Release Date: October 29, 2014
- TIKI BUN (Album Version)
- Password Is 0
- Asu who Tsukuru no wa Kimi
- Kirari to Hikaru Hoshi
- Koibito ni Wa Zettai ni Shiraretakunai Shinjitsu
- What Is LOVE?
- Watashi wa Watashi Nanda
- Waraenai Hanashi
- Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa
- Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai
- Otona ni Nareba Otona ni Nareru
- Toko wo Koe Sora wo Koe
14 Shou ~the message~ is Morning Musume’s 14th album and their first and last under the name Morning Musume ’14. It is also the last album for Michishige Sayumi as a member of Morning Musume and Hello! Project.
This album contains the singles released since their triple a-side Egao no Kimi wa Taiyo sa/Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai/What is LOVE? along with a few new album cuts to round things out. So nothing new in regards to following the template of idol albums.
What is surprising is that the most immediate thing one will notice when listening to this is that there is a uniform sound throughout. There are few deviations from the EDM that has been the driving force of the group’s music for the past eight single releases.
Seeing that Morning Musume ‘14’s sound has been redefined, does 14 Shou ~the message~ make a statement for a refreshed Musume line up? And is it enough to make listeners who are not part of their hardcore fan base to take notice?
Arguably this probably isn’t the new generation’s defining moment. That was most likely the remake album The Best! ~Updated Morning Musume~ where the EDM movement was prominently shown as the wave they will ride on for as long as it lasts. 14 Shou ~the message~ just solidifies that.
That doesn’t mean you should give this a pass. As a whole it the entire album flows quite nicely and similar to albums past, there are some choice album cuts to choose from. Which is a good thing if you’re looking for fresh songs to put on infinite loop.
Anything where Michishige and Fukumura are teamed up is guaranteed to be some winning material and Koibito ni wa Zettai ni Shiraretakunai Shinjitsu is no different. This time they have Iikubo joining their party. Which can be considered a bonus depending on your point of view.
Watashi wa Watashi Nanda is also fairly impressive and is on par with the later single releases in regards to quality. I would say the same for its following track Wararenai Hanashi, but the male ad-libs kind of ruined the song a bit for me. I can’t say for certain if the male voice was Tsunku or not so I don’t know who is to blame for mucking up the song.
Kirari to Hikaru Hoshi on the other hand has two of the better vocalists in the group (Sayashi and Oda) teaming up for some dance floor goodness. It’s definitely one of those tracks you should pay attention to right away.
Now whether this album will get the causal J-Pop listener or non Hello! Project head to pay attention to Morning Musume again is a tough one to answer. I certainly think it’s worth giving a listen if you haven’t listened to any Morning Musume songs in the past two years.
And given that EDM is still popular among current pop artists it probably won’t hurt to give this a try if that genre fits your musical preferences in any way. You may find the new Morning Musume to be something to your liking.
14 Shou ~The Message~ (Regular Edition)
14 Shou ~The Message~ (Limited A)
14 Shou ~The Message~ (Limited B)