- Isogaba Maware
- Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan
- Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin
- Nen ni wa Nen
- Mijiku Hanjuku Torotoro
- Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta
- Kenmei Blues
- Bacchikoi Seishun!
- Samba! Kobushi Janeiro
- Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
- Ora wa Ninkimono
- GO TO THE TOP!!
- Sakura Night Fever
- Kobushi no Hana
- This is Unmei (Kobushi 2016 ver.)
- Maji Bomber!!
- Koi no Jubaku
- Seishun Gekijou
- Kawaii Kare
- Icchoume Rock!
- Da Di Du De Do Da Di!
1. Isogaba Maware
Opening the album, the opening riff of Isogaba Maware definitely reminded me of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Though quickly as that comparison was made the synths get added in and the track shifted sound quite swiftly. Like with many of their other songs, all 8 members get some kind of spotlight so I approve of that immensely. Great start to the album!
2. Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan
Then we move back to the group’s major label debut (well the first of the three A-sides). When they showed off Dosukoi! for the first time, many fans were hoping that they’d stay with the more rockin’ atmosphere that their indies single had and really kicked it up a notch. I did find the group having a lot more synchronicity with one another and they just powered through the track like it was nothing. Awesome song still!
3. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin
Moving to their 2nd major single, the 2nd leading track from the single, Chotto Guchoku ni! took a more funky route, including some brass and fun, bright sounds! I have to say though that this one wasn’t high up there for me because the growling in the song was a bit overdone for me. Its slightly grown on me, but it’s still rather on the lower side of the spectrum for me.
4. Nen ni wa Nen
After that, we move back to their indies single and their first song, Nen ni wa Nen. I have to say, first and foremost, that I’m disappointed that they chose the original cut and not the “Nen’iri ver.” from their major single as that version fixed the hiccups and the fact the group resung the track in much better fashion! I still do though love the song as it brought some firepower right from the beginning and my first listen to impressive vocals. Great song overall!
5. Mijiku Hanjuku Torotoro
Finally we’re onto our next new song with Mijiku Hanjuku Torotoro and after the first group songs, this one is a lot more poppier and cute for them. It does give me a little bit of Buono! vibes when the group was still on their high roll. I do think that of the new songs, this one is slightly forgettable amongst the multitude of other tracks. Something else to mention is that ex-ANGERME member Kanon Fukuda wrote the lyrics. Still, the song is OK, but nothing to write home about.
6. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta
Oh boy, moving onto the pseudo-cover of Sharam Q’s “Ramen Daisuki Koike-san no Uta”, Kobushi’s version does sound a bit more like the bands self-cover of it that was done a decade ago. As for this version, Ramen Daisuki is another A-side that I wasn’t totally into because a lot of the sohg to me feels as if the group is shouting the lyrics. I still do think Hamachan & Renako are REALLY rough to the ears. Yeah, it might be my least favorite of the A-sides they released.
7. Kenmei Blues
Woo! Another new song comes our way! I have to say that it was an awesome decision to premier this right when the album was first announced, Kenmei Blues is pretty badass of a song for the group. It has a certain spaghetti Western kind of drawl to it and I love the verses as it really shows off the members character (especially Hamachan, Ayapan, and Minamina). Of the new songs, I was excited for this one and it definitely disappointed, it stands as my favorite of them all!
8. Bacchikoi Seishun!
Ahh yes, moving to the 3rd single for the album, Bacchikoi Seishun! was memorable for being the baseball-themed track and it shows. I have to admit, the song reminded me a little bit of “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin” & Osu! Kobushi Tamashii” with the overall feel. The song itself is pretty catchy in and of itself, but I still feel that Kobushi has a lot more stronger song, so it lands more towards the middle for me.
Things slow down a little bit with our next new track, Zanshin which introduces some harmonica into the arrangement! I really like the American feel of the arrangement as it reminds me of stuff from the past. Despite that “Kobushi no Hana” was chosen to end the first disc, I would think this would also have been a great choice as well! It’s a pretty good song to show off a softer side to the group (a slight reprieve from the rock songs).
I think the biggest surprise was seeing Survivor make the album cut despite the track being used for the group’s “Week End Survivor” stageplay and not being performed too much in concerts, but I suppose this validates its inclusion to future setlists! Opening with a solo from Hamachan, Survivor begins mysteriously before turning into their darkest rock track on the album! It’s just a standout track from the album and all the members did an awesome job here!
11. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro
The leading A-side of the 3rd major single was definitely in the realm of the recent Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. After the event had worn off and the single was not being promoted heavily as such, I actually feel that it’s the strange song on the album as it’s a bit in a different genre and category from the norm from Kobushi. I still do love the heavier bass beats and overall fun nature of the song but it is an odd one for the album.
Of the new tracks, TEKI was shown off first earlier in the summer! Though I have to say I was shocked that this new track is only 2 minutes long. I mean it does its job by being upbeat and rockin’ and the girls show off a lot of energy. However, like I said, it’s terribly short and as quickly it begins, it ends. I think Tsuno Maisa could’ve added another minute to this, but it’s an odd track.
13. Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
Back to A-sides, We have Osu! Kobushi Tamashii and initially I was put off from the growling (because it was on the same single as “Chotto Guchoku ni!”, so it was overbearing to me. Though with more time, this song became pretty cool and the growling suits the arrangement and overall flow! It’s got a lot of good parts too, very catchy song and one of my favorite A-sides!
14. Ora wa Ninkimono
Then here is our other cover track, one of the themes to Crayon Shin-chan. I wasn’t expecting Kobushi Factory to be doing ska for an A-side, but here we are and it was another one of the more stronger tracks from the singles. I really like how the group just let themselves go and have a fun, silly time with the track. I even have to credit Fujii for mimicking Shinnosuke (the show’s main character) in the final sections. Definitely another favorite!
15. GO TO THE TOP!!
Getting into GO TO THE TOP!!, all I could think of how it reminds me of “Mijiku Hanjuku Torotoro” and “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin” in how that it’s pretty straightforward. I mean it does show off the group’s vocals once again and I find myself digging the song even if it doesn’t fully stick over other songs on the album.
16. Sakura Night Fever
Then we have our 3rd and last cover on the album, covering a KAN song that was released a year ago originally. Sakura Night Fever is pretty cute and fun to listen to and it just has a feeling of being a REALLY popular song live as there’s a lot of chanting to go along with it. I still love the fact that the song is sung in the perspective of a sakura tree proclaiming that it has importance just as much as holidays and seasons. A really fun song overall!
17. Kobushi no Hana
Finally we at the end of the first disc and ironically enough, Kobushi no Hana was chosen to promote the album with a PV. As the album’s lone ballad, I thought this was going to be a bit gross, but I have to say, if you were looking for impressive vocals, then this one is definitely going to stick out. I do have to give props to Sakurako though as she had a PERFECT solo in the second verse. Really though, H!P ballads rarely impress and beyond the vocals, I don’t think I’ll remember this song very long.
1. This is Unmei (Kobushi 2016 ver.)
So as many would assume, the 2nd disc is a cover disc of other H!P songs starting with This is Unmei (originally Melon Kinenbi’s 4th A-side). It also got the 2016 ver. due to it being the only cover on the 2nd disc to have an update to its arrangement on top of the new vocals. It still does stick to its faithfulness of the original and Kobushi does try to do a better job, but it is hard to topple Melon’s original.
2. Maji Bomber!!
Considering Kobushi was the group to kind of take over Berryz’ legacy, it’s no surprise that there would be some covers here from them. Also, the rest of the disc use the arrangement of the original versions. While I remember this song to be a bit more shouty in performance, it was a bit of a weakness to Kobushi and they do sound a little stressed in covering this one.
3. Koi no Jubaku
Another Berryz cover follows up “Maji Bomber!!” and it’s more interesting as this was a song released in Berryz’ early years. With that said, I have to say that the more mature vocals of Kobushi makes the song sound a bit more up-to-date and reasonable than the really youthful sound of the original. Decent cover of the track!
4. Seishun Gekijou
A song I wasn’t expecting Kobushi to cover, it’s a stageplay song originally done by both Berryz & C-ute. While this is like the 5th version of it that’s out there, it is the first sung by a different group other than the originals. It’s a pretty simple ballad with piano & strings and also included a male vocalist (who feels more background than he did in the original cuts). I’ve never was really interested in this song so it didn’t leave a better impression otherwise.
5. Kawaii Kare
Here we are with another Melon Kinenbi cover that was later down in the group’s career and this one had more of an electronic feeling. I actually also ended up liking this cover even if Melon did this better once again. Though I have to say I was impressed with them vocally here and manage to add some spice to it!
6. Icchoume Rock!
Of the Berryz songs they chose to cover, I was surprised that they chose Icchoume Rock! (an album song from “7 Berryz Times”, which was an album I barely even remember…AND I REVIEWED THAT!). So no surprise, I had to go back and listen to the original first before jumping into this. Kobushi’s cover of it is pretty decent and definitely fits majority of their discography. The only thing I was like WTF about was Reirei’s lines…overdoing it a bit much here. Still, the song is good though.
7. Da Di Du De Do Da Di!
The last track of the disc is funny enough a Momusu cover, but surprise, surprise that this song originally came from their 2nd album, “Second Morning”. Talk about reaching back right? Either way, Da Di Du De Do Da Di! definitely once again suits Kobushi (especially after “Zanshin” but this song is a bit repetitive and at that lacks the special feel this song when Momusu sung as the ending section was filled with nods to various other songs Momusu had done. Kobushi just glosses over it and for that it ended up madly repetitive and screwy with the fade-out outro.
- Osu! Kobushi Tamashii
- Kenmei Blues
- Ora wa Ninkimono
- Sakura Night Fever
Song of Avoidance
Finally we have Kobushi Factory’s first album and overall it was a decent album to have with all the group’s songs on their and a nice amount of new songs balanced with some new covers. Kobushi Sono Ichi really shows off the pop/rock feel of the group but goes off to add cuter songs in the fray. While I think there were better choices of songs to cover than what we got, in the end everything was impressive in some way. Good album!