- Jinsei wa STEP! / °C-ute
- Utakata Saturday Night! / Morning Musume ’16
- Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku / ANGERME
- Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai / Juice=Juice
- Boogie Woogie LOVE / Country Girls
- Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin / Kobushi Factory
- Hitorijime / Tsubaki Factory
- Solatido ~Nee Nee~ / Buono!
- Otona no Jijou / NEXT YOU
- Jinsei wa STEP! (Lil’Yukichi Remix feat. Cherry Brown) / °C-ute
- Utakata Saturday Night! (Kawanabe Hiroshi REMIX) / Morning Musume ’16
- Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku (SWG REMIX) / ANGERME
- Kizetsu Suru Hodo Aishiteru! / Country Girls
- Higashi no Chihei, Nishi no Towa / Morning Musume ’16
- MODE / ANGERME
- Kiss Yori Saki ni Dekiru Koto (’15 5-nin Ver.) / Country Girls
1. Jinsei wa STEP!
Opening the compilation is C-ute with interestingly the 3rd A-side of the first single they released this year! I’m rather surprised as I felt like “Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou?” was promoted more but hey. Taking more of a quirky 40’s vibe for the song, Jinsei wa STEP! is quirky and quite upbeat! I do love the vocals here a lot from Airi and Chisato and the vocal dives they take are really cool! Good choice, but I’d love “Summer Wind” but I understand why this was chosen.
2. Utakata Saturday Night!
Momusu comes next and they chose Zukki’s graduation song (well of the three A-sides from the single this had the most Zukki in it). Already from the start, I LOVE the discotheque arrangement we got and it just has a lot of snap and personality within. Add on that we get to hear all the girls with solo lines is great (with focus on our graduating member). I still do get dejavu vibes from Zukki’s interlude as it reminds me a lot of Berryz’ “Asian Celebration” and all. Still, what an awesome song from the group!
3. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
Moving onto the ANGERME selection, I was not surprised that this song was chosen as this was a BIG hit with fans this year. Also being Meimi’s final single with the group and the debut for Moe, Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku had a lot of things to cover. What we got though was a cool EDM track that was speedy, exciting and just epic! Meimi got some of the rapping lines and Kamiko had a couple solos too on top of giving the remainder of the group something neat. Definitely a favorite of mine through the year and always seems to pump me up with every listen!
4. Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai
I definitely felt like Juice=Juice had it somewhat rough this year with their ongoing tour and just overall tight schedule and it kind of showed through their first single this year. While I wasn’t totally into the Juice’s first single of the year, there had to be SOME representation and they chose the one that’s credited under the group’s name and not NEXT YOU. Karada Dake ga… does feel like a mix of their current sound but also some EDM and while it’s normally a good thing, I felt this one is just a bit to the books here.
5. Boogie Woogie LOVE
Next up, we have Musubu & Nanami’s debut A-side, Boogie Woogie LOVE and boy does it stick out! I really do love its rockabilly styled arrangement and really did wonders for the girls especially Musubu who just rocked her lines like no ones business. Although this was also the last time we get to hear Manaka as she left the group after this single…Still, great song and a good way to showcase the new members!
6. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin
I could say the same for Kobushi’s selection here. I would’ve loved the other two A-sides over this, especially “Sakura Night Fever” as it was the heavily promoted track, but yeah we got this. My problem with Chotto Guchoku ni! is that the growling the group was pulling was starting to grate my eardrums and it sounded bad with some of the girls. It was also a bit repetitive for me too. Not one of their best songs, gotta say.
I actualy was expecting “Kedakaku Sakihokore!” on here but it’s the only (2nd half of the year release on here, well except Buono! and one of the OST songs). I love the opening of the track with the guitar lick and then a bopping dance beat! The track itself reminds me of some Platinum era Momusu songs, but more updated. I also found myself loving Kishimon’s voice here a LOT as it sounds so good and pro and the other girls handled it just as well. It’s great for the 6, though I’m more curious to Tsubaki now as a 9-nin!
8. Solatido ~Nee Nee~
Who knew Buono! was actually going to come back and release a single! Well, I mean we knew of Buono!’s return since the beginning of the year. Solatido of course did have the push of the two A-sides of the single. I think of a return, I wasn’t expecting the song to be a more cuter song than what they had in a couple singles ago. Though it’s great to hear Airi, Momoko (and especially Miyabi) together again for what could be possibly the last time (as C-ute and Momoko are to graduate next year).
9. Otona no Jijou
So if you don’t know who NEXT YOU is, it’s Juice=Juice as they’re portrayed in their TV dorama, Budokan from earlier this year. Though this wasn’t released as a single (more like a digital single and then on a bonus disc on the blu-ray of their drama. I was surprised they included the song here, but between this and “Next is you!”, this is SOO much better! While it didn’t totally offer anything extremely new to the table, its EDM sound is cooler and it felt like an overall stronger song.
10. Jinsei wa STEP! (Lil’Yukichi Remix feat. Cherry Brown)
So bringing back remixes to the Petit Bests, we have 3 of them next and they were all vinyl exclusives from their respective singles. Jinsei wa STEP! initially sounded like it was using the original arrangement, but the song starts to take an urban twist. Though it feels like the remix focuses more on Cherry Brown (who is also Lil’Yukichi). The song does feel more Amerianized, but it just didn’t work and the song was kind of an afterthought here.
11. Utakata Saturday Night! (Kawanabe Hiroshi REMIX)
My feelings towards the remixes from the vinyls were lukewarm at best, but if there was one that I felt was OK, it might be Utakata’s as it was more of that cool disco style and while Hiroshi took it to a different side of disco, it was interesting to say the least. The repeating ~utakata~ was cemented onto me, but the vocals sound a lil more raw too. Though my main issue is how little the arrangement pushes the song barely even making me notice them, but letting the vocal melody carry the track…not bad, but could’ve been better.
12. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku (SWG REMIX)
Then we have ANGERME’s remix and the arrangement was changed entirely to be a little more dull and empty and added some echo filters to the verses. I feel this remix was lacking the oomph that made the original so epic which meant it was hard to make a decent remix out of it. It does add some of the synths of the original later on and added piano was interesting, but the original still trumps it heavily!
13. Kizetsu Suru Hodo Aishiteru!
Then we have the stageplay songs next, the first coming from Country Girls (we some added help from Tsubaki, Kenshuusei, and other members as well). So in Country Girls fashion, it’s no surprise that the song is another rockabilly track. I do love how upbeat and cute it gets and each member adds some nice moments with solo lines and duets. Cute song!
14. Higashi no Chihei, Nishi no Towa
Then we have Momusu’s play and luckily it’s the main version (from the single OST). This track is pretty serious and the sort of Braveheart-like atmosphere is pretty unique from the rest of this compilation. A pretty grandiose track that’s for sure and hearing Ayumi, Duu, and others just impresses me a lot!
I guess in a last minute inclusion, we have the title track from ANGERME’s play that actually whose OST came out in November. With Kamiko and Ayacho opening MODE, I really enjoyed the cutesy and bright atmosphere of the track a lot and they sounded good altogether. Though I do love that ~dabadabada~ part, that actually was too cute! Still, of the three OST songs, I liked this one the most!
16. Kiss Yori Saki ni Dekiru Koto (’15 5-nin Ver.)
We finally have an exclusive track for the release and its this Country Girls song. Now this track has been performed for quite a while (a bit before Funakki and Yanamin joined, hence the ’15 in the name). So I was a bit interested in this track in studio form. With only the 5, the tracks has a lot of Manakan, but I heard some Chisaki and Mai too and I was liking the upbeat poppy feel even if it is between the cute side of the group and the rockabilly sound they adopted after. Actually it comes off a lot like “Koi Dorobo” for me. Not bad, but feels strange that this is the ONLY exclusive, considering there was a LOT of unreleased songs this year.
- Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
- Utakata Saturday Night!
- Boogie Woogie LOVE
So we’re finally here with the 17th iteration of this ongoing compilations! Sadly, I feel like this is one of the weaker PBs because it definitely felt like they ignored a LOT of the second half of the year (like a lot of the singles released were REALLY good). Remixes were a bad addition and should have stayed on the vinyls and brought more songs like “Umaku IenaI”, “Dream Road” and even “Mugen Climax”. Though I guess it’s OK for the most part, the exclusive track felt a little anticlimatic and other unreleased songs could’ve been added too. Overall, OK, but there could’ve been more to it.