CD + DVD
Release Date: December 1, 2010
- Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game (AL. Version)
- Fantasy ga Hajimaru
- Onna Gokoro to Nan to Yara
- Ai no Honou
- I’m Lucky Girl
- Sugoi My Birthday
- Ichi Kara Juu Made Aishite Hoshii
- Itoshiku Kurushii Kono Yoru ni
- Dewa de ne
- Seishun Collection
Fantasy! Juuichi is the newest album in the Morning Musume collection. At first I felt it was just a rush job, trying to get new songs out before using up Kamei (Eri), Junjun, and Linlin’s eligibility in the group.
After looking it from an alternate point of view there are ten new tracks and two singles, one that was released just couple weeks ago. After listening to it, I feel quite refreshed that the vocal distribution is more diverse among the group. The weaker singers still aren’t featured as much though. (Lin Lin shouldn’t be grouped here, but oh well.)
There are some songs I like Onna Gokoro to Nanto Yara and Sungoi My Birthday. The downside to this album is Lin Lin not getting a solo. Although if you count the Linlin solo of Onna to Otoko Lullaby Game, then I would be wrong but I guess a real solo from her would have been nice.
I initially felt this was a rush job but it stands out as probably the best of Morning Musume’s recent releases.
This is Morning Musume’s 2nd album release in 2010, with the first being 10 My Me back in March. The reason for another album release so soon is because of the upcoming triple graduation of Jun Jun, Lin Lin and Kamei Eri on December 15th. This is interesting because normally fans have to wait forever for a new album from any Hello! Project group, so is this a rush job to capitalize on the hype surrounding the triple grad or can it stand on its own?
I’ll admit that I’m rather harsh on Hello! Project groups. Compared to their main competition (the three letters that shall not be mentioned) they’ve been lagging behind, especially the flagship group Morning Musume. But you have to give them credit for coming up big when it counts with Platinum 9 Disc and 10 My Me. Fantasy Juuichi is no different.
It finds a happy medium between what the fans expect of Morning Musume and some of the more different (for Morning Musume) type of dance and R&B flavored songs that were found on P9D and 10 My Me. Obviously the producers of Morning Musume know their core market and won’t mess with the sound too much, but it would have been nice to hear something unexpected like say take another stab at Hip-Pop. If the group that shall not be named can do it, why not try to one-up them for once?
Even with that said this is a solid collection of songs. The ones I found worth listening many times over are Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game (Yes the PV sucks, but the song is good), Fantasy ga Hajimaru (Sayu is auto-tuned again. Is she going to be the T-Pain of Morning Musume?), Ai no Honou, I’m Lucky Girl and the acoustic guitar driven Itoshiku Kurushii Kono Yoru ni.
Sugoi My Birthday and Seishun Collection are the weak links on this album. The former because the lead vocals are given to the weaker singers and the latter I believe I explained in a previous review.
To answer the question posed at the beginning, yes this album can very much stand alone and if it was a rush job it’s a damn good one. I also agree with Kuro, not enough Lin Lin love and I think that a solo from her would have been a fitting send off.
This is another strong album from Morning Musume. Whether they can keep this up after the 9th generation auditions are over is another story.
Fantasy! Juuichi (CD Only)
Fantasy! Juuichi (CD + DVD)