I have been so pleasantly surprised with Morning Musume as of late, what with their past 2 singles being incredibly good and their album previews showing lots of promise. Their next single, WAKUTEKA Take a Chance, is set to be released October 10th. I thought it would take longer to get previews, but I’m happy to say that they have put out a dance practice video for the A-side on Youtube (Check it out!!).
I really like how they have been releasing the dance practice videos, I really enjoyed the one for the album track What’s Up, and it definitely is a good thing to have a visual on the song, even if the girls are in sweatpants (or hammer pants, hi Reina).
Anyway, I listened to the song quite a few times in a row, to get a feel for it, and overall, I really like it! There are a few drawbacks, but it has quite a bit going for it.
The first thing that really sticks out to me is that if you listen to this song in the context of their last few releases – think Ren’ai Hunter, One-Two-Three, The Matenrou Show, and some of the new album tracks we have previews of, like What’s Up or Dokkan Capriccio – we actually have a fairly cohesive sound. It seems like Tsunku has found the sound he is looking for out of this era of Morning Musume, and I actually think it suits them very well. It’s consistent, but the songs don’t sound the same either. At the same time, they still have versatility with the B-sides to stray from this sound, which is good as well.
The biggest drawback here is fairly obvious – if you don’t like this kind of sound at all, you might not like where the group is going, at least music-wise. Autotune is definitely not going away, which can be a negative thing, especially when it is over used. I would have liked a little less in this song myself, but it was still not as much as One-Two-Three, and I can certainly deal with it.
The song itself is pretty good – there are a lot of different parts to it that make up the whole (kinda like a Momoclo song in that aspect, except less silly). I really liked all the different parts of Wakuteka Take a Chance a lot, but the weakest part for me was actually the refrain. I thought the other portions were better than the refrain itself… It was not bad, but it lacked the punch that its predecessor One-Two-Three had in that aspect.
That brings me to another sore spot among many Momusu fans, the line distribution. Is it as bad as One-Two-Three or The Matenrou Show? No, but at the same time, it’s definitely dominated by Reina and Riho. Your mileage may vary on them, but I actually adored both girls’ vocals throughout this, they sounded amazing. Riho shines on her lines, executing them with more flair than I thought she was capable of. The others do get some lines, and more of them than in the previous single, but not really enough. I guess I’ll take what I can get though, and I do enjoy Reina and Riho’s voices in this at least.
Oddly enough, the pair that I liked the most in this song was the Sayu/Mizuki combo. Mizuki’s voice blends and compliments Sayumi’s perfectly, making it sound really nice, which is odd to say about Sayu.
Moving on from the song, I did want to mention the dance a bit, simply because it’s so friggin’ awesome. We’ve had some odd things in Morning Musume dances, from crab walks to Macarena moves, and this one has some interesting moves as well, like a semi moon walk at one point. The dance is very visually entertaining with some really well done formations, so I think this is going to be a really fun one to watch live. Especially if the costumes are as
delicious awesome as the One-Two-Three ones were.
So on the whole, yeah, I’m excited for this single! I really like where Morning Musume has gone as a group lately, and it makes me so ridiculously giddy to see them going in a positive direction. <3