Kurayami Monogatari

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°C-ute – Cutie Queen VOL. 1 September 21, 2015

Filed under: C-ute — solarblade @ 5:21 am

cutiequeen

Track Listing

  1. Massara Blue Jeans
  2. Wakkyanai (Z)
  3. Soku Dakishimete
  4. Ookina Ai de Motenashite
  5. Time Capsule
  6. EVERYDAY YEAH! Kataomoi
  7. As ONE
  8. YES! Shiawase
  9. ENDLESS LOVE ~I Love You More~

1. Massara Blue Jeans

Like Berryz, it’s no surprise that the album would begin with their debut single.  Great because Kanna has the opening line of the track hahah!  I still do think this is definitely one of the best debuts within Hello! Project from the slap bass and the speedy yet exciting arrangement.  Even though Maimi leads a good portion of the song there’s solos for just about everyone except Maimai, Nakky, and Chisato.  It’s a pretty exciting song though and one of the coolest ways to open an album up!

2. Wakkyanai (Z)

Strange to see that they’d make the next track be the 4th A-side (notably known as the PV-less single).  While the previous three A-sides had a lot going for them and they managed to really stick to me, Wakkyanai (Z) was the one that took the longest time.  For a song that’s mostly led by Megumi and Airi (with a solo line for Kanna and Chisato), this song is kind of just cute but not as heavily like “Ookina Ai de Motenashite”.  While it is my least favorite of the A-sides, it’s a decent track and really shows off Airi’s skills a lot (I’d say the same for Megumi, but…)

3. Soku Dakishimete

Going back, we hit the group’s 2nd single Soku Dakishimete and I still wasn’t sure what Tsunku was leading this group towards.  The song tries to be a cool song (and the PV even moreso), but the song itself sounds a whole lot cuter than I remembered.  With Maimi, Airi, and Megumi having all the solo lines, it was a rather concerning song and it showed who was really going to be promoted in the group.  I still do enjoy the song and really showcased Megumi a lot more which is really nice for fans who wanted to know who she was.

4. Ookina Ai de Motenashite

3rd single is next up and it’s definitely the cutest of the 4 (no pun intended xD).  As the uber sugary cute song it is, I was kind surprised at how vocally daft it was once you kick things off.  The rather higher pitched vocals from Airi, Maimi, and Megumi didn’t exactly sound right, but with the sparkly sounds and girly arrangement, I suppose I could give it a pass.  I do love that chorus though and it’s just a catchy song overal even if the vocals are a little more squeaky.

5. Time Capsule

As the rest of the album is new tracks, it’s nice to see some new material pop up.  Time Capsule is up first and after the bouncy and fun nature of the singles, this song does slightly tone things down if only a little bit.  Of course our usual suspects have lead parts including Erika which is pretty awesome to see her lead alongside.  The track itself doesn’t exactly do much for me as the arrangement kind of stays flat as well as the vocals unfortunately.  Though Megumi did try to add some accents which is a nice try but still didn’t help the song much.

6. EVERYDAY YEAH! Kataomoi

Something about this song had a weird nostalgic sound before the group comes in and well squeaks things up.  Well, sort-of since Maimai has a lot of the hook lines in the song and her voice was just ear-piercingly hard on my ears.  The rest of the song is pretty catchy though and it’s also the first song where every member has a solo line (surprising IMO).  I do think this track is pretty much reserved for live performances because of the whole call and response chorus.  This song is pretty good though and one of the better album songs out there.

7. As ONE

Though it could be questioned that maybe the next song, As ONE could be even better because it’s got a nice dance sound to it.  There’s not a lot of solo lines to be had here (one solo line each for Maimai, Maimi, Erika, and Megumi) though a lot of the song has a strong amount of English too which surprised me a whole lot, a little more frequent than in “Massara Blue Jeans”.  It’s a pretty solid song though and might be my favorite of the new songs hahaha!

8. YES! Shiawase

The final two tracks are actually cover songs though it’s odd on H!P history because this is a T&C Bomber song and the next one is a Taiyou to Ciscomoon cover (the two are the same group, just rebranded).  That being said, I was highly expecting to not enjoy it because the original songs were sung by mature singers so having kids tackling them was a cause for worry. Sadly, it came to be since the younger voices didn’t exactly fit the arrangement very well and I wasn’t a big fan of the original regardless of the difference of vocals either…

9. ENDLESS LOVE ~I Love You More~

So the other cover though I thought was handled a little better.  Adding that kind of urban-pop sound to the group was a pretty interesting twist and I enjoyed °C-ute’s version maybe not as much as Taiyou to Ciscomoon’s but this is much better than how “YES! Shiawase” turned out.  Despite the leads are just Maimi, Airi, Megumi, and Erika again it’s still a cool song overall and interesting decision to be the closer.

Tracks Recommended

  • Massara Blue Jeans
  • As ONE
  • Soku Dakishimete
  • EVERYDAY YEAH! Kataomoi
  • Ookina Ai de Motenashite

Song of Avoidance

  • YES! Shiawase

Unlike Berryz’ debut, I thought °C-ute’s debut album was better by a nice margin!  Cutie Queen VOL. 1 did a nice job showing off a much more cooler group in comparison and despite that we already know who were going to be the obvious leads here (Airi & Maimi) this still was a good album with a lot of memorable songs.  Though it is fair to remind you all that this was the only album that Megumi took part in because after this release she’d suddenly announce her graduation…sad because I think Tsunku was making her out to be a main singer alongside Airi and Maimi too…Oh well at least they have Erika to maybe pick up the slack? Maybe???

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