Hello! Project Music 2010 – Part 3: S/mileage and Mano Erina

S/mileage‘s first release this year was the last of their indies singles, “Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!,” which was a fun song with an equally fun, purikura-style PV. It was also the first appearance of the stylized S/mileage logo with the Old English-like font, a crown on the “S,” and a heart-shaped dot for the “i.”
Their debut single, “Yume Miru 15sai,” brings a cooler, slightly more mature sound than their indies singles. However, “Thank You! Crème Brûlée no Yuujou,” returns to their cute-sounding music as they sing about love and sweets.
“○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!” could be described as a bit crazy, if only for all of the funny sound effects that are heard throughout the song. The A-side was sung in the Osaka dialect, but one of the coupling tracks, “○○ Ganbaranakutemo Iin da yo!!,” was sung in the standard Tokyo dialect. The other coupling track, “Smile Bijin,” starts out with an almost carnival-like sound but turns into a bit more of a 80s-pop sound (I think?!).
The third official single of the year from S/mileage was the ridiculously-long-titled “Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama.” It sounded a bit like “Suki-chan” and has monologues from Maeda Yuuka and Fukuda Kanon during the dance break. The coupling track was a cover of “Chokotto Love,” originally by Petitmoni/Pucchimoni.
Warugaki ①, S/mileage’s first album, includes all four of their indies singles, their first three official singles, and five new tracks: “Odorou yo” is an awesome, island-y tune with “OH YO”‘s reminiscent of “Summer Raggae Rainbow;” “Onna Bakari no Nichiyoubi” itself sounds rather summery and has a lot of overlapping singing; “Shooting Star” is another upbeat song that is also slightly jazzy; “Gakkyuu Inchou” is the first truly slow song I think I’ve heard from S/mileage, and, while it’s not bad, I think their voices work better with the faster, cutesy songs; the final new track, “Shikkari Shite yo! Mou,” brings the speed back a bit… and reminds me vaguely of video game music in parts.

My Favorite S/mileage Tracks for 2010: Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii!!!, Yume Miru 15sai, Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama, Thank You! Crème Brûlée no Yuujou, Odorou yo, Onna Bakari no Nichiyoubi

Honorable Mentions: ○○ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!, Shooting Star, Shikkari Shite yo! Mou

Mano Erina‘s first single of the year was “Haru no Arashi,” which had a fittingly springy–if a quiet sort of springy–feel to it. The coupling track, “Hello! Esper! Hello!,” was the theme to H!P’s drama, (of sorts) “Hanbun Esper,” and was decidedly more upbeat than its A-side.
The sole soloist of Hello! Project seemed to have improved her vocals for her second single of the year, “Onegai Dakara…,” which was a bit more danceable than previous singles. It seems the slower song was saved for the coupling track, “Hanakotoba.”
Her third single for 2010, “Genkimono de Ikou!,” is a welcome change from Mano’s mostly slower singles. The PV was a bit odd, but, again, a welcome change; at least something is going on in it. “Uchi e Kaerou” is a pretty sort of song, but it returns to the usual, slow style; it was actually really neat to hear Erina singing in English, though .=D
“More Friends,” her second album, included seven new tracks. I was quite surprised at the number of upbeat songs on it. Unfortunately, the album only made it to number #32 on the Oricon charts.

My Favorite Mano Erina Tracks for 2010: Haru no Arashi, Onegai Dakara…, Genkimono de Ikou!

Honorable Mentions: Uchi e Kaerou,    Gomen, Hanashitakatta dake,    Do Re Mi Fa Doushite?

I really haven’t followed Erina’s music, because I tend to like groups more than soloists and faster songs more than slower songs, so… =/ She is definitely getting better though; I like “Seishun no Serenade,” and she sounds great in it!

All right! Just Buono! and miscellaneous songs left~. The one for Buono! will be really easy to write; not only because they only released one single this year, but because I listened to their album songs a lot. =D

~ Surimu-chan

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