- Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song / Minimoni / 4KIDS
- Yeah! Meccha Holiday / Aya Matsuura
- Morning Musume Single Medley ~Hawaiian~ / Boo Takagi, Morning Musume Coconuts Musume, Miki Fujimoto, Rika Ishii
- Te wo Nigitte Arukitai / Maki Goto
- Pineapple Paradise / Coconuts Musume, Aya Matsuura, Mai Satoda
- BE HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee / Tanpopo
- Tokyo Bijin / Yuko Nakazawa
- Boyfriend / Miki Fujimoto
- Natsu no Yoru wa Danger! / Melon Kinenbi
- Ai~n Taisou / Bakatono-sama to Minimoni
- ♡Momoiro Kataomoi♡ / Aya Matsuura
- Ano Subarashii Ai wo Mou Ichido / Yuko Nakazawa, Maki Goto, Miki Fujimoto
- BYE BYE Saigo no Yoru / Country Musume ni Ishikawa
- SHALL WE LOVE? / Gomattou
- Dekkai Uchuu ni Ai ga Aru (Album version) / Morning Musume
1. Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song
Seems quite funny that this song would open the 2nd Genteiban (because the other A-side, “Okashi Tsukutte Okkasui~!” did the first). Being that this was a pretty important song for Minimoni with this acting as Mari Yaguchi’s goodbye single and as Ai Takahashi introduction to the group and the debut (and only song) to feature 4KIDS, which were 4 of the H!P Kids (Maimai, Airi, Risako, and Maasa) but they were the background ~YAY~ and chanters of the song. The song is definitely one of the more memorable songs for the group being goofy and child-like which worked all-around and the music and arrangement being just as cute, yet strange (PV included). Odd way to start this album, but fun song to listen to occasionally.
2. Yeah! Meccha Holiday
Being one of the bigger songs in Ayaya’s discography, this summer ditty was surprising to listen to for sure! The opening screams summer vibes and Aya’s bright vocals really give it that vibrant push, but there’s that odd drop with the verses to take some slight Indian vibes which I never expected after the intro. Odd song, but it’s easy to fall in love with this song, it’s just such a quirky and exciting track for sure!
3. Morning Musume Single Medley ~Hawaiian~
- Renai Revolution 21
- I WISH
- Summer Night Town
- LOVE Machine
- Souda! We’re ALIVE
- Happy Summer Wedding
So during the time, quite an interesting twist of releases happened where Boo Takagi collaborated with various H!P members and released an album (and single) to cater to more of the crowd in Hawaii. Why this didn’t open or close this album beats me, but it’s here. Featuring Momusu, Coconuts Musume (which was only Ayaka and Mika at this point), Mikitty (before she joined Momusu), and a recently newly announced member at the time, Rika Ishii. As the title implies it’s a medley of Momusu’s bigger songs and it carries itself quite well and the transitions are nice (although I’m a little disappointed that “Summer Night Town” was reduced to only the ~smile, smile, smile~ line and the song moved on). While it was nice to see something different and hearing new takes on these songs, not gonna lie, but I would’ve rather heard these songs without Takagi…seemed to clash with the already clashing female vocals going on here…
4. Te wo Nigitte Arukitai
Moving on, we get into a Gocchin song, which was her 3rd A-side and boy did it step the wrong way after her first two singles. What I mean is that both “Ai no Bakayarou” and “Afurechau…BE IN LOVE” were more serious and under R&B and then suddenly we’re slapped with Te wo Nigitte Arukitai which is just super sugary and definitely a dropoff for Gocchin who I never thought was one for cutesy songs. While I do say vocally she was on point, this song is just not in her character and to me seemed like the black sheep A-side in her discography.
5. Pineapple Paradise
Ahh, we’re back to some rarities here! Coming from the “Douyou Pop” series of albums, Pineapple Paradise is a mix of vocals from Ayaya, Ayaka, Mika, and Mai. After the previous track, this seems to make sense as it is a cover of a children’s song and all, but boy does this arrangement sound cheaply made. Minus the arrangement, the vocals are solid, although I recognized Mika and Aya’s vocals (Mai was also newly introduced at this point). Simple song overall.
6. BE HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee
Next up is a song from Tanpopo (specifically 3rd Gen which consisted of Gaki, Ayumin, Konkon, and Charmy). The song itself never really connected to me very much because I wasn’t a big fan of any of the vocals beyond Shibata’s which is ironic considering this is a Momusu sub-group. The verses consist mostly of rapping and some slow lines to a slower chorus which sounds almost bland and forgettable. Mehhhhh.
7. Tokyo Bijin
Surprised to see a Yuko song make the cut, but here we are with Tokyo Bijin and honestly it’s not something of the Enka variety. As this was after her transition to a more calmer and brighter J-pop setting. Beyond the the acoustic guitar arrangement and Yuko’s clear vocals, the song is a bit of a blur to me and yet it surprises me with that weird triplet section at the end of the choruses. Still, it’s standard, but it’s not offensive.
I could say the same about Mikitty’s solo track for the release, but it’s R&B flavored (something I would’ve expected from Maki). As her 4th single, Miki had already started to show off her vocal prowess and was now covering the current trend of having a Western R&B kick to her sound, which I thought worked for her in some of the best ways possible! Actually, thinking about it, it does remind me of Gocchin’s first two singles quite strange. Still, it’s one of Miki’s better A-sides though most were pretty good regardless LOL.
9. Natsu no Yoru wa Danger!
Moving to Melon Kinenbi’s 6th single, Natsu no Yoru wa Danger! is a song I don’t hear too much about these days, but after listening to it, it makes me wonder what H!P was going for because it just doesn’t stand up to MANY of the groups other A-sides. I mean I suppose the R&B/funk/disco sound might sound like it would be interesting, but I find myself tuning the song out and there’s just so much Tsunku here lol. Also, so much Shibata…actually listening to the song more…it definitely comes off as a scrapped Taiyou to Ciscomoon song so extremely closely…
10. Ai~n Taisou
Here we go again with another Minimoni song, this time the primary A-side (the other -side, “Ai~n Dance no Uta”, was on the previous album). Unlike it’s trance-ladened sister A-side, Ai~n Taisou is more of a march, that is almost a little too out of place lol. The music is like a Disney march and making the face of having your head chopped off is just so extreme and absurd (maybe that’s the humor in it). Also, for being 3 minutes long, it sure does take its time getting there for some reason, but it’s the sheer repetition that just drags it for so long. I mean, it’s OK for the most part, but just not my kind of song.
11. ♡Momoiro Kataomoi♡
Another Aya song huh? Actually the other big summer song it seems to make the cut and between this and “Yeah! Meccha Holiday”, this one is more faithful to the season and just sounds like a beach day with bright colors and everything! There’s not much to say about it though because it’s so straightforward as it is, but it’s a fan favorite and I sure can see why.
12. Ano Subarashii Ai wo Mou Ichido
Next up is a song from the “FOLK SONGS” series of albums which were covers of famous songs that in a much lighter song. As this has an acoustic touch, I feel like this should’ve been near Yuko and Miki’s solo song because of the similarities between the three. The song itself is pleasant and upbeat especially with Yuko, Miki, and Maki together, their vocals just blend real nicely together. Good track overall!
13. BYE BYE Saigo no Yoru
As the last single for this iteration of Country Musume (AKA last single for Rika Ishikawa), BYE BYE Saigo no Yoru might’ve been the last, but it wasn’t without the final cute slap. After Rinne left, I wasn’t sure where the group was heading and this song is vocally weak because Rika and Asami were cute vocalists while Mai was still trying to find her place in the group and she ended up sticking out so much due to that. I don’t know, there wasn’t much to the track otherwise…actually the arrangement was a bit lazy-sounding to be quite honest. Much happier when Konkon, Mikitty, and Miuna joined the ranks after this though.
14. SHALL WE LOVE?
Yay, 3 of the prominent soloists came together for a super unit (for the time) and they had an interesting name as Gomattou. It’s about as R&B as it gets which is pretty impressive in itself. The opening dialogue was unexpected but welcomed. I mean let’s be honest, its’ a legendary song and all three ladies sound amazing here! Yeah, pretty neat track overall!
15. Dekkai Uchuu ni Ai ga Aru (Album version)
Scary how the most popular group didn’t have a song until the end of the album (well, where it’s just only the group). Being the song mostly everyone connects to as a tour closer, Dekkai Uchuu ni Ai ga Aru never stood out to me beyond the organ intro, but the song is just that happy-go-lucky ending track. Now the different between the B-side cut and this album version is the latter is entirely sung in unison whereas the B-side cut has a couple duo/trio sections…otherwise appropriate ending this album, but not a song that I care for.
- SHALL WE LOVE?
- Yeah! Meccha Holiday
- Ano Subarashii Ai wo Mou Ichido
- Morning Musume Single Medley ~Hawaiian~
- Genki Jirushi no Oomori Song
So here we are on the 2nd of the Hawaii-only best releases and honestly, beyond the 5 songs above, the other tracks were kind of in the middle of the field or lower. I’m not sure why, but this selection didn’t really catch my eye and the songs reminded me easily that there was WAY better songs out there at the time. Compared to the first best, this was a lesser experience…I hope the 3rd and last one will at least end on a high note!