Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Milestone Single - Morning Musume's 'One ・Two ・Three/The Matenrou Show' Single Review

This review feels a little late, but hey, better late than never, right?

Yeah, it's time for a review on Morning Musume's 50th single, One ・Two ・Three/The Matenrou Show! I bet you can't wait for me to brew up a pot of absolute hate, right?

Actually... I don't hate this single, because if I did, would I honestly have bought it? Yeah, I only bought the Regular edition, but my original plan was to never touch this single... but I did, and that's because there is one song I don't mind, and one I quite like. If I really was dead set against this single like I was before, I wouldn't have bought it. What would be the point in buying a single I detested, eh?

And just because this is the 50th single doesn't mean I'm going to totally rave about it - I may like the title song a bit more now, but I'm not going to praise it when I don't care about it as much as I do the others - so what if it's the 50th single? It has its flaws. I'm not going to love it just because some fans think that all MoMusu fans should shut up and like it because it was a high selling single...

Oh yeah... I went there.

Okay, with that out of the way, let's check out the track listing for this single, shall we?

1. One ・Two ・Three
2. The Matenrou Show
3. Watashi no Jidai (Rokkies)
4. Aisaretai no ni (Qkies)
5. Seishun Domannaka (10ki)

So, I'm going to say that there are songs I absolutely love on this single, and some I'm okay with. Can you guess which ones?

Well, let's take a looksy at the songs first...

One ・Two ・Three

The first of a supposed Double A-side single, One・Two・Three is the 'cool and mature' song which showed a totally new direction in Morning Musume's sound, and whole fucking lot of auto-tune. This was the song that realised my 'great dislike' for electro-pop, until I realised that it was only Morning Musume's One・Two・Three that I disliked, and nothing else, because this isn't the only auto-tune filled song copying electro pop that came out this year. Tweet Dream, Koko Kara Hajimarunda, Song for the DATE and more songs were released with auto-tune, and I actually liked those songs - so why so much dislike for One・Two・Three?

Well... it's probably because the auto-tune is everywhere, and it's all over the place. Honestly, I don't think that the auto-tune was really planned out or placed correctly. The whole sound is quite messy for me, and I think that's why I didn't like it right away like everyone else did. Whilst fans flocked to the song, I kind of strayed away because of the amount of messy auto-tune in the entire song, and I didn't like how constant it was - seriously, where in this song is auto-tune never present? Oh wait, what is that? Nowhere! Honestly, if there were some parts of the song where auto-tune wasn't present, I might have taken to the song more, but no. It took me a good few weeks to adjust to the song and like it a bit more.

That said, it's an okay song - other people will disagree with me, call me a bitch for hating it and what not, and say that it is amazing, one of Morning Musume's best, but I don't care. I don't like this song, it will never be a favourite of mine, and I may never like it like others do. I can see why people like it, because it's a good song... but for me, the placement of the auto-tune and how messy the finished song is makes me dislike it a lot more than I thought I would.

Of course there are good points to the song itself, such as a bit more line-time in the form of syllables for other girls, and the dance itself. There are bigger downfalls in the song than the auto-tune itself, such as the domination of Reina-Riho in the song, but I don't actually care about that - they are the front girls, and UFA see no point in selling the other girls, so of course they will get a majority of the lines. They sound okay, not the best they could ever be, but they sound fine in the song. The auto-tune helps, of course, but I still hate how much is used in the single, and how bloody obvious it is.

I doubt that I will ever really like this song, but I'm okay with that. There are more Morning Musume songs out there, and more to come, so I don't care. Just because this is the first of two songs doesn't mean I have to fawn over it like some fans expect others to. All sngs have haters, like Pyoco - some will love a song, and others will dislike it or hate it. I dislike it, and I have my reasons. It just does not suit my tastes, and people have to live with that. Don't go into denial over one fans opinion just because it doesn't match yours, kay?

On a side note, this PV is horrible - for the 50th milestone single, why a shitty budget PV? We know that UFA can pull better stuff out of their butts, I mean look at Song for the DATE and Kimi wa Jitensha...

Then again the group chemistry lacks too, doesn't it?

The Matenrou Show

Where One ・Two ・Three failed to impress me, The Matenrou Show actually delivered a much more well received performance, despite being a song dominated entirely by Reina and Riho, with no syllables attached. But that doesn't mean it isn't good, because it is - and there's no auto-tune that I can hear! Automatic bonus for the song!

It actually took me a while to listen to this song, because I wasn't going to listen to it without a PV - however my sister persuaded me to listen to it for the first time with the dance shot, promising that I would like it more than One ・Two ・Three, so of course I believed her, and yeah, I totally prefer this song to One・Two・Three. It has a nicer tone, and the vocals are a lot better - even the usually bland Riho, with that voice which doesn't fit upbeat and peppy songs, worked with this song. Hell, I even said that she sounds so much better in this than she has done any other single before, and she honestly does. She's finally mastered the art of emotion in her voice for this song, and she sounds great! Not stellar amazing like Takahashi Ai, but she sounds great for a kid! Of course there are times where you can hear the strain in her voice, but hey, so what? I like her voice for once.

And Reina - she sounds good too, not like she's straining her voice like she was in One・Two・Three. She sounds like she is genuinely enjoying this song, and that's always a bonus when it comes to Reina, because let's be honest, the girl sometimes looks and sounds bored, so it's nice to hear the happiness in her voice in a song.

This is a fun song, and it has that nostalgic sense to it - you can certainly hear a few memorable tunes in there, like Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku and even Kare to Issho and Kono Chikyuu. This song is more like a homage to the other songs from Morning Musume, I think, and I would honestly love to see a PV with it. It's fun and pretty cute, and I like how everyone sounds together. This is a serious improvement on One・Two・Three, and I think that it should have been the first A-side. Of course, everyone else will disagree with me, but I prefer this song to the first one - it has a lot more feeling in it, and isn't messy at all.

That, and they all look amazing in the dance shot, though quite a few of them (including Riho) look absolutely bored sometimes. Oh well, it's nice seeing Sato and Ishida having fun~

Watashi no Jidai (Rokkies)

So, One・Two・Three didn't really impress me, and I quite like The Matenrou Show, but what about the Generation songs? Well, first up is the Rokkies' own song, Watashi no Jidai, translating to 'My Era!', and this song is something I did not expect from the two oldest members of Morning Musume... fun, up-beat, energetic, amazing! It's an awesome song, and I fell in love with it at first listen. I certainly wasn't expecting this to come out of my speakers, but hell, Tsunku, you WIN!

From the cover, I actually thought that this would be a cool song, something more mature for the two elders (lol) of the new Morning Musume, but instead this is a really fun song which brings out the energy and happiness of both Sayumi and Reina, and lets the two shine together without one dominating over the other. Honestly, they both sound bloody amazing here! Sayumi's voice is quite powerful against the instrumental, which was really surprising, and Reina sounds better than ever in my opinion - they really compliment each other with their voices, and they blend beautifully together. The song works so well for both of them, and I'm really glad that Tsunku chose something fun and energetic for these two girls, because it works so well for them both!

I actually expected to hate this song, or at least like it the least out of the three generation songs, but I actually love it. It's one of my favourite songs out of the three generation songs because of how fun and happy it is. It's a song that makes me feel happy and energised, and really makes me love the Rokkies more and more and also appreciate their voices. This song is about 'Their era' - the era of the Rokkies dominating Morning Musume, and I feel like it is really fitting of these two, because this is their time, and they are going to bring about a new, fun and refreshing Morning Musume that no one has ever seen before. I think this song just shows that together, these two will create a new era for themselves whilst creating a new Morning Musume during their time as the older members. It's a song that fits them both, and fits the image that they have together.

I fucking LOVE IT! I just wish there was a PV to go with this fantastic song! Boo hoo! ;___;

Aisaretai no ni (Qki's)

Tsunku won with one generation song that had an awesome sound to it, but what is the next song like? Will it pass my expectations like Watashi no Jidai did, or totally flop alongside One・Two・Three and flop with the other fishies?

The next song is from the Qki generation, the first that I ever experienced as a Morning Musume fan, and this will be their first song that is specifically for their generation. Aisaretai no ni is described a a cool and mature song, and is about a girl who wants to be loved. Well... I certainly wasn't expecting something that sounded like every other Morning Musume B-side, but I don't mind the song either.

Honestly, I was hoping for a more 'pure' song from the Qki's, because the cover for their Limited Edition single showed a more innocent and demure side to the girls which I liked the look of, but instead we get a rather dance-esque song that would be fit for the club, with cool and mature sounds throughout, but I can honestly see why Tsunku would compose this sort of song for the girls - These girls are all maturing, and they all have voices which suit the 'cool' sound, like Kanon. They all sound really good, though there are parts where both Erina and Riho sound like they're straining their voices, but hey, so what? The girls sound pretty good here... Though of course, there is that tell-tale auto-tune again, coming back for more.

Yeah... Stop that, Tsunku - it sounds horrible here like it does in One・Two・Three. Leave off, kay?

Of course the one aspect I like about this entire song is the distribution - you get to hear everyone! Riho, of course, has the most lines (which is annoying, I admit) and Erina the least, but hey - we can hear them! Finally, I can hear my darling Zukkini in all her glory, and the fabulous Princess is getting some much needed spotlight in a song! And hey, she sounds fabulous - you can hear that she's the best singer of the four, and that her years as an Egg have payed off, and I think that she really owns this song. It's so fitting, and her soft, smooth voice really stands out against the deepness (and rather nasally) of Zukki's vocals, the rather mature-but-still-developing sound of Eripon and the youthful strain of Riho. It's nice to hear that gentle voice against everyone else's - it's somewhat refreshing in a song like this.

It's a pretty good song, but it isn't my favourite out of all the Generation songs - in fact, it comes last out of the three, but it's also ahead of both One・Two・Three and The Matenrou Show. It has a really nice composition, and the girls all sound really good. It's not the song I would have wanted for the Qki's, but I like it anyway.

I'm actually looking forward to a live performance of this song being leaked... if a live performance is ever done, of course~

Seishun Domannaka (10ki)

So... one more generation song to go, and then I am free of this single! Okay, that's a joke, but hey, it's true - this is the last song on the tracklist (barring the instrumentals) and is the 10ki's first generation song. A song about youth and an innocent (possibly first) crush. So, Tsunku... how will you fare with this final song, a song made specifically for the fresh and youthful appeal of the newest generation?

He shoots... HE SCORES!!! The crowd goes wild for Tsunku and his amazing achievement! Whooo!

I am so impressed with this song, I can't even begin to tell you guys how much I love it... When I first heard it, I was already in love, much like Watashi no Jidai, actually. The energy, the fun elements and the overall feel of this song really helped me to fall in love with it. Everyone sounds extremely happy, and the song is just so cute and energising in its own way, you can't help but fall in love with it!

Of course, out of the three generation songs, this is probably the least polished vocals wise - Sato and Haruka stand out in this song because they are the two girls who sing the best in their generation, whilst Haruna talks through her lines (rather cutely, may I add) and Ayumi kind of yells her lines (like Risako, but with a softer and nicer tone to her voice) - but being the least polished means nothing in terms of the quality this song brings. You can really hear the happiness, energy and effort the girls put into singing this, and because of that, they all sound absolutely amazing. They really pulled out a top-notch performance with this song because of how hard they worked, and how much you know they loved singing this song.

Honestly, I adore all of their voices in this - Sato was the surprise of course, because she actually has one of the nicest voices I have ever heard. She's younger than Riho, but she has a better voice with a nicer tone and perfect pitching, but she's also less polished than Reina, and I honestly think her voice is better than hers as well. It's actually a bit of a shame that Sato has the least amount of lines in this song, because I actually think that she has the best voice in her generation, and I would have loved to hear more from her in this song, because she fits it so well. She has the energy, the happiness and the voice for this song, its like it was made for her. But hey, what can you do? I will treasure the lines she does have and enjoy them for now~

With Haruka, I enjoy her 'husky' mature tone to her voice, it's really nice to hear next to the other singers. Her voice really stands out because of the mature sound she has despite her age, but she still manages to bring out that fun and energetic element that she needs for the song whilst still maintaining the image she created for herself. She has perfect control, and she sounds absolutely amazing - it's weird to think that the voice I hear is that of a 12 year olds! I think that she really brought out her cuter side in this song though, but still tried to maintain that mature and cool appeal she has. I feel like she will be a killer singer before too long, and will really wow us with her vocals. Honestly, Tsunku, give this girl more lines!

With Ayumi, I find that she has a voice which is suited for more powerful performances, as she has a kind of shouty/yelling quality to her singing right now, but she manages to bring out her energy and excitement in the song whilst trying to control the power in her voice ad bringing a great performance. It was enjoyable listening to her and hearing the energy and excitement she had - you can tell that she enjoys performing and singing, and whilst her voice still has a way to go, I think she did so freakin' well in this song and showed off her strength in her singing - being energetic and controlling the power she has.

Haruna, out of all of the girls in her generation, is of course the least polished. Throughout the song, she talks through her lines with a bit of a tune added in, but you can really hear the hard work she puts in. She sounds great here, and honestly, I really like her voice. It isn't the best, but so what? I really loved the effort, energy and happiness she put into this song, you can really hear how much she enjoys it! She sounds cute here, and I think that along with Ishida, Haruna did so well in the song even though she is the least experienced out of the other girls. Yes, she has a long way to go, but she's 17 and has never had any experience in singing, so of course she will be rougher to work with than the others, but even so - she has the potential to become better for both herself and for Morning Musume. I doubt this girl with ever be a great singer like Takahashi Ai or Natsumi Abe, but she will get to a standard which is good for Iikubo Haruna. I liked her in this song - she suits the song itself, and really tried her best. I don't think that I could have ever asked for anything more.

I really like Seishun Domannaka because it's a happy and carefree song, one which has allowed us to hear the newest generation's voices and to hear their potential. You can hear the effort the girls have put in, and I really think that this is an amazing song. I love it, I adore it and it is my favourite generation song out of the three. Everyone sounds great, and I love the overall sound of the song. For a generation song, this is the best out of them all, and I really think that Tsunku created something which would suit all of the girls' voices and their images as well. Seriously, Tsunku, you created a winning song... and I want to hear a live performance of it!

They all win in this song, I'm not even kidding! >3<

So... The Verdict:

I honestly think that this is a really strong single with some really good songs. Just because I don't like One・Two・Three doesn't mean that I will totally hate the rest of the songs. Honestly, I like every other song on this single because they are all pretty amazing in their own way. They all have their own individual appeal, and they all deliver something different. For me, the winning songs on the 50th single will always be the Generation songs, because that is where Tsunku pulled out all the stops - we get to hear different sounds from the different generations, and they are all songs that fit the girls' voices. We also get to hear everyone in their generation song, and as we haven't heard much of the 9ki barring Riho and the 10th generation, it's a nice change of pace to get to have a good listen at their voices, and to hear how much they have grown since they all debuted. 

I am really impressed with Morning Musume. There are five songs on this single, and each of them are great songs. There's something new for everyone to listen to, and something that everyone will like. No, I don't necessarily like every song that Tsunku has delivered here, but I like four out of five of them, and that makes this single a winner.

Now, time to listen to some Seishun Domannaka and do a little dance! Whoo!


  1. I wouldn't say that Masaki has the best voice of the 10th generation. Her tone is very nasal and she seems to have a rather limited range (probably why they gave that last high note to Haruna instead of her). Based on what I've heard, I'd say Kudou easily has the best voice, although I don't really like the "huskiness" of it myself.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed your review.

    1. I guess it's more of a personal preference than anything, and I quite like Masaki's voice out of the four - of course, I love Haruka's, but I find Masaki's appealing in a way...

      And thank you! :D