Gotou Maki teaches us “How to use SEXY.”

Yesterday amongst all of the UFEC training I also received some new inspirational music which came in the form of Gocchin's new album release titled appropriately "How to use SEXY." I've yet to get to Sakai Noriko's collection and bonus concert!! DVD that's included with the first pressing but will soon. Gocchin's albums limited edition comes with a bonus DVD which contains 3 new PVs and a making of segment focuses on the jacket shooting. The DVD runs approximately 24 minutes and while in the past these type of PV bonus DVDs might not have lived up to expectations this one is a prime example of an exception. I'll get to the PVs a bit later though. For now let's just say that I was very happy that I bought the limited edition!

Immediately when I saw the cover it reminded me of the mysterious case of "muddy" Nacchi which occurred back in December of 2001. :O

And while this case remains unsolved, Gocchin proves with her cover that being covered with mud, chocolate, chocolate milk shake, or whatever that is on her, that what it truly equals is SEXY. While the regular edition's jacket is also sexy it doesn't quite have that same true essence of SEXY which the mud, chocolate, chocolate milk shake, or whatever that is on her creates with the limited edition's jacket. If anyone has any information as to why Nacchi is "muddy" in the above picture please contact the authorities right away. 😛

The album opens with "How to use Loneliness" and you're immediately engulfed in dance r&b heaven! When it comes to Gocchin, Tsunku really writes a different breed of song for her as opposed to other H!P solo acts and groups, a trend that has been going on for quite some time now for Gocchin's releases. And this sometimes more American sounding musical approach leaves behind that true "J-Pop" sound opting for a different type of sophisticated style which suits Gocchin perfectly. While other H!P members may perform some of the songs contained on this album in concerts they are indeed a custom fit for no one else but Gocchin. Tsunku who acted as producer of this album also wrote all of the lyrics & music.

The previously released single tracks "SOME BOYS! TOUCH", "Glass no pumps", and "Secret" seamlessly blend in with the new album tracks while this entire album stays true to it's deep r&b roots delivered with a cutting edge. "City Wind" is a heavily sensuous track and as you continue to listen to each next song it becomes clearly apparent that an album truly can be "sexy." Gocchin's vocals ooze sensuality with each note as her vocal styling over the years has really grown from being more on the cute side into a fully blown adult contemporary voice which commands each track with deep conviction. Back when "SOME BOYS! TOUCH" was released as a single it took me a bit of awhile to appreciate this song. I originally found the verses to be a bit odd and ultimately it was the chorus with all of its hooks that eventually won me over. And I was never really that fond of her single "Glass no pumps" which I used to think had too much of a simplicity about it's melody and it never really caught on with me but even this track somehow with it being surrounded by such great r&b songs, it now sounds right at home and much better. Track 7 "DAYBREAK" provides yet another realm to this album by inviting us into the cool sounds of contemporary jazz. The sweet sounds of acoustic piano, intricate drumming, horn section, smooth percussion, and walking bass line lend themselves into creating one of the more "mature" sounding songs that H!P has released to date. Gocchin provides the perfect sophistication in her tone and delivery and by my first listen I was finding this track to be one of my favorites. This song is really like  a whole different world of H!P and it's great to hear yet another aspect of Tsunku's song writing versatility. Clearly Tsunku has touched upon the jazz genre before as he did with "Mr. Moonlight~ai no big band~" as well as others but never quite on this level before and I really consider this to be the break out track on this album. When it comes to my favorite overall non single track on this album it has to be track 8 "WOW suteki!" as it stands as one of the most bright and "fun" songs presented here. With a highly optimistic message and happy upbeat arrangement "WOW suteki!" seems to soar above a lot of the album's tracks and by that I'm not talking in terms of better song but rather it's "walking on the clouds" type of feel. 🙂 Gocchin's single "Secret" chimes in as the 9th track and unlike "Glass no pumps" which grew on me here, "Secret" was love at first listen when I first bought this single when it was released. This song really could have been the perfect bookend for this album if it had been selected as the final track as it really has a sound of closure and the fact that this song was used during the credits of a few HM@ episodes may also be a subliminal message making me feel this. lol! Gocchin has released so many sweet ballads over the years and I see "Secret" taking its place amongst the best of her discography. The honor of closing the album goes to the track "LIFE" and while I did view "Secret" as being the perfect song for this task, "LIFE" has made me rethink this as it further helps you to wind down and works great as a transition song from "Secret" to the album's closing. This song has a very understated arrangement and Gocchin's soft vocals throughout are almost like a "good night" or "farewell" bidding to the listener and acts as a great contrast to the rest of the album.

The bonus DVD that comes with the limited edition is a far cry from the disappointing DVD which came with GAM's debut album. While the PVs contained on the GAM disc looked too much like an afterthought, the PVs on Gocchin's disc are well produced and well edited! I never imagined that so much could be done with just a mirror but Gocchin delivers a sensual visual treat in her "Mirror Ver." of her PV for "Glass no pumps." At this moment I don't think that there are any other members in H!P that could pull this off so well! Some may come close but not quite like this. Gocchin has long been the most sensual member of H!P but even knowing this nothing could prepare me for her "Sexy Ver." of "SOME BOYS! TOUCH." :O Her PV for "Uwasa no sexy guy" used to be her crowning sensual PV but that is no longer the case!! Starting with this PV's intro (see pic 1689) Gocchin has now written the H!P book on how to be sexy. This is by far the most visually dazzling of the 3 bonus PVs on this disc and that statement possibly goes beyond that! While this PV uses some of the shots from the original version you have to appreciate how the producers have maximized the use of a rather simple set by means of mesmerizing lighting effects and potentially the sexiest shots of Gocchin at all the right angles. In a word this PV is…smoldering! One thing to take notice of is how well these 3 PVs match their songs and this is even true with the simplicity used in making the third bonus PV for Gocchin's single "Secret." This one also has the most amusing title…"Bathroom Ver." While this PV is definitely the least impressive of the 3 it's still an enjoyable PV to watch. The "Bathroom Ver." is simple to almost a fault as it's shot entirely with Gocchin sitting beside a water filled tub but with the use of close up camera work, good angles, and great portrayal of emotions by Gocchin I still found this PV to work just fine.  Many will probably find this PV rather boring but I think the reason that I still enjoyed this PV is largely due to the fact that I absolutely love this song!! Gocchin also looks exquisitely beautiful in these shots and the close up visual really brings out the emotion and beauty in her eyes. Last but not least is a making of segment which focuses on the album's jacket and booklet photos. Gocchin really appears to have made it easy for the photographer as she delivers the perfect poses in the most natural manner.

It doesn't appear that anyone has uploaded the new versions of these PVs yet (and my computer's too ancient so I can't do it myself :P) so I just included the original version which is also an excellent example of "How to use SEXY." But hopefully someone will upload these new versions soon! 

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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19 Responses to Gotou Maki teaches us “How to use SEXY.”

  1. paul.thomas says:

    It's good to hear that finally we have a decent Limited Edition DVD, I've always wondered why they've never thought of including the Making Of footage for the photo shoots for the album covers, it's such an obvious and worthwhile extra. It sounds like an impressive release, certainly the scans of the booklet look great and I really can't wait to hear the album, it's winging it's over to me as I type, so hopefully I won't have to wait too long.Tsunku is really an amazing song writer, he just jumps from genre to genre without any problem and considering how many he does each year, I was reading an article the other day which said that he writes and produces 100-200 songs a year! Seriously he has an amazing talent!

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  2. I think I may have to buy this CD myself, because I'm really enjoying the mp3s of it I downloaded from Hello! Online. This is just such a good album!

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  3. Paul although these PVs are very basic in terms of the sets used they're just really really well edited and shot! The "Sexy Ver." of "Some BOYS! TOUCH" can be watched over and over again! I think you may want to share this one with your friend Chris. Then he'll be a 'closet' Mikitty and Gocchin fan! 🙂 The making of footage is all pretty good with muddy Gocchin enchanting the camera! I figured it was a lot but 100-200 songs a year is amazing!!! He has music running through his veins! And yes! when it comes to song writing versatility Tsunku is second to no one.

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  4. coinlockersbaby you're absolutely right as this album is definitely worth buying!! I think it's great that even though you already have the album's mp3's that you're still interested in buying the actual release. 😀 The more fan support for H!P the better!!

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  5. Indeed! I actually had the mp3s of Sexy 8 Beat for months before I bought it on my trip to New York City. It's still worth it for me to own the actual CD, even if I've already heard the songs. I just wish I had enough money to buy all the CDs I want.

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  6. That's awesome that you found "Sexy 8 Beat" in New York while on vacation!! I have no idea how many Japanese merchandise stores are in New York but I think it's great that you found one while visiting. Owning the actual releases is the best way for a fan to show their support and at the same time I think that Japanese releases in general give fans the most incentive to go out and get these. Great packaging, the booklets, and bonus items make them a lot more attractive to own. Sometimes I wonder why American releases don't follow suit and include more incentive bonus items to help sales. But as you say money is a big issue and I think that I've given away my social life in order to own H!P and other J-Pop releases! 😛 In reality Hello! Project is kind of like an addiction with no bad side effects…well except for a lighter bank account. lol!

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  7. Lol. Everytime I think about getting a part-time job I start imagining what H!P CDs I'd be able to buy with the extra money! I should really get a job soon xD.

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  8. chris says:

    This is great, Paul showed it to me tonight and I have to say it is one of the best videos ever although I prefer the Glass no pumps PV to be honest. It seems more classy.

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  9. coinlockersbaby it'll be all working for H!P merchandise! They may have to invent the Hello! Project Patch so that addicts can overcome addiction. Or maybe Hello! Project gum which releases H!P goodness into your mind all day and convinces you that you don't have to buy everything! lol! If that doesn't work then attending a few Hello! Project Anonymous meetings might do the trick.

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  10. Whoa! I've been caught red handed calling you a "closet" Mikitty & Gocchin fan! 😛 Paul! You never said that he had a VOX account before! But then again I guess I never asked. lol! Well for the record Paul called you that first! 😛 Heheh I love that you used the now legendary picture of you in front of that H!P store in Japan! I'm so glad that you got to watch the PVs! Gocchin has made a mirror a sensual thing! The person in charge of editing these PVs needs to be given an award or perhaps a raise! 🙂

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  11. momo says:

    yes, it's been a while since I commented here, about what coinlockersbaby said about finding H!P CD's in New York City, I have seen some in the times I have been there, I go about 4 times a year. I live 85 miles from New York City in Connecticut so it only takes me 90 min to get there.there are 3 Japanese bookstores in Manhattan, one is book off on 41st and 5th ave. it's a second hand store selling cd's, dvd's, pb's etc. second hand. next is asahiya on 45th and madison ave. they are a japanese bookstore which I mainly go there and get japanese magazines. they have a small cd rack there, but you really got to look hard to find H!P cd's, if any are there. and lastly is kinokuniya at 49th and rockefeller center, a more popular japanese bookstore, it is the largest kinokuniya outside Japan. Now I have seen H!P CD's there, they also got magazines too. In fact, I went to New York this past sunday, it was a good day.

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  12. momo I think that's really great that you live so close to so many Japanese merchants. I never would have imagined that there would be so many in New York! This is good information to have in case anyone in New York is curious to find H!P merchandise.

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  13. momo, the Kinokuniya is where I went. I've been there twice, now. When I went there last year I bought the movie Kagen no Tsuki and a Dir en grey CD, and this year I bought the first volume of the Kirarin Revolution manga in Japanese, the Club Hello! Trance Remix CD, and Sexy 8 Beat. The H!P collection was slim, but still exciting.

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  14. Chiakii says:

    OH MY GOD.I've been drafting an entry about "How to use SEXY" for a few weeks now, and I had the exact same title. XDDD~I wasn't really expecting to like this ("more sexed up Gocchin wtf") but after listening to it, I'm really enjoying it. Though those scans left me a little O_O…

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  15. Chiakii that's too funny! I originally was just going to title this post after the album title and her name but then it hit me. We had a psychic moment! lol! This album really impressed me too. I think it's quite possibly her best album dare I say! But I do like a lot of her older more J-Pop sounding songs. The happy ones with the happy PVs. 😛 So I'm not sure if it's her best just yet. Time will tell. I've been listening to it a lot though since it arrived. Gocchin is a messy eater when given some chocolate pudding! :O

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  16. Hotaru says:

    I really like how Goto songs are R&B and techno-y (not at the same time, though!) Its unusual and creative. She does both styles wonderfully…they both fit her so well! This album is very good, it impressed me. I was happy that it wasn't all R&B, like I thought it would be originally.A lot of my non-Hello! Project Fan Friends think that Goto Maki is impressive, even though they don't really like the rest of Hello! Project. I can't wait to show them 😀

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  17. Hotaru I'm happy to hear another thumbs up for her new album! Gocchin is kind of like Ayaya in the way that she can translate well to people who are outside of the H!P fan base. She has a mainstream sound like Ayaya and they both have exceptional voices! I think your friends are in for a real treat!

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  18. paul.thomas says:

    Don't tell anyone, but back in '05 he had a Maki calendar…shhh ;p

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  19. Heheh don't worry I won't tell anyone! 😉

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