Hello!Project, Single reviews on September 13th, 2008 14:33 by Henkka
Tags: aladdin, berryz koubou, canaria club, koharu kusumi, mai satoda, pabo, shuuchishin, °c-ute
I like to make all my posts nice and long. It’s no good if they’re too short. Now, not to brag or anything, but if you look at the top 5 series, you’ll notice that every now and then I’ve written pretty acceptable sized walls of texts on single songs, but you have to remember these are all tracks I love.
So, what about the singles that aren’t quite as good? How much can they be analyzed without my review being downright boring and a chore to read? How much bullshit is it possible to write on a simple, 3-minute, disappointingly derivative shitty pop song? The answer: probably not enough to satisfy my demand for the post length.
The solution? Naturally: batch reviews, baby. From now on I’m going to do H!P single reviews in batches. It’ll enable me to keep my posts long and the reviews relatively compact, say what I want to say with fewer words.
Now let’s look at the Hello! Project and TNX singles of July.
Berryz Koubou – Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance
1. Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance
2. Maji Good Chance Summer
3. Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance (instrumental)
Hmm, what to say about this song? At first I liked it quite a lot. It’s silly, stupid and fun just in the right quantities. Even such a relatively short amount of time as two months though has already made me quite bored of it… but that doesn’t change the fact that they actually had awesome monkey suits! Well, one thing is for sure: I do think it’s better than Dschinghis Khan, and definitely better than Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi. There’s a very catchy beat especially during the chorus, and hey, Risako is lovely with the “riki-tiki-tiki suteki da ne!” Also, I appreciate the fact that some of the less used girls got some lines here.
And hey, it’s really summery also. I’m gonna need that in the upcoming months of depression, cold and death here in Finland. There are literally people frozen to death on the streets here in the mornings on my way to work. My iPod with Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance is what’s going to enable me to not end up like those poor bastards.
That’s basically all I have to say on this one. It’s not a serious song so maybe it shouldn’t be reviewed too seriously either. It’s quite good, fun and catchy, and in many ways a return to the roots of the super-genki songs of the early Berryz.
Now as for Maji Good Chance Summer. Quite honestly, this one is really fucking awesome, I think, and one of my favorite b-sides of recent Berryz. Very up-tempo, cheery and, fuck me, I think it’s a j-pop masterpiece basically. Dammit, even Risako with her usual wailing pleases my ears immensely! Sorry for being such a huge fanboy, but hell, Tsunku is seriously The Man. Unless this wasn’t composed by him. In which case I’m an idiot. Fucking wiki.thePPN for being down.
Anyway, if Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance is summery, then what about this?! Do your best in keeping me alive, Maji Good Chance Summer. My life depends on you!
Canaria Club – Hitomi ga Kirakirara
1. Hitomi ga Kirakirara
2. Lonely Moon
3. Hitomi ga Kirakirara (instrumental)
4. Lonely Moon (instrumental)
Hey look, it’s Canaria Club! As is recently the case with TNX/NGP artists, Tsunku doesn’t fail to deliver them a bitchin’ song. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: these days I think Canaria Club and THE Possible are the ones getting some of the most inspired Tsunku songs of recent times. So hey, if you’re bored with H!P artists today, do try giving a chance to these two units.
This song is really quite awesome, with a techno-y beat but also being surprisingly metal. Any guitar players out there? Try listening to those guitars during the verses, that “dun-duku-dun-duku-dun-duku-dun” riffing thing that goes on. That so reminds me of standard 80′s metal, and hell, I don’t even like 80′s metal but that riff fits this song so well. Otherwise too this song is a treat to guitar players, I bet those leads would be real tasty to play. And speaking of metal, check out that damn guitar solo:
I mean it’s not really mindblowing in the metal sense, but for a j-pop song? That’s crazy! Well, that is really damn proficient anyways. Hell, I couldn’t play that. But I mean it’s all about the context, and when you listen to the transition to the chorus there at the end… Tsunku is a crazy bastard! I can’t help but feel it just doesn’t fit, and this is probably the difference between me and your average j-pop lover: I fuckin’ love slapping things together that don’t fit. It keeps the music fresh, interesting and unconventional. And hey, I’m all for music being “weird” or for it to “not make any sense.” Two thumbs up for this song!
The b-side Lonely Moon is more laidback. Quite a lot of Tsunku featured everywhere, listen carefully! Unless you hate the bastard’s voice. In that case try not to pay too much attention. Why would you hate it, though? He is a sexy beast, he is!
Okay, but the song itself. Honestly, not a big fan here. Not yet, but this song could turn out to be a grower. The instrumentation is quite cool. It starts out all mellow and campfirey in the beginning, but before you know it there’s like pizzicato strings in the background and all kinds of shit happening… drums, organ, everything. But here is the coolest part of the song. It’s a tasty guitar solo with excellent piano in the background that in the middle changes into a synth one!
Koharu Kusumi – Papancake
2. Oh! Tomodachi
3. Papancake (instrumental)
What a fucking awful song. What, you expect me to listen to this a couple more times to come up with more to say on it? No, fuck that, not doing it.
Seriously, is there someone here whose ears don’t bleed while listening to this?
°C-ute – Edo no Temari Uta II
1. Edo no Temari Uta II
2. Wasuretakunai Natsu
3. Edo no Temari Uta II (instrumental)
Mmm. I’ll be honest with you, I’m disappointed with this single. LALALA Shiawase no Uta was disastrously bad and Namida no Iro, while quite alright, definitely wasn’t Tokaikko Junjou-level… and for this single my expectations were quite high. I was hoping this would be their return to form.
It didn’t fulfill those expectations however. This is simply too… something, I don’t even know. This would be much better as a B-side or album track, rather than actual A-side. I feel it just isn’t catchy enough for single material. It took me several listens before I could remember anything about the track except its weirdness. I can’t help but feel the song is much too short too, clocking in at only 2:31.
But, like I said, I do love weird shit so I have to give this song props for being different. The style of the song is odd but very traditional, almost enka sounding. Reeeally fucked up enka though. Line distribution for once is very nice and even. On a sidenote, the PV looks quite cool. And hey, once you do give it enough listens, it does stick to your head quite effectively. Well, overall it’s not too bad, not too bad.
The b-side Wasuretakunai Natsu is about the same level I think, it isn’t A-side material either. It’s a rock ballad type track and quite honestly sounds a little like a mix of their past b-sides, Bishoujo Shinri and Shiritsu Kyougaku. They took the rocky edge and a little of the dramatic touch from the former and the melodic side from the latter. Still, both of those b-sides are better than this. I dunno, I really quite like the verse with it’s calm feel and the (what sound to me like) minor chords, but the chorus just bores me. The “my heart” thing in the lyrics of the chorus pisses me off. Yeah, your heart, okay, I get it already.
So while this single could’ve been much better, it’s not a total failure by any means. I just hope the next one is finally another masterpiece.
Aladdin – Hi wa, Mata Noboru
1. Hi wa, Mata Noboru
2. Hi wa, Mata Noboru (Shuuchishin to Utaou! Karaoke)
3. Hi wa, Mata Noboru (Pabo to Utaou! Karaoke)
4. Hi wa, Mata Noboru (Minna de Utaou! Karaoke)
Okay, not really a H!P or TNX single but whatever.
I was very surprised to see just how popular this single got. It has already sold well over 200k copies since its release making it the best selling single with a H!P artist in it in quite a while. I personally did NOT see that one coming, considering that invidual is none other than Country Musume Mai Satoda. But to be fair, it probably wasn’t her who interested most people buying this single.
In any case, it’s a decent song with the inspirational “go Japan!” type lyrics that seem to resonate well with the Japanese audience. Honestly though I’m surprised of its success, even if the guys in the group are wildly popular. Considering the insane number of copies sold, it seems almost underwhelmingly average. I mean, it’s not completely without merit… is is certainly catchy and quite cute, just watch the PV. It’s not bad, just… You’d expect something a bit more from something that has sold over 200k copies, right? It’s a little disappointing also that there’s no real b-side; the 2nd track features only the Shuuchishin parts, the 3rd track only the Pabo parts while the 4th one is just instrumental.
…Still, even with all that said… Fuck it, I’m hooked on this song! Even if it is a little generic, I can’t help but love it! Its catchiness really took me by surprise. The Pabo girls sound so damn cute in all their parts, and fuck, the guys too sound manly as hell! Even if they do look extremely gay. But mainly the girls here… I love them! They sound so frail and cute in the verses but then much more powerful in the chorus.
Anyway, give this song a chance. It’s a lovable little mofo!