Release Date: January 23, 2013
Limited A, B, C, Regular Edition B
- Help Me!!
- Happy Daisakusen
- Help Me!! (Instrumental)
- Aishuu Romantic
- Watashi no Dekkai Hana
- Nani wa Tomo Are
- Daisuki Dakara Zettai ni Yurusanai
Morning Musume’s 52nd single is the first to feature 11th generation member Sakura Oda. It also happens to be another that falls squarely in the Electro Musume era of songs.
While the vocals of Sakura Oda are welcomed the production itself loses a little bit of its shine simply because it has absolutely no direction. It feels a lot like the producers just took what worked in the past singles and tried to string the transitions together.
So what you get is a frantic mess of random electronic noises and unnecessary tempo changes. Some may think that makes the song sound more dramatic but there are better ways of going back and forth between sections.
If the fast-talking section that bridges the verses and choruses were to be removed this would be a perfectly serviceable song. The break down where they give Sakura some chance to show off would have sufficed as a way to get into the chorus with a slight arrangement change.
But over producing seems to be the m.o. of Morning Musume songs now and it’s getting them better sales numbers than they’ve had in while. The more is more theory looks like it’s working for them so far.
There is a benefit to all this madness and that is this single suffers from the Buono! syndrome. Meaning that the b-sides are of better quality than the main track. Since this comes in a ridiculous number of versions (8, with 4 containing the same musical content) your choices are narrowed quite a bit by default.
That leaves the 3 b-sides from limited editions D, E and F to decide upon.
Limited D features a collaboration between Michishige Sayumi and Fukumura Mizuki. (Aishuu no Romantic)
Limited E has Tanaka Reina, Iikubo Haruna and Ishida Ayumi teaming up. (Watashi no Dekkai Hana)
Lastly Limited F gives us Ikuta Erina, Suzuki Kanon, Sato Masaki and Kudou Haruka. (Nani wa Tomo Are)
You also have Regular Edition A’s Daisuki dakara Zettai ni Yurusanai available as well.
That’s a lot of music to choose from and perhaps some of you who are budget conscious can’t afford to go hardcore and get all 8 versions. Yes, it’s okay if you don’t buy EVERY version. It won’t make you a bad fan.
So what should you spend your hard earned money on? Here’s my recommendation. Go with Regular Edition A and Limited Edition D. Those will give you the best returns on your Morning Musume investment.
While Daisuki dakara Zettai ni Yurusanai may not necessarily re-invent the Momusu Electro Pop wheel it is way more consistent than Help Me ever will be. The vocals are a bit weak but they’re not awful. Perfectly fine considering the roster now.
The winner of the b-side battle is clearly Aishuu Romantic. It appears that there is a new alpha pairing in Morning Musume and it doesn’t involve anyone in the front row.
Nope. Whenever Michishige and Fukumura are teamed up they end up getting some golden track that just makes you wonder where this kind of stuff was before. It also makes one wonder why this pairing isn’t getting more to work with.
Unlike their last collaboration on Momusu’s 12 Smart album (Suki da na Kimi ga), there is less auto-tune and you can tell who is singing each line during the verses. This is a real benefit for those who are Fukumura fans, since she was kind of overpowered by Michishige the last time. Well that was strange to say, but it’s true.
If you look at these single packages as whole, Aishuu Romantic is definitely the most memorable song. That’s not to say the other b-sides are crap. There’s enough variety between them to satisfy many idol pop listeners, but they’re nowhere near the same level. It probably says a lot about the a-side though.
In the end the arrangement of Help Me was unfocused and lacking in direction. Clean that up and it’s not too bad. To be honest one will have to take what they can get with Morning Musume these days. It can’t be helped (pun intended) that their producers are running the well dry. It could have been worse and there might have been sad attempts at dubstep ruining everything.
What saves single 52 from being a hot mess are the b-sides. What you decide on will be based on your personal taste and how much money you have in your wallet. But you can’t go wrong with the recommended combination of single editions above.
Help Me Regular Edition A
Help Me Regular Edition B
Help Me Limited Edition A
Help Me Limited Edition B
Help Me Limited Edition C
Help Me Limited Edition D
Help Me Limited Edition E
Help Me Limited Edition F