- Idol Sotsugyou Chuuijikou (2017.5.4 Live @ Nakano Sun Plaza)
- Ashita Kara wa Omokage
- Kiss Yori Saki ni Dekiru Koto
- Mousou Rehearsal
- Rhythm ga Yondeiru Zo!
- VIVA!! Barairo no Jinsei
- Gizagiza Heart no Komoriuta
- Kimama na Kataomoi
1. Idol Sotsugyou Chuuijikou (2017.5.4 Live @ Nakano Sun Plaza)
Opening the 2nd disc up is what is considered to be Momochi’s graduating track from Country Girls (and Sharam Q’s drummer, Makoto) to her (and digital single, to promote the album). I wasn’t expecting the track to be 7 and a half minutes long, but after listening to it, it’s more of the remaining Country Girls members giving their speech to Momoko in speech form and then singing a chorus altogether. The song itself (when they sing together) is kind of basic and a little on the nose for me, but it’s appropriate for the occasion. I will say, I do like when the music strips and it’s the 5 (plus Makoto) singing the chorus. Otherwise, it’s kind of a one-use kind of track, so I’ll probably never see this being performed again.
2. Ashita Kara wa Omokage
As there is only actually four new songs on this disc (the other half were unreleased CG songs), I was happy to see new material presented (albeit, I wish it was on a Country Girls album and not so much a Momochi centered release). Sung by the remaining members of Country Girls (aka without Momoko), Ashita Kara wa Omokage is the first song that really sounds like old Country Musume songs, but then come to fact that it like “Idol Sotsugyou Chuuijikou”, it has a LOT of spoken dialogue and the girls come together for the chorus. Honestly, I’m once again not really into the song due to the immense amount of spoken dialogue so it’s not much of a song to me.
3. Kiss Yori Saki ni Dekiru Koto
So the middle four songs in this disc are unreleased songs the group have been performing since right around before Uta Shimomura had left the group, but the songs seem to have been updated to fit with the current group of girls. Kiss Yori Saki ni Dekiru Koto though has been released physically back in the H!P compilation “Petit Best 17”, but at that time it had Manaka Inaba and no Funakki or Yanamin. This version does seem slightly updated and I hear the newer members, but there are some spots where I hear Manakan or maybe it’s someone else like Funakki? Either way, I feel like the new musical changes made the song a bit more nicer…it’s pretty interesting. It’s also kind of growing on me too.
4. Mousou Rehearsal
The other 3 tracks though have not seen a physical release of any sort and all I had were live performances to really get a listen to. Another song that was performed before Uta’s departure, Mousou Rehearsal is a fun upbeat track that really suits the group like “Koi Dorobo” would and features a little moment, throwing a little nod to “Wakatteiru no ni Goman ne”. Though it is sad that the song was resung to add the new members and take Manakan, but I swear Funakki sounds like her in the song which throws me off and impresses me at the same time.
5. Rhythm ga Yondeiru Zo!
I’m kind of surprised they kept this song under wraps because I really found myself loving this song just after one listen. It’s fun and has a mix of their throwback sound and their pop beginnings mixed into this fun and goofy track. It helps that the dialogue section is just lulzy too. I also love that this is with the current girls so no updating was needed. It’s a song that really should’ve been released as an A-side to be quite honest and is one of my top favorites in Country Girls.
6. VIVA!! Barairo no Jinsei
The last of the unreleased songs, VIVA!! Barairo no Jinsei had some balls to come after the fun and exciting “Rhythm ga Yondeiru Zo!” and unfortunately it’s another bummer. This track is a bit like “Ashita Kara wa Omokage” being a bit more country sounding with shuffling percussions and certain chords that pertain to the genre. It does have a certain Country Musume vibe like “Kakumeichikku KISS” did. It’s not a terrible song, but it’s not a song that I’ll remember much.
7. Gizagiza Heart no Komoriuta
As the only new track that hasn’t been performed live (and might not ever after the news about the group), Gizagiza Heart no Komoriuta is another cover from the band, The Checkers (Country Girls covered another of their songs, “Namida no Request” last year). Unlike the saxophone craze of the first cover, this one is a bit more rockin’ and I really liked Funakki and Ozeko with their solo lines throughout! It’s a good cover overall, but “Namida no Request” was the better one.
8. Kimama na Kataomoi
The final track, Kimama na Kataomoi kicks off reminding me that it’s not a Wintry track, even though its arrangement is arguing otherwise. I like the mood and hearing Momochi leading here is not surprising in the least, considering when it was first performed live it was nearing her graduation. It’s super cute and I like that there’s some ad-libbing going on and the melody is just pretty to listen to.
Considering this is Momoko’s best album, I felt like I really needed to get Country Girls’ portion of the release reviewed because it might be the last for a long while. I have to say though, the 8 songs sound like they were good enough for an album primarily (maybe except Idol Sotsugyou Chuuijikou & Ashita Kara wa Omokage). I can’t believe we waited like 2 years for some of these songs though and with no actual CG album to place them into (even though they have more than enough A-sides as it is). It’s good they added new material though becauuuse….
The group more or less is going into hiatus and not like the sugar-coated Berryz take on it either. From the announcement that was made, once Momochi graduates, Yamakki & Ozeko are going to focus on school studies and will be missing (except for holidays & breaks) while Chiichan, Funakki, and Yanamin join other groups (Momusu, ANGERME, and Juice=Juice respectively). My feelings are kind of neutral, stemming from sad (seeing CG basically being only active when girls are on vacation) to excited (the girls in new groups). So we’ll see what happens then…
As for this release and why I’m not reviewing Discs 1 & 3, Disc 1 is Momoko self-covers and while I’m respectful for her time in H!P, she was one of my least favorite vocalists and her doing solo takes on songs (the arrangements weren’t changed) is not exactly in my interests, though there are some interesting moments like in “Ganbacchae!” where shes singing and her younger self is doing the kiddy chants and her new & solo song “Momochi! Zutto Otomomochi” is a nice send-off song. As for Disc 3, it’s basically fan-picked tracks (the originals) and all of the songs that were covered in Disc 1 is on Disc 3 so I don’t want to double my thoughts about them.