Release Date: September 12, 2012
- One Two Three
- What’s Up? Ai wa Dou na yo
- Be Alive
- Lalala no Pipipi
- Dokkan Capricio
- The Matenrou Show
- Zero kara Hajimaru Seishun
- Renai Hunter
- Chikyuu ga Naiteiru
- Namida Hitoshizuku
- Waratte! You
- Pyoko Pyoko Ultra
Morning Musume’s 13th album is the one and only featuring the remains of the 6th generation and the newness of the 9th and 10th generations. Many Hello! Project fans have waited with baited breath hoping that the flagship group can once again deliver the goods.
There’s certainly a huge mountain for this version of the group to climb to match what they have done previously. There’s no more Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa (even though her last two singles are on here I don’t think that counts as full participation.) to lean on and what the group is left with vocally is pretty thin.
With that said much of the of the heavy lifting in that area relies on the tiny shoulders of the now elderly (in idol years) Tanaka Reina and the fresh faced 9th generation standout, Sayashi Riho. There are some who cringe at those two being the leads but whom else do they have?
And don’t start naming off random girls just because. If you watched either of the 9th or 10th generation auditions you should know that the majority of the noobs who were not eggs are still rough around the edges and aren’t ready for prime time up front just yet.
Of course everyone else gets their fair chance to sing, but we all know how Morning Musume line distribution works by now right? Throw all the members not named Reina or Riho some scraps to keep them complacent while the chosen ones do their thing.
Speaking of complacency, this is something that Morning Musume has been accused of for a very long time. Coasting on merit. A lot of fans hate to admit that, but it’s true. Perhaps management has finally realized that harsh reality as well since there seems to be some push back to keep the many young b and c-level idol groups nipping at their heels at bay.
One big sign of the winds of change is that Emo Musume appears to have been buried temporarily in favor of more fun and up-tempo songs that accurately reflect the influx of youthful energy into the group.
In a way you get a blend of the sounds from the 2 kids groups. A bit of C-ute’s hyper dance songs and a sprinkle of Berryz’ funky disco influenced tracks. Add in the current Electro Pop vibe and the heavy use of vocal effects such as auto-tune and you have a winning formula on paper. So in execution does it work? For the most part, yes it does.
If you stick with the fast songs that don’t require you to think too hard that is. Tracks like the previously released One Two Three and The Matenrou Show along with What’s Up? Ai wa Dou na yo, La La La no Pi Pi Pi and especially Dokkan Capricio are prime examples of this concept.
The mid-tempo and slower songs tend to kill the buzz instead of compliment the insanity. I would have preferred if UFP (yeah UFA apparently pulled a name changed and is now Up Front Productions.) pulled a Momoiro Clover Z and just went big the entire way leaving the listener no room to breathe at all between songs.
But I guess if there’s one slower song to check out it would have to be Tanaka Reina’s solo, Namida Hitoshizuku. But otherwise, everything else that doesn’t have some sort of 4 on the floor beat is meh.
Overall this album isn’t quite on the level of 12 Smart or even close to 10 My Me but it’s decent enough. Some of the noobs need a bit more seasoning but there wasn’t anything so ear bleeding bad that I had to go WTF? And I guess in the case of the rebuilding Morning Musume that’s good enough.
13 Colorful Character (Limited Edition)
13 Colorful Character (Regular Edition)