2020 marks a new year, and it also marks a new number for Morning Musume to add to the end of their name (which has been going for about 6 years now, it really sticks!). Kicking things off for Hello! Project in this clear vision year is a new single release, introducing their fifteenth generation (yowza) members. There’s also a slight interesting quality to this single, proclaimed by Morning Musume themselves as something they’ve never done before.
With that said, is this going to be a new era for Morning Musume, prepping our minds and bodies for something amazing, or is this a bad start to our new year?
KOKORO & KARADA
MINDS & BODIES
Driven by violins, in-your-face synth, powerful vocals, claps, piano, and an overlaying techno melody, “KOKORO & KARADA” is a beautiful up-tempo anthem-like track, going for a very Platinum Era-like appeal. It does frantically change itself throughout, giving us a very experimental-like offbeat feel as it goes into a variety of different melodies, but it still maintains its overall flowy melody. There doesn’t quite feel like there’s a payoff with the build-up presented, but I can be forgiving this time around. “KOKORO & KARADA” is very creatively-crafted; it’s not my favorite of the single, but my mind and body are still slightly in tune with it.
The second A-side is an upbeat pop song with a slight edge and a slight taste of nostalgia, with it also giving attention to our three new members. Taking sounds that you’d hear from a Hello! Project circa 2006 and meshing them with the synthy sounds of the more recent H!P songs, “LOVEpedia” is an exercise in everything that makes up a fun Hello! Pro song. The chorus itself contains a catchy appeal that one is going to have to recall later. It also contains a rather interesting dance-break sequence that will have you whispering “LOVEpedia” sensually… However, I will say, the song itself is nothing special in any way, and it doesn’t quite have the oomph that you want out of a Morning Musume song. Not quite a boring read for this LOVEpedia, but it could be way more exciting!
人間関係No way way
Ningen Kankei No way way
Relationships No way way
Remember when I mentioned that Morning Musume was doing something they’d never done before and that you’d have to recall something later? “Ningen Kankei No way way” is the reason. It is “LOVEpedia” with even more of an edge. Tackling on the same melody but taking on a newer sound, “Ningen Kankei No way way” is in no way the worst of the two. In fact, it is the best, going for a more frantic, hyper, and perhaps even comedic (in a ‘do-your-ears-hang-low’ way) mood. It certainly has the nostalgic sound of older Hello! Project songs, but this one builds on its sister track by so much more. Giving us horns, violins, and excitement, this has everything I want from an epic Momusu track. Might not listen to “LOVEpedia” a lot, but there’s no way way I’m skipping on this one. In fact, I’ll be resetting again and again.
Not bad for the new year! It could be a lot better, as “KOKORO & KARADA” and “LOVEpedia”, with their rather cool names, felt slightly disappointing in delivery. That being said, I could find myself jamming out to these in the near future, so I’m not discounting them in any way. They both certainly have their charms. I have to say, the saving grace of this single is “Ningen Kankei No way way”, as it has pretty much everything I like in a Hello! Project song and is charmingly reminiscent of Morning Musume’s older music. I’m hoping Hello! Project and Morning Musume keeps pumping out awesome music as the year goes on… Not that I should worry, as there’s no way way Hello! Project releases anything awful.
MUST-LISTEN: 人間関係No way way