I originally intended to post my W GETS!!! post before this one, however I have been battling a disease which I affectionally like to call Ebola’s baby brother (a.k.a. a nasty case of the flu) for the past week so that got delayed. Apologies up front if this post is somewhat incoherent, but since I’m a bit delirious from fever I think I can be forgiven. I just really wanted to get this post out on the day of release. Anyway, on to the post…
…and indeed on to the review. Since this is my first review of any kind on this blog I’d like to take a moment to explain how this is going to work. First off, this and every following review will be a subjective one. Don’t let anybody fool you kids, there’s no such thing as an objective review. Unlike some people on the internet I believe it is possible to maintain a subjective viewpoint and still remain civilized.
When it comes to reviewing singles, there are a maximum of five points to be earned. One point can be earned by the cover. Remember, I’m reviewing the PHYSICAL single here and in that case a decent cover is important, it’s what first grabs a person’s attention. Zero points if it sucks, half a point if it’s passable, a full point if it’s great. Another two points can be earned by the main song and the coupling each. Again: zero points if it’s bad, one point if it’s listenable and decent but not that great and two points if the song crosses into great to awesome territory.
There is however one dark horse in this contest. Typical of H!P releases is the inclusion of instrumentals. While some choose to ignore them, they can be very enjoyable on their own (case in point: Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game) If this is the case, I’ll award one bonus point.
First the cover. I’ll give it half a point. Don’t get me wrong, the girls look great (it’d be hard to make them look bad), the outfits look nice and the poses seem well chosen. The reason I’m not that sold on this cover is ironically also the reason I like it. You see I love it when the outfits on the cover are different from those in the PV. I think it’s a great way to introduce a sense of variety. However the cover outfits should at least be somewhat related to the PV and the song itself. You see the cover and you’re expecting a playful song about dancing with hula-hoops in the sun, while the song and PV are all about aggressive electronic ferocity (well, as ferocious as an idol can get anyway). So half a point there.
The main song Kiss me Aishiteru (Kiss me 愛してる; Kiss me I Love You) gets its well-deserved two points. This song is just pure awesome. The “please” and “ne” parts that are repeated are great touches. And just listen to Chisato who sounds absolutely amazing. She may be getting a lot of promotion these days but I feel like she’s certainly earned it. That’s not to say our usual C-ute front-singers Maimi and Airi don’t get any good parts, far from it, but this really feels like Chisato’s song, a fact further amplified by the fact that she’s also singing in the chorus. Both Mai and Saki get less lines, but I think they did fine. It’s a lot better line distribution than Morning Musume has gotten recently.
The coupling song, Hatachimae no Onna no Ko (二十歳前の女の子; A Woman Before 20) is decent enough, but feels way to mellow compared to the A-side. I almost feel like the single’s cover was made for this song instead of the main one. It’s listenable and will probably work well in concert but it’s nothing special. I think this is a missed opportunity. It could have been to Kiss me Aishiteru what Aishite Aishite Ato Ippun was to Kimagure Princess. Sadly it isn’t. One point
The true hidden gem on this release has got to be the instrumental though. Take away the girls voices (I know it hurts but just give it a try) and a whole new layer of music is discovered. It’s as if they took all the best videogame sounds in the world, shook them up and dropped them into an electronic tornado. This instrumental really earnes it’s bonus point.
Count it all up and what do we have?
A near perfect single. A bit better coupling song and a slightly better cover could have made this truly perfect but still it’s a great way for C-ute to start out 2011. As I write this, the single has debuted at #4 on the Oricon Charts, which is pretty decent. Here’s hoping they pass 25000 sold.