Product Code: KIZC-90117/KIZC-117
Release Date: 2011.06.08
Label: King Records Japan / You! Be Cool
Format: CD, CD+DVD
Limited Edition: 100 pg photo book by Mika Ninagawa, 1 of 14 randomly selected photos
Originally planned for release on April 6th, the Tohoku earthquake on March 11 brought the Japanese music industry to a sudden halt. After waiting for 4 months, will this album live up to its expectations and help AKB48 establish itself in the ORICON record books again?
1. Shojo Tachi Yo
A song dedicated to girls, it is an upbeat and positive song that is a joy to listen. Definitely a well-chosen intro track to get this album going.
Sung by Team A. Overtake is one of my favourite songs in this album as it transitions nicely from Shojo Tachi Yo. As usual, I hear Takamina (Takahashi Minami) and Acchan (Maeda Atsuko) start off on a song. I find it weird that some people find it a bit plain; but I find it quite interesting to listen (maybe I’m being biased because a lot of my favourites are from Team A).
3. Boku ni Dekirukoto
Sung by Team K. This song was featured in the Japanese Red Cross commercial prior to the Tohoku earthquake (you can watch it here). It is a great upbeat song that is bound to get Japan to look forward, continue their rebuilding efforts, and stay strong. Definitely a great song for times like this. Out of all the team songs, I personally find this to be the better of the bunch.
4. Renai Circus
Sung by Team B
Deceiving intro? I thought it was going to be a rock song.
Nope, it turned out to be cute.
Out of all the team songs in this album, I dislike this one. Sure, I’ll give credit that it fits the circus theme for the album cover, but if I wasn’t told that this was by Team B, this sounds more like an under-girls song.
5. Kaze no Yukue
A fairly relaxing song, but I find it kind of plain.
Fun fact here – this song is sung by members of No Sleeves, French Kiss, and Not Yet (All side groups of AKB48). Missing members are Takajo Aki, Sashihara Rino, Yokoyama Yui and Kojima Haruna. Maybe this song would sound more interesting if the remaining members are there.
6. Wagamama Collection
As much as I like Mayuyu (Watanabe Mayu), I just can’t seem to stand her singing voice for long period of time. This song has Watarirouka Hashiritai labelled on it. They are one of AKB48’s many side groups, where their selling point is mainly singing cute and mushy songs (and Mayuyu).
Some might like it, but I definitely do not.
7. Ningyo no Vacance
Given the song title, it definitely gives you the sense of relaxation while you’re on vacation. But this song sounds pretty boring as the vocals just sound the same throughout.
8. Kimi to Boku no Kankei
A song by Maeda Atsuko and Tomomi Itano, it is an interesting combination that we would rarely see considering both of them are starting out their solo career paths. It certainly doesn’t lean towards the R&B style that Tomo-chin has (Youtube “Tomomi Itano – Dear J“), nor does it lean towards Acchan’s ballad-like style (Youtube “Maeda Atsuko – Flower“).
Sadly, this song is just shy of the perfect 5 star rating due to a very obvious reason – The rap.
It kills the whole mood for some, but it somewhat fits in with the song.
Very upbeat, and carries the unique feeling that I’m looking for in this album. This song definitely displays the potential of these two current solo artists at an unseen perspective.
Aside from the Team B Oshi song, I think this is the only new song that stands out a lot from the others
9. Iikagen no Susume
The beginning started off quite weak for my tastes, but things start to get better afterwards.
Until they slowed down again…
I like this song, but I wish they stop messing around with the tempo and just make up their mind. Maybe if I know the lyrics, I would understand why they did that.
10. High School Days
Sung by AKB48’s Kenkyuusei, this song should not be underestimated like the group. Very pleasant to listen to, but I don’t really have much opinion on this track as my knowledge of current Kenkyuusei members is quite limited. However, this song changed my view of Kenkyuusei and the future of AKB48.
11. Team B Oshi
One thing I don’t get is why does Team B get another song? But, nonetheless, this song stands out the most in this album.
And sadly, it’s not a new song.
It sounds redundant; at times, annoying and sounds very messy. However, it is the only song that I keep coming back to listen over and over. It gets you pumped and feels like you want to sing and yell with them like a stage song (in fact, I just found out it’s from Team B 5th Stage Theater no Megami). Definitely a very fun song to listen to, but it might not suit other peoples’ tastes.
16. Koko ni Ita Koto
It may not sound like it, but this song is sung by Akimoto Yasushi’s empire. In case you didn’t get what I mean, that is AKB48, SKE48, SDN48, and NMB48. Now, I don’t get why this song is in an AKB48 album when the other groups are involved. I personally think that if you plan to bring other groups in a song, each group should sing separately at least once so they can be distinguished from each other.
That aside, it’s a great ballad – brings that identical group singing feel, and instrumentals don’t overpower the vocals (it better not, considering how many are singing). The downside is that it just doesn’t sound anything special from other AKB48 ballads, as it lacks creativity and a bit of uniqueness. With that many girls singing, I’m not satisfied with the final result of this song.
Overall, the album was pretty average. Of course, we can’t compare this to their Set List Best or Kamikyoku Tachi since they’re best albums. There was some positives and there was some negatives. However, that won’t stop it from being a #1 seller because AKB48 is the new craze. I will review the photo book once I receive it in a couple of days. Is it a good purchase? I would say so. The limited edition is a bargain for 285 yen more; you get a photo book that would usually cost something around 1000 yen judging by the number of pages. If you didn’t make it in time, at 3048 yen, the price is still worth the 4 month wait.