March is almost done, so I figured I should finally release my favorite albums of January-February 2018. Honestly, I don’t think I listen to enough idol albums to make this a monthly thing, so from now on, I’m just going to include my favorite album tracks in my recommended monthly song lists and do a favorite album list at the end of the year. I said I’d do this for Jan-Feb, though, so here we go!
Morning Musume – Hatachi no Morning Musume
Hatachi no Morning Musume is a mini-album that commemorates Morning Musume’s 20th anniversary. It contains updated versions of Morning Musume’s demo single and debut single (Ai no Tane and Morning Coffee) with the original and current Morning Musume members, two new songs from Morning Musume ’18 (Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite and Otenki no Hi no Omatsuri), Morning Musume ’17’s digital single released last year on the 20th anniversary of Morning Musume officially becoming a group (Gosenfu no Tasuki), a new song from the original Morning Musume members (Tane wa Tsubasa), a new song with one original member and two current members (ENDLESS HOME), and a song with all of the girls who have been leaders of Morning Musume (WE ARE LEADERS! ~Leader tte no mo Tsurai Mono~).
I’m not much of a fan of Otenki no Hi no Omatsuri, but the rest of this album is solid. Hana ga Saku Taiyou Abite is a very standard EDM Morning Musume song. It’s not one of the best, but it’s certainly not one of the worst either, so if you like their more recent music, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Gosenfu no Tasuki isn’t super memorable, but it’s a nice ballad. I think it’s super cool that they did updated versions of Morning Coffee and Ai no Tane with all the original members and current members, so I can forgive the fact that they’re a bit too sped up and don’t have quite the same charm as the originals. It’s no secret that the original Morning Musume members have great voices, so it’s great that they got a new song and Tane wa Tsubasa is nice to listen to. You can barely hear Mizuki Fukumura and Sakura Oda in ENDLESS HOME and it basically sounds like a Natsumi Abe solo, but it’s a beautiful and relaxing song that I find myself listening to quite a bit. WE ARE LEADERS is definitely my favorite song off Hatachi no Morning Musume; it’s basically Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari for the leaders of Morning Musume with some fun throwbacks to older songs like Koi no Dance Site, Happy Wedding Song, and Love Machine. I really like what they did with this album and I think anyone who is or ever was a fan of Morning Musume should listen to it.
predia – Fabulous
predia is a group that prides themselves on being “the sexiest idol group in Japan”, having the strongest singers, and being a playground for adults with their members having an average age of 28. They’re kind of like the less mainstream version of SDN48. I think predia’s music is great and the main vocalist has an amazing voice, but I do think most of their music sounds pretty similar. Almost everything they do is a powerful, sexy anthem and that sound really works for them, but sometimes I wish they tried new things.
Their singles on this album, Ms. Frontier, Nouvelle Cuisine, and Kindan no Masquerade, all fit perfectly into this category, but they’re all worth listening to. Secret of Light, Wake Up, Close to you, and Addicted to Your Secret drift away from the formula a little bit with a less sexy and more old school sound, but they pretty much stick to what they know. Cleopatra and Hotel Sunset are my favorite tracks off Fabulous. Hotel Sunset is both sexy and the catchiest song on the album by far and Cleopatra has a really powerful and impressive chorus. Fabulous is also pretty good and has a bit of a club anthem sound to it. Basically, listen to any predia single on YouTube and if you like it, you’ll probably enjoy this album. If you don’t, give it a pass.
CY8ER – Hello New Generation
Hello New Generation is CY8ER’s first album and it contains their three singles (Remix Start, Te to Te, and Kakushemu), CY8ER’s version of the BPM15Q song Hakuchuumu, and five new songs (I believe). Honestly, I like their previously released stuff more than the new songs on this album, but if you don’t already have their singles, this is a great way to have them all in one place. Hakuchuumu is definitely my favorite, although I like BPM15Q’s original better. All of CY8ER’s singles are good too, but of the new songs I like Hello New Generation the best, I find it getting stuck in my head pretty often. If you like idols and EDM, definitely look into CY8ER.
That’s it for my recommended albums of Jan-Feb 2018! Did I miss out on anything? What are your favorites? I’m probably not going to be doing another album post until the end of the year, but I’ll be doing recommended song and PV lists for March 2018 in about a week, so stay tuned!