…rather than taking a new direction, has Morning Musume really just begun to return to form? Their music will always have that certain flavour that we expect from them, but in terms of theme, they seem to be slowly creeping backwards.
I’ll try to make this clearer.
I couldn’t stop watching the danceshot version of their new single ‘Shouganai Yume Oibito’ when it finally came out (thanks to HelloOnline as always). Usually dance-shots merely satisfy my curiousity rather than make me think. I find it frustrating that I can only see bits and pieces of a dance in a regular pv, especially if it’s an interesting one. That’s why the “real” pv for Resonant Blue didn’t bother me. I still like that dance and I still think the pv suited it. But I’m stubborn like that, and getting off topic. I love that this dance-shot takes place in what looks like a university library. It looks like a real location rather than a back-drop, which gives it a completely different feeling. I love the soft, feminine look of them. It reminded me slightly of the Sexy Boy video, but that one didn’t have the same vulnerability I felt in this one.
Maybe it’s just shots like this one that made me feel a sense of vulnerability, but they tend to reach forward for something over and over and never reach it.
After stumbling across the dance-shot, I stumbled across translated lyrics. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Usually their songs speak of the beginnings of love and things like going on a first date. Lately, it’s been getting a bit more complex. Naichau was all about breaking up, expecting it, but neither being able to actually do it. Things like, “if you had only been cruel and not so gentle with me” rather than the usual “ouch, my heart”.
This new single translates (roughly) to “hopeless dream chaser” and it paints this picture of a serious and long-term relationship. They obviously live together, as she’s ironing his clothing. They obviously have been together for a long time. She remembers falling in love with his eyes that “wish to do something great” and feel like they are back in school when he speaks of his dream. She loves him very much, this hopeless dream chaser, but she knows that the relationship is falling apart.
I keep on giving up on the idea of moving on with you. ah, I just can’t seem to make that commitment…
This is as far as it goes…seems I’m no good anymore…
Seems like every boy is always trying to do something great. Those are the eyes I fell in love with that day…
As I watch you sleep, completely oblivious, memories and tears rush out…
You know, don’t you? When the time comes, please be gentle…
When will your dream come true? When it happens, will it be a blessing for us?
What a sad situation, to love someone deeply but always be unable to help that person achieve what is most important to him (or her). She’s suffering because she’s also helpless. He’s chasing his dreams and she cannot keep going along with it. Apparently, they both know it. The reason she fell in love is the reason that she has to leave: she cannot commit herself to his dream anymore. She even questions the outcome of achieving the dream, after all this suffering: will it be what he thinks it is? Will it strengthen the weak threads of what they used to have?
As always, I read too much into things because I like this group so much. I find this song rather mature, at least in its subject matter and I like that it is sung in such a way that I don’t feel like I’m getting performed at. It feels like the girls really try to understand the feelings of this girl.
For some reason, while I was watching this dance-shot, the girls floating about and reaching endlessly forward, I was reminded of Morning Coffee. If you remember back that far, the groups first couple of singles, probably all of them up to ‘Love Machine’, were of a mature tone.
I think it’s easy to remember Morning Coffee as this sweet innocent song about first love, and it definitely is, but if we’re following the storyline, it’s about a couple who have decided to spend the night together for the first time. They’re singing about the intense vulnerability of young love, when you want to get closer, but you’re scared and embarrassed and don’t know how to initiate it. She’s trusting this person, even though she’s terrified and she’s happy because he wants the same thing: I’m crying, because you said, ‘let’s have morning coffee together’ “. I’d say that’s a tad more mature than singing about liking the convienience stores (I love The Peace!, I just mock it because it’s ridiculous).
Maybe that’s the greatest thing about Morning Musume, that because of all the styles they’ve tried on in the past, they can sing about things like this and then turn around and sing a song like ‘Mikan’. They don’t have just one style and I don’t think they ever will, but they are consistently Morning Musume, no matter what sort of song it is. I mentioned before that there is certain flavour in their songs and that is the best way I can describe what I mean. It would be silly to say that they are never the same; we’ve certainly had our share of generic Musume tracks (most of Sexy8 Beat comes to mind – even though I liked that one anyway). I just notice that it’s difficult to imagine Berryz or C-ute singing a song like this and giving it the same life that Momusu does.
For all that they change, maybe they don’t really change all that much. Momusu is like the seasons. They go from mature, to genki, to slightly sad, to enraged, to hopeful to mature and so on and so on, always changing ever so slightly but always the same Momusu. With the exit of all the original members and the rest of the Elder Club, I thought I’d be depressed with Momusu. After Yossy and Miki left, they were finding their feet again for a little while, but I really think they’ll be alright. Maybe we’re in a more mature season now. Maybe we’ll get another song along the lines of ‘Summer Night Town’ or even (yeah, I’ll say it) another ‘Resonant Blue’.
Looking forward to the future.