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℃-ute - 超WONDERFUL⑥ review

So, yet again, a review. Two in just over a week. Shocking even to myself.



Preamble: I do think I like this cover. The cybernetic-like quality is frankly awesome. The weird leg paint also makes my slightly fucked up creative side go "yay" and "why didn't I think of that?" One thing that might improve it from a bizarre mindset is to have the paint on Maimai's right leg, and then have her turn around and face the other way. Can't be helped, her face lets the side down... Plus then there'd be symmetry. Chisa's on the right and her side-ponytail is on her left, putting it on our right. Maimai is the on left, yet her side-ponytail is in the same damn place. If she turned around, symmetry would be restored.

Anyway, to the music.

1. 超WONDERFUL! What an inspiring title to start with. Tsunku doesn't have a humble bone in his body, does he? The riffs in this are quite cool. Bendy as hell. Bass-heavy at the start is awesome. Then the bass gets steadily thrown backwards in the mix. Either that or the low notes are clipping. No particular complaints about the singing. C-ute basically has H!P's best three vocalists at the moment (no, I don't count Aichan as she's going. Good riddance), and the other two don't suck too much. The synths are quite good. Lyrics don't suck. Mid-8 is happily mental. Solo is fucking GUUUUUUUUUH. Came. Seems C-ute are getting some good fucking solos of late. Aa Koi on the last album, now this. If there's aught else like this I'll become impotent through overuse. 9/10

2. Midnight Temptation. What a fucking name. Wouldn't mind Maimi or Airi sneaking in at midnight and tempting me... And what a fucking intro. Sounds like some epic prog intro and I was ready to blow another load, but luckily (or unluckily) the main section kicked in and wasn't a space-time warp in 25/16 time in the key of A♯ minor. Unluckily (or luckily) it was actually also pretty damn awesome anyway. 80s robotic vocoders on their voices work oddly well. Better than autotune for expressing some futuristic fantasy anyway. Musically, this song is quite amazing. Synth bass isn't even pissing me off (holy shit!!!!!). It's syncopated and oddly enough, works fucking well. Good to hear Chisato yelling herself hoarse pre-chorus. Glad she's finally getting a chance to shine. Presolo = godly. Bit of crazy bass, bit of crazy piano, then another fucking jizzworthy solo. Is this H!P's guitar album of the decade or something? This is fucking amazing. Might even have displaced Aa Koi or (shock horror) Ambitious for best H!P solo. 10/10

3. Kiss me 愛してる. And thus we reach the first of the singles. Definitely an odd one, the synth riff in this is FUCKING MENTAL. And I love it. Some mental hit-everything and still be in time and in scale and DAMMIT. Words are failing me. Another synth bass that doesn't suck. If Tsunku and his cronies are finally learning how to use it I will rejoice. Ne~e ad nauseum with effects even works. Also, fair line distribution in a C-ute single? What? Mid-8 is like a damn videogame. 8bit here we come! Still awesome though. Reverse-cymbal-like fade-in to the final buildup is win. I just realised this album might get a good rating. I might faint. 9/10

4. いざ、進め! Steady go! Retarded title aside... Drums are cool for the intro. Riffs are pretty lacklustre though. Vocals are what drives this song forward. Decent spotlight for them to shine. Chorus vocal melody is interesting but not really the type of thing I'd expect in pop. Not that that's a bad thing. Seem to be some little T-Square style synth twiddles going on. I don't mind, but makes me crave their trademark synth sax. Mid-8 has some decent guitar parts. Solo is, for this album, surprisingly shit. Having said that, on most other H!P albums it'd be a "holy shit this is amazing" thing. But after two solos worth creaming to, this one was shit. 7/10

5. ルルルルル. Yay another retarded title. On the other hand, from the opening moments it sounds like a fucking epic ballad, and I am not disappoint. All the instruments blend nicely. The vocals are once again pretty damn good. String flourishes! Shit, this might be the best ballad since early last year in H!P. Tabidachi is better, but this is nice. Way better than the ballad overdose on Shocking 5. Melodies are good. Solo... is this fucking DAVID GILMOUR? Slow, well thought out, yet effective. Brings the "oh shit I came" solos up to three. I must say I'm loving the subtle little descending guitar phrases. 10/10

6. 別れたくない・・・ GAH! Synth bass and pussy synths at once. Yet why don't I hate it? Is my hate hibernating today? Or have lessons finally been learned on how to utilise these elements with some precision and musicality? Either way, the music ispretty good. A little raspy perhaps on the synth bass, but not bad. Vocals again lifting to a higher level. Quite generally decent anyway. Vocal melody is nothing special, but I can't expect Tsunku to get it right everyday. Surprised he made it this far actually. Still better than every damn melody on Fantasy. 8/10

7. 会いたいのに~~~~~~. Said this before, but this song is fucking amazing. Stupid piano left hand bit at the start notwithstanding, this is fucking awesome. Even if it is a Christmas song. And even if the lyrics are some of the most unimaginative ever. Easily the best single C-ute have released for years. In fact, looking back on it, I was harsh on it last time I reviewed it. I say harsh, I basically gushed a load all over it. But I didn't gush enough. Keyboard solo still fucking rules. Need more of them in H!P songs. Guitar solo also... oops, there goes another. That's four loads. 会いたいだけ会いたいだけ会いたいだけ. Dammit Airi, stop repeating yourself, we get it already. Even so... SHWEET. 10/10

8. サークル Happy ballad time. Little guitar wanks are cool and not shit like usual. Vocal melody is nice. Vocals themselves again are good. I think that's pretty much a given now, I can stop repeating myself. Bassline shows a surprising degree of fluency with some slapping. Unison chorus isn't bad but would prefer choral or harmonising. It has been too damn long. Keep being forced to AKB for harmonies. Guitar solo, again! Dammit Tsunku stop making me cum! Five. Buildup into final chorus isn't quite epic enough, key change would work better if more instruments were added and became truly epic. Even so, good song. 9/10

9. Danceでバコーン! This song is basically what made me not write C-ute off in the first place. Without this I'd have pissed off and not looked back. But dammit, the riffs, the dance, the actually quite weak (for C-ute) vocals and ponchos and ass shots got me straight back in, hook line and sinker. Chorus is cool as all hell. Synthy brass band is win. Fast, upbeat and best of all, good. Little drum loops are actually good. Bass isn't too bad. I don't think I did this justice in the year review either. 9/10

10. 3番ホーム 3両目 Now we come to another ballad-y thing. Unfortunately not as good as the other two. Has some interesting acoustic guitar twanging, but bass just isn't great. Does sound like part four in Tsunku's Toni Braxton project. Luckily this has redeeming features. Like things happening. Layers in the music. Vocals are good and don't sound bored (face it, Aichan could have owned Denwa if she'd tried, she just sounded fucking lifeless and useless). No fucking clue what's going on in the mid8. That synth is pretty... boring. And doesn't do much of anything. Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala. Yay taking a cue from Tabidachi. Fadeout = "didn't know how to end it". I do think this is the weakest song on this album. That's not saying a lot though, as the whole album has been pointlessly strong. Easily best H!P release since Buono's We Are Buono. 7/10

11. キャンパスライフ~生まれて来てよかった~ I stand by my view that this was supposed to be a Manoeri song. On the other hand, listening on mp3 sounds a hell of a lot better than Youtube. I can appreciate the layers more. Toy piano is nice little addition. Nice little melodies. Too tame for a single? Probably. Makes a nice album closer though. Think I'm gonna do a Take it easy on this. It's a good song. Hate to admit it, but I was wrong. Doesn't mean the single wasn't bad. But the song is worth it. The album doesn't suffer from its inclusion (like Platinum 9 did from Kanashimi). The little 好き好き好き at the end of the chorus is cute. First cute thing from a C-ute song in a while. Final chorus buildup is a lesson in coolness. Riffs aren't bad, now I listen again. 9/10

Overall:

Well, I suppose I've shocked the fuck out of everyone with my positive opinions. However, it's proof that C-ute are back on form. I do remember I loved the hell out of Akogare My Star, and I think it's just been topped. This flows well. Manages frantic pace insanity and nice ballads, and pulls them off with aplomb. Has more epic solos than any other H!P album ever. Has no true weak points, instead songs that are only bad in comparison to the others on this album. Had any of these songs been on Fantasy, they would easily be the best damn song on that album, except maybe Iza, Susume, Steady Go. I just can't see Momusu being able to pull that off somehow, which just goes to show that C-ute are capable of dragging slightly subpar stuff up to a good level. Only on a small scale though, nothing could have dragged the steaming pile of shit that was Shocking 5 up to a good level. But I digress. I've just listened to the best H!P (or indeed, Tsunku harem related) album since We Are Buono. And I'm rating it as such.

9/10

Comparison rating:

Buono! - We Are Buono! - 9.7
Morning Musume. - 4th Ikimasshoi - 9.2
C-ute - 4 Akogare My Star - 8.5
Ogawa Mana - Teenage Blues - 8
Buono! - Buono! 2 - 7.5
Berryz Koubou - 6th Otakebi Album - 7
Berryz Koubou - 7 Berryz Times - 6.5
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

1 comments:

  1. The solo in Midnight Temptation is indeed probably one of the best in H!P - ever.

    ReplyDelete