All views are my own; your views are your own, so on and so forth. Disagreeing with me is okay, as is stating so, but don’t be an arse about.
|Out of the two covers, this is definitely my favourite. It's so cute and fun and fits the title so well!|
The mini-album kicks off with a song which is very typical of Buono!, in that it has the upbeat rock sound in the back with a very idol-song like melody. The idol feeling is especially strong in parts of this song, though. But, so is the rock. It all balances out in the end, it seems, so you don’t get overwhelmed by either of the two aspects. I really like the melody and beat of this song. It’s catchy and…well, how do I say it? It has an almost hopeful feeling? Like, you know how anime openings have those kind of happy-go-lucky songs that are kind of pop-rocky? That’s exactly what this song’s like. In fact, it would work so well as an anime opening – which is probably why, to me, it seems so reminiscent of older Buono! Songs from back when they were not much more than a group formed to provide anime openings. I really like this song, though. It’s cutesy yet powerful at the same time and is the kind of song that just makes you feel happy inside. Like, for me, there are certain songs that make me feel all giggly and happy and stuff if I listen to them while walking on a sunny day, like when I leave school to get to the bus for example. It’s probably something that only applies to me and a few other people, but, this song seems like it would have this effect on me in that situation. I don’t know but I do love this song and I love typical Buono!
This song is really short, but it’s also cute and really fun to listen to. And, even though it’s cute, it still has quite a strong pop-rock backtrack. It’s another very Buono!-ish song. It reminds me of Café Buono! As far as style goes, only a little heavier. The melody of the first part of the chorus reminds me very much of Momo’s solo, Kia-Ora-Gracias-Arigato, from their last mini-album, though. It’s a fun song, though, it’s about bloody cheese! And the ‘GO!GO!Goda! Ganbare Goda!’ parts are really fun and catchy. They remind me of Momoiro Clover in a way, in the use of harmonisation and repetition of words, as well as the fact that they are being used as fun little openers and closers to the song. The main issue I have with this song would be the length. At only 1:53 minutes in length, it’s a pretty short song.
3. Hatsukoi Cider (Album Version)
This version is a lot more Buono!-ish than the original, with the instruments being a lot more powerful. It’s a rockier version, basically. Even so, it works amazingly, to the extent that I can’t choose which version I prefer. I adore the original but this version has won me over as well. I love the styles of both versions, but, generally, I prefer the style of the album version. I guess Buono! are a source of J-Poppy nostalgia for me in many respects, so I’m immediately drawn to any song that features their basic style for which they are most well-known. I suppose, though, that the best part about this is that is different from the original but it still sounds good. I tend to be a little iffy about alternate versions sometimes, such as the album version of Yamashita Tomohisa’s ‘Hadakanbo’ – it’s jazz-style didn’t work for me at all and made an original strong and upbeat song feel far too calm and relaxed. The fact that this style fits the song just as well as the original makes me really happy, I mean.
|Now, let's take a break halfway through for another picture! I love Airi's hair so much xD|
4. Mirai Drive
I think I loved this song from the moment I pressed play. I love this style a lot. I blame KAT-TUN’s albums and B-Sides, just saying. But, this is a really good song. It’s perfect for listening to in the middle of the night – which was when I first heard it, making that first listen all the more perfect. I love the melody and beat and mood and tone and…ah. I don’t think this song lets me down in anyway. The build-up from verse to chorus is done really nicely and the whole song just flows really well. What made this even better, though, was the chorus. It was all in falsetto! I love falsetto, especially when combined with this style of song. It works so well together and sounds so pretty. This song really shows off the girls’ voices. All three of them can sing so well, even if Berryz don’t give seem to be giving Momoko the chance to show it anymore. They have such gorgeous vocal tones, too and they can maintain that falsetto beautifully, especially Airi – her bridge line sounds amazing. On top of that, these three really do blend perfectly. This is definitely my favourite track of the album.
This song is good, don’t get me wrong; I do really like it, but it’s my least favourite off the album. Unlike in FEVER, where the idol and rock themes worked really well together, this song sounds like a bit of a mish-mash. The vocals seem very befitting of a song with an oldies feel, like 2nd Gen Tanpopo songs or something. Especially the chorus – it just sounds like it should have lighter back track. If you just had the synthesiser and keyboard stuff, it’d work better. The only bits that fully blend are the build-ups to the chorus and Momoko’s bridge. The mix does sound interesting and it grows on you after a while, but, the first few times I heard this, I couldn’t help but think that something didn’t quite slot into place the way it should. It’s a song of acquired taste, I find. But I do like it. It just didn’t impress me as much as the rest of the album.
6. Natsu no Hoshizora
The title, meaning Summer’s Starlit Sky, sets the mood for the whole song right of the beat. It’s a sort of ballad-esque track, the kind of song that’d be good for helping you drift off, with a kind of twinkly feeling to it. If I had to compare it to any other Buono! song in terms of style, I’d have to go with Kimi ga Ireba. It has a similar tone. The vocals are so clear in the song and you can really how perfect the blending is. These three were meant to be a trio, they sound so good together. The chorus is really pretty and sung in a quite high tone. It’s a really sweet and relaxing song that you can sway to really well. The melody is really nice, too. I’m really glad they include a ballad on this mini-album cause these girls sound brilliant when they sing ballads in their own groups, never mind together.
7. NEVER GONNA STOP
This is the main track for this album, the one with the PV. When I first heard this song, it took me until to the 2nd verse to actually start liking it as I thought that, with the reverb and multiple voice effects, it sounded kind of messy. By the 2nd verse, I had entirely changed mind and realised that the song worked pretty well. I really just had to accustom to the effects, since they kind of quieten the vocals a little. I came to the conclusion that it was just that kind of song. It was meant to sound powerful and it got the feeling across. The chorus was probably what got me most. The verses are nice but they don’t really draw me in. The chorus, however, is seriously catchy. I swear I heard the song once and, I swear, I had the song stuck in my head all day after that. I actually adore the chorus, and the vocal effects actually work really well there. What I do love about the vocal effects, though, is the aged kind of sound they give the song. By aged, I mean to say, that it makes the song sound a few decades older than it really is. However, no thanks to occasions in the past, from before when I had my own MP3 Player (quite a few years ago), that had me sitting in the car on a Summer holiday while my parents decided to listen to the music they like when they were young, this effect makes me feel nostalgic and a little Summery (ignoring that Buono! are a pop-rock idol group and these bands were punk bands from the 70s and 80s, I was mainly referring to the reverb sound). It’s a really good promo track and sets a great feel for the rest of the mini-album, but also closes it really well, too.
|And, here, I present to you, the other cover, just to finish things off!|
In conclusion, as I’m sure you gathered, I really like this mini-album. It’s bloody obvious. But, really, the main reason for my loving it so much is that it was the best reminder anyone could have given me as to why Buono! are my favourite girl group (3rd favourite group overall but that sounds less meaningful, y’know), as to why I used to love them so much before a certain two boybands (KAT-TUN & NEWS, if you didn’t know) came along and caught my attention – I still love Buono! as much as I ever did, and I totally understand why. In fact, I possibly love them more than I used to. I feel that they are one of the very best groups that H!P has ever seen and I really hope they stay active for a long time!