GETS!!! (26): GETS!!! Megapost Part 2 of 3: CD’s

Just before I head off to Rock Werchter in a quest to rediscover my interest in western music I manage to deliver part two of the massive GETS!!! post I’ve been promising for a while. How’s that for timing? Today’s post is all about CD’s.

All right, let’s blow through these. First up we have Murasaki Shikibu by Heiko Michiyo.

What is it with H!P and ethnic European music?

Ah, Heike. The original winner of the Sharan Q auditions that spawned Morning Musume. I’ve always found it sad that she never got to be the female lead for Sharan Q. While she did have a semi-decent solo career, she slowly faded into obscurity. Too bad, because she delivered some kick-ass songs, most of which are pretty hard to find today.

Next up we have Shiawase Beam! Suki Suki Beam! by Happy 7.

BEAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!!

Happy 7 was part of the first round of shuffle units after the 5th gen of Morning Musume joined and all but Konno Asami were put in this unit. This is one of my favorites out of all the shuffle units. The doubleAi lead, the way you could see Takahashi Ai’s raw potential just shining off of everything she did for this song, the weird video-game like PV, the youthful optimism. This song is always able to get me smiling when I’m feeling down.

Speaking of shuffles, next up is Kowarenai Ai ga Hoshii no / GET UP! Rapper / BE ALL RIGHT!, the 2003 shuffle unit compilation CD and in my opinion probably the best shuffle year there ever was.

Something for everyone.

From the R&B rap melange of 7AIR to the ska madness of 11WATER and finally the all out rap-fest that was SALT5, this CD is a great representation of the greatness of H!P. Crazy concept (seriously, Maeda Yuki as a rapper?), stellar performances and killer songs that stay stuck in your head for a near infinite amount of time. Why don’t we have shuffles today? I still think they would sell well, especially if all released on a single CD.

Next up, we change gears a little bit by talking about Hotaru no Musume by Karen.

Never underestimate the power of enka.

Just to be clear here’s some info on Karen, quoted from generasia:

Karen (カレン) is an enka singer under the TNX music label. She used to be a member of the Nice Girl Project, but graduated in the fall of 2010.

I don’t know much about her, but all I can say is that this girl has some pipes. Her voice is so distinct and powerful, you can’t help but be impressed.

Changing gears again, next up we have two Mini Moni singles, the first one being Ai~n Taisou / Ai~n! Dance no Uta, a collaboration they did with Japanese comedian Shimura Ken.

Yes, it doesn't get any madder than this.

One of the quintessential Mini Moni songs and the originator of the whole Aīn meme within H!P. While I’m not a huge fan of Ai~n Taisou, the other song Ai~n! Dance no Uta more than makes up for this. Completely insane, a very catchy freakshow featuring four tiny girls and one drunk comedian in massive amounts of white make-up. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Well, actually it does as Mini Moni’s 10th single CRAZY ABOUT YOU easily proves.

No more Janken Pyon?

This song is awesome for all kinds of awesome reasons. Part of an attempt to push Mini Moni in a more mature R&B-ish musical direction, this single features a thumping instrumental and great vocals. No one is bad in this. Tsuji/Kago basically lay the foundations of W with this single, Mika proves she has some serious singing chops and Ai…, well what can I say? Although she was impressive before, it’s in this single that you first see every quality that will define her long tenure as Morning Musume’s current leader. The way she can keep singing those long notes endlessly, the emotion she brings in her performance, the sharp choreography that we almost take for granted these days, all of it is visible here. With her impending graduation, it’s nice to look back at her past work and realise just how monumentally far she has come.

I’d like to end in style, with Morning Musume’s first and only cover album, Cover You.

Retro-goodness

A while back I briefly listened to parts of this album and decided to skip it but after seeing and hearing some of the songs on this album performed on the Resonant Live DVD, I found myself quite surprised and decided to reassess my first impression by going ahead and buying it. There’s a lot here to like. Two Pink Lady covers: the ever classy Pepper Keibu and the quite funky UFO. Other highlights are Koi no Dial Tone 6700, which features probably the best Linlin solo lines ever and the very infectious Dou ni mo Tomaranai. One more song that bears mentioning is Johnny e no Dengon, a song that should be made to play to anyone who doubts Niigaki Risa vocal prowess. She’s powerful and sultry at the same time and delivers some great vocal in this song.

Well, that’s it. Part 2 of my massive GETS!! post. There will be a small part three, basically covering minor things that don’t fit under the CD or DVD category. But first, Rock Werchter. See you in at least four days.

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