Tagged: Hagiwara Mai

Let’s talk about °C-ute’s mini-album

Ah mini-albums. It seems almost tradition for any group within or affiliated with Hello!Project to release one at some point or another. In a post I made a while ago I already talked about Morning Musume’s mini-album and how I quite enjoyed that one. Nothing mindblowing but very entertaining (and unexpectedly relaxing) nonetheless. Today I’m talking about °C-ute’s 2 mini ~Ikiru to Iu Chikara~, which I had ordered alongside their latest single, partly to avoid the fact that my shipping costs would exceed the cost of my actual order. This mini-album isn’t a stocking stuffer however. It’s actually very good.

What a difference four years make.

On the whole this 5 track mini-album is quite enjoyable. I personally find That’s the POWER and Bokura no Kagayaki to be the weaker of the five but the other three are just wonderful which is why this post will be focused on those three.

First up we have Disco Queen (note: all videos embedded in this post are unofficial, so they may get removed. I’ll modify the post were that to happen)

Disco Queen is one those songs (like Morning Musume’s Moonlight night ~Tsukiyo no Ban da yo~ or Berryz工房’s Joshikai The Night) that I wish was an actual single, yet I can understand why it isn’t. Like the other two songs I’ve mentioned Disco Queen seems to be mainly a song to please those who are already fans, which is why I’m perfectly fine with it being an album song. The video embedded above features all of the members performing it, yet it bears mentioning that the version included on the mini-album is sung by Nakajima Saki and Hagiwara Mai.

Next up is Natsu DOKI Lipstick by Yajima Maimi (backed up in the video below by Nakajima Saki and Berryz工房’s captain Shimizu Saki)

I first saw this number performed when I was watching the Hello! Project 2009 Winter Wonderful Hearts Kouen ~Kakumei Gannen~ tour on DVD. What I like about Maimi is that she has incredibly stable vocals. Her voice seems to have remained roughly the same over the years yet it hasn’t lost any of its effectiveness. To me Maimi’s voice is like the workhorse of °C-ute. Yes, Suzuki Airi is probably a better singer and Okai Chisato has improved massively these days but I like how Maimi just keeps up a consistent level of quality.

Finally we have Tsuugaku Vector☂ (musn’t forget the umbrella) by Suzuki Airi.

The video embedded above is also the same video that introduced me to this song. More than that however, the video above is, to me at least, the perfect example of what constitutes a musical idol. It’s a girl (or boy if you prefer male idols) standing on a stage in front of thousands of fans making them love her/him with every single line she/he sings. This is what it’s about. Just go on stage, have fun and make the people in the crowd forget their troubles for an hour or two. I always roll my eyes at people judging every little thing an idol does the instant she/he does it. People tell me that this comes with the idol territory. No it doesn’t, at least not in my book. It’s about enjoying life, it’s about optimism, it’s about being awed at how badass your idols are on stage. There’s no negativity here, there’s no malice. That all being said, the song itself is kick-ass. If Suzuki Airi had been launched as a solo singer this could have easily been her debut single and she just gets better every time she performs it. Without a doubt the ultimate highlight of this mini-album.

So as far as mini-albums go this is definitely one to pick up. As usual it’s available on CDJapan so why not spend some of those CDJapan points you may have accumulated on this wonderful 2007 release?