Ah Berryz工房. Between the deluge of news coming out from the S/mileage auditions (go Karin!) and the stellar release of Uchouten LOVE not to mention the previews of Morning Musume’s upcoming double A-side, I’ll admit this release kind of went under the radar for me. I listened to the previews as usual but didn’t really follow all the various things prior to release. Still, I did buy it, so what do I think?
It’s interesting to compare Berryz工房’s track record in 2011 to the rest of the H!P groups. With the addition of the 9th generation, Morning Musume has been releasing singles that feature both a genki song and a more mature song (something for everyone). °C-ute started out all serious with Kiss me Aishiteru but seems to have made a complete u-turn towards a fresher and cuter sound. Mano Erina went from upbeat to mature and adult and even S/mileage are bringing something new with their latest single. Berryz工房 seems to be the only ones to stay within one fixed direction. Yes, there’s a bit of funk thrown in (Tsunku and his team seems to be on a funky bender recently) but compared to their last two singles this latest one nicely stays in line.
The cover (this is the Regular Edition) is nice if only for the large amount of Risako legs and thighs on display. I’m sure some fans were very pleased with that (myself included). The PV is nice as well if a tad boring. The girls look great and they are using the same location as Buono’s MY BOY. I would have preferred there be an alternate outfit for the dance shot as I do find that they look a bit silly while dancing in those pink outfits.
About the songs, what can I say? I’m quite pleased with them. I enjoyed both the lead song (Aa, Yoru ga Akeru) and the coupling (Otona ni wa Naritakunai Hayaku Otona ni Naritai). It’s a couple of decent songs with the girls singing very well and the songs are clearly well suited to their skills. It’s nothing over-the-top-special or anything completely mindblowing, it’s just Berryz工房 doing their usual competent job. It’s nothing orgasmically epic but it fills my Berryz工房 need. It will be interesting to see if they stick to this generally more mature style for their next single or if they also change it up a bit like the other H!P groups.
Final conclusion: if you’re a fan of Berryz工房, you’ll probably enjoy this and have already bought it. If you have no idea who this group is, this is just as good a place as any other to get into them. It’s competent and decent but not mindblowing.