In the world of J-Pop, trends are difficult to predict and even harder to emulate. Sometime you’re in, sometimes you’re out. A good song doesn’t mean you’ll be at the top of the Oricon charts at the end of the day, if only because audiences are picky with a very wide variety to choose from. So, when there’s a trend, you ride that wave until it hits it’s end. The trend now? K-Pop.
K-Pop stars have been releasing songs and albums in Japanese for the last couple of years, and now that Girls’ Generation have hit super stardom, everyone wants to hit the trend – auto-tuned, metallics, dub step dance moves, and catchy party beats. And that’s exactly what we get in Morning Musume’s 50th single One • Two • Three.
Here’s the regular music video:
And this here is the dance shot video with English subtitles:
(Courtesy of BuonoAmu)
After Niigaki Risa and Mitsui Aika both left the group less than a month ago, many wondered what the new tone of the group would be like with 2 senior members and 8 newbies but it looks like we’ve continued the same trend of copying popular Korean music. Is that bad? No – the pop being produced in Korean to date is great, save for some exceptions, and its wonderful to see it’s mark being made in the music world. But let’s talk about how this song sounds before we hit the lyrics. I am not against auto-tuned, cause I’m pretty sure it built Ke$ha’s entire career and who am I to judge? I can’t sing so great either. But when I heard the low quality versions of this song, I could barely get through it cause it sounded so scratchy and awful. In the high def version it’s much better so sorry guys, you might have to find the single on iTunes to get a very clear version instead of a rip.
The lyrics are actually not embarrassing this time, which was a plus for those of us who wanna karaoke this. The song is essentially about a girl whose telling a guy that she just wants his love and attention, not shiny jewels or luxuries or money. It’s a little J.Lo but it’s an appropriate theme; at least it’s not another party song about going to a club and being fly.
I have heard some minor complaints that have to do with costuming but overall, nothing intensely distracting. Some of the younger girls look a little…out of sorts. Like somehow someone overdid their makeup, or they tried to do it themselves. The hairstyles are all darling…except Kanon’s. My goodness gracious, what’s up with this double bow ponytail? It makes her look more childish and distracting when the video and song try to put off a sexy vibe. But the costumes themselves are fun, personalized, and makes it easy to distinguish and learn all of the new members.
The bright colors and mirror-doll posing I think is an effective tool in this video, really showcasing each member’s individual features. Even though they used the doll idea for their 11th album, I really do think it fits with the metallic color motif of the rest of the video. I remember people commenting how they hoped the video would have more of a plot but I feel like there just isn’t a major tradition of doing it in their videos throughout their history. And again, simplicity is key here.
The dance is easily my favorite part of this single. It’s simple but fun, full of energy and movement without being overly flashy. It moves well with the beat, and is original without all that awful dubstep mess from Re’nai Hunter. They stay together as a group, move fluidly, and it seems perfect for the tone they were trying to set.
But there are some problems. Reina looks bored…and I mean over it bored, like she’s going to graduate soon and she couldn’t care less. And while the music video shows more of the members, it really is mostly Reina and Riho’s song, and they remain in the front for almost the dance shot along with Ayumi, who has really blossomed and is now one of the best dancers. In fact, the whole 11th generation really shines, and not just because of all the sparkles.
Erina and Mizuki also look fantastic since the last time we saw them, and I’m really pleasantly surprised. And Sayumi seems to really be taking on her role as leader too, even though she’s not very heavily featured in the video. While this single isn’t the most original or perfect thing ever produced by Hello!Project, there’s a lot of time and care put into it and seems like a genuinely fun song for both the audience and the songs.
It looks like the future of Morning Musume may still be a little shaky, but looking brighter than ever. This single is my new favorite thing and I can’t wait to buy the single and all the special edition tracks!