Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Matsuura Aya's 21st single "Chocolate Damashii"

The PV for "Chocolate Damashii" has been released on Dohhh UP! This single will be released on February 11 and the single V will be released on February 25.

Link to video on Dohhh UP!

I'm really disappointed. I thought for sure Aya would get a final release of "Screen"-caliber, at least. This is the most boring release I've seen... ever. The outfit is kind of cute, but the song and the set are completely bland. Well, I kind of like the "fu fu fu fu" parts. Couldn't she at least get a little more room to move around in? Perhaps a set inside a candy store? Well, what's done is done. Maybe Aya will get something good once she's no longer in Hello! Project.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New single for Yaguchi Mari

Yaguchi Mari will be releasing a single as Yaguchi Mari vs. Airband this March for Quiz Hexagon, the show that has brought us Satoda Mai's groups Pabo and Aladdin the second.

This will be released after her graduation from Hello! Project, and is her first release, aside from concert and Uta Doki! ~Pop Classics~ DVDs, since appearing in the B-side of the Berryz Koubou single "Gag 100kaibun Aishite Kudasai" in November 2005.

Mari is one of my favorite girls from H!P. She was in so many of my favorite groups over the years (Morning Musume, Minimoni, Tanpopo, ROMANS, ZYX, Morning Musume. Sakuragumi, etc.) It was so disappointing that her music career all but disappeared after she resigned from Morning Musume. She has great charisma and an interesting and unique voice, so hopefully she'll get more work in the future.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Matsuura Aya's "Omoi Afurete"

This week saw the release of Matsuura Aya's sixth album, Omoi Afurete. In related news, here is a transcript from a recent meeting of UFA big wigs.*

Big Cheese: I had a great idea just now. Let's drop an Aya album out of nowhere with next to no promotion.

Yes Man: That's a great idea, sir!

BC: I know, right? But I feel like we haven't found quite the right sound for her. Any ideas?

Tsunku: She sounded really great on "Rappa to Musume," the track she did with Hino Terumasa. It really showed off her unique and variable voice in a more mature way than her "Ayaya" songs.

BC: Shut it, you. When was the last time you produced anything good around here?

Tsunku: Did you hear 5(FIVE)?

Rabid Intern: I think we should go really bland. And tell the backing band to not vary the style of the instrumentals at all.


YM: Sir, I think that's a great decision.

BC: Shut up.

YM: Yes, sir.

BC: Okay, let's find the woman who wrote "Kizuna" and ask her who she thinks writes boring songs, and then we'll hire that guy to write all the tracks. That ought to be the epitome of bland.

RI: And let's put in one song that's would actually be kind of good if it wasn't so repetitive. Maybe we'll call it "boom boom boom."

BC: Sounds good. We'll have to make sure Aya doesn't do any of that interesting variation in her voice. And just to throw Tsunku a bone we'll make some of the tracks sound like some kind of stale stereotype of old person "jazz."

Tsunku: ;__;

BC: Let's get to work! We only have a few weeks to throw this together. Maybe we can manage to have it sell even less than her last one since we are putting absolutely no effort into it!

*As a disclaimer, this isn't real. But seriously, I hope Aya can get some better material once she has graduated. Other than "Rappa to Musume," Naked Songs was the last good thing we heard from her.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Morning Musume's 38th single "Nai Chau Kamo" PV

The PV for "Nai Chau Kamo" has been released on Dohhh UP! This single will be released on February 18 and the single V will be released on February 25.

Link to video on Dohhh UP!

I've been happy with this release since I heard the preview several weeks ago. The chorus is extremely catchy and I can hear some beautiful harmonization throughout. The chorus is very reminiscent of "Bye Bye Saigo no Yoru" by Country Musume, but with a much more pleasant sound.

I was very surprised that we don't hear much of Koharu. She really looks gorgeous throughout the whole PV, but I was expecting at least one solo line.

It was great to see and hear Eri so much, but I would have appreciated less Sayumi. Oh well, tit for tat.

I really love the crying in the rain scenes. They all look miserable yet beautiful, and that can't be easy. I'm not really feeling the hats that they've got Aika and LinLin in, but I was certainly glad to see an outfit change. Speaking of 8th gen, when are we going to get them as the center of a single?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rackles' Berry Best

This week we saw the release of Berryz Koubou first best of album Berryz Koubou Special Best Vol.1. The album has 18 tracks: 1 brand new song, 11 single A-sides, 1 single B-side, and 5 album tracks.

Over the last 5 years, Berryz has accumulated quite a large body of work so it is understandable that making a comprehensive best-of would be difficult. However I think they left out some great tracks, so I've made my own tracklist.

1. Otoko no Ko*
One of the best original songs from an album in H!P history. This is truly a "Say Yeah! ~Motto Miracle Night~"-caliber track.

2. Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai*
Berryz debut single is one of their best. The sound is fresh even for today, and the girls all sound great especially considering how young they were.

3. Semi*
A really beautiful ballad that is brimming with emotion.

4. Koi no Jubaku*
The instrumentation in this one is so original and energetic, how could you not love it?

5. Special Generation*
It's been called their "Love Machine," and for good reason. From the first whispered syllable this song can get a whole crowd pumped.

6. Yume de Do Up
This one has a great ethereal sound that works really well at concerts, and the line distribution is perfect.

7. 21ji Made no Cinderella
I couldn't believe Maiha's final single didn't make onto the best-of album! Ever since I realized they were saying "Cinderellove" in the chorus I've been in love with this songs. Portmanteaus are the way into my heart apparently.

8. Joshi basket bu ~Asaren Atta Hi no Kamigata~
When I first discovered this song, I couldn't stop myself from hitting repeat every time it came up on my playlist. I love Dai ② Seichouki's slice of life songs, but this one is by far the best.

9. Gag 100kaibun Aishite Kudasai
Such a goofy song! And yet I can't get enough of the frantic piano, the awkward dance, or Chinami's "no nyu"s.

10. Jiriri Kiteru*
The piano piece in the background, the summer-time angst, and the strangely sexy dance make this a definite keeper.

11. Munasawagi Scarlet
Like "Koi no Jubaku," this track has a really original sound to it. The rock guitars, the gypsy feel, and Risako's keening before "YES MY LOVE": all awesome

12. Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba
I honestly cannot believe this didn't make it onto the best of album. This song is the very embodiment of adolescent confusion and infatuation. It has the best instrumentation of any Berryz song ever. Momoko's voice sounds richer than that of any other girl in the history of H!P. Miyabi calls herself a Pierrot. The PV has strong lesbian overtones. How could it possibly be better?

13. Sakura wa Rakusa
Part of what made 4th Ai no Nanchara Shisuu so awesome was all the awesome singles featured on it. The other part was "Sakura wa Rakusa." The high-pitched Momoko palindrome initially drew me to this song, but all of Saki's amazing solo lines were really what made it sink in. I still wonder if they are demanding their "crazy baby" to love them or their baby to "love them crazy." This is why commas are important to the English language.

14. Warera! Berryz Kamen
"Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi" is an okay single, but the concept of Berryz Kamen was one of the best things ever. I would really like to see "Warera! Cutie Ranger" released sometime soon as well.

15. Dschinghis Khan*
A new Berryz classic. This may replace "Special Generation" as their "Love Machine." It's crazy and campy and Mongolian and distinctly Berryz.

16. Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance*
This seems to be a song that fans either love or hate, and I'm obviously in the love camp. Chinami and Saki rocked the vocals and the PV on this one.

I love the '60s vibe that this song has. The instrumentation is very "Misirlou" and the line distribution couldn't be better!

18. BE*
I've always thought the Berryz were great vocalists, but this song went above and beyond anything else they've ever done. During the last chorus they sound as rich and mature as "Memory Seishun no Hikari"-era Morning Musume. This song also happens to be the icing on the cake of the unbelievable glory that 5(FIVE) is.