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  • TH!P 9:04 pm on 2010-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Morning Musume 9th Generation Auditions 

    Next week, we’ll find out which of the below five girls have been chosen to become members of Morning Musume as the 9th generation. The short clip below is a preview of next week’s special segment on Bijogaku. If you can’t understand Japanese, don’t worry, not much really goes on in the below video, the tutors basically just scold the girls a bit and ask them “Do you really want to be part of Morning Musume? a few times – it’s the same for every audition!

    I can’t say I really have a favourite of the girls, these haven’t been overly publicised auditions.

    • Rad 11:46 am on 2010-12-19 Permalink | Reply

      I hope all five get chosen and Morning Musume goes back to 10 members — half more experienced, the other half new. That might be the basis for a solid future for thgis band … Wow. The graduation concert was a sizzler.

      • jaydesummers 8:49 pm on 2010-12-19 Permalink | Reply

        I have to agree with you, Rad. Morning Musume needs to have a more solid groundwork for the future of the group. Regardless though, there’s gonna be an image change for the group with the addition of younger members so there’s likely to be a sound change as well.

  • TH!P 7:24 pm on 2010-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

    The Triple Graduation 

    Morning Musume members Kamei Eri, Junjun and Linlin graduated from Morning Musume yesterday at their “Morning Musume ~Rival Survival~ Graduation Special” concert.

    I’m quite sad to see these three go, Kamei had developed as  a good performer over the years and was one of the funniest members of the group, I hope she recovers from her skin condition and will able to perform again some day in another capacity, I don’t really see her being a solo artist though I have to say.

    As for Junjun, she was definitely one of my favourite members, she wasn’t the greatest singer but she had a unique and interesting personality and wasn’t afraid to say things unexpected of an idol and indeed brought life to Morning Musume’s TV appearances.

    Linlin, I’m probably the least sad to see Linlin go but that isn’t to say I disliked her at all. I found her zaney personality a little less amusing than Junjun’s but damn could she sing. After Takahashi, probably most talented singer in the group.

    Apparently, Junjun and Linlin will remain members of Up Front International in China, as far as I’m aware, the only two non-Japan, non-Taiwan members of UFA.

    Picture above is the new 5-person Morning Musume, the smallest group size since the first generation of the group in 1997! The group will grow to an unspecified number after the completion of the 9th Generation Auditions.

  • Jay 12:07 pm on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Morning Musume OG Concert Tour Announced 

    Big news for all the fans of the Morning Musume OG.   It’s been announced that the members of the OG/M-Line will be having a concert tour throughout Japan.  The name of concert will be “Dream Morning Musume。Concert Tour 2011 Haru no Mai 〜Sotsugyousei DE Saikessei〜”.  All members of the OG are hopefully going to be performing with the exceptions of Konno Asami due to her broadcasting job. There will be a total of  8 concerts in the tour.  The final show of this event is expected on May 29 2011.

    This is huge news.  In fact, this is the first OG Concert Tour since the Elder Club Graduated from H!P.  I can’t wait to hear more about this upcoming concert.

    • Alita 8:15 am on 2010-12-16 Permalink | Reply

      Tsuji Nozomi is listed to perform in the tour. Konno isn’t because she is most likely leaving UFA as per the indication of several Memorial Fanclub goods.

    • Adam 7:16 pm on 2010-12-16 Permalink | Reply

      Yup, it seems Tsuji will be able to perform, she’s gonna have to recover from her pregnancy quick though! I love Tsuji, so yay.

      As for Konno, I assume she has training to do for her newscaster position on NHK.

  • TH!P 6:45 pm on 2010-12-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Slew of Digital Singles 

    Up Front seem to have finally discovered iTunes as a viable outlet for quick and easy music and have released quite a few digital singles by some of the Hello! Project girls recently. Unfortunately, they’re all covering the same songs and I do hope this isn’t the “Cover Series” that was announced earlier!

    So far the following have been released and they’re all available for purchase on iTunes;

    Niigaki Risa – Seinaru Kane Ga Hibiku Yoru
    Tanaka Reina – Seinaru Kane Ga Hibiku Yoru
    Tsugunaga Momoko – Seinaru Kane Ga Hibiku Yoru
    Yajima Maimi – Seinaru Kane Ga Hibiku Yoru
    Suzuki Airi – Seinaru Kane Ga Hibiku Yoru
    Okai Chisato – Manatsu no Kousen
    Okai Chisato Egao ni Namida ~Thank You My Dear Friends~

    Tsugunaga Momoko and Suzuki Airi both managed to chart on the iTunes official chart coming in at 185 and 190 respectively with their cover of Tanpopo’s Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru. I’m not really a fan of this song, despite it’s festive feel.

  • Jay 11:56 am on 2010-12-10 Permalink | Reply  

    Review – Morning Musume – Fantasy!Juuichi 

    Fantasy!Juuichi is the 11th studio by Morning Musume and was released in commemoration of Kamei Eri, JunJun and LinLin’s graduation in just a week and a half. I wanted to share my thoughts on the songs on this album.

    1. Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game (AL Version) – I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t like this song very much in the beginning but the more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. As usual, the single is very Ai, Reina and Eri heavy but overall it’s very good solid song. In a rare turn of events, this single gives each member at least one solo line. Unfortunately, this means that if your name isn’t Ai, Reina, Risa or Eri, you litterally only get one solo line. It’s a pleasant change. We haven’t heard JunJun or LinLin singing a solo since their debut single Onna ni Sachi Are so it’s nice to hear how much they’ve progressed as singers since their debut. It’s a very synth heavy song but overall, I think it’s going to be a love it or hate it type of song. Or in my case, it’s a hate it and then love it. I had the same experience last year with Kimagure Princess. The AL Version of this song has a string intro before starting into the main portion of the song. 7/10

    2. Bravo! — If there was a song that defined the phrase “Spunk in a Can” this is it! It’s a very intense rock song and sounds like something that Buono! would have released but instead, this genki pop-rock tune is giving to Morning Musume. It’s a good sound for them. It’s pairing up the usual suspects like in Genki Pika Pika! and I’m in no form complaining at all. The pairings in both of these songs oddly complement each singer in all the pairings. This is the perfect concert song and I quite this rock influenced song very much. 8/10

    3. Fantasy ga Hajimaru — Another synth heavy song on the album. It’s the same synth sound to boot on every single Morning Musume single as of late and it’s getting really old. Old Meme anyone? Also, I can understand using Autotune on Sayumi because of her tonedeaf nature, but throughout the entire song? It’s particularly noticeable in the verses. The song sounds very tinny to me and while it’s an enjoyable song, autotune ruins this song for me. Tsunku you are not T-Pain and your singers can more or less carry a tune without having the autotune. If they’re singing consistently flat or sharp (this is Sayumi to a tee) than I can understand the autotuning. Seriously, autotuning Ai? It’s not even necessary. However, the ad-lib’s in this song are gorgeous and give the song a nice touch. Overall, this song sounds like something you’d hear in a club or on a DDR soundtrack. 6.5/10

    4. Onna Gokoro to Nanto Yara — An upbeat rock ballad! It’s very generic sounding though but the girls sound great! It plays up the lower vocal ranges of the girls nicely which can be quite difficult for a soprano but they all pull it off flawlessly. Despite the fact that it’s a generic song, it’s very easy on the ears. None of the girls sound squeaky and the guitar riffs in the background show the hand of a skilled guitarist. Overall, a nice song but not very memorable. 6/10

    5. Ai no Honoo — :\ This song sounds nice and everything but it should’ve gone to someone who doesn’t sound like they sing with olives shoved up their nostrils. Sorry to all the Reina fans out there but this song isn’t a good match for her. It’s another upbeat ballad and arguably could’ve gone to someone with better musical chops than Reina. To me, it feels like it’s being sung with feeling whatsoever. Besides, doesn’t Reina have enough solo songs already? This song and Reina just… don’t mesh. I think one of the Panda’s would’ve been a better match for this song. Tsunku’s always said that LinLin has the perfect voice for a ballad and this would’ve been a perfect opportunity to show it off. Too late now I suppose but it’s a damn shame. 5/10

    6. I’m Lucky girl — A synth pop song that I can get behind! It’s an up-tempo dance number and I’m quite digging this track. It’s better sounding to my ears than Fantasy ga Hajimaru and once again, it’s in a key that all members can sing in comfortably. I must say though… why is the title in Engrish? It just detracts from the awesome that is this song. Near the end of the song and constantly looping synth in the background, it’s easy to tune out after awhile. It’s a decent enough song though. 7/10

    7. Sungoi My Birthday — This songs like something you’d hear in the sixties but aaaaaaah AIKA! :D LINLIN! :D I’m starting to see a big trend with this album. Synth pop, upbeat ballad et ad naseum. The clapping noise I’m hearing in the background though during the instrumental interludes needs to die in a fire. JUNJUN! :D This song stars the singers that don’t get featured that much on the singles and is a great song for the 8th Gen in particular. Sayumi just… doesn’t suit the character of the song. I know, it’s a cute sounding song and therefore, Sayumi must be involved in some way but… Sayumi should just be speaking and I LOVE Sayumi. 7/10

    8. Ichi Kara Juu Made Aishite Hoshii — A break in the theme! Wait… no it’s not. It’s another generic synth pop based disaster! This song sounds much too young for the group that’s singing it. This song would sound better sung by Berryz Koubou or C-ute if I’m to be honest. I’m not a fan of this song and I firmly believe that it should’ve gone to another group. It should be noted that I’ve skipped the rest of the song. :\ 3/10

    9. Itoshiku Kurushii Kono Yoru ni — It’s upbeat, it’s pleasant sounding and Reina’s removed the Olives from her nose! EXCELLENT! The girls are singing this in a softer voice which gives this piece some beautiful expression and gives it a very mature sound compared to the previous track. This track features Eri very heavily and I’d like to say that she sings her parts amazingly well! Ai as always is flawless in her delivery and everyone is giving this song their best effort. I’m enjoying this song very much. It could do with some more evenly distributed lines throughout the entire song however. 8/10
    10. Denwa de ne — First initial reaction upon the second listen? Sounds like something out of Atelier Iris. Here we have another mature sounding ballad that just does nothing for me. It’s bland and… it’s an Ai solo. Of course they’d give her a horrible song. Ai has an amazing range, let her show it off a little bit! Don’t give her these drab sounding blobs of crap. She’s an energetic gal and sounds best when she’s singing energetic music. Not my kind of song I have to admit. 3/10

    11. Seishun Collection — First listen of this single? I liked it well enough. Now? I skip it everytime. It outgrew its appeal. It sounds far too much like previous singles (Shoganai Yume Oibito and Nanchatte Renai for example) and doesn’t live up to those previous singles at all. It’s an upbeat, pleasant sounding ballad but it doesn’t live up to its inital charm. If this is the theme song for the play Fashionable… what does that say about the play? It doesn’t really say a lot of good things if you ask me. It has to be one of the badder Morning Musume singles released. 3/10

    Overall, Fantasy!Juuichi doesn’t live up to the stadard that was set by the excellence that I heard in every drop of Juu My Me. Where Juu My Me had spunk, charm and tons of character, Fantasy!Juuichi is left with the sloppy seconds that didn’t make the cut for that album. That’s exactly what several songs sound like to me. They’re just sloppy seconds that were slapped onto a new album that overall sounds very rushed and generic. It did manage to sell over 10k in its first week but I don’t think it’s going to sell much more than that. It’s a damn shame because so many of these songs show so much promise. If only they’d been given a little more time to fine tune these songs or give them extra little tweak, this album could’ve been fantastic. Instead, we’re given some very subpar songs and immature songs that no longer fit with the mature image that Morning Musume is trying to project.

    Final Rating: 6.5/10

    • Adam 6:38 pm on 2010-12-13 Permalink | Reply

      It’s funny, I agree on the overall score you’ve given the album but I prefer totally different tracks; I loved Fantasy ga Hajimaru and Ai no Honno for instance!

      • jaydesummers 1:55 am on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply

        I love that you added the pic of the album cover which is fantastic! I really love the doll theme of the cover, it’s very pretty. Oh I really love Fantasy ga Hajimaru too but I loved I’m Lucky Girl more.

    • AoiUsagi 3:13 pm on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply

      “This song sounds nice and everything but it should’ve gone to someone who doesn’t sound like they sing with olives shoved up their nostrils.”

      Oh. My God.

      That line made me burst out laughing… in the middle of class… when I was supposed to be researching Political Action Committees online.

      • jaydesummers 4:00 pm on 2010-12-14 Permalink | Reply

        Oh no! I’m so sorry! D: Just say that you read something really funny on one of the Political Action Committees websites? o_O

  • Jay 9:01 am on 2010-11-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game First Week Sales 

    Morning Musume’s 44th single Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game has sold 42,405 singles for a ranking of 6th on this weeks Oricon. Considering that they were going up against some stiff competition this week (KAT-TUN, SDN48, etc) this is quite a feat for the group. Personally, if MoMusu was given some better promotion for their singles, they probably could have placed a lot higher than they did. Compared to their last single Seishun Collection, this latest single has already sold more singles in its first week than in the four that its predecessor was on the charts.

    Personally, I believe that this single is a step up from Seishun Collection but Morning Musume needs to get some better singles under their belts if they ever want to compete with powerhouse group AKB48. Morning Musume would benefit from trying something new with their songs as the ones they’ve been releasing since Nanchatte Renai have been rather subpar.

    On a random note, this is the first week in the Oricon for 2010 that all of the top ten singles for the week have all sold more than 20,000 singles total.

    Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game is the last single to feature members Eri Kamei, JunJun and LinLin.

    Source: Oricon; Hello!Project Wiki

  • TH!P 4:45 pm on 2010-09-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Kamei Eri, Linlin   

    Release Round-Up 

    Some new releases for y’all to spend your pennies on;

    Morning Musume – 11th Album (2010-12-01)As of yet untitled, Morning Musume’s 11th album will be released on the 11th hour (haha) just before Kamei Eri, Junjun and Linlin‘s graduation. Very soon for them to be releasing another album, I hope for some more Chinese songs!

    Various ArtistsPucchi Best 11 (2010-12-15)Would like another song from High-King and Aa!

    C-ute – Aitai Lonely Christmas (2010-12-01)C-ute sort of bore me in general so I’m not holding out much hope for this, the title is also rather corny.

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