Egao YES Nude (ALBUM MIX) / Morning Musume
Kimagure / Maki Goto
Sentimental Minamimuki / Mari Yaguchi (Tanpopo)
Toshoshitsu Taiki / Berryz Koubou
Aisaretai Aisaretai / Ongaku Gatas
Popcorn Love! / Morning Musume
Bye Bye Bye! / °C-ute
Aki Urara / Morning Musume
Himitsu no U・ta・hi・me / Berryz Koubou
PARTY TIME / Guardians 4
Nebou Desu. Date na no ni… / Morning Musume
Debut! ~Koisuru Kado ni wa Fukukitaru~ / Ice Creamusume
Uchuu de La ta ta / Taiyou to Ciscomoon
Let’s Do Daihakken! / Miki Fujimoto
Kokuhaku Kinenbi / Melon Kinenbi
Romance no Tochuu / Juice=Juice
The Matenrou Show (TYPE 0) / Morning Musume
1. Egao YES Nude (ALBUM MIX)
Volume 1 opens up with a rather odd choice for Momusu’s A-side, Egao YES Nude but it does leave the album to sound really sassy and funky which is true for over half the album. I’m also surprised they went with the ALBUM MIX but super elated they did because it sounds more complete and funky when compared to the single mix. About the song, we all know this was Aika’s debut and I love how much she shined around the song having two big lines to herself. It’s a pretty underappreciated song, but I thought it opened this disc very well!
I was kind of more surprised with Munewaki’s choice of songs that weren’t leading songs and the first is this B-side from Gocchin’s 4th single, “Yaruki! IT’S EASY”. It definitely continues to carry that funky disco sound, but fuses with her more cute side that she was presenting back then. I do think its A-side still overshadows the song, but Kimagure wasn’t a terrible coupling…still an out there choice.
3. Sentimental Minamimuki
I was surprised they put Tanpopo on the cover but the song chosen is actually a Marippe solo. I’ve said it before, but I loved the first generation of Tanpopo a lot and the more 90’s sound they had really filled up that space when Morning Musume were making that transition after “LOVE Machine”. It’s a bright song and Mari’s light vocals really sounded pretty if not a little squeaky. Though that little mid-section was strange. Yeah, I really do like the song, another gem from Tanpopo ❤
4. Toshoshitsu Taiki
Another B-side makes the cut, but this time from Berryz Koubou’s single, “Jiriri Kiteru”. This tune sounds a bit more R&B-ish and this was when Berryz still had those pre-puberty voices that made them sound a bit strange at times. I can’t say this song really stuck on me like many other songs on the album. It lacks that certain oomph and kind of ranks for me as one of the worst Berryz’ B-sides they had.
5. Aisaretai Aisaretai
Moving onto the B-side from Ongaku Gatas’ 3rd single, “Come Together” it was a step up from that song because the latter was really only sung by the non-Eggs. This time, it was led mostly by Yossie, Sawachan, Charmy, and Sengoku. This funky song really felt like the group was finally gelling together on a song, sad that it would be the last appearance of Yuri but I think she shined the most with this one. Now this should’ve been the A-side and on this album it settled in just fine! Great song!
6. Popcorn Love!
Another odd addition is the B-side from Momusu’s “Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~”. Popcorn Love! is one of the more forgettable songs in the group’s discography but this song was on the same single that the 5th Generation (Ai-chan, Gaki, Mako, and Konkon) debuted. The song itself is nice because everyone in the group gets a solo line (did you guys hear Konkon’s line, that was surprisingly not Konkon-like…almost like she had a strong voice there). The song suits this album as well given a poppy disco sound. Though overall, the song still doesn’t leave much on me.
7. Bye Bye Bye!
Of all the °C-ute songs out there, I was also surprised Munewaki chose an A-side. Bye Bye Bye! comes off the reins of Kanna leaving so the group dynamic was thrown for a slight loop. Though it seems they did manage to backlog and make Airi, Maimi, and Maimai leads with the other 3 members kind of fighting for whatever was left, Nakky having a couple lines, Chisato only got 2, and Umechan got ONE solo line. Though with those flaws, it’s one of my favorite songs from the group because it’s all kinds of funky and the group has a lot of energy within the song…though people were still fangasming over “FOREVER LOVE” to really take notice til later.
8. Aki Urara
Another Momusu B-side? This time it was one of the two B-sides from “Nanchatte Renai”. Aki Urara was another obvious choice and a pretty nifty one as it reminds me of early H!P music. The song was mostly Ai-chan, Reina, Gaki, and Kame but it was a really good song to show their more sultry vocals and was more surprised with the lack of the other 5 members (they were regulated as background vocals). It’s a great song and I was happy that it was chosen (over some of the other songs that were picked here).
9. Himitsu no U・ta・hi・me
Interesting they chose to put a Berryz B-side before Maiha left (actually this is the B-side from her last single appearance, “21-ji Made no Cinderella”). The song is a bit more cutesy than previous tracks and once again we’re in that area where the girls are going through voice changes so they kind of again sound odd. Though it’s made worse when the songs sounds very mechanical and the girls have to hit these really HIGH notes (they probably can’t even do this song without the song going down an octave or two. Another song I could easily live without, but I like that Maiha got a lot of attention.
10. PARTY TIME
A group that I will eventually give a profile to, we get PARTY TIME which was the group’s 2nd A-side. As the group consists of Aika, Risako, Nakky, and Yurina, this song was their best tune. Though I find the addition to this album a tad strange as it really isn’t a funky, discotheque kind of tune. The song does have a strong beat and I love hearing Aika and Risako the most but everyone did pretty well. Maybe a song better suited for the 2nd volume, but it’s so good that it was better off not being there!
11. Nebou Desu. Date na no ni…
Another Momusu B-side, this one from “Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago”. I hate to say it but it seemed like Tsunku took a page from “Himitsu no U・ta・hi・me” in where the song is pretty mechanical (ESPECIALLY THE CHORUS). All the ladies did get a solo line at the least, but the song sounds like a worse version of the aforementioned song and “Toshoshitsu Taiki”. It’s definitely the worst of this album.
12. Debut! ~Koisuru Kado ni wa Fukukitaru~
Does anyone remember Ice Creamusume? Yeah, if you do then props for being around that time. If you don’t well they were a shortlived Taiwanese H!P group that came together when Tsunku had a bit of Asian fever. Another song that doesn’t fit the mold of most of the direction this album has, Debut! is kind of generic to me. Like Tsunku really didn’t give two shits about the group and gave them the most basic work he could muster and sent them off with it (amongst various Momusu songs to cover in JPN and Mandarin). I also found it odd that of the 6 members, Shenshen got the only solo (which was the quiet part before the final chorus). The song just didn’t do anything for me and ended up forgetful
13. Uchuu de La ta ta
Getting back to some funky stuff it was obvious that Taiyou to Ciscomoon were going to be represented in some fashion (though they should’ve had more songs on here haha). The tune begins with spoken dialogue from RuRu in Chinese before the song moves in to its groovy arrangement. Inaba does take the lead role for majority of the song with some leads from RuRu and Miho with Miwa kind of just acting as the background high voice. It’s one of my many favorite tunes from the group so that should tell ya guys something!
14. Let’s Do Daihakken
Moving onto Mikitty’s B-side from her debut single, “Aenai Nagai Nichiyoubi”, Let’s Do Daihakken! gave us more of a taste of Miki’s powerful vocals but given a happy-go-lucky tune to go along with it! The tune isn’t anything too special amongst the other songs she’s released but I love the atmosphere and she blew down the doors with her voice.
15. Kokuhaku Kinenbi
I never really understood of all the Melon songs, they chose the group’s second A-side to be added here. I take that back…the song was a good enough choice for Munewaki, but this song definitely doesn’t show off the group’s skills very well. It kind of sounds like a tune meant for Taiyou to Ciscomoon actually and hearing Melon’s tackle it was a risky move. Not my favorite song, actually it might be one of least favorite Melonki A-sides.
16. Romance no Tochuu
That’s a bit of a time warp going from Melons to H!P’s newest group’s major label debut, Romance no Tochuu. I will be straight up, I LOVE this song and I’m happy it was included despite being such a new song (and plus it’s on Petit Best 14). The tune is led by Karin, Sayubee, and Kanatomo and I’m loving this so much because their vocals have such strong layers and well Tomoko is a BAWSS! It’s a really awesome disco-funk track and ranks up there as one of the best major debuts in H!P’s history!
17. The Matenrou Show (TYPE 0)
Ending the 1st volume, we get the secondary A-side from Momusu’s 50th single. Though it’s a different version which included Gaki and Aika (though we don’t hear much of the latter if at all?). To be honest, it felt like a song that was meant for Gaki, Ai-chan, Reina, Sayu, Riho, and Aika. Though I think the rest of the group still sings the group lines. That being said with the sound of the song, I was curious why songs like “Shining Power”, “Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku”, and “Waratte! YOU” were absent. Back to the song at hand, The Matenrou Show (TYPE 0) is so much better than the single version with Gaki being the main reason why it was amazing because the original was just Reina and Riho taking the solos and everyone else in the back. There’s better songs, but this is an ok end to the album.
Romance no Tochuu
Bye Bye Bye!
Uchuu de La ta ta
The first volume was chosen by NakaG and TOWER RECORD’s president Munewaki Ikou and it seemed like with them, they had a focus on what songs were to be chosen. Most of the album had a similar theme of being a disco/funk song which I loved and included some great tracks. Though flipside is they included some cuter songs and those choices were mostly meh to me. It’s definitely the preferred volume but I will tell you why later down this post. 7/10
The☆Peace! (H&A Death Tracks) / HANGRY&ANGRY-f
Koi no Twist & Waracchai na Town / Maki Goto, Tomoyuki Kouno, Norihisa Hiranuma, Yuuji, SHU-110
Do Re Mi Fa Doushite? / Erina Mano
Rikaishite>Onna no Ko / Rika Ishikawa
I&YOU&I&YOU&I / Tanpopo
Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai / S/mileage
Maji Natsu Sugiru / Berryz Koubou
Watashi no Tamago / Shugo Chara Egg!
Shiroi TOKYO / ZYX
Nusunda Heart wa Koko Desu yo? / Reina Tanaka (Chorus: Yui Ogura with Purupuruiyaan (Arisa Noto & Sachika Misawa)
Idolulu / Lilpri
Tan Tan Taan! / MilkyWay
Robokiss / W
Lalala no Pipipi / Sayumi Michishige (Morning Musume)
Eco no Waltz / Ecohams
GIVE ME UP / Melon Kinenbi
Koisuru Niwatori / THE Possible
Hitoribocchi no Heya / Mari Yaguchi
Kimagure Zetsubou Arigatou / Riho Sayashi (Chorus: Morning Musume)
1. The☆Peace! (H&A Death Tracks)
Once upon a time, HANGRY & ANGRY were indeed H!P and even though they kind of slid off the radar in recent times, there was a lot of wonder what Yossie and Charmy would pull under this duo setting. Turns out the duo would release hard rock songs and well it stuck to the fans of both ladies it seems. Coming from their album, “Sadistic Dance”, we get a cover of one of Morning Musume’s bigger hits and it’s a 180 from the original. Yossie and Rika do sound like they had some vocal tricks thrown in and some of the original calls are still there. For a death metal cover, this isn’t terrible, but very 180 for a sound (and for this album even more apparantly so). The only hardcore song on this album!
2. Koi no Twist & Waracchai na Town
This disc as you may see has a lot more wtf-choices going on from some really underappreciated (?) albums. The first comes from Gocchin whose song comes from her solo Musical, “Ken & Mary no Merikenko on Stage!”. I kind of was surprised because she had a single that was from said musical but this song wasn’t one of them. Featuring 4 other guest artists (one of them sings, but the others might be the musicians?). For a song that’s 1:30 long, I was surprised with this choice. Though the song is catchy as hell…honestly the chorus sounds so pleasant and adding this almost sound that’s similar to The Beatles, it worked so well! Short but sweet <3.
3. Do Re Mi Fa Doushite?
Moving on, we go into Do Re Mi Fa Doushite? which was an album song from ManoEri’s sophomore album, “MORE FRIENDS”. Another thing that goes on with this disc is that even the artists get some random ass choices. ManoEri’s tune is something I’ve reviewed in the past and I kind of thought the song was OK if not a tad bland and the chorus is a bit jerky. It does have a certain anime-ish sound (something cutesy almost). The song wasn’t all that, but they could’ve picked much worse.
4. Rikaishite>Onna no Ko
This was something random! If you may recall, during the “Renai Revolution 21” days, Morning Musume released a set for their fanclub members which featured 10 discs with 20 songs, half were message left by each member while the other 10 were solo songs from the 10 members at the time. On here, Yoshida I guess chose to include Rika’s solo song from that release! It definitely has the same vein as the previous track which doesn’t surprise but I kind of didn’t think much because Rika’s voice isn’t the best here. I kind of zoned this tune out, but it definitely suits the gal as she was cute as a button.
Next is Tanpopo’s turn (more specifically, the 2nd Generation of Tanpopo). This song came from their first best album, “All of Tanpopo” as a new song. For being in that period of a change of genres for Tanpopo, I actually never heard the song before now. This tune sounds kind of like an 80’s tune but cutesy. I’m kind of undecided about this song because it’s catchy (lot like their other songs) but it seemed also a bit boring and generic at other points. Plus saying that title gets annoying after a while.
6. Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai
It seems this is where the disc switches from the more natural sounding songs to super cutesy stuff. Asu wa Date na no ni…was the 2nd indies single coming from S/mileage (which was Saki, Yuuka, Kanon, and Ayaka at that time). When I first reviewed this, I couldn’t deal with the high-pitched voices from all of the ladies. Today, only Yuukarin and Ayacho really kind of make me twitch with their voices. I love the song though and it has such a bouncy and bright feel to it, but sometimes those two girls can really sound off-pitch. It’s a pretty sweet song and one of the songs that I normally tie S/mileage with.
7. Maji Natsu Sugiru
One of the songs from Berryz’ 2nd mini-album, “3 Natsu Natsu Mini Berryz”, we get another odd choice in Maji Natsu Sugiru. For a summer song, this wasn’t all that bad and they had the mini full of them (some were covers though). Like I said above from the other album, this is another one of those songs where the girls were slowly getting into their current voices so some of them (Risako mostly) sound a bit off her mark in the song. Most of the leads belonged to Miyabi, Risako, and Momoko which wasn’t surprising but eh. Good song overall though but probably would sound way better today.
8. Watashi no Tamago
Not to be confused with SCE!’s debut single, “Minna no Tamago”, this was the group’s technical 3rd A-side (but it was a secondary to Guardians 4’s “PARTY TIME”). Shugo Chara Egg! had two generations and this was sort of the 2nd one comprising of original member Akari Saho and new members (at that time) Mizuki Fukumura and Irori Maeda (their 4th member would come in shortly after this release). I have to say, this is another song I haven’t listened to before so I was curious because I knew what Fukuchan sounded like and she sounded good here (tone felt a little dead, but clearly she got better in time). Saho sounded the weakest oddly enough but once again once she joined UUG, she got better. Irorin though sounded like the second coming of Yuukarin lol but better. The tune is a typical anime-cute-song which is normal since SCE! were created just for an anime. Not their best song but it’s passable and oddly they harmonized really nicely through the chorus. Interesting…
9. Shiroi TOKYO
Ahhh, the wintry ZYX A-side comes next and Shiroi TOKYO was a pretty fun to listen to (especially during the holidays). I love the song and it’s just great to hear some of the girls that usually don’t get that time to shine like Umechan and Captain (but they were a lot younger). Of course Marippe and Megumi sounded great though and of course there’s Maimi and Momoko who were more and less there for me lol. Fun song overall!
10. Nusunda Heart wa Koko Desu yo?
Man, Yoshida is just getting me to listen to songs that I have never taken the time to listen to/not listened to yet. I know this song is found on “Petit Best 11” but I haven’t reviewed that yet, so another spoiled track. As the song used in Kaitou Reinya, I wasn’t expecting a song like THIS from Reina! Including Yui Ogura (currently in YuiKaori), Arisa Noto (currently in StylipS, former Egg as well) and Sachika Misawa (another Happy! Style gal), I wasn’t sure what to expect. The song is super cute of course but I was focused on trying to stomach Reina singing in such a cute voice (because everyone knows she isn’t one for this kind of thing). I can’t seem to form an opinion, it just seems SO OUTSIDE of Reina’s box that it’s not clicking in my mind haha. The other 3 act as these overly cutesy voices that come in with their quips (though Nocchi does sing some parts under Reina). Oddball song!!!
Next song up is from Lilpri (which is 4-nin S/mileage without Saki and more quirky anime). As it was the trio’s 2nd A-side (and consequently final single), Idolulu wasn’t as fascinating as their debut to be honest. It’s kind of like “Watashi no Tamago” but I didn’t like it as much as it felt like something that’s been done before and better by another group (not in H!P). It’s just a tad blah-tastic but some people might enjoy it.
12. Tan Tan Taan!
I remember that MilkyWay was the 1st H!P group I actually started reviewing which definitely meant something for me at the time and was sad they dissolved when Kirarin ended. Being a trio of Koharu Kusumi (who was still under her solo moniker) and two Eggs, Sayaka Kitahara and Yuu Kikkawa (who voiced characters that mirrored them in the anime), MilkyWay had a good start with “Anataboshi” and released their 2nd single (which was also their last), Tan Tan Taan!. It’s so sugary cute, but there was something that caught my interest even though I have the tendency to write off Koharu’s Kirarin stuff. I will say, after I initially reviewed it…Koharu sounds better than she’s normally with her other Kirarin songs and Kikka sounded like a gem in the group. Saaya though kind of crapped out here, luckily she got better after she went solo. Probably my favorite Kirarin song next to “Balalaika”.
I was so happy to see a W song appear (since the whole Aibon scandal kind of messed things up). Robokiss was never a song I fully enjoyed so my excitement kind of waned off lol. Still, the song isn’t bad and I can see why a LOT of people love the song, but I personally enjoyed the Jisedai remix more. Not a bad choice but if Yoshida was going for cute W songs…there was WAY better choices.
14. Lalala no Pipipi
Minus the final track, Lalala no Pipipi is the most recent song that’s on this disc. As the Sayu solo from Morning Musume’s “13 Colorful Character”, it’s a pretty odd song choice here because it’s a whole different side of cute…y’know adding electro and auto-tune to the mix. Honestly they could’ve went with one of the Sayu / Fukuchan songs because Lalala no Pipipi never really jumped for me. I’m not sure what else to really say lol.
15. Eco no Waltz
Another abstract song, we get Eco no Waltz which is from Ecohams (which is basically EcoMoni (Sayu and Rika)). Like the title alludes, it definitely is a waltz and kind of slower than ones I listen to. Oddly enough, I hear Sayu more than Rika here and I don’t know what to say. The song sounds like it’s drunk walking through (you know that typically goes with waltz anyways). It could’ve been done a little faster and for being sung by 2 of the more weaker Momusu girls…it just didn’t grow on me…at least it’s better than their other song >.>.
16. GIVE ME UP
Ahhh Melon Kinenbi appears with a cover of that Michael Fortunati song, GIVE ME UP. Like I said above with “Kokuhaku Kinenbi”, I know the quartet more for their edgier and sultrier songs and GIVE ME UP was another odd choice from Yoshida because this was the only new track from their 2nd best album, “MEGA MELON”. There’s just not enough oomph with this song and it seriously flies over my head. If you want to listen to a good cover of this song, listen to W’s take!
17. Koisuru Niwatori
I found it amusing that Yoshida included a song from THE Possible but of course something from H!P. Interesting that this is another cover and from their first mini-album, “1 Be Possible”. Being a Hiroko Taniyama cover, I kind of was expecting cute (considering how long ago THE Possible were in H!P). The song is cute enough and all the girls got solos (though Akkyan and Hashimon both got a line more than the other 4). The other thing is that the hook of the song is kind of lame but it’s whatever xD.
18. Hitoribocchi no Heya
Now for another strange addition we get a solo track from Marippe! This song came from “FS4: FOLK SONGS 4” which is you’re into H!P lore, this was part of that whole set of releases of covering popular (and not-so-popular classics). Granted, I haven’t delved into that side of Hello! Project yet, but this might actually get me to find them all. Back to the song, it kind of has a wintry feel (like almost Charlie Brown-esque). Mari when compared to her voice in “Sentimental Minamimuki” sounds a lot more stable and more confident which is really nice! I liked this song and definitely felt like good coffee music ^^.
19. Kimagure Zetsubou Arigatou
The final song is actually might not be new (this is from the Stacy’s Shoujo Saisatsu Kageki musical that happened not long ago) though it’s new in the sense that it’s a studio recording and not a live version. It’s a haunting ballad and I was surprised Riho had it in her to give such a strong performance (with all the flak she’s gotten as a singer, she sounds really pristine here). Of course the other Morning Musume (sans Sayu I think) join her for the chorus which is nice, then comes the middle dialogue which is so eh lol. It comes down to the ending and then there’s these sudden shots being fired…scared the shit outta me! Odd song but Riho did a good job with a ballad (should do more of these Tsunku!).
Tan Tan Taan!
Hitoribocchi no Heya
Koi no Twist & Waracchai na Town
Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai
Kimagure Zetsubou Arigatou
The other album, chosen by celebrity interviewer, Yoshida Gou was a lot more out of the box when choosing songs. I mean he went deep into their vault like Rika and Mari’s solos and Riho’s song as well. You can also tell he really enjoyed the more anime-esque sounding songs and those were a bit meh of choices as well. I can’t say I was too enthusiastic about this disc, but I guess it did show a more broader look of H!P’s different ideas. 5/10.