Sunday, 26 March 2017

Get Ready, A Brand New Morning Begins! Bring on Morning Musume '17's [BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy]! (Single Review)

With two new faces and a brand new era ready to begin, Morning Musume '17 are ready to show off their group power in their latest release, BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy, a double A-side release complete with coupling tracks! The first of its kind in a long-while, the groups 63rd single release seems to promise something more than what previous singles have offered. Whether or not it lives up to its promise, is another thing entirely.

Is this era going to be a flop just like the last one, or will we see power return to Morning Musume as they currently stand? Let's listen, and find out.

*Many thanks to the Anonymous user who requested my thoughts on this single. You requested the Tsubaki debut, and now the 13th gen debut! Hopefully, you enjoy, and everyone else who happens to come upon this piece, too! :D


I was excited for this debut. Since the horrible introduction of 12th generation (in sound; visually, it was great), I was... apprehensive, but filled with anticipation, because whilst I do like 12ki and find that they are growing nicely into the group as of late, I can't deny that 13th gen are a far better fit for the group. Both Kaede and Reina, as they are now, seem pretty confident in how they present themselves towards the camera, and both look great with the current lineup! Reina has a very cheeky, cute look that fits well with members like Masaki, Duu, Maria, Akane and Harunan, whilst Kaede's cool, mature vibe fits well with Eriman, Ayumi and Ogata. They are a balanced generation in how they look and feel, but they both seem really determined to impress, as well.

I feel like, as a generation, these two could go pretty far, and prove to be a little bit of competition for the existing senior members. At least, they could, if only management let them. We shall see...

Hopefully their future releases will prove as promising as this one, but for now, it is BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy that we will focus on. The future will come along soon enough, but until that time comes, let's enjoy the dawn of a new era, and enjoy all that the 13th generation and a twelve thirteen member Morning Musume brings us...
Are you ready to press PLAY and begin a new chapter?













BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy

Release Date: March 8th, 2017

Track List:

  1. BRAND NEW MORNING
  2. Jealousy Jealousy
  3. Morning Misoshiro (Limited SP only)
  4. Get You! (by Sashing Musume) (Limited SP only)
  5. BRAND NEW MORNING (Instrumental ver.)
  6. Jealousy Jealousy (Instrumental ver.)
BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy
~Single Review~

1. BRAND NEW MORNING

I won't even try to deny that this is a good song. Like, holy crab cakes, this is a wonderful piece of musical happiness, and one of H!P's strongest compositions, so far. It's both fun and cool, it's filled with energy and delight, and it is catchy and strong in its sound. Wonderful! I've been waiting for something like this since... well, since Utakata Saturday Night!, probably even since Ai no Gundan. I mean, in terms of their recent tracks... nothing has really stuck out, even if it is memorable and strong in sound.

Let's pray this one stands the test of time, and is actually memorable, unlike the various other tracks that have passed on by over the years since Ai no Gundan's existence.




I think that BRAND NEW MORNING also has a lot of passion in it. It's like watching a phoenix rise from the flames, in a way; Morning Musume has been reborn, and they look and sound refreshed. There's this burst of power coming from them, with vocals that sound delightfully emotive and bright. It's exciting to hear that again, because for so long, there's been a lack of a spark from this group. Seriously, I can't remember many of their songs sounding this vivid or enthusiastic until, well, now. Yeah, there might have been a burst of energy once or twice, but nothing quite like this.

Again, rebirth. It feels like the phoenix has truly risen, and we are listening to a new and improved Morning Musume '17.

With that said, I won't go ahead and say they all sound like they're empowered and energetic. I mean, there are times where some of them sound downright... well, just like they are singing because it's their job, not their passion. Mizuki is one of those singers, though that could be the editing process. Another is Eripon (though, holy shit, I am glad she has a line here! MY BABY!), but again, translation could be lost through the mic. I mean, they do sound better live. In fact, this entire song is better live than it is recorded. More power is thrown, the members can show off their passion, and we can hear them a lot more clearly.

Mizuki still feels a little lacking in comparison, but eh, what can you do? (They also sound a lot more tone deaf as a group, which isn't surprising, given half of the members can't sing that well, still.)



To clarify; I like this song, and I think it is one of the best, both recording and performance wise, in a long time for Hello! Project and Morning Musume. I have not felt this excited for a track in a while, and I am not counting since Utakata, because I'm slightly biased, and also, it's a graduation track, so of course it's going to be somewhat decent.

Since Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke and  Ai no Gundan, I don't think there has been a song that is as powerful, memorable or exciting as BRAND NEW MORNING is in sound and style. It's unique, it feels different to their current lineup of songs from the recent era, and it can stand well on its own. It also has that amazing ability to be good both live and on a disc, even with the major difference of out-of-tune vocals and a lack of blending, making it even greater in my eyes. Hopefully, it will prove that it can stand the test of time, and prove that unlike past tracks, it will be remembered for longer than a weekend. A week. Maybe even a month.

... Let's just pray they keep going down this track, k?

2. Jealousy Jealousy


I am honestly conflicted. There is a side of me that enjoys this song, and then the other side that actively wants to throw Tsunku across the room for daring to make this trash. It might become my guilty pleasure song in the future, because whilst I don't care much for it, I can't deny that it is a really fun, interesting song. It's still trash, but... it's shiny trash, with some rap thrown in there.

Why the fuck did Tsunku have to appeal to my trash side? I hide that shit for a reason, man! Arrrgh!



Okay, so in terms of what I actually like, I won't deny that the chorus has a nice hook to it, as does the main verse. The opening verse, of course, is utter shit. It's really not good at all, and it just seems to cheapen the entire song. The rap is, obviously, one of my favourite parts. It's also stupidly catchy, and the vocals on this are decent.

Oh, then there's the manly Jealousy~ right after the bridge. Man, that is life, ahaha.

My main problem with Jealousy Jealousy, however, is that it basically sounds like a lot of other MoMusu songs thrown together. It's heading back into a territory that was very... Riho-centric, at the time, and it's just overdone and tired. Luckily, the song picks itself up with the use of a rather fun rap, creating a far more colourful sound and giving it some life.

I like the song the more I hear it - I hate myself the more I realise this, I assure you - and yes, I can see it appealing to my trash side and being one of my guilty pleasure tracks. But, it's still not great. It has fun aspects to it, and it has a surprising twist with the rap, but it's also so... Tsunku, in all its cop-out glory and its dull, Jealousy Jealousy repetition. That said, I do commend Tsunku for bringing the past to the present with this one. It's a nostalgic mix of early 2000's Hello! Pro meets current Musume. It works well, and whilst I'm at odds with it... I can't say it is pure shit, because, it isn't. It's just not entirely my brand of tea, at the moment.

God damn, this is conflicting!

3. Morning Misoshiro

Ever since Morning Musume was reduced to five just before the 9th gen joined way back when in 2011, I have wanted to hear a redo of Morning Coffee since. It never happened, but, it was something I wanted to eventually see.

Sure, Dream Morning Musume had a bash at it, too, but... it just wasn't the same.

And then this happened, and we basically had the best homage to the original track that kick-started the career of five girls way back when, and gave to us all a group that is still loved and adored by many around all of Japan, and beyond. And damn, I don't think they could have done better! Well done, H!P for not fucking this one up!



Firstly, though this is an update, it's a good update. No shitty remixes and re-tunes like they did with the self-cover album back in 2013, but instead, a healthier, more upbeat version with improved vocals, and a smoother sound. It's pleasant, nostalgic, sweet and fun, and every moment is a moment worth hearing. Seriously, I love this track and this self-cover. It's absolutely freakin' gorgeous, and I am so glad that this was the song chosen for their promotional campaign with the miso soup brand they are working with.

I think it's perfect that this song was used for the groups 20th anniversary, too, allowing us as listeners to reminisce and remember where the group came from, and how they started, before looking at where they stand now and what they represent. It's amazing that current lineup are able to experience such a monumental time in their lives as a part of this group, and that they can sing this song with such passion and energy in a way that suits them, and sounds appealing to us as current listeners and watchers of the members.

It is a meaningful, beautiful song, and it has been remade really well. I love the update, I love the feeling it brings, and the happiness I feel whenever I hear the opening bars. It's a favourite track, and probably one of the best on here. Maybe that's my own nostalgia speaking, or maybe I just hold preference over the older Musume tracks. Who knows? Regardless, though, I can't hold back my love for this song, and I can't deny that it is an amazing sound. It's damn gorgeous, man!

4. Get You! (by Sashing Musume)

Ah, the controversial collaboration song. You know, the one between two apparent enemies? Seriously, with the announcement that Morning Musume would be teaming up with one of the 48's most recognised members, Sashihara Rino, the Western fandom turned on their heads and screamed blue murder. "They're siding with the enemies!" "OMG, it's a catastrophe!" "Well, this is gonna be shit, innit?", and so much more.

I may be exaggerating, but... it really does feel like the Western H!P fandom went a bit overboard, especially those who hate the 48's. Personally, I saw no point in whining; it's something that would have happened eventually, and Idols love collaborations, as well as adore one another. Why shouldn't it happen?

As a listener of both, I think it's great, an opportunity that was a long time coming, and something that maybe a few fans are delighted about. Plus, the songs not even that bad, as some might argue. It all depends on what you like, and how much you dislike either MoMusu or Sashihara Rino! Honestly, though... give it a chance. Don't knock it till you try it!

Song wise, Get you! is fun. It took some time to grow on me, but honestly, I really like it now. It's catchy, energetic, feels a little like a chase track, and fits the members really well. It also sounds a bit like a classic H!P song at times, mixed with some of that generic H!P magic we all love to hate. So, it really isn't all that bad, and I do think the lyrics work really well. Also, if you're not keen on the apparent one-sidedness of AKB's version (in terms of vocals), you might prefer this one; they re-did the vocals a bit so that this one was dominantly Morning Musume members, with the single Sasshi Get you! line at the very start of the track. So, don't fret! It's not a Sasshi-fest like you might have feared.

Well, not on this single release, at least~ Yahoo!

Get you! is fast-paced and pretty fun, and again, catchy as heck and rather memorable, as well. Yeah, I wasn't keen on it for some time, but I think it's because I was half-listening, and because Sasshi's shit vocals kind of ruined the vibe for me in the original Sasshi-fied version from the album Thumbnail. Luckily, the re-distributed vocal version is a lot smoother in sound, and feels a tad more polished.

Also, is it just me, or does this feel a little reminiscent of Guru Guru Jump, for its general jumpiness and energy, and another song from the Hello! Pro vault. I can't put my finger on just what song it is yet, but honestly... there is a lot going on here that feels very H!P, and reminds me a lot of older songs. Heck, this would be something ManoEri would totally dig her claws into. It reeks of my darling ManoEri, and damn, I'm missing her the more I listen to this. Gosh darnit );

So, in short: This is a fun song, with some nice H!P touches that are nostalgic and fun, but also a little generic, at times. Still, I really enjoy what it brings, and I am glad that this song has grown on me, because damn, that gives me 3/4 near-perfect tracks on the latest single from Morning Musume '17. Those dear 13th genners really have it all, don't they?

~Conclusion~

Despite my fears for this single back when it was announced, I cannot deny the sheer amount of joy that BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy has brought me since its release. It's diverse, it's fun, and it is jam-packed with great sounds that are sure to win over a few individuals, whether it is with one, two, or all songs present. There is something here for everyone, so if you want a cool track, something with a bit of softness and nostalgia to it, or even a completely whacked-out track that is confusing as fuck, then you've found the right set of sounds for your daily dose of J-pop.

If you haven't already given this one a try, then I really think you should. It's interesting, and compared to the past few tracks Morning Musume have put out, I consider this one to be a little unique, at least in its diversity and change of pace in sound and style. So for that, I feel like the rating I'm about to give it is pretty well deserved. Hopefully, you think so, too.

✯✯✯✯

Morning Musume '17's 63rd single release is a good list of tracks, and honestly, the reason I'm not going for the full 5 stars is because, as of right now, the trash track that is Jealousy Jealousy complicates my feelings. The rest of it, however, appeals to me greatly, and gives me some form of hope for the group and its sound. For the first time in what feels like forever, we are not being treated with the same recycled crap, nor are we getting the same standard of songs; Energetic / fast-paced, cool and collected, and a ballad. Do you know how good it feels to not hear those tell-tale tones of everything we've heard before, in this single?

Damn, it feels amaaaaaazing, and I am so pleased that 13th gen were given something worthwhile and memorable, for their first ever release as members of this long-standing group.

So, yes, it's a good single, and I think that it is something you should consider hearing, at least once. It's worth the time, it's worth the effort, and it's worth all the chances in the world. Hopefully, Morning Musume will continue down such a positive road, because hot damn, we cannot go back to the dull shit they've been coming out with since... well, since the Age of Tanaka Reina's Graduation dawned upon is. The songs have not been the same, and we certainly haven't heard anything of memorable worth since Wagamama / Ai no Gundan. That's the cold, hard truth, at least for my ears.

If you have already listened to the tracks mentioned, and have your own thoughts on them, what did you think? Do you have a favourite song, and a least favourite? Do our own opinions collide, or are we in some form of agreement? Let me know, it'll be fun to discuss!

Until next time, however, please do take care, enjoy the music we are given, stay happy and healthy, and of course, love the Idols that come into our lives!

Much Love and Peace,
Chiima~

7 comments:

  1. Another fantastic review from you as usual, Chiima!

    * I do agree that BRAND NEW MORNING lives up to its name and ushers in a new era. Such power and energy coming from Morning Musume '17 for the group's milestone 20th anniversary.

    * Jealousy Jealousy took a while for it to grow on me (and it's still the lesser of the "main two" A-sides that I care for), but it has a lot of charm. A poll run by the number 244 revealed that the song struck an immense chord with the fanbase.

    * Morning Misoshiru was immensely nostalgic and another great way to mark 20 years. As someone who spent the early days of their fandom listening to a lot of the older tracks, this really appealed to me. (It was a weird time.)

    * I do agree that the Western fandom lost their marbles over the collab and over-reacted. One (particularly gross) comment on Facebook denounced the collab by saying Rino "performed blowjobs" and that it was inappropriate for a "decent" group like MM17 to work with her.

    Me? I just rolled with it and (to reiterate what I've said elsewhere regarding the matter) viewed it as the J-idol equivalent of the Mario & Sonic games or Sonic being a regular character in Super Smash Bros. (It barely helps that Smash 4 had a Senbatsu-like event for a new DLC character.....)

    The rivalry is especially silly when you realize that the idols themselves don't mind the idea with working with one another. In fact, it's virtually nonexistent!


    All in all, another good review, Chiima!

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    1. waaah, thank you! ;O;

      I am happy that this song was SO GOOD, like damn, where did all this creativity and power come from!? And honestly, Jealousy Jealousy has become a song I do somewhat enjoy, albeit begrudginly XD And I love Number 244. He has such a great blog.

      Morning Mishoshiro has me singing along ALWAAAAYS. OMG! So catchy, addictive, and nostalgic as heck. I kinda wish they'd do Ai no Tane, too.

      LOL, honestly, people always seem to overreact if they aren't keen on the idea. Rino has proven to be a damn capable Idol in her own right, and she worked hard to get to this point. Also, there is no denying Idols adore one another. I love seeing collabs.

      Idols are great. They legit live in harmony and cheer one another on. I think there was one point where fans went a bit cray cause Sayu sang an AKB song? Like guys, chill, they love one another. Loads of members of AKB adore H!P, and vice versa.

      MERCI <3

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  2. Loved this review Chiima! I agree with you on all fronts, BNM definitely lives to its name and is just so much different in sound it's refreshing.

    As for Jealousy Jealousy - hah, it is sooo H!P in sound but it's why it grew on me and couldn't get out of my head for days. The manly jealousy though, screams back to the early MM era days, lmao.

    Morning Miso Soup is a wonderful remake. I love the harmony groups they tried, it really helps the girls stand out, and there were some good harmonies that came with it! It is a great rendition and one that really shows how far the group's come in its 20th year!

    People were flipping everywhere with the AKBxMM collab, but I was just waiting for some different sound in MM through that honestly. You're also absolutely right that the girls get along just fine and loved the idea of working together, why can't the fans?

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    1. Merci, merci! <3 BNM seriously is awesome, and I am so happy that it's brought a new type of flavour to MM! This new gen will work wonders.

      TBH I think the charm of Jealousy x2 is that, it IS a H!P song. H!P songs, though very typical in formula and boring in layout, are charming and catchy, and hook you. It''s an annoying truth. And OH YES TO THE MANLINESS!

      I think Morning Miso Soup is better than Morning Coffee. But, the sound devices weren't as good then, I can only guess, and the members at the time weren't great with harmonies XD They had more variety this time, and it works a charm. Masaki and Sakura were great, too!

      I think fans will be fans. People like drama and stirring things up, so of course, this was a way to stir shit, essentially. It's annoying, but sadly, people are like this. Urrrgh.

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  3. Did you heard Momoiro Clover Z 4th album Hakkin no Yoake it's good Like for example Mokuro Ninaru Hate and Ai Wotsugu mono and Z no Chikai and Tougenkyou are good tracks on the album

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  4. Hey if you review Momoiro Clover Z 2016 album Hakkin no Yoake it's really good like for example Mokuro Ninaru hate and Tougenkyou, Shiragane no Yoake, Ai Wotsugu Mono, Mahoro Vacation, Z no Chikai are really good just take your time with the songs Chiima-sama!

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    Replies
    1. I have not heard it! I don't listen to the group a lot, but I will hunt it down and give it a try~

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