Release Date: August 15, 2012
- First Rabbit (ファースト・ラビット) (Kojima Haruna, Shinoda Mariko, Takajo Aki, Takahashi Minami, Maeda Atsuko, Itano Tomomi, Oshima Yuko, Minegishi Minami, Yokoyama Yui, Kashiwagi Yuki, Kitahara Rie, Watanabe Mayu, Oba Mina, Shimazaki Haruka, Yamauchi Suzuran, Sashihara Rino)
- Ougon Center (黄金センター)
- Mini Skirt no Yousei (ミニスカートの妖精) (Izuta Rina, Saeed-Yokota Erena, Hirata Rina)
- Ue kara Mariko (上からマリコ)
- Anti (アンチ)
- Lemon no Toshigoro (檸檬の年頃) (Kobayashi Marina, Natori Wakana, Sasaki Yukari, Muto Tomu)
- Renai Sousenkyo (恋愛総選挙) (YM7: Takajo Aki, Kasai Tomomi, Komori Mika, Sato Sumire, Miyazaki Miho, Takeuchi Miyu, Sashihara Rino)
- Yasai Uranai (野菜占い)
- Everyday, Katyusha (Everyday、カチューシャ)
- Hashire! Penguin (走れ！ペンギン)
- Romance Kakuranbo (ロマンスかくれんぼ) (Omori Miyuu)
- Tsubomitachi (蕾たち)
- Yungya Freud no Baai (ユングやフロイトの場合)
- Flying Get (フライングゲット)
- Kaze wa Fuiteiru (風は吹いている)
- Sakura no Ki ni Narou (桜の木になろう)
- GIVE ME FIVE!
- Hate (Team A)
- Plastic no Kuchibiru (プラスティックの唇) (Shinoda Mariko)
- Omoide no Hotondo (思い出のほとんど) (Maeda Atsuko, Takahashi Minami)
- Iede no Yoru (家出の夜) (Team K)
- Scandalous ni Ikou (スキャンダラスに行こう) (Kojima Haruna, Oshima Yuko)
- No-Can (ノ―カン) (Team B)
- Avocado Jane~shi… (アボガドじゃね～し…) (Watanabe Mayu, Sashihara Rino)
- Chokkaku Sunshine (直角Sunshine) (Team 4)
- Bokutachi wa Ima Hanashiaubekinanda (僕たちは 今 話し合うべきなんだ) (Itano Tomomi, Kashiwagi Yuki])
- Sakuranbo to Kodoku (さくらんぼと孤独) (Kenkyuusei)
- Daiji na Jikan (大事な時間)** (Kojima Haruna, Shinoda Mariko, Takahashi Minami, Maeda Atsuko, Itano Tomomi, Oshima Yuko, Kashiwagi Yuki, Watanabe Mayu)
- Itsuka Mita Umi no Soko (いつか見た海の底) (Up-and-coming girls: Watanabe Mayu, Iriyama Anna, Kato Rena, Kawaei Rina, Shimazaki Haruka, Oshima Ryoka, Kizaki Yuria, Matsui Jurina, Yagami Kumi, Kimoto Kanon, Yamada Nana, Watanabe Miyuki, Jo Eriko, Kodama Haruka, Sugamoto Yuko, Miyawaki Sakura)
- Guu Guu Onaka (ぐーぐーおなか)** (Iwasa Misaki, Maeda Atsuko, Maeda Ami, Nito Moeno, Fujie Reina, Ishida Haruka, Komori Mika, Sato Amina, Sato Sumire)
- Yasashisa no Chizu (やさしさの地図)** (Shinoda Mariko, Takahashi Minami, Yokoyama Yui, Kashiwagi Yuki, Iriyama Anna, Kato Rena, Shimazaki Haruka, Kizaki Yuria, Jo Eriko, Kodama Haruka)
- Itterasshai (行ってらっしゃい)** (Kojima Haruna, Shinoda Mariko, Takajo Aki, Takahashi Minami, Maeda Atsuko, Itano Tomomi, Oshima Yuko, Minegishi Minami, Yokoyama Yui, Kashiwagi Yuki, Watanabe Mayu, Sashihara Rino)
- Aozora yo Sabishikunai ka? (青空よ 寂しくないか？) (AKB48+SKE48+NMB48+HKT48)
- Sakura no Hanabira ~Maeda Atsuko solo ver.~ (桜の花びら ～前田敦子 solo ver.～) (Maeda Atsuko)
AKB48’s 4th album is a double CD named after the distance from their theater in Akihabara to the Tokyo Dome. Double CD’s are an ambitious project for any artist and for idol groups its even more daunting since their music is considered the most disposable within the pop genre. Is this ambition gone too far or is there enough to justify the extra disc?
The first disc appears to be rather loaded with singles that the millions (and millions) are extremely familiar with. Instead of rehashing what we already know lets take a look at a few songs that manage to keep up with with what we already know.
First Rabbit, Hashire Penguin and Renai Sousenkyo are within the typical AKB uptempo, super happy, sugary sweet guided by the tried and true musical elements fans can call in their sleep. For long time listeners of this group these are probably not huge musical departures but they are all very catchy pieces of pop goodness that should at least satisfy casual listeners at best.
Ougon Center is a song that sounds like it belongs in the DiVA catalog with its disco influenced beats. The vocals may not be to everyone’s liking because it’s a Kenkyuusei song but I liked it. They incorporate the mix into the song, but unfortunately I still have no idea what they’re screaming past “Tiger”.
The pleasant surprise of this first part of 1830m was Romance Kakurenbo sung by a Kenkyuusei by the name of Omori Miyu. This is one of my favorite songs on this album simply because it sounds so different from everything else. It’s like a simple throwback kind of ballad free of any silly vocal gymnastics and even though I despise spoken word segments in the middle of songs that aren’t rap verses; the one in this song worked to great effect.
Disc 2 seems to have the more interesting material on it starting off with a song about food like melons, apples, oranges and avocados sung by Watanabe Mayu and Sahsiharo Rino. Normally this kind of song wouldn’t fly with the most devoted idol fan. The entire premise is kind of stretching for ideas but it’s so damn addictive that you don’t really care what the hell they’re singing about.
The other song that falls into that category is Gu Gu Onaka. This has to be the most child-like song on the entire album. It’s something I expect to hear in the background of Sesame Street while a muppet struggles to teach some inattentive gaijin kid how so say “Feed me!” in Japanese. Despite its ultra cute sound there’s something that just gives it some sort of strange appeal.
The biggest standouts on this disc are Team A’s Hate and Shinoda Mariko’s Plastic no Kuchibiru. These are the most progressive tracks on the album. venturing into dance beats, light electro pop and heavy use of vocal effects. Especially on Shinoda’s song. I actually like this change in direction but it doesn’t last long enough sadly.
Lastly I would like to mention Maeda Atsuko’s solo version of Sakura no Hanabira. Maeda isn’t my favorite member vocally but she does a fine job with this stripped down arrangement. It’s rather jarring to not hear a whole choir of voices sing this song but you get used to just one voice fairly quickly.
As a whole this is business as usual for the AKB machine and if you’re looking to convert non-fans into the cult this album probably isn’t the way to start. It seems more catered to those already within the fold. I’m not going to stop you from using this as a reference point but it might be a little too overwhelming for a noob to take in one shot.
I also think that 2 discs was perhaps a little too much and if it this were to be consolidated into say a 20 track single disc that would have sufficed as a rather solid album. But what’s done is done and even though this may be a little over long with filler, the good stuff outweighs the bad by a wide margin.
1830m (2 CD + DVD)