The Lost Posts: 2014 Harmonies Return to Momusu


vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h33m27s200

[Feb. 2, 2016: I wrote this in 2014 and never finished it. I should say I “capped this” but never finished the post about it. I mean, look at this:]

Everybody seems to have compared TokiSora to As for One Day and Nachatte Renai, or even Shouganai Yume Oibito. They don’t release ballads as singles very often. I’m not even sure if this is considered a ballad exactly, but it’s certainly different from everything this incarnation of Momusu has released. Is it anything like all these old songs?

Well, it certainly has the dream-like haze of As for One Day, the bitter-sweetness (and strings) of Nanchatte and the layered harmonies of Shougani.

[And that is all I have. I assume I had a lot more to say back in 2014, but now I guess I’ll have to finish two years later. I will have to use the caps I still have and a new perspective in the aftermath of Tsunku stepping down as producer. As is the case with all of these ‘Lost’ posts, I apologize for how late/non-existent it is. ]

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m13s2I think it’s remarkable how interesting this song is to me. I don’t usually like ballads this much. I don’t have the patience and they all sound the same in a way that I don’t always enjoy (unlike the more upbeat songs, in which repetition doesn’t seem to ever bother me). Usually the only thing that gets me into songs like this are the harmonies. Momusu has been harmonizing from way back, but it’s almost never featured anymore.

Nowadays, parts of it seem downright haunting.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h33m20s129

Across time and across space/ the days that tie us together/ I wonder if they’ll make this earth beautiful. (all translation are paraphrased or quoted from Project Hello)

There is a subdued feeling and a wistfulness. The ballet twirls and the swirling CG behind them make a lovely atmosphere. It’s hard to mind that it’s yet another close-up, dance-shot in a studio. In terms of visualizing the song, I don’t know what else you could do.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m32s188

What kind of face are you singing with? / What kind of voice are you laughing with?

This line still gets me. I don’t even know why.
There are lines like that all over this song.

The range is quite high, the melody being the easiest to hear. Fortunately, the harmonies are prominent enough that an alto like me can sing along without squeaking. That might sound like an odd observation, but it matters to me. I love to sing and it’s physically painful when I can’t sing along to a beautiful melody. So much Tsunku fare is out of my range.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h22m45s185

I love those gauzy, shimmery dresses and I think the CG actually enhances the visuals, unlike the sparkle-orgy that was One.Two.Three. It might have worked with the girls just dancing in a big blue room (hey, like in Resonant Blue – but in SPACE), but this has more impact.

Riho and Ayumin are nothing short of splendid in the dance-break.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-05h53m09s85

It’s so lonely that you cannot sleep/ There are nights like that, aren’t there? / It’s ok to get frustrated and cry…You are precious to me.

Notice the girls are barefoot, just adding to that sense of vulnerability that permeates this song.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h32m05s157

You can plan for the distant future / But it’s hard to decide what to do tomorrow / It’s not the same as being indecisive / Oh my heart

This might be the line I relate most directly to Tsunku, especially since I read some of his book Dakara Ikiru, translated by the lovely Henkka (Wota in Translation – You are my frakkin hero, man!). At the time of composition, Tsunku could have been thinking about his future and how uncertain it was, how hard it was to plan even a week in advance when he wasn’t sure if he was better or worse or what exactly was happening to his voice.

I don’t think the entire song is relating to his illness, but it’s hard to imagine none of this came from some place inside him that was suffering, or just pondering.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h32m33s174

Ayumin. Full stop.
Damn, girl.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-05h53m07s66

The cap in which Ayumin and Riho unexpectedly make the exact same face.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m17s45

I know Ayumin, I know. Don’t worry though. It just means you two were in sync during this pv.

I just thought I’d lighten things a little…

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m40s18

Masaki-smirk!

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h32m45s43

It’s not as though this is simply a sad song. It’s somber and contemplative, yes, but I think it’s meant as a sort of comfort. There is a lot of urging to be vulnerable, that it’s ok to be so, because you are precious. That’s a wonderful thought I think it’s hard for people to grasp.

We can be so harsh with ourselves, not asking for support because we don’t want to be seen as needy. I don’t think anyone would recommend pushing your drama onto others, but some times, it’s ok to just be sad, or be weak. Everyone has moments like this, which is why maybe someone will be able to understand you.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h32m22s69

The wind soliloquy: he loves you

I think this moment near the end, aside from Riho’s light, airy vocalizations, is my favourite of all the ’14 songs. This entire section takes my breath away. Even when I saw it live, I couldn’t help murmuring along.

Overall, this song blew everyone out of the water. It was nothing like the previous dance-heavy numbers and felt very genuine after all that Tsunku had been through up to that point and on the cusp on Shige’s graduation. It’s one that I still put on, like almost all of the ’14 catalogue, and each time I feel like I get something else out of it. For all that he suffered, Tsunku still gave us such a lovely song and the girls gave it life and feeling.

Let me show you some important caps of the ’14 members, so you can squee along with me. They are way too beautiful to leave out:

Member Picspam in 2016~~

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h21m36s2

Let’s start with Ayumin, poking at shiny things in the air.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-05h53m36s105

And Miss Derp, who cradles them gently.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h32m32s166

The splendid Fuku-hime.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h22m11s97

*dies*

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m09s218

Zukki is so damn beautiful.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-05h53m54s22

Masaki-kins is about to pounce.
I mean, look at those eyes. RUN!

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h32m31s160

Epic Eri-pon!

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h22m11s98

Harukins!

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m08s205

Ace and her beautiful hair.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h32m30s145

And Ace trying and failing to out-epic Ayumin.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m20s67

Oda = ethereal.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m37s242

Shige we miss you too!

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h09m22s87

Seriously. Bro still hasn’t recovered.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. I know TikiBun was the last single for ’14, but this is the one that actually felt like the finale. Maybe it’s just the atmosphere of this song or maybe it’s what I know now: that Tsunku isn’t producing anymore and that he has lost his voice to cancer. I suppose a better way to say it is he gave it up so he could survive for his family.

Whatever it is, there has always been something special about this song.

vlcsnap-2014-04-21-06h32m13s236

I’ve still got quite a way to go /… So I’ll wait for you.

~Isilie

3 thoughts on “The Lost Posts: 2014 Harmonies Return to Momusu

  1. Words fail to describe the impact of this song. However, you’ve captured it perfectly in this post. This was a tough time and one that taught us fans a hard lesson: the people who work to entertain us are people too, with real worries and anxieties.

    Like the singing dolls of wax and bran they are, Morning Musume [’14] encapsulated the introspections of their beleaguered producer and will continue to do so as long as the Merman walks among us.

    Splendid post, Isilie! Keep it up.

  2. I always find it creepy how much I agree with your posts.
    I also struggle to like Ballads, but this is one of my favourite songs.
    I also have the same feeling that this felt like a finale or the last of something.

    Thank you for your excellent posts as always! It is always good to read posts that share the same feelings I have and have trouble describing.

  3. late comer says:
    WONDERFUL post!
    The song and the PV are haunting. They come from a place of deep introspection, which you keyed in on brilliatly. This was my favorite release of 2014 because its depth of emotion and its perfect portrayal of longing and its ultimate admission of mortality. Just remarkable!
    I’m so glad you decided to finally publish this. Keep up the good fight :))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s