While I do already own all 9 of their singles, for me the lure of this release lies in it's inclusion of a new song along with the bonus DVD. Listening to this collection which has the songs arranged in chronological order from most recent single to their debut release as the closing track, provides quite a nice listening experience and a unique one for me as I've never actually played all of their singles back to back in entirety. What this really emphasizes is the diversity of Biyuuden's single releases as their brand of pop is quite flavorful and in that a new kind of appreciation can be found.
The styling of this compilation presents Biyuuden in two drastically different lights as their photo shoots go from an elegant white angelic tone to a powerful image of dark colors…
…giving them quite a cutting edge look that hasn't been seen in H!P until now. The transformation is stunning as a fierceness is laid over the adorable persona that we're all so accustomed to with this group! They really could have gone either way with the cover as these "white" photos have Biyuuden looking perhaps their best to date. As I looked upon their debut single next to these photos I find it hard to even begin to describe just how much Erikachan and Yuichan have matured in a rather short period of time. Rikachan's facial features are definitely more suited to her longer hair style which has happily returned after a brief hiatus.
The lone new track "FANTASY" opens the album and is a techno inspired tune which possesses a full throttle rhythm with a keyboard arrangement that is reminiscent of the mid 90's. It has a sound that would be right at home in a night dance club and perhaps the bonus DVD should have included a pv of this track as it creates quite a visual in one's head. Overall the song isn't an outstanding one and definitely not on the level of a single release but it does hold a modest hook within it making for a nice addition to Biyuuden's growing musical catalog.
The bonus DVD has a running time of approximately 12 minutes and includes individual "Close-up" versions for each member for their pv "Aisu cream~ to my pudding." An interesting and possibly odd choice but I imagine they felt the need to put the unused footage to good use here. It's been quite awhile since I last viewed their 4th single's pvs and it had the feeling of a mini time warp for me as the change in Erika and Yui's comfort level since the release of this single becomes incredibly clear when viewing their individual close up versions included with this new compilation. Rikachan already being a very well seasoned pro has her aura of enticement working in her version as she continuously varies her approach while Erikachan and Yuichan remain in one "mode" throughout their entire close up versions as this release was quite early in their development. While they do provide an interesting watch, the replay value of these individual close up versions may not hold up over time as the original pvs are far more entertaining. That being said it does provide a unique look at unused footage showing each member solidly throughout the song even when lines are being sung by other members through these scenes of previously edited out footage. Watching this reminds me of one of my favorite aspects of the original version which is the nice tribute the girls pay to Marilyn Monroe's famous scene from "The Seven Year Itch." 🙂
One of my favorite photos from this release is the shot that serves as the inside back cover behind the discs (above). The styling is really unexpected and it's quite an amazing look for them…such a far way from those cute bunny outfits!
My favorite Biyuuden member Erikachan just keeps looking more and more incredible! "Booklet scan3" has such an adorable photo of her! 🙂