Pretty much since 2008, I’ve been saying that Mame (Gaki-san, but for the sake of nostalgia I will be calling her Mame in this post) should have had a solo release. I really wanted her to go solo, even for just one song. Not just in concert, but proper. Like Takahashi did. Like all these other ones (some of whom CAN BARELY SING).
Well, now I’ve not only got the gorgeous version of Egao ni Namida she did for her last Momusu release, but I’ve got a whole album of solos from the lovely Mame to look forward to. I already have her Hello!Cover album and I must say, of all the cover albums, hers is the one I love the most. Not one but TWO Nacchi songs on there!!! She does her audition song too (Love Namida Iro)!!! *squee*
Mame can rock the house but she’s also capable of being soothing, soft and feminine. I absolutely adore her voice. It’s nice when songs you didn’t really pay attention to become beautiful in the hands of another singer. It’s interesting. I understand she wants to act now, but at least I kinda, sorta got my wish before it was too late.
Solo Niigaki album ftw!!!
My favourites on her Cover Album?
Absolutely perfect for someone who loved Nacchi best when she first joined. In terms of her solo career, this feels like Nacchi’s quintessential song and Mame pulls it off with sweetness and power. You can hear her smile. You can hear her beaming (because how can you not when singing this song?). Did anyone else squee when they saw this (–>) pic on Nacchi’s blog? I can’t wait to hear her version of 25 ~vingt-cinq~!! I’m definitely going to cry…
Furusato (Morning Musume’s 6th single)
Well, hello there again Nacchi! Actually, this only used to be an Abe song. Now it feels more like one of those songs that you sing to prove you can sing. It’s the Momusu test song. A few members have tried this song and while I really like Yaguchi’s version (and the original, obviously), Mame’s hits me where I live. I really think it’s that when she sings Momusu songs you can feel how much she loves it. Takahashi was always getting lost in the words and Mame always feels like she’s loving singing so much that she can’t hide it. This is such a wistful song. I love that Mame never over-sings here, but lets the high notes taper off gently.
Kousui (Melon Kinenbi’s 7th single)
I never really knew of this song (Melon who!? ;P j/k), but it’s really sad, mellow and pretty. Mame does her rap thing here. Tsunku raps are always a little strange. He really likes his “UH!” YEAAAAH!”s whether they make sense or not. His “Oh my GOT” and “In DA HOUSE” make me giggle a lot. Silly or not, she pulls it off. I always love me some bad-ass Mame. The singing is light and airy and her voice really soothes. Wistful. Lovely.
Seinaru Kane ga Hibiku Yoru (Tanpopo’s 4th single)
I didn’t really know this song either. Not the biggest Tanpopo fan. Their first two singles (the most hawt and angst-y songs H!P has ever known) rocked my socks and then I was too distracted by Yossy in Pucchi Moni. I think Mame’s vocals here are simply beautiful. Early Tanpopo has some beautiful harmonies, but the tune itself is so pretty. There isn’t much else I can say. It just makes me wish she would have had an original release…
Which songs I wish were on her Cover Album?
Koe (from Morning Musume’s Ai no Dai 6kan album)
This song was always best in her hands. When she sings in her higher register, she sounds young and bright without sounding whiny (at least to me). It’s a gorgeous song and when she sings it, I really feel like she loves it. Check her out here during the Morning Curry tour (this tour was hawt).
Boogie Train (Fujimoto Miki’s 5th single)
Because of this.
Datte Ikite kanakucha (Abe Natsumi’s 2nd single)
I wrote about it extensively here, but it’s really a dynamic song that has some fabulous lyrics. It would be so awesome to see what Mame does with it. Give her something aggressive!
Really, I would love to hear her do everything by Nacchi…but these are probably her own choices, right?
To Sum up?
What exactly can I say about her not being in the group anymore? It’s not the bewildered what-the-hell-do-I-do-now feeling of Yossy leaving and it’s not oh-no-the-family-is-breaking-up-*sob*-Takalin!-*choke* that happened when the “platinum era” ended. Now that Takahashi has gone it just feels natural that Mame should follow. I will miss her, but I still love Momusu. Seeing pictures of all the different generations supporting each other, going to the grad concerts together…honestly I will be a wreck watching this concert when it is finally released.
There was a cool send-off single for her and I finally, FINALLY have some Niigaki solo album action. Even if it’s all covers, I’m still grateful it’s there. I wish her all the best and will adore this album. Even Chuu! Natsu Party which I have never listened to all the way through. Really, why are all the H!P girls obsessed with that song?!?
I am excited for the future, even though it’s going to be a Winky-Riho fest for a while. Leader Shige is perfect because she loves her members to a suspicious extent and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual. That is a whole other post though…
I hope for the next set of auditions we get at least two more girls. No more one person generations please. Unless you have another Goto waiting in the wings-?
There isn’t much I can say about Mitsui that I haven’t already said. Proud of her. Wish her the best.
(I don’t know who made this gif, but I love you.)
Sending a big mayuge-beam to where ever you are Mame.
Thanks for everything.