Song of the Day #60: Michishige Sayumi – Lalala no Pipipi

I have an appreciation for idol songs that really work to the advantage of the idols singing it, and Lalala no Pipipi is that for Michishige Sayumi. Sayumi took a while to come into prominence within Morning Musume – she was popular, she’s very pretty and has some great stage presence, but the biggest hurdle was that she can’t really sing. She’s definitely improved over the years, but Sayumi was for years either the weakest or one of the weakest singers in the group, and so for years got pushed to the back or given lines where she shouts (i.e. in Shabondama or Resonant Blue) rather than sings.

However, Morning Musume’s increased appreciation and use of EDM as a genre helped bring Sayumi forward, by purposefully autotuning her voice for effect, much like in the group Perfume. This allowed Sayumi to be front and center, like in Lalala no Pipipi which is one of the cutest and catchiest pop songs I think I’ve ever heard.

Anecdote time, but I think Lalala no Pipipi was the first time I really fully appreciated what a talent Sayumi is. I saw the Morning Musume concert in New York in 2014, and even though she sung along with the full vocal track she had an incredible stage presence. Even though I liked her well enough, I was in awe of her stage presence during this concert. It was extraordinary.

It may be difficult, but producers really ought to at least attempt to gear the songs to fit the performers performing them – it can make you see them in a new light.

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