Friday, September 6, 2013

Album Favorites Part 2 - Berryz Koubou, C-ute, and S/mileage

As per usual, everything written in this post is my opinion. If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. If you're going to criticize, please be constructive and mature about it. Thank you.

OK! Time to get back to this mission. I managed to cover Morning Musume albums last time, so from here I'll move onto Berryz. Hopefully I'll be able to do the remaining three groups all in this post. If not... oh well.

Berryz Koubou has 8 albums, 2 mini-albums, and one Best of album. So there will be 11 total, their ranks are as follows:

1. Berryz Koubou Special Best Vol. 1 (Best-of)
2. 5(FIVE) (5)
3. 6th Otakebi Album (6)
4. 4th Ai no Nanchara Shisuu (4)
5. 1st Chou Berryz (1)
6. 3 Natsu Natsu Mini Berryz (3/Mini 2)
7. Berryz Mansion 9 Kai (9)
8. Special! Best Mini ~2.5 Maime no Kare~ (Mini 1)
9. 7 Berryz Times (7)
10. Ai no Album 8 (8) 
11. Dai 2 Seichouki (2)

I never realized how much I loved this album until I looked at the tracklist. The only song I don't like on it at least a little bit is BE, and for the older singles, it has some of the best songs for sure. It even has TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY from 1st Chou Berryz. Which is, actually, my favorite song for this album.

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY was one of the first (non-Buono) H!P songs I heard, along with Mini Strawberry Pie, Otome no Shinrigaku, Hello no Theme, and the Berryz March song that has a K word that has slipped my mind. This and Otome no Shinrigaku are the only songs I still listen to regularly, though, of those listed. And there's a reason. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY has a cool feel to it, and the composition is really... interesting to say the least. I really like the vocalizations by, I believe, Captain and Miyabi? But they sound so cute! I'd say the only thing I don't like about the song is the line distribution of the chorus. Have I ever pulled my "CHORUSES SHOULD AT LEAST HAVE SOME CHORUSES!" rant on my blog? I don't recall... but yeah it kind of bugs me that each girl only sings 1 line in the chorus... ugh just don't get me started on choruses, k? Let's save that for another blog post :3 

Now this is what I expected my #1 to be. I've loved 5(FIVE) since I first heard the album. Most of my favorite Berryz Album songs are on this one! (Other than BE. BE is annoying). Basically the only song on this album I don't LOVE (not counting BE, I'm just gonna pretend that song doesn't exist x3) is Kono Yubi Tomare, and it's not that I don't like it, it's just that it's never really held my attention much compared to the other songs.

My favorite song on this album is VERY hard to pick, because I have 2 that are pretty much always tied for first. Not like "Oh they're always switching" like most stuff, I mean I've yet to have once where I thought "I like this more than the other between them." So I'm going to go with the one I listen to more often as my favorite for the sake of this post, and the two songs are Baka ni Shinaide (By Captain, Miya, Kuma, and Rii) and REAL LOVE (by Rii), and the one I'm going to go with is Baka ni Shinaide. I always loved this song, the arrangement is fun and flows well. But the thing that makes this song for me is definitely Captain's vocalization during the last chorus. It's so cool to listen too. The effects at the end of Rii's dramatic solo towards the end of the song is really cool sounding too. This over song is just fun, cool, and amazing to me.

6th Otakebi Album was the first Berryz album I bought a hard copy of. When it first came out, I listened to all of the songs on youtube and loved them all. I don't like Kibou no Yoru so much anymore... the fact it's all chorus except for like 3 Risako solos turned me off to it... So I didn't listen to it much after a while. But other than that, even the single songs on this are some of my favorites (I loved the Berryz double A-side streak...)

My favorite song on the albums is the duet between Maasa and Yurina, Grand Demo Rouka Demo Medatsu Kimi. From the very beginning, I loved the song. It has a similar line concept as Morning Musume's KameAika duet Haru Beautiful Everyday, and what I love about both songs is that they're designed so that in the long versions (full versions anyway) the one who's usually a "back up" vocal in songs have one more line than the lead, but when the short "concert ver" is used, the lead can be the lead. It's just that random thing I noticed~ Don't mind me.

This album (will never be able to remember it's name without looking) is a really good album. Most album songs are hit-or-miss with me, but most of the songs on this album... I like them, and occasionally I'll get in the mood to listen to them, and none of them am I like "UGHHH DON'T MAKE ME LISTEN TO THIS SONG!" with. So I'd say that's a success at least. Even my top 2 albums both have BE... @_@

My favorite song on this album is the perfect example of how I don't necessarily have to like the singers to like the song. Watashi ga Suru Koto Nai Hodo Zenbu Shite Kureru Kare. This song is a duet between my two least favorite voices in Berryz - Momoko and Risako. I also realized how much I seem to like long titled songs... Anyway, the thing I really love about this song is the slow, flowing melody of it. It's really relaxing and a very nice listen, even with Momoko's voice in it. (Risako's voice it's not that I hate it, it's just that I'm sick of it. But Momoko's voice is so annoying... I just can't...)

1st Chou Berryz had some of the best songs you could expect from a groups first album. Really, though, I'd have to say of the 4 main groups 1st albums, this is either my favorite or 2nd favorite (Cutie Queens Vol. 1 is really good too...) 

Anyway, my favorite song on this album is TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY, but since I already used that, I'm gonna enthuse about my 2nd favorite song for a bit. And that would be Kozukai UP Daisakusen. This song is so... fuuu I don't know a word for it. The instrumental has a bit of a creepy feel to it, which I personally like (also why I like the vocaloid song Kakome Kakome). Plus the way the lines are arranged, particularly the verses with the switching between two girls, is very interesting and gives the vocals a nice feel to them. The one thing I will whine about is the fact that the ONLY performance of this song was, not only a short version, but it was only 3 people! Momoko, Chinami, and Yurina I believe? I have nothing against group songs being sung live as small group songs or solos even, but I'd like at least one performance where the original cast (or even if they were to do it now, that'd be okay) sang the song...

Berryz 3rd album, 2nd Mini-album, and 1st (partial) cover album. A very well-rounded album, isn't it? It's the Berry of all trades, basically. Anyway, I'd honestly like this album more if it didn't have the 3 cover songs (and had other new ones instead). I don't have anything against the songs, especially since Berryz got me into Halation Summer, but it just... takes away from the album to me... If you're gonna have cover songs, you should either have a full cover album (like COVER YOU) or have them ON a full album (so with 4-5 more tracks than this has at least)

That mini-rant thing out of the way, my favorite song on this album is definitely Natsu Remember You <3. Such a pretty song! A lot of the time I tend to like slower songs... It depends on the group, but if it's not so slow that it bores me to death (-stares intently at BE-) I usually enjoy it, and most of the time I enjoy it a LOT if I enjoy it. The lyrics are really sweet too, but I don't really want to say that has anything to do with why I like it, since I liked it before I really gave a crap about what the lyrics of these songs actually meant... XD

Considering this is one of the two Berryz albums I actually own, I really hate to say that it's so low on my list. But truth be told, there's really very few songs that are actually memorable on it. And half of them are because I already know them as single songs. Basically only 4 songs on this album are memorable to me, and they are Succhaka Mecchaka~, Nanda Kanda de Ii Kanji, WANT!, And cha cha SING. But, those 4 songs are good enough to bump this album up quite a bit.

So my favorite song on this album would have to be another duet. So based on what I said above, if you know the album, you have no choice but to come to the conclusion that I'm referring to Nanda Kanda de Ii Kanji by Chi and Maa-chan. At which conclusion, you would be correct. Chinami and Maasa never seize to amaze me at their blending. These two are literally the ends that mark Berryz between mature and cute voices, from what I can tell. And yet, the blending between the two of them is amazing. The song itself is a really fun, energetic song that definitely suits Chinami. But Maasa, also is able to keep up with the energy in her lines. I love it >3

Berryz first mini-album. It's a bit disappointing to me, mini-album or not, that only 1 song on it isn't a single song. As someone who normally loves album songs, this album, as a concept, is a bust. However, the singles that ARE on it, and the one album song, are all amazing, so I can't really complain any more than that.

The song I'd say is my favorite here is Arigatou! Otomodachi. The one album song. Shocker, right? The song is really sweet, and it's another one of those first songs I heard songs (just not as early on as the others) so props to it. Plus. It has a PV. Most of the time I tend to have biases towards album songs with PVs... and usually it's not even because of the PV LOL those just happen to be the songs I like. I'd say the only exception to that is Genki Pikkapikka ._. That song I loved at first, but it was just so overrated compared to the other songs on that album that I just got really annoyed with it... Oh right, I was talking about Berryz songs. Whoopsies.

This album had to grow on me. At first the only song I liked on it at all was Joshikai The Night. I couldn't even sit through any of the others. Even now I only like Joshikai, BOMB BOMB JUMP, and Magical Future. Even the single songs on it I've grown bored of. All three of them were way way way overplayed (by me, so it's my own fault) when they came out, so I rarely can stand listening to them nowadays. 

Anyway, my favorite of the 3 songs I actually like on this album is definitely BOMB BOMB JUMP. I love the backing vocals contrasting the front ones throughout the song. And it's kinda got almost a parlor song gone pop feel to it, to me. Plus I tend to just, in general, have a bit of a bias towards songs with these kind of backing vocals, I think. This may or may not be the only song that I know that's actually like that, but that's not the point. THE POINT IS THAT BOMB BOMB JUMP IS A GREAT SONG, OKAY?! :P

I've heard every song on this album at least once. And I only like 2 songs on it. And like Berryz Mansion, 1/2 of them is a single song. And I don't even like the single song that much. But the album song that like... may or may not be my absolute favorite Berryz song... And that would be Renai Moyou.

Since I had already been a decent way into learning Japanese by the time I heard it, I actually was able to understand a little bit of what it was saying. This is one of those "heart strings" songs to me. Even without knowing what the song is saying, the music, and even the tone of the vocals, is able to successfully pull at me. It's one of those songs that even just passively listening, I feel like I might cry listening to it.

In theory, this should be above Ai no Album 8, as I at least like the singles songs in it, but I love Renai Moyou more then every song on this album put together, so no. The songs on this album... I've heard all of them at least once or twice at some point, but only one of the album songs was able to hold my attention. And that's Joshi Basket-bu ~Asaren Atta Hi no Kamigata~.

For Joshi... do this day I still have no idea what they're saying... and I really don't care. This song is one of those "I really just like the sound of it" and tend to only listen to it passively, so I never bothered looking up what it means. But the one thing I really like about this song is that the "backing vocals" are the "front vocals" for this song. I always love when they give backup singers lead songs on albums. (Note: keep in mind I'm referring to the times. I'm well aware that at least Captain is getting a push recently, and Yurina tends to switch between categories depending on the song)

IT'S NOT MIDNIGHT. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? IT MEANS I CAN ACTUALLY CONTINUE THIS THING! So let's look at some C-ute. C-ute has 7 albums, 1 mini album, and 3 best-of albums. One of them is apparently from the Paris voyage, so I've never heard it, so I won't be including it in my count (though that album has some amazing songs on it...) so this will be out of 10 albums. And their ranking is:

1. Dainanashou "Utsukushikutte Gomen ne" (7)
2. Cutie Queens Vol. 1 (1)
3. Chou Wonderful 6 (6)
4. C-ute Nan desu! Zen Single Atsumechaimashita! 1 (Best 1)
5. 8 Queen of J-POP (8)
6. Shocking 5 (5)
7. 2 C-ute Shinsei Naru Best Album (Best 2)
8. 4 Akogare My STAR (4)
9. 3rd ~LOVE Escalation!~ (3)
10. 2 Mini ~Ikiru to Iu Chikara~ (2/Mini)

I love this album. I really do. The songs are all hit or miss with me, but the hits are just amazing! Plus, I love that the 3 who, for the first half-ish of their career, were pushed to the back, all got solos. I wasn't really surprised by Chisa getting one, since she's seemed to have taken Maimi's spot as the co-front girl with Airi, but it's just pleasant that Nakky and Mai got solos too.

My favorite song on the album, despite everything I just said, is Zunkata March ~Hitorashiku Ikiyou~. This is just a really fun song with a bouncy-sounding flow to the song. I think that's how "march" songs are supposed to be, but to be honest, at first I didn't really realize this was actually supposed to be a march... I just thought it was a catchy name... But can I just say - Airi and Chisa's growly lines are amazing. They won me over for the whole song on first listen. Thumbs up. Lots of them. -throws facebook like button symbols around-

Yes, this album has a heck of a lot of brownie points due to being the only album with Megumi in it. That's probably like 90% of the reason for this album being so high. I love Megumi... I miss her ;A; But the album is actually really good, despite 2 of the 5 actual album songs being cover songs, these girls, I personally think, sang them both better than T&C Bomber did. Just my opinion though.

My favorite song, though, kinda sadly, is Soku Dakishimete. Soku Dakishimete is, I think, my favorite C-ute song ever. The song I heard of first as "Megumi's song." The song has a fun tune to it, and, other than the fact only 3 people have solos in it, the line distribution is consistent and interesting. Plus, Megumi. Lots of Megumi. Megumi OWNS this song. I DON'T CARE IF IT'S AN UNFAIR BIAS, THIS IS MY BLOG, AND I'M SHARING MY OPINION AND MY OPINION IS IN MY BRAIN AND MY BRAIN IS BIASED. >.>

I'd have to say that this album... is definitely unique. I like it, but I liked it a LOT more when it first came out. I don't know what happened, but when it came out, the only song I didn't really like was 3ban Home 3 Ryoume, now I don't really listen to any of the songs much other than Midnight Temptation and Iza, Susume! Steady Go! But it's not because I don't like the other songs anymore, I just don't really feel like listening to them as much.

Between the two I still listen to regularly, my favorite song is Iza, Susume! Steady Go! Which is actually because someone asked me to translate the song for them. I didn't translate it WELL, but while translating I was listening to it a lot and fell in love with it in the process. I especially like Maimai's fast lines. I'd have to say the one thing that bugs me is the line distribution is just kinda hard to follow... Maybe it's just me... I dunno. It's just a tad weird to me. And I don't just mean because it's a Nakky lead... XD

I didn't even know this album came out at first. It wasn't until I was looking at their discography for some reason and I saw it on the list. I was like "...When did this happen?" Lol but I'm honestly surprised this album is this high, as, like I said previously, I like album songs. So this, which is 100% single songs usually wouldn't hold my attention well. But I think the fact that it's got all the a-sides from before 5nin C-ute may have had something to do with it. I miss those days...

I'm going to do what I did with Berryz, since once again, my favorite song is Soku Dakishimete again, I'll talk about my 2nd favorite a little bit instead. On this album, my 2nd favorite song would have to be EVERYDAY Zekkouchou!! Erika's graduation single. I really like the sound of the song in general, and the lyrics are very meaningful and hopeful. "Because it's now! Good day sunshine."

I knew this was coming out... but when someone said "I'm listening to it right now" I was shocked. I hadn't made any mental notes of the release date and was rather surprised to find out it had already been released. But this album has one song. The song. The song that, if you follow my blog, or at least read my most recent post before the Album favorites one, you'll already know is my favorite song. The song that inspired me to do these posts in the first place. Yes, you can blame that song.

Namida mo Denai Kanashiku mo Nai Nanni mo Shitakunai. That song. It just brings out all of my feels. Based on the title, I had predicted when I saw the tracklist that it would be my favorite. But at first listen I thought I would be wrong when Mai was the lead vocal for it. But then I ended up having it basically on repeat the past couple days. Especially after I translated it. The song itself is really good, I love the sound of it. But the meaning... It's just such a terrible feeling song. A desprite song, in a sense. But it's such a pure desperation. I love it. This may have swiped 2nd place in my favorite C-ute songs. I wouldn't know unless I tried to make a list, though, and if I had the patience for that, I'd probably get so many things done...

This album is basically only this high because of two songs. Two really REALLY good songs. Yajima Maimi's Lonely girl's night, and NakkiChisaMai's Kimi no Senpou. The only other songs on the album I like at all are Everyday Zekkouchou (which isn't bad, obviously, since it made #2 on another album), and Airi's solo, Aa Koi.

My favorite of the songs is Maimi's solo, Lonely girl's night. It's such a painful song. Maimi's not the best vocalizer, but I love the vocalizations in the song, nonetheless. This song is just... very meaningful, and I feel like it's one of those songs in which the instrumental is very compatible with lyrics and their meaning. And Maimi does a pretty good job of showing that emotion in her voice as well. My applauds go out to this song. SOMEONE GIVE THIS SONG A COOKIE.

I'll give you 3 reasons why this is not my least favorite album. 1) The concept, 2) Ooki na Ai de Motenashite, and 3) Daisuki no Imi wo Oshiete. I was very excited when I first heard about this album. The self-cover idea is one I really enjoy (also why I'm excited about the new MoMusu one), the reason I don't like it is the execution. Primarily the realization that the indies singles wouldn't have Megumi. I refuse to listen to the Shinsei version of Soku Dakishimete. Not even kidding. When it starts to play, I will literally go to my ipod and change it to the original version. Soku Dakishimete is Megumi's song. NO!

Anyway, that out of the way, my favorite song on the album is Ooki na Ai de Motenashite. This and Edo are the only two songs which I like the new version better than the old ones. This song just fits Nakky' and Mai's cute voices so well, it's the perfect song for them, and they're perfect for the song. It's a perfect combination. I'm not even bothered by their squeaky voices because it sounds like that's how it's supposed to be. Even more so with the new arrangement that adds just enough autotune to make it sound like it's just supposed to be an ear killing cute song. Which... just contradicted most of what I believe in for music... but this song is a special exception on many levels, so I don't care :3.

I liked this album a lot more when it first came out, (or rather, back when I first heard it, since, although I did know about them before Shocking 5, I think it was sometime between this and that album came out...) but not so much anymore. Now I only really like 2 non-single songs... (and the single songs are.. good.)

My favorite of the songs I like is definitely the KanNakky duet, Aishiteru Aishiteru. It does help that Nakky and Kanna are my 2nd and 3rd all time favorite C-ute girls respectively, but I honestly liked this song even back when Nakky was my 2nd least favorite all time C-ute. This is just a really pretty, sweet song. I also like the bits where the girls kinda slip in a bit of personality into the song ("Mama ni mo chotto gekko," "Nioi wa -sniff- nani kore?!" and "Meccha meccha meccha") bits. It's a really good song, I think, and the girls sing it really well. I do kinda with there were duet parts, but I don't see these girls blending very well, so I don't mind that it's all solos.

This album is literally the same condition as the previously mentioned ones. I just don't like the songs I like as much as I do for 4 Akogare, hense why this album is lower on my list. As I get lower on my lists, I'm gonna say less about the album(s) themselves and just jump into the song.

My favorite song from this album is the KannaChisa duet this time, Sweets ->->-> Live. It's one of the first-ish C-ute songs I got into, so it has that reminiscent bias again. But honestly, this almost i Just really don't like the songs on it much at all... So I can't really give much credit to even my favorite song on it. 

I honestly expected this album to be much higher on my list (well however you can define "much" when there's only 10 to begin with), but I realized I only like 2/5 songs and one of them is severely overrated... which dropped it by quite a bit...

And yet, my favorite song is the severely overrated Tsuugaku Vector Airi solo. It's just the song has a great overall... feel to it. It's a really interesting song with a fun flow that's enjoyable to listen to. Pretty much simple as that. But unfortunately, with how much everyone loved it when I first got into the fandom kinda annoyed me, so I have some negative bias that takes away some points from the score.

Lastly is S/mileage. With only 2 albums and 1 best album, this will definitely be the quickest and easiest (I think). So the ranks of the 3 albums are:

1. Warugaki 1 (1)
2. 2 Smile Sensation (2)
3. S/mileage Best Album Kanzenban 1 (Best)

I realized that I really don't like any of the albums as wholes. They all have 1-3 songs on them that I like, and for all of them at most 1 is an original album song... so this was harder than I expected to decide, but since I really liked S/mileages indies singles, I went with Warugaki 1 as my favorite.

My favorite song is Odorou yo. The sound of it is definitely not what you normally hear from H!P. It's unique. But it's not in a bad way by any means. The song has a fun feel to it and it's nice to listen to, and I love how the solos/group parts are positioned (if that's the right word... LOL) it's really pleasant on the ears... which also may be a bad way to word it...

I think I've heard all the songs at least once, and the only songs I remember are Shin Nippon ni Susume, Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki., and Samui ne. Honestly, even Tabidachi never held my attention since it was released (I even mistook it for Be Genki in a Karaoke challenge my friend sent me! Whoops)

My favorite song is definitely Shin Nippon ni Susume. Partly due to that same friend mentioned above. When I asked for advice on something to translate, cause I was bored, she told me to try this song if I wanted. I couldn't. The song made no sense to me. But listening to it to try and translate it did get me to fall in love with the song. Now it's probably my favorite S/mileage song period. It starts off slow and dramatic, but then speeds into a fast and fun song, I love it. Plus, "SANKYUU BERI MACHI!" made me laugh so hard the first time I heard the song. A good laugh is always nice.

The only reason this isn't higher than the other albums is because I really don't like that many of S/mileage's earlier singles enough to like a best of album... unfortunately. I might like it more if it was a self cover album, like Shinsei Naru, but I don't even know for sure about that. 

If I had to pick a favorite, I'd probably say Yumemiru 15sai. I really loved the song when it first came out, and I might still know part of the dance simply because I watched the video so many times back then. I still love the song, it's just... there's so many better things in H!P to listen to, so I don't listen to it much. But listening to it now, for the first time in a long time, I don't regret picking it at all. It's a really good, fun song.


So this has been my Album favorites for the 4 main groups that currently have albums. No the gifs have nothing to do with anything other than Masacchi because she's adorable and I like them and they're space holders basically. I hope you enjoyed reading if you actually read all that. Have a nice life :3. Until next time. Have a Maaduu:


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