Released March 22, 2017
- Junpaku Antoinette (純白アントワネット)
- Tonari no Seki no Princess (隣の席のプリンセス)
- Kiete, Shirayukihime (消えて、白雪姫)
- Sennen Maika (千年舞歌)
- My love song (Maika solo)
- Lychee Red no Umei (ライチレッドの運命)
- Forza! Ole!
- Seifuku Cinderella (制服シンデレラ)
- Memories ~Kimi to Boku no Kousaten~ (Memories ～君と僕の交差点～)
- Seishun Mermaid (青春マーメイド)
- Dream Door (2017 version)
- Himitsu no Tiara to Gelato (秘密のティアラとジェラート)
Kelly-Mae Matt a.k.a Chiima says:
My Princess is Houkago Princess’s first (and only) major studio album to date, and one of a few albums that I own in my personal J-music collection. As an idol lover and general fan-girl of the group in question, I wanted to tackle TOZ with the groups first handful of singles throughout 2015 – 2017, tracks that have defined the current style, look and theme of the group that we see today. Plus, I simply want to see how TOZ reacts to a Princess themed group and their fairy-tale themed tracks, with the hopes that he finds at least one song of theirs that he enjoys.
Enjoy, TOZ. I hope this album proves to be somewhat entertaining.
Keeping the streak of visiting albums we’ve already reviewed. Let’s do this.
From the beginning, we get the harps and violins to signify that it’s gonna be Princess Time. Then the chorus kicks in, and I was into it. I especially like the breakdown the last quarter of the song since it started to get repetitive and refreshed the song for me.
Tonari no Seki no Princess
An easy song to bop my head to, but I find that there is something missing for me here. Maybe it’s cause the first song felt like a strong intro and this feels like it was one revision away from being something I could return to.
Okay, now we talking. It’s still has that Princess Time vibe, but it starts out with that synth keyboard and drums, but then the violin that has that a slightly haunting quality to it grabbed me. That violin is my favorite instrument here cause it works as a nice counterbalance to the group’s voices. Would like to have more of this.
Okay, does Houkago Princess have the best intros to songs? I love the immediate singing with the quiet instrumentation, then it opens to be a fusion of enka and something more modern. It’s almost triumphant. At this point of the album, I am dancing in my seat.
My love song
So I’ve mentioned before that I’m generally over ballads at this point. That being said, My love song is something I would’ve really dug if I heard it years back. It’s a bit more complex, musically than your typical ballad. It’s a strong solo song to have here. Perhaps I also like this song cause I got some strong Aya Matsuura vibes from this. Hey, anytime I can tap back into my older H!P fandom, I am all for.
Lychee Red no Umei
Okay seriously, these intros are catching me. It opens up softly and I thought it was going to be just that. But then the other instruments kick in, and especially that guitar and I felt it throughout my body. Although as of this writing I didn’t look this song up for a live version, I just have a sense this song at one of their concerts could be one of the high points of the show.
I think this is my favorite song. Despite me enjoying the princess flavor at this point, this sounds the most different cause I don’t get that fairy-tale theme as much. I can easily see this song being the theme song to an anime that features schoolgirls who are complete different in personality coming together to solve crimes in the city. It’s energizing and motivational, two things one needs to solve crimes.
THESE INTROS! Relating this back to Forza!, this sounds like the closing credits to said anime. Crime of the week solved! Or maybe by the end of the show’s run, all the girls find out that they are descendants of all these royal families, and they each complete their own quest to ascend and claim their rightful place of their respective kingdoms. So this can be the final song to convey that their lives as commoners are no longer, but instead embark on their new journey.
That was a long way for me to say, I was digging this song, too.
Memories ~Kimi to Boku no Kousaten~’
I have the same thoughts about this that I do with Kiete. It’s like 95% of the way there for me, but that 5% is missing and I can’t quite enjoy this as much as my heart wants to. Guess this is why I don’t produce music, cause I have no idea what that last bit would be.
Maybe the princess, fairy-tale theme got old for me by this point of the album. I’m not entirely sure what determined the sequencing of this album, whether it was release date or something else, but coming after Forza! and Seifuku, this felt like a step backwards. I was enjoying what I thought was a slow progression into a widening of their sound, and this felt like a step backwards. It’s not bad by any means, I do like the breakdown and build-up to end the song. But it felt like a letdown coming this late in the album.
See my thoughts about Seishun Mermaid. Except that its clearly labeled at 2017 version, so I am confused. Ain’t nothing wrong with staying in your lane, but since I never followed the group before and this album being my first introduction into the group, I was left indifferent with this song.
Himitsu no Tiara to Gelato
It’s a good song to close the album with. It also sounds triumphant and declarative. Imagine, we are at a beautiful ball. It’s early autumn, warm enough that nobody is too bundled up, but cold enough to encourage the attendees to break out more articles fancy clothing.
I was trying to think of more stuff for that scenario, but honestly, this song sounds like a celebration. It seems to be made as the group’s last song they perform live.
I like this album more than I was expecting to. I did anticipate that the sweet nature of it would get it, but I was expecting it sooner than later, so that’s a plus. Man, they got some great intros to their songs for sure. It was nice to tap back into this particular sound of J-pop. It’s a good reminder of why I like Asian Pop music. Really glad I listened to this, and thanks to Chiima for showing me the way.
March – Nico & Vinz’s Black Star Elephant