Friday, 21 October 2011

A Review of Morning Musume's new album '12 Smart'

It seems that I am unforgivably late with this review but in my defence I have been in London visiting relatives and taking advantage of their large house. I think the most simple way to do this in a track by track format and so that is what I shall do!!

For a start, the cover is actually fairly nice even though the angel theme seems slightly random. The girls look great (even if Gaki-san looks a bit moody compared to everyone else) and the photoshop people have done an alright job for once. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, Hello! Project covers have come a very long way since the sinister floating heads of Second Morning.

Now, to the music!!

1. Give me 愛
Overall, a good way to open the album. The song is fairly reminiscent of '09 emo-musume and some part of my brain wants to compare it to Naichau Kamo. In that comparison Give me Love comes out as the weaker contender but is still a pleasant song and the vocals are great, even if they are fairly AiReinaRiho dominated.

2. Only You
Still in my opinion one of the best Momusu tracks so far this year. It is interesting musically and I think the lyrics do their job well even if they are not the most innovative. 

3. シルバーの腕時計
I like the combination of Reina and Riho for this song because they both have the right attitude for this 'cool' sounding song. Also great rap sections from Gaki and Aika. Usually idol's rapping makes me cringe but this was well done. I normally don't think much of Reina's voice but she sounds great here. The use of piano is nice aswell.

4. 好きだな君が
Some may say this is a Perfume rip-off and maybe it is but within Morning Musume and maybe even Hello! Project as a whole it is a fresh sound. Sayumi and Mizuki do a great job with the sweet, sugary sound of the track and I look forward to seeing what the choreography will be like. Brillant song, thoumbs up!

5. 怪傑ポジティブA
Very fun song, every Morning Musume album needs one. The line distribution is fairly varied here and it is great hearing the kyuukies improve vocally. A energetic memorable song.

6. この愛を重ねて
This song is pleasant enough to the ear. However, it never really goes anywhere. I have got to say, I was hoping for something more exciting when I heard this album would have a Ai/Risa duet. That said, the girls sound beautiful and I hope Risa gets plenty of Ai's lines in future concerts, she never stops improving.

7. この地球の平和を本気で願ってるんだよ!
Catchy song, great vocals, a very Momusu sounding song. I don't actually have much to say on this one.

8. 彼と一緒にお店がしたい!
This song has given us a taste of what post-Ai Morning Musume might be like. Sayu and Reina are upfront for this number almost everyone gets a line or two. This track sounds different from other Momusu singles of recent years which is nice and refreshing.

9. My Way~女子校花道~Pop-rock in a similar vein to 'Buono!' I am not feeling this track too much at the moment but I reckon it will be amazing live.

10. 乙女のタイミング
Poor Aika always gets left with the dull songs doesn't she. This particular song sounds like a ending for a shoujo anime, not a Morning Musume track. Also, it's interesting that they have put the whole shunned circle (by this I mean in terms of lines) in one song.

11. OK YEAH!
I love this! This album's 'SONGS'. Highly recomended!

12. まじですかスカ!
The Kyuukie's debut single and an amazingly genki, ska inspired treat in the same vein as classic Momusu tune 'Koko ni Iruzee'. Won't it be wonderful to look back on this single in a few years time and see how the group has changed. Because I think it will have changed a lot.

12 Smart is a great album for any Morning Musume fan to own. It is rich with variety and a huge step up for 'Fantasy Juuichi'. It may not reach the heights of '10 MY ME' but it is pretty damn close!!!

The regular edition can be bought here:  12, smart / Morning Musume 

 And the limited here:  12, smart / Morning Musume

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