Iroppoi Twilight Game

For those who like H!P ^_^, plus a learning experience!

Petit Best 17

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Track Listing

  1. Jinsei wa STEP! / °C-ute
  2. Utakata Saturday Night! / Morning Musume ’16
  3. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku / ANGERME
  4. Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai / Juice=Juice
  5. Boogie Woogie LOVE / Country Girls
  6. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin / Kobushi Factory
  7. Hitorijime / Tsubaki Factory
  8. Solatido ~Nee Nee~ / Buono!
  9. Otona no Jijou / NEXT YOU
  10. Jinsei wa STEP! (Lil’Yukichi Remix feat. Cherry Brown) / °C-ute
  11. Utakata Saturday Night! (Kawanabe Hiroshi REMIX) / Morning Musume ’16
  12. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku (SWG REMIX) / ANGERME
  13. Kizetsu Suru Hodo Aishiteru! / Country Girls
  14. Higashi no Chihei, Nishi no Towa / Morning Musume ’16
  15. MODE / ANGERME
  16. 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.

7. Hitorijime

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!

15. MODE

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.

Tracks Recommended

  • Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
  • Utakata Saturday Night!
  • Boogie Woogie LOVE
  • MODE
  • Hitorijime

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.

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Petit Best 16

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Track Listing

  1. Love together! / Berryz Koubou
  2. Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai (Berryz Koubou Last Concert 2015) Berryz Koubou Ikube~! Ver. / Berryz Koubou
  3. GamushaLIFE / °C-ute
  4. Tsugi no Kado wo Magare / °C-ute
  5. Yuugure wa Ameagari / Morning Musume ’15
  6. Sukatto My Heart / Morning Musume ’15
  7. Taikibansei / ANGERME
  8. Gashinshoutan / ANGERME
  9. Wonderful World / Juice=Juice
  10. CHOICE&CHANCE / Juice=Juice
  11. Koi Dorobo / Country Girls
  12. Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne / Country Girls
  13. Nen ni wa Nen / Kobushi Factory
  14. Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan / Kobushi Factory
  15. Survivor / Kobushi Factory
  16. Triangle Alpha / Alpha Hoshi no Min
  17. Thank You Very Berry / Tsubaki Factory

1. Love together!

I find it interesting they would open the PB with Berryz (since in longevity, they were the eldest group in H!P, well at least they were considering Morning Musume’s stretch of life starting with the 9th Gen).  Love together! was of course best known as Berryz’ bow out before their indefinite hiatus kicked in.  I really liked how synthy it is, but also how sentimental the track is as well.  There’s just something about this track that just stood out in the first half of the year (technically the PV came out in 2014, but still).  I think I might’ve preferred this closing the album, but the pattern of the album just made it the opening…

2. Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai (Berryz Koubou Last Concert 2015) Berryz Koubou Ikube~! Ver.

The only exclusive song off the compilation is purely a live version of Berryz’ debut single during their final concert.  While I feel like this song itself has had too much representation in recent releases, I suppose it makes sense to be making a full circle coming after “Love together!”.  I forgot how much Maasa is involved in this song because she’s really nice sounding here.  Otherwise, I kind of got bored of it…would’ve much preferred the Love together! performance but having the same song twice on Petit Best 16 might’ve have made things redundant.

3. GamushaLIFE

As the song was representing °C-ute’s 10th anniversary as a group, GamushaLIFE didn’t strike me as good as Berryz song of 2014, but I like that we had different writers for the song so it definitely sounds different, but there are times where I think of “Tokai no Hitorigurashi” with the synth beats and overall upbeat tone.  I do like the little rapping section they threw in the bridge, but the song otherwise didn’t do much for me.

4. Tsugi no Kado wo Magare

The other song chosen came from the same single as “GamushaLIFE” which is a tad annoying since the other single they released was a bit more closer to the latter half of the year.  As a Takui Nakajima cover, this one sounded a lot more together and the quintet sound heavenly (especially Chisato!).  The arrangement is also pretty unique too having a pop/rock sound mixed with piano and strings.  It’s a nice track and reminds me of older J-pop songs.

5. Yuugure wa Ameagari

Since Morning Musume weren’t going to frontline the compilations, it’s odd finding them as the 5th and 6th tracks.  Yuugure wa Ameagari was released with not so much favorable results due to the madness that was going on during promotions.  I was surprised it was chosen over “Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru”, but I still liked this song regardless!  The slight platinum-esque era vibes I felt from this one was strong.  I loved the amount of Riho, Fukuchan, Maachan, and Odasaku.  A nice, flowing song (my favorite of the single).

6. Sukatto My Heart

The other track came from their 2nd single of the year and unlike “Yuugure wa Ameagari”, this was actually my least favorite from the single, but it’s mostly because the other two A-sides from said single were just that amazing for me!  Meaning, this is still a decent song otherwise.  The tune brought back some cool dance/disco vibes and a lot of the promotion looked like something from “The☆Pea~ce!” which was another plus.  I have grown to enjoy it much more, but compared to “Oh my wish!” and “Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki”, it’s a bit safe.

7. Taikibansei

I’m not surprised this song was chosen because it’s quite a huge song for the group!  I mean besides the fact it’s the first single under the group’s new name, ANGERME, and the debut for Murotan, Rikako, and Aiai.  I also thought it transitioned from “Sukatto My Heart” almost too perfectly by having a similar funk/disco vibe to it.  I’m still a bit surprised that only Ayacho and Murotan got a solo line, but really the song is just so energetic and really pumps up a crowd whenever it’s performed…it really has been their year!

8. Gashinshoutan

Following suit, this and the previous track had a similar mind in title as they’re both idioms written in four kanji letters.  I didn’t expect the two songs to sound a little similar to one another as well!  While it does come off as a bit more sillier in concept as the group sounds like their just having fun with this one.  Better yet is that all 9 members got a lot of solos which is a godsend for many to know what Rikako and Maho’s voices sound like within the group.  It’s a fun song and just raises spirits everytime!

9. Wonderful World

Moving onto Juice=Juice, they’ve had a rather empty year with only one single and their debut album.  As the primary A-side of the single, I really couldn’t care about this song as it just kind of didn’t suit the group and their more adult and cool-sounding songs prior.  There are some things that I really liked (like Karin primarily and the pre-chorus).  Otherwise the song felt so emotionally barren and Sayubee’s ~la-la-las~ are just aggravating here (then it kind of ends off, which is pretty weird too).

10. CHOICE&CHANCE

I wasn’t expecting Juice=Juice’s other choice (haha) to be an album song, though I’m happy it’s this one because it had a much stronger impression to many fans and makes up for how bland “Wonderful World” ended up being.  I love the sawtooth synths and the punching beat just added a really cool style.  My only gripe is the vocal effects used during verses, it just didn’t suit the girls who are capable of holding their own without them…still…it’s a badass song for the group and I’m happy it’s on this compilation.

11. Koi Dorobo

I’m sure if Uta hadn’t left, “Itooshikutte Gomen ne” would’ve been a shoe-in for the release, but since the company is avoiding it like the bubonic plague, we get the other A-side (which doesn’t erase Uta strangely enough but the group still performs this at lives).  While I rather had preferred the aforementioned the song, this one was a decent 2nd option (as if they would’ve put the entire 2nd single XD).  This song is playful and cute and has a lot of charm about it.  I also loved the ending too…OH MY GOD! LOL

12. Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne

That being said, with the sudden announcement of Uta’s departure, this song was affected the most from the news as there’s a BUTT TON of Chisaki in this song which is surprising as Mai was chosen to be the boy of the track.  Being more playful and charming than “Koi Dorobo”, Wakatteiru no ni Gomen ne was a surprising song at how fast it grew on me.  It’s a fun song and sticks out in a good way for the group’s more cuter image!

13. Nen ni wa Nen

Why they chose the original over the (Nen’iri Ver.) is beyond me, but this is Kobushi Factory’s debut single!  For a debut though, this was pretty much unexpected from them as most members were known for tackling cuter songs (especially Renako, Hamachan, Taguchan, and Minamina.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the direction of the group was to be a bit more rockin’ ala Buono!  I also love that all 8 members get a solo within the track too!  It was a pretty awesome song to debut with, though the updated version is definitely the much preferred take.

14. Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan

Then we have the group’s major label debut and boy was it another doozy to be dealing with.  Just like “Nen ni wa Nen”, every member has a chance to shine in the song, but the arrangement was a bit more edgier and cooler.  There’s something adventurous about the chorus and then hearing everyone growling is just epic in its own right!  I really enjoyed this song a lot and the PV was a lot of fun to watch too, just saying!

15. Survivor

No, it’s not that Kobushi got three songs specifically, starting back on the last Petit Best, it ended with three stageplay tracks and that seems to be the case for the second time in a row!  I will say that having Survivor coming after “Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan” is slightly jarring, but this stageplay was REALLY dark and foreboding.  The group still retained their heavier rock style, but the mood was a LOT more serious.  I love the power this group has vocally and just makes me look forward for the group as they continue on!

16. Triangle Alpha

As the main theme from “TRIANGLE”, this song is actually sung by the entire cast (including most members of MM’15, Maasa, two Kenshuusei, and 2 Engeki Joshi-bu cast members).  While I didn’t think the OST was that great, this was one of the more interesting songs from the play.  I kind of like the synthy upbeat feel of the song and for some reason I keep singing the ~wakusei ARUFA~ parts and some of the Suwasuwa parts too.  It’s still a bit meh comparing to “Survivor” and most of “LILIUM” but this was still a good track.

17. Thank You Very Berry

Closing the album is actually Tsubaki Factory’s only contribution to the compilation and it’s the theme of their play (strange that “Seishun Manmannaka!” was left off).  Being a song I’ve been familiar with recently due to Berryz Koubou doing a new version of the same song from their final best album released earlier in the year.  Tsubaki’s take might not be as concrete as the former groups, but the arrangement is pretty to listen to and the group’s more youthful vocals are interesting too.  I kind of liked it, but it doesn’t come close to Berryz’ version.

Tracks Recommended

  • CHOICE&CHANCE
  • Taikibansei
  • Love together!
  • Survivor
  • Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan

So we’ve finally come to the end of 2015 and of course our annual Petit Best has finally released.  I’m slightly surprised that I enjoyed most of the album this year because a lot of big hitting songs made the cut.  Of course there were a couple duds (live Anata Nashi, Wonderful World, and choosing the indies cut of Nen ni wa Nen over the edited one).  Still it’s a solid release and one that might top the list of best Petit Best through all 16.

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Petit Best 15

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Track Listing

  1. Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai / Morning Musume ’14
  2. Password is 0 / Morning Musume ’14
  3. 1-oku 3-Senman Sou Diet Oukoku / Berryz Koubou
  4. Futsuu, Idol 10nen Yatterannai Desho!? / Berryz Koubou
  5. Love take it all / °C-ute
  6. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version) / °C-ute
  7. Eighteen Emotion / S/mileage
  8. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu / S/mileage
  9. Arekore Shitai! / Juice=Juice
  10. Kaze ni Fukarete / Juice=Juice
  11. Shabadabadoo~ / Sayumi Michishige
  12. Aa, Subarashiki Hibi yo / Sato no Akari
  13. Dream Last Train / Triplet
  14. Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no You ni / ODATOMO
  15. Karen na Gasshoudan / Hello! Pro Kenshuusei
  16. Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (Kanzen-ban) / Morning Musume ’14 / S/mileage
  17. Cur~tain Ko~runrun / S/mileage

1. Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai

I was quite surprised to see the album open up with this song as I didn’t think it got enough status (though it was the theme for the Sochi Olympics) so I suppose it makes sense that this would be chosen over the other two A-sides that were from the single.  I love the punch of the song and both Riho and Sakura kicked the hell out of the song in the vocal department in the best way possible.  I think my favorite parts are when the title is repeated throughout, it just sounds cool to my ears and the arrangement is pretty kickass too lol.  OK, it’s an amazing way to kick this album off!

2. Password is 0

Wish I could say the same for the next track, Now despite the cellphone tie-in this song has, I wish it wasn’t chosen over the epic “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe” because this definitely didn’t meet my expectations and at the same time it did?  It’s just as electronic and heavy like the previous, but this song was REALLY dependent on the repetitive side with so much ~password is 0, 0, 0~ and etc.  Though props for giving Riho that English line of ~what comes around goes around~ TOTALLY ACED IT >.>.  It has the potential to be so much better, but missed the mark a bit here.

3. 1-oku 3-senman Sou Diet Oukoku

Like with °C-ute on the last Petit Best, Berryz this year took the cake by having both of their songs be favorites of mine.  Starting with the incredibly odd one, 1-oku is pretty much electro and futuristic (almost moreso than the rest of the EDM songs on the release).  It’s also just as repetitive, but I feel like it was handled better!  I really enjoyed hearing Miyabi and Risako here for some reason…it just gelled quickly for me…what a cool song!

4. Futsuu, Idol 10nen Yatterannai Desho!?

The other song is a bit more special because it was used as their 10th anniversary song and it also didn’t really disappoint.  At first, the horse neighs were strange and the banjo has never been a good instrument for H!P to use in their songs, but I for some reason enjoyed it.  It’s cute, the lyrics are quite meaningful towards the group and the video was fun to watch…yeah…it’s quirky and sounds good like the previous track!

5. Love take it all

I feel like °C-ute was trying to strike gold again with Love take it all which is another fast dance track for the group to show off their dancing skills.  It does remind me of earlier 2010 H!P which the brass and chords hit which is neat, but for some reason, the song never caught onto me.  I mean it’s an interesting song and having Maimai at front again is interesting, but there’s something off from the higher notes and the transitions through areas…it just didn’t come together for me.

6. Kanashiki Heaven (Single Version)

The other °C-ute contribution was also a failsafe song for me (the group released 3 singles, but decided to ignore “I miss you/THE FUTURE” here).  I never knew why Kanashiki Heaven needed a new version (single version? The original was from a single, you numbskulls!).  The changes are evident from the new intro and the addition of Maimi, Nakky, and Maimai (the original lacked the 3) but this new version still focuses on Airi and Chisato…so the question becomes…was it necessary???  It’s not a bad song, it’s still pretty good and the new musical additions is great, but not enough to have brought it back…(more or less on this Petit Best).

7. Eighteen Emotion

Man was I bummed to find out that they chose this song over “Mystery Night!” on this Petit Best as that song was my favorite of the year!  I suppose it was to keep that cute side for one song on this release.  Eighteen Emotion is a pretty catchy song and definitely has the group’s sound right (reminds me of something that the original 4 could’ve released).  Might not have stacked to other H!P’s songs, but it definitely was a solid and fun track to listen to.

8. Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu

S/mileage funny enough only released 2 singles this year (not counting the stageplay release), almost due to the fact that after this single they’d add 3 more new members and had a short break to kind of settle the fog of that news.  Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu sounds really mature and cool for the group and with Ayaka and Akari leading, it was an interesting song.  Add some sexy saxophones and this song exists.  Plus, the PV did look slightly like “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe” with the planetary stuff going on.  Very cool song overall and sad that it would be the last A-side to feature the 6-nin S/mileage.

9. Arekore Shitai!

Moving into Juice=Juice’s selections, I wasn’t expecting this track to make it because if I recall, this wasn’t one of the better songs they released.  To be honest, I can’t blame them really because I can never remember how this one goes…though I do recognize this one as that cute song (like “Hajimete wo Keikenchuu” but at least I remember how that one goes).  I do like the acoustic guitar and happy vibes from this one, but this is just not registering with me very much.

10. Kaze ni Fukarete

At least the other choice was a lot more memorable.  The sort-of Irish sound of Kaze ni Fukarete intrigued me and suited their cool style.  I enjoyed hearing Karin and Tomoko throughout, but Sayuki kind of just sounded strained in various parts which is odd to me.  Otherwise, it’s a solid dance track for the group and the pseudo bagpipes were an interesting twist (though they’ve gone through a lot of different styles in 2014) so it was expected!

11. Shabadabadoo~

Moving on, we get into Sayumi’s solo song from the last single she was involved in in Momusu ’14.  No surprise that it would be an adorable song to listen to.  I loved the whole jazz vibe I got, but I seriously could’ve lived without the aggressive synths and dubsteppish parts.  I was more surprised to hear Sayu under no auto-tune (since that became her signature shtick in Morning Musume and everything).  Overall, it’s a nice song and definitely suited to everything that is Sayu!

12. Aa, Subarashiki Hibi yo

Moving to the SATOYAMA units introduced in 2014, we begin with Sato no Akari (Rinapuu, Maachan, and Aarii) and they got a slightly ballad-like tune but more mid-tempo.  After all the electronic songs on this album, the sudden shift to more natural instrumentation like piano and strings was surprising!  Personally, I don’t think any of the three girls are great singers and sticking them together in a song is risky, but they tried and some of the melodic portions were handled nice while other times was pretty bad (plus there’s some background vocals, including a man’s voice >.<).

13. Dream Last Train

While I don’t understand the meaning of the title of our next track, it’s by far the best of the SATO units this year.  A trio of Chisato, Sayuki, and Haruka, this song is also the only true upbeat tune of the three!  Let’s be honest, everyone sounds awesome especially Duu who we barely get to hear in Momusu as it is!  I’m loving the kind of Buono!-esque rock arrangement and the mix of the rougher and deeper vocals just suits everything nicely.  Yeah, a pretty awesome track overall!

14. Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no You ni

Last but not least, we get ODATOMO’s song (duo of Sakura and Tomoko) with their song, Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no You ni which is a full-on ballad.  I was excited to hear this because both members are well-known for their amazing set of pipes and they didn’t disappoint here!  Not going to lie though, the arrangement and chords remind me of an Ayumi Hamasaki ballad but with two vocalists hahaha.  I still find myself enjoying it though and love how well the two gals meshed together!

15. Karen na Gasshoudan

Hmmm, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a stageplay song make the cut on a Petit Best (a resurgance as you say with the Engeki Joshi-bu series going on).  Sung by 8 of the Kenshuusei: Nanami Tanabe, Ayano Hamaura, Kaede Kaga, Riko Yamagishi, Risa Yamaki, Rikako Sasaki, Hirona Oura, and Mizuki Murota for their Bokutachi Karen na Shoudan Gasshoudan stageplay, this song was interesting to say the least.  Of course the production isn’t as clear-cut like the previous songs (especially the vocals), Karen na Gasshoudan is still quite catchy and suited alongside the other dance tracks that happened in the year.  Sad that only Tanapyon and Hamachan got solos but it’s still a solid track.

16. Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (Kanzen-ban)

Moving onto the LILIUM stageplay, we get this song which got edited (not for this, this came from the rereleased OST).  I think this soundtrack really grabbed a lot of people’s attention with how dramatic and powerful H!P can be.  Even I have to admit with Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? the girls of Momusu (well most, some weren’t involved) and S/mileage sounded amazing and the arrangement to this particular song is striking and nothing like what we get from Tsunku normally.  An amazing song overall and one of the standouts!

17. Cur~tain Ko~runrun

I am a little humored over the fact that this song closes the Petit Best out.  After the dramatic feels of the previous track, we have an upbeat and sugary song from S/mileage’s SMILE FANTASY! stageplay (which is when the 3 new members were announecd).  It’s a quirky and strange song (especially the bridge where they chant the members nickname and then say their name) it’s an odd song to close this album off…also…lot of S/mileage on this release.

Tracks Recommended

  • Chikyuu wa Kyou mo Ai wo Hagukumu
  • 1-oku 3-senman Sou Diet Oukoku
  • Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani? (Kanzen-ban)
  • Futsuu, Idol 10nen Yatterannai Desho!?
  • Dream Last Train

Wow! I finally reviewed ALL of the Petit Bests released!  As we hit to Petit Best 15, this was really when I finally can follow Hello! Project currently and recognize every member.  Even though the pattern is still pretty predictable, the addition of the stageplay tracks added some surprise to an already good album for the most part.  I can’t wait for Petit Best 16 with all the changes that have happened in 2015 so far!

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Petit Best 14

petitbest14

Track Listing

  1. Help me!! / Morning Musume
  2. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke / Morning Musume
  3. Asian Celebration / Berryz Koubou
  4. Golden Chinatown / Berryz Koubou
  5. Crazy Kanzen na Otona / °C-ute
  6. Adam to Eve no Dilemma / °C-ute
  7. Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita / S/mileage
  8. Yattaruchan / S/mileage
  9. Romance no Tochuu / Juice=Juice
  10. Rock no Teigi / Reina Tanaka
  11. NEXT MY SELF / Erina Mano
  12. Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru-hen~ / Peaberry
  13. Tokainaka no Kare / GREEN FIELDS
  14. Hotaru Matsuri no Hi / Jurin
  15. Lady Mermaid / Dia Lady
  16. Eiya-sa! Brother / Mellowquad
  17. Kaigan Seisou Danshi / HI-FIN

1. Help me!!

So the 14th iteration of Petit Best begins with Help me!! which is quite known for being 11th Gen’s Sakura Oda’s debut single!  Honestly after following what became 2012’s beginning of Tsunku’s love for electronic music, Help me!! kicked off starting 2013 with not a lot of musical changes.  That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy it because it’s still a pretty wicked EDM tune that’s for sure.  I do wonder if the song title is from something Sayumi has done twice before (“Resonant Blue” and mouthing it in “Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!”) seems to be a small theme for Sayu.  As for Sakura, she had pretty big lines in the song (two long solos).  Overall, not bad and a good start to the album.

2. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke

Then we move all the way to the end of the year (October actually) to the primary A-side that rounded their final single of the year.  Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke was a pretty big deal when it was released and was the first single without Reina which had many fans wondering how the group will sound (since up to this point it was mostly a giant Reina/Riho fest.  At least this time, the song flows a lot more smoothly and didn’t feel like multiple ideas thrown into a blender.  That being said, it was nice seeing Fukuchan, Maachan, Sayu, and Sakura joining the front lines in this tune.  It’s very fast-paced and has nice full beat to it that I can get behind.  Definitely one of my favorites of the year!

3. Asian Celebration

Opening with a Miyabi monologue, Asian Celebration was an odd song for me.  I mean, I do like the whole EDM/Disco fusion here and all, but there’s some ideas that does not work like the trying to make your voice sound like disc scratching (I was left scratching my head for most moments where that occurs, plus Yurina sounded terrible trying to tackle that).  Plus the cut n’ pasting parts in rapid succession was just tacky…yeah I just didn’t care for this one.

4. Golden Chinatown

Which left me confused why this song got panned more than “Asian Celebration” was.  I actually was one of the few that really enjoyed this tune.  Taking a more Chinese sound for its arrangement and mixing that up with synths and such, Golden Chinatown was a pretty funky tune, no lie.  It’s got some great elements plus the bass line is kicking!  On top, the vocals weren’t as tragic as the aforementioned song as well which is already a plus in my book.  Still, I think it’s rather underrated as a Berryz A-side.

5. Crazy Kanzen na Otona

Onto °C-ute’s selections, their first is Crazy Kanzen na Otona and boy was it a song that I desperately wanted to hear the quintet do again.  After loving the crap out of “Kiss me Aishiteru”, I was just blown away by this song.  Once again it does share its music genre with just about every group in H!P was doing at the time.  Of course it’s mostly Airi, Maimi, and Chisato at the front which is OK, quite the standard for °C-ute nowadays.  Definitely was an interesting song to throw out there giving the fans a much sexier look for them.

6. Adam to Eve no Dilemma

Which also followed them onto the next single after it (though it was the secondary A-side of that single).  Adam to Eve no Dilemma is really more of the same style that we heard in “Crazy Kanzen na Otona” which is great because I thought °C-ute rocked 2013 with their singles for the most part.  I have a hard time trying to decide which of these two songs owned it better because they both have such strong melodies and the dance is pretty amazing too…AHHHHH.  Yeah, basically these two songs were huge favorites this year for me.

7. Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita

Onto S/mileage’s selections, we get Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita and honestly, I couldn’t really remember too much of it, even now (only 2 years later).  This was a pretty forgettable A-side for them and I could almost say rather bland of song too.  It did feel like song that would’ve came out back in 2010 from them and I love the opening of the track as well, but the main basis of the song felt almost lifeless to me.  I get it that it’s supposed to be a Spring song, and the added fluttering violins passages are fitting, but there’s just something rather off about it.  I still of all the 6-nin songs S/mileage put out as A-sides, it’s still the weakest of the bunch.

8. Yattaruchan

I was expecting something from “Ee ka!?/”Ii Yatsu”” to have been their 2nd choice, but due to that single basically being released a week after this album dropped we were relegated to the other single they released during the summer.  I will say both songs (this and “Atarashii Watashi ni Nare!”) were both great songs so either or would’ve kept me happy.  Funny enough, this song has a WHOLE LOT of Kana here which is amazing considering she was a back girl alongside Rinapuu.  Plus this was the first time I started to notice Meimi in a different light as her vocals started to deepen quite nicely (as well as Kanana’s).  Very fun and VERY S/mileage of a song…great tune!

9. Romance no Tochuu

Next up is the major label debut from H!P’s newest group, Juice=Juice who was at the time dealing with a loss of a member.  Romance no Tochuu was a very curious song for many fans wondering what their sound would be after their 3 indie singles.  This song is VERY discotheque-friendly and has a great and catchy hook to it (actually most of the song was REALLY catchy).  I was loving Sayuki and Tomoko the most in this tune and even Karin was happily impressing me (Yuka and Akari didn’t really have memorable parts sadly).  Still, the song was another one that topped my listen charts that year.

10. Rock no Teigi

I wasn’t surprised to see that the graduating member from Momusu had her solo track be a part of the Petit Best.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but with rock in the title, maybe it would’ve been an edgy rock song.  Unfortunately, Rock no Teigi is kind of a mix of the EDM style of the year and some guitar riffs.  To be honest, this was another song that kind of flew over my head.  I don’t know why, but it just didn’t leave much of an impression and Reina didn’t totally sound into it very much (though I think she was already done with her idol image by this point).  Not much of a fan of this one.

11. NEXT MY SELF

Strange, I thought they’d only pick songs from the year.  To find out that ManoEri’s final single in H!P was placed on this was odd (2012 single).  After Erina released “Song for the DATE”, I thought that was going to lead into bigger and better songs, but then she just out of the blue announces her graduation and released NEXT MY SELF which while not bad of a song, it’s a bit underwhelming as a goodbye A-side.  This song sounds like something that could’ve EASILY come off her first album.  It’s upbeat, poppy, and cute rolled in a song (and on this PB, bridges to the lighter songs of the album).

12. Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru-hen~

Then we enter our final stretch with all of the SATOYAMA/SATOUMI units from 2013 starting with Peaberry (Riho & Ayaka).  I’m rather surprised that they chose to redo Cabbage Hakusho considering it wasn’t entirely a favorite amongst fans.  Though this time they brought in something new to the table.  Alongside a new arrangement, they inserted an OLD song, “Furusato” after the 2nd chorus.  I didn’t find the addition to add good to the song because it felt almost TOO out of place and considering it isn’t even sung by the duo (actually sung by the former Prime Minister of Japan’s wife) it just felt like unneeded padding.  The song otherwise still sounds like the original so if you liked (or disliked) it’s mostly the same…for me…pass lol.

13. Tokainaka no Kare

The only song on PB14 that did not get a PV (for some odd reason) we also see a return of GREEN FIELDS (Aika, Captain, and Yuka).  I quite enjoyed how silly and upbeat this song was from the low brass and kazoo that’s heard throughout the song.  Plus the members sound lively and cute as well.  It’s just a fun song and considering it is the only upbeat song from the 2nd wave of SATOYAMA songs, this was the only tune that I mostly enjoyed.

14. Hotaru Matsuri no Hi

Though it was rather interesting that there was ONE new announced group during this 2nd wave and that’s a duo of Masaki and Karin to form Jurin.  I actually think it was quieter than “Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru-hen~” and I was worried because both members have higher tones in their vocals.  There are some elements of Country music also which is nice, but I find myself bored with the song (I think it’s just the melody is so one-note most of the time).  Eh, I know it was obvious but Karin definitely sounded better here than Maachan.  This was just eh…

15. Lady Mermaid

Moving to the SATOUMI units, we begin with the mix of Risako & Airi of Dia Lady and their quirky tune, Lady Mermaid.  This cool tune was a surprise for me, but not really because I figured since it was Risako and Airi their vocals would work together.  I especially love when they split the vocal melodies (as in Risako dives and sings lower notes than Airi does).  What an amazingly catchy song with a cool rockabilly-type of arrangement to give it some energy.  Another favorite this year!

16. Eiya-sa! Brother

Next up is Mellowquad’s (Miyabi, Chinami, Maimi, Chisato) song, Eiya-sa! Brother.  I feel like in this song they were trying to bring some “Dancing! Natsu Matsuri” feelings back but throw in some of the more modern sounds of the time.  Besides the questionable lyrics, the song is a pretty strange one not only in that respect but the vocal melodies were I don’t know…just as questionable.  A lot of high notes though were used though.  It’s not my favorite and honestly I tend to only remember the hooks and forget most of the rest of the track.

17. Kaigan Seisou Danshi

The final track on the album, Kaigan Seisou Danshi is sung by HI-FIN (Maimai, Ayumi, Nyon, Eripon, and Nakky) and for having some of the more weaker voices, this was a nice relaxing pop tune.  I am a little bit thrown off with the song’s need of mid-section monologues, but when the quintet are singing the verses and choruses it sounds really nice ironically.  A lot of different notes and chords that just sound pleasant.  Might not beat out “Lady Mermaid”, but it’s really decent of a song.

Tracks Recommended

  • Crazy Kanzen na Otona
  • Adam to Eve no Dilemma
  • Lady Mermaid
  • Romance no Tochuu
  • Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke

Like Petit Best 13, the pattern of these albums have gotten really predictable and especially this one there were no surprises (well, maybe NEXT MY SELF making the cut despite being a 2012 single).  This one was full of songs that I’ve come to listen consistently.  A couple were rather forgettable (I’d say the album started to lower a bit once we hit ManoEri’s song) and the SATOYAMA songs were mostly bland.  I’d say it’s really good, but the tracklist was just too easy to guess.

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Review: Petit Best 13

petitbest13

Track Listing

  1. Renai Hunter / Morning Musume
  2. One Two Three / Morning Musume
  3. Be Genki <Naseba Naru!> / Berryz Koubou
  4. cha cha SING / Berryz Koubou
  5. Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku / °C-ute
  6. Aitai Aitai Aitai na / °C-ute
  7. DokiDoki Baby / Erina Mano
  8. Song for the DATE / Erina Mano
  9. Dot Bikini / S/mileage
  10. Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki. / S/mileage
  11. Egao ni Namida ~THANK YOU! DEAR MY FRIENDS~ / Risa Niigaki
  12. Chou HAPPY SONG (Single Ver.) / Berryz Koubou×°C-ute
  13. Hatsukoi Cider / Buono!
  14. CAT’S♥EYE / Cat’sEye 7
  15. Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡Taisou / Momoko Tsugunaga feat. Berryz Koubou
  16. 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.

14. CAT’S♥EYE

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.

Tracks Recommended

  • 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)

 

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Review: Petit Best 12

petitbest12

Track Listing

  1. Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku / Hello! Project Mobekimasu
  2. Makeru na Wasshoi! / Hello! Project Bekimasu
  3. Maji Desu ka Ska! / Morning Musume
  4. Only you / Morning Musume
  5. Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara / Ai Takahashi
  6. Heroine ni Narou ka! / Berryz Koubou
  7. Ai no Dangan / Berryz Koubou
  8. Kiss me Aishiteru / °C-ute
  9. Momoiro Sparkling / °C-ute
  10. Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku / Berryz Koubou×°C-ute
  11. Seishun Gekijou / Berryz Koubou×°C-ute
  12. Seishun no Serenade / Erina Mano
  13. My Days for You / Erina Mano
  14. Short Cut / S/mileage
  15. Tachiagirl / S/mileage
  16. Zassou no Uta / Buono!
  17. Asaasamba / Koharu Kusumi

1. Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku

Fitting that PB12 would open up with the big song of the year (well, big as in most members involved!  Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku was at a nice time because we were getting new members left and right (and some leaving as well) so it was kind of a nice calm down.  Most people though were kind of hoping that there was some sense of knowing the girls through solo lines are specific groupings and there’s no such luck.  There are solos and duet lines, but they were for the more popular members (Gaki, Reina, Riho, Airi, Maimi, Risako, Miyabi, and Yuuka).  The song itself wasn’t anything new at the time for H!P because they were using synth horns everywhere.  I used to be huge in love with it, but nowadays I’m just kind of here and there with it since it was so plain to me.

2. Makeru na Wasshoi!

I thought it was surprising they’d include this song from Bekimasu (a song that was released before the whole Mobekimasu shtick happened).  That said, Makeru na Wasshoi! is one of the oddest songs I’ve listened to in this almost current day and age of H!P.  Since it is between Berryz, °C-ute, ManoEri, and 4-nin S/mileage (as in the original lineup).  Also they are grouped by 4 (except one that had 5) and we go from there.  Like “Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku” the solo lines are really between the main members (this time it’s Airi, Miyabi, Yuuka, Maimi, Risako, Erina, and Saki).  The thing about the song that makes it so odd is that the chorus has a very odd moment in where they purposely make the final stanzas of the chorus sound like it’s skipping (the ~chou dakishimetai~ area). It has always thrown me off and I still can’t get behind it much.

3. Maji Desu ka Ska!

So now the rest of the album has a pretty down-pat pattern to it (that the PB series from here on out will follow).  Starting wit Morning Musume, we get the debut track for the 9th Generation members!  Everyone was wondering what the song would be like because of the young blood that had joined.  Funny, when I got this song I had edited the group laughing out in the intro of the song because I always found it stupid to have included.  Though once the song kicks in, it’s a pretty fun track!  Everyone seemed to get a lot of nice face time and solo lines.  Of course most of it was on Reina and Ai-chan so it was understandable.  I love the energy and fun vocals.  Definitely worth hearing if you’re trying to get into current Momusu because once Sayu leaves it’s the 9th Generation and so you can hear where they all started!

4. Only you

Not a lot of people were expecting the group to go back to Platinum Emo-musume with the single that came out after, Only you.  Though when I heard the song/PV…I was blown away.  I love the dramatics of the song and personally Ai-chan gave an epic performance here.  Yes, the song was the beginning of showing Riho’s soon to be ace position and everything, but hey we needed something.  I also have to praise Tsunku on using triplets everywhere, making things a little more hectic.  Riho did sound a slight bit tight and high-pitched against well Ai and Reina but it definitely worked as with Gaki’s auto-tuned sections.  Definitely one of my favorite songs of all time…just so damn good!

5. Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara

Another surprise, I wasn’t expecting Ai-chan’s solo song to make the cut (especially since the A-side from said single isn’t here).  Anywho, this song kind of was a different sound compared to most of the other songs released this year by being a bit more rock-centric.  I do love Ai’s voice and all, but you can hear that she was kind of laking energy and/or interest to the song itself.  I even started to feel bored of the track despite loving her vocals.  That’s just a tad bit strange, no?  I don’t know…

6. Heroine ni Narou ka!

Right around when I started to fully immerse myself with Hello! Project, Berryz released Heroine ni Narou ka! and besides the blatant homage to Lady Gaga in the PV, this song was pretty damn amazing.  Slowly and for some reason, Tsunku was pushing Yurina a lot!  Here I couldn’t tell where she was until I found out that she had a lot of the auto-tuned lines and the finishing ~HEROIIIIIINE~.  I really loved the energy here as well because it’s dance beats and heavy moments as well.  Definitely a strong song for the group.

7. Ai no Dangan

Which carried over through the year because all of their A-sides were winners in my book.  Ai no Dangan had a much grittier set which was a nice change after the last couple of singles.  Of course, the lines were kind of expected and followed a rather linear path but it definitely worked since most of the girls sound great (even Maasa and Chinami).  Add on the PV where most of them were just hawt as hell and this song stuck to me a lot!

8. Kiss me Aishiteru

Just seems like everyone is just having a badass year so far right?  °C-ute was also known to have a pretty awesome year.  After picking themselves up after the whole “Shocking 5” era, Kiss me Aishiteru blew my mind.  We haven’t had a really heavy dance track from the group to showcase their awesome dancing talent and boy did this kick down the doors.  It’s a really epic song with a furious and driving arrangement that moves into some great vocals and personally where I started to notice the Chisato push!  It’s a fun song and when the chorus comes and they start to repeat the ~ne, ne, ne & please, please, please~ lines…it just grows and keeps on this turbulent path.  I love it so much…one of my favorite °C-ute songs!

9. Momoiro Sparkling

Which came to the single that came after and Momoiro Sparkling just kind of left my confused and wondering why the sudden shift from badassery to sugaryness.  Some of the synthwork makes me think of TMNT: Turtles in Time but otherwise the song has a flowing feel to it.  Like I said, initially, I wasn’t excited because I was so impressed by the previous track that it kind of killed anything after it including “Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko”.  Coming back to it now, I find it quite charming and the group sounds peppy enough to not bother me much.  Yes, even Nakky and Maimai are tolerable (since back then I loathed their vocals).  It’s a nice track to listen to occasionally!

10. Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku

FINALLY, the H!P Kids are reunited to do a single together and the song is for a Horror movie…OH HELL YEAH I’M ALL FOR TH…oh WTF is this song?!?  Yeah, if you thought we were going to end up with a badass song from the two groups, think again!  This song definitely doesn’t encompass such a thing and turned out to be more a cute mid-tempo track that is kind of about graduation (remember this is 2011).  There’s just something about this song that just says bland.  Also there’s no solos, just a lot of groupings.  I don’t know why, but this song doesn’t do anything for me and comes off a bit generic.

11. Seishun Gekijou

Though in a surprise there was another song the groups did that wasn’t released prior to the album, well physically.  As the theme of their play, Sengoku Jieitai, Seishun Gekijou was surprisingly enough a ballad for the two groups (also was released on both their albums albeit seperated with different arrangements).  With a light acoustic guitar and piano playing the track, I wasn’t expecting too much.  Add that the song is sung in unison alongside a male singer and you basically got this track.  It wasn’t all that memorable to me and stood out even less than the previous tune.

12. Seishun no Serenade

Getting to ManoEri’s efforts, Seishun no Serenade was another song I totally forgot after reviewing said single on my main blog.  This song is a bit more progressive than most of her previous efforts at least and it actually tries to push Erina’s vocals more which is nice to hear, but she still sounds a bit flat and tone-deaf in areas.  It’s OK, but the song is just there and lost amongst the other songs on the album.

13. My Days for You

The other song she releases tones the tempo down slightly for a more lighter pop track.  I do like that with this, Erina’s vocals can calm down and she could just sing without putting too much effort here.  I can admit that this song was slightly better than “Seishun no Serenade”, but that really doesn’t mean much because I still don’t recall this song much (plus the Gaki version makes this look bad nowadays), just saying.

14. Short Cut

I was surprised they chose this over “Uchouten LOVE” since it was the big hit in 2011.  Though knowing this would be the last appearance of Sakitty in a PB (and Yuuka for that matter), Short Cut was never a big song for me.  When this was announced, I kind of just forgot about it because it just didn’t do anything for me besides being there (and I already wasn’t the biggest S/mileage fan too).  Coming back to it, Short Cut is OK for the group and something I was fully expecting from their previous singles.  Squeaky vocals aside, I guess it’s alright but expected.

15. Tachiagirl

Wow the hubbub when this single released.  With Saki had just left and the “sub-members” thing going, this single really split the fandom quite a bit!  For me, I was lost with what Tsunku was trying to do with this whole system (especially since we had 5 sub-members for god sakes).  When it came to the song, it actually reminded me of “Short Cut” ironically >.>.  Even worse is that the 5 new ladies were basically there to just add ~YAYs~ and ~WOO-HOOs!~ so they really were pushed back for the 3 remaining members, Ayaka, Kanon, and Yuuka.  This song is alright, but I wish the other members had more appearance (though we couldn’t have “Please Miniskirt Postwoman!” since Petit Best 12 was out before the single was.  Also like I said last appearance of Yuuka on a PB and the first AND last for Fuyuka…what a messed up time this was >.<

16. Zassou no Uta

Oh we get a Buono! song to close things out?  After the long string of meh songs, Zassou no Uta was a song I loved and was excited that the group didn’t disband due to Shugo Chara! ending.  Zassou no Uta retained the awesome rock feel that Buono! has had since forever.  Although, here it feels a little less mixed with their idol/anison style, so it feels like Buono! was actually a rock group for a hot minute.  Add on that Airi, Miyabi, Momoko sound amazing in this track…just one of the cool songs released this year and I fell in love with it!

17. Asaasamba

Oh a bonus track? Cool…wait…Koharu?!? WTF she left long ago what the hell is this song doing here?  If you didn’t know, the song was used on Oha Star.  Why it made this compilation doesn’t make too much sense beyond it’s Koharu ex-Morning Musume…why not?!?  Listening to this, I do like it does have a samba arrangement, but it’s Koharu…it sucks vocally.  I do think she slightly got better than her final Kirarin single, but she still sounds way to cutesy for me.  Weird…

Tracks Recommended

  • Kiss me Aishiteru
  • Only you
  • Heroine ni Narou ka!
  • Zassou no Uta
  • Maji Desu ka Ska!

When it comes to Petit Best 12, things were starting to show that H!P was going to not care so much about the PB series.  The whole 2 song per act was a bit odd to me, but hey it makes things a bit more cleaner.  Onto the album itself, it was pretty good (well the first half).  I swear the first half was pretty godly in songs even if there were some odd things.  However, once we got into the Berryz/°C-ute collaborative effort, the album just kind of nosedived into mehness (except for Buono!’s song).  I know some of these songs are fan favorites, but I actually didn’t care for most of these songs and to end it off with KOHARU of all people was just H!P trolling because Asaasamba suuuucked.  Still a lot of my favorites on here so I’m going to give it a 7/10.

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Review: Petit Best 11

petitbest11

Track Listing

  1. Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai / Morning Musume
  2. Appare Kaiten Zushi! / Muten Musume
  3. Maji Bomber!! / Berryz Koubou
  4. Dance de Bakoon! / °C-ute
  5. Genkimono de Ikou! / Erina Mano
  6. Yumemiru 15sai / S/mileage
  7. Our Songs / Buono!
  8. Going On! / Guardians 4
  9. Little♡Princess☆Pri! / Lilpri
  10. Elegant Girl / Ibu Himuro (CV Risako Sugaya / Berryz Koubou)
  11. Ramen Revolution 2011 Long Type / Morning Musume
  12. Nusunda Heart wa Koko Desu ka? / Reina Tanaka with Chorus: Yui Ogura and Buruburuiyaan (Arisa Noto & Sachika Misawa)
  13. ○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!! (TopNude Remix Version 02) / S/mileage

1. Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai

Ahhh Petit Best 11 opens up with Morning Musume’s first single without Koharu and well kicks things off with a bang so to speak.  It was a different song from the group since they were moving somewhere else beyond the emo music by releasing a vanity track.  It has also gained a rather split reaction amongst the fans whether it was a good song or not.  For being a bit more louder, Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai features latin guitar and some screechy synths to go along.  For a Momusu song, yeah its one of their weaker songs, but it’s catchy to be an A-side. What a really odd song to start things off.

2. Appare Kaiten Zushi!

Then we move to Appare Kaiten Zushi! which is sung by Muten Musume, you know the sub-unit created only for Sushi lol.  There’s something about this song that just grabs my attention and makes me hum it all day long!  It’s such a goofy song, but something the group needed to have before Eri, Junjun, and Linlin graduated.  This was a nice song for the trio (especially since everyone got a solo line here).

3. Maji Bomber!!

When it comes to Berryz in this time, they were getting some steam with their music.  Maji Bomber!! took the group into more of a rockier setting and really showcased the group’s vocals better here.  With the amount of energy given through this song, it was a song that did take some time to enjoy, but today really love!  It was like Berryz was given a good Buono! song and we get this awesome tune.  It’s a very cool track and happy they chose this!

4. Dance de Bakoon!

It even crossed over to °C-ute because Dance de Bakoon! is just as rockin’!  Well, it’s not as wild and loud like Berryz’ song, but this song had a lot of good riffs and the chorus is fun to sing along as well.  Of course we were still dealing with Maimi and Airi having the lead lines while the remaining three had lines here and there.  It’s a fan favorite for sure and the group always puts their energies into this song and it’s a great song live!~

5. Genkimono de Ikou!

Then we move into ManoEri’s track and well, it’s also another energetic rock track that’s very suited for lives.  I found it odd that we had three rock tracks lined up next to each other.  Back to the song, Erina’s vocals have really gotten better significantly since her last PB appearance!  This track really has a lot of chanting going on which helps those at live performances to follow along too.  It’s not my favorite song from her, but I’d say it’s in the top 10 at the least from her!

6. Yumemiru 15sai

Then we get into H!P’s newest long-term group with their first major label single, Yumemiru 15sai.  S/mileage at the time were releasing genki, cute songs with their signature squeaky vocals so I found it great that they changed it up with their debut.  This is where I actually started to get used to the vocals and where I leaned towards Saki as my favorite voice of the 4.  This tune also had this different feel, like a more serious tone unlike their indie tunes.  What a great song for them this was though, got them some important accolades lol.

7. Our Songs

Next up is Buono! with their 10th single (before they went on their hiatus since Shugo Chara! was ending), Our Songs.  I have to be honest, I actually didn’t remember how this song went for the longest time…but coming into this again, Our Songs is really good for the group!  There’s just a good sense of synergy between the trio and my issues with Momoko is pretty low as she fits well with Miyabi and Airi in this song.  It’s a worthy song for one of their bests, but man there’s been so many good Buono! songs lol.

8. Going On!

We move onto Guardians 4th A-side, Going On! and it’s also the last one we get from the group before they become inactive due to the anime as mentioned in the last track ends.  Fitting that Going On! is pretty damn anison in comparison to other songs of theirs and I’m kind of OK with it.  Though it wasn’t as great as “PARTY TIME” was.  Overall it was nice, but nothing I’m going to return to very much.

9. Little♡Princess☆Pri!

Onto Lilpri’s first single, Little♡Princess☆Pri! to me is a lot like what “Going On!” had but a little more oomph and some guitars so it was between Guardians 4 and Buono!.  Since it was Yuuka, Ayaka, and Kanon, this song had some squeaky vocals but actually they were more together than expected.  It’s catchy once in a while, so there’s no REAL complaints I suppose.

10. Elegant Girl

If you didn’t know, Risako actually did a solo track during that year as well!  This was before her voice had become fully deep and diva-ish.  The tune is different with including strings but keeping some beats and a slight mid-tempo track going.  The problem though is how 0ne-dimensional Risako sounds singing this track.  It’s kind of like she’s lacking depth here and doesn’t have a certain richness to it.  I wonder if she’d do better singing it today…

11. Ramen Revolution 2011 Long Type

Huh?  What’s this?  A parody of “Ren’ai Revolution 21” based around ramen noodles?  Yup…this was such a weird inclusion but so great to have something unique to this Petit Best.  Of course this is just a longer version than the one used in the CM and it’s only 2 minutes long.  What really goes on, is mostly the mid8 section to the ending (with the intro of the song).  It’s such a goofy track but I can’t help laugh at the idea.

12. Nusunda Heart wa Koko Desu ka?

Then it gets weirder by getting into our next track.  I’ve said back in the review of the 2014 compilation album released from TOWER Records, that THAT was the first time I heard it and this would be the second.  I really don’t know what it is, but it’s REALLY odd to hear Reina of all members singing a sugary cute song (as she’s one to not even stride in that direction).  Add on Yui, Sachika, and Arisa and this kind of just was a mind screw right from the start.

13. ○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!! (TopNude Remix Version 02)

The compilations ends with a remix of S/mileage’s 2nd major single!  Also take notice of the “02” in the tag because this is the second version since 01 was released as a digital single.  Now at this time, S/mileage was getting random remixes and seeing this one feels odd lol.  Of course, ○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!! is already a bizarre song to listen to and well the beginning minute was annoying as hell lol.  The remix has a lot going on and some of it kind of overshadows the group’s vocals.  Still, the whole ~daki daki daki dakishimete~ lines are so annoying!!!!  I don’t know, this was a messy remix for me).

Tracks Recommended

  • Yumemiru 15sai
  • Appare Kaiten Zushi!
  • Dance de Bakoon!
  • Our Songs
  • Maji Bomber!!

So Petit Best 11 felt incredibly short to me for some reason, quite possibly because it was only 13 songs this year (wow…that suuuucks).  Plus a lot of the songs were OK, but some were odd choices (especially in the later half).  I don’t know why but I felt like this was somewhat lazy, but hey there were some pretty nifty songs.  Though the main groups songs were pretty good…hmmm…I don’t know this was eh. 5/10

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Review: Petit Best 10

petitbest10

Track Listing

  1. Shouganai Yume Oibito / Morning Musume
  2. Seishun Bus Guide / Berryz Koubou
  3. EVERYDAY Zekkouchou!! / °C-ute
  4. Pira! Otome no Negai / Petitmoni V
  5. Umbrella / Tanpopo#
  6. MY BOY / Buono!
  7. Otome no Inori / Erina Mano
  8. Yume no Genjitsu / Aa!
  9. Pen Pen Kyoudai / Shin Minimoni
  10. DESTINY LOVE / High-King
  11. Omakase♪Guardian / Guardians 4
  12. Shugo Shugo! / Shugo Chara Egg!
  13. Hapi☆Hapi Sunday! / Kirari Tsukishima starring Koharu Kusumi
  14. aMa no Jaku / S/mileage
  15. Screen / Natsumi Abe
  16. Chocolate Damashii / Aya Matsuura
  17. Seishun Boku / Mari Yaguchi
  18. Bye Bye / Mai Satoda with Goda Kyodai

1. Shouganai Yume Oibito

Momusu opens up the next Petit Best with what would be coined the beginning of the emo-musume stretch of singles.  At the time this single released, I was starting to finally get the names down of the girls during this period and this song was a great song to really figure things out.  I really do like the serious tone of the song and all the members sound lovely here (even Sayumi!).  Though big props for Eri, Ai-chan, and Gaki for making this song sooo damn good.  Definitely one of the brighter moments for the group!

2. Seishun Bus Guide

I was happy Berryz chose this song over “Rival” since I wasn’t (and still not too into the song today).  Seishun Bus Guide did have to grow on me because it was a bit more forward and energetic song (with an odd PV to boot).  Of course most of the time it’s Risako, Miyabi, and Momoko leading the track and while that’s pretty normal of Berryz at the point of time, it was a little on the meh side, mostly because some of those vocals sounded rough (lookin’ at you Risako!!!)…It is one of those songs that will have to grow on you.

3. EVERYDAY Zekkouchou!!

°C-ute brought EVERYDAY Zekkouchou!! to the Petit Best and the group was going through some changes.  Since the last PB, the group had lost Kanna to some random bunion (though I’m sure that was just a cover up) and this single was also the final single for Erika who would graduate to focus on fashion.  For °C-ute, this song passed up some of their edgier stuff they had, but was probably the best they could do (plus it did kind of send-off Erika well).  It’s a poppy track with a lot of synths and bright lyrics.  Not a bad song overall.

4. Pira! Otome no Negai

So during the year, Tsunku decided to bring back a lot of former groups for a short while.  All but two of these ‘revived’ groups do appear here starting with Petitmoni V which was Nakky, Maimai, and ManoEri.  Their song, Pira! Otome no Negai was rather annoying to me lol.  I mean at that time, they were three of the weakest vocalists in H!P (that could be argued, I know) but this song didn’t work for me.  The whole ~pira-pop~ overdose annoyed me to no end and Tsunku’s voice in the song also kind of bothered me lol.  I don’t know, it just didn’t do anything for me.

5. Umbrella

Next up is the revived Tanpopo# (which was Kame, Aika, Chisato, and Yurina) and I was hoping they’d get a good song.  Umbrella to me sounds like a Momosu album song with the kind of cutesy lyrics/vocals but with a different kind of arrangement.  I do like the voices here at least and they’re so seperate from one another that it’s REAL easy to tell who’s who.  It’s not bad, but kind of run-of-the-mill.  Not much else to really say.

6. MY BOY

I definitely remembered getting into Buono! fully round this time and MY BOY was the best reason.  Unlike their various other singles, MY BOY was (and I think still) is the edgiest Buono! song out there!  The arrangement is explosive and the trio is pretty damn strong and bringing it all in an awesome way.  Even Momoko was just all kinds of badass….ugh this song might be one of my favorite H!P songs out there!

7. Otome no Inori

Then we move onto ManoEri’s first major single, Otome no Inori and it took me a while to remember this one because I wasn’t the big Erina fan back then (still kind of not, but she did get better as time went on).  Also fitting that this song kind of shines the light on Erina’s piano skills right from the intro.  I will also say, early Mano was not very apt at singing and many people were still kind of baffled why she was given a solo career within the company.  To me, the song is definitely not among her bests and her kind of flat and sort of toneless voice made the song a bit of a chore to get through.

8. Yume to Genjitsu

Back to the rest of the Revival Units we get Aa! which in this song was Miyabi, Airi, and H!P Egg member Akari Saho who took over Reina’s position (because the latter was with High-King who was also revived…well not really XD).  I was surprised with this song because I came in from the whole Revival Unit experience mostly disappointed, but Aa! knocked this song out of the park and remains the BEST song from that short time.  It’s great to hear Airi and Miyabi owning the song (as they should as they were rising on my fav voices).  Akari also held her own here and actually suited the group (if only they had let her join Buono!).  The song itself is energetic and has a really cool sound to it, plus the ~WAHOO~ is just too perfect lol.  Like I said, it’s a must listen!

9. Pen Pen Kyoudai

Then we move to the revival of Minimoni which included Linlin, Kanon (S/mileage) and two Eggs: Akari Takeuchi and Karin Miyamoto and they were given Pen Pen Kyoudai which is kind of a callback to their cuter image (ala before “CRAZY ABOUT YOU” Minimoni lol).  The song is very cute and true to form, but like “Pira! Otome no Negai”, it has a lot of repetition and Tsunku is all over the place here.  The vocals here are sort of fitting (except Linlin whose appearance here makes sense but her voice isn’t as at the level here like Kanon, Akari, and Karin’s….could you imagine the four singing this today?  Weiiird…This song just didn’t connect with me lol.

10. DESTINY LOVE

Finally, we get into the last quote on quote revived group in High-King (what I mean is that High-King didn’t have any member changes and the last thing they released was only a couple months before the revival happened XD).  DESTINY LOVE suited the group in a way that it gave them a more sexier song to tackle and for the most part it worked and seeing a Captain/Maimi rap section was nice.  The only thing that didn’t work is of course Yuuka who’s squirrely vocals felt so out of place (like it does in all of the other High-King songs).  Cool song though!

11. Omakase♪Guardian

Moving on, we get into the Shugo Chara! groups starting with Guardians 4 and their first single!  I almost had thought that it would’ve been a group that would’ve survived after the anime but guess it didn’t.  Being Aika, Risako, Yurina, and Nakky, thinking about it today…this pairing is so weird to me.  Yurina and Risako has deeper vocals while Aika and Nakky had the cuter tones so it was a mish-mash of strange proportions.  As expected, Omakase♪Guardian is definitely one of the more cutesy shoujo fairy-esque track and initially I wasn’t too fond of it but going back, I could appreciate it more and Risako and Yurina didn’t sound as strange as I would’ve thought (doing it today would probably sound weird…although the group did perform on New Years of ’14).  Not a bad track ^_^

12. Shugo Shugo!

Then we get to Shugo Chara Egg!’s 2nd single (and the last for members Yuuka, Kanon, and Ayaka as they transferred to S/mileage mode during the year).  Now I loved “Minna no Tamago” but I was feeling lukewarm towards this one.  Like with the previous track, it’s cutesy as well but moreso because of the voices.  I just wasn’t a fan of anyone here and the song wasn’t all that memorable to me either.  It’s just one of those songs that just kind of flew over my head on this album.

13. Hapi☆Hapi Sunday!

Then we come into Koharu’s track….and luckily it’s her last contribution to a Petit Best (so happy) and that’s saying something because this is my least favorite song on the compilation.  Boy did she up the ante on this super sugary sound here and adding on her very bad vocals…made this REAL impossible to deal with lol.  Hapi☆Hapi Sunday! is kind of the pinnacle of Koharu’s movement towards such a bad vocalist…but I don’t know, some of the arrangement kind of works, but I still can’t really stomach the tune.

14. aMa no Jaku

Then we move into H!P’s newest group (as of this release), S/mileage and their indies debut, aMa no Jaku.  Funny how of their A-side as a 4-nin this one comes off the most sentimental and it was just their start.  It is kind of weird to say that I can handle this song but not “Shugo Shugo!” when talking about their vocals…then again, this tune wasn’t sugarcoated.  Back then, I didn’t know the voices to the girls, but nowadays it’s rather easy and even though I rag on Yuukarin and Ayacho….they weren’t too bad….though I think Saki Ogawa (the unique member) had a much better voice than the 3 presented here.  Today, the song is good in doses, but still a lil high-pitched for my tastes.

15. Screen

Then we get into our soloists section for the final stretch starting with two of our older members and their singles (as both of their songs are also the final songs they have for Petit Bests).  There’s something about Nacchi’s song, Screen that just sounds so cool and different than what we’ve got from her in the past.  It’s upbeat but has a rather interesting arrangement with that kind of oriental feel.  It’s nice and Nacchi sounds really pleasant in the tune.

16. Chocolate Damashii

We move into Ayaya’s last single she released (she’s released albums after this) with Chocolate Damashii and with the amount of mid-tempos and ballads she’s had, it’s nice to get a track that has a little more oomph to it!  The song is cute and fun to listen to occasionally, it still isn’t among her bests, but this was something many Ayaya fans wanted to hear ever since “Kiseki no Kaori Dance.”.

17. Seishun Boku

The last two tracks were kind of random inclusions but made sense as they’re ex-H!P.  First off is a song from Marippe who here collaborated with Air Band (which is a band made exclusively for Quiz! Hexagon II).  For Seishun Boku, this song has a more rockin’ feel and being it’s Mari’s first single I was curious to how she’d handle it…and well her voice was a little too over the top here.  Very throaty and pinchy.  Meh…

18. Bye Bye

Back then, I had no clue who Mai Satoda was and why she was brought up when she started her Hexagon unit with Goda Kyoudai (who are misono and Toshifumi Fujimoto) and this was the 2nd single released by them.  Bye Bye does sound like an anime theme and I was surprised how well Satoda and misono sounded together.  The third member….I don’t think he was in the song (unless he’s the saxophonist) but otherwise…it was just the two ladies.  The tune is a good enough track and wasn’t as chaotic as Mari’s track.

Tracks Recommended

  • MY BOY
  • Shouganai Yume Oibito
  • Yume to Genjitsu
  • Screen
  • Omakase♪Guardian

So Petit Best 10…getting into the double digits now huh?  After the last couple PBs having problems, I found myself kind of pleased with this one.  I mean we get 5 exclusive tracks on the album (even though to me, only 3 were pretty good) and we got some of the more recent hits.  I was surprised they had included Mari and Mai’s songs as they weren’t guessed beforehand.  Overall it was a solid release with a couple bad choices (lookin at you Petitmoni V and Koharu >.>). 7/10

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Review: Petit Best 9

petitbest9

Track Listing

  1. Resonant Blue / Morning Musume
  2. Dschinghis Khan / Berryz Koubou
  3. Edo no Temari Uta II / °C-ute
  4. Watashi no Koibito na no ni / Natsumi Abe & Maimi Yajima
  5. Kizuna / Aya Matsuura
  6. Nanni mo Iwazu ni I LOVE YOU / v-u-den
  7. Charisma, Kirei / Melon Kinenbi
  8. Papancake / Kirari Tsukishima starring Koharu Kusumi
  9. Anataboshi / MilkyWay
  10. Seishun! LOVE Lunch / Athena & Robikerottsu
  11. Come Together / Ongaku Gatas
  12. C\C (Cinderella\Complex) / High-King
  13. Renai♥Rider / Buono!
  14. Koero! Rakuten Eagles / °C-ute
  15. LALALA Shiawase no Uta / Wonderful Hearts
  16. Okitegami / Miki Fujimoto
  17. Hana Ichi Monme / Aya Matsuura

1. Resonant Blue

The album begins with the A-side that kind of solidified my interest in Momusu.  Resonant Blue back then was a jam for me and I always found myself singing a lot because it was hook after hook.  Today, the song still is a jam, but I’ve taken time to follow the line distribution and splitting it between Ai-chan and Reina was a little disappointing (with a little of Koharu as well).  Still without that problem, the song is just sassy and I love that it opened Petit Best 9!

2. Dschinghis Khan

Disregarding that odd spelling, Berryz comes next with their 16th single that was surprisingly huge for the group.  Being a cover of a 1979 Eurovision song sung by the group of the same name, Dschinghis Khan is a weird song to listen to.  The lyrics were changed around to be less explicit for one thing and the group is singing in a much higher pitch than I’m normally used to (almost to the point where I couldn’t tell who’s who without color-coded lyrics).  If they sung this an octive lower, I would’ve enjoyed this more but it just came off more annoying than it should.  Though, I have to say I can stomach that Tartar mix of this song so much than the original from Berryz.

3. Edo no Temari Uta II

°C-ute of course follows Berryz with their 6th major single, Edo no Temari Uta II.  The story goes that the first one was sung by Hiroshi Itsuki and Tsunku liked that so much that he asked if he could use it for the group.  Lyrically it’s really historic and has a lot of Japanese lore and stuff going on which was new for the group, plus we got some lengthy solos from all the members (though Airi and Maimi got the most of them.  I was expecting something like Ondo-style but it’s sort of hip-hip and kind of sexy in a weird way.  My only issue is that it’s 2:42…that’s surprisingly short for a °C-ute A-side.  Still a great song nonetheless.

4. Watashi no Koibito na no ni

In a random release, Nacchi and Maimi got together and released a single, “16sai no Koi Nante”.  Why they chose the B-side from the single is beyond me though.  I guess they needed a slower song for the album I suppose.  Both vocalists sound good enough together and by themselves gave a good performance overall, but it’s definitely not amongst the best the album had to offer.

5. Kizuna

One single after her last Petit Best offering, Kizuna comes in and it something a bit different than any other Ayaya ballad tune.  It’s got some interesting instrumentation choices and of course Aya sounds really pleasant to listen to interestingly enough.  I kind of surprised this song turned out well considering it’s her second to last single under H!P.

6. Nanni mo Iwazu ni I LOVE YOU

Then we come to what would be v-u-den’s final single as they announced it alongside their dissolution.  Though, I found it strange their final A-side of choice was a cover of an album song from Morning Musume’s 4th album.  They definitely changed the arrangement to be more organic sounding than the original which I thought was a good move on their part.  For v-u-den it was an odd choice given they lacked ballad songs as it is so making this their final hurrah was a bit out of left field…and slightly lazy considering it’s a Momusu song.

7. Charisma, Kirei

We also come to Melon Kinenbi’s final single under Hello! Project as well and I’m not sure what Tsunku was thinking giving them this song because I really loathe it.  I mean “Unforgettable” was similar but this was just cheesy and really didn’t suit the group as a whole (seeing Tsunku try to cute up with that Mango Pudding mix of “Onegai Miwaku no Target” was bad too).  I do like that all the girls get solos (with Shibata leading the most of course).  Still, the song was just meh and they got a lame Live Performance for a PV >.>

8. Papancake

Koharu’s 5th single, Papancake comes next and it seems to be the fan favorite amongst the forums that I follow…I still don’t see where this song should be as considered good because Koharu sounds relatively WORSE than she did her debut.  I guess I like the arrangement because it’s more guitar-heavy…but I honestly wish someone else had sung this because the melody would’ve been great.  Oh well…

9. Anataboshi

Then comes in MilkyWay with their debut A-side.  Consisting of our “beloved” Koharu joined by H!P Eggs, Yuu Kikkawa and Sayaka Kitahara.  I was super surprised the song was totally different in H!P lore by being Celtic in style!  That got me hooked into the group instantly and to be honest the Eggs covered up Koharu’s pitch issues.  Kikka and Saaya definitely sound well and kept up with the energetic and frenetic arrangement.  Impressive song overall and had me bopping all over XD.

10. Seishun! LOVE Lunch

We come to our other Anime group, Athena & Robikerottsu with their 2nd (and final A-side), Seishun! LOVE Lunch.  I find it so strange because Gaki seemed so out of her comfort zone even moreso than in “Shouri no BIG WAVE!!!”.  Her voice is so rich and full and making it fit alongside Aika, Nakky, and Chisato’s squeaky vocals was just a bit odd.  It’s not as good as their first one which kind of isn’t good…I’m happy that the unit ended as quickly because I don’t think it would’ve gotten better had the anime continued on (plus it would’ve been more awkward for Gaki).

11. Come Together

We come to Ongaku Gatas’ 3rd single (and final appearance on the Petit Best) with Come Together.  Coming off the graduations of both Mika Mutou and Erina Mano, the group went on with this song and boy I was not impressed with this one.  I was disappointed that the limelight was mostly for the already established H!P members, Konkon, Yossie, Charmy, and Satoda and not so much for the Eggs that were there.  The song itself is also kind of plain considering the group’s previous singles and all were more dancy and this is kind of generic.  Oh well…

12. C\C (Cinderella\Complex)

Moving to High-King’s only A-side, I was quite excited coming to this as it had Ai-chan, Reina, Captain, Maimi, and Yuukarin.  Being a groovy R&B tune, Cinderella\Complex was definitely an interesting song to give the group.  Though it wasn’t a surprise that it was focused on Ai and Reina for the most part (while the other three got a couple solo lines and some background moments).  The song sometimes bothers me with its flow, but I mostly like to jam to this one.

13. Renai♥Rider

I think Buono! really defined themselves stronger with their second A-side, Renai♥Rider because it’s heavy with guitars and the group seem to gel a LOT better vocally than they did in “Honto no Jibun”.  It also made me focus on how well all three ladies sound together…match made in heaven!  Plus I love how the verses were spread and especially Momoko wasn’t overly applying her cuteness here.  Definitely a much better song than their first Petit Best offering!

14. Koero! Rakuten Eagles

Another song made for the baseball team?  Jeeze Tsunku…you could make an album full of those songs!  This time sung by °C-ute, released as an indies single between “LALALA Shiawase no Uta” and “Namida no Iro”, Koero! Rakuten Eagles is another cheer song, but it seems so lackluster compared to the one we got from GAM on the last Petit Best.  It sounds like an anime theme more than a cheer song though.  Of course Maimi and Airi only got solos while the rest was duets.  Just wasn’t interested in this song.

15. LALALA Shiawase no Uta

About the song previously mentioned, we have LALALA Shiawase no Uta sung by Wonderful Hearts.  I know, who’s that?!?  Well Wonderful Hearts was a tour group that consisted of Yossie, Konkon, Makoto, Mikitty, Morning Musume, °C-ute, Berryz Koubou, W, v-uden, THE Possible, ManoEri, and the H!P Eggs.  Though I don’t think there was confirmation on who was involved in the studio recording.  The arrangement is the same like °C-ute’s original which is OK, could’ve added something.  The line distribution was changed a bit to add all the members involved.  I heard Maimi, Airi, Reina and there are others but for the most part it was just a more grand take of the original.

16. Okitegami

Surprisingly after Miki was caught in that scandal (and left Momusu) she randomly releases her last single, Okitegami.  Though I didn’t expect the song to be a ballad (almost an enka tune, but with Miki’s awesome vocals!).  Though the song is a bit bare bones and I kind of started to zone out after the while, yeah Miki couldn’t even keep my interest going.  Another strange release though.

17. Hana Ichi Monme

Ending the album, we have ANOTHER Ayaya song which is great to see a little push of her.  Hana Ichi Monme was used as a CM song, but was filled out more for the release.  I like that Ayaya has this song because it’s not a ballad luckily.  Her voice is bright and gives this positive flow and adding some oriental strings gives the song more color!  I thought it was a pleasant way to close things out!

Tracks Recommended

  • Resonant Blue
  • Renai♥Rider
  • Anataboshi
  • C\C (Cinderella\Complex)
  • Hana Ichi Monme

Man, another bust huh?  Petit Best 9 (like 8) failed to really capture the essence of the year.  A lot of better songs could’ve been chosen, but the ones we got mostly were quite forgettable in the long run.  Though the tracks recommended and Edo no Temari Uta II was really the only good songs I got out of it (though mileage is different with different people).  5/10

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Review: Petit Best 8

petitbest8

Track Listing

  1. Bokura ga Ikiru MY ASIA / Morning Musume Tanjou 10nen Kinentai
  2. Kanashimi Twilight / Morning Musume
  3. Too far away ~Onna no Kokoro / Natsumi Abe
  4. Secret / Maki Goto
  5. Egao / Aya Matsuura
  6. Aisu Crea~m to My Purin / v-u-den
  7. Onegai Miwaku no Target ~Mango Pudding Mix~ / Melon Kinenbi
  8. Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba / Berryz Koubou
  9. Sakura Chirari / °C-ute
  10. Happy☆彡 / Kirari Tsukishima starring Koharu Kusumi
  11. Futari wa NS / Kira☆Pika
  12. Narihajimeta Koi no BELL / Ongaku Gatas
  13. Ai Ai Daiko / Yuki Maeda
  14. Oyaji no Kokoro no Tomotta Chiisana Hi ~Duet Version~ / Mai Satoda (with Fujimaki Fujioka)
  15. Honto no Jibun / Buono!
  16. Daisuki Rakuten Eagles / GAM
  17. Atsui Tamashii / GAM

1. Bokura ga Ikiru MY ASIA

Opening the album is the first single from the oh so important anniversary group of Gaki, Kaori, Nacchi, Gocchin, and Koharu.  Like I said when I made their profile, the idea of a group to celebrate the group’s existance is pretty awesome, but why were there songs totally not Morning Musume?  I mean the closest, their A-side “Furusato” but that’s really one song to at the point 35 singles 0.o.  With the 5 ladies together I wasn’t sure what to expect but all of them but Koharu sounded REALLY good together.  I liked the song, but definitely doesn’t encapsulate *Morning Musume* very well.

2. Kanashimi Twilight

Maybe the album should’ve begun with Kanashimi Twilight because this song is just a VERY badass song overall!  Known for being the last single for Yossie and Mikitty, I’d say it was a pretty awesome track for both the ladies.  I just love the aggressive punk rock sound and having such an edgy arrangement adds for some edgy voices and everyone seemed to do well (even Aika, whose line is oddly the thing I remember the most next to Yossie’s solo).  Great song and was excited to see this on the PB.

3. Too far away ~Onna no Kokoro~

2 singles after “The Stress”, we get Nacchi’s next single Too far away.  Soloists who get ballads for A-sides usually have a hard time finding it to make it last on my ears.  With Nacchi’s song, the bareboned arrangement and soothing vocals that accompany it finds itself going in one ear and out the other since I tend to forget it was an A-side.  It has a strange 90’s ballad kind of flow.  I kind of just forgot the song and definitely doesn’t rank very high on her A-sides.

4. Secret

Moving onto Maki’s song, which is ultimately known that it was her final single under H!P.  Not surprising that it was a ballad as well, but unlike Nacchi’s where it was a traditional one, Gocchin’s was more R&B tinted (you know, to show since Maki’s music started out the same way (but of course more upbeat).  Likewise, it’s another song that doesn’t exactly catch my interests and once again ends of going over my head.

5. Egao

What is up with the soloists all getting damn ballads?!?  As Ayaya’s 19th A-side, Egao kind of musically is similar to “Too far away” but Aya gives a stronger vocal performance and actually tries to make the song escape the borefest of the previous two tracks.  I would say of the 3 ballads we gained, this one is the best but it still not a great song compared to the other winners in the album.

6. Aisu Crea~m to My Purin

After the fail of the last PB with v-u-den they really had to make it up and boy did they!  Aisu Crea~m to My Purin might a call to just being flirty as all hell and the title might be a little out there, but this song definitely showed a more fun side to the trio that wasn’t pushing my buttons lol.  Rika, Yui, and Erika just sounded so into it and add the fun dance beats, it just made my day…way too catchy for its own good!  Also woke me up after the last three songs.

7. Onegai Miwaku no Target ~Mango Pudding Mix~

Before you say it, this was actually released as a single though 2 singles after the indies rock release.  The remixed version took out all the awesome guitars and powerful sounds and replaced it with a more techno/cutesy arrangement.  Hate to say, but the changes made really turned me off from the song.  I wonder why Tsunku decided to change the song up so much…

8. Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba

I kind of was surprised with Berryz when they released Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba since the song is kind of something the group hasn’t pulled off (at least in an A-side).  Two singles ago, I started to notice Risako and Yurina’s vocals changing up in “Munasawagi Scarlet” and it’s starting to become even more apparant in this song.  It’s one of those rare times that I love a mid-tempo track because Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba sounds almost enka, but keeps it idol in a nice package. A surprise, but a pretty damn good one!

9. Sakura Chirari

Moving onto °C-ute’s major debut single (and first without Megumi), Sakura Chirari is another cute song (but nothing like their last PB effort).  I did find the accordion intro to be one of the more memorable things about the tune.  It’s a little sad that only Airi, Maimi, and Maimai got the solo lines.  I always thought it was an odd choice to have been a major debut, but it was a pretty big hit so I can admire that about it.  Good song, but not as good as “Massara Blue Jeans”.

10. Happy☆彡

Next comes the Kirarin songs starting with Koharu’s offering.  Happy☆彡 is to me the first time we hear that Kirari voice and boy did it cause her to become such a poor singer in H!P.  The song is a little pop/rock mixed in with that shoujo-ness that kind of makes her music her own.  I’m not really into this song as I was with her previous singles, “Balalaika” and “Koi☆Kana”.

11. Futari wa NS

Then we get to Kira☆Pika which was the combined effort of Koharu and Mai.  I’m so ELATED that they chose the 2nd A-side over the shitty nose song, “Hana wo Puun”.  Though on the flipside of the coin we get a ballad with two of the poorest singers at that time.  They try to harmonize here and there within the song, but at the same time when they don’t there’s a riff.  Like I said, it’s not as tragic as the other song they have. >.>

12. Narihajimeta Koi no BELL

Ahh the debut of Ongaku Gatas comes next!  It does kind of follows the disco style that would be all over H!P’s future endeavors but honestly, Narihajimeta Koi no BELL is just a great song to listen to because not only we have 4 gals who already heard all over the place but we get to hear Minami, Arisa, Yuri, and Erina sing too (notice how Mika and Miki are totally ignored here).  Still, this song was a great debut for this group.  The thing that got me though was the pre-chorus with those ~aaaaaaaah~, kind of took me out xD.

13. Ai Ai Daiko

As much as I like the songs she’s put out I was kind of waiting for something a bit more bright and Yuki answered it up with Ai Ai Daiko which took her sound and brought it even further.  Very dramatic and Yuki’s vocals are surprisingly strong with powerful vibrato and force.  Definitely one of the album’s great surprises, but c’mon Yukidon has done no wrong with PBs.

14. Oyaji no Kokoro Tomotta Chiisana Hi ~Duet Version~

One of the more odd releases was a duet between Fujimaki and CM’s Mai Satoda.  Coming after “Ai Ai Daiko”, Oyaji no Kokoro Tomotta Chiisana Hi has a similar theme but not as heavily dramatic.  I’m loving Mai’s vocals in this song and it sounds so different than her normal style.  Fujimaki’s vocals are deep and scratchy…kind of reminds me of GACKT’s but older?  Not a bad song overall.

15. Honto no Jibun

It’s so strange that they placed Buono!’s debut all the way back of the album and not somewhere near the H!P Kids tracks.  Sung by Miyabi, Airi, and Momoko they seem like a great trio to put together (well maybe not so much Momoko).  Honto no Jibun isn’t as heavy as later songs but being a theme for Shugo Chara, the song suited it very well.  Compared to later singles, this song kind of goes lower and lower on the list.

16. Daisuki Rakuten Eagles

Another Rakuten chant song?  We just had one from DEF.DIVA and before that Momusu’s “THE Manpower!!!”.  This one doesn’t seem as cheery but a little more for pumping the crowd up which is pretty nice to have.  It definitely fits with the music at the time and Aya and Miki sound great here.  Fun song to listen to!

17. Atsui Tamashii

A little of information, Atsui Tamashii was supposed to be GAM’s 4th single but due to Mikitty’s scandal and well leaving H!P, the single was canned but somehow the A-side managed to find itself on Petit Best 8.  Hearing that it was going to be chosen as the A-side, it really confused me because this song kind of just sucks IMHO when compared to their other A-sides.  Not bad, but definitely not A-side quaity.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kanashimi Twilight
  • Aisu Crea~m to My Purin
  • Narihajimeta Koi no BELL
  • Ai Ai Daiko
  • Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba

I have to say, this Petit Best was pretty bad overall.  It’s sad that the 5 above and maybe 2 other songs were pretty good but the rest just kind of melded into this borefest of a compilation album.  At least the songs recommended are really GREAT songs overall.  5/10

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