Morning Musume - Furusato

review - 04.19.2008 08:00

A mature single from the girls of Morning Musume.

Furusato, dedicated to mothers and lead by Abe Natsumi, was the sixth single to be released by the ever-changing Morning Musume. It comprised of vocals from the first two "generations." Since then the single has been re-released twice and covered by many other members, becoming one of the groups trademark songs.

Morning Musume's songs have always been somewhat alike in tone and musical choices, the exception being their ballads, which arrive on the scene in a less poppy manner and possess a level of maturity not witnessed otherwise in their now vast collection of works. This is true of Furusato, the first ballad to be released by the group. The song begins on a sun-drenched prelude of emulation, the influence of traditional Japanese music apparent from the first digital notes. Natsumi begins, her voice lower than expected of a Morning Musume member but fitting for the lyrical content at hand. It should be noted that Tsunku, Morning Musume's manager, wrote the song especially for her as a musical correlation of what was going on in her life at the time. The melody is easy on the ears and although the song is one of admittance that the older generation is often right, the musical accompaniment stays light-hearted throughout.

Moving on to more familiar ground, Wasurerannai sounds like most of Morning Musume's poppy material, although like Furusato there is a maturity about it. The contributions by a male backing artist adds some funk and a hint of early hip-hop. Overall the song features typical 90's electronic effects, sounding straight out of an old console game. With the emphasis away from Natsumi, the group has a chance to further display their appealing harmonies, which feature throughout. Unfortunately, the genre and pitch of Wasurerannai only serve to further accentuate some already nasally voices, but given the harmonies, laid back music and disco dance flavor, it isn't too hard to overlook. Considering the time of its release and the relative age of the singers, Wasurerannai packs a pretty good punch.
Included on the CD is the instrumental of the title track. The re-released edition also comes with an "early bird" version that is rather like a demo. Here the song has not had much preparation, however there are some sections where the rawness of it beats the mastered track.

For a group like Morning Musume who practically lives on cuteness and the idea of becoming adults far too quickly, Furusato is a nice deviation from the norm and a reminder that there really are some great singers within the group. For the sceptics wishing for a piece of their huge pie without spending on an album they may not like, this is a good choice, and for fans it is definitely a must have.
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