Buono 2 C-ute 4 (After Extra Time) – Plus Konkon, Takahashi & Mano

Well after much waiting I finally got my hands on the latest C-ute and Buono cd’s. The wait was because I was going for the overseas versions from YesAsia. Originally C-ute’s album turned up but the limited edition with dvd wasn’t there. I thought I’d have to settle for the normal version which would be a bit disappointing. Although still preferable to spending an extra £14 or so for the Japanese cd/dvd version. So I patiently waited for the Buono cd to turn up on their site so I could order the two together and get free postage. Then the day I spotted Buono 2 turn up C-ute’s overseas cd/dvd version was available. Unfortunately Buono’s cd was the normal version only. I wanted the version with dvd mainly because I prefer the front cover (a bit sad I know). So I decided to wait some more in case the Buono cd/dvd version turned up. Eventually a few weeks later the cd/dvd version was available and so I eagerly snapped it up.

buono-2-c-ute-4

The C-ute cd is a bit of a mixed bag. I love the disco stylings of opening track ★Akogare MY STAR★. One’s Life sung by Umeda, Chisato and Mai is a bit more standard fare and sounds like it could have been on any H!P album of about 8 years ago. It’s not a bad song to be fair. It’s just not that fresh. Yes! All My Family sung by Suzuki Airi just passes my by without making much impression. Namido no Iro is of course great. I love the Spanish style guitars. Also I can’t hear the song without thinking of Maimi in hot pants or Nakajima in a wooly hat. Both being great things to think of although for very different reasons. Aishiteru Aishiteru sung by Nakajima and Kanna reminds me of an american 50’s diner song or of Country Musume’s Shining Itoshiki Anata which is no bad thing. Next up it’s Maimi’s turn for a solo song. It’s Seishun Song and it’s more of a rock style. It’s fast and upbeat enough to pull off the style well enough. Then it’s turn for all of C-ute to join up with Big Dreams. It’s another song that passes me by. Track 8 is Shines. It’s reminiscent of 90’s europop and therefore again sounds like a song that could have been on a H!P album from about 8 years ago. Ultimately there’s a few songs on C-ute’s 4th album that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Morning Musume’s 4th album. Again though it’s not actually a bad song. Next is Yakusoku wa toku ni shinai wa which is a ballad with piano type of song. Does what it says on the tin so to speak. The final two songs are the excellent Forever Love which in my opinion is C-ute’s best song and the quirky Edo no Temari Uta II which is a fun little song with an infectious beat. Ultimately there’s enough here to have made the cd worth the purchase. Although sometimes I wish they could come up with a few more interesting styles for songs. There’s a kind of H!P style of song that’s getting a bit tired. When songs like Forever Love and Namida no Iro are around you know that H!P is capable of really delivering the goods. I’ve yet to hear a whole album that delivers the goods though.

So onto Buono 2 (with Miyabi picture card thingy). I love this group. I have high expectations for this cd. It starts off with Early Bird which sounds like the theme tune to a happy Friends style comedy. So it’s a bit like a typical Buono song then. Which is no bad thing. All upbeat and catchy. Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! is as excellent as we all know it is. KiraKira rocks out like the theme tune to an American comedy like Friends. Umm…which is a good thing (which is strange because I hate the sitcom Friends). Song 4 is Shoushitsuten-Vanishing Point- which slows the pace down slightly while still capturing the attention. Rottara Rottara is damn catchy and every bit what you’d expect from a Buono single. Pure glee. Co・no・mi・chi does likewise. Track 7 is Minna Daisuki and the feel good vibe just doesn’t stop. Track 8 is I NEED YOU. H!P likes it’s capital letters. This is H!P doing punk. This is Buono meets Green Day (which actually sounds like a great idea). Gachinko de Ikou! is of course another single and so does exactly what you’d expect from a Buono single. Aren’t they great? You’re My Friend follows up and sounds like it could be the theme tune to an American comedy like…oh I don’t know…Friends maybe? OVER THE RAINBOW is all capital letters. I wonder what that actually signifies? Well it’s a slower song to most of the rest but is still full of melody and electric guitars.  The final song is Goal and is possibly the most surprising song H!P have ever done. Seriously this sounds like the kind of thing a proper band would write. It’s breathtaking and beautiful and is now my favourite Buono song of all. It’s just sublime. So overall there’s not a single poor song to be heard and every song sounds like it belongs on the same album. I think Buono have just delivered the perfect H!P album. Can this group do no wrong? No. No they can’t. All hail Buono. They are perferct purveyors of poppy rock music. Now bow down.

Meanwhile recently I decided it’s time to purchase an actual physical photobook of one of my joint favourite members Takahashi Ai. Therefore I again visited the YesAsia site and bought her Love-Hello pb. I think it’s her best pb of all. However shortly afterwards I caved into temptation and also ordered Mano’s pb. Then just a few weeks later the opportunity to finally purchase some Konno pb’s arrived in the shape of a seller on a H!P related forum. Thus I got See You Again and Konno’s Alo-Hello pb’s (the Alo-Hello ones are never a let down). Now I may have posted picks in the past from some of these books but that won’t stop me posting some more. So below are a mixture of some of my favourites.

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manoimg0031manoimg030manoimg042manoimg066manoimg078manoimg082manoimg0901manoimg094

asami_3rd_pb_008asami_3rd_pb_018asami_3rd_pb_030asami_3rd_pb_036asami_3rd_pb_068asami_3rd_pb_087asami_3rd_pb_093asami_3rd_pb_101

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Ah what I wouldn’t do for a new Konno pb. Her stuff sells well at the official H!P shops. H!P should have given her a pb send-off before she graduates.

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