- Morning Coffee (20th Anniversary Ver.)
- WE ARE LEADERS! ~Leaders tte no mo Tsurai Mono~
- Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite
- ENDLESS HOME
- Otenki no Hi no Matsuri
- Tane wo Tsubasa (Wings of the Seed)
- Gosenfu no Tasuki
- Ai no Tane (20th Anniversary Ver.)
1. Morning Coffee (20th Anniversary Ver.)
So wait we begin this special mini-album with ANOTHER self-cover of Morning Coffee? Wasn’t “Morning Misoshiru” enough? Well, this one luckily has the benefit to include the original 5 Momusu members alongside the current lineup for this. It also works better because the arrangement was tinkered with more giving us a slightly faster tempo track with more rock elements involved. Some people might be thrown off by the former, but personally it sounds nice in a faster tempo. The solos seem to cross between both the OGs and current members which is nice! Overall, what an awesome what to kick this mini off!
2. WE ARE LEADERS! ~Leaders tte no mo Tsurai Mono~
Though I was more excited for the new material (half of the album was released digitally between the end of last year til now). So the song here was what everyone was looking forward to because it has ALL the leaders that have led Momusu, despite tenure length so there’s; Yuko, Kaorin, Marippe, Yossie, Mikitty, Ai-chan, Gaki, Sayu, and Fukuchan. The song’s structure though is VERY reminiscent to “Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari” in which all the members involved get a line and it’s amazing because all of them talk about something memorable they’ve done or something they’re known for like Kaori’s ~Nee, Waratte~ to Sayu’s robo-voice and Mikitty’s really short stint as leader. As for the song, it’s upbeat and cute and fits the mood. Really sweet…wished it got a PV, honestly.
3. Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite
Considering how mellow this mini-album is, I wasn’t expecting Morning Musume to drop an EDM song randomly here (considering it was released as a digital single after first performing at the H!P Winter Tour. Actually some parts remind me of their recent track, “Jama Shinaide Here We Go!” but it makes sense since it is just the current Momusu singing here. It’s a decent track, kind of surprised it wasn’t saved for a single instead of sticking out like a sore thumb on this anniversary album.
4. ENDLESS HOME
Curious to why Nacchi got the solo (probably because she was the first ace). With Fukuchan & Odasaku helping as backups (though you really don’t hear much out of them), I was only thinking that it was going to be a remake of “Furusato”…but luckily that isn’t the case. It’s a pretty relaxing ballad with some light synths and acoustic guitars. I mean, I know it’s a Nacchi solo, but this feels more like something that belongs in Natsumi’s solo discography and not much in Momusu’s…I really wasn’t into it very much.
5. Otenki no Hi no Matsuri
Oh! I see matsuri and think of festival music that’s fun and rambunctious. What I wasn’t expecting was a more mellow effort that sounds kind of Western in arrangement and instrumentation. I guess I should be happy this wasn’t an A-side to go along “Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite”. This feels like a leftover song from their most recent album but wouldn’t have worked because of all the EDM. I actually am not sure about this one either…seems very vanilla, but at least there’s plenty solos to be had.
6. Tane wo Tsubasa (Wings of the Seed)
When I saw that the original members were getting a song to themselves titled this, I immediately knew that this would’ve been an answer song to their debut song, “Ai no Tane”. Since the people who originally made that song came back, I thought this was an awesome circle back around. It definitely has a certain charm about it and it really has some themes that pull from the song of the past, but overall, the song just sounds really nice and hearing Yuko, Kaori, Natsumi, Aya, and even Asuka together again just felt special and this song was a TREAT!!
7. Gosenfu no Tasuki
So back before “15 Thank you, too” released, Momusu kind of randomly dropped this song like a week beforehand and made me wonder why they didn’t they just throw it on the album as a last track. I guess like “Otenki no Hi no Matsuri”, it really would’ve sound out of place. While I had a long time to settle with this, I still can’t find much interest out of this ballad besides hearing Miki, Sakura, and Fukuchan having the lone solos. There seems to be so many of these kind of songs in Momusu’s discography. It’s definitely a song to be performed as a closer, but otherwise, not my kind of song.
8. Ai no Tane (20th Anniversary Ver.)
Closing the album and circling back around is Ai no Tane as its performed by the original members and current members. The song didn’t get quite the changes that “Morning Coffee”, but slight instrumentation differences to make the tune sound up-to-date and what not. When I first heard the preview, I was so happy to see Asuka return as she was the lone member to not have come back to singing with members since her graduation. This was just nice and with Ai no Tane, it felt so right and the tune just still is breezy yet upbeat.
To kick H!Ps 20th Anniversary, Momusu released a mini-album and it was just interesting to see. Hatachi no Morning Musume is alright, but it’s not a great album IMO. Stuff like the updated Ai no Tane & Morning Coffee was to be expected, but the real treat was hearing the original 5 taking part in the celebrations was awesome and their track, Tane wo Tsubasa was a stand out. The current Momusu only songs were a mixed bag. Hana ga Saku is a great EDM song, but doesn’t quite fit this album, Otenki no Hi no Matsuri & Gosenfu no Tasuki unfortunately feel generic to me and if those 3 songs were to have been a single together…oh god no. That leaves us with ENDLESS HOME which felt like a throwaway Nacchi B-side and WE ARE LEADERS! was a great way to bring them together. I kind of wished more of the OG were brought in (I know some were dealing with kids but still Tsuji & Reina are on the Blu-ray performances…why couldn’t they take part? Either way, this mini isn’t bad, but more could’ve been done.