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Buono! - partenza EP Review

Fragments torn asunder by hellish hands have tainted the glow of Buono... forever.



Preamble: Cover looks boring, uninspired, and altogether silly. Two pictures of them? Hilariously bad photoshopping? Fuck, if I hadn't already been massively disappointed with Buono since We Are Buono, I could have laughed this off as a joke. But it's no joke. It's reality. It seems that the world truly is coming to an end...

So, the "music"...

1. partenza~レッツゴー!!!~ Where. The. Fuck. To. Start? Beep beep beep beep beep beep wheeee beep beep beep beep AUTOTUNE. Honestly, this is the worse excuse for music of nearly any kind I think I've ever heard. It's fucking dreadful. Like a nightmare of western pop music extravangances all melded into one song with no overlying theme or idea or tune. It's just random sounds. The "chorus" if you can call it that, has a synth line that doesn't even change chord. The raps sound like they're delivered in a purely talking voice. The autotune, as ever, is FUCKING DREADFUL. Why they felt the need to douse Airi (probably the best singer in H!P with Aichan's impending departure) along with Miya and Momo (the only two worth a few solo lines in Berryz) with autotune is beyond me. It just makes everything sound tacky and like H!P, or whoever produced this shit, has no faith in them to actually sing the material present, especially on the bit where the vocaloid is singing with no music behind. I say vocaloid because I honestly cannot identify their voices when they're trapped behind the utter pointlessness of autotune. If it weren't for the autotune, the really bad rapping and really bad Engrish, and the fact that it's Buono, I may have, under certain circumstances (like being under the influence of several shots of absinthe) found this enjoyable. But no. Autotune is a crime against humanity. Usage should be prohibited in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Usage should be prosecuted in the Hague under the same sentences as genocide. -3/10

2. 雑草のうた. This song is shit. However, after partenza (which I would have happily rated -200 if it wasn't rather unfair in a rating system in which the highest possible rank is only 10 [or 11 if you count one exception]) this sounds like a fucking masterpiece. It isn't though. My views from earlier this year still hold. It's a recycled piece of rather not amazingness. After the amount of Buono songs that simply blew me away on We Are Buono, this was a major letdown. However, judging by recent developments, this may even go down as a "decent" Buono song, if they continue along this trend of releasing utter shit. 4/10

3. フランキンセンスΨ. Firstly, why the hell is this titled Frankincense? Secondly, oh fuck, are they singing about Babybells? Thirdly, more unwanted techno. Luckily, this has a tune. And a vocal melody. And the autotune is nowhere near as pervasive. I can see this as viable. Possibly. It's still not very Buono. I'm all for genre experimenting. But all idol Jpop groups change their sound like their clothes. One of Buono's lasting endearing qualities was that they were pretty exclusively rock. They have had a couple of non-rock songs, but they never really moved away from a rock base. Even stuff like Internet Cupid had elements which could be considered rock. Which is why partenza pissed me off. No rock whatsoever. In fact, just about ever stylised beat and note could be considered a calculated attempt to distance the group from rock entirely. Which was then thoroughly screwed up by the fact that Zassou came right after it. This has more rock, musical thought, melody, tonality, and musical merit than partenza, but it's still shit. Again, if it was another group it may have scored more, but no. 1/10

4. My alright sky. Huh? Engrish? This song actually started out nicely (fail Engrish notwithstanding), then in came the beat. I was hoping for a nice, happy, ballady type thing. Instead I get a load of horrid hiphop beats looped all song long. Once again, this is not Buono. This is people who are in Buono, but it is not Buono. I honestly have no idea what this is, except just yet another fucking Toni Braxton song. One of the worst yet. 1/10

5. 夏ダカラ! Another rubbish song. Honestly, this song is dull. Take it easy! improved vastly from being on an album, padded with good songs. This doesn't improve. In fact, by being preceded by a truckload of shite makes it sound even worse. The beat is pathetic. The guitars descending riff is boring. The acoustic guitars chord progression is boring. The bass does fuck all. The vocal melodies are uninspired. I think I agree with my bandmate on this issue. The silly talking in the mid-8 gets in the way of a perfectly decent Queen-ish solo. Overall it just sounds like someone doing a halfassed job and throwing in a few overdubs of random noises to make it sound a bit fuller. 2/10

6. キアオラ・グラシャス・ありがと Other than the fail Maori (Kia Ora doesn't mean "thank you"), this is actually the first half decent song on this EP. Rock is decent and sounds like Buono, the vocals are Buono-esque. The song isn't particularly amazing, but fuck. After all that shit I've just been through this sounds like a fucking aural orgasm. Major problem with this song is that it ends too soon.After the needless bloatedness of partenza, My alright sky and Natsu Dakara (which all sucked), why make the first decent song so short? Beyond me. 5/10

7. JUICY HE@RT. Ah, Juicy Heart, the second best song on the Zassou single. If only they'd put Runaway on here... Still, better than the Aside. Better than Kia Ora even. Shows that you can mix electronic elements and rock together in one song (not that My Boy didn't do it better and earlier). No fucking need to overdose on autotune and techno when this works. Also, IT'S A FUCKING SOLO. And a good one, even though way too fucking short. Zassou's was shit. Buildup chorus also not sucking. End is good. 6/10

8. 1/3の純情な感情. Sounds like an anime song at the beginning. And it's good. Too good. Easily best song on this album. Chords are some amazingly discordant little things. Verse chord progression isn't bad. Vocals are strong. Pre-chorus is fucking cool. Chorus itself is nice and cool, with some energy. Little lead leading into second verse is good. Solo is pretty cool, with some technical bits. Makes me jizz. First H!P solo since C-ute's last album to do that. Honestly, this is the type of thing I want from Buono. So much fucking better than that shit at the beginning of the EP. Musically interesting, and shows off their vocal talents. What more could one want? 8/10

Overall: Shocking statement: I wish Buono had disbanded after We Are Buono and the Best Album. It would have left their legacy intact, and it would have seen them out at their peak. But no, they had to go and ruin it. It disappoints me to say this, but this is the worst thing I have ever reviewed. Even despite the slight upturn towards the end, even with an actual good song at the end, it still falls just short of Morning Musume's frankly terrible Fantasy Juuichi's not exactly exacting standard. So, Buono, from top of my list of ratings, to the bottom. Way to rape a fandom UFA, go you.

3/10 (-28.4/10 before I decided not to go below -10)

Buono! - We Are Buono! - 9.7
Morning Musume. - 4th Ikimasshoi - 9.2
C-ute - Chou Wonderful 6 - 9
C-ute - 4 Akogare My Star - 8.5
Ogawa Mana - Teenage Blues - 8
Buono! - Buono! 2 - 7.5
AKB48 - Koko ni Ita Koto - 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

7 comments:

  1. Why are you listening to H!P if you don't like the beep beep beep stuff? H!P has been kind of leaning on the side of dance/electronica since at least 2005, so... I'd say stick to listening to the oldies and abandon ship if you don't like that kind of music, tbh.

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  2. ^
    Wow... I must have missed all that, and for that I am more than thankful.

    Nice review; straight to the point and no cutting corners in fear of hurting someone's feelings!! Adds a nice touch and makes it all the more interesting.

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  3. Just because a song doesn't fit into what you imagine Buono!'s rock-pop style to be, doesn't make it shit. From this review, I imagine you to be someone who isn't very open-minded to other genres other than the typical generic weak idol pop that hardly can be classified as music itself. There is a reason Kpop and auto-tune is more popular internationally than Jpop will ever be, especially the shipwreck that is H!P. Branding a song as straight-up trash just because it "isn't Buono" is hardly a valid reason. Oh and by the way, you saying "fuck" about 20 times prevents me from ever taking your points seriously

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  4. I don't believe UFA sexually violated Buono! fandom. :\ I could have taken your review seriously if not for that bit of misogyny at the end.

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  5. Well to be fair on this review, this mini-album is really horrible. The problem is simple, all three of Buono!'s previous albums were wonderful flowing pieces, where even average songs such as 'co no michi' or 'baketsu no mizu' still sounded great because they were on albums that were very well moulded, to the point you could kick back with a few beers and never touch skip.

    What Partenza has done, is completely ruin that. This min-album has noflow, because the songs don't have a flow. It's like going from partenza into zassou... It's just not gonna work, be like if live they tried to go from 'My boy' to 'Goal' to 'Runaway train', the three songs might be excellent, but in that sort of flow you'd get no enjoyment.

    As Krv also said, it does not help that so many of these songs are not Buono! could you have imagined Melon Kinenbi doing a song like 'sha lalala shiwase no uta' ? Of course not, this album is technically Buono! trying and failing at that very thing. They had a sound, they had an image, and songs like 'My boy', 'internet cupid' and 'take it easy' proved they could totally go at and even beyond the boundaries of it, without breaking what makes them who they are. Partenza doesn't do this, thus, it breaks my heart to say it, but I agree with this review completely, mysogony and all.

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  6. Misogyny... lol. Guess no one ever heard the turn of phrase "raped my childhood". The word rape has evolved. :P

    Also, in regards to the "not very open to other genres", I'm actually laughing like hell. Guess you skimread through this bit: "I'm all for genre experimenting. But all idol Jpop groups change their sound like their clothes. One of Buono's lasting endearing qualities was that they were pretty exclusively rock." It was something that set them apart from their contemporaries. Now they've just become yet another bogstandard group with nothing to differentiate them from the masses.

    And "fuck" is a perfectly acceptable general use adjective in the UK, so yea :P

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  7. Just wanted to point out that 1/3 junjou na kanjou is a cover of an old Siam Shade song from the 90s, that was used as a theme song for an anime like you guessed. It's an amazing song, but sadly, not an original one which takes even that merit away from Buono :(

    This mini album made me sad as well, what made Buono so special was their rock sound, Tsunku is at his best when writing rock influenced stuff IMO, and it's the reason why I payed attention to H!P in the first place, but that's practically gone in the last few years.

    I wish Buono had disbanded in time as well, so that their legacy could live on. Unlike what many fans say in H!O, I don't think that what makes Buono what it is are Airi, Momoko and Miyabi, that makes no sense. They have their own groups (and we all know that idols are replaceable commodities), what made them special was the rock sound that made them stand out and they managed to pull off so well in lives and all. How are they even going to perform this with their band live?

    Ugh. I hate how H!P gradually destroys everything that made me like it in the first place.

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