Morning Musume’14 did not leave our hearts too heavy after the release of ‘Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa / Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai / What is LOVE?’ as they soon released their 56th single, ‘Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe / Password is 0’ in mid-April.
This single is special because it consists of the collaboration song, ‘Password is 0’, with Mori San Chuu. Mori San Chuu and Morning Musume’14 came together to create the unit, ‘Morimusu’ for the single. However, I do not particularly like the Morimusu version of the song, therefore I am grateful that there is a version with just the Morning Musume members.
Password is 0
‘Password is 0’ the 2nd A-side of the single. The song is the typical electronic dance beat that Morning Musume has been experimenting with lately with energetic choreography and lots of repetition of the title phrase.
The first time I heard this song I was not really impressed. Quite honestly, I am growing tired of these electronic dance tracks and I really crave something different from the group. The first few songs with this concept were interesting, but now the sound is overused. Since then the song slightly grew on me, but it is still not one of my favorites.
When I read the English translation of the lyrics, it confused me. It seemed contradictory and all very negative, but I gained a deeper understanding after I read it a couple more times. The song brings us to reality and tells us that achieving our dreams is a hard, long and confusing road. However, one must keep pushing through all the obstacles and achieve those dreams because it may be worth it in the end. Through the lyrics, Tsunku cleverly tells us this and gives us inspiration. One other part of the lyrics that startled me was Riho’s Engrish line “What goes around comes around”. The English was pronounced so terribly that I didn’t even realize that she was singing English. Personally, I don’t think that Tsunku should have included that line if she couldn’t have sung it properly. On the other hand, he should have let one of the members who is more skilled in English pronunciation like Sakura sing the line, but who am I to tell Tsunku what to do?
Speaking of Sakura, can I say how much she impressed me with this single? Inclusive to her amazing singing, she did pretty well with the choreography and looked really sexy and appealing during the close up shot. So kudos to Sakura for being the member that blew me away for this music video.
The others sang quite well. I was especially intrigued by Riho’s high note and with the fact that Masaki’s voice did not sound annoyingly high for once, but Sakura’s singing blew me out of the water as it usually does, even though the song didn’t completely appeal to me.
The music video basically took place in a white enclosed setting. Oh, how I love this plain settings. The close up shots consisted of some of the English lyrics written in the matrix font, random numbers and a lot of computer graphics. The close-up shots are the only things that saved me from completely bashing the plain setting of the music video. The way their shiny outfits contrasted with the plain background did not appeal to me at all. I believed that there could have been better outfits and a better setting.
As far as the choreography is concerned, I was greatly disappointed. The formation dance with the outstretched arms and marching around the chorus did not really do it for me. Sometimes, I question this formation concept. Why create formations when we can barely see them from eye level? It doesn’t make sense to me and I am growing tired of seeing this type of dancing from them. Although, I do admire that the dance requires a lot of energy. It must be really tiring to perform this song live as the girls have to jump and sing at the same time. I also like the point in the dance where Riho (and Sakura later on in the song) is in the center of the other members and together they stay in place and lean from one side to the other then point at themselves.
That’s all I really have to say about the music video. It is not my favorite one from them and it left me kind of disappointed. However, the music video for ‘Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe’ greatly made up for this disappointment.
Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe
This song was beyond beautiful. The instrumental, vocals, lyrics, setting and effects of the video unified perfectly to create one of my favorite music videos from the group.
I was amazed by the improvement of the girls’ vocal skills. They were capable of harmonizing flawlessly to create a whole new sound. Riho’s and Sakura’s harmonization near the end of the song gave me chills! I am glad that this song branched away from the typical dance track. It reminded me of Morning Musume’s older music, which is what made me fall in love with the group. The voices of the girls along with the violin and piano in the instrumental mixed well to create a beautiful ballad.
The choreography also added to the beauty of the video. There were a lot of ballet-like movement and they also imitated playing a violin and piano with their hands and arms. They even danced with bare-feet! This just made the dance and video seem more graceful and even though there were the typical formations within the choreography it really worked for the song here.
The scenery of the video was beautiful as well. The space setting was exquisite and although the background for the close-up shots was white they were accented with special bright CG effects. It emphasized the girls’ beauty and the beauty of the song and video.
For this video, the members that blew me away were Haruna and Kanon. They contributed greatly to the harmonies of the song and made it sound really good! They also looked stunning! I vote that we give Zukki more solo lines for the next single! I was especially impressed with Haruna. In my opinion, she is one of the worst singers in Morning Musume, yet she harmonized quite well with the other members. She improved greatly and I am now seeing some potential in her vocally.
This single was really bittersweet for me. I fell in love with the 1st A-side while I was mildly disappointed with the 2nd A-side. However, this single has increased my hope for improvement and difference in upcoming songs. I hope that I do hear something different from the typical dance track for the next single and I hope to hear more from the other members. With the 12th Generation auditions currently under way, it is time for some change in the group. I really enjoy watching the girls perform high energy dances, but sweet ballads such as ‘Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe’ would be nice as well.