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Juice=Juice; a recently debuted Indies Idol group who will now go onto their major debut with only two indies singles, and one collaboration - that's pretty darned quick, if you ask me, however plenty of fans have wanted this, and I can see, or at least hear, why - they are pretty darned awesome, aren't they?
Just look at them all there; Akari is a breath of beauty, Yuka is that awkward cutie, Sayubee is smug and proud of it, Karin knows she owns the group lines-wise, Aina is a cutie with an irritating voice, and Tomoko is a star. What is there not to like about the group?
And now that they are getting their major debut, and there will be no more Indies singles to see what they are made of, I have decided to finally review something by them. Why I have yet to review their PV's is beyond me, because they are pretty cool, but I think that it is time to review their indies singles plus that one collaboration single they have done with the Kenshuusei.
That all said and done, I will be taking a look at all three singles by Juice=Juice and giving my thoughts on the songs, whether you like it or not. So, let's sit back with our favourite juicy beverage (if I had to choose from flavour, it would be grape, but if it was from member, melon) and listen to some Juice=Juice... it will not be sweet in sound, but it will be damn sweet listening to them!
Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne
Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne
The song, in my opinion, is really good, something that I have never heard from H!P before; it has this mature, jazzy vibe to it that really pulls you in and really captures you as a listener, allowing you to really take in the great vocals this group has and the awesome sound accompanying those vocals. I also think that the song itself really makes you think that this group, whilst still so fresh and young, is going to grow and become pretty darn amazing in the long run.
In fact, the group itself being a breath of fresh air to H!P in general, I find the musical change to be refreshing itself. It's like a burst of this new, funky sound that we have yet to hear from a H!P group, and along with the group, it is very welcoming.
The song, being more on the mature side in terms of how it sounds and also the lyrics alongside it, is quite different to what I expected from this group, but it isn't shocking either; in fact, I think that the mature vibe fits well with the group; most of the members, whilst some are younger than others, are mature in their own ways; Karin and Sayuki have maturity from being in H!P for so long, Yuka and Tomoko have age maturity, Akari looks mature, and Aina... er, we'll get back to you (eventually).
There is also maturity in the voices of the members themselves, however, mostly from Tomoko, Sayuki and Karin. Aina and Yuka are more of the 'cutesy' type when it comes to singing, and it can sound a bit off in the song sometimes, and I have no idea about Akari right now, but the maturity from three of the main singers really makes this song feel mature I believe, and I think that those mature vocals really make the song great as well, though all of the girls' contribution is amazing I think.
For a debut single, this was a very strong start for Juice=Juice as a group; catchy, memorable, fun and different, it is certainly a breath of fresh air and different to what we expect from Hello! Project, and also...
Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru
Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru
The second single from the surprisingly mature and cool group, Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru was released on May 8th 2013 at first to only those who could access it via Hello! Pro Shop or e-LineUP online, but then released publicly on June 12th 2013. The song, being Juice=Juice's successor, was highly anticipated by the fans, mostly because the group had such a spectacular debut, and so fans were waiting to see if this would be just as cool and catchy as the last single.
And let's be honest, it is pretty catchy, however it is not as amazing as Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne is, but really... we can't fault the group on that, cos the song itself is still pretty damn awesome (and the PV actually has props, so props to UFP for spending some money!).
The song, for me, is a lot less mature and a little more playful that Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne is, and that is what I like about it; it's a lot more carefree in sound, and dares to show off that fun and quirky side to the girls in both how they sing and how they present themselves in the video. I also love how different this song sounds when compared to its predecessor, despite that same Jazzy vibe in the sound and the saxophone in the background. It's different, and it sets itself apart from Juice=Juice's debut.
One of the things that I adore about this song though is that it seems to really show off the girls' voices and how diverse they are, whilst still managing to suit everyone; one of the issues I had with Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne was that it did not seem to suit everyone because the sound was so mature and cool, but this one seems to suit both the lower voiced and higher voiced girls, which is a plus.
Vocally, all of the girls seem strong in this song; everyone has a chance to shine and show off the power they have, and the tone of the song just seems to enhance their voices and allow each girl to shine. It's a good song, and the fun, quirky element to Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru allows for all of the girls to sound like they belong in the song.
Whilst not as cool, mature or amazing as Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne, I do think that this song is just as catchy and wonderful, and in some cases, even better, but that is mostly down to the fact that everyone sounds good in it, and sounds like they suit the tone of the song. This song does well to keep that cool sounding vibe that matches Juice=Juice so well, but also does well to not sound like a carbon copy of the previous song, sounding both original and pretty damn good.
Ten Made Nobore! (Juice=Juice ver.)
Ten Made Nobore! (Juice=Juice ver.)
The third, and final, 'single' from Juice=Juice as an Indies group within Hello! Project. Freshly released on June 12th 2013 to the public, and on June 8th 2013 as a digital release, this song is part of a collaboration between the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei featuring Juice=Juice, however Juice=Juice are the ones who have their own version of the song, whilst the Kenshuusei only get to sing the title track with the group.
Firstly, I do not think of this song as a third single; more so just something that was thrown in there because Tsunku and UFP wanted to promote the Kenshuusei more, whilst also promoting JuJu along the way. I also think that this song, whilst being very cute and upbeat, is nothing more than an OG S/mileage rip-off and one of the most generic songs that Tsunku could have come up with, making it a disappointment when you look back at how good Juice=Juice's previous two songs are.
That said... I do enjoy this song, in fact I think I may love it a little bit... but I am a sucker for generic sugar and sweetness.
Now, don't take my negativity and throw a fit, because as I said, I do enjoy this song, but when I look back at the other two amazing songs Juice=Juice has done, I can't help but feel like Tsunku really copped out on this one; he has this amazingly cool, mature and quirky sound, but then he gives them something which does not fit with their image at all. Yes, I understand that this is for the Kenshuusei mostly, but if it was meant for Kenshuusei and not Juice=Juice, then why, oh why, did they sing it again but for Juice=Juice solely? Don't get me wrong, all of the girls sound amazing in this, but that's because it is such an easy song to sing that no one, not even Riho or Eripon, could suck at it. Again, this does not fit with their image at all, and whilst I may enjoy this song (I love it, I swear!), it is still a major disappointment to know that Juice=Juice went from singing two awesome songs to... well, S/mileage cast-offs.
To say I am disappointed is an understatement, because I am, but whilst I do not like the fact that JuJu were given something that is so generic it hurts, I do think that the song itself is nice and really shows off how nice everyone in the groups voices can be; especially those group parts, my goodness! Ten Made Nobore!, whilst generic as hell, really suits Juice=Juice. In fact, it suits being sung by a 5nin group as opposed to being sung by all Kenshuusei members, because that song sung by everyone... well, it sounds messy, I ain't gonna lie, but with JuJu... yeah, I do like how it sounds with just these five girls.
It is a cute song, and I love listening to it, but that's because it is so easy to listen to and, whilst it is generic and nothing like what I expect from Juice=Juice, I do adore it right now and won't stop listening to it. It's also amazing to sing along to randomly, just cos' I can.
Also... dat sax.
So, overall I think that, whilst Juice=Juice's run towards their major debut was too damn short (very freakin' short, actually), they have had some good songs. Their Indies debut was solid and really set the cool and mature tone for them, and their second single showed off that fun and more energetic side to them, whilst their third was lacklustre in comparison to the other two. For a short run, the group have proven to be strong when it comes to their performance levels; Yuka now seems to have the hang of singing and dancing, Karin, Sayuki and Tomoko are amazing vocalists, Akari seems to really know her camera presence and, when the song is right, Aina has a great voice. Together, they sound amazing and I really love how they sound as a group - Tsunku certainly found girls who's chemistry worked with each other, and also voices that seem to fit so perfectly.
Looking back on the three indies singles from Juice=Juice, I have to say that my favourite of them all is Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru, because it manages to sound cool and mature, but also cheerful and energetic as well as original and different to the groups indies debut release. It's a great song, and whilst not as awesome as Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne, Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru has its charms which really makes me adore it.
And now with that all over and done with, let me ask you this; Which Juice=Juice song is your favourite?
PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Readint: June 18th, 2013