Kowarenai Ai ga Hoshii no / 7AIR
GET UP! Rapper / SALT5
BE ALL RIGHT! / 11WATER
Hare Ame Nochi Suki♥ / Morning Musume Sakuragumi
Ai no Sono ~Touch My Heart!~ / Morning Musume Otomegumi
Iku ZYX! FLY HIGH / ZYX
SEXY NIGHT ~Wasurerarenai Kare~ / ROMANS
FIRST KISS / Aa!
Uwaki na Honey Pie / Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto
Chance of LOVE / Melon Kinenbi
WOW WOW WOW / Petitmoni
Minimoni Kazoe Uta ~Ofuro Version~ / Minimoni
Haha to Musume no Duet Song / Okeisan to Natsumi Abe
GET ALONG WITH YOU / Yuko Nakazawa
Tokyo Kirigirisu / Yuki Maeda
Natsu LOVE Romance / Hello! Project
Shabondama (asia mix) / Morning Musume
1. Kowarenai Ai ga Hoshii no
Weird that they chose to begin Petit Best 4 with such a weak song like Kowarenai Ai ga Hoshii no from 7AIR which was comprised of Rika Ishikawa, Ai Takahashi, Masae Ohtani, Mai Satoda, Mika Todd, Risa Niigaki, and Atsuko Inaba! HOWEVER, this song was honestly sliced in half further by having Rika, Ai-chan, Masae, and Mai only singing and the other three being MCs (as in rap quips here and there…annoying)! I mean if it wasn’t for that, the song could’ve been interesting because the 4 main vocalists sound really good ^^. Still with the pushback of 3 of the members, I was over this very quickly.
2. GET UP! Rapper
SALT5 (Ai Kago, Aya Matsuura, Natsumi Abe, Makoto Ogawa, Yuki Maeda) was a really odd line-up because of all the vocalists involved (especially the only true newcomer to the shuffles that year, Yuki Maeda, who was making a name for herself as the Enka gal). Their song was pretty much Tsunku’s take on hip-hop and it was quite interesting. I love the song’s flow and the chorus justs pumps like crazy! Though Ayaya has such a weird tone in this song that it just somehow works! It’s definitely one of those songs that I LOVE!
3. BE ALL RIGHT!
The other shuffle song belongs to 11WATER which had Kaori Iida, Mari Yaguchi, Miki Fujimoto, Nozomi Tsuji, Hitomi Yoshizawa, Asami Konno, Megumi Murata, Asami Kimura, Hitomi Saito, Ayumi Shibata, and Ayaka Kimura. I have to say, that out of the three, this actually felt like a shuffle song (I mean SALT5 was too, but they felt more like an epic unit that should’ve continued!). I actually liked the song’s ska feel and hearing prominent members made me smile (especially Miki’s voice). The only thing that kind of made me annoyed was Tsunku and his ~sriracha, sriracha~ line (that’s what it sounded like to me). Beyond that, it was a great track and seeing some action from the lesser known members was cool too!
4. Hare Ame Nochi Suki♥
So like I’ve said before, Morning Musume by this time JUST added the 6th Generation and Tsunku decided the group was getting a bit too big so he decided to split em up into two sub-units and keep em that way for a little while. Sakuragumi was comprised of Aibon, Ai-chan, Gaki, Kame, Nacchi, Konkon, Yossie, and Marippe. Like I said at the time, the song was quite something and this song is really sentimental. I love it’s slow tempo and the emotion from all the girls, especially Eri who was the only gal from the 6th Gen featured here! It just sounded so heartfelt and also was another favorite from the year!
5. Ai no Sono ~Touch My Heart!~
On the flipside of the coin, Otomegumi’s song comes next which had the other members: Kaorin, Sayu, Reina, Nono, Makochan, Mikitty, and Charmy. Now to my eyes they kind of didn’t work very well together because they all have such signature voices that they didn’t really clash together. It shows with their first song Ai no Sono. This song is dirty, but it’s so catchy at the same time that it kind of cancels it out for the most part. It was a bit weird that I heard more from Reina, Rika, Miki, and Makoto more than the other three (especially more than Kaori who had the deepest and sexiest voice of the unit). I still find this way up there on my all-time favorite H!P songs though (plus I can sing it, I especially LOVE trying to pull off Miki’s lines!).
6. Iku ZYX! FLY HIGH
Getting into the units that really lasted one (or in this case two) singles, we start with ZYX which had Marippe as the leader with Momoko, Maimi, Erika, Megumi, and Saki as the Kids as members. I mean if I was introduced to this when this came out I’d prolly dislike it because of all the untrained voices in the unit…however it’s 2013 and I’ve really known this song for about a year. I was shocked to see how much Captain and Ume-chan was pushed in this unit because they would later be kind of pushed back for unknown reasons (Captain is an amazing dancer and Erika…well she was just forgotten!). Song was quite simple, but it’s energetic and it suits with all the girls in said unit. ZYX was interesting group and I kind of wished they had continued on, but y’know.
7. SEXY NIGHT ~Wasurerarenai Kare!~
ROMANS was quite a short stint and it once again surprised me they never went further than they did (or got a revival out of it). SEXY NIGHT is sung by Mari Yaguchi, Rika Ishikawa, Ayaka Kimura, Hitomi Saito, and Mai Satoda. Though like Otomegumi and 7AIR, it was clearly shown that the popular members got to sing while the others were shoved in the back. For being a suave and debonair kind of song, SEXY NIGHT is actually kind of cool to listen to (besides the lack of Boss Saito and Coconuts Ayaka). Even though I would’ve rather seen Rika in the back, Mari and Mai did very well!…though I don’t think I would ~cry, cry in the bed~. Not a bad song though!
8. FIRST KISS
Reina, Airi, and Miyabi were the members of Aa! and like ROMANS, lasted one single as well. Their lead track, FIRST KISS makes an appearance and this was a good choice for it to come after “SEXY NIGHT” because they in the same genre, except this song isn’t sexy xD. It was surprising to see Reina lead a unit considering her new she was to H!P, but this was good. As for Airi, she was impressive! I mean her voice was standing out a lot and it was no wonder why she impressed many people back then. As for Miyabi, she was barely noticeable xD. Though I have to say that this must’ve impressed Tsunku so much that he paired Miya and Airi together (for Buono! and later on Aa! 2).
9. Uwaki na Honey Pie
Moving onto the units pre-H!P Kids, we get a new Country Musume song which might have surprised some people seeing that Rika had left the unit and Konkon and Mikitty took her place while a BRAND NEW member joined: Miuna Saitou. This song sold everything for me because this is one of my ALL time favorite H!P songs hands down. I mean, no offense to Country Musume, but this song was such a 180 for them because they were so Country and then sugary cute before this happened. This great parapara song, was different and fresh for the group and it suited all the vocals (even Konkon and Asami’s more cute vocals). Even new member Miuna had such great vocals in this song that she was kind of like that missing piece but of course the spotlight was really on Mai and Miki but I’m ok, the line distribution was quite good! Gawd this song is great!
10. Chance of LOVE
OH GAWD, the SAXOPHONE that opens this up made me so happy (though I did side-eye Tsunku introducing the song). I think at this point, Tsunku was really making MK the test subjects, because their sound was kind of changing all over the place but the members took it quite smoothly. Though at the same time, Shibata was still kind of the apple of Tsunku’s eyes so she got most of the lines while Masae was 2nd (but VERY far behind) with Saito and Murata taking the back. Still the song was sexual but it’s not their most sexiest song to date. It was good though.
11. WOW WOW WOW
So on the previoust Petit Best, Petitmoni was revived for the 3rd Generation which consisted of Yossie, Makochan, and Coconuts Ayaka. WOW WOW WOW is a Petit Best exclusive originally and it was a change of sound because the song was more rock-based. As a song that’s really heavy and energetic, the vocals were OK, but they weren’t at their best. Makochan was shaky in this song while Yossie and Ayaka were just kind of here and there. It’s definitely a song that’s MUCH preferred sung live than the studio version but at least we get the final hurrah from them.
12. Minimoni Kazoe Uta ~Ofuro Version~
If you recount the time, Mari had left and Ai-chan joined this bizarre and wild group, but this is the second single with her in the group. HOWEVER, during this time, Minimoni became really more of an educational music group. Their last A-side explained the areas of Japan and this song was teaching you how to count. Really Tsunku? This song is so wrong to be on a Petit Best period…but the other song would be just as whack xD. The only solos are done by Mikapon and Nono and they’re just counting in both Japanese and English (hearing Tsuji going from eleven to twenty is lulzy). I don’t know but I loathed this short era of Minimoni and this song just was ughhhhhhh.
13. Haha to Musume no Duet Song
Going into the soloists, we go into Nacchi’s debut which was a collaboration with Keiko Yosumi (who was the Okeisan). I thought it was going to be a sappy ballad, but Nacchi was smart and made this a pop/rock kind of ditty and I kind of really liked this combination! It did feel like they crammed some of the lyrics together in the verses, but this song is really fresh and was a good move for Natsumi to debut with.
14. GET ALONG WITH YOU
Wait, Yuko is still doing solo stuff? Yeah, it’s kind of strange actually because if I was a fan back then, I probably would be like Yuko is still doing music?!? It’s a mid-tempo track and actually I kind of enjoyed the song for its laidback sound and surprisingly strong vocals from Yuko herself! I really liked her singing the chorus (especially the last run through). It was a surprising song that I really enjoyed from her and is probably my favorite amongst the soloists!
15. Tokyo Kirigirisu
Yay! Yuki Maeda finally gets to have a solo song. Like I said, Yuki was pushed as the Enka H!P member. As this is her 4th A-side, Tokyo Kirigirisu was quite an impressive song amongst the various tracks on the album. Her voice is so impressive especially against all the other singers on the album, she has such good vibrato and emotes almost perfectly with this song. It might be a turnoff for H!P fans, but Enka fans would really love this…she was so underrated >.<
16. Natsu LOVE Romance
The other brand new track on the album, Natsu LOVE Romance is kind of a get-together of all the members (sans Kei, Aya, and Maki (which is a bit strange) and the H!P Kids). It was very surprising that Tsunku managed to give EVERYONE a solo line in the song yet keep it together! I was also surprised that he put the effort into the group lines like fitting MK together, Country+Coconuts together, and etc. Add that this song is quite a fun song to listen to and great to listen for the 27 voices that worked on this song! It was just a great hurrah of what I consider the H!P of the past (or the real golden era of H!P). Though Tsunku trumps this song later on though xD
17. Shabondama (asia mix)
Closing the album out is an unfortunate remix of one of my favorite Morning Musume songs, Shabondama. True to the tag of the remix, it does have a much Asian tone to it and all, but the flow is ruined by it as well. It just doesn’t have as good of an impact to me at all and I kind of just wished they stopped with the remixes on Morning Musume songs…can we just have the songs as they are?
Strange to say, but this is my FAVORITE Petit Best (at least in the first 7). I mean a big portion of the songs chosen are all time favorites for me and even though there were some slip ups of the songs. Listening to the album, it really showcased the H!P of old and new and I loved the songs that I honestly did love xD. Yeah not much could be said about this awesomeness, except one thing: Why is there like no Ayaya or Gocchin on this album? I mean I know that Maki’s “Scramble” and Aya’s “GOOD BYE Natsuo” is on the DVD but why where they absent basically cept for the shuffle songs…THEY WEREN’T EVEN ON “Natsu LOVE Romance”…WTH 9/10