So I managed to get the fanclub 10 cd set from ebay.
A nice little package although it’s best to rip to a computer and put on an mp3 player rather than fiddling around getting the individual cd’s out of their cases. So the verdict?
First up Ai Kago.
Renai tte Naani? (English Translation: What Is Love?)
A kind of cutesy song coupled with a cutesy voice. Catchy music although quite light. I’m actually quite impressed. I’ve always found Ai (like Nozomi) quite funny as an individual. Her boisterous personality worked well in MM. As a singer I maybe haven’t rated her that highly though. Here her voice doesn’t come over that strong but then it’s not really supposed to. The song is playing up her youth. It’s actually catchy and would definately get further playings so thumbs up.
Next up Kaori Iida with Anata no Kami no Kaori (English translation:The Smell Of Your Hair).
Well first up let me say I recently bought Kaori’s first solo album off ebay and I’m waiting to receive it. I’m hoping it lives up to it’s description of a laid-back album with the odd mediterranean influence. Kaori always seems to have had something quite special and unique about her. Always seeming older than she is but in a good way. A woman amongst (albeit attractive) girls. Equally adept at doing a slow number or something faster (Morning Coffee to Yuujyo you could say). Anything suits her. A real star quality. However I have a weakness with Kaori for slower songs. This song is a slow, mellow, guitar based melody with a beautiful voice behind it. Not as immediately catchy as Ai’s song but I get the feeling it’ll be played more often because of the vibe it creates. Kaori’s breathy tone is perfection. Another thumbs up.
Next! Why it’s Kei Yasuda with LOVE -Keisan Chigai- (English translation: Love -Miscalculation-).
A harmonica kicks in after a few seconds which is never a bad thing. One minute in and I’m liking this. It’s slightly too much on the jaunty side at times but for the most part it has a good harmony, Kei’s voice sounds just right and the chorus is immediately hummable. Three songs in and it’s another thumbs up. I’m starting to develop Paul McCartneyitis.
So onto Maki Goto and Gochamaze LOVE (English translation: Jumbled Up Love).
Well this is the least impressive song so far upon first impressions. A mid-paced song with a voice that isn’t really doing much for me. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the tune that just doesn’t really catch my attention. Either way I don’t think it’ll become a favourite. At least it’s stopped me turning into one of the fab four.
Mari Yaguchiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Oh how I love her.
So what’s Marine Sports! (English translation: umm…Marine Sports!) going to be like? Christ! It’s country and western. Seriously it’s Japanese country and western. Who knew such a thing existed? Now whether you like this song or not may well depend on your attitude to the c&w musical genre. Personally I like some c&w but not that much. If we’re talking the Johnny Cash side of things then fine but if we’re talking Billy Ray Cyrus then please no. Marine Sports!? Well it’s an oddity. I wish I had a translation to hand to at least give me an idea of what the gorgeous one is singing about. As things stand this song is a curiosity. Well you have to try new things or else you’d stagnate. So full marks for originality. I do like her voice in it I just can’t see the song becoming that big a favourite…unlike it’s singer. There’s always room for an oddity in any record collection though so it’s not a problem.
Hey it’s Natsumi Abe with Manatsu no Tanjoubi (English translation: Midsummer Birthday).
It’s kind of catchy while not being overly original. Likeable but also lightweight. Still when played amidst all the other songs it actually fits in well. If this were a proper album this would be a decent enough album track. Sometimes skipped but sometimes not. Has a good organ sound towards the end. Will not become a favourite but is certainly not a bad song either. The chorus has a good enough harmony to it to warrant further plays.
Okay so what does the second of the scamp twins Nozomi Tsuji have for us?
It’s Non Stop (English Translation: Well…guess). Hmm… Non Stop is a strange winsome thing. Playing up the cutesy teenager angle a bit too much. Kind of a bit too expected. Annoyingly catchy. Probably not to be played too often. I’m not a big fan of Nozomi’s voice either which doesn’t help matters. Not that I dislike her or anything because I don’t. I just find her voice a bit too grating here.
So onwards to Rika ‘Charmy’ Ishikawa and Rikai Shite > Onna no Ko (English translation: Try To Understand > Girls).
Well Rika’s song starts with some good “do do doo’s” and then her light cutesy voice kicks in. I like the song immediately while being aware at the same time that listening to a whole album of Rika singing on her own would be a bit too much. However as a one off kind of deal this song works well. Not the best song of the lot but by no means the worst. Another song that is immediately catchy. I like Rika and this song works for her.
So Yuko Nazakawa and Yu.u.wa.ku (English Translation: Temptation).
A piano? Good classy start for a woman that thoroughly deserves a strong song to sing. This has a Kate Bush or Tori Amos vibe to it. Only with a better voice than Kate Bush has and without the disappearing up the backside that most of Tori’s later work seems to have gone towards. This song is beautiful. There’s a kind of longing in the voice, a passion and beauty there. A femininity sometimes lacking from the younger MM members. A song fitting of the leader of the band. Not at all scary either. Although I still wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her. 😉
So finally tenth (a fitting number for the Gatas girl) but never last it’s Hitomi Yoshizawa and Yoshite, Yoshite… (English Translation: Stop It, Stop It…).
Wow. I love this song. I’m actually finding this the hardest to sum up. The voice is powerful while acting toards unsure. A desperation comes across that is also attractive. Alluring maybe. God is this The South Bank Show all of a sudden? Well regardless this song is wonderful. One of the best. I could listen to an album of songs by Yossie. It’d be a pleasure. A definite must have song for any H!P fans collection.
So overall a very good collection of songs. If this had been released as an album I’d have been more than happy overall. Okay so there are some near misses but then most albums have them. There are more hits than misses though which is what any collection of songs needs. Also nobody could complain that their favourite member doesn’t get their fair share of the vocals! Well worth the money in my opinion.
One final thought…all the ‘message from’ tracks actually sound like perfect 3 in the morning songs by the way. Morning Musume do jazz. It should happen. It must. 😉