Welcome back, Magical Meteorites, and greetings to the Earthlings. Welcome to another installment of the Summer Refreshment series.
This post was made in light of how Manatsu no Kousen, the A-side who kickstarted this series, is noted as the only summer-themed single of Morning Musume. Quite an interesting observation, especially since there have been other summery-tunes in the MM catalog.
This actually ties in to an observation I made about Celestia’s own Summer Refreshment post, on how “Manatsu no Kousen” is evidently Morning Musume’s only summer-themed single ever. But again, one has to take this as part of a bigger picture. Would Morning Musume have been better able to shore up sales by doing summer-themed singles? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps that has more to do with the mindset involved – being less concerned with the established fan base, looking more towards a casual audience of listeners – and how Morning Musume’s own audience seemed to dwindle down to the wota hardcore for a while? Certainly, there’s something to consider there.
While the topic of the summer song has been discussed before, I would like to examine it even more with a proverbial pair of tweezers. The only thing more fun than dissecting physical entities is dissecting ideas, abstract entities.
Which is where we are. As usual, there is going to be a theme song/s for these posts. The songs for this post are Morning Dance, Carnaval, and Shaker Song by Spyro Gyra. (On that note, I must express my gratitude towards my parents as they’re the ones who introduced me. Those are probably the only songs I care about by the band, but I won’t deny that they’re good. I’m specific, but I’m also openminded. Just look at how this blog is named!)
So let’s begin with our first Morning Dance Shaker: Fine Emotion, the B-side to Roman ~ MY DEAR BOY.
A warm, summer song perfect for a moonlight. For a good while, this was the song I listened to from the single. No offense to anyone who liked the A-side and it may be a while (if ever) before I “see the light” regarding Roman, but the song (as good as it is) somewhat rubbed me the wrong way. It just seemed overdone, overpowering, and overwhelming to me. It was like the Voice of God speaking directly to to the Israelites on the Mountain in the Book of Exodus. It barely helps that it is tied to a musical, particularly one that marked the beginning of H!P Planeteerism.
Fine Emotion on the hand was a nice and smooth alternative. It was a nice, summery song that did it form enough that I had wanted it to be the A-side. Unfortunately, I’m not going to deny that fact that it wasn’t strong enough to be an A-side (obviously). The lyrics bring to mind the beach with surfboards abound.
Ah, memories of weekend trips to Atlantic City are returning to me, complete with lemonade and salt water taffy. Also, isn’t there a blogger from that vicinity? Sorry for being a small shoobie, even I never set foot on the beach!
(I also apologize for the video. It was the only one I could find that wasn’t a concert performance or a fandub.)
Our next one is Chotto Ikashita PURE BOY, the B-side to Do It! Now.
A warm summer song, perfect for moonlit nights with a Mai Tai cocktail melting in your hand. The sunny summer song is the lightearted b-side to the smash 2002 summer hit single “Do It! Now.” Yes, the cool and borderline smexy single that was the last morning for original ace/true Miracle Goto Maki (congrats on the wedding!). (Oda is a borderline case and Aika doesn’t count. Did I miss anyone? Nope! Moving on!)
On a side note: When I’d make “mixtapes” (let’s say), due to how they sounded, the song would often get paired with DJ Bobo’s Tequila-influenced “Chihuahua“. It was a great song to listen to… until it was played ad nauseam and became forever associated with Beverly Hills Chihuahua years later.
One special mention goes to Natsumi Abe’s fanclub song, Manatsu no Tanjoubi. Others go to Summer Night Town, Iroppoi Jirettai, and Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutan-jima. All of those in case I decide to make something revolving around MM singles.
And because I felt like a cheapskate for making this post too short (and I found other songs that qualified), here’s some more!
We begin with the sounds of the tropics and head into familiar bossa nova territory with the B-side of Iroppoi Jirettai, Ai to Taiyou ni Tsutsumarete. (It took me a while to recognize this song as it’s been ages since I’ve heard it. I thought I walked into someone trolling an audio clip of Sexy Otonajan!)
This is looking to be the best summer ever
I think I’m glad
I fell for you
It’s a lovely, cool summer contrast to the hot and bothered A-side.
Translation source: http://www.kiwi-musume.com/lyrics/Momusu/zensinglecoupling/disc2/aitotaiyounitsutsumarete.html
Our next offering is A MEMORY OF SUMMER ’98, the subdued B-side of Summer Night Town.
Pardon the OPVness as it was the only one I could find on YouTube that wasn’t a fandub. Hey, I know Tanaka Regina fans will be elated. (Given the time this OPV came out, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was intentional.)
Our next selection is the island-tastic B-side to the Hyokkori Hyottan-jima single, Housekibako. A cool reggae-tinged song in the vein of the now-classic “Summer! Reggae Rainbow,” our little diamonds caress us with soothing “oohs” before heading into the refreshing reggae rhythm that dominates the song. This is a very calming addendum to the more… energetic A-side, making you want to hope in your hammock and sip a glass of lemonade as the sun sets.
We kissed in the evening sun
Ah, in a leisurely, just a leisurely way
Yup, ah, yup
Ah, I love you
Our next feature is the B-side to SEXY BOY ~Soyokaze ni Yorisotte~, Chance Chance Boogie. This goofy song is, like most of the songs featured here (weirdly enough) a song of a different world from its A-side counterpart. This calm but boogie-licious has the same Musume fun that has brightened all of our lives with a jazzy groove.
Okay, granted the fact the main reason this is mentioned in the carnaval simply for one mention of summer:
Get a future, boogie woogie
The fun starts now
When the warm summer comes
I’ll be feeling sunny
On the bright side, the only version of this song I could find was a live performance so we get to see this song in action!
Our final cut is the B-side to Only You, Yamete yo! Sindbad. Unlike the other songs, while the song is technically an opposite (Only You was mid-tempo while this is a bit faster), of a similar vein of its A-side counterpart. (Why am I reminded of S/mileage or Berryz? The latter must be due to current events. Must be the style.) Relationship to Nagisa no Sindbad aside (which also gets a special mention), this gets a spot for the fact it’s a talk-down takedown of the titular “Sindbad,” a hopeless loser of a self-professed beach stud.
Take yer pick as far as translations go: Kiwi-Musume or Project Hello.
Next time on Summer Refreshments… who knows? Ah, I know! We’ll find out whether the Summer Refreshments Crisis has been resolved (so get your votes in while you can!).
To close things out, how about some encore performances of the opening jam?
Until next time, Magical Meteorites and Earthlings!
P.S. Thanks for the (early) bday wish, Ray!