- Chu! Natsu Pa~rty / 3nin Matsuri
- Summer Reggae! Rainbow / 7nin Matsuri
- Dancing! Natsu Matsuri / 10nin Matsuri
- Minimoni. Telephone Rin Rin Rin / Minimoni
- Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru / Tanpopo
- Pittari Shitai X’mas! / Petitmoni
- Afurechau…BE IN LOVE / Maki Goto
- Ren’ai Revolution 21 (Cho Cho Cho cool remix) / Morning Musume
- This is Unmei / Melon Kinenbi
- Jounetsu Yuki Miraisen / Coconuts Musume
- Futarigurashi / Yuko Nakazawa
- Propose / Michiyo Heike
- MERRY X’MAS FOR YOU (holly night version) / Aya Matsuura
- Hajimete no Happy Birthday! (country version) / Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika
- HELLO! Mata Aou ne (20nin Matsuri version) / 3nin Matsuri, 7nin Matsuri, and 10nin Matsuri
- Pokipoki Pocky / Morning Musume (hidden track)
1. Chu! Natsu Pa~rty
Not surprised that the album would begin with the shuffle units that were present that year. Starting with the smallest group of Aibon, Ayaya, and Charmy, Chu Natsu Pa~rty is definitely fitting for the theme of Summer. It’s bubbly and extremely cute which might not be everyone’s thing but it was the winner of the competition which is impressive in its own right. I personally enjoy covers of the song more than the original which is a rare thing for me but this is the original tune!
2. Summer Reggae! Rainbow
Like I’ve said before, reggae isn’t something H!P does often but to see a shuffle unit ending up with one is intriguing and kind of strange. Granted this group of 7: Marippe, Gocchin, Michiyo, Ayaka, Asami, Lehua, and Ayumi were an interesting group. I notice that Mari, Maki, and Michiyo do take leader roles in the song and it’s a really smooth and fun song. It’s not as random as our next track and it’s not as cutesy like “Chu! Natsu Pa~rty”. I enjoy the song, but I still feel like the PV is REALLY awkward.
3, Dancing! Natsu Matsuri
So Kaori, Nacchi, Nono, Kei-chan, Yossie, Mikapon, Rinne, Megumi, Masae, and Boss Saito are together for this track which is really big but also awesome since this is the most bizarre song they’ve done yet! This sounds like traditional matsuri music but with that special touch of WTF from Tsunku. It seems like it’s led mostly between Nacchi and Nono but everyone gets a solo line at least ^_^. I love the intricacies of the song and the ladies all sound like they’re having tons of fun!
4. Minimoni. Telephone! Rin Rin Rin
So Minimoni’s first song for the Petit Best series, Minimoni. Telephone! Rin Rin Rin makes the first song on this album seem not cutesy because this song is just ridiculously childish in nature (then again Minimoni was targeted for the young crowd). Now this is their second A-side and I actually wonder why they chose this over “Minimoni. Jankenpyon” but this was a popular track too. I’m surprised that Nono and Marippe led the song while Aibon got less and Mikapon only had two solos. Cute song, but not my favorite.
5. Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru
Moving onto the final A-side released by the 2nd Generation of Tanpopo, Oujisama to Yuki no Yoru wasn’t my favorite song from the group but I did see that this album had quite a bit of Christmas-y songs here. The song is mostly led by Mari and Rika which is a surprise with Kaori and Aibon being secondaries. I do like the holiday sound and the slide guitars within the song but there’s something that I just couldn’t get into with this song. Meh…
6. Pittari Shitai X’mas!
Also the final single for 2nd Generation Petitmoni, Pittari Shitai X’,mas! I could get behind this song since it’s a little more joyous and holiday-friendly of a song. I really like Gocchin, Kei-chan, and Yossie’s vocals in this song as well since they’re light and fluffy and the right amount of cute going on. I did think the song suffered from too much Tsunku snips…but this song to me is at least more enjoyable than Tanpopo’s song.
7. Afurechau…BE IN LOVE
After all that fun and wintry goodness, we finally get into some interesting songs starting with Gocchin’s second A-side. It was surprising that the song is quite R&B-heavy like 90s-Early 2000’s R&B. It’s different which is cool and breaks the flow of the album a bit. I do think it feels a little bit underwhelming compared to other songs, but I kind of enjoy it once in a while.
8. Ren’ai Revolution 21 (Cho Cho Cho cool remix)
*sigh* Another case of random remix in place of the awesome song. This case it’s Ren’ai Revolution 21 (Yuko’s final single with the group). To be honest, I just wasn’t a fan here because they chilled the song out a lot and the main focus is a lot of that bridge of the ~chou chou chou ii kanji~ parts. Add in that when the verses are sung, they are slowed down as well (I can’t tell if it was forcefully done or they resung it) but it bores me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ren’ai Revolution 21 but this remix kind of ruined it.
9. This is Unmei
OMG, I LOVE THIS SONG. As it’s their 4th A-side, This is Unmei changed the game up quite abrutptly for the quartet in Melon Kinenbi. We knew them as the group with a cute side with their first two singles, then slightly got mature for “Denwa Matteimasu” and then BAM this song comes out and just rocks out for all its worth!. I love the waltz-y areas and the pin-pricky verses to the powerful chorus! It was just furious and loud and just is one of H!P’s best songs IMHO.
10. Jounetsu Yuki Miraisen
Sad that this is Coconuts Musume’s final single but I’m happy it made it on this album since really it is their best song. It suits their style so nicely and Lehua, Mika, and Ayaka sound amazing in this song which is something that I’ve been waiting to hear (even though they sounded good once Chelsea and April had left). I quite like the power and the Hawaiian mixed with H!P styles going around. I was definitely impressed by this song and sad that the group essentially dove in obscurity after Lehua left.
Moving onto some soloists tracks, Yuko gets to go first with her sixth A-side, Futarigurashi. At this point in time, Yuko was just shifting from Enka music to more of a calmer pop side. The last two singles before this song were kind of the bridges to get here which is nice so see her being more of herself. Futarigurashi isn’t a song that I remember a lot (then again I can’t seem to remember enough of Yuko’s songs to begin with). Her voice sounds really nice and she sings with enough conviction so this song stood out to me.
10th A-side from Michiyo comes next and Propose is also a bit of a ballad and to me a departure from her pop/rock feel her previous singles have had. It’s sad to say that I’m not a fan of this song because it’s just a little too plain and Michiyo’s vocals aren’t really making the song better or worse, just flat-lining basically. I wish I could say more about the song but it just doesn’t do anything for me.
13. MERRY X’MAS FOR YOU (holly night version)
Since the rest of the album are just new versions of songs, I was pleasantly surprised actually! Starting with MERRY X’MAS FOR YOU (originally a B-side from Ayaya’s 4th single, “100kai no Kiss”), it fits the holiday season as well (obviously) and I was surprised she chose this for the compilation since it’s rare to see B-sides make the series. The new version of the song took out the instrumentation and kind of left the song as an acappella ordeal. It was pretty and did take up as that “quiet christmas tune”. Though the song itself is a bit of a bore and a lot of repetition to be found as well. I guess it’s alright…
14. Hajimete no Happy Birthday! (country version)
If it didn’t get any weirder we get a new version of Hajimete no Happy Birthday! and boy is it a doozy. The weird thing is that the original was quite poppy and cute and well this is more country-oriented (hence the country version). There’s all the things you would expect in your typical country arrangement which is cool because this goes back to before Charmy was added. I do like the original, but this version is quite faithful to the meaning of Country Musume so I like this as well!
15. HELLO! Mata Aou ne (20nin Matsuri version)
Just like the last Petit Best, the B-side from the shuffle units made the cut as a full version or all 20 members are singing together. The separate groups had an intro with them conversing with its members but this version lacks that. The tune is really soothing and has a nice campfire kind of feel to it which compliments the ladies’ vocals. A LOT better than that ridiculous HELLO! no Theme.
16. Pokipoki Pocky
Even though “HELLO! Mata Aou ne” might look long, it really isn’t. The tracks end at 3:30, but it you wait a couple seconds, a hidden track begins. Now I didn’t catch this initially and was surprised that this song exists! Starting at 3:47, Pokipoki Pocky is nearly a minute of just Momusu repeating the title and the sound of Pocky being snapped. Though there’s some other lyrics in it, but still. Doesn’t have much to it, but I suppose it had its use in the CMs.
- This is Unmei
- Jounetsu Yuki Miraisen
- Dancing! Natsu Matsuri
- Hajimete no Happy Birthday (country version)
- Afurechau…BE IN LOVE
So here we are at our second Petit Best! To be honest, I didn’t feel as excited about this than I did with the first one. The songs weren’t as strong (except those 5) and most of them were final singles for some the groups/generations. I also felt a couple of songs were just a little too bland here. I would say it deserves a 6/10.