Morning Musume. – Platinum 9 DISC

platinum9

Platinum 9 DISC is Morning Musume.’s 9th album and it was released on March 18, 2009. It reached #13 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and has sold 19,143 copies.

Tracklisting

1. SONGS♠♠♠♠
2. Resonant Blue♠♠♠♠♠
3. Ame no Furanai Hoshi de wa Aisenai Darou?
4. Take off is now! / Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, Tanaka Reina
5. Naichau Kamo♠♠♠
6. Watashi no Miryoku ni Kizukanai Donkan na Hito / Mitsui Aika
7. Guruguru JUMP / Kusumi Koharu, JunJun, LinLin
8. Mikan
9. Jounetsu no Kiss wo Hitotsu / Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, Tanaka Reina
10. It’s You / Michishige Sayumi
11. Onna ni Sachi Are♠♠
12. Kataomoi no Owari ni / Kamei Eri
13. Kanashimi Twilight♠♠

I’ve always said that Tsunku made killer album opening tracks but I think that with SONGS he really outdid himself. Don’t let the gorgeous piano opening foll you though, the track is actually an intense, fierce synth-pop song with a blaring instrumental filled with synth lines, vocoded voices and to top it all of, JunJun and LinLin solos! I can’t stress how infectious and well produced this track is. Everyone sounds great, yes, even Reina but thats only because her solos are under vocoder. What a way to open up an album.

The first single to appear is the ever popular Resonant Blue. It’s probably the least synth-influenced song on the album due to it sounding so overall pop-y but either way, it’s still the most catchy, and just in general best song of the era, along with being my personal favorite.

The album doesn’t suffer from weird transitions but Ame no Furanai Hoshi de wa Aisenai Darou? after that last track would be the only exception. We first heard this song sung by Momosu for as a tryout song for the now formed Ice CreaMusume。 which was leaked by one of the participants. Well, it’s a ballad. I guess with that being said you probably don’t need to hear much more. Honestly though, the song isn’t that bad. You could almost call it boring at times but it’s definitely one of those songs that get better over time. The chorus is really memorable and during 2/3 of the song JunJun and LinLin get gorgeous solos. Theres two things I didn’t like about the song however. First its Sayumi’s vocals having gotten so much priority when the girls sing together. The other is the synthetic orchestra in the instrumental. It’s pretty obvious that it’s not a real orchestra but instead something made from like a keyboard. But hey, thats budget problems for you.

The INDIGO BLUE LOVE girls get together again(although this time replacing Eri for Ai) to deliver Take off is now!, a song on the similar style of SONGS. It’s a very hot song with a pumping beat and fierce vocals. I think it’s probably the line up of singers that doesn’t allow me to enjoy this song as much as I should. It really is hot(even it’s unexpected yet necessary ending) but I really think Tsunku should have kept Eri in and given Ai her own solo instead.

The second single to appear is the last one released, Naichau Kamo. From this track forward, the synth sound of the album really comes in effect. I still really love this song and should really be given a listen if your planning to get into current gen Momosu as this is the style they adopted for their future releases.

That’s right. A Mitsui Aika solo. Watashi no Miryoku ni Kizukanai Donkan na Hito‘s instrumental just reeks of anime opening and makes a REALLY heavy use of synth. That’s not really the problem though. Apart from not being very memorable, Aika’s vocals just aren’t very good, at all. You can tell she tries but(unfortunately) this isn’t the type of song for her. Remember Haru Beautiful Everyday? While her vocals weren’t stellar there either, that sound works better for her than this generic crap.

I suppose Guruguru JUMP fills in the void for the ‘wtf’ song on the album. And with a line up of Koharu, JunJun and LinLin than theres definitely a chance for success. Once again, synth returns in a much more wacky fashion and is a lot more tolerable than Aika’s solo. The girl’s vocals are really meh. You get Momosu’s worst singer along with another pretty bad singer and throw in the group’s second best vocalist but have her sing in a way that annoys you and you have yourself a pretty dangerous combination. Fortunately, the chorus is really cute and catchy but is really the only thing that saves it.

Fortunately Mikan comes in to save the album after those two semi-failures. While I do consider it the worst a-side of the era, it surpasses a lot of the new material on the album. Fortunately this is where the ‘cute’ songs on the album come to an end.

The Ai, Risa and Reina trio come together again for Jounetsu no Kiss wo Hitotsu, a smoother, R&B influenced song with a mellow atmosphere and an overall better vocal performance. I think I might prefer this track over their other one simply because the girls get to show off what they do best, sing. While their other song had Ai as center, this one hands the spotlight over to Risa and Reina, granting Ai her own solo ad-libbing near the end.

I really wouldn’t have expected Sayu’s solo to have this type of sound to it. It’s You is a type of dark, almost R&B track with an instrumental reminiscent of the 90’s. Honestly, Tsunku really messed up on giving this song to Sayu. Her vocals just don’t fit in. Even though she attempts to make herself sound serious, dark and mysterious, it just doesn’t work out and she delivers a weak(as always) vocal performance. Eri would have done a lot better here, and vice-versa. Nice try Sayu but maybe next time.

As we approach the albums climatic ending, in comes Onna ni Sachi Are, the song that started Momosu’s synth sound. Although it was released almost two years ago, the song does sound kind of old. Why? Maybe it’s JunLin’s undeveloped vocals and that Aika gets solos. Not to mention the basic arrangement the song has compared to other songs from the era. Either way, it still fits in the album and is one of my favorites.

The final new song on the album is Eri’s solo Kataomoi no Owari ni. Now I have to admit, even though I’m a huge Eri fan, I really like the instrumental in here and would have liked the song even if it were sung by someone else(but obviously not as much as I like it with Eri). It’s the second longest song on the album at 4:51, beaten only by Resonant Blue by a second but fortunately the song doesn’t get tedious. I like the simple and cute pop elements the song has, accompanied by Eri’s solid and fresh vocals, make me really enjoy this song.

Ending off the album is the ever epic Kanashimi Twilight. Now here I can say that this song sounds old, simply because it is. Hearing Miki and Hitomi in here is kind of bizarre(would it really have been that hard to re-record it Tsunku?). Ignoring that, this song is the perfect way to end the album. Not only is it saying goodbye to the old Momosu but also greeting the new generation of girls.

Morning Musume。’s ninth shot at an album definitely beats their previous attempt with the mess that was SEXY 8 BEAT. The singles in this era were the best yet but unfortunately it was the album tracks that had problems holding their own. The solos(minus Eri) were, bluntly put, bad. I also didn’t enjoy the way that Ai, Risa and Reina got two songs on the album, one of which could instead have been an all group song. While the album suffers some awkward spots due to Momosu’s overall change in style, if they manage to solidify their sound for their next album, than we may definitely get something ‘Platinum’.

Overall Rating

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About Abraham

J-Pop devotee, Hello! Project ace, graphic designer, blogger, gamer, dancer, prince and day dreamer. Founded Sora to Kujira.
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