Wednesday, September 19, 2012

J-pop album review- Cover You by morning musume

Cover You is a cover album by popular j-pop idol group morning musume. It contains songs written by the late lyricist and novel writer Yu Aku, who is the highest selling lyricist of all time in Japan followed by Tak Matsumoto and Tetsuya Komuro.

1. Nagisa no Sinbad (Sinbad of the beach)- I had already heard this song on Pink lady best album and also reviewed it, but this time the vocals are by morning musume. There is hardly any variation from the original. It just sounds cuter and more girlish due to morning musume's much more high-pitched and sugary vocals. It is quite a short song but extremely catchy. It is a breezy pop summer song.

2. Dou ni mo tomaranai (Just can't stop it) - Originally by Linda Yamamoto but I have never heard her version. Morning musume's voices sound a bit more mature and oldish here than the previous track. This song is like a disco samba tune extremely reminiscent of the 80s.

3. Izakaya (Pub)- This is an enka song. This song is a real gem. It has a smooth and rythmic arrangement. Right from the opening instrumental, it draws you in. It is a duet with Itsuki Hiroshi, a famous enka singer who also sang the male parts in the original. Takahashi Ai does the female parts. Her voice sounds nothing like an enka singer, but its mellowness fits well in this song. This song is brilliant from start to finish. A real standout enka song.

4. Pepper Keibu (Inspector Pepper)- I really like the lyrics of this song. Like Nagisa no Sinbad, I have already listened to this song on Pink lady's best album. Morning musume version is more like karaoke, because they have altered nothing in this song.

5. Shiroi chou no samba (Samba of white butterflies)- An okay song. Sounds oldish. Morning musume's voices did nothing for this song. The verse repeats a lot of times in the song.

6. Seishun Jidai (Youth)- This song has some rock elements and there is use of electric guitars. It is different from morning musume's usual style.

7. Ringo Satsujin Jiken (Apple murder case)- Seriously, I don't like this song. It would have been an alright song, except that annoying 'funifunifunifuni' part just gets on my nerves. Morning musume's high pitched voices sound really nasal on that part. As soon as that part comes in, I really feel like skipping this song.

8. Romance- This is definitely 80s sounding. That sharp 'ting ting' sound (I don't know what instument that is) is quite prominent in the arrangement. It's verse sounds like it's part of some dance song. It is much like the verse of many MAX songs. But the chorus brings it back to pop. Quite an interesting song that sounds a bit melancholic.
Rating- 4.8/5

9. Machi no Akari (Streetlights/Lights of the streets)- A very easy listening ballad. This song could best be described as 'mellow'. It has a haunting atmosphere and really makes you feel like you are standing in the middle of a cold street with streetlights on at night.

10. Koi no dial 6700 (Love's dial 6700)- I actually think the concept of the song is quite good. A number to dial for love. There are all kinds of telephone noises in the beginning and thoughout random parts of the song. The lyrics are also cute and about being unable to express love.

11. Pin Pon Pan Taiso- This is a really unique song because it is a children's song (at least I think it is). If you read the lyrics translation, this fact becomes evident. It is full of amazing tigers, crocodiles and such things. It also seems like an exercise song, because of the part division. It's structure is not like that of most pop songs. It talks about a different creature or event in each verse and the melody is also different.

12. Watashi no Aoi Tori (My Blue bird) - A nice easy listening ballad, but seems a bit monotonous compared to the other songs on this album. It has no high vocals parts or anything to make it seem special.

13. Johnny e no dengon (Letter to Johnny) - It has high parts which Morning musume manages quite well. It is also a ballad, but I found it stuck in my head after a few listens. It has a 'leaving town' atmosphere and that's what this song is about anyway.

14. UFO- Another Pink lady classic. This song has interesting lyrics and an 'extraterrestrial' sounding arrangement. Morning musume has once again, not changed the arrangement or anything else about this song.

Overall, a good album where you can listen to many older j-pop songs which you might not have a chance to hear by various artists. Morning musume did not alter any of the original structures or arrangements significantly so this really sounded like a karaoke session. But not too bad.

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