- Ne~e? / Aya Matsuura
- Please Don’t Cry (Musical version) / Maki Goto, Atsuko Inaba, Mika Todd, Mai Satoda
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Kenchoushozaichi ~Oboechaina Series~ / Minimoni
- Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima / Morning Musume
- Watashi wa Kono yo de Ichiban Bijin / Yuko Nakazawa
- Haya~i Norimono / Risa Niigaki, Atsuko Inaba, Asami Kimura, Aya Matsuura
- HEY! Mirai / Morning Musume
- LA FILLE D’IPANEMA ~Ipanema no Musume~ / Kaori Iida
- Giniro no Eien / Miki Fujimoto
- Akai Freesia / Melon Kinenbi
- Eigakan ga Aru Kara sa! / Aya Matsuura, Ayumi Shibata
- Uwasa no SEXY GUY / Maki Goto
- Boogie Train ’03 / Miki Fujimoto
- Date Biyori / Aya Matsuura
- Hareta Hi no Marine / Maki Goto
- Ganbacchae! / Morning Musume, Hello! Project Kids, Maki Goto
So the album kicks off with an Ayaya track (her 9th single) and just by looking at majority of the album, the first song is quite sugary and upbeat. It has a certain summery vibe to it and during this time Aya was just a force to be reckoned with and this song is goofy, but still true to what Aya was pulling off (this song was a part of her 3rd album). I really like the track, though I feel like it might’ve been starting to stretch slightly thin as far as I was in her discography.
2. Please Don’t Cry (Musical version)
At the same time, I was curious to some of these songs that I haven’t come across and this was one of four songs that I had to research a little on. Please Don’t Cry is a song that originally came from Gocchin’s stageplay, “Ken & Mary no Merikenko On Stage!”. It’s also sung by Maki, Atsuko Inaba (from the disbanded T&C Bomber), Mika Todd, and Mai Satoda. Now this one is pretty funny as it’s a bit more lowkey, but at the same time, hearing the girls singing in a hot emotional mess is funny. It is pretty short though not even making it to 2 minutes.
3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Kenchoushozaichi ~Oboechaina Series~
Next up is a Minimoni song (the technical actual first single with Ai Takahashi as a member of the group and replacment for Mari Yaguchi who left to form ZYX). It feels like this little era for Minimoni took a strange turn as they went more for a educational route though this song is actually a Chisato Moritaka cover. As I mentioned before, the song is educational covering prefectures and their capitals by tying it to food as well. Minimoni’s cover is pretty boogie-woogie sounding and a bit groovy to hear. I will say it is a slight bit tamer than most of their previous releases, but I do like it teaches things.
4. Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima
I feel like the theme overall for this album so far, is like cutesy J-pop (seems like a lot of the end of 2002 and most of 2003 felt like H!P was going through this kiddy phase). Morning Musume was definitely guilty of this and this track was actually an A-side for them. Even though this is one of a couple bizarre songs in their collection, this was also a cover song. I do like the kind of tropical feel it gave off and it feels like a lot of the members got spotlight. There was one part that made me wince a little (the ~hyoutanjimaaaaaaa~ line had one girl sound REALLY off pitch, but slide into correction). It is a decent song nonetheless amongst this crowd of cutesyness.
5. Watashi wa Kono yo de Ichiban Bijin
Continuing on, we have an OST song, this time from “Minimoni ja Movie Okashi na Daibouken!” and it’s a Yuko Nakazawa track (who if I remember correctly, played the villain in said movie). The song is just as sugary sweet as the movie was, though Yuko sounds like she was having fun with this song. Honestly though, it’s an OK song, but I’m kind of over it.
6. Haya~i Norimono
Next is a track from the Douyou Pops series (specifically “Shinsaku Douyou Pops 2”). Damn, there’s just too many kiddy songs on this compilation (this one kind of takes the cake because it is a children’s song). Arrangement-wise, it’s pretty fitting for the time and I found it amusing that it’s Gaki, Ayaya, Atsuko, and Country Musume’s Asami together here. Sadly, once again I find myself wanting to skip over it not because it’s bad, but because it’s sugar overload!
7. HEY! Mirai
While this isn’t quite as sugary as previous songs, HEY! Mirai is pretty much known as a cute song due to its tie-in to Koinu Dan no Monogatari. While I was surprised it did get a PV, it was with cute puppies so that’s always a win! I do like that there’s some guitarwork here to shake things up for the cute songs and once again enjoying the amount of lines all the girls get. Decent song, but understandable as an album track/soundtrack song.
8. LA FILLE D’IPANEMA ~Ipanema no Musume~
At least things seem to change for our next track which comes from Kaori Iida, from her first solo album. I think most fans notice the sheer 180 as this song is sung entirely in French (weird since the original song was sung in Portuguese). I do like the whole Mediterranean Cafe feel I get from this and a sweet change of pace from the previous 7 tracks. Plus the saxophone is quite pleasant alongside to smooth arrangement. While I don’t know how Kaorin did on her pronunciation, it did sound decent. Overall a pretty cool and chill track.
9. Giniro no Eien
Then we get a random album track from Miki Fujimoto from “MIKI 1”. While I figured a lot of releases were R&B tinted, Giniro no Eien was definitely catering to the fans that were still under the charm of “SHALL WE LOVE?”. It does become slightly more poppy in the chorus, but it seems like safe fare from Mikitty. Overall, it’s a decent track, but a little randomly added to this compilation.
10. Akai Freesia
At least we get to a rather popular song from Melon Kinenbi. As the group’s 8th single, Akai Freesia might not be what I’d consider an amazing song, but it is a one of their fan-favorites (even then, the 6th Gen auditions had this as its main song). The song itself is upbeat and mid-tempo. There was a lot of Ayumi, but she was the groups ace so no surprise…but the remaining 3 did have solos throughout. Not a favorite of mine, but it’s passable.
11. Eigakan ga Aru Kara sa!
Our next track is another one from a stageplay, this time from Ayaya’s Sougen no Hito OST. This specific track though is a duet between Ayaya and Ayumi Shibata! Being another short track (about 1:30 long). Sadly, we do return to the slightly cute songs. I feel like the jazzy vibe of the track is nice, but it does also feel like a morning cartoon at points. Plus, it goes into ~la, la, la~ mode towards the end which is pretty meh. Still, it’s an ok song, but nothing too memorable.
12. Uwasa no SEXY GUY
Going into something a little more mature, we have Gocchin’s 6th single and I was once again happy to see something different on this album. I really like the sexier glow from this song and Maki’s vocals suit the arrangement (though the male backup could’ve been left out). Plus the little bits of James Bond styled guitar licks added some sass to the track. Good song, overall!
13. Boogie Train ’03
Unlike the random addition of “Giniro no Eien”, I felt like Boogie Train ’03 made a bigger impact to fans. I actually really like the intro here as it shown off Miki’s vocal skills (plus that high note was great!). The tune is pretty upbeat and fun to listen to on top of Miki’s full voice that really brought the song together. Definitely one of the best of that year for sure!
14. Date Biyori
Another random inclusion, an Aya Matsuura song from her sophomore album “T.W.O”. It feels like the current sound from Country Girls started here. The track has a strong rockabilly/boogie-woogie sound to it and I’m not arguing one bit because it’s bright and fun to listen to as well. Definitely another great on this compilation.
15. Hareta Hi no Marine
Then we have an album song from Maki’s first solo album “Makking GOLD 1”. I was surprised that Tsunku opened the song with ~HAVE A GOOD DAY!!!~ and kind of doing his typical backing he does in various other H!P songs. I want to like this song, but it feels rather generic and forgetful compared to other songs here.
So the final track was another song that was from Koinu Dan no Monogatari but features Morning Musume, Maki Goto (as she had graduated shortly before this came out), and the Hello! Project Kids (Berryz Kobo & C-ute before they joined their groups). That said, no surprise it’s another upbeat and cutesy song. Though to be more correct, Morning Musume and Gocchin had all the solo lines while the other 15 kids had the chant of the title and a few small words here and there. It’s an OK song, but I never was into this one either.
- Date Biyori
- LA FILLE D’IPANEMA ~Ipanema no Musume~
- Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima
- Boogie Train ’03
As the 3rd and final H!P Genteiban Hawaii release, I felt this was the weakest of the trio. Primarily because majority of the album was filled with cutesy kids-like songs and the occasional mature track, but I felt like this was a weak year altogether. Adding on the short stageplay/movie songs and it just wasn’t working like the 1st two albums did.