添って~ is an amazing track that shows the true power of Morning Musume. Everything about the song was perfect: great vocals, an addictive instrumental and a fun and catchy atmosphere that is pushed by the girls’ mature feel. Even though the B-side wasn’t as memorable, H!P B-sides never are so it’s to be expected.

Morning Musume’s 8th studio album, entitled Sexy 8 Beat, was released on 03.21.07. Mitsui Aika had her first album shot with this one and four girls had their last. Singles released before the album were as follows: SEXY BOY ~そよ風に寄り添って, ~ Ambitious! 野心的でいいじゃん, 歩いてる and 笑顔YESヌード.

元気 + starts off the album on a strong note. The song starts off with an instrumental that really hooks the listener as there is a dark element to it that builds and persists. The hook stands out as the girls’ vocals move with the music perfectly and although they are repeating one line, it doesn’t feel repetitive at all. The first verse has a certain attitude to it that makes the listener take notice. The chorus is wonderful as the girls harmonize nicely and the vocals go with the music perfectly. The pure instrumental section stands out as the sweetness of the music is spotlighted even mixed with a looming mature sound. This song is a great way to open up the album and nicely spotlights the more mature side of the girls.

歩いてる (Album Edit) is the second song on the album. The song starts off with a happy midtempo sound as the chorus starts with the girls happily singing the lyrics. There is a more mellow feeling instilled in the verses and the vocals are a little softer but they stick out to the listener strongly. The chorus then repeats and the fading out of the vocals at the end of the chorus is a nice touch. The jazzy feeling that appears on the pure instrumental section really helps hook the listener as the chorus comes back in. By slowing things down a little bit, the song is a nice addition and provides a different sound for the listener.

The third song on the album is 未来の太陽. The song starts off with an upbeat and cute sound that introduces the song very nicely. The first verse has some very nice vocals that go with the music perfectly. They reach the higher notes strongly. The chorus is great too as the poppiness comes full force in a strong way to make the listener pay attention. The pure instrumental section is definitely enjoyable and spotlights that fun and happy atomsphere. The girls do a great job on this one and is certainly enjoyable.

笑顔YESヌード (Album Mix) very nicely shows off the girls’ more mature sound. That cool and more mature sound comes through right from the first moment and the opening vocals actually sound pretty nice. Once the first verse starts, the vocals are somewhat deep in keeping with the song’s atmosphere. The chorus is the most addictive part of the entire song, particularly when the girls sing the title of the song. As one of the most addictive numbers on the album, this song finds its home and resonates with the listener strongly.

Kamei Eri and Mitsui Aika team up for 春ビューティフル エブリディ. To start of the song is an enjoyable and interesting instrumental with a midtempo feel. The vocals during the verse have a prettiness to them that catches the listener’s ear and compliments the music very nicely. The chorus stands out as the girls give a little more vocal strength and the English pops very nicely. It’s a nice way to slow things down and give these two girls their turn in the spotlight.

Next up is the addictive and mature, SEXY BOY ~そよ風に寄り添って.~ The song starts off strongly with a hot dance instrumental that makes the listener take notice and the recurring “sexy boy” is a nice touch. The first verse then starts and the vocals sound great and certain notes are held very well when called for. The chorus stands out and once again, the “sexy boy” parts sound great and the English line “fall in love” ends the chorus very nicely. The following hook sounds nice as the notes go a little higher and the girls hit their mark strongly. Once again, the girls deliver an addictive song with a more mature sound and enjoyable vocals.

Ambitious! 野心的でいいじゃん follows, keeping the tempo and energy high. Opening the song is an upbeat instrumentation with a certain darkness to it that really stands out to the listener. The chorus sounds great as the girls’ vocals show strength and demand attention. When the first verse begins, the girls continue to move with the music nicely as the vocals remain strong, particularly with the final note. The pure instrumental section sounds fantastic and catches the listener’s ear immediately from its first moment. This song is a fantastic album standout and definitely necessary to listen to.

Yoshizawa Hitomi takes the lead on the eighth song, その出会いのために. A sweet piano instrumentation starts off the song and once the first verse starts, things pick up and her vocals match the song very nicely. The chorus sounds great as there is something romantic about the song that stands out to the listener and the whole atmosphere is reminiscent of a story. She does a great job of bringing out the romantic atmosphere on this one and her vocals are great, making it one to remember. 

Takahashi Ai, Niijaki Risa, Fujimoto Miki and Tanaka Reina team up for シャニムニ パラダイス. The song starts off headstrong with a hyper instrumental and the chorus as the girls’ vocals match the energy. The first verse sounds great as all the vocals work with the music to make an enjoyable atmosphere and really capture the song’s essence. An interesting instrumental and fun vocals help this song stand out from the rest and make the listener notice just how enjoyable the atmosphere.

The semifinale song is 宝の箱, sung by Shige-pink and Koha-pink. The song begins with a nice instrumental although it isn’t as hooking as other ones. The vocals are okay but the music doesn’t grab the listener as strongly as it should and thus the listener loses interest as the song goes on. It’s the first weak track on the album and would’ve been better without being placed on the album.

Finishing off the album is BE ポジティブ! The song opens up with happy and fun music and soon the vocals come in, which go with the music very nicely. It’s pretty nice but it isn’t as strong as other songs and shouldn’t have been the album’s finale. The girls do give a good performance though and show the happy atmosphere with their vocals nicely though.

Album Ranking: A +

Sexy 8 Beat is a wonderful collection of songs from Morning Musume which show off a more mature style to the girls. From the coolness of 笑顔YESヌード to the addictive SEXY BOY ~そよ風に寄り添って~ to the sleekness of Ambitious! 野心的でいいじゃん, the girls really shine. 春ビューティフル エブリディ and その出会いのために provide nice slow numbers to make the album more diverse. Overall this is a strong album and the girls really capture the mature sound well.