Kurayami Monogatari

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Tsubaki Factory – first bloom November 15, 2018

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 6:52 am

firstbloom

Track Listing

  1. Hatsukoi Sunrise
  2. Hyoumen Chouryoku ~Surface Tension~
  3. Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta
  4. Shuukatsu Sensation
  5. I Need You ~Yozora no Kanransha~
  6. Kanousei no Concerto
  7. Shunrenka
  8. Date no Hi wa Nido Kurai Shower Shite Dekaketai
  9. Kaerou Let’s Go!
  10. Just Try!
  11. Junjou cm
  12. Waratte
  13. Yuki no Planetarium
  14. Uruwashi no Camellia
  15. Hana Moyou
  16. Teion Yakedo
  17. Happy Cracker
  18. Furisake Mireba…

CD2

  1. Hitorijime
  2. Kedakaku Sakihokore!
  3. Seishun Manmannaka!
  4. Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo
  5. 17sai
  6. Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru-hen~
  7. LET’S LIVE!
  8. Jiriri Kiteru
  9. Tokai no Hitorigurashi
  10. Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi
  11. ENDLESS YOUTH

1. Hatsukoi Sunrise

Fitting that the group’s first album would open up with their major label debut and known for being the debut for Mao, Saori, and Mizuho!  To be fair, the song was pretty awesome as the 9-nin’s debut because it just smacked hard and the tune is pretty damn catchy!  Plus, hearing all the members getting some kind of solo was pretty impressive and did a great job to alleviate the fears a lot of fans were having during their indies days!

2. Hyoumen Chouryoku ~Surface Tension~

So the album contains 6 new tracks (though 5 of those 6 were heard in concerts throughout the year so we’ve had some time with a couple of those.  Hyoumen Chouryoku was one of the more recent ones and from information, the song was kind of a freebie song that was used in a contest (lost, but was given to Tsubaki Factory down the line).  I already can tell that this one might stand out because of the funkier vibes I get here (almost feels like it belongs to Juice=Juice).  I will say the energy here is nice and the group sounds exciting too!  Not bad, if there’s anything the high note in the chorus is a bit abrasive, but the song is catchy too!

3. Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta

As part of the group’s 4th and final single for the album, I felt like most of that single just kind of flew by my head.  Coming back to this song, Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta was purely a favorite off that single (probably the best of the 2018 A-sides).  There’s just something so bright and cute about this song that just worked, maybe it’s those filtered vocals at the beginning and the beat of the track overall.  I just thought that it was a pretty awesome song and was a good tune to remember.

4. Shuukatsu Sensation

Moving back to their 2nd single, Shuukatsu Sensation was the primary A-side off the single and just like “Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta”, it was an instant favorite of mine off that single because it seemed a bit more funkier than their songs before.  I’m really liking a lot of the song because of the hooks and hearing Kishimon just belting it out always impressed me and then having Mizuho also having the other solo line just showed how much she was being pushed as a main singer.  Another awesome song!

5. I Need You ~Yozora no Kanransha~

Part of their 3rd single, I Need You was kind of a hot n’ cold kind of track for me.  I do like that it did slow things for the group and focused on solos and the sentimentality of the mood, but it’s kind of ruined by the weird passages of dubstep in the music bridges.  If they had taken that out altogether, I would’ve deemed the song higher because the rest is cute and poppy and just sweetness.  Still, did not need those parts ugh!

6. Kanousei no Concerto

Our next new track comes up next and like “Hyoumen Chouryoku”, was performed a bit more recently compared to other tracks and this one felt like an anison track from the beginning, but I’m not complaining at all!  Though the problem is with how memorable of a song it is on this album and while it does give a different sound in comparison to other tracks, I don’t think it quite sticks out over other songs (most of the A-sides).

7. Shunrenka

Like I said, most of the A-sides the group released this year have ben rather mediocre and forgettable to me and Shunrenka is one of those tracks.  I will say it does kind of feel slightly nostalgic with the guitar-heavy arrangement mixed in with that Springtime goodness, but it just doesn’t quite resonate with me much.  Yeah, this song was meh for me.

8. Date no Hi wa Nido Kurai Shower Shite Dekaketai

Same thing with the primary A-side of their 4th single, I’m not sure why Tsubaki’s lead tracks this year haven’t quite caught my attention versus other Hello! Project releases.  I mean, I do like the guitar flickering and the more serious side to the group, but there’s just something missing for me here.  It just felt like the verses were building to something pretty awesome, but the chorus just felt like a letdown.  At least listen to the verses because they are the best part of the track.

9. Kaerou Let’s Go!

The only track that wasn’t performed in any concerts as of the review, Kaerou Let’s Go! is technically the only brand spankin’ new track and they really amped up the cute factor for this one!  It does remind me of those songs we’d find in the anime era of H!P (ala Guardians 4 and Buono!).  I kind of like the brightness of the song here and the girls sound a LOT more younger than what I’m used to.  I wonder if it’s because they’re using Kisora, Ami, & Saori more here?  Does feel like it works in tandem with “Kanousei no Concerto” due to both songs having an anison kind of feel to them.  I kind of liked this one a lot!

10. Just Try!

Odd that they place Just Try! (their cool song) after the previous track as it kind of brings us back to familiar levels with the group.  After having so much time with this song and watching the group grow with more songs under their belt, this song actually kind of got worse as time went on.  I mean, I still dig some parts like the intro and the prechorus, but the rest of the song felt so flat and mechanical almost to the point of kind of being annoying to me.  This felt like something that belonged in the indies era of songs (and even then it’s not as strong as their original trio of indies songs).

11. Junjou cm

I don’t know why, but whenever I listen to this, I get reminded me of “Hatsukoi Sunrise” & “Hana Moyou” but with a touch of seriousness and better vocal strength all-around.  The arrangement is familiar using strings as well giving me a bit of S/mileage and Morning Musume vibes as well which doesn’t quite lift the song to a high enough platform for me to remember it by.  Though, I guess it’s the bridge between the good and poor A-sides of this year.

12. Waratte

I’m happy that the album picks up again with this A-side from their 2nd single, Waratte.  It definitely gives me a mix of 80s and funk vibes and that really solidified that whole single for me in a nice way.  It’s the group being outside of the box and being cute, yet coy about the whole song.  It’s just peppy and it works for me, great song and good choice to pick up the slack after the previous two tracks.

13. Yuki no Planetarium

As the oldest of the “new” tracks, I instantly fell in love with this song when I took a quick live listen to it.  I mean it does have a LOT of synthwork put into it more than the rest of the new tracks and it has Spanish guitar in it as well which really sounds cool!  I mean considering it did get first performed right after the release of their 2nd single, this track just sounds awesome and it’s definitely my favorite of the 6 new tracks here!  Really great job here!

14. Uruwashi no Camellia

On our final stretch of old songs, we get to Uruwashi no Camellia which kind of plays up the ragtime sound by putting filters on the girls for the first verse!  While I still think “Hatsukoi Sunrise” is the best from the single, I definitely appreciated the originality of this song and the choice to make the song sound old-timey for the verse (if it’s kind of odd without the video to give reason).  It’s a cute song and very playful for the group and definitely sticks out on the album (funny enough, I feel like a song like this would work for the newly unveiled group, Ame no Mori Kawa Umi).

15. Hana Moyou

I guess I can see why “Junjou cm” wasn’t placed here with the next two tracks as they all would kind of blend into each other too much.  With a sound that I could compare to something that C-ute would easily tackle if they were still together, Hana Moyou is a nice try at the more serious side to their group dynamic.  I still do think the chorus is a bit strange to my ears, but the song is still decent to me.

16. Teion Yakedo

Which brings us to the other serious song, Teion Yakedo and I still feel like it’s a great track, fixing the problems I had with “Hana Moyou”.  The chorus definitely gives me an anison sound, but it’s a strong and powerful chorus which I appreciate the most here.  While it was technically released digitally in 2017, it was the primary A-side of the first single they released this year and it still beat out most of the other songs (maybe except “Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta”).  It’s still a pretty damn good track overall!

17. Happy Cracker

As the last two tracks are new, I was kind of wondering why they placed this one back here as it’s pretty hyper and loud (especially coming after the cool “Teion Yakedo” and the ballad-like “Furisake Mireba…”.  Though the song does feel like an encore song for concerts because it’s happy-go-lucky and just fast-paced…think of a sugary take on C-ute’s “Iron Heart” or even their “JUMP”.  For me, it’s a bit too wild for me, but I do appreciate they have a song like this to really get the crowd excited!

18. Furisake Mireba…

The first disc closes out with Furisake Mireba… and unsurprisingly it’d be a softer song sung by the group here.  I mean, I do love the piano opening things up which is a totally different mood versus the rest of the album.  I do like the bouncy rhythm it gives me and after a third of the way, the song adds more odd things like beats/snaps and some flute-like thing.  It’s strange because it goes in and out of the arrangement, making it sound more kiddy than I thought it would.  It’s a decent closer, thought it was going to stay piano-only, but the added extras kind of made it cute and youthful.

CD2

1. Hitorijime

CD 2 begins with Hitorijime (which was the leading A-side off their 3rd indies single), now if you were coming into this hoping that the 6 indie tracks were resung to fit in Mao, Mizuho, and Saori, then you’ll be disappointed.  None of the tracks were edited so we still have the original recordings with the 6 members.  I’ve always thought Hitorijime was so oddly timed because the 2nd Gen members were added shortly after this single released (and it had a PV to go with it too).  Granted, this song was a bop and it really showcased Kishimon’s vocals up-front next to Risamaru and Kiki’s vocals as well (as originally those 3 were kind of used as the main vocalists).  The tune does kind of remind me of Platinum era Morning Musume but in a good way.  Definitely a nice track for them!

2. Kedakaku Sakihokore!

Though if I had to choose, their 2nd indies single was my favorite of them as it was straight EDM and they had vocal filters, a rap line between Kishimon & Risamaru and just a powerful sound that was sorely missing in their debut.  I also kind of wonder what a 9-nin version of this song would sound like…  Either way, this track was a great song to really push them forward and I’m happy they brought all of their indies work to the album.

3. Seishun Manmannaka!

God, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve actually listened to this track and it feels so foreign to me because it was their debut!  I really wanna hear what current Tsubaki would sound like redoing this track.  It doesn’t quite have as much punch as “Kedakaku Sakihokore!” does being a little more technopop than a club bopper and considering that the vocals aren’t quite as stable as they are now…it was an interesting song to debut with.  I’ll take it though because it’s still can be an earworm.

4. Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo

The next two tracks were released in their indies days too, but these two are different because they’re covers of classic Chisato Moritaka tracks!  The first of them was found as the secondary A-side to “Hitorijime” and it is a little rough coming into these because they’ve been electro’d HEAVILY versus the originals.  I think this one felt more strongly messed with, but I do like how it’s toned down more than “17sai” was.  I still like it and hearing the girls sound happy in this track is just nice too.  Very fitting as an A-side!

5. 17sai

While “Seishun Manmannaka!” was their first official release as a group, this Moritaka cover was the first song they performed as a group!  Like I said with the track previous, 17sai was also heavily altered to more of an electro song (not quite like the DDR version) but it’s more upbeat and the synths are more grittier although the only qualm I have is that weird synth splash in the 2nd verse right after Risa’s line.  It’s a simpler song too and it gave all the members the same time to shine.  It’s still a good cover, but likewise…how did they switch it up after adding 3 members since they still perform this!

6. Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru-hen~

Of course they couldn’t leave out this track which was the only new track off the “SOUND + VISION Vol.1” mini-album they did.  This cover of the SATOYAMA group, Peaberry’s song is pretty basic I’d say as things go…a LOT more interesting than the original two-takes from Peaberry, but I still have issues with it.  I mean it’s nothing of Tsubaki’s fault luckily, but I still hate they shoved “Furusato” up in it after the first chorus and kind of throwing off everything (I know why it’s there, but it’s still distracting nonetheless).  Without that glaring mess, I’d say it’s a nice cover and it felt better having more members involved than just Riho and Ayaka.

7. LET’S LIVE!

So the rest of Disc 2 has new covers (a thing that Hello! Project has been seeming to do a LOT with albums recently ala Juice=Juice & Kobushi Factory).  Kicking things off is probably one of two surprises and this is a cover of a B-side from v-u-den’s 2007 single, “Koisuru♡Angel♡Heart”.  I mean considering we tripled the amount of members to fit here, I was curious to see what it’s like and it definitely has the Hello! Project of yore with the synth horns and nostalgic H!P vibes.  It’s a peppy track and hearing the girls in a higher range is interesting.  I dug it!

8. Jiriri Kiteru

Of course it was initially shown that the Factory groups were kind of like Berryz & C-ute so it’s not surprise that Tsubaki would cover a track from both groups!  Since none of the arrangements were touched, I was happy to see Jiriri Kiteru covered since the original Berryz cut had more of younger vocals.  Then again I can argue that Tsubaki sounds just as young as them.  I don’t think it sounds as raw as the original, but they handled it pretty well vocally.  It’s just that I expect Momoko, Miyabi, and Risako and they aren’t here LOL.

9. Tokai no Hitorigurashi

Interesting they decided to cover this song as it was one of the more recent C-ute songs.  I mean, I don’t think it’s the group’s signature song, but it’s nice they were given more of a peppy song to cover like “LET’S LIVE!”.  Tsubaki’s take on Tokai no Hitorigurashi isn’t going to sound quite as womanly like the original (remember C-ute was like hitting their 20’s at this point).  It’s decent, but I think I’ll stick to the original cut this time.

10. Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi

Another Berryz cover?  Another song I wasn’t expecting to be covered, this one was only 5 singles after “Jiriri Kiteru”.  While it wasn’t one of my favorites when Berryz was active, I did like how upbeat they were and it’s kind of a silly song almost.  Tsubaki sounds fitting for a song like this, almost a bit cuter than the original, but it was almost because Berryz was going through their vocal changes (puberty).  It’s a good cover overall and I’d maybe rank it as the best cover (not including the previous released covers).

11. ENDLESS YOUTH

Ending off the 2nd disc, we close things out with a Melon Kinenbi track (an album song from their first album, “1st Anniversary”).  An odd choice indeed because of the arrangement, but I dug they chose it for the lyrics here.  I also like how it showcased the group vocally too!  Like “LET’S LIVE!”, it just brings nostalgia to me for older H!P songs and closes this album off in a nice bow.  Everyone sounds nice and the feeling is still there after the original quartet of the Melon’s sung it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Shuukatsu Sensation
  • Hatsukoi Sunrise
  • Yuki no Planetarium
  • Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta
  • Waratte

 

  • Kedakaku Sakihokore!
  • Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo
  • Hitorijime
  • Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi
  • 17sai

Song of Avoidance

  • Just Try!
  • Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru-hen~

Wow!  We’re finally here at Tsubaki’s first album!  This was definitely crammed with a lot of material (like Juice=Juice’s sophomore album earlier in the year) and it seems like I ended up really enjoying a LOT of this album despite only having 6 new tracks and 5 covers on top of the already released stuff.  A lot of their releases have kept me excited for this album (maybe not so much the 2 singles they released this year).  first bloom has a lot of interesting things going for it and it’s worth a listen!

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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…

 

 

Tsubaki Factory – Date no Hi wa Nido Kurai Shower Shite Dekaketai/Junjou cm/Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta July 6, 2018

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 3:47 pm

datenohiwa

Track Listing

  1. Date no Hi wa Nido Kurai Shower Shite Dekaketai
  2. Junjou cm
  3. Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta
  4. Date no Hi wa Nido Kurai Shower Shite Dekaketai (Instrumental)
  5. Junjou cm (Instrumental)
  6. Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta (Instrumental)

1. Date no Hi wa Nido Kurai Shower Shite Dekaketai

Oi, long title again lol.  Anyways the first of the three A-sides, Date no Hi wa Nido Kurai Shower Shite Dekaketai definitely feels like more of the same style that Tsubaki has been under, but slightly somewhat somber sounding?  With the focus mostly on Risa, Yumeno, and Kiki…it was a decent song, but I feel like the lack of energy is sticking out for some reason.  It’s OK for the most part, just not quite up there with their bests.

2. Junjou cm

Second A-side comes up and strings & piano are added to the synth arrangement to make it sound like something from Morning Musume circa Platinum era.  The familiar vibes I get here are nice.  A little bummed that there’s very little in the way of solos (most of them are at the end of the chorus where the members get like one or two words at best).  Still, the song is a bit more memorable than the previous track.

3. Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta

As the 3rd A-side, I wasn’t expecting the song to be the happiest one off the single and I liked the bouncy nature of it!  There’s something about the song that reminds me of anison music, but it’s definitely refreshing after two of the more serious songs in their discography.  For that reason, I ended up really loving the song and there’s solos everywhere! WOO!

 

 

Tsubaki’s 2nd single of the year and while I do think it did better than their previous single, “Teion Yakedo/Shunrenka/I Need You ~Yozora no Kanransha~”. it still doesn’t quite grab me as much as their first two major singles.  I think both Date no Hi wa… and Junjou cm are OK serious songs, but neither are quite that memorable to me…but at least Kon’ya Dake Ukaretakatta was upbeat and catchy.  Curious when an album will appear (they have two unreleased songs, so I assume it’s coming soon).

 

Tsubaki Factory – Teion Yakedo/Shunrenka/I Need You ~Yozora no Kanransha~ February 9, 2018

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 6:28 pm

teionyakedosingle

Track Listing

  1. Teion Yakedo
  2. Shunrenka
  3. I Need You ~Yozora no Kanransha~
  4. Teion Yakedo (Instrumental)
  5. Shunrenka (Instrumental)
  6. I Need You ~Yozora no Kanransha~ (Instrumental)

1. Teion Yakedo

As the first song of the single, we had our actual first taste of it back in 2017 when it was released digitally as a preview!  I have to say, it was surprisingly nice and suited the wintry feeling during the time.  It is surprising that it is the one with the cool dance beats and strong vocals.  It also tends to remind me of anison themes which is pretty neat for a H!P song.  All the girls have at least one solo in the track, but a LOT of it is pretty much duo/group lines which is OK.  Neat song for the group!

2. Shunrenka

Which is funny that Shunrenka is kind of being touted as a Spring song!  This is pretty much the group’s cute song for the single and it sounds a bit more organic than what “Waratte” was but I have to say, this one didn’t really stick out for me.  It does remind of H!P songs in the past like some S/mileage songs.  Overall, it’s OK but nothing I’ll remember at the year’s end.

3. I Need You ~Yozora no Kanransha~

Last, but not least, we get the group’s mid-tempo ballad and it’s nice that the song is a lot more memorable and cute as a song for the group!  I’m loving that members get solos and it’s vocally adept and shows that the can handle slower songs, especially since we get to hear Ami & Saori a lot in this song!…I will say that it does grow into an upbeat, electro track (which would’ve been nice without) because the electro bridge just doesn’t fit at ALL in this song.  Decent song, could’ve lived without the electronics though.

 

 

As the group’s 3rd major single, I kind of was disappointed in comparison to the previous single.  I felt like Teion Yakedo was decent, but not quite a standout in comparison to both “Hatsukoi Sunrise” and “Shuukatsu Sensation”.  Unfortunately Shunrenka was a song that just passed over my head an I didn’t think too much of it while I Need You is the standout track, but it has its own issues as well.  I’m sure next single, they’ll do better.

 

Tsubaki Factory – Shuukatsu Sensation/Waratte/Hana Moyou July 19, 2017

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 4:35 am

shuukatsusensation

Track Listing

  1. Shuukatsu Sensation
  2. Waratte
  3. Hana Moyou
  4. Shuukatsu Sensation (Instrumental)
  5. Waratte (Instrumental)
  6. Hana Moyou (Instrumental)

1. Shuukatsu Sensation

I was curious to see what a title like Shuukatsu Sensation would bring us for Tsubaki and I was immediately caught to the song’s main hook of ~yoroshiku onegai itashimasu~ and just the whole groove of it all.  It’s got a lot of funk thanks to both Takui & DANCE MAN and the whole thing just stood out to me.  I really love the chorus too and working in tangent with the hook, it’s just an entertaining track.  Surprised that only Yumeno & Mizuho got the only solos, but I’m quite content with it.  Overall, this is a fantastic song and is right up there with “Hatsukoi Sunrise” in favorites from the group.

2. Waratte

The 2nd A-side to be revealed, Waratte chooses the path towards being a funky 80’s-esque kind of track.  I do feel like Waratte in comparison to “Shuukatsu Sensation” is a lot more brighter and poppy to fit the group’s more cute side.  It also helps that all the members get a solo somewhere in the song.  It’s a pretty decent song and I like its upbeat tempo and funky sound as well!

3. Hana Moyou

Not strange that Hana Moyou would be the last to be revealed, but it had been under wraps until a couple weeks before the single’s release.  Of the three songs, I’m somewhat conflicted with this the most.  I do love that of the three tracks, this one goes straight up EDM with the sawtooth synths almost giving it a Momusu feel of recent times and the guitars helped that feeling for sure.  Though my only bother is the chorus because mainly of the first half of it, being spoken dialogue to a moment of segment finishing that feels a little jagged and absurd.  Otherwise, I really do enjoy this one and I’m loving that all the girls are getting lines throughout!

 

 

I didn’t know if they could 1-up their debut single, but hell Tsubaki Factory managed to do it pretty swiftly with their second major offering!  I definitely felt they found a sweet spot in what they wanted music-wise and it worked.  Shuukatsu Senastion & Waratte are just great H!P songs and it suits them quite well.  Hana Moyou while good does have that kink I mentioned but I don’t think it was enough to deter my enjoyment of it otherwise.  With Kiki currently on hiatus (due back hernia), I am wondering what’s next for the group because they’ve been getting steadily better and better with each new release!

 

Tsubaki Factory – Hatsukoi Sunrise/Just Try!/Uruwashi no Camellia February 18, 2017

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 5:41 am

hatsukoisunrise

Track Listing

  1. Hatsukoi Sunrise
  2. Just Try!
  3. Uruwashi no Camellia
  4. Hatsukoi Sunrise (Instrumental)
  5. Just Try! (Instrumental)
  6. Uruwashi no Camellia (Instrumental)

1. Hatsukoi Sunrise

Ah, opening the single up, we have Hatsukoi Sunrise (which ironically was the last of the 3 songs revealed, yet first to have its PV released hm..).  I will say of the three songs on the single, this one actually impressed me the most because it was a strong song and the fire of the arrangement and power of some of the vocalists was more impressive.  While it does show that Kiki is a prominent member here in the track we got to hear a lot of the other members and the three newbies (Mao, Saori, and Mizuho) definitely joined with a punch as well especially Mizuho who had a pretty awesome solo!  Though Saorin and Maopin also had strong lines too.  If you like some high-speed EDM dance tracks, I’d say this is one of the better ones out there!

2. Just Try!

Moving to the first A-side revealed back in November, Just Try! is a little more of what we’ve been getting from the group during their indies run.  Though as the song is from Tsunku, the EDM is a bit more contrived and simple though at the same time, it does struggle with some other songs by sounding like 3-4 songs pasted together in random ala songs like “Brainstorming” and “Aitte Motto Zanshin” from the other H!P groups.  I thought we had moved on from that, but seems not.  I do like the opening sections with the focus on the beat, but the robotic verses to the kind of chintzy chorus just made it feel a bit sloppy.  It’s my least favorite from the single, but there’s been worse.

3. Uruwashi no Camellia

Last, but not least, Uruwashi no Camellia closes the single out in a rather unique and new style for the group to try out.  I wasn’t expecting ragtime to be the style of one of their A-sides, but hey it’s a thing.  I do like how cute and upbeat the track is, but I definitely was thrown off by the song being filtered to sound like it was being played via a phonograph.  Though once the chorus kicks in, the filter drops and the tune clears up and it sounds playful and adorable.  Add in that the solos in the 2nd set of verses is cute and happy to see Riko, Ami, Kisora, and Risa get them lines is awesome (actually all 9 members get a decent line so that’s great!).  Though it’s strange that because of the filtered part in the first verse of the song, the rest of the track feels oddly short…am I the only one who feels this way?

 

 

Long time coming, but we finally have a major label debut from Tsubaki Factory!  Though since the last review (“Hitorijime/Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo”), the group had added three new members into the mix.  What I can say is that I feel like Saori & Mizuho will be more fortification to the vocals as both members seem to have lower tones than majority of the rest of the group while Mao is more for visuals (she accels at dancing, but her voice isn’t quite at the levels that other members like Yumeno, Risa, and Kiki have).  As for the single, I liked Hatsukoi Sunrise the most as it’s powerful and just showcases a lot of cool from the girls like “Kedakaku Sakihokore!” did.  Uruwashi no Camellia is a unique song for the group and it’s cute, but I think the filtered section could’ve been lessened or personally left out.  As for Just Try!, it’s a messy song…feels like a 2013-15 song from Tsunku and just felt like it was a shelved song from then brought back to life.  Overall, great major debut and I pretty excited to see where things go for the group!

 

Tsubaki Factory – Hitorijime/Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo August 12, 2016

Filed under: Tsubaki Factory — solarblade @ 6:13 am

hitorijimetsu

Track Listing

  1. Hitorijime
  2. Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo
  3. Hitorijime (Instrumental)
  4. Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo (Instrumental)

1. Hitorijime

I was surprised that Tsubaki’s 3rd single begins with a song that definitely calls up the Platinum era of Momusu almost too smoothly!  There’s something about that intro that was pretty cool and then the piano comes into the track and the girls start to sing.  I did notice that Yumeno and Kisora do get a bit of focus over the remaining ladies, but that’s OK…I’m believing that Yumeno is probably the group’s best asset currently.  I do think it’s up there with “Kedakaku Sakihokore!” as a favorite.

2. Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo

Another Moritaka cover?  Strange that it’s the other big song that H!P loves to cover.  Unlike the futuristic vibes I got from “17sai”, this is pretty much standard EDM stuff from the company which is nice as it gives the song an updated feel.  Tsubaki themselves sound fine if not a little bit shouty, but the verses are pretty sweet (especially with piano being in the forefront above the synths).  It’s a decent cover at least and a nice opposite to “Hitorijime”.

As the group’s 3rd single, I feel like Hitorijime is a pretty strong song from them as it shows a bit more liveliness from the members (especially Kishimon, who just keeps getting better).  I feel like Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo was a bit of a rushed song (ironic because it is the older of the two).  Good single overall, but when are they debuting?