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A Year In Review Part 2: Nice Girl Project!

So, NGP. H!P's sexy, slightly perverted little sister who tries to give you a footjob under the dinner table when your H!P girlfriend's not looking.

Individually, some of the NGP girls have had an interesting year. Groupwise, not so much. But I am here to review, not digress, but I digress, thus I shall review.




The Possible

Yes, those slightly bizarre but sexy girls have done something of a bizarre thing this year in doing a song about a hotpot. Its title... Yabe~Nabe~Na Atsuryoku Be~Na~...



Firstly: wtf?
Secondly: Comedians do not want.
Thirdly: Robin's in PVC and it's not sexy? How?

Song is... meh. Eurobeat is cool, but this is really weird. Dance moves wtf. Stirring a hotpot... kk. That bloke cannot sing for shit.

Maybe 6/10. Still no clue what Vampire!Robin has to do with hotpots.

Next up was the double A-side, Watashi no Miryoku / Love^2 Paradise. Uninspired titles, but then... Tsunku.

I'll start off with Watashi no Miryoku.



Actually, not a bad song. Reminds me of Berryz' Tomodachi. The PV and the song both. Nice to see a narrative PV though. Song is just upbeat happy pop, but works. Even has Westlife-final chorus keychange and final chorus delayed chord. I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than Yabe, though I do find myself missing the slightly rockier flavour of their earlier stuff. I'd give it a good 7/10.

Second on this single, Love^2 Paradise. Weird song name, weird song.



The constant "hoo-hoo" annoys the fuck out of me. What the fuck is that dance? Haven't seen something that lame since this this atrocity (though I will admit seeing Sakina pretending to be a cat makes the whole vid worth the utter shitness of it) That video also has Momoka from Momoclo in it before she was "famous". Watch at your own risk :P

Anyway, Love^2 Paradise. Robin's vocals are, as ever, the highlight. Musically though, this is shit. Synth bass... random notes hit all over the damn place. It's a musical nightmare. 3/10.

Musically, The Possible have had quite a quiet year. I think NGP's focusing way too much on Mechamote.

Visually, however... well. Robin's photoalbum of eternal boner. Robin's DVD of moe. Aina's DVD of massive tits and ass. Definitely worth an eye, and an hour or two alone time with hand lotion and tissues.

Or a vibrator if you're female :P

Canary Club

I'll be the first to admit, beyond Mana I know fuck all about them really. Except one wears glasses. However, this year they released a single, called Daisukki! so I guess I'm reviewing it.



wtf is this, Seishun Collection? Tsunku's regurgitation of both synths and shitty rhythms is disturbing. PV is horrible. It's actually painful. Manages to actually be worse than Seishun Collection, so good job Tsunku. Another shit song.

2/10

MM Gakuen Gasshoubu

Ridiculous name, but it's anime so what does one expect? Now, with Mana as singer it's going to be pretty strong, I've respected her vocally since Hyakko's epic OP Suppin Rock, so yea.

Anyway, first single from this odd outfit this year was Genki ni Nare! A frankly awesome song that was raped on Mana's solo album.



First most awesome bit: Robin. She's doing a credible job of fake-guitaring, considering she was always the vocalist when The Possible pulled it. The drummer's also not too shabby, though granted it reaches nowhere near the heights Kaede managed. It's a cool song. The bassline, not to mention it being fucking real, is interesting. The harmonised guitars are cool. Mana's voice is good.

I think Tsunku wasted half of his yearly "good song" output on this song. 8/10.

Next up was the slightly less cool Kimi ga Shuyaku sa!



Unlike Genki ni Nare, the rock elements are so sidelined there's no power whatsoever. The 80's synths are further weakening of its base, and the synth bass makes its heinous return. Guitar harmonies are uninspired after Genki ni Nare. PV is pretty shit. Less synth bass and synth, decent drumline and a rhythm guitar would make this a hell of a lot cooler and more powerful to listen to. At the moment all it has going for it is the crazy reverb on the snare in the refrain, majorly 80s there, and Mana's voice trying desperately to save it.

4/10

Next is Mecha Motetai.



I see a pool so I hope for bikinis. Do I get? Song is pretty crap. Another synth bass pissing me off. Fast paced and energetic though, so instant improvement on the lacklustre nature of Shuyaku. PV wise, boring, boring, kids (Dran would appreciate, I guess), then out come the bikinis! Yay! From this point on I tried to ignore the song, but then Mana came out with an ojou-sama "Ho-ho-ho!" laugh and I cracked up. Horrid CG ensembles are fucking horrid. Song doesn't really annoy me too much though, so 6/10. 10/10 of course, reserved for the bikinis.

Final of the year is Oshare My Dream. I forgot about this in the H!P one because it's a Double A side and Risako does the other one. So I'll review both here.



So, Mana first. She can get me nice and warmed up for Risako's mammaries or something. Hopefully.

The band is back, though without Robin. More disco-y in feel. Mana looks... scrumptious. Though to be fair, when doesn't she? Still the only girl with an afro to get me hard. But I digress. Bassist in this is making a hell of a lot more effort by not using a pick and actually using her fingers properly... but it's all pointless as SYNTH FUCKING BASS! Guitarist chick is all over the place. Looks like she's using her pick as a battering ram instead of a pick. Songwise, this is better than Shuyaku, but not a patch on Genki ni Nare! 7/10

Risako tiem. Elegant Girl it be called. Could have a point. Though my enduring image of her is of her in a black bikini and wellies looking at a waterfall with her ass to the camera. Yes.



Anyway. Quotes a piece of classical music in the beginning (or it could be Dragon Guardian. You'd be surprised how often power metal confuses me with classical), and showcases Risako's vocal talents quite well. Maybe not quite as well as Otakebi (fierce Risako = yes), but focuses on the melodic capability rather than the sheer power she possesses. Stylistically, the song is quite a restrained RnB, but without stooping to the depths America's managed in that genre. It actually pulls it off quite well, reminiscent of Do It! Now and Aa's First Kiss, which had no right to work but it did (loli!Airi's first line still gets me). The refrain has a nice piano bit which wouldn't be out of place in symphonic metal. In fact, change up the beat a bit and add guitars, and you have a symphonic power metal song. Risako's voice is really good. As is her ample bust. 7/10

COCOCREW

So, this was a project to promote Cocolulu shops. Cocolulu Song. Does it work? Judge for yourselves.



Personally... Kill me. Mana, Robin and Tokki, doing... this. It's horrid. It really is. 1/10 for the song, 2/10 for the clothes. The rapping is horrid, the chorus is horrid, the lyrics are pretty bad except Ogamana telling people to shake their ass (yet doesn't show herself shaking hers... until telling everyone to make their ass go "boom boom"... is this fucking Shaggy? Not to mention the clothes are like fucking overalls so even if they are shaking their asses, WE CAN'T ENJOY IT!).

Anyway.

Ogamana

Somewhat irrelevant considering the last 3 have basically been Ogamana nearly entirely anyway...

But she released an album this year. Plus the Namamana DVDs (I think they were this year. I can't remember). Thus I suppose I should review it. It's called Teenage Blues.



Preminary: For such a hot and talented singer, this album holds promise.

1. Hitoribocchi no Watashi



PV is ridiculously awesome from a photography standpoint. NGP always get better photographers than H!P, in both actual pictures and videos. Songwise, not a bad ballad. Certainly apt music for the lyrics. However, I do like my ballads to have a great deal of progression. The little whispered bit is cool, but then goes straight back into what it was before. A stealth addition would have been cool. What gets me about some of the old power ballads isn't so much the power at the end, it's the slow buildup towards the epic final chorus. This keeps threatening to get epic, such as with the violin solo, but fails to reward the listener for their patience with an eargasm. All we get is the violin kept on. It would have been epic with a full damn orchestra. But then, Hatake did it. 7/10

2. Teenage Blues

Well, this is certainly more rock. Real bass, guitars that know what they're doing, achieving a nice bias between tracks in the earphones in the verse. Prechorus makes me think of some prog metal. Chorus is basically Mana showing off her aweome voice. Not that I blame her, she is too good at singing. The riffs in this song are cool. No getting away from it. Does remind me a bit of Red Hot Chilis, but more awesome than anything they've done in a while. The fact that the production was kept quite raw endears me to it somewhat. Sure it has trademark overproduction bits (vocals especially), but the guitars are just edgy enough to make me love and enjoy this song on its own merit. 9/10

3. Genki ni Nare!

I dunno what they've done to this song, but it sounds a lot fuller, production wise. Took out the lead guitar fiddling. Added some frankly pointless bits. At least the bass is still real, but I would really like the lead guitar back. It added a bit of spice to what is basically a four chord song. Without it, and with this new production, it sounds... dull. Acoustic guitar in second verse doesn't work. Sounds too tinny compared to the tight-bass production they seemed to be going for. New solo isn't as good. 6/10

4. Keep On Dreamin'!

More real bass! More real bass than Tsunku's had in a row for a good 5 years now. The song is nice upbeat pop rock, which is quite simplistic but works. Reminds me of older Berryz. Good, nice. Can't really think of much else. Except to say MOAR COWBELL! 7/10

5. Jealousy to Iu Ka Nanto Iu Ka

Where did this come from? Some dark RnB synth mixed with Guitar. If it was done with a decent drummer, and with the guitar and synth not doing the same damn thing, I'd compare it to Ayreon. But as it is, I can't. It's weird. Not bad. Tries damn hard to be different, and works at being different. Just not sure if it works as a song. The buildup into the chorus is nice, but the subsequent ceasefire at the end of chorus is a letdown. Mana's voice doesn't quite sound as confident in this song either. It is quite a dark song though, so I like for that. Refrain is a bit of a mishmash of oddness. Overall still pretty much undecided, but I think I'll give it a 7/10

6. Zenbu Uso Ja Nai Yo

More normal pop. Synth bass very prominent in this. I'm disappointed. I wish Tsunku would use real bass in pop songs still, not just the more rocky songs. It adds a punch and feel to the song that synths just lack. The drum fills into the chorus are good. The chorus is quite mildly uplifting. The song isn't the best on the album, but certainly isn't bad. It's actually quite nice, but it won't be that memorable once it's over. Guitar solo is nice. 6/10

7. Oozora ni Mukatte

Starts off sounding like a Scottish march. With flutes. Reminds me seriously of the old あぁ!女神様! anime opening, "Open Your Mind". Moves away from that eventually, but real bass and good rhythm guitars make this a nice song. Probably wouldn't go amiss in Buono! If they got away with Goal, they'd get away with this. Mana again lilts her way above and beyond the call of duty though. Guitar solo is slow and harmonised nicely throughout. Even pulls a bit of a Queen harmonic at the end. All in all, good. 7/10

8. Mabushii Yuuki wo Mune ni Himete

This starts off really nicely. Orchestral synths, and Mana. Doesn't disappoint from there either. Guitar riff is actually thought out. Little beeps less so. Bass line is good. Beyond me why Tsunku rapes his basslines with synths when they can actually be quite good. I mean, I appreciate the necessity in this day and age to do things quickly, and that some instruments just can't be session'd at a moment's notice. Like tubas, euphoniums, erhus, sitars and kotos. Basses, on the other hand, are dime a fucking dozen. Bassists too. Shit, any guitarist with 5 years under his belt can play bass decently, if not being able to pull off the more advanced popping and slapping stuff, but very few Tsunku songs have that anyway, so why he doesn't just call in his old bandmates is beyond me. Anyway, this song. Solo is awesome, song is good, Mana is good. 8/10

9. MAP ~Mirai no Chizu~



Short version. Nice piano intro. Another slow ballady type song. Hopefully this delivers more than Hitoribocchi. The addition of an acoustic guitar makes me hopeful. On the other hand, addition of synth bass makes me want to rage. Pizzacato strings are effective. Full-on chorus. Overshadowed my expectations a bit. But again falls into the "drop everything after the chorus" trap. Her voice when harmonised is, actually, fucking awesome. Mana is great. The refrain with the orchestral lead is quite sexy. This is probably how power ballads should be, if you discount the "drop everything" crap. The slowdown works wonders, as does the diminuendo at the end. 9/10

10. Suppin Rock



HELL YEA. I love this song. Afro moe. Good riffs, weird synths, and Mana dominating the fuck out of all of it. This was my intro to her, so obviously it needed to be powerful to have drawn me into the then afro-loli. "B-Cup Suppin Bishoujo" is still the coolest pervy lyric Tsunku's written. Fuck Kimagure. This is rock. I like it. If she ever picks up a guitar, I can foresee her going far. In this song she proves she has the range, the power, and soul to do rock. And the balls. Or lack. Hell, her falsetto is yay. She could do metal too. Hell, Metal Mana. I would liek. A lot. Someone give her a guitar and some Maiden DVDs. 10/10

Overall:

I like. Better than most of the albums this year in Tsunkuland, saving We Are Buono! Goes to show what a shit year this has been though. 7 albums or so, and 2 good ones.

Overall gives me 7.6, I'm rounding up to 8 just because of Mana's awesome vocals. She's shown that, no matter the material, she can be soft and ballady, hard and rocky, or cute as a... Mana. Nothing's cuter than her so comparatives don't seem to work. Yay. Right then.

8/10

Comparison ratings:

Morning Musume. - 4th Ikimasshoi - 10
Buono! - We Are Buono! - 9.7
C-ute - 4 Akogare My Star - 8.5
Buono! - Buono! 2 - 7.5
Berryz Koubou - 6th Otakebi Album - 7
Morning Musume. - Platinum 9 Disc - 6.5
Morning Musume. - 10 My Me - 5.5
C-ute - Shocking 5 - 4
Morning Musume. - Fantasy! Juuichi - 3.5




PS.

Tokkii and Niwa Mikiho

Go watch their DVDs and find their PBs. Now. They're very shwing.

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