Okay so I've finally managed to put down Arashi's calendar & cookbook just long enough to see what had arrived from CdJapan yesterday…:P….and I was quite surprised to see that the box was so long! It's been quite awhile since CdJapan has sent me any promotional posters so seeing that they've sent me an Amurochan poster with her new single release was a really nice surprise! What's impressive about her new single release "60s 70s 80s" is the inclusion of not one but three pvs!!…as each new track has its very own!! Also in this shipment is C-ute's new album "3rd~Love Escalation!~" which incudes a first press DVD containing a live performance of "LA LA LA Shiawase no uta" but the real treat looks to be the 7 solo close up versions recorded live at Yokohama Arena! And now I can finally watch the original version and making of segments for "LA LA LA Shiawase no uta" as old as this single seems…as the PV DVD release has also arrived. Ah I keep saying this but I really wish that UFA would return to their old way of releasing both their singles and PV DVD singles on the same day so I wouldn't have to wait so long! Haha so Smap is once again not pictured on their new singles' cover…well I'd usually refer to this as a marketing blooper but I guess when you're Smap and so well established there really is no need to appear on your covers…although it would've been nice I think. 🙂 Their new single is titled "Sono mama" and the cover artwork appears to emulate a computer message or possibly a text message rather. Smap singles have become few and far between lately so I'll take what I can get!! And last but definitely not least…in fact it's going into the player first is Berryz Koubou's new single "Dschinghis Khan"!! ^-^ Ahhhhh!!!…wait my Blackberry says that Arashi is releasing a new album!!! Haha I'm going to have to return to this post in a few minutes as their limited editions go out of print so quickly!!!
Okay I'm back…Arashi's new LE album has been secured! ^-^ I can relax now. 😛
Okay really?!! "p4you.net"?!! This is so bizarre and scary at the same time and I've taken a photo of it this time so that you know that I'm not making this up! 😛 I even have a strange sense of humor but really "p4you"…it must be stopped!! :O
I'm so happy to see that the album artwork is quite different for the LE & RE singles as I've ordered both and I'm still trying to decide which I think looks better as I really love the look of them both! Lets see cool soothing melon background…or scorching fiery Berryz on fire background…okay I think I'm leaning towards the scorching fiery Berryz on fire cover a little bit. And with a cover like this I'm half expecting the original pv to include fiery scenes of BK displaying power reminiscent of "Iroppoi jirettai!!" Haha I already know that I'm probably not going to get my wish though. 😛
But these outfits are soooo cute I think!! There's a nice fluffy delicateness to them and the green skirts look wonderfully silky! What you have to love about BK's outfits of late is how the designers are giving each individual member their own personal design while keeping the look and theme of their outfits the same in general. Hmm…I like Momo & Chinamichan's designs the best but the margin is really a slim one as I do think that they all look really great. Momo's feisty personality is well represented in the fact that she's showing the most mid section…uh…or perhaps UFA was just running low on material after Kumachan used most of it! 😛 Haha I'm kidding but it really is quite noticeable don't you think? But on the other hand this would make Miya the most reserved of the group as indicated by her outfit's unique design…okay I'm over analyzing clothing…time to move on. 😛
So once again my saving grace is the LE's inclusion of a version of their new pv which had it not been included, would have otherwise had me waiting until later this month when it's finally released. Generally speaking, next to the original versions, the "dance shot ver." is typically the next best version to watch to help one fully immerse themselves in a new release and often times the "dance shot ver." actually exceeds the original versions which may or may not be the case here as I'm yet to have a comparison. What caught my eye first is that the pv runs only a little over 3 minutes! :O
Okay…"Dschinghis Khan" I've been treated to so much background information about this release as it's a cover tune from the 70's something that I wasn't aware of before and if you check Paul's Hello!Blog here he has written up some really in depth background information covering this release. So after hearing that this cover song is kind of "out there" and maybe even questionable as to why it was chosen I was a bit worried about what it would sound like and now today I'm finally listening to it for the first time in every sense as I've managed to not hit play on Youtube all this time as well as the fact that I've never even heard of the original version before Paul mentioned it and that version too I've managed to use will power against the temptation to listen to it beforehand. So what do I think? Hmm? Well…at first it was "interesting." And then it was "cute." But then it was a bit "strange." The first thought that I had was just how much this song doesn't sound like Berryz Koubou in that the vocals just don't really sound like them and it wasn't until about a minute and 20 seconds into it where Risakochan has a solo line that had I been blindfolded while the pv was playing, this would have been my very first hint that it's indeed a BK song. Don't their ensemble vocals sound so different on this single?! While solo vocal lines can be great and yet discriminative at times within units towards particular members, "Dschinghis Khan" seems to make a point to avoid that for the most part as unless it's my imagination or perhaps I just haven't listened to it enough times yet, the solo lines in this song seem to be much fewer and duration wise much much shorter. And to say that this song sounds slightly like Momusu's "Koi no dance site" is an extreme understatement!! Haha Tsunku must have without doubt been listening to the original version of this song when he wrote "Koi no dance site" all those years ago…it's just way too similar in structure and those distinctive "U~Ha!"s and laughing all included!! :O So now I'm imagining that when Paul was watching the t.v. show that inspired the original version of this song…somewhere in Japan Tsunku was doing the exact same thing! 😛 The funny thing is that after awhile the melody does become infectious as it does actually have a nice hook to it all the while being slightly strange. So now the original inspiration of a small sliver of Tsunku's musical genius has been discovered and being that he most likely chose this cover song for BK to remake I'm thinking that he must have indeed wanted all of us to know exactly where the inspiration for "Koi no dance site" came from originally. Not a bad thing as music over the years definitely transcends and inspires new generations in genre, ingenuities, sound development, and overall style. Tsunku is and will always be in my eyes an extremely gifted song writer/producer as he's shown time and time again just how creative and imaginative his works can be as his realm of musical writings have taken us full circle in a sense as he's drawn upon so many styles and genres over the years all the while adding his own unique touch to his writings along the way. Now I'm just curious to know just where the inspiration for his classic "Chokotto Love" came from…well if that too was inspired by some other work. So "Dschinghis Khan" has been on repeat on my laptop for some time now and I'm really in love with it!! Really in a sense this single resembles what Berryz Koubou might have sounded like had they existed back in the early days of Momusu & H!P and anything from this early period I really regard highly in terms of not only creativity but also the very strong appeal that these songs possess.
"Dschinghis Khan" is a type of song that really benefits from the visual aspect as the song alone may have a tendency to remain strange to some and the "dance shot ver." of their pv delivers just what the offbeat song doctor ordered. The whole look of the pv is fantastic with a slightly old style stage serving as the backdrop and setting. Also the inclusion of many many little "fans" in the audience bouncing around and moving about in directed chaos adds a nice extra element to this pv's appeal for sure and I really love the background artwork…especially the red rectangular "snail" like design near the bottom which reminds me of classic oriental ramen bowls which often wear this exact pattern along it's rim. ^-^ There's sort of a amusement park feeling to the stage and really with the red curtains opening at the very start of the pv this indeed must be the feeling that the director was going for in a sense.
The dance choreography is well tuned to the song and in some way it may actually be better than the song itself if that makes any sense at all! 😛 "Dschinghis Khan" is basically a happy and somewhat "wacky…but in a good way"…type of song and likewise the choreography is filled with a free flowing arrangement that delivers so many nice hooks! Rii also being featured centrally makes me smile as well! Is she getting more adorable by the day?!! ^o^ And if that was really Momo's solo line by herself as the pv would suggest….her voice suddenly sounds so much more mature! Could this really be true? I'm going to miss her ultra cute…ultra high voice if this is the case! :O Visually I must mention Chinamichan in this pv as the sometimes mislead UFA Hairstylist have finally got it right on her! And while she's always been really kawaii!…with this added compliment you can really see what those said hairstylist have been depriving her of for so long it seems. I've always expressed how much I think Kumachan possesses the qualities of a model and her facial features continue to mature in a fashion supporting this and it's very evident in this release! I also love that the singles' cover outfits are being worn in the "dance shot ver." as I think they're so wonderfully cute and well designed which only makes me look forward to my Momo & Rii banners that much more as they're wearing these very same outfits…hopefully they arrive soon from Ohta!
So in closing, "Dschinghis Khan" while being a slight detour in BK's musical path and a bit "different" is nonetheless a very enjoyable release! I really love it for what it is and in a way it revisits some of Tsunku's earlier writings albeit it is a cover song not actually written by him and with all of these new elements being introduced with this new single it'll be very interesting to see the sales numbers after a couple of weeks after which point things seem to settle. This single's definitely getting some in car playing time for sure! ^-^ Oyasumi!