It’s been a while since I updated – life has been insanely busy as of late. But there have been a few notable things that have piqued my interest that I wanted to talk about a bit, even if briefly…
First off, the PV (and thus full good-quality audio as well) of Morning Musume’s next single, Ren’ai Hunter is out – I am certainly pleased with it on the whole, although the PV could have done better with more changes of scenery. The ending with Risa mouthing “Morning Musume daisuki!” was perfect and made me tear up a little the first time I saw it. It seems such a fitting way for her to leave, since she has been a fan of Momusu for pretty much her whole life.
The song is absolutely awesome, can’t get it out of my head, and everyone sounds amazing! Everyone that got to sing, that is. Line distribution is disappointing since I would have liked to hear the newer girls (for instance, having them sing the unison lines in pairs of 2 at a time would have been nice, to get them at least a little exposure). However, I am also completely fine with the song having tons of Risa, and Reina has always been a preferred vocalist of mine and she sounds good as well. Riho did amazing with her first line, the second got a bit strainy so I think she needs a bit more vocal training, but she’s still good. Robo Sayu returns and ends up with one of my favorite lines in the song (it gets stuck in my head since it sticks out from the other lines).
The dance, I love to death. I would have liked the robo-moves exaggerated even more throughout, but overall it came out looking pretty cool and the newbies seem to keep up with it just fine. All in all, I think this is Morning Musume’s best release since before the 9th and 10th gens came along – impressive, considering their last single did not sit so well with me.
Another release I’m really pumped for is Fairies’ next single, Beat Generation. This is a group that I instantly liked on their debut, and I’ve just fallen harder and harder for them with each release. This one is no exception, it’s a very very catchy and cool song. I’m not sure which I like more, Beat Generation or Hero, but it’s a worthy successor at any rate. I fell for it on first listen.
Much like Morning Musume’s Ren’ai Hunter, I like the vocals, but feel that the majority of the group was vastly underused. Momoka is OK, she sings and dances well and she is super cute, but there are also quite a few other girls in the group that I would have liked to hear sing as well… Rikako gets some good lines in there too, but overall I would like to hear more than just the same main vocalist from them. I preferred the line distribution in Song For You or Hero where it isn’t so focused on one member.
The video is ok – basically just a dance shot in 3 different outfits. Nothing spectacular, except for the dance itself, which looks awesome. I also love the killer heels in their first outfits. This group has wonderful dance skills, but at the same time I thought their PVs had gotten better with Sweet Jewel and Hero, but this brings us back to the same style PV of More Kiss. But, even though it’s not a great PV, the song is so fantastic I don’t really mind too much.
The other A-side, No More Distance, is a change of pace, being this group’s first ballad. I’m not much of a ballad person, but they did a lovely job on this, and it shows off some nice vocals from them. Without the video I can’t tell who is singing what, but there’s a lot of unison and harmony, so it sounds nice. I much prefer the more upbeat Beat Generation over this, but it’s a nice addition to their discography anyway.
S/mileage is on track to keep the mediocre train going with their next single, Dot Bikini. The title had so much fun potential, but the song isn’t as lively or catchy as I would like. I guess it’s OK, and it has grown on me, unlike the awful Choto Mate Kudasai, but I know this group could do so much better. With songs like Uchouten Love and Please Mini Skirt Post Woman last year, this year pales in comparison, and coupled with the line-up (I only like half the girls now), I’m losing interest in a group that used to be one of my favorites. Sigh… Dot Bikini is “meh” at best for me and at this point, so is this group.
Berryz and C-ute have new singles too, but neither caught my interest this time. Both of them only seem to release things I like maybe once a year. Hopefully S/mileage doesn’t wind up in the same category.
I think that mostly catches me up to where I should be. There are more things I’d like to go over in depth over the next few weeks, time permitting. Sakura Gakuin released a new album,which I am very interested in. I loved their first, so I definitely want to get this one and give it a listen. I got Kikkawa Yuu’s album and liked it OK, I’d like to go through that more. Then I have the blu-ray of Momoclo’s Christmas concert from this year coming to me sometime next week, which I would love to thoroughly obsess over. Until then, I think I’ll go listen to Ren’ai Hunter and Beat Generation some more. <3