Morning Musume- “What is LOVE”

Well, thanks for asking! My New Year’s vacation was wonderful! I really recommend people visit National Parks and other public spaces in the wintertime. In particular, the desert, although cold, was breathtaking in beauty. But then, we’re not going to talk about vacations in the American Southwest. We should say something about PV #2 from Morning Musume ’14’s inaugural release, “Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa / Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai / What is LOVE?”. New Year’s Day gave us the anticipated PV for “What is LOVE” (I’ll spare you the oft made Haddaway joke). Wota told us that Morning Musume were taping the performance of this song for an upcoming PV, so we all expected a live PV- don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

For the most part, this PV is not going to knock anyone’s socks off. It’s strictly “what you see is what you get”. In that respect, the official “What is LOVE” PV is not significantly better than the footage of the girls performing the song on the 400th episode of J-Melo.

Eripon listening to the throngs.

Almost the same view the girls have from stage.

Having seen the dance on J-Melo, it’s difficult to be properly dazzled by the performance. The dance seems the most athletically demanding of the group’s recent releases. The chorus choreography requires the girls to hop and swing their legs in a way that I have not really seen.

Yes, Eripon. We know you’ve been working hard.

There’s an amusing bit of choreography where the girls play each other like marionettes. I just rewatched Pinocchio earlier in the month, so I found that dance timely. The girls got no strings.

The close-up shots give us a clear look at the crisp movements of the girls as they stab the air and kick. Other than the puppet dance, I’m really going to remember the leg work in this song. I’ve been secretly hoping that Morning Musume ’14 was going to give us more athletic dances: wish fulfilled!

And then, the formation dance bit gives us a pleasing heart formation.

I swear I have seen the girls try before. I think it was this picture where Sakura is getting cheeky.

The song does a great job keeping tempo with a persistent breakneck double time beat. The drum track sounds like speed to me. It’s probably the soundtrack of Jason Statham’s heart in those Crank movies.

Sing it, Riho.

Sayu seems a little surprised to be singing.

Melodically, I enjoy the chorus melody and the keyboard line even if they are on the simplistic side for Tsunku. The song features some crunchy guitar work that people are going to overlook because of the Tsunku ‘boards. Terada has had the biggest erection for these electro sounds for a long time now- no one is surprised. Also overlooked will be actual feel of the song. Rather than a straight 4/4, Tsunku gives us a shuffle disguised as electropop.

ALL of this is interesting musicality going to be overlooked because of the PV, though. Sure, this PV was not the most expensive option they had on the bulletin board. And yes, I would like the ratio of close ups to full shots inverted. You could probably make the case that the budgets for “Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa” and “WHAT IS LOVE” should have been switched.

Me? Given that the performance captured on film was live, I am reasonably impressed. As is the nature of the beast, the lighting was meant more for the live audience than the PV, so the girls are not as illuminated as they should be. What would have really intrigued me was a live vocal recording of the song to go along with the live PV.

Care to compare?

Official PV

You can purchase “Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa / Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai / What is LOVE?” from CDJapan


5 responses

  1. Good analisys. I’ve heard it three times and now I’m really into it. Really great song! Great work chaining many melodies, and the bridge, simple but powerful, great begining for Morning Musume ’14 (I hate this calendar’s title)


  2. Pingback: Morning Musume “Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai” | the number 244

  3. Pingback: This Week in Eripon (02022014-02082014) | the number 244

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