- Okashi Tsukutte Okkasui~! / Minimoni
- Shiawase Beam! Suki Suki Beam! / Happy♡7
- Shiawase Desu ka? / Sexy 8
- Shiawase Kyouryuu Ondo / Odoru♡11
- Iroppoi Onna ~SEXY BABY~ / Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika
- Romantic Ukare Mode / Miki Fujimoto
- Murasaki Shibiku / Michiyo Heike
- Makenai Makentakunai / Petitmoni
- Seishun Jidai / Yuko Nakazawa / Maki Goto / Miki Fujimoto
- Ikimasshoi! / Morning Musume
- Aka Tonbo / Kaori Iida / Ayumi Shibata / Miki Fujimoto
- Ai~n! Dance no Uta / Bakatono-sama to Minimoni-hime
- Momen no Handkercheif / Yuko Nakazawa
- The Bigaku / Aya Matsuura
- Kousui / Melon Kinenbi
- Yaruki! IT’S EASY / Maki Goto
1. Okashi Tsukutte Okkasui~!
So our first collection of songs opens up with a Minimoni song (weird!). Anyways, the song was a part of the final single Mari Yaguchi took part in (disregarding the Minihams single). Just like most of their singles, the song really shows off how weird the quartet is (especially with Aibon and Nono) and Miki has the nicest tone here which is pretty odd too. The song is pretty quick and goofy lyrically (at one point, the verses talk about cake)…yeah. While I enjoy “Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song” better, it’s an OK track and suits the children’s group.
2. Shiawase Beam! Suki Suki Beam!
For some reason, I guess the shuffle units were put next (really bizarre coming after Minimoni though >.>). I definitely still remember this song because of the odd video game references the PV make. The song is pretty cutesy too although I couldn’t remember how it went when I returned to this song either. The islandy-ish sound is pretty unique and the members sound decent (even if the Momusu members got a LOT more facetime than the not ones). Not my favorite of the shuffle units in the year.
3. Shiawase Desu ka?
Considering this was the shuffles of “happiness”, Shiawase Desu ka? is anything but that haha. Pulling a more mature vibe (a cool R&B style), I actually got into this really quickly! All 8 members have a decent amount of lines (though most go to Maki Goto unsurprisingly as she’s got the opening dialogue). I’m going to be honest though Rika and Yossie just didn’t fit the song and I’m not sure why their vocals clash as much as they do here (leaving Ayaka, Masae, Mai, and Michiyo to kind of forgotten…Still a decent song though.
4. Shiawase Kyouryuu Ondo
Being the bizarro group (with the remaining H!P girls involved). I mean this might rank up their as one of the oddest H!P songs to be in existance to be quite honest and its PV doesn’t help much at all. I will say the originality is just so interesting to listen and having 11 members try to have solo lines is funny but neat! Might not be as cool like Sexy 8’s song, but there’s something VERY unique about this song.
5. Iroppoi Onna ~SEXY BABY~
Being the song that introduced us to Mai Satoda (and was the last for the last original member, Rinne Toda), I was unsure where this song was going considering the whole “ni Ishikawa Rika” phase was mostly cutesy, girly songs. Minus the awkward Tsunku-ness, Iroppoi Onna was a tad bit more dance-ish and serious but with some country twang to it. It’s funny though that Rika and Mai led majority of the song and considering the latter’s first time appearance, she did a pretty solid job. It’s a pretty good Country Musume song though and one of my favorites from CM.
6. Romantic Ukare Mode
Then we get into one of Mikitty’s big songs. During her days as a soloist, Miki was a surprise no one was expecting, especially vocally and Romantic Ukare Mode showed us how great she can be with this fun pop track. Arrangement-wise, this might not be totally anything special, but I think Miki gave us a nicely sung track and while I’ve talked about this song a lot, it’s still something on my iPod today!
7. Murasaki Shibiku
Another song I’ve talked about before, Murasaki Shibiku is known more for being Michiyo’s last work under H!P and it shows because after some leagues of ballads, this song has a more ethnic kind of flavoring and Michiyo’s voice is sounding wispy, yet mature and I quite enjoy it especially when she opens up in the chorus. I just find this song exotic and very cool (sad that it was Michiyo’s final single though).
8. Makenai Maketakunai
Getting into the more stranger part of this compilation we get a Petitmoni song from their first album (funny enough, the ONLY new song from said album). I thought the opening of the song was cute and promising, but when the verses hit, the song slows down a bit and has the light R&B-ish kind of glow to it. With Gocchin, Kei-chan, and Yossie at the reins, this song is kind of catchy after a while, but it doesn’t compare to other songs in their small discography.
9. Seishun Jidai
Another oddball set of additions in this compilation are songs from the “FOLK SONGS” set of releases (which I may or may not talk about in the future xD). More specifically we tackle the 3rd album which had Mikitty, Gocchin, and Yuko-san singing together. It’s also a cover (the whole series are nothing but covers). I do like that it’s one of the more upbeat songs from the releases and hearing the three is quite impressive (Yuko the most, she fits this kind of song). It’s just a cool song overall and one of my favorites on this release.
A song from Morning Musume’s 4th album, this brought me back to a good time! Being a title track, Ikimasshoi! is differently a crowd exciter. I mean it’s very upbeat has a certain call/response like arrangement, every member has a solo somewhere in the song which is pretty awesome. While I can say some weak singers are present, they don’t really detract from the song luckily. Pretty good song overall!
11. Aka Tonbo
On the other hand, we also get a song from the Douyou Pops series of H!P releases (essentially seasonal albums covering children’s songs. Being a trio of Kaori, Ayumi, and Miki, Aka Tonbo is a strange inclusion because it’s such a kids track. Though it kind of sounds like a Asian disney track. I do love the arrangement and I do enjoy the trio’s voice though I’m not sure if I heard Ayumi’s voice in the track…still it’s OK, but not the most memorable track from this album.
12. Ai~n! Dance no Uta
Interesting to see another Minimoni track make the cut more or less the goofy one from the original 4 members. Hello! Project and trance never really clashed together and with this song that collision finally happened (albeit with Bakatono-sama (a comedian)). This track is just wild and crazy and hearing the 4 Minimoni members just try to keep up with the tempo is just entertaining! Really strong song overall!
13. Momen no Handkercheif
From the 2nd “FOLK SONGS” we get another cover, this time a Yuko solo. I was already knowing that she would pull off a song like this and for what it’s worth, Momen no Handkercheif is a nice sounding ballad from her. Sadly, that album was chock-full of ballads which didn’t make a song like this pop out. Still it’s decent and stood out on this album luckily, but still not the best.
14. The Bigaku
Only one Ayaya song here huh? The Bigaku was a pretty fun song to listen from her as it’s upbeat and her vocals made the song pop so much better than it should! I’m loving the brass-heavy arrangement and the bass is pretty bangin’ here. It’s one of my favorites in her discography for sure and really sticks out with its energy and great idol sound.
Argubly Melon Kinenbi’s signature song, Kousui isn’t a favorite of mine but it did a lot for Ayumi Shibata who was the kind of ace in the group. The kind of pop/R&B filters through the song is pretty interesting and hearing Ayumi is pleasant as her lighter vocals just suit the acoustic arrangement. Nice track overall!
16. Yaruki! IT’S EASY
Interesting this album would close out with Yaruki! IT’S EASY as it doesn’t really have that closing feel like “Kousui” or even “Momen no Handkercheif” has. Being Gocchin’s 4th single, this song sounds cute but has a certain 80’s pop feel which caught my attention VERY quickly. I do love the synthwork here and Maki sounds good in this song and has a certain snap to her vocals. Still one of my favorites from her for sure, just wasn’t sure if it was a good closing
- Yaruki! IT’S EASY
- Shiawase Desu ka?
- Romantic Ukare Mode
- The Bigaku
So yeah there’s some explanations to be had…this album is the first of 3 compilation albums solely released in Hawaii (when UP-FRONT had a branch out in the U.S. of course they had other releases (all were best albums except a single that was released by Coconuts Musume).
2003 Nendo Hawaii Genteiban Hello! Project Best ① is an OK compilation. It’s nice to see stuff from FOLK SONGS and Douyou Pops be included since those albums (to me) flew under the radar. As for the remaining tracks, a lot simply came from the Petit Best albums (sans a couple album songs). It’s interesting to say the least and I’m curious how the other two will fare.