Look everyone, a Double-A side from Morning Musume! I recently mentioned that Tsunku has done a great job building anticipation for this release through his twitter messages, sneak peaks, and the girls’ blogs. To volley a quick shots, this is the first “Colorful Era” Morning Musume PV filmed on location rather than a sound stage, and this makes the PV seem more expensive than it’s actual cost. I don’t know why, but Hello! Project fans express more concern over the cost of a PV than most fandoms.
LET THERE BE LIPS!
At its heart, “Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke” is the same dance shot/ close-up format of almost all Hello! Project PVs. What spices things up in this iteration of the formula is some great lighting and fun small group shots.
Musically, Tsunku gives more of the same sound. “Wagamama…” works at a faster tempo than Morning Musume’s usual offerings. The verse works and down up the minor scale to a major resolve. Although there’s not much to report melodically, Tsunku arrangement strength works up from almost bare kick to tribal drums with the synth hovering. The pacing is maintained in the chorus and intensified with an eighth one-note sing-song that recalls the “Wagamama Ki no Mama” phrase that we hear in the beginning of the song. Do you hate the half-time break downs? That’s too bad, since they are a focus of this song. My favorite Tsunku trick in this song is the bridge, where Terada somehow works in an Irish jig into his tribal drums and ends things with a 100% panned guitar lick.
The girls keep to tight dance formations in this PV. The synchronized arm movements utilized in the recent singles, including the other A-Side, take a backseat to sweeping movements and gestures.
The part of the choreography that everyone really wants to talk about is the slapping sequence. Throughout the chorus, the girls slap each other in rhythm to some interesting effect. My favorite is Riho slapping Mizuki right in the first chorus. Rho never breaks eye contact with the camera; and the look on her face …
And then there’s Mizuki pushing Sakura down with her finger.
You see the two outfits now? There was complaint (there’s always complaint) about the “jailbird” outfit that seems to have died down. With dresses this short I don’t see why complaints were even lodged. Jailbird outfits look mod; I like mod. Those black outfits look hot. Morning Musume look like they mean serious business in these get ups. Here they are md action. Even the spotlights from the balcony lend a hand.
Mid action. Look at Haruka’s hair bob up and down.
Speaking of Haruka, her face gives some incredible looks.
And yet even though the tone of “Wagamama…” is deadly serious, the girls give us occasional glimpses of fun.
Everyone with your mouth open!
Two things: Masaki’s eyes and Eripon giving Masaki “the look”
For better or worse “Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke” feels like a real break from the Morning Musume tradition. You can feel and hear the girls begging to distinguish themselves from their lineage. In a real way, Morning Musume is held captive by their past. This set of girls have something unique to offer us- something that will be lost if they are made to sing “Love Machine” again and again. Do we as fans want the jailbird Morning Musume- the ones who sing Renai Revolution 21 at every public event? Or do we want the business first, hair tied up dance-your-ass-off Morning Musume? Personally I don’t want my girls to sing rehashes of the same old idol songs. I don’t need another “The PEACE”, another “Resonant Blue”, or even another “Seishun Collection”. By the look of it, neither does Tsunku. I say, “Bring on the future!”
You can buy “Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke” at CDJapan