- Nippon no D・N・A!
- Takanawa Gateway Eki ga Dekiru Koto ni wa
- We Need a Name!
- Sokora no Yatsu to wa Onaji ni Saretakunai
- Kinoko Takenoko Daisenki
- Sayokyoku “Megane no Otoko no Ko”
- Megane no Otoko no Ko
- Koi no O-Swing
- Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi
- Gannen Bungee Jump
- Renai Bugyo
- GIRL ZONE
- Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete
- Go Waist
- Nobishiro ~Beyond the World~
As the opening to the album, it really feels grandiose and boy does it kind of remind me of something like Star Wars (or closer to even stuff like Star Fox or Smash Bros.) or something in that nature. It’s kind of goofy considering the group this is kicking things off with. I found it interesting though and I’m pretty content but knowing that “Atsui!” is next is even funnier!
I mean I don’t know it the album truly needed an introduction piece if Atsui! was the first track since that opens up with a piano-only intro from Honoka here. Anyways Atsui! was a song that’s been performed live for quite a while (though it sadly missed out being on their debut single). It’s good though that it was chosen to promote the album and I’m really shocked at it. After their first single, I wasn’t expecting the group to get a heavy rock track as such as this. The energy is loud and the group is just on fire here, what a great song this one is (even if it does slightly remind me of BABYMETAL). Although the only part that was eh was the spoken bridge section between Minami, Saya, and Rika…it was a bit out of place, but still an awesome song regardless!
3. Nippon no D・N・A!
Being as the first of the A-sides to show up on the album, Nippon no DNA! was pretty anthemic and really showed off the group as one unit instead of like splitting them between the 9 members and on the other hand (Hirai, Satoyoshi, and Kobayashi). It’s pretty energetic too (not like “Atsui!” though). I still love Hirai’s amped up intro and it just leads to this pumped up dance track. I will say that once again I’m a little thrown off by the Minami & Kokoro shouting section, but it was cancelled by Honoka’s synth solo. Yeah, this is still a pretty awesome song!
4. Takanawa Gateway Eki ga Dekiru Koro ni wa
The next 3 tracks are actually new tracks between the sub-units (CHICA#TETSU, Ame no Mori Kawa Umi, and the ONLY YOU girls). First up is from CHICA#TETSU (Ichioka, Shimakura, Eguchi, and Nishida) who I’ve started to see the pattern that they’re the ~train~ girls as this song and their first track has involved train station of sorts. Comparing to their other song “Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete”, this song was a lot better to handle in my opinion. The song is a little more funky and poppy here and the cuteness wasn’t so overbearing, well except the bridge when Reina speaks. While I am still learning voices in the group, I did recognize Reina as the first with solo and she has a unique voice whereas the other 3 are slightly harder to pinpoint. Still not bad!
5. We Need a Name!
The next track is just funny because it’s for Hirai, Satoyoshi, and Kobayashi who as of this review the trio don’t belong in any sub-unit like the other 9 are and this song talks about it. It kind of starts out like a winter ballad with Miyo beginning the song as Utano joins in after. Though when all 3 start to sing, it kind of gets all showstune and Honoka shows more of her piano skills which is so impressive for someone in H!P. It’s a funny song for sure but it’s nice to see them getting a song to themselves for sure! Honestly though, I hope they do get a name within the next year because this is just so topical…and I kind of was hoping it would’ve been revealed at the end XD
6. Sokora no Yatsu to wa Onaji ni Saretakunai
Last, but not least, we have Ame no Mori Kawa Umi’s (Takase, Kiyono, Maeda, Yamazaki, and Okamura) song. After hearing “GIRL ZONE” and seeing and cool and up my alley it was (versus CHICA#TETSU’s song), I was more than excited to see what their 2nd song held. I just wasn’t expecting the song to open so suddenly and with the chorus here. While it doesn’t hit as quite as hard as their previous song, this one is pretty solid and I’m liking that each member is getting solos here and unlike in CHICA#TETSU, the 5 voices are pretty easy to tell apart. It’s a little messy especially after the guitar solo, but I think it’s ok…not as good as “GIRL ZONE” though.
7. Kinoko Takenoko Daisenki
It begins like a ballad with someons (Minami? and Kurumi) singing but the song changes pretty much after that to something a bit more serious and aggressive which is pretty cool. Think of S/mileage’s “Shin Nippon no Susume!” but not quite as dramatic here. It goes through a lot of mood changes which is cool, but I do like the feeling of war behind. It’s a unique song on the album that’s for sure and the samurai-esque bridge (with spoken dialogue) is so interesting too. There’s so many areas and it closes out with Honorin with her piano playing. Bizarre, but I loved it!
8. Sayokyoku “Megane no Otoko no Ko”
So the next track is kind of an extra piece of music to tie in to the next track, but it’s just Honoka playing the piano to the song’s melody. Not quite sure why it was needed considering “Megane no Otoko no Ko” already has a lengthy opening as it is. It was good to show more of Honoka’s skills but I didn’t understand why it was here.
9. Megane no Otoko no Ko
Though it does lead to the group’s first song, which was also the primary A-side from their debut. Like I said above, it does begin with a story which is about girls crushing on Kokoro Maeda (who’s playing the guy in the song). As the group’s debut, it’s not a surprise that Miyo, Utano, and Honoka had little to do here as they were added after this was first performed. Once the track actually begins, the tune goes very upbeat and rowdy and I kind of love it all the same. It’s a silly and yet fun song and really made for a good A-side that’s for sure and the story continues on the 2nd disc on the album (which is a drama apparently).
10. Koi no O-Swing
Moving to another new track, Koi no O-Swing definitely has a swing-style going on for its arrangement with the piano and brass backing it all up. I’m enjoying the variety of vocals throughout and it’s just cute and lively. Although I kind of wish the instrumentation had a bit more fire behind it because despite the fact it is Swing, it could’ve had a bit more oomph to it.
11. Bunkasai Jikkou Iinchou no Koi
I had totally forgotten that this song existed here despite that I did review it on their single. Just like “Megane no Otoko no Ko” it does open up with dialogue and some story which is a little long-winded for my interest but oh wells. I did say I do like the rockin’ vibes I get out of this one and the group sounds good too (once again, I don’t think the newer three members had much to do). Listening to it now, it does make me think it’s a slower “Atsui!” with less impact. Not bad, but still not quite in the upper echelon.
12. Gannen Bungee Jump
OH well, this is kind of new! Moving to our next new track, Gannen Bungee Jump is a different kind of track that has a certain vibe to it (helps that Hyadain worked on this one) and so it sounds a bit different comparing it to majority of the album. I’m loving the bongos and funky upbeat sound of it. Plus, the 12 members all sounds bright and lively and the amount of solos are nice too! Might be one of the hidden gems from the album!
13. Renai Bugyo
It’s kind of been a while since we’ve got to hear the group tackle something poppy and dance-centric and Renai Bugyo kind of fits this role and it does kind of remind me of “Dancing! Natsu Matsuri” lyrically from some of the lyrics to the Japanese matsuri-like sounds that come from the arrangement. I just appreciate the style here and its simplicity as well. Maybe some of the voices are a little off in places, but I still dug it!
14. GIRL ZONE
As we get closer to the end of the album, we get 3 of the songs that were from the single that came before the album. Of course two of those were from the sub-groups! Ame no Mori Kawa Umi’s GIRL ZONE still kind of surprises at how edgy and cool-esque it was for the 5 of them. I’m loving the darker atmosphere and cool vibes from this one on top of the risky vocal flips in the verses, but it keeps up as the song goes further in. The chorus is still kind of sounds out of place (especially since it comes off more happier than the verses themselves, but it’s still good regardless!).
15. Toei Oedo-sen no Roppongi Eki de Dakishimete
Like I said, CHICA#TETSU’s song have all involved something with a train! With the first track, Toei Oedo-sen wasn’t really a song that got me because it was far from what the group was initially described as. I guess they’ll be considered the cutesy sub-group I guess? I do think it still gives me some nostalgic Matsuura vibes for whatever reason, but the song is kind of growing on me but not terribly because it’s just a bit plain to me.
16. Go Waist
I’m so surprised this A-side was placed so far towards the end of the album! There’s just something so shocking about the group playing with a song’s lyrics versus the original (that was back in the 70s). Though something about bringing it up and inserting some auto-tune and dance beats made it rather more intriguing. Though I will definitely remember this one as Saya Eguchi’s song because she has the bridge of the song which is still fantastic and ridiculously funny.
17. Nobishiro ~Beyond the World~
Then we get to the album’s final track, which I’m not surprised is a lighter affair as more of a soulful ballad for the group and I appreciate that Reina and Miyo kicked things off here. I mean it’s kind of that everyone’s track and feels more like a song set for encores during live performances. It’s a fairly nice ending to the album, but I don’t think it’s much a song for me.
- Renai Bugyo
- Go Waist
- Gannen Bungee Jump
- Megane no Otoko no Ko
Song of Avoidance
- Nobishiro ~Beyond the World~
I didn’t think BEYOOOOONDS only after one single would release their first studio album in 2019, lord. That said, it’s probably the lightest album released under H!P (I swear, since others were 2-4 discs). This was a pretty nice album overall, most of the new tracks really stood out and painted a better picture for the group as a unit (and through their sub-units as well). I can’t wait to see whats next for the group, though I hope they lessen the amount of spoken dialogues in their songs…just a bit too many for me!