Monday, May 28, 2012

Morning Musume hits 50! Bring on the hawt flashes!

(Not your mother's Momusu!)

So yeah, apparently there's some new single out by this one group...whatshernameagain...and it's, like, a super huge dealio and stuff.

I've been out of town for the bulk of the blogstorm about this single, but better late than never, right?  Normally I don't like to dedicate whole posts to H!P singles--many other writers out there do a great job of covering all the finer details and opinions without me being all "O HAY I LIEK THIS SONG SO YEAH HATAZ."  But, this is a whole new Morning Musume, this is their 50th single, and there are lots of juicy talking points to play with! And lots of opportunities for bad menopause jokes.


THE COSTUMES:

The outfits sold me on the single before even hearing it.  Dear sweet potato jesus cookies, these outfits are FREAKING AWESOME!  I wasn't really a huge fan of the lamé bloomers + visor look for Renai Hunter.  It said less "awesome girls looking for love" and more "high-stakes-poker-cheerleaders-on-the-Enterprise" to me.  This...I can get behind this.  These outfits are the perfect balance of sexy, girlie and power dancer to me.  Especially on Haruna and Haruka (OHMAHGAWD).  Zukki and Erina killed these too, but Sayu has some golden girl top boob pooch going on that I just can't support...though I wish I could try OH WUT!


THE CHOREOGRAPHY:

After the disaster that was the epileptic horse stance twitching of Renai Hunter, it's really nice to see some better choreography.  And not just better, I'd even venture to say REALLY GOOD!  Morning Musume hasn't really had any memorable dances since Maji Desu ka Ska, so I'm glad there's some work going on in that department.  Seriously, watching Renai Hunter's choreography being compared to Fairies was cruel and tragic.  All the 2011 additions are kicking ass in the dance department now, and I'm very happy to see Ayumi up front.


THE LINE DISTRIBUTION:

Sucks balls...again.  I am very accepting of the whole there-will-be-lead-singers-in-idol-groups business, but now that MM has added not just one, but EIGHT new members, I'm really tired of seeing the same two (and a half) members being used.  UFA needs to USE them.  I love Riho.  I'm glad she's a frontgirl.  She was clearly worth investing in, and she kicks ass now compared to where she was when she joined.  Keep her where she is. I'm sick and tired of Reina, but she can sing, so let her stay lead, I guess.  Sayumi, keep doing what you're doing.  Rap, monologue and be electronic.  It sounds fantastic.  Let's see, that leaves SEVEN members untouched, three of whom are already pretty decent singers (Haruka, Ayumi and FUCKING MIZUKI FOR GODSSAKE!!), and two of whom are quite trainable (Zukki and Masaki).  This is not Platinum 9 era any more, and Reina's a chilly old hag.  Use.  The.  New.  Members.  Already.

THE MUSIC ITSELF:

I love it.  Great arrangement, great use of electronic effects, great everything.  I'll leave my opinion there.

Now, as for the other nitpickery out there, well, I just can't let those go.  You know me.  I'll even give you a short bitchlist!

1. "WAAH AUTOTUNING!"

Get over it.  Seriously.  You can't love kpop, no3b's b-sides, or anything involving Nakata Yasutaka and whine about "autotune."  For one, it's not reeeeeally autotune, per se.  Autotune is the lazy man's way of fixing off-pitch notes or runs, and you can usually tell when it's being used if you listen closely enough.  You have to amp it up A LOT for the correction to actually be distinct in a recorded track, and at that point, it's not autotune anymore.  It's an electronic effect which is meant to be heard and included as an element in the song.

For any of you who have actually recorded in a studio, you're well aware of other methods used to correct slightly off notes that aren't autotune.  You know, where you pick out a tenth of a second of sound and adjust the particular wavelength up or down a few cents so you don't sound like a dying cat?  Or where you silence a pop or a breath?  Yeah, that.  Sorry, all you "true voice purists" out there: even the most authentic recording artist out there is usually not being 100% "real" in album recordings.  We're all LYING TO YOU!!!  MUAHAHAHA!!

(This brought to you by the Oatmeal, who would like to teach us all some valuable life lessons!! 
And who has no idea I'm plugging this, SORRY MATT!!!)

Plus, autotune can be used to create some amazing things.  Like this.  (Which, btw, is also available on vinyl.)  Enjoy.


2. "IT'S KPOP!  AND KPOP IS BAD!"

Okay kids, Korea in no way has a monopoly on electronic-flavored dance music.  Dancey ≠ Kpop.

Kpop is neither bad, nor is it "invading," nor is it turning your kids into anarchistic, graverobbing, farmer murdering gang members.  Stop being a racist prick.

3. "IT'S TOO MATURE!"

And PPU was.....what, exactly?

4. "WHAT KIND OF SYCOPHANT ARE YOU?"

What kind of sycophant would you like me to be?

(I'll be her kind.  Yeah, that should work.)


PS: 3:57: Riho = GLaDOS.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hey guys...she got good when we weren't looking...

(among other things...)

Someone pinch me, I am a Mano fan.  Somewhere between Genkimono de Ikou and the creepy blood letters on her most recent PB cover, I lost my will to continue living life without pledging eternal love and my most reverent of ogling to Mano.

Not to mention all the happiness my ears now have.

I really don't know why I wandered over to a Mano thread on a forum somewhere, but I did.  I perused, I found things, I began to wonder where my life had gone wrong.  Mano touched my heart and led me to her awesomeness.  I will never be the same CAN I GET AN AMEN!!!

"Doki Doki Baby/Tasogare Kouseten" was an incredible release.  I don't care what you think of Mano, you have to admit that this single was quality in every aspect.  I have loved all of her singles since Haru no Arashi to varying degrees, but this one is as close to perfect as idol music can get.  Mano has developed some incredible pipes and learned to work with the lilting quality of her voice.  Seriously, the younger members could benefit from whatever the hell it is she's been doing.

If you pay attention to 2010-on Mano, you'll realize where all of the good music-y things in H!P have been going.  Sure, her second album last year-ish was fairly mediocre (I listened to maybe half of it and haven't really gone back for more than a guilty clandestine listen to "Onegai Dakara"), but seriously, checking out "More Friends Over" is mandatory.  This is an album that actually *gasp* sounds like a freaking album instead of a fan service compilation.  As much as I loved 12, smart, it really wasn't put together like an album unless you count all the Ai references.  "More Friends Over" actually has flow to it, along with quality songs, believe it or not.  There was only a song and a half on the entire album that I'd consider skipping.  That and the fact that Doki Doki wasn't on it are really its only bad points.  Somewhere along the line, Mano got good.

Mano is also one of the few performers in the current H!P lineup who has real, professional control of her voice.  Seriously, take a look at this performance:



Only Miyabi and Chisato (and Riho in the future) are this consistent in their performances.  That and, come on.  She is completely mesmerizing to watch.  This is one of my favorite H!P performances I've ever seen.  She has a charm to her that I've never noticed before because, silly sinner me, I've never cared enough to look.

I care now, and I think you all should too.  Here, have some Mano ear candy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Let's make happy in H!P, dammit: Old school H!P songs that need to happen in concert again


(Here, have some happy S/mileage legs.)

H!P has been a super-depressing sadfest lately, but you know what always makes me happy again?  Listening to some of the old school shuffle etc. songs.  I can't even pretend to be a hipster kitty here--I've only been a H!P fan since late 2008.  But some of these oldies are just awesome, and dammit, I would love to hear them in concert again performed by all the fresh lovelies!  That and I really need something to write about :P

So, all that's old is new again in my head!  Here's my dream rebirth concert setlist, with occasional commentary :P



1. All for One and One for All.  Because this song never ever gets old.
    Busu ni Narenai Tetsugaku
2. Iku ZYX! Fly High (All, led by H!P Kids) 

VIDEO INTRO

3. Nanchuu koi wo Yatteru YOU KNOW (Kenshuusei)

MC1

5. Aa Ii Na (Dawa, Kanyon)
6. Thanks! (Mano, Momoko)
7. Melodies (Reina, Sayu)  Yeah, two GAM in a row, but come on, those songs were great, and these duets would be amazing.

MC2

8. Shiawase desu ka (Risako, Captain, Reina, Ayumi, Nakky, Sayu, Rina, Kanyon)
9. Inshouha Renoir you ni (Haruna, Zukki, Maasa, Maimi)
11. Champagne no koi (Chinami, Yurina, Mai, Haruka) 
10. Venus Mousse (Buono!) They could pull this off, and I am craving this song in a concert again.

MC3

11. EVERYDAY YEAH! Kataomoi: (Kana, Rina, Chinami, Akari, Maasa, Zukki, Masaki, Haruna)
12.Onna, Kanashii, Otona (Masaki, Miyabi, Haruka) You know this needs to happen.  Miya is now Miki, and she needs subjects!!
13.Get up RAPPER (SALT5) (Captain, Maimi, Meimi, Chisato, Riho)
14. Anataboshi (Mizuki, Kana and Ayumi)


MC4 – Egguzu!

15. Tomoiki Ki wo Uetai (Karin, Nanami, Sayuki, Ayano, Aina, Kanae, Fuyuka, Sakura)
16. Boogie Train (2012, guys!)--Miyamoto Karin
17. Party Time (Rie, Kurumi, Natsumi, Mogi, Rena, Akari U, Mizuki M.,)

MC5

18. BYE BYE Saigo no Yoru (Dawa, Riho, Zukki)
19. Last Kiss (Chisato, Mai, Akari)
20. Shining Itoshiki Anata (Mano, Nakky, Risako, Mizuki, Eripon, Yurina)
21. Love like Crazy (Airi, Meimi, Eripon)


22. MEDLEY: Odore Morning Curry (Kenshuusei), Be HAPPY Koi no Yajirobee (S/mileage), Massara Blue Jeans (BK + C-ute), Aruiteru (MM) 


23.Special Generation (ALL)

ENCORE
24. Mikan
25. JUMP

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mitsui Aika to graduate


The thing that gets me blogging after a month!  :-(  Today, it was announced that Mitsui Aika would be graduating with Gaki on the 18th.  And no thunder sounded, no lightning struck.  And that sucks.

Aika is my number 2 in all of H!P, so yeah, naturally, I'm really bummed.  But I'm less bummed about the fact that she's graduating as I am about the fact that she's going to be getting absolutely NOTHING to commemorate her graduation.  No PB (which a lot of Aika fans have been dying for since her first came out), no nothing save maybe a couple of photos taken at the last minute.  She will be completely overshadowed by Gaki, naturally.

I feel like Linlin and Junjun even got a better send off than this.  This is just awful.  They couldn't even give Aika an extra month so she could have her own graduation?  Yes, it would have been small, but at least she would have had something special.  

*sigh*  I really hope I'm wrong and they do throw something amazing together for her.  The 9th gen respects her very much, and I know especially Zukki will be very upset when she leaves.  I'm glad she got the chance to be such a great mentor to them.  She proved that would have been amazing leader material.

I hope they don't close her blog.  I enjoy reading hers and Kanana's blogs the most out of all the current members.  Come on, she's teaching me how to make awesome food!

I wish her the best in her recovery.  I know it must be awful to have to deal with a bone condition while being in a profession in which you have to move all the time.  I'm very sad to see her go, though.