Tuesday, March 1, 2016

[SINGLE REVIEW] Kobushi Factory - Sakura Night Fever / Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin / Osu! Kobushi Tamashii

Hello, everyone! Calli here!

As you all know, Kobushi Factory is my favorite group (and musical artist) in the world, but I'm going to leave all my subjectivity (or most of it) at the door right about...now.

Well then, let's get straight into this review.

Also, since all the MVs have been released, I'll be linking those instead of pasting the single covers. And remember, these are song reviews, not MV reviews. That's just my style. I'm not very good at reviewing visuals.

1. Sakura Night Fever

Oh, what a wonderful time. Springtime has come.

This is the time where almost worldwide, cherry blossoms, known as "桜” in Japan (phonetic: さくら), bloom gracefully.

Hello! Project has experimented with the cherry blossom theme a bit already.

In fact, a Morning Musume unit named Morning Musume Sakuragumi was created with inspiration of cherry blossoms back in 2003.

While Sakuragumi had more mellow, traditional Japanese-inspired music, Hello! Project have given Kobushi Factory a more lighthearted pop tune about spring, and it is somewhat of a springtime carol.

The lyrics to the song are nothing short of adorable, talking about holidays, springtime festivities, getting drunken, and encountering new friendships and love.

My favorite lyric of this song has to be Hamaura Ayano's spoken "桜もこぶしも咲き誇れ!” (Cherry blossoms and Kobushi [Factory] are both in full bloom!) It adds much enthusiasm.

Another favorite part is Inoue Rei's "なぜになぜ?!” (Why? Why?). There's obviously not much to the lyrics there, but alas it's the way the line is sung that I adore. It's sung operatically, ridiculously, and most likely meaning to mimic some sort of traditional Japanese singing style.

The song maintains a steady groove pattern with just a hint of that Kobushi Factory guitar. The song transitions incredibly well from one point to the next, with surprises and fun around every corner. 

Near the end of the song, the composition is begging for every wota to jump in their homes. The words "FEVER! FEVER!" are repeated and soon enough, you can hear "Oi! Oi!"s of wota that were added in, begging the crowd to wotagei along. This was a smart move, as that will make this song very marketable in concerts.

The song finishes off quite adorably with Taguchi Natsumi's lulled "夜は眠りたい〜” (We want to sleep at night) as the music slowly fades out.

Song Rating: 9/10

2. Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin

If you are looking for tongue rolling, growling, high notes, and power, this song is the way to go. 

This song has a catchy hook, with the word "ちょっと!” repeated several times. Each girl also has her own little "ちょっと!”, which I enjoy hearing because each girl sounds quite different doing it.

This song is much more dialed up funk than "Sakura Night Fever," with a more harsh-sounding funk rather than a jolly, poppy funk.

Think of Morning Musume '15's "Sukatto My Heart" instrumental design, but more complex and intense.

As for the vocals, even though I believe Inoue Rei has the most rich and complex vocals in Kobushi Factory, Hirose Ayaka definitely has the most stability and range, and it shows.

In addition, although she didn't have the most difficult parts in the song, Nomura Minami's voice sounded very pleasing, with a tinge of vibrato added to her parts. Although Nomura is not much of a belter, she does have a very impressive voice indeed.

Fujii Rio and Wada Sakurako both have deeper husky voices, while Ogawa Rena and Taguchi Natsumi both have cuter husky voices. However, all the different voice types work very harmoniously in this song.

As much as I do adore Inoue's voice, I think it would have been a better choice to switch her part division with Hirose's, as Hirose can handle longer notes and belting much easier.

As for the lyrics of the song, they hold the common Kobushi Factory song theme of going through life honestly and confidently, and always remembering your resolutions.

If there is one thing that Kobushi does best in their songs, it would be energy and power.

Song Rating: 7/10

3. Osu! Kobushi Tamashii

This is another song with the Kobushi Life Message, as I may call it from now on.

This song is actually quite simple, and I most likely won't have much to say about it.

However, this song is very pleasing to the ears.

I do feel this song is much more vocal-friendly than "Chotto!". In fact, this song is pretty easy to sing. 

In this composition, there is still a bit of tongue-rolling and high notes, but nowhere near as much as in "Chotto!" This song was obviously geared more toward showcasing the individual members.

My preferred vocals in this song have to go to Fujii Rio, and no, not because she is my favorite idol and celebrity in the world. It's because she sounds really crisp, and her personality (apparent even with her vocals) really fits well with the song.

I have to say, Kobushi Factory's personalities shine through a lot in their singing. It's amazing, because I can't think of many other groups who can do that at all.

This song is definitely the most Kobushi-driven out of the three, as in it was a song clearly geared for just them.

Although the weakest in the single (in my opinion), it definitely has its charms.

Song Rating: 6/10


SINGLE RATING (determined mathematically by average of song ratings, not by opinion): 7.3/10
Do I agree with this rating?: Yes. Although it wasn't as strong as their major debut in my opinion, it was still a strong single and I love Kobushi to death. Rather than this single having many faults, it was just some sort of a lack in the latter two songs of the single. However, I still thoroughly enjoy this single very much.


Well, I hope you all enjoyed this review very much. Until next time.

Calli, out!