- Kore Kara da!
- Come with me
- Ashita Tenki ni Naare
- Haru Urara
- Suki Kamo Shirenai
- Keseyashinai Kimochi
- Kitto Watashi wa
- Naseba Naru
- Yes! We are family ~Kobushi ver.~
- Oh No Ounou
- Unlucky no Jijou
- Kame ni Nare!
- Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa (2019 ver.)
- Dokan to BREAK!
- Ashita no Watashi wa Kyo Yori Kirei
- Yes! We are family ~FC Machida Zelvia ver.~ (bonus track)
CD2 Acapella Disc
- Nen ni wa Nen
- Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin
- GO TO THE TOP!!
- Samba! Kobushi Janeiro 2019
- Sakura Night Fever
- LOVE Machine
1. Kore Kara da!
Opening the group’s sophomore album is a song that we’ve gotten to hear before as an A-side with Kore Kara da! I mean it’s one of those -upbeat, be strong, you can do it- types of songs so its uplifting energy is pretty nice and a good choice to open things up (considering it was an A-side). The group sounds good and even more stronger than they were previously. Good track overall!
2. Come with me
So most of the new tracks on the first disc follows a similar pattern that C-ute did in their last couple of albums before disbandment which was having a member be a focus of a song and all 5 members in Kobushi gets a focus song. The first is Come with me which has a Ayaka lead. After the first track, I really wasn’t expecting Come with me to be more funky and cool which surprised me (especially with Ayapan opening the tune like that. I really like the big band and cool jazzy vibes. Oh yeah, this was a pretty awesome track and my expectations of the remainder of the tracks are raised a bit!
3. Ashita Tenki ni Naare
I guess we return to the other A-side that was partnered with “Kore Kara da!” and Ashita Tenki ni Naare is still a pretty rockin’ song as well, but doesn’t feel as heavily uplifting like the aforementioned song and “Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa” do. It kind of feels almost anison in certain chords and styles. I will say the bridge is still really awkward and should’ve been taken out for the album personally, but it’s whatever I suppose. Other than that slip, this track is still pretty cool nonetheless.
4. Haru Urara
As the secondary A-side from the last single before this album released, Haru Urara is put in an interesting place after the pounding “Ashita Tenki ni Naare” with more of a softer arrangement and lighter vocal performance. As a track, Haru Urara is kind of a fluffy cute Springtime song and for the time, I really enjoyed the track and it just felt like it worked with the quintet in a pleasant way. Might not be my favorite, but I enjoyed it a lot!
5. Suki Kamo Shirenai
Reirei leads the next new track with Suki Kamo Shirenai and it’s a total switch-up of sounds for the group as this song is more electronic-based than the previous song that’s appeared to this point. I kind of like the piano and some guitars, but the synths are very in your face and really interesting. It kind of oddly reminds me of Juice=Juice’s “Bitansan” for some reason, but I really do like Rei’s voice in this one and hearing the others like Ayaka and Ayano here too! Not bad!
6. Keseyashinai Kimochi
So there’s also some songs that Kobushi Factory have performed in lives only and just now getting a studio release (this, “Kame ni Nare!” and “Dokan to BREAK!”) and this one was long awaited. Keseyashinai Kimochi is another song that gives me Juice=Juice vibes, this one kind of having a funky, upbeat vibe like “KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!!” but less in your face. I was also surprised at the sound of the group’s vocals here opting for a girlier, cutesy vibe with this style. Not that bad of a track, but I think I prefer the live cuts over the studio recording.
7. Kitto Watashi wa
I think between this song & “Oh No Ounou”, these two were my favorite A-sides released in this album era. Kitto Watashi wa is a little bit off to listen to with its kind of random moments in the song. I really do like all the parts from the laidback bopping chorus, to the repetitive verses to it’s chanting section. While it was showing Kobushi Factory kind of drifting away a little from their more rockin’ sound, it was fun and the group sounded pretty well too! Yeah, it’s still one of my go to songs from this album!
Next up, Minami leads with Hirakinaocchae! which is kind of the rockin’ song of the 5 tunes which is surprising that it was given to Minamina, but I was surprised at how well she handled the song and I’m kind of surprised at how much she’s improved as a singer since the first album. She has such a profound voice despite not having the power Ayaka has or the character that Rei or Ayano have. She’s just really nice to listen to. As for the song, it’s pretty good, maybe not top tier, but I could see myself enjoying tons more with more listens.
9. Naseba Naru
Then we hit my least favorite of the A-sides with Naseba Naru which is the album’s ballad track and it really never caught on with me after the single release. At least it keeps up with the group’s sound with guitars and organic settings. I guess I could give it that, but then I’m reminded at how much it sounds like “Kobushi no Hana” from their first album and I’m immediately turned off. I guess I do somewhat like how dramatic that final chorus is, but beyond that…just nothing here for me.
10. Yes! We are family ~Kobushi ver.~
I was curious when I saw the tracklist and saw two versions of this track on the album. I guess as the only new track that us fans didn’t know that had all 5 members in it, Yes! We are family is definitely that chant-heavy song and something for the group get really loud and forceful and I kind of like that about this. It does somewhat drags in certain chanting parts, but I think overall this was pretty neat, something you don’t hear too often in H!P.
11. Oh No Ounou
Yeah, we finally get to Oh No Ounou which like I wrote earlier, was an A-side I loved when I first reviewed it. There’s just something cool and funky about this song which is helped by the goofyness of the lyrics and handling of the hooks in the track. I don’t know why, but there’s just something that also cool and worthwhile to listen to that makes it one of the more memorable Kobushi A-sides.
12. Unlucky no Jijou
Sakurako follows next with the leading track of hers with Unlucky no Jijou whose intro definitely has a strong anison influence about it. While she’s still pushing forward to become more out in the front (since she was a back girl prior to the triple loss). I definitely feel like she has such strong potential and she can definitely do some powerful vocals. Overall, the song is pretty nice all things considered but I think like “Hirakinaocchae!” it’s another grower currently.
13. Kame ni Nare!
As we were able to hear this as far back as last year, Kame ni Nare! was a song that was in waiting for quite a while and I thought it was interesting that this song was chosen as the group’s kind of big and loud live song especially with that powerful chorus. I don’t think I enjoyed the percussion kind of holding the reins and it does seem to overpower the group sometimes, but I do like sound though (if not slightly more fitting for their first album than here).
14. Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa (2019 ver.)
I guess I was hoping for too much too see either “Eejanaika Ninjanaika” or “Yami ni Nukegake” make the cut, but it makes sense why this song was the only one brought because those two tracks were so closely tied to their stageplay/movie (and had Taguchi, Fujii, and Ogawa) which is why this was updated to take out those 3. I do think some things changed in its arrangement, but slightly. The song itself for me was pretty middle and nothing seems to have changed here for me to change my opinion about it.
15. Dokan to BREAK!
I have to say the intro caught me off guard to this track, but I immediately found myself interested in this one since it was harder and a little more powerful in execution because it’s just as loud and in your face like “Kame ni Nare!” but the vocals have more edge and the tune is more controlled and less ridiculous. Definitely a powerful song and really stands out to me.
16. Ashita no Watashi wa Kyo Yori Kirei
As the album’s finale, I was not surprised it would follow through as a Hamachan lead. I also wasn’t shocked that the song was going to be a lighter song for the group to get. I do like the guitar-only arrangement in the beginning when it’s just Ayano, but when I thought it was going to get loud for the chorus, it actually stays on the same path but with the group singing together. Though at the end of the first chorus, the song opens up with more instrumentation and the song while still more mid-tempo, it’s a bit freeing like a slightly more punchy “Haru Urara”. This was a nice surprise and I kind of ending up loving it a lot! Great way to end the album with!
17. Yes! We are family ~FC Machida Zelvia ver.~
Though that’s not all, the album truly ends of with a bonus track which is an alternate version of Yes! We are family which is a cheer song for Machida Zelvia (a Japanese Soccer team). Different lyrics of course, but otherwise it’s the same arrangement. Not bad and kind of cool that we got this version, but I kind of wish we got a PV for the song for some reason (it may be from all those Rakuten Eagles singles we had back in 2006-07).
1. Nen ni wa Nen
With the 2nd disc being all about acapella covers, I was curious to see what tricks they’d have for it but we have to get through this one first which already made an appearance earlier in the year in the “Oh no Ounou / Haru Urara” single as a B-side. If it’s any relief, I was pretty impressed with it because it’s just the 5 of them going from melodies and beatboxing which is pretty impressive! Being an acapella take of their debut, I was happy to see this make a return and the first track for the 2nd disc.
2. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin
Onto the new Acapella takes, we enter the group’s 2nd major A-side and this one was more of the curious ones I was looking forward to because it’s a pretty difficult song for the group to tackle because it was a bit faster and vocally forward. I definitely hear a LOT of Hamachan in this one which is shocking, but she does a lot of the lyrics powerfully. If anything they made it so much more difficult with the beatboxing and fast lyrics. It’s just wild and definitely impressed me.
3. GO TO THE TOP!!
I can’t say I remember many of the album tracks from “Kobushi Sono Ichi” so hearing GO TO THE TOP!! is like listening to it for the first time. I think I was noticing it didn’t feel as wild or insane like “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin”, but it still was nice hearing the group gelling and showing their vocal talents. Not bad!
4. Samba! Kobushi Janeiro 2019
So when it came to this short tracklist for the 2nd disc, Samba! Kobushi Janeiro got a (2019) next to it and it made me curious because it was already going to be different due to it being sung in acapella, but it seems the song got a change of lyrics (mostly to kind of separate it away from its tie to the Rio Olympics or Rio Fujii XD). Like “GO TO THE TOP!!”, the song sails by pretty smoothly and the beatboxing is just so funny but neats. Nice!
5. Sakura Night Fever
This is just a nice treat for fans with all these acapella self-covers here. Sakura Night Fever though I think is my favorite of them because it just works with this style and all of the energy is more handled and sung pretty well here (props to the ones that sung in the background though). It’s just really nice and doesn’t try to be more difficult than it really is.
6. LOVE Machine
I think majority was surprised that this disc would close out with the group doing an acapella take on Morning Musume’s biggest song. Even I wasn’t expecting this song, but if anything, of the others, this one takes a bit more liberties than the other tracks (there’s some funky synthy sounds). Regardless, the song is interesting, but I don’t know if I enjoy it as much as the other ones to be honest…though…a new rapping section?
- Kitto Watashi wa
- Oh No Ounou
- Come with me
- Sakura Night Fever
Song of Avoidance
- Naseba Naru
I was definitely worried when in a move that took less than 6 months, 3 of Kobushi Factory’s members had left the group in rather shady ways and had me worried for the group’s future. With Kobushi Dai Ni Maku, I feel they have total control here and the triple loss wasn’t really that detrimental and I have to say, there really wasn’t a bad song on here totally (Naseba Naru is weak, but it is worth giving it a try). I was even more impressed with the acapella disc as it really showed their skills they gained in the last couple of years. This was an exciting album and I can’t wait to see what’s next for this quintet *RECOMMENDED*