I’ve been sick lately (well, okay, for the last three months), so I had difficulty ordering my thoughts about the new C-ute album (which I got along with Gatas’ first album a few days ago). Here’s a brief (I lie, it’s become so not brief!) review.
Artwork: I can see that they tried to keep up a “paradise” theme with this album, by having lots of shifting colors and bright lights. It’s really nice and pleasing to the eye, but the chairs the girls sit in are a little weird. If this is paradise, shouldn’t the girls be sitting on clouds? As for the girls themselves, they look fantastic. I love when h!p girls have outfits that look the same, but actually have slight differences. I think Mai, Maimi and Erika look best in their outfits. Poor Kanna, her outfit just subtly doesn’t fit. The waist part doesn’t quite hit her at the the most flattering part of her body, and as a result bunches up towards the bottom, making her look thicker than she is. The general artwork and looks of the girls themselves get a 10/10.
1. Tokaikko Junjou: This song is what it is. I wasn’t one of those who was immediately won over by it, but that said it’s the perfect song for starting off an album. It has that sort of “get ready; more is to come” feel to it.
2. Image Color (Suzuki Airi and Yajima Maimi): Halfway through this song I forgot about listening to it and accidentally dropped the cd-player. That would certainly not have happened had the song been at all interesting (which, sadly, it’s not). It’s not that it’s a bad song, it’s just that it could have been SO much better! The vocals sounded uninspired, the song itself was so standard J-pop that I could cry, and… well, the placement in the album doesn’t really seem to have any purpose. It is not the song with which to follow up Tokaikko Junjou!
3. Otome Cocoro: It’s… a nice… slower song? The fact that I can easily space out during this song doesn’t say much for how interesting it is. The vocals are okay. The best thing to say about this is that it isn’t Image Color. Although the instrumentals are really nice and soothing.
4. LA LA LA Shiawase no Uta: I have a secret; When the scary male vocal person comes on during LA LA LA Shiawase no Uta, I sometimes go try to go to a happy place. Why? It’s the stuff of nightmares, that voice! Anyways, terrifying vocal guy aside, LA LA LA comes in with perfect timing in this album. It is a much-needed wake up after the two previous slower (boring) tracks. And somehow I found myself liking this song more on hearing it again.
5. Homerare Nobiko no Theme Kyoku: I like this song! A lot. It has interesting vocals and instrumentals, I especially like the “echo” effect used (I love anything like that, actually). The vocals sound so much better than in Otome Cocoro. This is the sort of song that I can’t wait to see concert-performed. One of my favorites off of this album.
6. Meguru Koi no Kisetsu: Erm… this song is kind of just “there” for me. I don’t particularly love it, but there’s nothing really wrong with it, either. I also would have put it one more track later, after Chisato and Kanna’s song. It just threw me off, hearing it right after Homerare Nobiko no Theme Kyoku.
7. Sweeeets→→→Live (Okai Chisato and Arihara Kanna): This started off so coolly, with some nice drum effects and such. And then the girls come in just sort of… half-singing. Chisato was the reasoning behind my purchasing this album, and to hear her voice being used for about 1/4 of its potential really sucks. The song does pick up a bit towards the chorus, and without the whole “This was supposed to be Chisato’s song to shine in and instead she gets this” thing, I’d really anjoy this slower, slightly odd-sounding song.
8. Sakura Chirari: Wait, I’m not supposed to like this song! I’m supposed to find it dull and repetitive! But here it’s sounding sweet and friendly. How odd. The placement is nice too. after the disappoinment of the previous track, sweet and friendly is just what I need to hear. But it still does get repetitive…
9. Hare no Platinum Doori (Nakajima Saki and Hagiwara Mai): Another fairly uninteresting track on this album. The good thing is that Nakajima’s voice doesn’t make me want to cry, like it normally does. Hagitty is just awesome. Still can’t save this song, although I liked the “Ooh la la la” parts.
10. Do Don Ga Don Ondou (Umeda Erika with the other C-uties making funny noises on occasion): This is the song that saves the whole album from being forgettable. It’s just so not-normal and addictive! I like this much better than the original that inspired it, and Erika’s voice is just so… uh… I’m going to go out on a limb here by calling it Erika-tastic.
Total Score: 43/60 or a C.