Release Date: July 4, 2012
- One Two Three
- The Matenrou Show
- Watashi no Jidai (Type A, B – 6th Generation Solo)
- Aisaretainoni (Type C, D – 9th Generation Solo)
- Seishun Domannaka (Type E, F – 10th Generation Solo)
- One Two Three (Instrumental)
- The Matenrou Show (Instrumental)
Morning Musume’s 50th single is another double a-side and the first under Michishige Sayumi’s reign as leader. Continuing from the rather progressive Emo Musume/Dubstep combination of Renai Hunter, the group is given a pair of songs that appear to indicate a renewed musical energy.
Whether this has to do with the infusion of fresh blood of the 9th and 10th generation members or an attempt by UFA’s producers to give the new Morning Musume a bit of an edge is unknown.
Whatever the case, both a-sides have have a very polarizing response.
One Two Three appears to have a love/hate type of response. Those who do not like the song complain about the deviation from the tried and true Musume sound calling it a K-Pop rip-off, or Trance. I can understand the reference to K-Pop, but those of you calling this Trance need to take a lesson in your electronic music genres. This is light years away from Trance.
This song is much closer to early 90’s Dance/House based on the instruments and chord structure. With that said it’s going to be apparent that I like this song. It’s a throwback to the dance music I played when I first started out as a DJ.
Sure it doesn’t sound like their typical idol fare but is that really a bad thing? I find nothing wrong with branching out from the status quo as this song and Renai Hunter have tried to do. The results are much better here in my opinion.
The only problem that might really get people upset are the vocal effects. At least they’re tastefully done to help advance the song instead of being used as a crutch to cover up for a lack of skill. Although that could be debatable as well depending on who you talk to. That’s a discussion that will not be had here.
The Matenrou Show is probably much more typical of you would hear from a Hello! Project act these days. The intro has the same faux horns used in the Mobekimasu single and various recent Berryz Koubou songs. When this first started I thought this was the Mobekimasu single (and I’m not the only on who thinks this.)
You might think this song is a Berryz Koubou or Ongaku Gatas cast-off. And if it is? Well it’s a damn good one. Regardless of what you think of Hello! Project’s attempts at Disco Pop you have to admit they do a fine job with these kinds of productions.
Everything just works on this track even if it is a little bit recycled from past Hello! Project songs. Unfortunately the video did not receive the fair treatment a song this good deserves. You watch that sad sack dance shot that looks like it was an afterthought and tell me that was “amazing” or “great” or “stupendous” or whatever other false praising words fans think of these days.
Honestly I think this song could have gotten a retro type video similar to T-ara’s Roly Poly (minus the pointless drama & flashbacks.) and it would have been perfectly fine with me. Ah, a wasted opportunity for cheesy goodness if there ever was one.
In addition to those two songs you get a different b-side depending on what version of the single you buy. As we all know, idol fans are hoarders so it’s pretty much a given that you will all get every version by any means necessary.
So which one is the best? I would say the 9th generation song is probably the one that stands out the most. Yes, it’s rather run of the mill Emo Musume but it has the future queen bitch of the group along with Fukumura and those other chicks in the background somewhere. The old ladies of the 6th gen get all super happy fun ball on their track while the noobs of the 10th gen get a super cutesy song. When comparing the two I think the old maids win.
In the end this was a surprisingly strong effort from Morning Musume. You have to give UFA some credit here, when there’s something important to celebrate like a graduation or milestone single they show that they care. Whether this unusual twist of fate will continue on to single 51 and beyond is up for debate. If it does happen, remember this as the turning point that made Morning Musume a competitor again.