- Dot Bikini
- Choto Mate Kudasai!
- Please Miniskirt Postwoman!
- Uchouten LOVE
- Koi ni Booing Buu!
- Short Cut
- Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama
- ○○Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!
- Yumemiru 15sai
- Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!
- Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai
- aMa no Jaku
- Kiiroi Jitensha to Sandwich
1. Dot Bikini
Wow, I guess the best album is going to go from the most released single (at that time) and go chronologically back huh? I guess it’s fun to start with the group’s summer single, Dot Bikini! I really like the beach vibes I get from the tune’s intro with the waves splashing on shore and that cute synth line. Though the tune is pretty upbeat and it had some sawtooth synths to booth as well. I will say that the chorus with the whole ~ke-ke-ke-ke-ke-ke~ bit can et a little grating at times, but I feel like the rest of the song just flies by mostly. Though I did like the solos from Ayacho, Nyon, Meimi, and Takechan (the only four who actually did, sorry Rinapuu & Kanana). Might not be the group’s most memorable A-side, but it was cute to listen to!
2. Choto Mate Kudasai!
As the first single without their most popular member, Yuuka, Choto Mate Kudasai! was going to be an interesting romp of a song and I initially thought it was going to be heavily shouldered on Ayaka and Kanon. The tune is vibrant and has some surprises in it like some solos from the 2nd Generation (Takechan, Meimi, Kanana, and Rinapuu) and some tight high notes from Nyon, Takechan, and Meimi who all kind of was all over the map on pitch XD. It’s a bit rocky of a song, but I definitely remembered this one for its quirkiness.
3. Please Miniskirt Postwoman!
As the last single for Yuukarin, Please Miniskirt Postwoman! was weird opening up with that odd baroque melody before the song opens up into another synth track (with some oddly sounding gritty synths). This was also when the 2nd Generation of S/mileage was officially made and was the first time we hear Akari, Kana, Rina, and Meimi have solo lines. I had also forgot how squeaky Ayacho & Yuukarin’s vocals were compared to other members. I don’t know I mean the song is cute and upbeat and decent enough for me to put it high on the list.
Gosh was this a song that had history to it. It was the first single without original member Saki Ogawa and the first to include sub-members (which later became the 2nd Gen S/mileage girls, well except one Fuyuka Kosuga who only appeared here and ended up having to leave due to sickness issues). That said, Tachiagirl was just Ayaka, Yuuka, and Kanon (oh, Lilpri?) while the other 5 did backup shouts primarily. The song never really put me into any good mood because it felt so not A-side-ish. Plus, the hole that Sakitty left put a damper on the mood and with the new blood just kind of in the background, it was a song that really wasn’t needed to exist (would’ve been better if the 5 girls were utilized more honestly). Overall, this was just a forgetful song.
5. Uchouten LOVE
Now onto the majority of the best album circulating around the original 4 members (before Saki’s rather sudden departure from the group), Uchouten LOVE was kind of touted as the group’s best single, but I mean I understood that but it those sawtooth synths was put at max here. Though I can’t help but fall in love with the chorus and the quartet sounds so youthful and happy that it kind of just sticks to you. I will say I had forgot how nice Saki’s vocals were in the group alongside Kanon and you had the genki duo of Yuuka and Ayaka here kind of adding the cutesy tone. This was an exciting song that’s for sure!
6. Koi ni Booing Buu!
I just remembered this song as the piggie song and yeah it’s rather kind of just cute fluff here if not moreso because of the whole theming of the single. If I take the song without the PV and listened to it by itself, Koi ni Booing Buu! feels like a cute Buono! song because of the electric guitars throughout. Though those ~BUU~ quips are bizarre to me still. Though it still doesn’t quite strike me much of a memorable song. Though the guitar solo is kind of cool. Yeah, another A-side that never really caught my attention.
7. Short Cut
I would have to say, S/mileage really never did a lot of serious songs, but I kind of consider this less cute than most of their discography. Maybe it is cutesy, but it definitely didn’t feel caked on, almost kind of natural from the synths and the slightly nostalgic feel just stood out for me. Plus it seems like the ladies didn’t try to over complicate things with their squeaky idol voices. It’s glossy but somehow done quite well here
8. Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama
If I thought “Koi ni Booing Buu!” was kind of the cutesy Buono! song, then this A-side (the last to represent their first album “Warugaki 1”) was the epitome of a track that REALLY sounded like a Buono! song and the PV kind of looked like one too which is surprising (and a surprise appearance of Momusu’s Nozomi Tsuji added). While I don’t think the quartet’s vocals really suited the punk rock sound of the track, they held it together but that chorus kind of is a mess to be honest lol. Still, this was pretty ballsy of a song and kind of wished S/mileage had explored this more (though later ANGERME would somewhat).
9. ○○Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!
I remember used to HATING this song from them to the point I’d never go outta my way for it. Though for some ungodly reason over the years, I have grown more fondly towards the song than I should and it scared me (I call it the Tsunku effect). Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!! is another one of their goofy A-sides (usually paired with “Koi ni Booing Buu!” because both songs feature nonsensical sounds to add effect. Though for some reason the track itself is silly and has so lulzy lines, yet some good vocals especially for how young these 4 were. I would definitely have this song on my playlist just on its fun merits alone. Yeah, I should relisten to “Warugaki 1” and see if my thoughts have changed as much.
10. Yumemiru 15sai
Then we hit this song which was the group’s major label debut and boy was it a great one to debut with. Yeah, the song does feel somewhat dated (and might have been the backbone for “Short Cut” for some reason), but this song is ridiculous and cool for the group (who prior to this in their indies singles was only cutesy stuff). Also, Saki’s high note in the song is just epic! Yeah, the song is sparkly and glossy but it really stood the test of time and changed them for the better!
11. Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!
Going in this final stretch is their indies singles and while it wasn’t too far off from what S/mileage would release as their debut in their major label, Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!! is like a bit of a hidden gem for me returning to it these days because back then S/mileage never really piqued my radar in their indies releases but coming back now, Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!! is energetic and cute and the melody is really nice. Definitely my favorite of the 4 indies songs they have.
Despite being a favorite amongst fans even today, Suki-chan wasn’t a song that really caught my attention. Another pop/rock song but slightly cuter, Suki-chan is another song I feel like Buono! could’ve had too…but the vocals are slightly off-putting here. Ayaka and Yuuka kind of make it difficult to really adhere to me. I don’t know but of the 4 indies, I think I like this the least still to this day.
13. Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai
As the group’s 2nd indies single, Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai was kind of the first time that S/mileage had any kind of response out of me (well back then). The tune was kind of that cutesy track that was its own thing and didn’t really set a course for the group to stick with this sound. Though, it’s kind of hokey and adorable and while the quartet kind of squeak their vocals for this one (even the better two Saki and Kanon sounded squeaky too!). Still, nowadays the song is just sugary and adorable and on occasion find myself humming it.
14. aMa no Jaku
Then we finally land in the group’s first song together, aMa no Jaku and it definitely doesn’t sound like anything that would come from them going forward. It felt very idol standard of a song and unlike the cute songs and pop/rock songs, this is kind of mid-tempo and kind of mellow of a song which is odd that Tsunku chose this to debut S/mileage with. Granted the quartet sound nice and got nice line distribution and for me it’s a rather nostalgic song even if it doesn’t represent then in the long run besides being their first song (“Yumemiru 15sai” gets all that attention).
15. Kiiroi Jitensha to Sandwich
We finally come to the end and as a surprise, the best album ends with a brand new song from the then current lineup. Though considering the time this best came out I kind of let the song fly over my head essentially. Though listening to it now, the tune fits the cute frame well and sits snuggly with both of the other 6-nin songs (“Dot Bikini” and “Choto Mate Kudasai!”). I really liked that Rinapuu and Kanana got some push in the song while the other four do their normal duties. It’s a cute song but not terrible.
- Yumemiru 15sai
- Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!
- ○○Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!
- Short Cut
- aMa no Jaku
Song of Avoidance
Since Ayaka Wada (the last of the original S/mileage members is graduating in the end of May, I thought I step back in time to review a best album (and the only thing I hadn’t reviewed from barring OSTs). Having to go back and review the old S/mileage releases was pretty neat and since the original days, my mind has changed somewhat about those tracks and this best album helped that. Though after reviewing everything since then, this was an oddly placed best album considering how shaky the group was after the addition of 2nd Gen and the losses of both Saki & Yuuka. Though at the same time I feel like S/mileage after “Dot Bikini” changed dramatically so this kind of capsulates the girly cute and genki S/mileage quite perfectly in a bow. Overall the best album was nice and the only new track was OK. Next up should be their 3rd album to be reviewed, “Rinnetenshou” and two discs are “best-of” discs so woo!