Release Date: September 25, 2013
- LOVE Machine (updated)
- I WISH (updated)
- Renai Revolution 21 (updated)
- The Peace! (updated)
- Souda! We’re ALIVE (updated)
- THE Manpower!!! (updated)
- Aruiteru (updated)
- Renai Hunter (updated)
- One Two Three (updated)
- Wakuteka Take a Chance (updated)
- Help me!!
- Brainstorming (updated)
- Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai (updated)
- Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke
- Wolf Boy
The third of Morning Musume’s best of albums can be considered a turning point in the career of Hello! Project’s flagship group. If you still follow Morning Musume you may have noticed that their sound has shifted from the genki idol sound to a harder, electronic based one with huge Dubstep influences.
Given that the group in its current form lacks a true vocal powerhouse it’s only natural that something be done to hide their major deficiency and what better than a bunch of random bleeps, blips, stutters and generally overproduced noise?
So what happens when you take that idea and apply it to classic Morning Musume songs for about half the album? Well that will really depend on your opinion of Morning Musume’s current musical direction and maybe your attachment to the original arrangements of the songs.
If you are one who believes that the songs remain as pure as when they were released then these updates are not going to rock your world. In fact, you may run screaming from the room claiming blasphemy.
The other side of the coin is the fact that Morning Musume desperately needed a facelift and a separation from their past. In this case the updates were absolutely necessary to differentiate the newer generations from the past glories of those before them.
Yes, these new versions do sound very similar to each other when played one after the other and perhaps they go overboard on the effects and auto tune, but it’s what is working for the group now in it’s current state. So are the changes as awful as some of the previews made them out to be?
Not exactly. There are some redeemable qualities that can be dragged out of the remakes of the older Musume songs if you can manage to put your personal bias aside for a few moments. Like it or not the shift to Electro Musume has made the group sound more current than they have in years. Perhaps it’s about 3 years too late, but maybe better late than never is the theory that UFP is going by.
Tracks like I Wish, Aruiteru and Souda! We’re ALIVE actually benefit from the updating bringing a fresher perspective to well worn songs. To be blunt these are the songs that don’t hammer you over the head with the new Musume sound and appear to be more thought out in regards to how far the updating goes without ruining what made the originals so great.
Speaking of that, there are still the bad that come out of these updates. Most notable is THE Manpower!!! A song that requires some badass vocals to pull off, none of which were present in this revision of the song. Sorry, not one member of the current Momusu roster is capable of pulling off anything close to a Takahashi Ai or Niigaki Risa type of growl required to make this song sound good.
I would say nice try, but that would just be lying to you outright.
For a best of album this sure has a hell of a lot of the group’s current singles conveniently packaged and “updated” so to speak. Personally I could have done without these and I’m pretty sure 8 more songs could have been found to remake instead. Morning Musume’s catalog is pretty damn deep after all.
For example, I think Mikan fits well within the vocal capabilities of this crop of girls and would have been perfect for updating.
But if you take this album as a whole showing off what the new Morning Musume is about it makes sense why all their recent singles were tacked on to the end of this album.
To be honest I was expecting this to be a complete mess, but it wasn’t that bad. I still disagree with the lack of advancement in production techniques but hey, this kind of has me a little interested in Morning Musume again after going through the entire thing a few times. And if you know my opinion of Morning Musume over the past few years, that’s saying a lot.
As for the rest of you? In the end you’re either going to roll with the punches and realize that this could be a true reboot of Morning Musume for the modern age or you’re going to cry foul over the butcher job done to keep the ship afloat.
Since anything Morning Musume is really subjective and (for some) emotion driven I highly suggest you actually listen to the entire album from front to back, in order, completely (as much as it might pain some of you out there) and then decide for yourself whether this Morning Musume is for you.
The Best!! Updated (Regular Edition)
The Best!! Updated (Limited Edition)