- Renai Hunter / Morning Musume
- One Two Three / Morning Musume
- Be Genki <Naseba Naru!> / Berryz Koubou
- cha cha SING / Berryz Koubou
- Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku / °C-ute
- Aitai Aitai Aitai na / °C-ute
- DokiDoki Baby / Erina Mano
- Song for the DATE / Erina Mano
- Dot Bikini / S/mileage
- Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki. / S/mileage
- Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~ / Risa Niigaki
- Chou HAPPY SONG (Single Ver.) / Berryz Koubou×°C-ute
- Hatsukoi Cider / Buono!
- CAT’S♥EYE / Cat’s♥Eye 7
- Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡Taisou / Momoko Tsugunaga feat. Berryz Koubou
- The Matenrou Show (TYPE 0) / Morning Musume
1. Renai Hunter
Not surprised that Momusu opens up the album with Renai Hunter (thank god because “Pyocopyoco Ultra” would’ve been a terrible choice, plus this and the next song were milestone songs). As Renai Hunter is the final single to include member Gaki and Aika, I thought it made a pretty cool song for the former to end things because she had lead lines while Aika didn’t (hell, she didn’t even have solo lines). The song itself is pretty quirky and different taking a dubstep-ish route with EDM filling in the rest of the spaces. It’s a pretty awesome song and while I think the next song would’ve made a better opening track, this was setting up for what would be a long line of Momusu songs.
2. One Two Three
Yup, wasn’t surprised one bit with the next song being included, being as it’s their 50th single and all! One Two Three was a hard-hitter of a song in sales and really begun this reemergence of Morning Musume and I was so happy they were able to escape their slumping of sales during the Platinum Era (even though those songs were amazing!). One Two Three took the EDM sound further and included a lot of auto-tune in various members. Although, I wasn’t too happy with the fact that Reina and Riho were the only substantial singers here (while the other members had a minimal of a syllable as their solo line which felt like Tsunku totally underutilized their members here. Of course, the Updated version exists, but the original is still a pretty epic song despite its shortcomings.
3. Be Genki <Naseba Naru!>
Onto Berryz, the selection was alright. Starting with the first single released in the year, Be Genki is a pretty odd song coming back to it. Initially, I was pretty happy with it, but now I’m kind of like this is a pretty weird song. The tune was cute and yet had this superhero kind of feeling (especially that chorus!). I do love the amount of synths here and it wasn’t going fully into that EDM direction that Momusu was going towards. Overall, it’s a pretty good song, but not amongst the group’s best songs.
4. cha cha SING
Weird because if “Be Genki” was supposed to be that upbeat, then cha cha SING trumped it by a long shot. After how well “Dschinghis Khan” did, Berryz sough to strike gold again and honestly this was a BETTER cover than the aforementioned song. There wasn’t some weird twang in their voices and the energy was always on high. I take that back, there was some strong vibrato going on, but I think it was to add that Thai flavor (which is where this song originally from). I would declare this song the earworm of the year because it was just nothing but hooks anda fun atmosphere meshed into one. Awesome song!
5. Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku
Damn, long title there! °C-ute to me that year really didn’t do much for me in the music department. I don’t know why it didn’t take until recently that the releases they did for the year popped out until much later. This was the case for this track which is pretty much known for the bizarre amount of PV versions it got…like what…30 different versions? H!P were definitely promoting this dry and it’s probably why it stuck on me since. Not being a huge fan of ballads (more or less from idol groups) Kimi Chari (the nickname, given for the song) did a pretty nice job and showcased the ladies well. If only “Kono Machi” had this effect but this song did pretty well and they even have solo versions of the song (and S/mileage covered it too!).
6. Aitai Aitai Aitai na
At least the group came back in full force with the only other A-side they released that year with Aitai Aitai Aitai na. At first I dismissed the song being really messy and couldn’t keep itself together. Thanks to Tsunku’s curse though, the tune heavily locked on me and it’s another favorite of mine from the group even though there’s plenty of other dance-centric songs outdo it. I really do love the high-energy arrangement of the track and the group equally matches it. I will say the pipe organ/chorale section in the mid-8 section was a bit strange and weirder it leads into a guitar solo…that kind of was over my head, but the rest of the song is just awesome!
7. DokiDoki Baby
Entering ManoEri’s selection, I totally forgot what this song sounded like because I was pretty much invested in the other A-side “Tasogare Kousaten” at that time. What I can appreciated is that it’s a lot happier than what we’ve gotten in A-sides from out soloist. Erina’s vocals are alright, but they still are lacking in power, but she aces the cutesy side here. While I don’t think it’s her best A-side, I do prefer than a lot of her other songs.
8. Song for the DATE
However, when it came to the other A-side she released, Song for the DATE was pretty epic all things considering. I still am unsure where this fits genre-wise because it’s full of electronic riffs and all, but doesn’t feel like a dance track either! I don’t know why but something about this song just made my jaw drop and that was weird that it came from ManoEri. I thought this was going to lead into amazing songs from her, but unfortunately shortly after she would announce her graduation basically cutting that dream short. Still this song is pretty much her magnum opus to many people and I can’t blame them…it’s that good!
9. Dot Bikini
After the crazy changes S/mileage had to go through the year previous, it was nice they were settling as the 6-nin. While not the first single after Yuuka’s graduation, Dot Bikini was a lighthearted summer song for the group (even though the PV was a little out there). I don’t know why people dislike the song because I find it refreshing and fun to listen to and hearing the group kind of gelling together here, it was a nice thing. I even laugh when I hear the ~kekekekekeke, natsu bikini~ (AKA the chorus). Though there was a lot of Takechan here wasn’t there? Still it’s a good song (later songs would push it down the ladder, but it’s a good summer H!P track in my eyes).
10. Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki.
I felt like S/mileage had a pretty busy year though regardless of the member changes, 4 singles and a best album…wow. Anyways, Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki. was following in the footsteps of the other H!P groups that were heading towards that EDM style. I do like the sound of the track and the repetition of the whole ~suki yo, suki yo, suki yo, daisuki yo~ was something that was left in my mind. Also, Rinapuu and Kanana had a lot more presence than they have had in their time in the group yet. While I do think that this song like “Dot Bikini” has been surpassed by songs released after, I do think it’s a pretty solid track for the group (though I wonder what’d be like if it was sung in a lower register.
11. Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~
Moving onto songs that were out there away from the main groups, like Ai-chan, Gaki’s solo was also put on here. I know I’ve reviewed this song a couple times already, but hey it’s a Petit Best. Covering an Aya Matsuura track, Egao ni Namida was never a song I truly cared for, but could appreciate it’s placement within H!P’s history. This is the 2nd time Gaki covered the song (the first time was a part of the Hello Cover series where it had a different arrangement from the one found here). This one seems like a little more effort went into it and Risa’s vocals are pleasant and tbqh, I prefer this over Aya’s version (don’t kill me! x.x). I think it’s the fact I love the bass here and the strings playing with the funk-styled guitar just sounds right. Overall not bad, the song is slowly growing on me, but not to favorite song level.
12. Chou HAPPY SONG (Single Ver.)
I know I’ve talked about this song a lot on this blog alone, but here we are again! Short story, Chou HAPPY SONG is essentially a Berryz song and a °C-ute song fused together (“Because happiness” and “Shiawase no Tochuu” respectively). Though this is actually based on the single version. Meaning that there was some musical glue to make the song seem more finished and composed rather than the two songs just put together. Funny enough you really don’t hear what’s left of the latter track because of the former’s arrangement (“Shiawase no Tochuu” was the ballad while “Because happiness” was the dance/pop track). Regardless, I love how Tsunku thought of this idea because it came out nearly flawless and showed the H!P Kids correctly in a smart way unlike “Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku”. It was a pretty great song and definitely one of the highlights from that year.
13. Hatsukoi Cider
Man, I wish Buono! had decided to include “DEEP MIND” and not this one, even though I do like this one lol. I know I’ve reviewed this song already on one of the Atsumechaimashita! albums. I mean, this was a solid song for Buono! but definitely didn’t catch the same power as the mentioned song above OR “Zassou no Uta”. It was a bit lighthearted and I do love the trio here singing quite strong if I may say. Not much else to say really.
I was surprised they’d include this song (and not “Reborn ~Inochi no Audition~) as this was a release from a group made for a stageplay which included: Maimai, Maimi, Risako, Nakky, Captain, Yurina, and Maasa. They covered a classic song from ANRI and I thought it was going to be as awesome as MAX when they covered the song maybe a year previous to the Cat’s♥Eye 7 version. Boy was I wrong. I do love it was another song that had beats and synths, but good lord did the auto-tune kill MOST of the song. Some of the girls (actually everyone but Maasa and Captain) shouldn’t have even gotten close to that as they sound horrid. Maasa sounded good though and Captain didn’t have any as she was rapping with no voice changing which is like only one of the GOOD things to come from the song is Captain rapping 😛
15. Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡Taisou
Oh lord, I have to listen to this huh. Yeah, this was a thing. The B-side from “cha cha SING” was a Momoko solo (with the rest of the group as kind of background singers). If you thought H!P couldn’t get anymore cuter than some of their older songs, here’s Momochi with this tune and it’s sugary in every single way. Momoko is singing in a way where my ears are getting diabetes from listening to this. The group isn’t helping as they sound like they were debuting again >.<. The arrangement is just as much, but there’s some nice part with strings towards the end which fortunately ends under 2:50. Yeah, this song wasn’t my cup of tea that’s for sure!
16. The Matenrou Show (TYPE 0)
Yup, I already reviewed this one numerous times. If you don’t know, this is the other A-side to compliment “One Two Three” but a new version (or old depending on the outlook). This is the version that includes Gaki and Aika alongside the remainder of the group. Minus the fact that Gaki has tons of solo lines to kind of dilute the hatred from the original (which was strictly a Reina and Riho show), this was a lot easier to swallow. Plus, it’s friggin Gaki! The song itself is in the veins of the disco feels that H!P was going through the year previous, so I do feel this song would’ve been better placed on the last Petit Best lol.
- Song for the DATE
- cha cha SING
- One Two Three
- Renai Hunter
- Aitai Aitai Aitai na
Finally made it to the 13th iteration of the PB series. At this point, it was easy guessing what would’ve been included on the album, sucks because there was surprises with each (to be fair I guess CAT’S EYE and The Matenrou Show (TYPE 0) were surprises). Petit Best 13 was a pretty solid release and had a lot of great songs through the year (minus 2 tracks). Not much else to say in this review though, which is sad because I thought I would have more to say, but this was a good release. (7/10)