- Pop Music
- Suki tte Itte yo
- Tsuzuiteiku STORY (Symphonic Version feat. Karin)
- Borderline (Reg A only)
- Va-Va-Voom (Reg B only)
- Pop Music (Instrumental)
- Suki tte Itte yo (Instrumental)
- Tsuzuiteiku STORY (Symphonic Version feat. Karin) (Instrumental)
- Borderline (Instrumental)
- Va-Va-Voom (Instrumental)
1. Pop Music
As the leading A-side of the single, Pop Music is actually a cover track, the original being done earlier in the year by KAN (y’know, the same guy that sung “Sakura Night Fever” that Kobushi Factory would later cover). The tune itself does give itself a couple references to 80’s Pop Songs (like The Village People’s “YMCA” and M’s “Pop Muzik”). Though the song doesn’t quite lean too hard as it is its own track. Though I can’t say the song itself is all that great here. I do appreciate its upbeat nature though and hearing Karin lead is kind of a nice way to showcase her before her graduation. Also nice to hear the other members, especially the newbies, Riai and Yume as this is kind of their first original song to debut in. I think it can grow, but it’s going to be a slow burner of a song for me
2. Suki tte Itte yo
For a title that I had initially thought would be slower and a bit more mature, Suki tte Itte yo is quite the opposite having a rather funky element which is quite sticking to Juice=Juice’s pedigree. I’m loving the funky bass and the brassy touches really stick out nicely, but I’m not quite grasping the song’s melody especially the chorus where I feel is the weakest for me. The verses are where I’m mostly intrigued with the vocals and hearing Riai and Yume more is surprising nice that’s for sure! I’m really happy to see those two fitting in as well as they are. Not bad, but I think they’ve done better funky tunes!
3. Tsuzuiteiku STORY (Symphonic Version with Karin)
The main B-side for the single is of course set for a Karin solo as she’s graduating after this single. Interesting that she was given a new version of Tsuzuiteiku STORY (a song originally from their first album, “First Squeeze!”). Of course the original wasn’t really all that memorable despite it was promotional material for the album, so I was curious and taking out the Indian vibes of the song and replacing it with a symphonic orchestration is a twist that’s for sure. The arrangement is really pretty though I will give it that and Karin gives a really nice performance as well. Though when I get to the 2nd verse, I start to hear the other members get solos and it seems the rest of the group sings in the chorus leaving the other solos for Karin in the final chorus. Not much of a solo track anymore is it, which baffles why they titled it “with Karin”…? It’s a nice rendition, I’ll give it that, but not what I was hoping for Karin’s I guess graduation song.
The other two tracks are of course limited to which Regular edition you buy, so Reg A ended up with Borderline and once again I’m questioning why they left it unreleased for as long as it was (the song was first performed when Nanami Yanagawa was still in the group last year). It is nice to finally get the song now and it sounds even better in the studio cut with the EDM-like upbeat nature. Despite Nanami and Yuka only have the one solo in the 2nd chorus, Riai and Yume slid in pretty smoothly. Still, this is a great song and I’m happy it was finally released!
While we didn’t have to wait too long for this one (they’ve been performing it since December alongside “Platonic Planet” which didn’t appear on this single *sigh*), Va-Va-Voom is a little more rockin’, but still has kind of a sassy tone to it interestingly enough. Seriously though, Manaka and Riai are sticking out for me a lot and I’m just really intrigued by it, but I think the song could be a little faster.
Hitting the beginning of April with Juice=Juice’s single, it’s surprising that Juice=Juice is kicking it off with another graduation single, this time for Karin Miyamoto who has been a really forefront visual for the group since its inception and she’s also been kind of the front girl, despite not being a leader. Though I can’t say that this single was all the great in the long run either. After a while, Pop Music felt lifeless to me and slightly phoned in especially since it’s a cover of an already poorly sung KAN tune that was released in the same year >.> Suki tte Itte yo is fine, but it’s kind of in the middle for me when it comes to the group’s other A-sides involved, same as Va-Va-Voom to be honest which was OK too. The best the single did was with Borderline though and I kind of hope there is a version where Nanami & Yuka are on it somewhere down the line, but it’s still is a great song for them, which leaves us with this new version of Tsuzuiteiku STORY. All I can say is that the arrangement was beautiful, but the vocal melody doesn’t quite fit entirely, but the mood is there and was happy to say that the other members were in it and it didn’t turn out to be completely a Karin solo. What what the group will do without Karin on the next single!