Himekyun Fruits Can - Renai Miracle review

I've got so many reviews to write now it's getting ridiculous, so I'm going to try and bash them all out before the end of November so that I can spend all of my December writing up year-in-review posts that everyone hates just to annoy them when I "overlook" a certain album they think is the best thing ever just because they really like the girls in a certain group yet have no conception about the musical merit (or increasingly, the lack thereof) whatsoever.

So, my to-do list from now til the end of daysthe year:

  • Super Girls review (album released in February)
  • Sakura Gakuin review (album released in March)
  • Himekyun review (album released in August)
  • SKE48 review (album released in September)
  • BiS review (album released in October)
  • Passpo review (album released in November)
  • H!P Year in Review
  • xxx48 Year in Review
  • Stardust/Avex/Local/Indie Idols Year in Review
  • Final post and awards
So, I have my work cut out for me considering I've now not posted anything since mid-September. I'm not going to do TGS' album because I've a feeling I won't like it, and will flame it mercilessly.

But anyway, I digress. Himekyun Fruits Can are from Ehime. Some Japanese guy in Paris introduced me to them at the Buono gig in February; straight after he proclaimed his eternal devotion to Momochi and H!P. I guess being a fan of local idols doesn't make you DD. But yea, he introduced me to them. Then I forgot their name. Took a quick wotatrip to Manchester and the skills of people with smartphones to locate their name, at the Tokyo Idol Festival website or something, and from there I've not looked back. Did a brief intro to them in my pervy post, but haven't said anything since then. Until now. So, review time.

Preamble: Some stripey dungarees? Must have escaped from a redneck jail or something. Also, the title being in English on the cover but in Japanese in all official media is confusing, especially when it's released on US and UK iTunes (despite other, far more successful acts still not being available on it, yes AKB I'm looking at you) with English and romanised titles. Still, at least I got hold of it.

1. iの奇蹟. Title sounds like it'll be an ode to the iGeneration or something. Starts off prettily with piano and string sections, with a decent vocal melody. Then we get a really nice string melody over a pretty insipid beat, but it works. Verse goes back to the piano, decent vocal melody again. Prechorus is good, lifts the tone nicely for the chorus, which has both the inspirational strings and vocal harmonies. The girls aren't amazing singers, but harmonies = lush. Happy already. Post chorus break is short but nice. Second verse is carbon copy of the first, then suddenly we get distorted guitar riffs (also slightly out of tune, probably intentionally) instead of second prechorus. Then semi-rap with interesting dynamics and rhythms on the vocals, then a synth break, before the second chorus. That came out of fucking nowhere. Little anthemic bit after chorus is cool too. This is a damn nice way to start this album. Piano outro to end. 10/10

2. ストロベリーKISS. Can it top the last one? Who knows. Synth arpeggios at the start, synth bass which is hyperactive, then vocals added. Decent intro. Then synthpad riff which sounds cool if decidedly spacey, before going into verse. Vocal melodies aren't as good this time, but little speaking bits are cool. The chord progression is pretty standard dance. No prechorus, straight into chorus, which is okay. Hook isn't amazing. Then quickly back into the synthpad riff. Second verse again is carbon copy, until a quick sawtooth synth is added. The keychange between the verse and chorus is quite jarring, maybe a prechorus would have helped to ease the transition somewhat. Mid8 has the best vocal melody of the lot, though the vocals sound on the verge of clipping at times. Guitar solo is sexy and fits the spaceyness. More arpeggios in the buildup chorus, then keychanged chorus and mind broken again. Sexy guitar lead in the outro. Nice, but ultimately not gonna win anything. 7/10

3. ワタシダイイチキボウ. Why it's all in katakana I don't know. But it's pretty damn punk, with this really fast thrashy weird synth shredding over the top. Verse vocals are strong, melodies are surprisingly good for the genre. Prechorus is just as good, this is nice. Chorus hooks aren't amazing, but doesn't let the side down, I suppose. Little synth whirring along under the vocal line isn't very distracting. Post-chorus riff is winning. Second verse is the same, prechorus is the same. Second chorus is the same. While it's a nice song I suppose they could have added stuff. The mid-8 with rapping and heavy riff is really nice. Then actual singing mid-8 bit has a very strong melody. Then solo, which starts boring, sounds like it's going to get better, but only hits its stride on the last bar. Shame. Epic slowdown for buildup chorus is sexy. Then suddenly fullspeed again, not so much a buildup as a PS1 controller's idea of throttle control on a racing game. Halfway through chorus decides to change key. Nice idea, I suppose. Then that thrashy synth riff to close. 9/10

4. プラマイゼロの空. Dat title. ±0 Sky. The fuck does that even mean? Song starts weirdly. Reverby as fuck guitar and synth bouncy melody. Then drums enter and it becomes slightly coherent. Verse melody is okay, which works. Little guitar in second half of verse is a nice counterpoint. Prechorus is odd. Chorus is odder. Not so much a hook as a ±hook. Break back into verse isn't great. After second verse there's some weird cheerleading bit or something. Then chorus. This reminds me of 9nine's first album. Completely brainfucked. Synths for mid-8 are night, but vocals are way too high in the mix. Buildup chorus with guitars is nicer. Then keychange. This is getting ridiculous, like Westlife, but with cute Japanese chicks instead of weird Irish blokes. Ooh, guitar solo outro is nice though. Still, worst yet. 4/10

5. 悔しいけど、スキ. This intro melody with dodgy piano and unison vocals actually works. Which is cool I guess. Then sexy guitar sound and decent rhythm section (except that weird percussion, what is that?) equal some pure bliss until vocals return. Verse has a nice chord progression, vocals are okay, melodies good but mixing dodgy again. Prechorus consists of a little break. Nice one though. Chorus has piano and unison again, but backed with a nice guitar sound and some more of that weird urban percussion. Second verse is pretty much the same. Second chorus likewise. Solo is, as expected from that intro riff, fucking sexy, full of soloface orgasming. Buildup B melo has nice melodies and vocals from the best singer, then there's a buildup chorus which is also nice, then chorus leads into more lead guitar sex and ad libs from the best singer. Nice way to end. 8/10

6. 恋の微熱. Dat synth open, this is some lush synth work, nearly full polyphony, then the sawtooth under the verse, which has irregular and syncopated vocal placement, all works deliciously. Little lead guitar in verse is also nice. Prechorus strips out a lot and keeps a buzzy sawtooth which works. Chorus has some of the intro riff and a decent vocal melody, then goes back into the polyphony, which is so much cooler anyway. Second verse and prechorus and chorus are much the same. Still sexy though. Mid-8 riff buildup has some epic guitar sex, then guitar solo is sexier than a really sexy thing. Gives Midnight Temptation a run for its money on wanking, just not quite as well produced so misses out slightly. Prechorus, buildup chorus are nicely worked. Final chorus keychange, could have guessed. All in all though, really nice song. 9/10

7. ニュースタイル. New age intro, that's weird. Then accordions, metal guitars and urban beat. What the fuck kind of genre fuckery is this? Rap vocals. It's like Limp Bizkit fell into a blender with Sigur Ros and a French street musician. Some techno stylings in the prechorus and chorus. Still no decent melody in the vocal line. I'm just confused. Guitar sound is nice. About the only thing I can praise so far. I listen to a lot of shit, but I think this is one of the weirder things I've heard. Ever. Full-on rap in the mid8. Then guitars and fadewipe and back to "chorus". I'm not impressed, I must say. Guitar solo at the end with some actual musical notes sang by the girls, which gain this song its only point. 1/10

8. 恋のプリズン. Fuck me this hooky synth line will drown me in its godly awesomeness. Best hook ever. Guitars are nice. Verse vocal melodies are nice, prechorus is a bit more lacklustre but still good, then into chorus with DAT SYNTH and the girls singing the same melody. Guitars palmmuting the fuck out of themselves. Really love this. Production is shit, but the song is just so win. Guitar solo is a phenomenal exercise of restraint. I'd want to shred the shit out of that motherfucker. Intricately layered buildup chorus is epic. Then final chorus is win. Even despite that synth riff being in a really bad preset and it'd annoy me with virtually anything else, that riff is enough to make it not only acceptable, but to be this high a score. 10/10

9. 恋愛エネルギー保存の法則. More synths, then into something that sounds like it could be an AKB song intro. Verse seems to stick to the same idea. Vocal melodies are passable, guitars flit around being mediocre. Prechorus is decent. Then suddenly keychanged chorus. Decent melody. Still, not gonna rip up any trees. Little ska brass band bits in verse are nice, and it's a shame the piano is so buried in the mix. The guitar and vocals dominate. Also, the drums are weak. Then suddenly, mid-8  riff is awesome, tremolo picked solo is short but cool, buildup chorus is good, thus reclaiming some points. Still, not amazing. 4/10

10. 愛、my COLOR. Decent drums from the start, some punk again. Vocal melodies aren't great. Guitar melodies are okay. Verse has an interesting chord prog and decent vocal melodies, prechorus is much better. Chorus isn't great, hook is lacking. Add 20bpm to this and it might be more viable. Guitar solo is actually the second nicest on this album thus far. Nice guitar sound in the mid8, then a rap-type thing which is the best thing all song. Then prechorus and chorus again. Not great, but not bad either. 5/10

11. 恋が止まらない. Much faster, and hammond organs with guitars. There doesn't seem to be a particular structure. The first three "sections" all follow a similar formula, thus making breaking them into verse, prechorus and chorus rather difficult. Still, the riffs and melodies are nice. The whole bloody lot is a hook, so I guess I'll let them off for not having a massive chorus hook, because I don't even know whether the first or third bits are the chorus. Mid-8 is distorted guitars and distorted vocals, which is fun. Then decent guitar solo, but too short. Then buildup, and fuck me this song is over too quickly. Will take a while to sink in I think. Good. 7/10

12. クローズフレンド. Heavy riffs at the start, then suddenly it disappears for a hooky synth riff. Verse has a nice chord prog and the synths into the background, alongside one of the better verse vocal melodies thus far. Then we get a weird prechorus and a nice chorus, if not amazing. Mid-8 has a nice little synth in the background and a lush chord progression that is the best thing in this song so far, especially due to the progression in it. Guitar solo is decent but nothing to write home about. Then suddenly buildup chorus in an off-rhythm bar. Weird compositional choice. Oh well. Guitar harmonies at the end are nice. 6/10

13. あれ?アレ!! 天国.  Nice title... Starts out really weird, some fading in and out synths and then some brass instruments, then hyperspeed dance music. Good dance music though. Vocal melodies are good. Syncopation is fun, prechorus is actually really good, and then the chorus is like Megumegu Fire Endless Night. In fact, it's remarkably similar... I sense a copyright claim. Ignoring that though, it's a good song. Mid8 is fucking weird. Some sort of gamelan going on, tuned percussions and idiophones with a children's nursery rhyme-esque vocal melody. Then increasing techno. Then back to full dance. Wut. Still, good song. Assuming Megpoid doesn't take them to court (lol). 9/10

14. 8分の1のブレス. Quite a slow rock song with some synths over the top. Changes key before the first verse even. Prechorus is nice, some heavy guitars. Chorus is decent. Some decent vocal melodies in this song, but all in unison which is a shame. Mid-8 has some nice little slowness and strong vocal melodies, then solo is good. Guitar harmonies yay. Another 2 fucking key changes in the buildup and final choruses. This song like changing keys. Ending little extention vocal on the chorus is nice. Still, not terrible. 5/10

15. 例えばのモンスター. More rock, decent riff, though it sounds like something Flogging Molly would do, just without all the Irish stuff. Vocal melodies in verse are nice, chord progression is particularly good considering this is quite punk. This has some decent production actually. Prechorus has some more nice melodies, then a little break, then back into prechorus, then into chorus. Quite win so far. I like. Slow solo would be good were the guitar sound not so naff. Still, nice song and good way to end the album. 7/10

Overall: Good little album. Would say I'm surprised but since I heard most of the singles on Youtube I'm not. Probably a few too many songs, and some of them were shit, but the ones that were good are some keepers. Hopefully they'll get slightly popular soon. From what I can tell, they're probably the most indie group I've ever reviewed on here. This album sold less than 1k units on Oricon. Still, I'd recommend everyone to have a listen, they might find something they like.


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