Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Let's talk about the SATOYAMA Units and their new Singles, shall we?

All thoughts and opinions within this blog are totally my own, you know that, right? Good! Well, all opinions are individual, so if you have an opinion, state it openly and don't allow others to change how you think or feel! Do allow yourself to take others opinions into consideration, and to allow you to see things differently, but do not let their opinions warp your mind! Taking in opinions simply allows you to develop a better outlook on your own opinion, and realise new things. Simples, right?

Hey, look! Single review(s)!!!



In all honesty, it's quite strange to have sub-units within Hello! Project... this is a first time experience for me, because I wasn't around for the whole sub-unit era where there were plenty of them for people to enjoy, giving out diverse sounds different to what the main groups had to offer, so of course, this is basically A Whole New Woooooooorld... A dazzling Place I never know...

Okay, Disney song references aside, this is all new to me and rather exciting. Okay, so the units were made on the basis of units which would promote nature and the agriculture life of Japan, kind of like how Ecomoni was created to promote the planet's safety and the awareness of protecting the planet, but it's a sub-unit, and I am happy. That, and the concept of the units promoting agriculture life and looking after the land or eating healthy is a good concept, in my opinion, especially when these sub-units seem to aim towards certain demographics.

Well, that's what I think at least.

So recently, the units singles were released. Each unit has a PV, one which has yet to be revealed and one which needs an official release, and each unit seems to show a different concept in their PV's. They all seem to aim towards a different demographic, and whilst the songs may have either an upbeat nature or a mellow sound, they have different appeals, and will cater towards certain people who have certain tastes. Well, I know what I like, and I like all four songs, but for different reasons.

Obviously, this is what I think about the singles, so sit tight, relax and grab your beer tea, because we're in for a little bit of a review...

Peaberry
Cabbage Hakusho


A bland name for quite the bland duo, right? Well, I guess it's right, but honestly, I enjoy this song. It has a beautiful opening, and throughout I find it to be such a pretty, soft song which really suits both Dawa and Riho's voices. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the song itself, because it consists of two members I previously really did not like, and I was hell bent on never liking this song... ever.

Well, considering I like pretty ballads, that plan would have flown out the window anyway, because I am a sucker for a slow, pretty song with soft vocals that fit the tune. It's a song which is just extremely pretty and nice to listen to. It's soft and gentle, and soothes me. There's nothing up-beat about it at all, so if you're looking for something fun and quirky, steer clear of this one, because it isn't for you.

It's an innocent, beautiful song, one which really shows off the innocent and premature tone of both Dawa and Riho's voices. This song has truly allowed me to appreciate just how nice both of their voices can be when the girls aren't straining to hit high notes in a more up-tempo song, and it has allowed me to find something to like about their voices, too. I really think that Riho is a wonderful singer... in these sorts of songs. Ultimately, that does mean that I don't want her singing in songs like One Two Three any more because truly, she does not sound good, but here she founds very good, and she can sound even better with more time and practice. I could actually imagine her singing Koi ING at some point, if she continues to improve, which will only happen when she stops singing songs that require her to do the impossible.

I find the song simple, pretty and well made. I haven't heard something this pretty come from Hello! Project in a while, and honestly it's very refreshing to listen to, and it allows me to appreciate the vocal beauty of both Dawa and Riho. They can sing... they just suit a certain type of song, and that is this song.

DIY♡
Fore Fore ~Fores for Rest~


Here's a song and PV which has really taken off in the International Wota kingdom. Plenty of people are really loving the sound and look of this group, and no wonder, because they're pretty damn awesome if you ask me.

DIY♡ show off a more mature look, one which is much needed in Hello! Project right now given the amount of children present since 2011 onwards, and the demographic for this group seems to be aimed towards teen and grown men, or at least, people who like a mature woman with lots of leg and lovely bodies. Of course, with a mature group comes a mature song, right? Well, that's what this is, and it's great.

Fore Fore is more of a 90's dance song to me. It reminds me of Hinoi Team in terms of how it is presented in sound, and it sounds ctahy, up-beat and all around a great track! The vocals blend and work nicely together, with Haruna sounding a lot better than she has done in previous singles, as well as the maturity of Miyabi and Maimi's vocals within the song. Mix it with Chinami and Nakky's vocals, and you get a nice and mature song which still has some girlishness in it which keeps it a bit more pure, but still allows it to sound mature and different to what the other groups have to offer.

This song, in terms of sound, is far more adventurous and playful than what Cabbage Hakusho is. There's more of a beat, it's catchier and sticks in your mind so much faster. There's a lot of echoes which really grab your attention, and overlapping vocals which make it a fun song to listen to. I think that this song is so widely liked because of how new and fresh it sound when compared to newer content from H!P as a whole. It's a fun song, but it isn't immature or over-laden with auto-tune, and it's mature enough to appeal to those who like a song with maturity, whilst also sounding like a club tune with an element of pop to it.

It sounds great in my opinion, and I really like it. Out of all four songs, I think that this one has the best arrangement and presentation overall. It's just a wonderful song and it's one that people seem to really get into quickly, and with such a diverse sound to what's come out recently, this song will be sure to stand out to fans a lot more than the other groups because of how fresh it sounds against the other songs.

Harvest
Forest Time


Harvest have pretty much only just been revealed, but have quickly become one of my favourite Satoyama units through their PV and their song. Whilst not the best song of the four, it has a certain appeal to it which will attract people. It may be the nature of the song or the vocals, who knows? Still, I think that this will be a song that people will enjoy, because whilst it sounds a lot more generic than I would like it to, it is a nice song.

Forest Time is Idol generic, okay? We'll get that out of the way before anything else. I don't find it to be the greatest song in the world, but honestly, I really like it. I love generic songs, actually, but that's not the point. I find this song to be cheerful in a subtle way, without the girls or the instrumental being too over the top and genki. It's actually a very up-lifting song, and extremely carefree and sweet. It has a certain mood to it which makes it sound so happy and innocent whilst also being playful and friendly. It's a friendly song, one which has the ability to make you feel happy as you listen to it.

One of the things that sticks out about this song, though, is the fact that there are no solo lines. All the lines are distributed by either duo's or the girls as a group, and I think that helps the friendly factor of the song. It promotes the closeness of the girls too, I think, and allows you to appreciate how well these girls blend together and just how nicely they match. The vocals are all quite youthful, too, so you have a rather innocent and pure song here which sticks out. It's very sweet, and I actually like that there are no solo lines distributed in this single, because it would probably take away from that friendly factor it has.

Harvest seem to be a group which promotes the group the most, in my opinion. It seems to rely on the teamwork of the girls in both the song and the video, allowing us to get a sense of the girls' closeness through how they sing as opposed to how they have improved individually and how they sound alone, and I like that about this group. You don't have to worry about a favourite getting so many lines, because the girls are all working together here and no one is singled out, and that's good.

This group is really nice, and I like Harvest. The song may not be the best, but its actually my favourite of the four. I find it to be such an appealing song, one which allows me to appreciate the girls as a group and not as individual members. Because of this, the group reminds me heaily of the old S/mileage, the one I saw debut and grew to love because of how close they were. This group shows that same closeness, and honestly... yeah, it makes me sad, but it makes me hopeful for these girls, because the song sounds like old S/mileage, not in how it sounds, but how it feels and how it is portrayed. It's a song that is carefree, happy and friendly, something that old S/mileage had, and something which they no longer have. It's reminiscent of that, but it's nice to see that Harvest can translate their feelings through this song, and remind me of S/mileage when the group was truly great.

I actually anticipate the growth of this group more so than the others, because they seem to have the best group chemistry and have really bonded with each other. I can also see these girls performing Tanpopo songs... I hope that I'm not the only one who thinks this.

GREEN FIELDS
Boys be ambitious!


Now, is it just me, or does the title of this song remind you of a certain Morning Musume single...


Yeah, I'm not the only one, thank goodness. Also, this song is anything but ambitious. If anything, it's the total opposite, and the title itself... well, it doesn't fit the Satoyama theme now, does it?

It's also never a good thing when the opening of this song sounds exactly like the Gingham Check opening. Oh dear me...

GREEN FIELDS is the final group out of the four Satoyama units revealed, and for me, probably the most boring and lacking in group chemistry. This group seems to aim for an older demographic, one which likes mature girls with innocent looks, natures and gentle voices... basically, the boring girls. Well, sadly, these girls are a tad too 'innocent' and boring for my own taste to the point where I actually want to call the POTATO FIELDS instead...

Much like Peaberry's song, Boys be ambitious! is a slow and gentle song, and admittedly, very pretty. The concert of this song made me think that I wouldn't like it, but after listening to the full version, I do. This is mostly due to the fact that, sorry Saki fans, but it has to be said and done, that Saki sucks at singing live. She does not blend with with the other two, but in the HQ mp3, she sounds just lovely. Then again, it's a studio finish, and studio sounds better than live most or nearly all of the time, unless you're IU, that is. So yeah, the reason why I didn't want to like this song was because of Saki live. Sorry.

That said and done, it's an okay song. It's pretty, it has it's charms, but it isn't anything special, either. I'm pretty sure that I could forget this song in a second, however I do listen to it for the chorus which is extremely pretty. The song sounds like it could be placed in the country section at HMV, actually, and it does sound quite pretty. It reminds me of old adverts from my childhood, too. Weird...

Again, this song is not ambitious like the title suggests. It's a slow song, very gentle and soothing, and uses a recorder. If you hate any of the above, then steer clear because you won't care for this song. Honestly, if Peaberry was a stretch for you, I think that this won't be your cup of tea or pint of beer. It's pretty, yeah, but it's nothing great, either. The vocals are nice and all, but it isn't the best song from the four units. In fact, I find it bland and lacking. Maybe it's the group itself, because honestly... these girls don't work, or at least, that's what I think. I just find them totally awkward to watch together because they honestly don't seem to mesh well at all. Iikubo is awkward in DIY♡, right? Well GREEN FIELDS is just awkward all over. Then again, that's just my opinion.

It's an okay song, it's pretty and gentle, but it doesn't work for me like Cabbage Hakusho does. It's a good thing that I like the chorus, isn't it?

Again... nothing special, and that title is damn misleading!

Conclusion:

I think that the Satoyama units are a great idea, and it's nice to finally see a bit of a change in Hello! Project, in both sound and in the change of how a group looks. It's great to see the members shuffled and put with different people to see how they work together and to see what they produce in terms of music. Of course, I do have a favourite group, and it is Harvest by far. No, it isn't because one of my favourite members in there, because if it was based on who I liked, DIY♡ would win by a stretch, considering there's only one member I dislike in that group. No, it's to do with the fact that I like the sound the group has, and how they have portrayed themselves in both music and in the video.

I think that all of the groups are great, and each group has something to offer. Peaberry has a certain innocence and youthful sound which is reflected through their ballad, DIY♡ is mature and up-beat without being childish or too sexy, Harvest is carefree and cheerful, and emanates friendship and team work more than the other groups, and GREEN FIELDS has the advantage of mature vocals with a slow song which allows you to truly hear the potential of each singer throughout the song. Of course, I have my own problems with GREEN FIELDS, but that's just me...

I like all of the groups, I really do. Each song has a certain appeal and I like listening to all of the songs. GREEN FIELDS and Peaberry surprised me with how much I liked their songs after initially thinking that I would dislike them, but in the end I liked them. I was, of course, surprised by how generic and simple Harvest's song sounded, but I have come to terms with it and found out why I liked it so much, and it's down to the group factor and how much they remind me of the old, good S/mileage where you could feel and hear the bond that the group had, and how much they cared for each other.

I can't wait to see more from these units, and I hope that they continue to grow. Hopefully more singles and PV's will be released, because Hello! Project has been in need of sub-units for some time now. It brings forth new sounds, and new view of certain members and allows the girls to interact with members of other groups in a group of their own. It also allows for diversity in line distribution, and experimentation of sounds or looks within a certain group. Seeing these girls together and mingling with girls outside of their respective groups is great, and you can see how well some of these girls work, and how well some don't work. Either way, it is a learning curve, and it allows for something new and fresh with these four units.

It's great, and I'm hopeful for new single releases from these girls, because I like all of the songs, but for certain groups, I would like more of a connection...

4 comments:

  1. Oh, I just had an idea! How about you make a poll asking for people's favorite Satoyama songs of the four? I'm kinda curious to see the results of a poll like that...

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    1. -borrows idea and smuggles away-...

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  2. ^^ That's a good idea, Nia!

    I quite liked the songs given to all the girls but DIY and Cabbage's were the most rememberable. My favourite has got to be DIY because the song and dance is so good.

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    1. DIY's is so good, I do love it ^o^

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