Morning Musume – Cover You [9th Studio Album]

November 28, 2008 at 8:46 pm (Morning Musume) (, )

coveryou

Morning Musume’s 9th studio album, entitled Cover You, was released on 11.26.08. The entire album features covers of Pink Lady songs, written by Aku Yuu. Only one single, ペッパー警部, was released before the album.

The album opens up on a fantastic note with the fun summery number, 渚のシンドバッド. After some quirky sounds, the instrumental comes in full force with the girls doing some great and catchy vocalizations. Soon the first verse comes and the girls’ voices perfectly capture that fun beach sound that the song is all about. The chorus is easily the song’s standout point, particularly when the girls sing “sekushii, anata wa sekushii” as the vocals here do portray that mature sound that makes Morning Musume’s music so addictive. This song is pretty short but it’s definitely a fabulous one and a wonderful way to open up the album.

mm1Continuing with the catchiness is the second song, どうにもとまらない. The opening instrumental sounds great and gives off a fun in the jungle vibe that stands out strongly. The first verse then follows and Ai sounds wonderful here as that deepness in her voice smoothly moves with the music. On the chorus, everyone comes together to keep up the energy and unfortunately, Ai doesn’t sound as strong here on her solo line. Following is a small pure instrumetnal section and because the music is so strong, it stands apart as an addictive section. More insrumentation brings the song to a close, perfectly rounding the song as strong from beginning to end. Although it’s another short song, once again clocking in at under three minutes, it’s definitely one of the album gems.

Takahashi Ai teams up with Itsuki Hiroshi for the third track, 居酒屋, a sweet slow song. The moment that instrumentation takes off, the listener is taken to a fantasy world where these two singers are right in front of them. Hiroshi takes the lead on the first and his vocals have a true deepness to them that just are the essence of a romance story and then Ai comes in and her vocals are surprisingly lighter than usual. Both singers do well on their individual parts and the atmosphere really comes alive from hearing these two. When they come together to sing, the vocals sound wonderful and suit the other’s perfectly. For its perfect romantic instrumental and the vocals that tell a story, this song is another great one from the album and shows the power of Ai.

ペッパー警部 (Album Version) is the fourth track. A nice and relaxing lounge instrumental begins the song and soon the upbeat and sleek music comes in, prompting the listener to want more. The girls then split into pairs to bring the chorus to the listener’s ears, strongly standing out. On the verses, they continue the pairs and although some are stronger than others, the vocals remain interesting. Reina has the solo line in the hook and she sounds great so it was a strong choice to give her that part. One standout part of the song is the pure instrumental section, which provides the opportunity for a nice dance break. Closing the song is Sayumi who sings with a certain cuteness that makes it all the better. There is a slight change from the single version of this song. On the album version, there is an added instrumental section at the end with the same lounge sound that opened the song. It’s not really necessary but it was nice.

The girls take it down a notch with 白い蝶のサンバ. The song begins with a nice instrumental that sounds a mm2bit old and soon the beat really comes. Then the first verse begins and the words are sung with a certain rapidity that actually works with the song and gives it a bit more flavor. On the chorus, the music becomes more diverse and the vocals are stronger, which make it stand out. However it’s really the verses that make this song catchy. The pure instrumental section is heavenly as that element of sweetness comes full force and sparkles in the listener’s eyes. 白い蝶のサンバ makes another great song on the album and continues the string of interesting numbers.

The next song is 青春時代, which continues the slower sound. If there is one thing to say about this song, it’s that the moments of pure instrumentation are very catchy. Vocally, this song could have been stronger since at times it feels like the music is taking over the girls’ voices. Nonetheless, the verses manage to be sleek and enjoyable while the chorus is a little dry. It would have been nice to see that sleekness continue but this is by no means a bad song.

林檎殺人事件 is the fun relaxing song that also has a beach vibe. This song is sung by Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Reina. The song begins with a very sweet and comforting instrumental that feels like the sun is caressing the listener’s face. Next is the first verse and both girls’ vocals sound great here, really pushing that atmosphere strongly and managing to entice the listener. The beginning of the chorus can be a bit annoying with the repeated word sung in a overly cute voice but the rest of it is enjoyable and makes the listener feel at paradise. The pure instrumetnal section at the end actually is really nice and brings the song to a strong finish. Ai and Reina really bring the fire here to make one heck of a memorable song.

ロマンス (Album Version) is the following song on the album. Not much has changed from it’s release as the B-side of the last single. It doesn’t stand out any stronger than before. It’s by no means a bad song but it’s just not that interesting or ear-catching.

mm3The album’s first real ballad is 街の灯り, which features the girls beautifully singing over a wintery instrumental. Everyone sounds great and definitely portray the emotions of the song well. The verses of the song are what make it stand out as the music stays nice and simple, complimenting the fragility in the girls’ voices. Overall the chorus is memorable, particularly because of the music but the girls manage to keep up. This is a great song and the perfect way to show that these girls can handle slow numbers as well as the upbeat fun ones.

恋のダイヤル 6700 is actually a really annoying song. Well the whole song isn’t really annoying but the chorus really does grind the listener’s ears. The constant “rings” get so old so quickly. On the other hand, the verses aren’t that bad but just having the chorus come over and over again just ruins the song. There is a very exciting and happy atmosphere of this song, which has a sort of traditional H!P sound and it just doesn’t work here.

ピンポンパン体操 is even less memorable than the last song. Keeping with that cuteness atmosphere, the girls really fall into that H!P sound. After having so many cool and sleek tracks, the album comes to the low point. This song is just not memorable at all and it would have been better if it was just left off all together. Ironically, this song is sung by everyone but Ai and Risa. Perhaps they bring that quality to the group that just makes the songs unforgettable.

It’s nice to come back to a good song with 私の青い鳥. With a very soft and relaxing sound, the girls make mm4themselves sound perfectly at home. It’s also a good example of how to be cute without going overboard as there are some cute elements hidden here and there, which sound great.

ジョニィへの伝言 is an absolutely pointless song that really shouldn’t have made the cut. There is just something so boring about this song and it definitely does not work well with the rest of the album. They tried but it just didn’t come through.

We finally finish with UFO, a perfect addictive number worth the listen. Opening the song is very catchy instrumental that has kind of a spacey theme. After Ai says “UFO,” the addictive instrumental comes back in stronger than ever. On the verses, the girls sound smooth and sleek while the music remains a force to be reckoned with. The chorus stands out as the girls give an even stronger vocal performance and the music comes in even stronger. Even though it’s another short number, it’s definitely one of the album’s best offerings that cannot be missed.

Album Ranking: A –

The album opens and closes with the best tracks (渚のシンドバッド and UFO) while other tracks (どうにもとまらない, 居酒屋 and ペッパー警部) show just how powerful these girls really are. The upbeat catchy numbers are definitely the most memorale and make this album worth the purchase. Although there are a few duds, it’s a pretty solid album with very strong flow.

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7 Comments

  1. blackmager said,

    I gotta get back to my Morning Musume mood again.
    I’m loving the retro style they have on the cover.

  2. amaiyume said,

    This is a good album to do it with!!!
    Naigsa no Sinbad and UFO are soo addictive!!!!

  3. Iyo said,

    Actually, Tanaka Reina sings in ピンポンパン体操. The only ones who don’t sing it are Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa, because they do the duet for 街の灯) Actually, Ai and Risa are the only ones who can reach the lowest registers, their voices are pretty ease to recognize. Sorry for the small remark, but I love Risa so much .3

  4. amaiyume said,

    ooh thanks for pointing this out 🙂
    I guess I mis-typed XD

  5. Dolce said,

    Great review, but 林檎殺人事件 is sung by all of the girls. However, 街の灯 *is* sung by Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa.

  6. amaiyume said,

    ah this is so confusing!!! XD
    Can’t they just have all the girls sing on all the songs 😛

  7. Mike Harvey said,

    I’m sorry You didn’t likeジョニィへの伝言 , But It’s my favorite on here, kind of a mix of Momusu and Little River Band. Strange Idea, but fans of both get it I’m Sure. Besides Niigaki Risa hypnotizes me anyway.

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