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ANGERME – Rinnetenshou ~ANGERME Past, Present, and Future~ May 17, 2019

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 4:35 am

Rinnetenshou

Track Listing

  1. I Musou Strong!
  2. Akai Earphone
  3. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it!
  4. Yumemita 15nen
  5. Flag wo Bukkowase!
  6. Koi wa Accha Accha
  7. Kaeritakunai na.
  8. Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart
  9. Mou Ippou
  10. Jinsei, Sunawachi Panta Rhei
  11. Kagami no Kuni no Hinekure Queen
  12. Konya mo Suteki ni Ochitsukenai
  13. Natsu Shogun
  14. Watashi no Yumemita 15nen
  15. 46-okunen LOVE

CD2

  1. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
  2. Itoshima Distance
  3. Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru
  4. Umaku Ienai
  5. Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen
  6. Wasurete Ageru
  7. Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai
  8. Namida Iro no Ketsui
  9. Majokko Megu-chan
  10. Manner Mode
  11. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku
  12. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends
  13. Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi
  14. Uraha=Lover
  15. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)

CD3

  1. Taikibansei
  2. Otome no Gyakushuu
  3. Nana Korobi Ya Oki
  4. Gashinshoutan
  5. Mahou Tsukai Sally
  6. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai
  7. Dondengaeshi
  8. Watashi
  9. Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru
  10. Kakugoshite!
  11. Marionette 37°C
  12. Asekaite Carnival
  13. Kousaten
  14. Tomo yo

1. I Musou Strong!

Opening the main course of this release, I am finally able to exhale and say FINALLY we’ve got the studio cut of this song which was in this weird limbo for like 2 years where the only time we’d hear it is in live performances!  I’ve loved the song since when it was performed because it was energetic and has a heavier sound than previous.  With the studio cut, the song feels even fuller and cooler…but it doesn’t seem like there’s solos well until near the final chorus (Rikako and Murotan) (closest is duets lines).  Awesome way to open the album up!

2. Akai Earphone

A more recent performed track, Akai Earphone was a surprise because this is a pretty hardcore EDM track for the group even moreso than stuff like “Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi” & “Tsugutsugi Zokuzoku”.  It’s a pretty powerful song for them and I really enjoy that most of the members get a solo here (except Haruka for some reason?)  Regardless, Akai Earphone is definitely a high caliber song for them and I kind of wish it got a PV to promote the album honestly.

3. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it!

Of course, I’m not totally surprised that the first disc would included their more recent A-sides within the last year.  Though I have to say this song I had to relisten because I forgot how it went since the single review.  To me it feels like a mix of “Gashinshoutan” and “46-okunen LOVE”.  I don’t know why but the song didn’t resonate for me besides Funakki’s big solo line and the bopping bridge.  Otherwise, the song kind of flew by me

4. Yumemita 15nen

Which isn’t helped that it’s followed by this song (the secondary A-side of the most recent single they’ve released) and of course it was kind of primed to be the goodbye song to Ayacho (who is graduating next month).  This song is a bit of a not to the group’s major label debut, “Yumemiru 15sai” so the title was cute, but the song is more somber and lighter in style.  Personally despite the meaning of the song, I really couldn’t care about this song

5. Flag wo Bukkowase!

Of course the album would have smaller groupings of members (3 + a solo to be exact), this first one only has Takechan, Murotan, and new members Oota and Ise and I was pretty curious to how this would turnout because we’ve had really little time with the members.  I really do like the kind of Classic Rock vibes I get with this and appreciate the amount of Takechan and Murotan here because both their vocals work in this setting.  As for Haruka & Reira (Layla?) I feel like the latter probably had a better time as she sounds stronger and her lower tone fits alongside the elder members.  Haruka sounds OK, but she has time to grow as well.  Not bad here and I’m happy those two got quite a push here.!

6. Koi wa Accha Accha

Hopping back to their last main A-side, Koi wa Accha Accha was kind of a popular song with a funky dance and a strong Indian vibe to it.  I mean, it was the debut of the two new girls and I was surprised that Reira had such a cool tone in her voice while Haruka is super adorable with her line.  It has just the right amount of fun and sassiness that really caught my attention and that chorus is SUPER catchy!  Definitely my favorite of the A-sides released on this disc.

7. Kaeritakunai na.

Seems like we finally get a decent string of new tracks next.  It seems that Kaeritakunai na. was done by Tsunku and maybe isn’t ironic that the tune is more of a slow burner for me because it kind of gives me vibes of Momusu’s “Be Alive” because it’s a ballad in the beginning but it grows into this mid-tempo dance track.  I’m kind of in the middle but it does remind me more of like “ENDLESS SKY” with the beats and upbeat melody.

8. Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart

Next track up, Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart takes the page of some similar disco/funk tracks in H!P and I’m OK with this especially there’s a lot of solos in this one and the ladies have this snap and attitude that seems to works a lot!  I’m also loving the pop of the track and I think I hear everyone with a solo, including new members too, though I heard a lot of Kawamuu oddly.  This is just a good song to listen to overall and that’s a good sign!

9. Mou Ippou

Another song that was performed in lives recently, Mou Ippou is an interesting song right from the start because I’m not quite sure what genre its supposed to be under because it’s synthy but has loud percussion and some funky guitar riffs.  I think it sounds unique to ANGERME and wakes the crowds up because of how in your face it is.  Not bad, not bad.

10. Jinsei, Sunawachi Panta Rhei

What an interesting title here, Ayacho opens the next track with a spoken dialogue into another song a little like “Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart” but I feel like it has a little more going on in the song with the vocals and the transitions in various parts of the song but still in that disco/funk style.  Like I’m not quite sure about it makes it more memorable exactly but this was a nice track!

11. Kagami no Kuni no Hinekure Queen

Back to smaller groupings, the next track only features Kanana, Kamiko, Kassa, and Kawamuu for this one.  Really wasn’t sure how’d this one go because these are the members that are more mid-level vocalists.  Though from the song’s quirky arrangement, it’s a bit more cute and silly and I kind of like all 4 in the track.  Of course Moe would sounds the best with Kana behind her whereas Momona & Ayano were the cutesy vocals.  It’s pretty good for what it is that’s for sure.

12. Konya mo Suteki ni Ochitsukenai

Then there’s this track which is only sung by Rikako, Rina, and Musubu!  Not sure what I was getting into this one either, but it seems to be more like the previous track with somewhat of a cute vibe but this one has some low hits.  I was just happy to see these 3 together because I enjoy hearing their vocals.  While the song itself is a bit too busy, I think vocally it was on point so I guess it passes.

13. Natsu Shogun

Kind of surprised to see this track on the 1st disc, but I suppose it makes sense?  I will say this 2018 digital single is a bit of a surprise to me, but I think I’ve slightly gotten used to it despite being ANGERME’s “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” which what is the party atmosphere and just overall energetic performance.  Not bad nowadays, but it’s still a song I don’t think too much on from them.

14. Watashi no Yumemita 15nen

Wait, why is this titled just slightly different?  Well it’s because it’s Ayacho’s solo track but kind of a lazy one at that being a more stripped down take of the A-side.  Yeah, the melody of the lyrics sung is different but it is the same lyrics (well I think so).  Honestly though, I do like that Ayacho sounds nice (and Nyon is backup vocals) but like it made me bore of the song even further because it’s essentially “Yumemita 15nen” redone in a slight way.

15. 46-okunen LOVE

Not quite sure why this was chosen as the ending track, primarily due to the previous track is kind of like Ayacho’s goodbye and then we’re led into this A-side which is upbeat and disco-heavy.  I mean I really dig the song still and the energy is just fresh and just what I needed from ANGERME last year.  It’s so upbeat and catchy and I do appreciate it but maybe it could’ve been the track before but that’s me.

CD 2

1. Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku

So I find it weird that the 2nd and 3rd disc are the best discs, but they’re chronologically out of place (honestly I would’ve made the two vice versa so it’d make sense better).  Anyways, Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku kicks things off in a pretty hype way!  Being the debut for Moe and the last for Meimi, it was a hodge-podge of happenings!  I have to say, this song is just cool and really pushes this edgier feel for ANGERME during this period and I’m loving it!  From the rapping from Kanana, Rinapuu, and Meimi to Moe having some shine and just a lot of good points from everyone else…yeah, this song is a great way to kick off the 2nd disc!

2. Itoshima Distance

It’s funny coming back to this because, the only thing I remember about the song was the PV due to Maho’s giant jester hat that kind of stuck out like a sore thumb there.  Listening to the song again, Itoshima Distance was a surprisingly subtle song with the inclusion of a latin-like atmosphere from the acoustics and saxophone.  I will also comment that it’s been a while since I heard Maho sing.  I also like the focus on the 3rd Generation here.  Decent song though listening to this again!

3. Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru

Like I said two songs ago, this was also Meimi’s last single with the group and this track was focused heavily around her.  I wasn’t expecting the song to be slightly more rock-tinged in comparison to the previous two tracks, but I appreciate the variety the single brought.  Though I do think it is the weakest from the single just because it felt like something that has been done before.  Honestly, it was kind of a lukewarm goodbye to one of the strongest singers to kind of happen in H!P and ANGERME.

4. Umaku Ienai

So after Meimi graduated we entered their next single which had the SAME happenings where we had a new member join, Momona Kasahara and was the last single for Maho Aikawa (who while was technically still in ANGERME for the next two singles, she was on hiatus until she left the group at the end of 2017).  Already, I’m liking the pop/rock/funk vibes I get from this and everyone gets a nice amount of lines through.  Though I will say, I’m still confused on the bridge as it just sounds like an entirely different song.  Regardless, love this song!!!

5. Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen

Wow, this song was just ridiculously named and pretty long too!  This one actually was kind of used primarily to introduce Kassa to the group!  Seeing as this was the EDM-centric song off the single, Ai no Tame… is pretty robotic and cold which was something unique at the time for ANGERME.  Also, I loved hearing lots of Rinapuu, Takechan, and Murotan, and Kamiko was neat with a nice solo from Ayacho before the final chorus was awesome too!  Awesome song!

6. Wasurete Ageru

The single rounded out with what I would call a Emo-musume song (basically dance beats and strings together).  I do love the slight sitar usage and the vocals are really nice here especially since once again everyone gets a decent line (probably the best place to hear Momona, Rinapuu, and Maho from the single).  It’s just a nostalgic trip of a song and maybe underappreciated in their discography!

7. Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai

I hate saying this, but I felt this single was just a TOTAL blur to me, it feels like this single was just an odd single to me, not from the hiatus that Aiai was in, just that it felt slightly rushed?  The first song up was the EDM-centric track off the single, but this felt like a 2011/2012 song due to the song feel like multiple separate songs stitched together to try to make a song together.  I suppose it’s alright, but it’s not a memorable A-side for me!

8. Namida Iro no Ketsui

While I’m not entirely sure if the song was towards Maho’s absence, there was some subtle hints throughout.  I think the fact that it was also a ballad kind of illicit those kind of emotions.  I mean as you all know, ballads aren’t exactly my forte, but I thought this one was pretty sweet and not quite the bore that I had thought it was once was.  Plus I can appreciate a lot of the vocals were between Murotan, Rikako, and Kamiko.  It’s simple, but effective and I liked that a lot, but like “Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai”, might not be the most memorable track.

9. Majokko Megu-chan

Since the two previous tracks kind of focused on the Gens, I was surprised that they made this song (a cover, mind you) focus around Kassa (Momona).  I was curious because we hadn’t had a lot of time to get to know her yet.  I mean it’s a neat song and I found myself humming along and surprised that Kassa held her own here since she was the focus (well the group pops in the 2nd verse).  Sad to say, but it was the favorite of the single.

10. Manner Mode

Another single, new members huh?  Yeah this was the debut for Musubu Funaki (who basically was sent here shortly after Country Girls kind of went on a semi-hiatus) and Ayano Kawamura, a Kenshuusei member.  Also adding that this was a WEIRD misnomer of a single because it was a DVD single and didn’t count as a release from their singles list, but I’m happy they made the cut.  Manner Mode was the first known and boy listening to it now, it actually reminds me a lot of “Umaku Ienai” with the pop/rock/funk groove.  At least it’s pretty straightforward, but like the last couple of songs, I kind of forgot how this went before the review here.  Yeah, it’s OK I suppose lol.

11. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku

Not quite sure why this song has a fake intro to the song.  Anyways, from this DVD single, I definitely remember this song the most because it had the most dramatics and kind of reminded me of “Otome no Gyakushuu”!  I also like how the song revolves around Takechan, new member Funakki, Kanana, and Rinapuu.  The Gothic vibes I get from the song is just neat and the chorus is powerful and frantic and it just is catchy all-around!

12. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends

I mean I know they’re different arrangements, but I don’t know why we needed both on the album.  Regardless, the original version of the song features Kamiko, Murotan, and new member Kawamuu at the front of the songs and honestly I had totally forgot how this version went because I am so used to the updated one.  Not quite sure if I like the dance beats and just general upbeatness of the track and to be fair while I think Moe sounded nice, Murotan sounded rough and Kawamuu’s voice is so squeaky…  Not a song that I’m totally fond of (well I did like the game-esque ending though).

13. Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi

Finally we get to the last single to represent the best-of section and Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi was a great banger in 2018!  Another EDM-centric song, this one had a bit more push from just about everyone and it just was a cool song for the group to have almost in the same vein as “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” was.  Powerful and just fun to listen to, a total surprise from last year!

14. Uraha=Lover

Last year when I first reviewed this, I wasn’t too intrigued by this one, but since then, Uraha=Lover has actually grown on me and the kind of upbeat yet serious feel of the song is more intriguing than I was expecting.  A less dramatic “Wasurete Ageru” I think would be the guess I have for it.  I am a little distracted by the 3-note guitar melody that’s all over the choruses and louder parts.  I will say, hearing all the girls singing is awesome and I remember a LOT of Funakki here for some reason (probably because of the PV) and the filtered last chorus with Kamiko & Ayacho.  Either way, the song is pretty good nowadays!

15. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)

Like I said, weird with two versions of the same song right?  Anyways this version differs quite a bit from the original cut by stripping aways the synths and dance beats to leave us with acoustic guitar and light percussion.  Also the song has solos for everyone (though I felt like Rikako had a bit more going on?).  Still, the song is quite blah and despite being shorter as well, I was kind of bored with it, maybe on the same levels as the original.

CD 3

1. Taikibansei

I’m still confused by the CD order, but I guess we’re at the 3rd disc, starting with the first track that was performed under the ANGERME name!  Taikibansei was a shock to the say the least and REALLY invigorated the group with the crowd pleaser of a song.  On top of the new name, we were introduced to 3 new members here, Rikako Sasaki, Mizuki Murota, and Maho Aikawa and while I do like them entering, Murotan was the only one of the 3 to get a solo (alongside Ayacho as majority of the song was sung in groupings).  Anyways, Taikibansei is fun and just always puts me into an energetic mood!  Love this song!

2. Otome no Gyakushuu

The other A-side was a bit more interesting and darker with a kind of baroque, Gothic style about it mixed with a solid beat.  I also forgot that this was when Kanon Fukuda & Meimi Tamura were still in the group.  The tune is quite a bop still and while it does feel basic compared to future songs, there’s just something about it that works here.  Plus hearing Rikako here is awesomes too.

3. Nana Korobi Ya Oki

So it seems this was the only song they had done a “dance unit” for their A-side and that meant 3 members (Rikako, Kanon, and Rina) were basically sitting out for this song.  After “Otome no Gyakushuu”, I guess this liked the Gothic tones and took it and added some oomph to the arrangement and some of the singers were just owning it.  Definitely one of my favorite songs because there was a lot of Meimi, Kanana, Rinapuu, and Murotan and even our first Maho solo too!  It was just epic and despite not all members present in the song, it still just kills!

4. Gashinshoutan

Getting into Gashinshoutan, this song was a total 180 from the more serious “Nana Korobi Ya Oki” being more lighthearted and even fun and upbeat.  This was also the first time I felt like all the members had lines and prominent ones at that (though I think Nyon got the push because it was around the time she announced her graduation).  I had a lot of fun listening to this one and the girls sound similar too.  Awesome!

5. Mahou Tsukai Sally

As a cover of an old cartoon theme, Mahou Tsukai Sally was pretty unique to the single because not only it was mostly cutesy but the focus was entirely on Rikako, Mizuki, and Maho (with a solo from Ayacho & Nyon).  I mean it’s a bit repetitive, but there’s enough changes in the arrangement that it keeps my interest.  Not the most memorable song they’ve done, but it has its quirks about it.

6. Desugita Kui wa Utarenai

I wasn’t expecting the horror sounds to open up Desugita Kui wa Utarenai as one of the last A-sides Kanon took part in.  Though the song is a bit of a wild track in of itself with a loud arrangement that takes the genre into more metal (were they trying to be like BABYMETAL?).  The song though is good in parts, but messy in other parts too.  It has gotten better since I first reviewed it, but there’s just some parts that are too messy for my liking.

7. Dondengaeshi

Which is pretty cool that this song was up next because I felt like it fixed the things I had troubles getting into “Desugita Kui wa Utarenai” for.  It’s still a pretty heavy song, but it isn’t relentless and crazy.  Add on that I really enjoyed the vocals and power in the chorus going back and forth between members.  I mean definitely the best song from the single and two rock ANGERME songs had made me though they’d go into a new direction (though that wasn’t the case in the end XD).

8. Watashi

I know this single was Kanon’s last with the group, but damn was this song THE FURTHEST away from what the two tracks previous had brought.  Instead of the hard guitars and loud drums, Watashi is cutesy EDM that felt more suitable for S/mileage TBH.  Though knowing Nyon herself worked lyrically here is a surprise and impressive.  The song itself is ok I suppose, but Kanon’s squeaky tone isn’t doing well for me.  Just kind of an odd track all-around but it’s for a special moment of graduation!

9. Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru

I think I was most surprised that this album would go ahead and include the 6 songs that came from their odd compilation album “S/mileage / ANGERME SELECTION BEST “Taikibansei””.  I had already forgot what most of the songs sounded like so it was like new songs to me again XD.  Namida wa Chou ni Kawaru right from that start does still remind me of Juice=Juice’s “Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka no KISS” because both of strong latin vibes throughout.  I do like the members all get solos here and it’s softly sung but I think the chorus disappoints me a bit, just doesn’t hit the right places.  Still I suppose it’s alright though.

10. Kakugoshite!

Next up, Kakugoshite! was an odd song for me since it didn’t grab my interest back in the initial review.  Returning back to this song, Kakugoshite! is kind of weird because it feels like a straight-up album song since it doesn’t feel like it has any memorable parts besides the hook (which I find annoying).  I guess the song just doesn’t quite live up to the expectations for me and just falls flat even today.

11. Marionette 37°C

I feel like this, “Otome no Gyakushuu” and “Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku” share this connection of this dark, Halloween, creepiness and I kind of dig it everytime I hear it so returning back to Marionette 37°C has me al excited and what not.  I will say it kind of feels more related to “Otome no Gyakushuu” because it’s a bit more playful in the arrangement and I always love hearing the members get solos.  Appreciating more that Maho has the first and last solo of the track too!  I ended up pretty much enjoying all of this!

12. Asekaite Carnival

So now ANGERME is doing their own take of Kobushi’s “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro”?  is what I get when I listen to this track because it’s just as festive and upbeat as you think it goes.  A song that doesn’t have a Maho solo (everyone else does though).  I like a good portion of it and the celebratory feeling is just great to hear.  The only thing I don’t exactly agree with is the dubstep smudge in the pre-chorus, just doesn’t fit honestly.  Other than that, this is a pretty good track!

13. Kousaten

Maybe it would’ve been more appropriate had Kousaten actually ended the disc instead of “Tomo yo” but that’s just me.  Anyways, Kousaten is the ballad of the 6 songs and the only one to not include Kanon as this was kind of the goodbye song to her from the group, but I suppose you could also link this to Ayacho as well now.  Really simple ballad and I do appreciate all 8 members have a solo line, but otherwise it’s kind of a typical goodbye ballad and it really didn’t stand out to me, even “Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends” was memorable at least x.x

14. Tomo yo

The 3rd disc ends with Tomo yo which is kind of the “Namidacchi” or “Iron Heart” for ANGERME being primarily used as an encore during lives to kind of go out on an energetic note.  The upbeat rowdiness of the song might intrigue some, but this feels like a dumped Buono! song sung by ANGERME.  Most of the song is sung in groupings (minus one solo from Nyon).  I think I kind of OK with this song but I think maybe “Kousaten” would’ve been a better album closer.

Tracks Recommended

  • Akai Earphone
  • 46-okunen LOVE
  • I Musou Strong!
  • Koi wa Accha Accha
  • Itoshi Itoshi to Say My Heart

 

  • Ai no Tame Kyou Made Shinkashite Kita Ningen Ai no Tame Subete Taikashite Kita Ningen
  • Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku
  • Nakenai ze…Kyoukan Sagi
  • Umaku Ienai
  • Wasurete Ageru

 

  • Dondengaeshi
  • Nana Korobi Ya Oki
  • Taikibansei
  • Marionette 37°C
  • Otome no Gyakushuu

Songs of Avoidance

  • Yumemita 15nen
  • Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends
  • Kousaten

Wow, it’s been so long since we’ve seen an album that it’s to the point where this is the FIRST ANGERME album!  Rinnetenshou is a long due album for sure and probably only was released because the last original S/mileage member Ayaka Wada is graduating.

The first disc was where most of the interest was at because there were 10 new songs to listen to and for the most part it was pretty awesome material and with the last two singles and the digital single was good enough to pad the disc out as well!  Really hoped for a little more relevance of Ayacho’s graduation besides a revamped cut of Yumemita 15nen, but that’s just me…she should’ve gotten something bigger than one solo track.

As for CD 2 & 3, all I can say is I wished the discs were vice versa and have it work chronologically, but I do appreciate all the ANGERME songs (sans OST songs) making the cut so this release felt like a Complete Best album (minus the couple of S/mileage songs that still don’t have an album to be on).

As a whole, Rinnetenshou was a pretty strong album and really happy we finally got it, Up-Front should never wait this long for an album like this.  Just do it after a couple singles PLEASE!!!

 

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S/mileage – S/mileage Best Album Kanzenban ① April 19, 2019

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 5:17 am

Kanzenban1

Track Listing

  1. Dot Bikini
  2. Choto Mate Kudasai!
  3. Please Miniskirt Postwoman!
  4. Tachiagirl
  5. Uchouten LOVE
  6. Koi ni Booing Buu!
  7. Short Cut
  8. Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama
  9. ○○Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!
  10. Yumemiru 15sai
  11. Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!
  12. Suki-chan
  13. Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai
  14. aMa no Jaku
  15. Kiiroi Jitensha to Sandwich

1. Dot Bikini

Wow, I guess the best album is going to go from the most released single (at that time) and go chronologically back huh?  I guess it’s fun to start with the group’s summer single, Dot Bikini!  I really like the beach vibes I get from the tune’s intro with the waves splashing on shore and that cute synth line.  Though the tune is pretty upbeat and it had some sawtooth synths to booth as well.  I will say that the chorus with the whole ~ke-ke-ke-ke-ke-ke~ bit can et a little grating at times, but I feel like the rest of the song just flies by mostly.  Though I did like the solos from Ayacho, Nyon, Meimi, and Takechan (the only four who actually did, sorry Rinapuu & Kanana).  Might not be the group’s most memorable A-side, but it was cute to listen to!

2. Choto Mate Kudasai!

As the first single without their most popular member, Yuuka, Choto Mate Kudasai! was going to be an interesting romp of a song and I initially thought it was going to be heavily shouldered on Ayaka and Kanon.  The tune is vibrant and has some surprises in it like some solos from the 2nd Generation (Takechan, Meimi, Kanana, and Rinapuu) and some tight high notes from Nyon, Takechan, and Meimi who all kind of was all over the map on pitch XD.  It’s a bit rocky of a song, but I definitely remembered this one for its quirkiness.

3. Please Miniskirt Postwoman!

As the last single for Yuukarin, Please Miniskirt Postwoman! was weird opening up with that odd baroque melody before the song opens up into another synth track (with some oddly sounding gritty synths).  This was also when the 2nd Generation of S/mileage was officially made and was the first time we hear Akari, Kana, Rina, and Meimi have solo lines.  I had also forgot how squeaky Ayacho & Yuukarin’s vocals were compared to other members.  I don’t know I mean the song is cute and upbeat and decent enough for me to put it high on the list.

4. Tachiagirl

Gosh was this a song that had history to it.  It was the first single without original member Saki Ogawa and the first to include sub-members (which later became the 2nd Gen S/mileage girls, well except one Fuyuka Kosuga who only appeared here and ended up having to leave due to sickness issues).  That said, Tachiagirl was just Ayaka, Yuuka, and Kanon (oh, Lilpri?) while the other 5 did backup shouts primarily.  The song never really put me into any good mood because it felt so not A-side-ish.  Plus, the hole that Sakitty left put a damper on the mood and with the new blood just kind of in the background, it was a song that really wasn’t needed to exist (would’ve been better if the 5 girls were utilized more honestly).  Overall, this was just a forgetful song.

5. Uchouten LOVE

Now onto the majority of the best album circulating around the original 4 members (before Saki’s rather sudden departure from the group), Uchouten LOVE was kind of touted as the group’s best single, but I mean I understood that but it those sawtooth synths was put at max here.  Though I can’t help but fall in love with the chorus and the quartet sounds so youthful and happy that it kind of just sticks to you.  I will say I had forgot how nice Saki’s vocals were in the group alongside Kanon and you had the genki duo of Yuuka and Ayaka here kind of adding the cutesy tone.  This was an exciting song that’s for sure!

6. Koi ni Booing Buu!

I just remembered this song as the piggie song and yeah it’s rather kind of just cute fluff here if not moreso because of the whole theming of the single.  If I take the song without the PV and listened to it by itself, Koi ni Booing Buu! feels like a cute Buono! song because of the electric guitars throughout.  Though those ~BUU~ quips are bizarre to me still.  Though it still doesn’t quite strike me much of a memorable song.  Though the guitar solo is kind of cool.  Yeah, another A-side that never really caught my attention.

7. Short Cut

I would have to say, S/mileage really never did a lot of serious songs, but I kind of consider this less cute than most of their discography.  Maybe it is cutesy, but it definitely didn’t feel caked on, almost kind of natural from the synths and the slightly nostalgic feel just stood out for me.  Plus it seems like the ladies didn’t try to over complicate things with their squeaky idol voices.  It’s glossy but somehow done quite well here

8. Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama

If I thought “Koi ni Booing Buu!” was kind of the cutesy Buono! song, then this A-side (the last to represent their first album “Warugaki 1”) was the epitome of a track that REALLY sounded like a Buono! song and the PV kind of looked like one too which is surprising (and a surprise appearance of Momusu’s Nozomi Tsuji added).  While I don’t think the quartet’s vocals really suited the punk rock sound of the track, they held it together but that chorus kind of is a mess to be honest lol.  Still, this was pretty ballsy of a song and kind of wished S/mileage had explored this more (though later ANGERME would somewhat).

9. ○○Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!

I remember used to HATING this song from them to the point I’d never go outta my way for it.  Though for some ungodly reason over the years, I have grown more fondly towards the song than I should and it scared me (I call it the Tsunku effect).  Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!! is another one of their goofy A-sides (usually paired with “Koi ni Booing Buu!” because both songs feature nonsensical sounds to add effect.  Though for some reason the track itself is silly and has so lulzy lines, yet some good vocals especially for how young these 4 were.  I would definitely have this song on my playlist just on its fun merits alone.  Yeah, I should relisten to “Warugaki 1” and see if my thoughts have changed as much.

10. Yumemiru 15sai

Then we hit this song which was the group’s major label debut and boy was it a great one to debut with.  Yeah, the song does feel somewhat dated (and might have been the backbone for “Short Cut” for some reason), but this song is ridiculous and cool for the group (who prior to this in their indies singles was only cutesy stuff).  Also, Saki’s high note in the song is just epic!  Yeah, the song is sparkly and glossy but it really stood the test of time and changed them for the better!

11. Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!

Going in this final stretch is their indies singles and while it wasn’t too far off from what S/mileage would release as their debut in their major label, Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!! is like a bit of a hidden gem for me returning to it these days because back then S/mileage never really piqued my radar in their indies releases but coming back now, Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!! is energetic and cute and the melody is really nice. Definitely my favorite of the 4 indies songs they have.

12. Suki-chan

Despite being a favorite amongst fans even today, Suki-chan wasn’t a song that really caught my attention.  Another pop/rock song but slightly cuter, Suki-chan is another song I feel like Buono! could’ve had too…but the vocals are slightly off-putting here.  Ayaka and Yuuka kind of make it difficult to really adhere to me.  I don’t know but of the 4 indies, I think I like this the least still to this day.

13. Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai

As the group’s 2nd indies single, Asu wa Date na no ni, Ima Sugu Koe ga Kikitai was kind of the first time that S/mileage had any kind of response out of me (well back then).  The tune was kind of that cutesy track that was its own thing and didn’t really set a course for the group to stick with this sound.  Though, it’s kind of hokey and adorable and while the quartet kind of squeak their vocals for this one (even the better two Saki and Kanon sounded squeaky too!).  Still, nowadays the song is just sugary and adorable and on occasion find myself humming it.

14. aMa no Jaku

Then we finally land in the group’s first song together, aMa no Jaku and it definitely doesn’t sound like anything that would come from them going forward.  It felt very idol standard of a song and unlike the cute songs and pop/rock songs, this is kind of mid-tempo and kind of mellow of a song which is odd that Tsunku chose this to debut S/mileage with.  Granted the quartet sound nice and got nice line distribution and for me it’s a rather nostalgic song even if it doesn’t represent then in the long run besides being their first song (“Yumemiru 15sai” gets all that attention).

15. Kiiroi Jitensha to Sandwich

We finally come to the end and as a surprise, the best album ends with a brand new song from the then current lineup.  Though considering the time this best came out I kind of let the song fly over my head essentially.  Though listening to it now, the tune fits the cute frame well and sits snuggly with both of the other 6-nin songs (“Dot Bikini” and “Choto Mate Kudasai!”).  I really liked that Rinapuu and Kanana got some push in the song while the other four do their normal duties.  It’s a cute song but not terrible.

Tracks Recommended

  • Yumemiru 15sai
  • Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!
  • ○○Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!
  • Short Cut
  • aMa no Jaku

Song of Avoidance

  • Tachiagirl

Since Ayaka Wada (the last of the original S/mileage members is graduating in the end of May, I thought I step back in time to review a best album (and the only thing I hadn’t reviewed from barring OSTs).  Having to go back and review the old S/mileage releases was pretty neat and since the original days, my mind has changed somewhat about those tracks and this best album helped that.  Though after reviewing everything since then, this was an oddly placed best album considering how shaky the group was after the addition of 2nd Gen and the losses of both Saki & Yuuka.  Though at the same time I feel like S/mileage after “Dot Bikini” changed dramatically so this kind of capsulates the girly cute and genki S/mileage quite perfectly in a bow.  Overall the best album was nice and the only new track was OK.  Next up should be their 3rd album to be reviewed, “Rinnetenshou” and two discs are “best-of” discs so woo!

 

ANGERME – Koi wa Accha Accha/Yumemita 15nen March 27, 2019

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 4:34 am

koiwaacchaaccha

Track Listing

  1. Koi wa Accha Accha
  2. Yumemita 15nen
  3. Koi wa Accha Accha (Instrumental)
  4. Yumemita 15nen (Instrumental)

1. Koi wa Accha Accha

Since the other A-side is more focused on Ayacho, the primary A-side Koi wa Accha Accha is here to introduce us to the group’s two newest members, Haruka Oota & Reira (or Layla depending) Ise.  I do like that it kind of reminds me of C-ute’s “The Power” because both had heavy Indian vibes going on and are pretty danceable.  I kind of already enjoy Reira’s vocals a lot and Haruka is OK for right now…interesting additions to the group to say the least.  The rest of the girls get some decent time with solos (except for Kanana and Rinapuu for some reason).  Regardless, the song is a bit of a bop and can be quite the earworm!

2. Yumemita 15nen

Immediately just from the title alone, it screamed nostalgia back to S/mileage’s first major single, “Yumemiru 15sai”.  Though it’s definitely not like the mentioned song because this tune is meant to kind of send off Ayacho (the last of the original S/mileage members) who is graduating.  Yumemita 15nen sadly isn’t quite the song that I was hoping it would be because it’s a bit more mellow and kind of feels more like a sentimental feeling throughout.  It definitely works with the PV and lyrics it got but as song alone, I just kind of passed it up.

 

 

ANGERME’s going through some big changes again with both two new members and a graduation!  Though I kind of feel slightly disappointed in this single.  In a way, I do like that Koi wa Accha Accha did a lot to show all the members and giving the new girls something to work with, but my disappointment is more with Yumemita 15nen being kind of a poor sendoff to Ayacho (especially with her tenure from the Eggs to SCE!/Lilpri to S/mileage and now ANGERME…you’d think they’d celebrate her time a LOT more, hell Kanon got a solo song for her last single….there better be a damn album announcement soon!

 

ANGERME – Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it!/46-Okunen LOVE October 13, 2018

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 3:30 am

tadekuumushi

Track Listing

  1. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it!
  2. 46-Okunen LOVE
  3. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it! (Instrumental)
  4. 46-Okunen LOVE (Instrumental)

1. Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it!

Something about the leading track instantly reminded me of a bit of a mix of “Taikibansei” and “Umaku Ienai” for some reason, but I think I dig the poppy and funky sound of the track.  Though I’m not sure how I feel with the lack of solos for the girls because I only remember Funakki getting a solo in the track lol.  I think maybe the song is a bit of a slow grower, but honestly the best part is the bridge as the arrangement gets a bit more heavier and the beat is more electro.  Otherwise, it’s middle-of-the-road for me as an A-side.

2. 46-Okunen LOVE

As for Yonjuuroku-Okunen LOVE (how the title is pronounced), I was definitely given a serious vibe to stuff from Berryz Kobo & even more specifically Momusu’s “Utakata Saturday Night!” because of the disco-pop vibes from this one.  I was more impressed with this A-side because it’s got a lot of spotlight on the members here and the energy is bright and fantastic!  I’m just so happy to see Rina and Rikako getting a lot of lines here, though not surprised I barely got to see Ayano & Kana here.  Still, this is a pretty awesome song for them.

 

 

As Ayacho’s graduation grows closer, this single kind of feels a bit odd at a time like this.  It’s an OK single and definitely worth it alone to listen to 46-Okunen LOVE as it’s bright, sassy and just full of the excitement that ANGERME seems to have in spades of showing and there’s no slowing them down it feels like.  Tade Kuu Mushi mo Like it! feels like some of their older songs, but it’s OK, but nothing compared to its sister A-side.  Just makes me wish the group would release their 3rd album already (albeit, their first as ANGERME).

 

Hello Pro All Stars – YEAH YEAH YEAH/Akogare no Stress-free/Hana, Takenawa no Toki September 18, 2018

yeahyeahyeah

Track Listing

  1. YEAH YEAH YEAH
  2. Akogare no Stress-free
  3. Hana, Takenawa no Toki
  4. Hello! History
  5. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Morning Musume ’18 Ver.) (Regular A only)
  6. YEAH YEAH YEAH (ANGERME Ver.) (Regular B only)
  7. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Juice=Juice Ver.) (Regular C only)
  8. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Country Girls Ver.) (Regular D only)
  9. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Kobushi Factory Ver.) (Regular E only)
  10. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Tsubaki Factory Ver.) (Regular F only)
  11. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Instrumental)
  12. Akogare no Stress-free (Instrumental)
  13. Hana, Takenawa no Toki (Instrumental)
  14. Hello! History (Instrumental)

1. YEAH YEAH YEAH

As the leading A-side of the single, I was kind of expecting a bombastic dance track with such a title, but instead it’s quite the opposite taking more of a mid-tempo piano ballad that actually is structured a bit more as a dance number.  I mean the song sounds a little bit like previous Hello! Project songs and it just doesn’t really put a spark in me (doesn’t help there’s no solos either).  Even the dance breakdown is eerily similar to Momusu’s “Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi” & “The Vision”. I don’t know, but the song comes off generic and forgettable.

2. Akogare no Stress-free

At least the 2nd A-side kind of fixes that mess with more of an interesting sound and it’s actually upbeat!  I like the surfers rock sound I get from it and the song just has a bit more oomph to it since it is a bit more of a cooler song for them.  Though the only solos here are actually between Ayacho & Fukuchan (leader and sub-leader of H!P).  It’s a pretty cool song, probably the favorite of the single though.

3. Hana, Takenawa no Toki

I was surprised we were getting this song on the single considering I thought it was more of an Up-Front song than anything (because it was performed first at HinaFest earlier in the year).  That said, seeing the H!P girls get this song is kind of interesting.  The song is a full chorale of a song to a simple piano arrangement.  While I like the togetherness of the track, didn’t we technically get that in “YEAH YEAH YEAH”?  I don’t know, this one is pretty much eh as well, but I suppose it’s clean and simple.

4. Hello! History

Honestly, this should’ve EASILY been the lead song as it really showcases H!P up to date!  It’s funky and the singing is pretty upbeat and kind of quite unique because it mentions a lot of big songs that involve the current groups.  Hell, the leaders of H!P get a solo too (even Reina Ichioka!).  Might look like a bigger “Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari” but I dig this quite a bit, why is it a B-side???

5. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Morning Musume ’18 Ver.) (Regular A only)
6. YEAH YEAH YEAH (ANGERME Ver.) (Regular B only)
7. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Juice=Juice Ver.) (Regular C only)
8. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Country Girls Ver.) (Regular D only)
9. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Kobushi Factory Ver.) (Regular E only)
10. YEAH YEAH YEAH (Tsubaki Factory Ver.) (Regular F only)

Each Regular version of the single does come with a 5th track depending on which version you get (obvious which group you want).  Though I kind of wish it wasn’t YEAH YEAH YEAH as the chosen track though.  Really not much to say here sadly because I’m still not that much of a fan of the song.  Though I guess one good thing that sets these apart from the original is the fact there’s solo lines through each group’s version so I suppose there’s a plus right?

 

 

Compared to “ALL FOR ONE & ONE FOR ALL!” and “Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku”, this is by far the weakest (get all of H!P together) single to date.  I don’t who thought YEAH YEAH YEAH would make for a decent showing of the company because it kind of brought the generic stuff that H!P has done together in one song.  Probably would’ve better had Akogare no Stress-free or Hello! History as the leading songs because both those tracks are great!  Hana, Takenawa no Toki is simple and nice, but maybe not for this single.  I don’t know this 20th anniversary thing hasn’t really celebrated a lot music-wise IMO…disappointing…

 

 

ANGERME – Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi/Uraha=Lover/Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.) April 26, 2018

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 5:22 am

nakanaize

Track Listing

  1. Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi
  2. Uraha=Lover
  3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)
  4. Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi (Instrumental)
  5. Uraha=Lover (Instrumental)
  6. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acousic Ver.) (Instrumental)

1. Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi

As the primary A-side for the single, we get Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi first and it’s quite the familiar territory for the group as the song has the upbeat electro sound that ANGERME has been tackling for a little while with songs like “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku” and “Ai no Tame…” but this one mixes those two aforementioned tracks to become a futuristic bop for the group.  I do like hearing the group starting to even out their line distribution more and more, but knowing Murotan, Kamiko, and a couple of the newer members getting more time to shine!  It’s a pretty decent track and my favorite from the single!

2. Uraha=Lover

As for the 2nd A-side, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than a cuter song in comparison to the other two tracks.  Right from the start, I was kind of thrown off by the vocal filter thrown on Rikako & Murotan in the intro lines.  Though it does clear up once Funakki kicks the verses off.  There’s something odd to the song and I’m not quite as interested with the disjointed guitar in the chorus (though the melody does remind me of something, but not quite sure what).  It does try to push itself as a pop/rock track…it’s coming off a smidge messy in places.

3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.)

I really wasn’t too thrilled to have found out they would make this song even more of a ballad than its original take.  I never found the original with Murotan, Kawamuu, and Kamiko to be that great and the song was just kind of floating there on that single.  Granted, this time around, I do like the arrangement here with mostly acoustic guitar at its base.  Add on that all the members get a nice line in the song and I think it did a little better than the original.  Still not quite into the full-ballad mode it has and wasn’t expecting to be shorter by doing only two choruses.

 

 

ANGERME finally brings their first release for the year!  After the announcement officially saying that Maho left the group, I think the group just kind of shrugged it off and moved forward to release this single (which funny enough stated that their previous release, “Manner Mode / Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku / Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends” wasn’t considered an official single for the group), but to be fair I won’t say this is Kawamura & Funaki’s first single in ANGERME.

So the single itself is kind of a hodge-podge in my opinion.  I have to say that Nakanai ze…Kyoukan Sagi is a pretty cool song and fits in their repertoire of other EDM-flourished songs in their discography pretty nicely and Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends’ updated sound did the song a bit better than the original.  I think the only song that bothers me is Uraha=Lover just from the arrangement being a bit too rough on the edges IMO.  With the recent announcement of Ayacho graduating we have a decent amount of time to get ready for it (she’s planning for next year).  So what could be next for the group has got me curious!

 

ANGERME – Manner Mode/Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku/Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends December 14, 2017

Filed under: S/mileage — solarblade @ 3:02 am

mannermode

Track Listing

  1. Manner Mode
  2. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku
  3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends
  4. Manner Mode (Instrumental)
  5. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku (Instrumental)
  6. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends (Instrumental)

1. Manner Mode

As the main A-side promoted, Manner Mode kicks the single off with an upbeat, sort-a rockin’ song.  I have to say, the song is pretty cool and hearing Rikako, Ayacho, and Momona having leads is pretty interesting to say the least.  The other members seem to also get lines here and there (but not quite the frequency the 3 mentioned have).  Kind of gives me slight “Umaku Ienai” and some early S/mileage feels here and I dug that about this song…not bad!

2. Kisoku Tadashiku Utsukushiku

Hold on, what’s this??? Is this the second coming of “Otome no Gyakushuu” here?  Quite possibly considering both tracks have this dramatic, gothic-like atmosphere about them.  I am a little confused about the 20 second intro…seemed so random and unusual, but it restarts and we get Funakki & Takechan solos and later Kanana & Rinapuu!  I have to say, this dark setting always seems to impress me when it comes from ANGERME and I always like the whole ~danger of my love~ line too.  It’s pretty neat!  Kind of the star song here and interestingly was initially going to be the primary A-side, but was switched with “Manner Mode”.

3. Kimi Dake ja nai sa…friends

Last, but not least is the song that focuses around the remaining members; Murotan, Kawamuu, and Kamiko!  It definitely feels like the “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe” or “The Vision” for ANGERME because of the mellow sound and the arrangement having some similarities to those songs (well, at least up to the chorus because the tune gets more upbeat and hopeful).  There’s a whole lot of Murotan in the song which is awesome…as for the totally new member, Ayano, she’s got a high voice which might rival Ayacho’s!  It’s nice for the most part, but not quite as good as the previous two tracks!

 

 

Is it time for a new album yet?  Seriously though ANGERME, stop adding so many members in such a short period of time lawd!  Now we have two more new members, (Funaki who was basically sent there because Country Girls is in a weird hiatus and brand new member Ayano Kawamura.  Funaki brings in her voice and she stands out with her lower timbre and sounds like she’ll fit in fine while Kawamuu will take a while to get used to because of her higher register.  The single itself is pretty good for the most part, no actual complaints beyond that I’m missing Maho still, but all three songs showcase the best of them!  Just, no more DVD single please…