It may be true that after 42 singles and so many accolades one may have seen and somewhat done everything? However it doesn't mean that your creative juices ever stop in the process but here now with their 43rd single release Momusu seems to have done just that.
First "Seishun Collection" isn't an awful song by any means as it's rather pleasant I think with its well polished sound, those sweet whimsical strings and personified vocals we've all come to appreciate. But that's really where it all begins, "Seishun Collection" is comfortable in its direction, melody and even so even keel by its very appearance…..however with comfortable are we now hearing a sound which is in line with ”あぐらをかく”。。。 or resting on one's laurels? I do think it's a most pretty~* song but my thinking today lies elsewhere…
And as you watch their pvs which are embedded just below you'll notice something. Even the production minds at UFI appear to have resigned to present what was once tried and true but perhaps today has become a bit redundant? "Close up version", "Dance version", "original version"….with the exception of the "Close up version" certainly the other two are essential I think as "dance versions" provide the best look at all of the wonderful choreography going into these songs while the "original" brings it all together with edited scenes from everything shot~. The redundancy however stems from how the producers are directing the girls and you can definitely see a mold set here as "Seishun Collection" fails to move anywhere outside of this box so to speak. And for some odd reason it's really only happening with Momusu as BK, C-ute and Buono! all have presented looks going outside of the close up blue screen footage…..straightforward dance footage..and even while watching this most recent "Close up version" you can't help but sense a feeling of overwhelming familiarity…done this seen that. Mini story board ideas…that's what's recently been missing as when you go back to earlier Momusu the presentation of their singles were never so much alike…safe…..inside the box~.
And before anyone suggests that my love of Momusu is wavering let me snip that thought in the bud…it's not and it never will. You see it's not about loyalty or saying that "I'll always love them no matter what or I thought this song was great and I'll always be a fan and support them….." It has everything to do with their creative team, their direction and how they're being presented, you see "Seisun Collection" isn't awful, it's just in a safe place where Momusu isn't leaving an impression, breaking new ground or maximizing their potential which we all know so well that they certainly have. Just where has it gone? Momusu needs their groove back~ ＾ ＾♥。Ways to break the template?…continued just below…
~the coupling with track~
It's a heart sinking feeling to see one of your most beloved groups see sales now of their newest single reach a level which is second lowest in their history, and what a rich history Momusu has. A group who helped revolutionize~* so much for aspiring idols and for creating an unprecedented longevity for their said genre…a group who represented the very center of the J~idol pop universe~.
But no it isn't specifically the recent tally of sales for the week, I mean sales for any group will fluctuate over time and it isn't a reason to go into panic mode….no certainly not. What has me concerned has far more to do with this template in which Momusu seems to have taken to or rather their production team has taken a liking to in that you can always predict with most accuracy what you'll be seeing with each upcoming release. Remember a time when Momusu releases always had you deep in anticipation? Eagerly awaiting to see which new direction not only their music would turn but also the artistry aspect of the group? The visuals, the creativity.
Lose the separate pv releases or at least release them on the same day as their "accompanying" CD single releases…
To begin with the aesthetics, you can be sure that their singles will be packaged alike….DVD extra each containing a single extra pv (dance version, close up version) gone seemingly are the days of including much more enticing extras such as outer slip cases, posters, photo card sets, alternate jackets, note holder…..and that brings up the still existing separate release which houses their original pv versions along with making of footage, the pv DVD single. The pv DVD single surely had its time and it was most awesome in that for one it was released on the very same day as the single it was "accompanying" (now they're released one, two and on occasion even three weeks after the single CD has been released…what became of striking "when the iron is hot" so to speak? and especially now more than ever as pvs are streamed online by record labels prior to even the CD single's release, the promotion aspect truly being promotional) and being all inclusive of pv versions fans perhaps would want to see the most it also allowed CD singles to truly shine on their own (lose the extra DVD) with much more favorable extras~. I remember having such a conversation with PTom @ Hello!Blog awhile back with us both agreeing so much and also speaking of the worry that such trends could bring. Fast forward to today and it's all fully realized pretty much verbatim. And if you speak of the high cost of purchasing import singles not to mention perhaps shrinking shelf space, fans could all benefit so much if singles became all inclusive even if the price went up a bit as would be expected, still it would be so much more fan friendly than needing to purchase three versions just to receive two additional pv versions which could have easily have been included with a much smaller release listing.
Shoot pvs for your b~sides….
Find a new direction….
Incorporate story boards for single releases….
Say good~bye to the "Close up versions" as most of what you see in these are already present in the "original versions."
If releasing multiple versions entice with something new. That would mean also perhaps placing more pv alternate versions into the "original/a~type" release, it can be done as other idol groups are currently doing it making acquiring releases and their extras much more fan friendly =). Include sets or randomly inserted photos, shitajiki, cards, outer slip cases, key chain straps, etc. as these are far much more "collectible" than DVDs and would certainly entice fans much more in wanting to collect multiple editions~*. And certainly none of these ideas are unrealistic in terms of cost or practicality to record labels or unfeasible as they're occurring right now in our idol music world with great success….(think 3 letters of the alphabet) Momusu just needs to explore~ ＾ ＾。
Again this isn't a negative posting as I like "Seishun Collection" the song, but rather thoughts on asserting the potential and positives that we all know Momusu possesses so much….and open letter if you will っo(*´∀｀)o。