- Resonant Blue
- Pepper Keibu
- Naichau Kamo
- Shouganai Yume Oibito
- Nanchatte Renai
- Kimagure Princess
- Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai
- Seishun Collection
- Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game
- Maji Desu ka Ska!
- Only you
- Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!
- Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!
- Pyocopyoco Ultra
- Renai Hunter
- One Two Three
- The Matenrou Show
- Wakuteka Take a chance
- Help me!!
- Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai
- Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke
- Ai no Gundan
- Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa
- Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai
- What is LOVE?
- Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe
- Password is 0
- TIKI BUN
- Mikaeri Bijin
- Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru
- Yuugure wa Ameagari
- Ima Koko Kara
- Oh my wish!
- Sukatto My Heart
- Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki
- Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi
- ENDLESS SKY
- One and Only
- Utakata Saturday Night!
- The Vision
- Tokyo to Iu Katasumi
- Sexy Cat no Enzetsu
- Mukidashi de Mukiatte
- Sou Janai
- BRAND NEW MORNING
- Jealousy Jealousy
- Morning Misoshiru
- Jama Shinaide Here We Go!
- Dokyuu no Go Sign
- Are you Happy?
- A gonna
- Furari Ginza
- Jiyuu na Kuni Dakara
- Y Jiro no Tochuu
- Watashi no Nanni mo Wakacchanai (Morning Musume ’15 Ver.)
- Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi (TYPE B)
- Akogare no Stress-free (Morning Musume ’18 Ver.)
- Jiyuu na Kuni Dakara (TV EDIT)
- Koishite Mitakute
- I surrender Aisaredo Ai
So the best album kicks things off with the furthest back this album will go with Mikan. As a reminder I joined the Morning Musume fandom right around when “Resonant Blue” was being promoted. So it’s relatively interesting that I was only off one song with the best album’s release. Anyways, Mikan is an interesting song to kick the best album off because it’s a lot lighter and brigher than most songs here. Definitely idol-like. Even better is that it’s been A LONG TIME since I’ve reviewed this song and I’ve gotten stronger with being exact with who is singing what in songs (especially within the Platinum era, which BTW makes me think they should’ve kicked it off with “Onna ni Sachi Are” honestly since that’s where the Platinum era technically kicked off). Mikan’s guitar-laced arrangement is pretty upbeat and yet poppy and hearing a lot of the members here (like Ai-chan, Gaki (Risa), Mittsi (Aika), Koharu, Sayu (Sayumi), and Reina is always good). I think Kame (Eri), Junjun, and Linlin got shafted, but the latter two seem to always get it. Anyways, nice way to open the best with! To think it’d be the group’s worst selling single up until “Pyocopyoco Ultra” is just baffling…
2. Resonant Blue
What an unfortunate time to join it felt like. As much as I love Resonant Blue for it’s upbeat, yet serious tone…the sheer fact that only Ai-chan and Reina got solo lines bothered me just a little bit and promotions for the song really hid the rest of the girls to the back. Though to be fair, Ai-chan & Reina really kicked some ass here and their strong vocals kept the song afloat with some sass and attitude which is always cool. Still, a smidge salty than the other 7 members got VERY small parts.
3. Pepper Keibu
Third track in and we have a cover song of an old PINK LADY track. Since this was the single that was used to promote that “COVER YOU” cover album, Pepper Keibu stands out for the Platinum era by being upbeat and boppy. Channeling a lot of the disco era, Pepper Keibu sounds simplistic and considering that only Reina had the solo lines (minus Sayumi’s ending line) it did feel somewhat barren. It’s an OK song and it’s mad catchy at times!
4. Naichau Kamo
Closing off the “Platinum 9 DISC” era, Naichau Kamo continued where “Resonant Blue” left with this kind of melancholic dance sound that Tsunku was pretty much handling during this era and of the many songs that were similar, I feel like Naichau Kamo gets forgotten a lot in that regard. I mean I’m a bit more happier that the line distribution was a little more looser giving Gaki, Sayu, and Kame some spotlight. Listening it to it today, the song is passable but it really was a song with little coincidence or effect on the group’s history.
5. Shouganai Yume Oibito
Continuing on, we get Shouganai Yume Oibito which kind of was the big Emo-Musume song I’d say for them. It might not be as strong of a beat of the previous track, but it’s still the ever-same overall sound. I do appreciate the guitar-laced moments throughout and the silkier arrangement versus the herky-jerky groove of “Naichau Kamo”. Hey, I even noticed Junjun & Linlin (though they had duet lines with each other >.>). Still, this is heavily sung by Ai-chan & Reina which I’m sure for fans at this point was starting to become tiring despite Eri, Risa, and Sayumi getting pushed. Still, the song was a high-point for them and I do enjoy this song a LOT more nowadays then I did back then during the “10 MY ME” era.
6. Nanchatte Renai
Another Emo-Musume song follows after “Shouganai Yume Oibito” but even more moodier and dark than the one previous! To be fair, I really enjoyed this song back then and still do to this day with the overlay of dramatic strings and a rap pre-chorus of all things! I do appreciate things, but it’s so strange hearing Koharu after Ai-chan in the first verse as Koharu wasn’t really a strong singer for the group arguably being the worst alongside Sayu during this period which by the way, she got the solo in the 2nd verse after Ai as well. The rap was interesting including the rest of the group swapping lines between one another was nice. Also, Eri and Risa are really showing up their vocals here. Still the song is really nice and probably my favorite of the Platinum era.
7. Kimagure Princess
After 6 tracks, we finally get to our first graduation single on the best album, this one for Koharu (who ironically had little spotlight in this track, she had more of an appearance on the B-side). This song kind of split the fandom a bit and I’m not surprised about it. On one hand, the song isn’t depressing and has a very vibrant ethnic feel to it, almost Arabian-esque. On top of that, there’s a LOT of Kame in the song which is a shock, but she held her own! Though on the flipside, the pitch-shifted squeaky vocals in the verses are kind of distracting and doesn’t suit this track at all! Not sure why that was decided to be used on Reina, Ai, Risa, and Eri but this was a poorly executed idea. Weird A-side and if I hadn’t already known it was a grad single for Koharu, this would’ve just been a normal single since she didn’t even get a solo in the track.
8. Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai
Not gonna lie, the next two tracks I totally forgot existed as A-sides because of how forgettable they were back then. As the first single post-Koharu, Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai is just kind of messy all over. A mix of grating sawtooth synths and aggressive latin guitar is just a bit brazen to the ears and I’m not quite sure if they make an interesting song here. Like nothing really sticks out to me with this A-side, but I feel like Risa & Eri are basically the secondary vocalists after Ai-chan and Reina since they’ve been taking up the 2nd verses/chorus. Oh yeah, the violin solo in the bridge…absurd to me…yeah this one has fallen down for me.
9. Seishun Collection
Though I’ve said how I’ve forgotten how “Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai” went, Seishun Collection was more like me wanting to forget it. It’s a surprise that it managed to sell above “Mikan” because this was just a generic mess, though I guess it hindsight it could be that that made it stand out in their discography? It’s a mid-tempo pop track and tries to be bubbly and sentimental which is kind of blah since this was like the typical idol-pop that bores me. Although I still poke fun for the ~seishun correctioooon~ lines. I mean the fact that Ai, Reina, Risa, and Eri got one line is rather shocking. Just ick.
10. Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game
Surprised they didn’t throw in “Appare Kaitan Zushi!” here but that’s whatever. We get to our next graduation single and it was a triple attack of losing Eri, Junjun, and Linlin. I kind of like the dramatic Russian jig I get from the arrangement of this A-side and just hearing all the girls get at least one solo line is a breath of fresh air despite this being the last single for 3 of the members, hell I think it’s the ONLY solo lines in an A-side for Junjun & Linlin >.>. It’s a good favorite of mine as the song is heavy and cool and the girls are hitting some nice notes, just a smidge bit sad to see 3 members leave (leaving us with 5 for the moment before new additions happened).
11. Maji Desu ka Ska!
Which came in the form of 4 new members (Riho, Zukki (Kanon), Fukuchan (Mizuki), and Eripon (Erina). I also wasn’t expecting the music to become suddenly youthful, makes sense but after 10 more mature-like songs, this was a bit of surprise to throw Ska in the mix. Right from the start even, the new girls got the solo lines…though the song is still lead by Ai-chan and Reina. Man, it feels weird going back to this considering only Fukuchan and Eripon remain in the current lineup. The song itself is fun though and REALLY liking the line distribution as the elder members also got solos too. Fun track and was a breath of fresh air away from the moody Momusu to something bright and new!
12. Only you
Then it just seem to pull back for some reason as the next single after the debut of the 9th Generation was another Emo-Musume song lol! I will say that this did feel a smidge different because Tsunku made it a challenging song especially with the verses having a butt-ton of triplets. The chorus though is simple and reminds me of an anime theme so that worked too. I am surprised the line distribution was kind of pulled back, going back to Ai-chan and Reina but surprising us with Gaki’s solo covered by auto-tune. Hell, the 9th Generation were barely noticeable with the exception of Riho who got plenty of solo lines here. Still, the song is pretty edgy and I quite dug it even still today…just very hard-hitting and could be considered the start of the EDM-Musume that was to come.
13. Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!
Then we move into Ai-chan’s final single with the group with the long title xD. Going back to the Golden era of Momusu, Kono Chikyuu… has an obvious disco-pop vibe to it and I appreciate the throwback to it. Of course, the line distribution is just like in “Only you” which doesn’t surprise me in the least, but at least the vocals are more important here and I was impressed with everyone. With so much of the focus on Ai though, I think the other members outside the core 4 (Ai, Reina, Gaki, and now Riho) felt invisible sadly (and yes it included Aika since she was injured and stayed kind of to the back to her graduation). It’s a decent song and one I remember fondly as a great sendoff to one of the group’s best vocalists.
14. Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!
I’m wondering what’s the explanation of this song making the cut. I assume it’s because the PV connected to the previous track, but it’s also a B-side (and yeah it was on their B-side best-of a couple years back and this release doesn’t contain a PV collection) so I wonder why this make the cut over other songs that more or less have a place on here. Either way, this song is VERY different from “Kono Chikyuu…”. It’s a bit more genki and silly and has a focus on Sayu and Reina here which is shocking but dare I say is when I started liking the Robo-Sayu idea. Though it was also good because it had solos for the back members and everyone else on an equal level (cept the two mains). I especially like seeing Mittsi getting pushed a bit! What a goofy song and I still think it’s one of the most fun songs from them in quite a while.
15. Pyocopyoco Ultra
Then we finally get to the group’s worst selling single and by god this song still strikes a bad chord with me. As the debut for the new 10th Generation members: Maachan (Masaki), Ayumi, Duu (Haruka), and Harunan (Haruna) they couldn’t have been given a more cringy song as such as this one. Not even counting the absurd PV it got, Pyocopyoco Ultra was just the wrong direction for the group, since they were trying to win over younger fans. This was also the first single with Gaki as the leader and even she seemed over it XD. I don’t know, this song is just awkward and musically was abrasive with those sawtooth synths. I don’t think it was a good showing for the new members either since a lot of the song surrounded Gaki, Reina, Mittsi, Sayu, and Riho. Though Fukuchan got a solo too soooo yay? Yeah, this was a pretty bad song IMHO.
16. Renai Hunter
Ending the first disc on this jam-packed best-of, they chose a good closing spot here with Gaki & Mittsi’s graduation single, Renai Hunter. Unlike the bizarre choice of the previous track, this followed back to their dance style by incorporating some dubstep in its arrangement. With Gaki, Reina, and Riho leading the track (and Sayumi doing a robo line) it kind of felt a bit barren with the lack of the newer members. Though I get similar feelings like I did with “Only you” but moreso due to both being dance tracks. I do love that Gaki got a lot of love here (Aika didn’t get anything because she left after the single released, so that’s why there’s no focus on her with this single despite being her final single). It was a pretty good song though and a nice way to close the Platinum Era up (well most think it ended with “Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game” but I considered it finished with the last of the 5th Gen members graduating.
1. One Two Three
So the 2nd Disc to me is what I consider the Colorful era (Sayu becoming the group’s leader up to when she graduated). This single was also HUGE because it was a defining single as it was the group’s 50th single! No surprise they wanted to celebrate this big mark in their history with what would become their best selling single since “Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT”! Though coming back to the song and getting a deeper look to it, it’s a strange song. The EDM was interesting and while some songs kind of hinted towards it, I was surprised it took over the group. As the song being mostly led by Reina & Riho (with secondary Sayu lines) it was not surprising in the least (especially with graduations of powerful vocalists like Ai & Risa). You still had 7 other members and they were all relegated to just syllables which is incredibly shady and salty for fans who wanted more out of the newer members. It’s still a cool song though, but I do agree that maybe UFP should’ve pushed more of the newer members.
2. The Matenrou Show
Which was made even worse with the secondary A-side from that single. It felt incredibly lazy here to have made it a lead track because it’s PV was just a dance-shot. The song itself kind of gives me disco vibes like “Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!”. Though unfortunately the solos ONLY belong to Reina & Riho which makes it even less equal than “One Two Three”! Hell, I would take the TYPE 0 version (it included Gaki & Aika) over the original single version. I don’t know, it just doesn’t scream A-side to me and for that, it was a mistake.
3. Wakuteka Take a chance
Because of the huge popularity that was set with “One Two Three / The Matenrou Show” it seemed they wanted to strike lightning again with the follow-up single and in ways it worked and in other ways it flopped. I do love the heavy electro influence in the song even more than I did with the previous single, but really again with the new members only getting mere words as their lines? Are we that desperate to not promote the members, UFP? Still, the song sounds catchy and the edginess was what I needed in this track and Reina / Riho owned the song (and the Robo-Sayu lines xD).
4. Help me!!
Next single up and once again a new member has joined the group in the form of the singular, Sakura Oda! Continuing with the futuristic EDM vibe, Help me!! felt like it was a shift away from the formula of the previous two single to something a smidge more fresh than what we got. We see the other girls get duet lines with others alongside Riho, Sayu, and Reina getting those solos alongside Fukuchan, but in a good twist, Sakura gets two hefty solo lines to basically show that she’s here. Essentially, Odasaku sounds great in her lines and seem to give this impression she’ll be depended on a LOT going forward. Overall, the song is pretty nice even if hearing it live makes me cringe (the chorus especially kills me).
Then we have our next graduating member and that was the first half of the vocal lead for Momusu for quite a while, Reina Tanaka. Of course it’s no surprise it’s another EDM-centric track but it does have a bit more grit behind it with sawtooth synths and guitars pressing the group. Reina did has a lot of presence but so did Riho, Fukuchan, Sayu, Maachan, and omg Harunan!. Hell, even the song is kind of a structured mix of the last two singles from the weird juxtaposition of the track itself and Odasaku’s two big solo lines in the verses. Still after all that, this song just kicks ass and really left a mark on me when I first reviewed the single!
6. Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai
However, I can’t quite say the same for the sister A-side to “Brainstorming”. It’s definitely a LOT more robotic sounding and was presented just as much too. The marching aspect and the ~2000 people on the dance floor~ was just a bit absurd to me and didn’t really gel with me. I mean the usual suspects got their solos (well Ayumi got one which is the first distinct one she’s had since joining). Still, the song just feels a bit cold to me and really doesn’t sell that it was Reina’s last single (though she had a lot of solos in both A-sides).
7. Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke
As the first single post-Reina, a LOT of people were wondering how the line distribution would work due to losing one of THE main singers leaving us with Riho. I will say from the start it was nice to finally hear a song that actually sounded fluid and not like 5 songs stapled together. Of course, the big question was who was going to step up alongside Riho and it seems Sakura, Fukuchan, Ayumi, and Maachan were at the front (with the ever-loving Sayu lines). This song though was just bombastic and really hit a good spot for me since the song is just a bop and the chanting and that chorus was just powerful in every way. Yeah, this is a GREAT crowd-pumping song and still LOVE it to death!
8. Ai no Gundan
I’m not sure what happened behind the scenes, but goddamn two epic songs on a single! This did feel a little like what we’ve gotten before, but there was just something clean-cut with this dance track than included saxophones! It did reserve itself to go back to Riho leading the cause but Sayu, Sakura, and Mizuki had their solos too. Plus that bridge is fan-frickin-tastic. Like seriously this single was perfect A-side duo!
9. Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa
As the first single to incorporate the year to the group (ex: Morning Musume ’14), Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa is a strange song to kick that year off with. I do like the intro a LOT because those synths really were cool sounding and it gave a bit of a hip-hop beat to the EDM backbone. Though what I was kind of put off was the smushing of the lyrics in both the verses & chorses of the track (and is that Tsunku? That’s pretty distracting). Not a lot of solos (mostly from Riho, Fukuchan, and Ayumi). It’s a pretty unique song arrangement-wise to Momusu, I’ll give it that, but lyrically and how it was presented it was a bit of a trashfire.
10. Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai
Being a bit more aggressive than the previous track, the 2nd A-side of the single was used as promotion for the Japanese airing of the Sochi Olympics which as we all know is a pretty big deal! While it wasn’t hard to see why it was my favorite of the 3 A-sides of the single, Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai is just fun and fitting to the group’s style to a T. It’s nice to see the Riho / Sakura duo starting to really click, but Fukuchan, Maachan, Sayu, and Ayumi were the secondaries and that worked too! I will say though Sakura is getting more stronger with each song so it’s great she’s getting comfortable with being a lead!
11. What is LOVE?
The 3rd A-side to me is oft forgotten for no reason besides the fact it got a crappy performance PV. The song itself brings back those crazy sawtooth synths, but the song is really gripping that Happy Hardcore sound here. It’s even funnier remembering that only Maachan & Sayu have the only solos in the song (being either spoken dialogue or heavily filtered). Well, Riho does have one but that’s in the final chorus. The song is a bit of a headache to me and the vocals somehow sound rough in the recording…it’s kind of an odd song to be quite honest (considering it was a celebratory track for J-MELO) so take that as you will.
12. Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe
It doesn’t feel like this song is 4 years old already, it just feels like yesterday that this song was pretty much ruling the airwaves! Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe really took the classical vibe for this track and fused it with their electro sound to create this kind of awesome atmosphere. I was also completely surprised at the lack of solos here too (with the lone belonging to a simple line from Sayumi). It’s a lovely song and after the long line of heavy dance tracks, it was nice to get a reprieve from it with this amazing song!
13. Password is 0
Which is saying something because back then, I was starting to get tired of the Electro songs and just the lack of variety that was not just coming from Morning Musume but Hello! Project in general. I think Password is 0 & “TIKI BUN” were kind of the tipping point with me. Both songs to me were just filler trash and OVERLY repetitive in nature. What I can say is that, Riho, Mizuki, and Sakura sounded great in their solos…but the song as a whole is just a forgettable song and way to repetitive otherwise. I totally forgot that Ayumi & Masaki also got solos too…huh…
14. TIKI BUN
Which is almost exactly what I can say for this song which was the leading A-side for Sayumi’s graduation single. I do love the intro of the song and sometimes the ~cheeky boo~s get stuck on me, but it is WAY overused in this song. Oh yeah, the pre-chorus is pretty rad too since it isn’t quite cringey to listen to, but that chorus is a bit of a letdown. Otherwise, the repetitive levels are quite as in your face as in “Password is 0”. Actually, I don’t remember solos being here either (except for like SUPER filtered ones). Yeah, I was surprised it was chosen to lead the single but the other two A-sides made it more clear to fans.
The other A-sides actually revolve around Sayumi, this one especially as it was a solo song from her. Kind of weird that it’s on a Momusu best album but to be fair it was an A-side officially. This track also kind of sticks out in an odd way because it was EDM-ish but had a lot of jazzy undertones to it (though the dubstep parts could leave). I was actually surprised to hear Sayu’s natural voice though. It’s still a rather sugary song for my tastes so it doesn’t rank too high for me, but I appreciate that Sayu did this entirely and I respect that.
16. Mikaeri Bijin
Closing the 2nd disc, is a rather absurd song on this disc as it is the only one of them to be a ballad and have natural-sounding instruments versus all of that electro craziness. As this was used as a send-off song for Sayu, Mikaeri Bijin is a nice tune all around since it’s sentimental and just a pleasant song, although I kind of wish there were solos because there are none here. Still, the song is overall a nice experience just finny that this was the end of the 2nd disc.
1. Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru
Opening the 3rd disc, we are introduced once again to 4 new members (Maria, Akane, Miki, and Haachin (Haruna O.)) and since we’re coming off the graduation after Sayu, I was wondering but not quite as much of what the group could do without Robo-Sayu and Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru is EDM and quite an adventure of a song. The song doesn’t really do much to show off its new members and the solos are light here (Riho, Fukuchan, Ayumi, Maachan, and Sakura seem to be now the leads here). Still, the song was pretty good even if it took notes from past songs for use here.
2. Yuugure wa Ameagari
I think they wanted to lighten up on the EDM, so the 2nd A-side from the single, Yuugure wa Ameagari was a bit more lighter in presentation in comparison to “Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru” at the least. I like the piano and strings at the forefront with the dance beats that’s for sure! It’s a gentle, upbeat song and the vocals are sweet with Fukuchan seemingly as the lead here with the usual suspects in the secondary. I don’t even think the new girls got lines xD. Still, the song is pretty lovely.
3. Ima Koko Kara
I remembered really disliking this song when I first reviewed it and coming back to it, it’s still kind of crap song for the group to have taken. It is a lot like “Yuugure wa Ameagari” with the EDM + piano/strings arrangement and the build-up to the choruses are nice to say the least, but its that 2nd half that really tears the song apart because it basically closes right after the 2nd chorus, making the song feel super incomplete to me. Add on that only Riho and Sakura have solos and this song was just an afterthought despite its big anime tie-in.
4. Oh my wish!
Moving to the next single, Oh my wish! marks a LOT of big changes that happened just in the line distribution of the song itself! First off, Riho, Eripon, Fukuchan, and Ayumi did not take part in the singing of the track (because they were relegated to a dance unit for the song, so you’d only see them visually from the PV) and 2nd; Zukki and Duu were the actual vocal leads in the song which was a pretty HUGE deal during this time period. Gotta say, love that they made these two leads as we finally get to hear them sing solos (alongside Harunan and 12th Gen!). I really do love the song though with its faster pace and aggressive hooks and such. There’s even a spoken dialogue in the bridge between Akane and Haachin so that’s always cool too! Yeah, this song really won me over though it is funny that it’s odd with no Riho and Fukuchan singing :0
5. Sukatto My Heart
At least things go back to the norm with the 2nd A-side off that single with the disco bop, Sukatto My Heart. While I know this song was the unlucky song that had to be the least liked off the single, it’s still a decent track with a lot of fun vibes and focus on a bunch of members here. I definitely still love the pre-chorus and how the chorus feels in sync with the rest of the track. It’s a pretty fun track at the end of the day and definitely didn’t hurt the single.
6. Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki
The 3rd A-side from this single, was quite something else that kind of was how I thought of “Yuugure wa Ameagari” but with more solos for many of the members. It seemed back then it was toted that Maachan & Miki were the leads but it felt more like the former had a concrete lead while Miki supported her. I will say it’s nice to hear solo lines from members like Eripon, Miki, Harunan, and Maria (and even Maachan!). It’s a pretty nice take on a mid-tempo track that kind of teeters in between upbeat and a ballad. Really neat track!
7. Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi
Then we finally come to MM’15’s single to have our first 9th Gen member graduating, Riho. When it came to Riho’s final single with the group, it did feel shocking at that time because it felt sudden (plus she had like a month from that announcement to her graduation, so it really felt so sudden). I was surprised to see that Duu got the first solo line and then followed by Miki and Maachan. The song is very melancholic and the mood is more serious and emotional, but still sticking to light EDM. It’s a pretty song nonetheless and a good way to send off their ace!
8. ENDLESS SKY
Are we getting another “Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki”? It seems so because ENDLESS SKY really reminds me of that song (if not a little more progressive due to the synths and beats). I kind of enjoy the upbeat arrangement and positive message, but whenever I listen to this song I still feel that bit of sadness due to Riho leaving (and Duu’s crying in the PV for this). I do see Duu and Maria getting another solo line which is curious but the song is still mostly Sakura, Fukuchan, and Riho though. I do like it, but it’s not one I would constantly come back to.
9. One and Only
While the previous two tracks were pretty much revolved around Riho’s departure, One and Only was kind of the oddball song here. Just like “What is LOVE?”, One and Only was a song for J-MELO but unlike that track, One and Only marks as the first (and currently only) song sung entirely in English! Also this is pretty upbeat so it kind of picks up the single from a more somber setting for something rockin’ and cool! While the English is mostly good (with some discrepancies with the phrasing & pronunciation) overall that was handled pretty well. No solos though which is not surprising, but maybe a Miki line would’ve been interesting. Still, good song overall!
10. Utakata Saturday Night!
Not even one single later and we’re losing another member, this time Zukki is graduating from the group and while she didn’t have a front position like Riho did, she was well-loved during her tenure! So while she didn’t get a solo song or two tracks revolving ’round her, she did get focus for the first A-side of the single! Like “Sukatto My Heart” two singles ago, Utakata Saturday Night! also dabbles in the disco era and it definitely struck me harder and better than the aforementioned song. It seems like every member gets a solo in some fashion which is awesome to hear and the by the time the chorus hits, I was jamming along with the tune! Even with Zukki’s big part in the bridge, the energy was just so infectious and powerful.
11. The Vision
With the 2nd A-side from Zukki’s graduation single, we get the return of the dance unit from “Oh my wish!” (which are the same members sans Riho) so they’re once again put on the bleachers for this track. The track itself kind of reminds me of “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe” from the sparkly piano and slower tempo it has to the slightly EDM-ish chorus. I feel like the song tries to push the 12th Gen members since they seem to be everywhere in the verses, but most of the song is led by Sakura & Maachan interestingly. I do think the verses and chorus are jarring to one another and the song isn’t quite as interesting as I thought was before so it grew less on me…It can be a nice song on occasion though.
12. Tokyo to Iu Katasumi
Ending off the single, Tokyo to Iu Katasumi is definitely the most aggressive and chaotic song from that single with the wild strings and rock arrangement from the intro. It’s a crazy song all over with just a bit too much going on in its arrangement. Although I’m seeing Sakura and Maachan paired up again mostly in the chorus (a sign maybe?). Though it does show that all the members except 12th Gen got solos throughout the song oddly enough. Like I said, the song is a bit of a wild ride and didn’t quite stick to me despite being a ’16 single.
13. Sexy Cat no Enzetsu
Moving onto a single without a graduation tied to it, Sexy Cat no Enzetsu is so interesting because it kind of slides away from a heavier EDM sound for something a bit more classy with included saxophones which is always a nice addition. Though I was surprised to see that the solos belonged to just Sakura, Fukuchan, and Duu! I loved the song when it came out though and even today, the tune is just catchy and pretty sly for a song for the group. Really interesting song overall!
14. Mukidashi de Mukiatte
Though I really wasn’t expecting the group to follow that up with a totally boss song in Mukidashi de Mukiatte which definitely drowned itself in that EDM sound and like “Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke”, it felt like a totally cohesive song all over and really impressed me with how powerful and cool this one was! I love the call and response in the pre-chorus and chorus and it just felt so overwhelming in a good way. I would have to easily say, this was the best that the 3rd disc offered!
15. Sou Janai
Ending off the 3rd disc, Sou Janai was kind of the usual of what Momusu was carrying on their backs until the previous two tracks changed that up. Though what’s surprising was that Maria was the lead here (the first of the 12 Gen to really get that position). It does sound glossy and full of character though and I really LOVE the bridge section, but the rest of the song kind of goes over my head. I will say while Maria isn’t the strongest singer in the group, she held her own here and I’m happy we’re seeing a push for them finally!
1. BRAND NEW MORNING
Opening the final disc for this lengthy best album, BRAND NEW MORNING was the introduction to the group’s 13th Generation; Kaedii (Kaede) and Yokoyan (Reina) and I also somehow forgot how this went (despite it being a ’17 song). The song is pretty much sticking to the formula for the group no surprise and I also have to remember that Maachan was absent due to health problems. I do love the song though and the chorus is pretty catchy and watching Sakura & Fukuchan lead seemed normal to me after the last couple of A-sides! About the new members both got a nice solo in the song, (well Reina got two) and while I knew Kaedii would own her line, Yokoyan sounds a bit like Zukki which is interesting to me. Still, this song was pretty decent all things considered and missed Maachan here.
2. Jealousy Jealousy
The other A-side, Jealousy Jealousy was often another song that I had tend to forget in the big timeline that is Morning Musume and I really couldn’t find much to really stic to with this song. It’s kind of dance/pop with some brass elements thrown in for color. Though I think I remember the rapping section the most between Ayumi, Miki, and a little of Sakura too! Hell, Miki gets a pretty big line here too! Though otherwise, the song didn’t really connect with me at the end of the day.
3. Morning Misoshiru
Huh, another B-side sneaking in huh? I actually have no clue why this was included (especially since this came out before Masaki’s hiatus and is technically the debut for Kaedii and Yokoyan too). If you didn’t know, it’s a self-cover of the group’s major debut, “Morning Coffee” with one lyric changed to fit the whole promoting of Miso soups. I mean the song itself feels more modern of course, but I do feel like the song is still kind of lazy (especially since “Morning Coffee” was remade again the following year with the original members who sung it) so this feels very unnecessary to me.
4. Jama Shinaide Here We Go!
So the next single in, it’s a couple things here! A new member joined, Chiichan (Chisaki) from Country Girls had made the move over, Maachan returned from hiatus, and this was marked as Duu’s final single with the group. As the first A-side, there was a lot of Chiichan in the song, but it was Haachin & Harunan that opened the single with some dialogue. It was hard to follow, but it seems many of the members had solos in some fashion which is nice. I will say I noticed a LOT of Chiichan, Sakura, Miki, Maachan, and Fukuchan.
5. Dokyuu no Go Sign
I really wasn’t expecting a track like this from them as an A-side but I’m sort of glad they did it because this song is frantic and wild in all the good ways! Though it did come with the fact that the dance-unit returned once again leaving quite a number of members sidelined; (Eripon, Ayumi, Duu, Kaedii, Yokoyan, and Chiichan) Though, I do love hearing the other members here (LOT of Miki and even a strong solo from Akane!). Regardless, it’s a wild song and it really pushed a new sound for the group.
So of course, we had to have a send off for Duu and it’s with Wakaindashi! which carries a light tropical house feel which is always nice and refreshing to hear from Momusu. It’s no surprise that Duu does have a LOT of lines here and she sounds amazing as usual so it ended up as a good song for her. Other than that, I found it interesting the other solos belonged to the 3 youngest members; that being Akane, Yokoyan, and Maria which is neat to say the least. It’s a happy tune with a bit of sentimentality to it, so I thought it was the perfect way to say goodbye to Duu.
7. Are you Happy?
Which is followed by another graduation single, this time for Haachin (the first of the 12th Gen to graduate). This song was a bop from its intro and the song is just cool for the group even though it does have some H!P tricks while interesting have been used before (mostly a lot from Berryz Kobo’s A-side “1-oku 3-zenman Sou Diet Oukoku”). It just feels like a lot of different ideas kind of cut n’ pasted here. Just like Koharu’s last A-side with the group, Haachin barely stood out for her final single (her biggest notice was one word in this track). It’s an OK track, but I wouldn’t have known this single was a graduation single otherwise.
8. A gonna
The other A-side of the single, A gonna took a bit more of a trap-like setting here and while it was a twist on their EDM, I actually dug this song a bit more than “Are you Happy?” which showed off the group’s cooler side. Although I’m not sure if I agreed with the song’s movement, especially making the bridge immediately after the first chorus…it was hype no doubt…but still, the song felt odd with the choice made since the track actually ends after the 2nd chorus (at least it wasn’t a trainwreck like how “Ima Koko Kara” handled it).
9. Furari Ginza
Wow, 3 graduation singles in a row? Harunan this time and Furari Ginza is once again another push for a new sound by going a bit more pop and less synth-centric. The tune kind of reminds me of something Country Girls could’ve released after “Ranrarun ~Anata no Muchuu~”. Though the guitarwork is pretty neat though, but the song otherwise kind of doesn’t do much for me. Sadly, I don’t remember much about this song or if there was solos besides Sakura, Maachan, and Fukuchan. It’s OK, but nothing I’ll remember (even if this single was just released last year).
10. Jiyuu na Kuni Dakara
Of course Sakura and Fukuchan open up the next track and it’s another EDM-heavy track from the group. I do like the verses cool vibes here and it just shows a lot of power and edge that I love from these kind of songs. There’s just something cool about the first half of the track and while there isn’t a lot of solos (most though do come from the usual suspects). I will say raising the key over and over in the final run-through of the chorus was dragged out a bit, but this song is another bop for me!
11. Y Jiro no Tochuu
I guess it made sense to include the B-side from the single since it was the most recent single released from the group and I liked they added the song that kind of sent off Harunan. Though we are just midway through the 4th disc so it is funny to me they still included it here. Y Jiro no Tochuu is a lighter song than most of the disc includes and it kind of does remind me of “Wakaindashi!” without the tropical sound. Not surprised that Maachan, Sakura, and Fukuchan have solos, but I’m relieved that at least Harunan gets a lengthy solo to go out on. Overall not bad, though I don’t think it needed to be here to be honest.
12. Watashi no Nanni mo Wakacchanai (Morning Musume ’15 Ver.)
Now here’s where the interesting part of this whole release begins with some rarities and some new tracks! Now, Watashi no Nanni mo Wakachannai isn’t a new song by a long shot, but we did get this track off their 2017 album, “15 Thank you, too”, but from what the title explains it’s not that version, it’s probably the original cut that for some reason wasn’t released back then (when it probably should have). This cut actually features Riho & Zukki (but not Kaedii, Yokoyan, or even Chiichan). Listening to it and compared to the later official version, I definitely hear a lot more Riho in the song and that surprised me and kind of felt right too (not saying the ’17 version is better or not), but I wonder why this was such a hold up back then and they couldn’t release it prior to Riho’s graduation (honestly should’ve been a part of that final single she did with the group). Otherwise, it’s still the same great song with some line distribution moved around. At least each member had a solo!
13. Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi (TYPE B)
Initially released as a bonus track on the vinyl edition for “Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi/ENDLESS SKY/One and Only”, this track was a nice inclusion because it felt a bit more heartfelt than the regular cut of the song! Taking the synthwork and replacing it with strings & piano gave the song more of a melancholic feel and I also appreciate the effort to take out the duet lines of the original and give more solos out (despite that Haachin, Maria, and Akane didn’t get one here). The tune is shorter most because they did take out the bridge and instrumental breaks too. It’s a nice ballad retake of the song and I appreciate here as a bonus incentive.
14. Akogare no Stress-free (Morning Musume ’18 Ver.)
I’m a bit surprised with this one though because no other group in H!P has done this yet, but if you didn’t know, Akogare no Stress-free is originally a Hello Pro All Stars (basically all the units in H!P sung here) so seeing it stripped down to just Momusu here was definitely a curious choice. While I can’t detect solo lines, it feels like duet lines here but it does feel less cluttered than the original cut of the song. Still, I think I’m enjoying the all groups version than a one-by-one outlook here.
15. Jiyuu no Kuni Dakara (TV EDIT)
Usually 95% of the time, TV Edits happen because the song is tied to an anime so seeing Jiyuu no Kuni Dakara get one is a bit bizarre as it’s not tied to anything and seems weird as a rarity when there was no need for one. The song basically goes through the intro, first verse, and then repeated chorus with no instrumental end like the full version. I mean not bad, but why?
16. Koishite Mitakute
The final two tracks on this best album are brand new as they were both performed pretty recently (the latter promoting this album). Koishite Mitakute right from the get-go reminded me of a mix between “ENDLESS SKY” and Juice=Juice’s recent song, “Bitansan” with the loud synths and whatnot. I think the upbeat, sparkly poppyness is something I’ve been sort of missing from Momusu for quite a while. This definitely was something I’d call refreshing and stuck out for me. Nice song overall!
17. I surrender Aisaredo Ai
As the final track, I surrender Aisaredo Ai closes the best album out on a fiery song such as this! I was instantly reminded of songs like “Chikyuu ga Naiteiru” and “Dokk~an Cappricio” with how much energy is pushed out of this one with its aggressive guitar-work and the tempo mixed with how much force the ladies put out too! While I do like “Koishite Mitakute” better, this was a pretty decent track as well!
- Only you
- Nanchatte Renai
- Shouganai Yume Oibito
- Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game
- Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!
- Ai no Gundan
- Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe
- Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke
- One Two Three
- Oh my wish!
- Mukidashi de Mukiatte
- Utakata Saturday Night!
- Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki
- Sexy Cat no Enzetsu
- Koishite Mitakute
- Watashi no Nanni mo Wakacchanai (Morning Musume ’17 Ver.)
- Jiyuu no Kuni Dakara
- BRAND NEW MORNING
Songs of Avoidance
- Pyocopyoco Ultra
- The Matenrou Show
- Ima Koko Kara
- Morning Misoshiru
Wow, finally got all of this reviewed out! It definitely seemed like a long time coming because there was a LOT of A-sides that haven’t been included on any album (well in their main discography until now). Best! Morning Musume 20th Anniversary is very much a continuation from their “ALL SINGLES COMPLETE ~10th ANNIVERSARY~ that they released in 2007 and includes all the A-sides (and some B-sides as well as a few rarities) showcasing the group from “Mikan” to “Furari Ginza/Jiyuu no Kuni Dakara”. What I can say is that for 4 discs, watching the group from when I joined the fandom has been an experience and honestly there’s only a few songs that I dislike here so it was an awesome walk down memory lane. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring for Momusu!