I finally got my hands on DreaMusu One, the “debut” album of Dream Morning Musume, a unit composed out of a selection of Morning Musume graduates across all generations. The album features two new songs, rerecordings of old songs as well as a second disc with original versions of Morning Musume classics. This is sort of a hybrid post: part GETS!!!, part review but entirely personal opinion. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this release, but I’ll try to start out with the good.
But first the cover.
First up, let me just say it’s a thrill to see these girls in action again. Yes, most of them have been keeping themselves occupied with the occasional radio or television appearance here and there, but it’s not as if they had a lot to do recently (the exception of course being Yaguchi Mari, who always seems to have too much on her plate at all time). Every girl that’s passed through Morning Musume is special and deserves their place in the spotlight.
Looking at the release itself I can say that the rerecorded songs are great. I love the new, upbeat arrangement for Morning Coffee and anytime there is a new Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari it’s always cause for celebration. SEXY BOY ~Soyokaze ni Yorisotte~ sounds great and it’s a joy to hear Yaguchi Mari singing it because you know she’s wanted to do this for a long time. Hearing Nakazawa Yuko singing Mikan is weird at first but boy, does she pull it off in a sublime fashion.
The new songs are decent, though not stellar but not any worse than your average Morning Musume coupling song.
It’s safe to say that, as far as Disc 1 is concerned, every checkbox for success is being ticked.
The Not So Good
Let me begin by adressing the “issue” of Disc 2. Fans had originally thought that both discs would be filled with rerecordings. Eventually it was discovered that Disc 2 would basically be a collection of Morning Musume’s “greatest hits”. I was miffed at first but eventually this was actually a good thing as it saved me from buying some of the earlier singles that (despite me owning all their albums) I don’t have. When I opened the case and saw that the second disc was credited to Morning Musume instead of Dream Morning Musume I was completely ok with it and it basically became a non-issue for me.
What I do have a problem with is the very notion, the very concept of this release and the reasons behind it. Like I said, it’s great to see the “old” girls back in action but really UFA? Has it come to this? Have you so lost faith in the “current” Morning Musume that you had to call back the OG’s to help? What maddens me is that the whole reason Morning Musume’s sales are declining is because you screwed up UFA. You stopped promoting them. You alienated television shows. You make crackpot graduation decisions and weird-ass marketing moves. If Morning Musume had only a tenth of the marketing the OG’s recieved for this release, they would perform so much better. I don’t even need to speculate. You proved it yourself when Nanchatte Renai was coming up. You gave them tons of promotion and it sold over 70000 copies, more than a Morning Musume single had sold in years. But no UFA, you seem content on catering to the same fanbase over and over again, content to sell between 40000 and 50000 copies every release whilst gorging yourself on profits from concerts and the sale of goods.
I have nothing against S/mileage but would it kill you to direct just a bit of their clearly epic promotion funds to Morning Musume (I’m not even mentioning the lack of promotion for other H!P groups)? With this release you are basically telling the “current” Morning Musume that they aren’t good enough. Even the name of this unit “Dream Morning Musume” is just so damn wrong. I take a bit of satisfaction seeing that Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa were credited for at least a couple of the songs in the booklet, but still. Stop screwing up UFA. If it weren’t for Tsunku and his team who churn out great song after great song and the hard work of the girls, you would be nowhere now. Remember that
Look, it basically comes down to this. If you’re a new fan who wants to get to know some of Morning Musume’s older stuff then this is a great release for you. If you’re an older fan who wants to rekindle his love then, again, this release is great for you. If you’re a fan of the current Morning Musume or Morning Musume in general, I still consider this a good release. You should probably buy it. I just think that it really shouldn’t have come to this.
And that’s all I’m going to say on the matter.