In which a very sleepy Chiima decides to review... Oh, and my thoughts are totes my own. YA KNOW WHAT I'M SAYIN'?
Whilst I am saving a video (that is taking its own sweet damn time) I thought that this would be a good opportunity to review a single that recently came out and hit Daily #1 for the first day (it also hit #1 for the second day, too!) on the Oricon charts.
Yes, I am talking about Morning Musume's latest, and Tanaka Reina's final, single Brainstorming/Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai.
2. Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai
3. Rock no Teigi (Regular A) (Tanaka Reina Graduation Solo)
4. A B C D E-cha E-cha Shitai (Limited A, B, C and Regular B)
5. Tokimeku Tokimeke (Limited D) (Sayumi, Mizuki, Eripon, Harunan and Ayumin)
6. Itsumo to Onnaji Seifuku de (Limited E) (Riho, Zukkini, Masakissu, Harukyan and Sakuranbo)
Just look at that track list, it looks magnificent, no? Well, I cant say it is magnificent just yet, because we need to listen to it first... So that said, let's take a look at Morning Musume's 53rd single, Brainstorming/Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai!
The first track on the list is Brainstorming, a song which I like to think is, in sound, a sort of homage to the past three singles that showed the new direction and sudden progress of Morning Musume after being so 'stale' before the new generations came along and breathed new life into the group. This song, as my nephew so eloquently put it, is the Help Me!! wannabe, though I personally hear more Wakuteka here than I do either Help Me!! or One Two Three, but I guess everyone here's something different, and for me that really doesn't matter, though it will for some.
One of the things that stood out to me the most about this song had to be the use of a lower key; all of a sudden, Riho sounds amazing and like she isn't a dying cat trying to sing its final words, and you know what? I love her voice in this, but it is down to the fact that someone told her to stop screaming and to actually start singing. To be honest though, everyone sounds good in this; they all suit the song and sound amazing, even if some of them only get two words each in this song.
Whatever, at least they get to sing and be heard. This ain't The Matenrou Show.
Still on the topic of solo's, I was highly surprised, but also highly impressed, by Haruna and Ayumi's solo lines in this song. I knew that girls like Riho, Winky, Sayu, Sakuranbo and possibly Mizukingdom would get some sort of bone or two thrown their way, but when it came to Haruna's auto-tuned solo and Ayumi's powerful line, I was stunned and happy. Oh, and Masaki got a line as well, which did surprise me but not as much as Ayumi or Haruna; I had a feeling that Masakissu would eventually get a line or something. But yeah, I was impressed, and hearing these girls singing solo's and sounding awesome gives me hope for Morning Musume's line distribution in the future.
Personally, I think that this is a good song and a nice tribute to their past three singles
2. Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai
From what I know, people either like this song or think that it is one giant mess of fail. I just so happen to be one of those people who actually like it, weirdly enough.
Other than the atrocious abuse of Riho and Reina's vocals though, I also really hate the use of harmonies in this song; the harmonies don't sound pretty to my ears, though I can't say that I haven't grown used to them because I have, but listening to them reminds me of that Sakura/Riho b-side from Help Me!! and how terrible and scratchy they sounded when attempting harmonies together; it doesn't fit, though both Reina and Fukumura's harmonies sounded pretty much perfect together - it was the others (Oda and Ayumi, Oda and Mizuki) that didn't, and that nearly turned me off of this song.
Overall a pretty good song with a great beat, though I think that UFP need to learn how to put the right girls together when trying to harmonise, though thank goodness they realised that Sakuranbo and Riho sound horrible together or we would have another case of whatever mess their duet was. But still... good song, and I do like it, but it ain't no Brainstorming.
3. Rock no Teigi
Tsunku has recently gotten into the habit of giving graduating members solo songs on their final singles (all but Aika, because hers was a last minute bail), so no surprise here that Reina herself gets one. Only available on the Limited A, this song is supposed to be a 'rock' tune that seems to represent the present Reina, and is also a song that Tsunku hopes she will continue to use once she fully dedicates herself to her band. When I first heard this song, my immediate thought was that this was a true Platinum era song, and seemed to represent Reina well because of that familiar platinum era sound.
The opening of the song reminds me of SONGS and a Morning Musume platinum era concert opening, and thinking about it, what better way to represent Reina than with a song that sounds like one of the era's where she pretty much reigned? This song is, in my opinion, quite perfect for Reina's graduation solo. It isn't hopeful in sound like Ai's was, or thankful in tone like Gaki's, but instead very upfront and in your face... kind of like how Reina is. The song is a burst of energy and hardness that just screams 'WINKY', but not so harsh that it knocks you over. That said, I also don't think that this is a real 'rock' tune, more like Idol rock.
But more rock than some Idol rock songs I have heard, I guess.
Sadly, Reina's voice really does not match up to the song, which is one of the reasons why it sounds so Idoly in my opinion. Her squeaky little voice kind of ruins it actually, bringing the quality down by quite a bit. That's a personal opinion, but I think that if Reina had used a lower tone it would have sounded better, but she didn't; she just used her good ol' Winky voice that we all know and are tired of... Oh, and the voice that some of you guys love. But her voice isn't bad... it's just the same and I am tired of that same old voice.
Simply put, I like the song, but not Reina's voice in this. Luckily this is not the song I like the least on this entire single which is, for me at least, a damn good thing considering this was one of the two copies that I bought. And that brings me to the next song...
4. A B C D E-cha E-cha Shitai
My initial reaction to this song was that it was one giant, hot mess, and I had a deep regret for buying a version of this single that contained this song... in fact, I still do. I don't like this song much, though my thoughts about it now are better than when I first listened to it, because I did hate it quite a bit.
I think my dislike actually came from the fact that I thought, like many of their recent b-sides, this would be a very cutesy song that was so Idol generic and sugary, but instead it came out cool and frisky in beat and, for once, did not contrast the cool tones of the A-side(s), so I was shocked and did not like it. I still don't like some parts of it, but admittedly the chorus is extremely catchy and fun to listen to, and Kudo Haruka's DO's!!! are a nice add in there along with the echoes and the kiss noises.
I actually think that I need to let this song grow on me, so if I start liking it later on its because I gave it more time, but I tend to have a harder time with some of Morning Musume's heavier electro themed songs, and this just so happens to be pretty heavy on the electro effects in my opinion, though they are very well put together; thank goodness this is not a second coming of One Two Three.
Anyway, as I said, it's a catchy song and can be fun to listen to. Sadly, it does (once again) show the return of Riho dying as she sings, but that seems to be my only other issue with this song other than the fact that I am still getting used to this tune.
It's a good song I guess, but I doubt that it will ever be my favourite because currently, it is the weakest song on my list, and I usually like the b-side group songs. Doesn't stop that chorus being dang catchy, though!
5. Tokimeku Tokimeke
Now is it just me, or does this sound a little bit like a C-ute song rather than a Morning Musume B-side, because to me it does, though mostly the opening. Also, I am incredibly surprised that this isn't as auto-tuned as I expected it to be, and I will get to that sooner or later...
Tokimeku Tokimeke is the b-side song that is made up of the girls in Morning Musume who are in high school or older, contrasting the younger generations group song. This also happens to be the group that is made up of Morning Musume's worst singers, with Fukumura being the most talented, and Sayumi being the most experienced, though each girl seems to have improved significantly since their debut; however, this is still the group made up of the girls who can't hold a candle to the likes of Masaki, Sakura and Haruka. No offense.
The song, surprisingly enough, isn't as auto-tuned as I expected it to be; being a group that includes three girls who are frequently auto-tuned to the high heavens (Haruna, Sayu and Fukumura) I did expect this song to have some heavy auto-tune and electro sound to it like Aishuu Romantic did, however I am extremely happy that this time around auto-tune really did not play a huge role in this song; it's refreshing, and the girls all sound amazing as they are anyway, and the little bit of auto tune they do pay around with is forgiveable and actually sounds good, so yeah... I'm pretty happy.
The song itself however is just as 'cool' and 'mature' in sound as I expected it be, but I guess that's a given since the group is made up of the older girls in Morning Musume right now, but it's also fun to listen to and extremely catchy as well, but that's down to the fact that this song is so damn repetitive I'm not complaining though, because I love repetition.
All the girls sound amazing, and Eripon continues to show vast improvement in her singing abilities with every single b-side I hear her in, and so does Haruna who, whilst still not the best singer, is really improving despite how bad she sounded in her early days as a Morning Musume member. In fact all of these girls have impressed me in this song, both when singing solo and when singing together; they sound amazing as a group, but I love that they were all able to join together in this song and show their own strengths and skills in singing as well as show off their improvement. It's good, and whilst not a favourite song of mine, I do find it slightly addicting when I get into it, and that's all that matters I guess.
At least I don't hate it.
6. Itsumo to Onnaji Seifuku de
And so we come to the final, and also my favourite, song on the entire single. Oh yes, I love this!
Itsumo to Onnaji Seifuku de is song sung by the youngest members of Morning Musume, all in either elementary or middle school, and is all about young girls who can't wait to see their crush. It's a very cute and uplifting song that really fits the younger members well, especially Masaki who, thank goodness, is a lead in this song along with Sakura and, surprisingly, Haruka. The song is just so cute and happy, and I really enjoy listening to it. I truly have a soft spot for songs that sound youthful and sweet, especially if the image of the song fits with the voices of the girls singing it.
The girls all sound great in this, especially Masaki and Haruka, though Sakura really did not stand out to me at all in this song because I generally mistook her for either Masaki or Haruka, though she tended to be softer than Haruka's voice when they had a solo after each other. Zukki's voice seems to have somewhat matured and softened here, because when I heard her she sounded like herself, but also she sounded different in a way, like she had improved. I was surprised by this, but she sounds so good here. Riho too sounds good; the song isn't that high pitched in my opinion, and she sounds very natural and, well, sweet. I actually enjoyed how she sounded in this.
But Masaki still wins in my ranks as the best singer of the younger generation, just sayin'... though admittedly, Haruka is coming a close second.
I like this song, though you all know this already, but I think that it is a fantastic song to add to the track list. It's cute, youthful and carefree and, compared to the other songs on this single, extremely refreshing because everything else is so mature and cool. This is sweet and positive, and just a nice addition to the track list as a breath of fresh air in my opinion. It may not be the best song, and maybe some of you will disagree with me that this is the best song on the track list, but I enjoy it and think that it's wonderful... but that's just how I am.
So to conclude this post, yes, I like this single, but in general I love or like almost anything Morning Musume produces, give or take a few songs. This time around I think that Tsunku has produced two solid A-sides that really are worth being A-sides, especially Brainstorming. The songs are catchy, up-beat and something that you can easily dance along to in your room for the hell of it, and the B-side songs are just as catchy and good as the A-side songs are.
I guess the only problem I have with this entire single is to do with the fact that the songs, all but one, are very cool and mature, which really does not leave any room for contrast or differentiation. Yes, I know that this is the direction that Morning Musume are going in when it comes to their image, but I would have liked to hear different emotions in the songs rather than five mature, cool songs and one cute and carefree song, though admittedly having so many songs that are cool, electro-heavy and so on has made me greatly appreciate the one cute song that appears on here. Is having a bunch of cool songs a bad thing, though? No way, but with the way I go on about it you think so... I would have just liked to see some variation in the songs moods. Yeah, their sound varies and they each have a distinct, individual beat that makes the songs stand out from each other, but their themes sound similar tune-wise... if you get what I mean.
I doubt you do, I confuse myself as well, so don't worry.
So all in all it's a pretty good, solid single. I don't think it's their best single, but I think that this has one of the best A-sides that Tsunku has produced for Morning Musume since Ren'ai Hunter, though that is, once again, a personal opinion.
Anyway, go check those songs out and figure out which one's your favourite if you haven't already! Enjoy~
PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: April 18th, 2013