H!P, Love, Morning Musume, pic spam, PV

Help Me aka Youthful Momusu Amps it Up


Let’s start 2013 off right: with a new Momusu pv!!!

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Help me (geddit?) out here guys, didn’t they do the whole light-explosion-neon-city-seizure-sparkle-fun-time thing in Takahashi’s grad single? You remember: those golden spots in your vision and bounce in your step from that song with the title that takes forever to say? Something about truly wishing for peace (or maybe just some sunglasses)? At least this title is easy to remember and it echoes that spectacular single ‘Resonant Blue’. H!P has a pretty long history with green screen pvs too (see Love Machine; Chokotto Love; basically any Mini Moni pv; more recently the aforementioned Momusu sparkle-fun-time-bombinabriefcase-peace-wishing single).

So, I waited until the FULL REAL pv was out (*glares at previous single*) and capped a copy with pretty bad quality because I’m sick of being so bloody late with these reviews (and 2013 is all about posting more). If only I got paid to do this…

First, as always, the song itself: everyone has mentioned how, for lack of a better term, busy it sounds. The structure of Momusu songs has become more complex lately. Bikkuri Project mentioned in her awesome post that a more complex structure isn’t as new as it seems; songs like Nanchatte Renai or Resonant Blue (yay!) both have a few distinct melodies that make them a little harder to follow than something more straightforward (e.g the verse-bridge-chorus etc format). Naturally, the dances have followed suit.vlcsnap-2013-01-18-07h02m17s139 When I first heard my beloved Resonant Blue, despite loving it instantly, it took awhile to make sense of it. Everything about that song echoes that title and it’s the same with Help Me. This creeping desperation seems to be everywhere in this song, even that quiet monologue from Fukuhime in the beginning. The song just moves and moves and moves.The only issue I have with it is that it’s very, VERY high-pitched at times. Why does Tsunku want Riho to destroy her voice by constantly giving her notes that are just outside of her range? Mizuki has a great solo line or two, but can she maintain in concert???

I love all the B-sides this time around. Giving Ayumin a rap was the best idea Tsunku’s had since the One Two Three costumes. Speaking of costumes – hate them. They only flatter maybe ONE member and everyone else is either swimming in the costume, or just plain awkward looking.

I need to step out of Itsumo lines for a moment here and mention Momoiro Clover Z because their songs have almost always been this cracktastic mix of genres and melodies and that is why some people have a hard time getting into them. It took me awhile and I am not sure when exactly I fell in love (probably when I saw this), but now it’s one of the most entertaining aspects of their music. Their singing level is about the same as Momusu at the moment. Sure, we’ve got Ace (your mileage may vary on Miss Riho though), Winky (bleh – only a few more months) vlcsnap-2013-01-18-07h00m35s136and Oda (love her voice), but most of the others don’t have the control and power needed to be the vocal center. We’re seeing a lot more shared lines again and the use of auto-tune (whatever you want to call the effects) masks a lot of pitch issues. Momoclo manages to squeak out their songs while practically running marathons; Momusu will too – it’s not like we’ve never had pitch issues in the group before and forgiven it.

Momoclo’s other trademark is that seemingly boundless energy, mostly because everyone is under twenty (and they are all insane). Right now 90% of Momusu is under twenty again. It’s the perfect time to give them routines that are a bit more complex and that require more energy. Tell me Shige is going to be there another five years after Winky leaves – I won’t believe you. This will not only give them an angle, awesome routines, but it will force the girls to learn to sing while moving, without gasping and going off pitch. If they don’t have enough vocal power, and Tsunku is determined to ride the robo-musume train, then dynamic interesting routines, with more complex song structures are a nice idea and this is a great time to try it out.

Of course, this could just be a short phase, but whatever, it makes sense to me.

I am loving their choreography lately. Takahashi wasn’t kidding when she said that joining nowadays is much harder than it used to be. For a debut dance, Help Me is right up there with something like The Manpower and must be a nightmare to someone with little experience (I honestly don’t remember how much experience Oda actually has had in the Eggs – even so). The best thing about it though is just how complex it is and how that matches with the complexity of the song itself. Of course, dances should always match with the song, but there have been many times in Momusu dance history when the choreography may have “matched” but I’ve been disappointed with how little movement there seemed to be. Colour me charmed and excited by this one.

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Even if the whole floating, rotating head thing is slightly disturbing…it’s interesting. There are so many just plain interesting moments in this routine.

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The Oda reveal-line here looks interesting, but painful for those in front. Ow. My hamstrings kill just looking at this (kudos, Ace!).

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Forgive me, I have no idea how to describe this except with more strung together words: the robotic-beeping-circle-curve-thing they do near the beginning and the end? Awesome. It makes me squee and I have no idea why.

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The sun explosion isn’t just that – it’s that line-of-doom at the end of the chorus telling you that your eardrums have been shattered like so many mirrors.

Seriously. Give your main singers a break. Yes, they are young and have high-pitched vocal tones. Do they HAVE to be breakin’ mirrors??

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One of the mirror-breakers: Ace is cool, but squeaky, poor thing.

I’m actually starting to feel sorry for Ace. People keep saying she can’t sing because in her recent live performances her voice is scratchy and she’s barely making notes (that’s the impression I got). Or they just plain hate her nasal delivery. Honestly, she sounds too much like Winky at the moment, but I suspect that will go away and she’ll continue to match and attempt to surpass anyone else who challenges her vocally. It was the same when Takahashi was there. At least it’s my hope that she’ll develop her own voice. Why should she carry the burden of Takahashi AND Winky’s lines? She’s already doing enough work.

When they started giving Takahashi every line, she’d already been singing in the group for eight years. Her voice was prepared and yes, she had a lot more natural talent. Thing is, Riho-Ace has been given a lot of singing lines since she joined. That’s good and all, but it just seems like she either doesn’t know how to sing without hurting her voice, or her voice is just plain exhausted.

It’s a muscle. If you don’t know how to use it, you’re going to tear it.

Hopefully this new kid will ease some of the vocal burden.

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Let’s talk about Miss Oda Sakura. Since this is her debut single and much has been made about her vocal talent, people expected a lot more lines, but I think that her two moments are pretty standard for a new member from a single girl generation. Mitsui before JunLin got her moment in Egao Yes Nude, ditto Goto and Koharu in their respective debuts. It’s a nice little moment and while she sounds very similar to Ace, her nasal tone is slightly different. She has strength and a timid presence. I feel like she’s still holding back a little bit.

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S: “C-center? Me??? But Winky will destroy me-“

I especially think so because so many of her shots make her look sleepy (with the exception of that one, anyway). I think she was going for the Fukuhime heavy-lidded gaze, but instead we get sleepy or sleeping:

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After her center moment, the pressure subsides and Oda takes a nap.

Hey! HEY! Wake up!

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S: Zzzzzzzzzzzz….

There are also times I feel like she’s a bit weird looking.

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Then she turns around and looks really pretty.

It’s true that Oda doesn’t really know what to do with herself here, but it’s her first pv, guys. And besides, quite a few people seem lost here.

Poor Ayumin is one.

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I didn’t expect that. Her thing is dancing though. She’s happiest when dancing and all this singing seems to have made her more self-conscious than she was in OneTwoThree. It’s harder to see her when everybody has basically the same costume too. I wish she’d been allowed to stand out a bit more. I love me some Ayumin-dancin’.

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Step back up!!! You can learn to smile and pose!!

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There ya go!!! Cuuuuute!

She said during the recent Alo Hello that her photoshoot was really hard because she felt so self-conscious. She had no idea “how to smile”. Iida Kaori had a similar problem and she worked out just fine. Her self-consciousness seems odd, considering how on fire she is when she’s dancing.

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These two? Iikubo and The Zuk? Where are they?

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Why did they give Zukki the most unflattering design possible for this costume? Someone as beautiful as her doesn’t deserve that; she is nowhere hear as big as she looks in this pv. Honestly, look at Zukki. She’s got such pretty features, whether she is smiling or not. If she had more than three shots a pv she could work on her lip-synching skills more so she didn’t always have that same awkward-mouth thing she shares with Eri-pon.

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Eri-pon lip-synching. She don’t gots it.

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Still one of the best at posing though. You go, Miss KY.

Iikubo is so much like Iida during her all-limbs-all-the-time phase, right down to the long locks. Watch her dance – it’s like she’s being swallowed by two long, swinging bricks of hair. I don’t mean to be mean, but it’s very funny. And she makes these derp faces all the time when she’s dancing. The more strange she becomes the more I like her.

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It’s a bit hard to see, but in that weird dance-break, she’s derping it up beautifully.

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And here she’s eaten a sour candy…

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Wait-DON’T DO IT IIKUBO!! THE TRAIN IS COMING!!!!!!

Well, she doesn’t seem concerned. Did anybody else notice this shot??

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I do really like some of the stuff they’ve done with the green screen. When it isn’t blinding, some of the shots, like this one of Masaki-kins are very pretty. Header material if I ever saw it (and had a much better quality copy >_<).

Let’s talk about the bundle of genki that is Masaki-kins, shall we?

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She reminds me so much of Kago Ai. Does anyone else feel this way? Note I said she REMINDS me of her, not that she’s the second coming of Aibon or something. I just like that youthful, ridiculousness about her. And I like her voice. She seems to be moving up for more screen time and more lines. I love it. She has some of the best expressions. Capping her is a joy every time.

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Her solo lines pwn and she’s looking slightly bad-ass here.
Note the others in this cap though: Shige and Ace = derp. Zukki is ready to rock and Kuduu…

Haruka…man. You’d betta watch yo’self!!!

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Haruka is mostly in the back this time – but posin’ like a BOSS!

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And she’s dancin’ – LIKE A BOSS!!!

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I’m going to just start calling her BOSS from now on. In caps. Cause she is just uncomfortably cool.
Also: TUMMEH!! *pokes*

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Don’t be fooled. She’s da BOSS!

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Oops. Oh. Right. Shige is the boss.

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Shige is doing a lot of singing lately – auto-tuned or not. Every time I hear her I just think, “Bless her heart, she’s trying.”

Note: Iikubo derp-face alert!

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Yes. Everybody bows to da Shige.

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The obligatory Winky shot. I think that sums it up, don’t you?

Cannot wait till Spring. XD

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Wait, THIS!??? This is just ridiculous.

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I do like her little “wahoo” moment. I liked it before too, when she did it in THE MATENROU SHOW!

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YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! Fukuhime gets lots of lines! Most importantly, I called it. Grooming for higher positioning. And boy is she stepping up.

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Even on the line-of-doom, Fukuhime sounds strong. She seems to be able to reach it without struggling – I just hope she can sustain the note live.

Note: Iikubo derp-face alert!

To sum up: Love the dance, loving those who stepped up, and can’t wait to put this song on at the gym.

One more thing before we go: I love the middle where they cut away from the less-than-stellar dance break and cut to each member’s face for a moment. They end with Ace pushing her hand towards the camera which then pulls away…I just love this moment. It was cut so well and it really gave the pv a sense of drama that had been missing. I mean, the song itself stays desperate, but the girls pretty much just pose for a lot of it which is almost never as interesting as you’d imagine. They really stand out against the green screen, but maybe that was part of the point-?

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Masaki-kins: “Oh no, my cookies!”

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Ayumin: “Is it over? Can I dance again?”

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Eri-pon: “Heh. I stole her cookies.”

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Kuduu: BOSS!

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Iikubo: “Why’d you only point out my derp faces?”

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Oda: Zzzzzzzz.

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Fukuhime: doing the heavy-lidded thing without the sleeping.

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Zukki: Maybe next time?

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Winky: pissed. She wanted those cookies.

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Ace: Shots like this make me think she really might be a robot…

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Shige: can do cute, sad, cool etc even with that mop on her head.

I want this single so bad, it’s not even funny. Keep it up Momusu. I’ll be here.

~Isilie

2 thoughts on “Help Me aka Youthful Momusu Amps it Up”

  1. Pardon me whilst I share this post on my blog because you’ve said everything I’ve been feeling about this song. Also, did it take you awhile to get used to this song because it’s just so different like Resonant Blue was? That’s what happened to me. At first, I was very much “I don’t know what to think about this song. I needed to get used to it. Now though? I love this song and I really want it to sell well. (Also, would you be in intererested in sharing links between blogs?)

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