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Morning Musume just recently celebrated their 20th Anniversary last September of last year. To celebrate it further, the current group collaborated with the old graduated members of Morning Musume (especially the first generation) to release this epic mini-album. I do admit it was kinda disappointing that its only a mini-album, but at the same time its understandable as they released late last year their latest album, 15 Thank you, too. In this mini-album, we get to hear eargasm worthy songs and collaborations that die-hard fans, like me, even dream of ever happening. I mean, bruh, there’s a freakin’ song about being a leader of the group and it was sang by the freakin’ all the Leaders of Morning Musume. Just one word, EPIC.

Without further ado, let’s dig right into this mini-album.

Morning Musume. 20th – Hatachi no Morning Musume

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Album Tracklist:

  1. Morning Coffee (20th Anniversary Ver.)
  2. WE ARE LEADERS! ~Leader tte no mo Tsurai Mono~ (WE ARE LEADERS! ~リーダーってのもつらいもの~; WE ARE LEADERS! ~Being a Leader is Tough~– Morning Musume Leaders (Nakazawa Yuko, Iida Kaori, Yaguchi Mari, Yoshizawa Hitomi, Fujimoto Miki,Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, Michishige Sayumi, Fukumura Mizuki)
  3. Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite (花が咲く 太陽浴びて; Flowers Will Bloom, Basking Under the Sun) – Morning Musume ’18
  4. ENDLESS HOME – Abe Natsumi feat. Fukumura Mizuki, Oda Sakura
  5. Otenki no Hi no Omatsuri (お天気の日のお祭り; The Weather at the Festival– Morning Musume ’18
  6. Tane wa Tsubasa (Wings of the Seed) (タネはツバサ(Wings of the Seed)) – First Generation (Nakazawa Yuko, Ishiguro Aya, Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, Fukuda Asuka)
  7. Gosenfu no Tasuki (五線譜のたすき; Sash of the Five-Line Staff) – Morning Musume ’17
  8. Ai no Tane (20th Anniversary Ver.)

Song Review:

Morning Coffee (20th Anniversary Ver.)

Oh my Ghad!!! I never knew this song could be remade into something awesome. I always loved the original version, it was so nostalgic and very classic. In this version, its more fast in tempo and quite up-beat than the old version. I really really love this version, its very modern and new. Uuugggghhh, the voices of the first generation members are to die for. They are so good!!! Hearing the current members singing along with them feel so surreal and its giving me a flush of different emotions, I can’t describe them properly.

I do want to comment about the fact that from the current members, I could only hear the ‘core’ members singing. I mean, I do know all the members sang, but with the addition of the first generation members, the singing parts were uuhhhhh kinda distributed only to the capable members. When I say ‘core members’ I meant the members that always get the singing parts in the MM songs. I do think that the arranger did well in distributing the singing parts. The song was sang really beautifully, the current group members did really well in singing their parts along with the First generation members. It must have been a nerve wrecking recording, knowing that your voice would get mixed along with the legendary original members. Damn.

Overall, the song is legit. Though I do know this song will never surpass my love for the original version, I still love this version really really much.

WE ARE LEADERS! ~Leader tte no mo Tsurai Mono~ (WE ARE LEADERS! ~リーダーってのもつらいもの~; WE ARE LEADERS! ~Being a Leader is Tough~)

I crie…

This song….

Its so hard to describe my feelings. This song gave a flood of emotions and tears. Each word, melody and note of this song is worthwhile, especially for me. I had been a fan of the group since the start of the 2010’s, that long. I had watched and shed a lot of feels over the years. This song is about the leaders, who they are, what they are known of, and their feelings as being the leader of the legendary group, Morning Musume. For a 4 minute and 30 seconds song, even I can’t believe how they fit all of those stuff. Hahahha.

One of the things I like about the song was the arrangement. Its composed of a main melody, which is very up-beat and early 2000’s idol-ish kind of song. But in between the main melody, you could hear alot of small snippets of songs from the discography of MM. Those songs are usually the ones that had a significant importance to the leader itself. From the lyrics to the bass to the trumpets to the arrangement of the singing verse of the leader, all of those are easter eggs. From what I got from the song, only the current leader, Fukumura Mizuki’s verse has no underlying easter egg melody.

Another thing I love about this song is the fact that this song features the leaders and their singing prowess. Uuuhhh, yeeah, let’s…just consider Michishige Sayumi as a uuuhhhh…singer. LOL. At least the layering of autotune on her voice made her part bearable and fitted well with the song. Hahahahaha.

Lastly, is the FREAKIN’ LYRICS. Sh*t, you have no idea how many times I cried just listening to the song. On my first listen, I was shocked this song sounded really light. Even though I’m not that good in Japanese yet, I actually understand some words of the song, that’s why I got a vague idea about the content of the song.
Around the part of current leader’s verse, I felt something. It was a mix of hope, sadness, hardships, pressure, joy…those feelings…I felt it in one go.

Then the ‘..Daijoubu..’ happen. I cried gallons of tears. For some point, those words felt comforting. Those words were really heavy, especially to the current leader and the current members. Bruh, having to shoulder a 20 year long history of the group is no f*ckin’ joke.  So just a simple ‘..Daijoubu..” from the previous leaders could impact so much not only to the members but also to me, their fan. This song…is…amazing. I will continue to cry over this song, cuz its that beautiful.

If you want to understand better WTF I’m sayin’, try searching the song in youtube, then look at this lyrics:

1997 We were born. LEADERS!
20years and more! Morning Musume。

The first
Yuko Nakazawa!

The eldest, therefore the leader
Even though I was just as inexperienced
I’ll scold you, even if they makes you hate me
But the new members treat me like an auntie!!
The second
Kaori Iida!

I want to space out
And hey, I want to smile (Hey, just smile!!)
I want to wear frilly clothes
I made it. I was able to do it all.
The third
Mari Yaguchi!

I’m really sorry, you know
That someone like me is a former leader
Still… Watch me, my juniors
How I rise no matter how many times I fall
The fourth
Hitomi Yoshizawa!

Out of the blue, I was appointed leader
But that’s fine, I’ll make sure to pull my weight!
What’s important for a leader
Is the manpower to stay true to your intentions!
Yeah Yeah Yeah
LEADERS!The five seeds that we planted
(Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah)
LEADERS!Continued to grow
And will continue to do so, until we’ve planted a whole forest!Yeah!
1997 We were born. LEADERS!
20years and more!Morning Musume。
The fifth
Miki Fujimoto!

Huh, I count as a leader?
With the shortest tenure of 25 days
Went from solo to a group member
And graduated romantically
The sixth
Ai Takahashi!

Everyday as precious as platinum
I’m not letting this ember die out
Cheer you up, while also offering advice
So that everyone can shine again
The seventh Risa Niigaki!
This is Morning Musume。
Is what I intended to show them
But I turned into their mom instead
Even so, this is still my precious place
The eighth
Sayumi Michishige!

A leader is more or less
The whole group’s face
So you gotta be cute
Good thing I’m already as cute as one can be
“I’m cute today as well!”
LEADERS! Sometimes it’s a job with little merit
(U! Ha! U! Ha!)
LEADERS! But overcoming it
We’re able to pass the baton to the hope of the next generation, yeah!
1997 We were born. LEADERS!
20years and more! Morning Musume。
The ninth & current
Mizuki Fukumura!

Carrying the weight of twenty whole years
It sometimes feels like I’ll break under pressure
But when it feels like I have hit a stop
I feel it; Remember it; The warmth of my predecessors.
Even if they call us leaders; There are times when we want to be spoiled too.
Even if they call us leaders; There are times when we want to run away
Even though we’re leaders;  It’s fine to be ourselves!
Because we’re leaders; We get to enjoy this more than anyone else.

「It’s okay!」「It’s fine!!」「Don’t worry!!!」「It’ll be alright!!!!」「No worries!!!!!」「It’s cool!!!!!!」
「Don’t fret it!!!!!!!」「You can do it!!!!!!!!」

Morning Musume。
Let’s do our best out there!!

LEADERS!Though a lot happened along the way, it’s already been 20 years.
(Congratulations)
LEADERS!Be thankful to your instructors
And sing a song; For the new comrades that you have yet to meet.
Saying lets drink coffee together, decades from now. Yeah!
1997 We were born. LEADERS!
20years and more! Morning Musume。
1997 We were born. LEADERS!
20years and more! Morning Musume。

Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite (花が咲く 太陽浴びて; Flowers Will Bloom, Basking Under the Sun)

This is the latest single and one of the promotional song of this mini-album.

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<3 <3 both my biases, Chii & Ayumi, in front… <3 <3

To be honest, when I first heard a preview of the song, I actually found this song really cool and definitely a really awesome song. But after hearing it as a whole, it was…lacking. It lacked the usual hook or the usual eccentric music that I really really like. I find this song generic and mediocre, like this song fits more as an album song rather than a single. Good thing they released this as a digital single and not a full fledged single, cuz I feel it won’t sell that much.
Everything changed after I saw the live performance of the song. I LOVE THE SONG NOW. lel. What’s up with my change of heart? Well, the choreography of the song is pretty slick, but it wasn’t just that, but after seeing it performed live, I understood immediately why this was a single. The song might be mediocre compared to the other main songs of MM, but this song sucks you in and it makes you addicted to it after seeing the performance. I have weird taste, I know. XD

The song is composed and written by Tsunku himself, MM’s producer. The lyrics are really good, and it fitted with the mood and feel of the song. Over time, I learnt to love the arrangement of the song. It fits well with the theme of the song, blooming like a flower. Tsunku’s influence is all over this song, no wonder in the end I loved the song. Hahahahha.

ENDLESS HOME

This one is a slow one. This was sang by the first generation member and first ever center and ace, Abe Natsumi and it also features the current main vocals of Morning Musume, Oda Sakura & Fukumura Mizuki.

Its really laid back and it reminds me alot of old anime ED’s I like years ago. Its so nostalgic and relaxing. Abe’s voice is so classic and simple but so soothing in my ears, she delivered the message and feel of the song straight to my heart. Its so good.

I do admit its a bit of a bummer that this song is not a song where I could hear Abe singing along with the current main vocals of the group, but I digress. With this high quality song, I’m at least satisfied.

Otenki no Hi no Omatsuri (お天気の日のお祭り; The Weather at the Festival)

Now this one is interesting.

Its not the usual Morning Musume song of the current era. I mean, this song had every single member of the group sing atleast a line of the song. That’s…AMAZING.

This song is quite fun and it very nostalgic. It reminds me alot of the old album songs of MM. Its like this song was a reject song in the 2000’s, and the management just decided to add this to the mini-album cuz they think this song would fit well with the members. Me and my imagination. Hahahahha. But yeah, this song feels so old yet its very refreshing. I think the reason of this feeling would be the fact that this kind of line distribution is so rare that each song that have this kind of set-up is very precious and nice to listen to. LOL.

Tane wa Tsubasa (Wings of the Seed) (タネはツバサ(Wings of the Seed))



I crie…

This song. Its so good.

It’s the living example of how awesome the first generation of Morning Musume were. Damn, the quality of their voices is on next level. So nostalgic. It definitely brought me back to 1997-early 2000’s MM releases. SO GOOD.

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The arrangement is so 90’s. I’m back to being a kid again. This reminds me of how good the old Japanese music was. Like the Otenki no Hi no Omatsuri of the current members, this seems to be a rejected song of the first generation. IThe song wasn’t able to make it in their album. If what I’m saying is true, then damn, THANK GOD THEY DECIDED TO RELEASE IT NOW. I will never forgive them if they just threw this song away. This is too good to be just a disposable song. Another high quality song of the mini-album.

Gosenfu no Tasuki (五線譜のたすき; Sash of the Five-Line Staff)

Another Freakin’ nostalgic feels trip song of Morning Musume. This time, its sang by the Morning Musume.’17, where Kudo Haruka was still part of the group and haven’t graduated. Why you ask? Well, this song was released digitally last year before Haruka’s graduation, that’s why.

I first heard this song through a preview. It was a preview of the upcoming of Morning Musume’s Budokan concert (which was also Kudo Haruka’s graduation), the song was featured in the clip. I immediately caught the nostalgic tune of the song and desperately looked for it. When I was able to see the Budokan concert through livestreaming, I was able to listen to the song live, raw and full of feels. It was…heartfelt…it made me cry.

The song is so beautiful. I’m still looking for the english lyrics, so I could only give a review about its awesome music and arrangement. It seems there is a running theme in this mini-album. Just like the other songs, this song gives me old school vibes and nostalgia. The piano in the beginning followed by strings and that beat, damn, so classic. The melody of the song is really soothing and easy to listen to. I really really like the build up towards the coda, my feeling went to climax as well. That solo line from leader-san followed then with a chorus that’s getting louder and louder, so heartwarming. Even though I couldn’t understand much the lyrics, with the unison singing of the members, the song’s message was delivered well. IT’S THAT GOOD.

Ai no Tane (20th Anniversary Ver.)

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This song had been released a couple of times already. LOL. Compared to the version released in the latest album of Morning Musume, this version consist of the collaboration of the first generation members and the current members of Morning Musume. Its very heartwarming to listen, just like the first track of this album.

I didn’t find any different in the arrangement in this version and the 15th album version, other than the addition of the the first gen’s voices. Being able to hear them sing this song again feel so surreal, it makes you realize its their freakin’ 20th anniversary. This song made them who they are today, A LEGEND.

Such a nice way to end an album.

Overall, this album is definitely made with the fans in mind. The management seemed to know what are the songs that avid fans like me had been waiting for in a special album like this. Even for a mini-album, I am greatly satisfied with every song of this album. I couldn’t find any bad song, I love them all.

If I were to choose a favorite song, that would be the WE ARE LEADERS! ~Leader tte no mo Tsurai Mono~. After all, its rare to hear each and every leader of the group in one song. This song will be remembered for a very long time. I do hope to see a live performance of this song in the future. Dunno how they are going to do it, I JUST WANT A PERFORMANCE.

Anyway, that’s it for now.
Thanks for reading!!

6 thoughts on “Music Album Feature: ‘Hatachi no Morning Musume (20 years with Morning Musume)’ by Morning Musume. 20th

  1. 20 yrs, my gosh ibig sabihin nanay n ung iba sa kanila noh. the concept sounds creepy to me, lol. but that’s just me being weird.
    love your enthusiasm though. great job!!!

    • Hahahahahhaha!! Thanks!!
      It is weird and amazing that they lasted for 20 years.
      Yeah, some of the OG (old generation) members are now moms and married. The first leader, Nakazawa Yuko, I think she’s currently in her 40’s…I forgot. LOL.
      XD

          • ilang members n b meron ang MM? pero may mga special collection n cla w/ old members? or is it truly just focus on new ones?

          • oh my…it would take a while before i could give the exact number of naging members ng MM. XD
            Around 2011 (i think)…some of the old members came back to the music industry as a group, and called themselves as Morning Musume OG. It was never announced that the OG group disbanded, but due to scheduling and individual endeavours of the OG members, they weren’t as active as the current MM. They do show up on tv from time to time. Since the creation of OG group, every graduate of MM becomes part of it.
            I don’t really follow much of the OG cuz their activities are more scattered and mostly not available to view (international fan problems). That’s why im more focused on the main and current group.

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