Hello! Project Music 2011 – Part 1: Morning Musume

Favorite Singles – “Only you,” “Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!”

Favorite Coupling Track – “Jishin Motte Yume Motte Tobitatsu Kara” [“Kono Chikyuu…/Kare to Issho…”]

Favorite Album Tracks – “Give me LOVE,” “OK YEAH!”

Favorite Cover – “Kono Chikyuu…/Kare to Issho…” [Limited B]

Favorite PV – “Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!”

Favorite PV Moments (“Maji Desu ka Ska!”) – Members interacting with the kana characters; Ai-chan‘s jump; old man Mittsi XD

Favorite PV Moments (“Only you”) – Gaki-san‘s lines, when the background is reddish-purple; the echoing lines with multiple jump cuts

Favorite PV Moments (“Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!”) – Ai-chan’s pajama-to-costume switch; Ai-chan and the star

Favorite PV Moments (“Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!”) – Umm… can I just say the whole thing? If I had to pick something… maybe the mini versions of the older members standing in the grass as Riho pets the animated dog.

Favorite Dance – “Only you”

Favorite Costume – “Only you” (Older members)

 

The introduction of the kyuukies (and the juukies, but they didn’t participate in any singles this year) added such a fresh feeling to the group (not that I didn’t love the stable lineup)! “Maji Desu ka Ska!” was a great introductory song for the ninth generation; we got a couple of clear solo lines from each of them. The coupling track, “Motto Aishite Hoshii no” was also a good listen, though it had a more mature sound, and Ai-chan and Reina got most of the lines.

“Only you” reversed this pattern by having the cool-sounding, Ai-chan/Reina lead song as the main song and the silly-sounding “Yamete yo! Sindbad” for the coupling track. In my opinion, “Only you” is incredibly catchy, despite its repetitive verses. “Yamete yo! Sindbad” actually has some powerful singing, but the silliness comes from the background sound effects.

For “Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!,” I loved the opening of the PV and the disco-y feeling of the song; Ai-chan’s solo after the dance break really made me think that it was a great single for her to end with. Sayumi proved that she could lead a single with “Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!,” which was an all-around awesome single, from the music to the PV. The special coupling track, Ai-chan’s solo song, “Jishin Motte Yume Motte Tobitatsu Kara,” was really lovely to listen to and is somewhat bittersweet for me, because it’s one of those “sounds like an ending but is actually a beginning” songs, if you know what I mean. Or not… (^_^”)>

Morning Musume‘s 2011 album, 12, Smart, has actually grown on me quite a lot. Much like Fantasy! Juuichi, I was rather indifferent to most of the songs, but, after listening to them over and over (for these posts XD), I grew to like all of them much more. “Kaiketsu Positive A” in particular (which, you may or may not remember, I didn’t care for much when I first listened to it) has become much more enjoyable for me, and “OK YEAH!” is a new favorite album track of mine. =D

Random Observations: Of the ninth gen. members, I believe I like Zukki‘s voice the most. Fuku-chan‘s love for H!P is incredibly endearing; I’d love to see more of her in 2012. I’m glad that Eripon is so much more comfortable/confident now.  I like Riho more when she’s a little more animated (as she was when she appeared in °C-ute‘s Christmas party streaming video).

Overall, I’d say Morning Musume has taken some huge strides this year; I hope they will do even better in 2012. Here’s hoping for a #1 (or a few!) in the coming year~!

~ Surimu-chan

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