This post is little overdue, but here it is!
I’ll start with Toki wo Koe, Sora wo Koe.
I don’t even know how to describe how perfect this song is. I personally love Morning Musume’s dubstep/EDM sound that they’ve had since One Two Three and will probably have for the next few years, and I also probably won’t get tire of it. I enjoy it. However, I like that this gives us a small break from the electronic sound and major vocal effects. The piano and the violin are just lovely and sound so beautiful, and the way the song flows is stunning. There’s still slight dubstep/EDM undertones, but they aren’t prominent or overwhelming, which allows the song to stay in Morning Musume’s recent style but also still keeps it sounding fresh. The girl’s vocals are lovely as well – they hold the high notes well and they harmonize together beautifully. I also love that there are no solo lines, other than Riho’s notes during the final course, which is a nice change. Tsunku did a really good job with this, as did the arraigner (because Tsunku doesn’t do that himself – he works with them and gives them a melody to work with and tweaks things but he doesn’t do it all by himself). The lyrics are also a breath of fresh air – meaningful and romantic, sad and painful, buy they aren’t about being noticed about the guy you like, or dieting, or wanting to change yourself because you aren’t good as you are so that people will like you, or about not knowing which guy to sleep with but wondering if it really matters anyways and you might as well suck up all their attention before you get some from at least one of them by the end of the night, like the past few singles H!P has been releasing. It’s about longing for your soul mate who you have yet to meet, and having faith that you’ll meet again in this lifetime. Really, everything about the song is wonderful.
On to the music video. This is probably Morning Musume’s best music video out of this current era. The video is made up of the close ups, the dance shot, and various other small scenes. The close ups are gorgeous, they’re so light and airy and all the girls just look so pretty! The dance shot set is lovely, with the space scene and the grey floor that kinda reminds me of the moon, and I love that they’re dancing bare-foot, as it just looks more… free? I guess that’s the only word I can use. The other small scenes, with the girls solo shots of them dancing and such in space, the effects is just impressive – their last few attempts as CG were pretty bad (Help Me!!, for example), but this time it seems a lot of work went into it and the result is massively impressive. The occasional ripple effect (like in the beginning) is a nice touch, as it the circle-lense effect they do throughout the video. I enjoy the small little diamond things that the girls have throughout as well, and when they touch them they disintegrate (especially Ayumi’s part at 2:27). The girl’s outfits are great too – they’re flowly and simple, and match the song and video really well, and their hair clips and other holographic-like accessories are nice touches to their outfits. The dance is amazing too. I like that they have that ballet style, and the dance moves flow with the song nicely, and unlike other people, I don’t have much of a problem with the bouncy parts (it all looks much better in the Dance Shot ver,). I think that had it all been ballet it wouldn’t have worked, and so having some moves that better fit the instrumental was important. This is also one of the first MM dances I’ve seen in this era that haven’t recycled dance moves, as a lot of them seem to be fairly new (a lot of MM’s choreography since OTT have just been recycled dance moves and it gets boring to watch after a while). However, I didn’t like the dance break part, with Riho/Ayumi center dance and the other girls circling around them, as that’s been the usual for the past few releases. The Riho-Ayumi dance battle was cool at first, as was the rotating stuff, but now that it’s been done for every release (Wakuteka, Brainstorming, Ai no Gundan, to name a few), it’s getting awfully stale. That aside, the rest of the dance is awesome, and I do like the Riho/Ayumi part, I just wish the other girls were doing something similar… Also, Zuuki only appears once for a close up, maybe twice, which really sucks. Haruna did appear a lot as did Erina, so that was a nice change. I do feel there might have been a little less Riho than normal but she still appeared more than anyone else. I’d like to see more Zuuki, because she’s very expressive in her face and probably did really well during shooting!
Overall, this is the best Morning Musume song in a very long time. Some are saying it is this era’s Shouganai Yume Obito, which I can see. The music video and song are their best yet of this era, the outfits are lovely, and the dance is fantastic! For the first time in a long time, I give this a 5/5!
On to Password is 0.
I like the song name, but the song itself still has to grow on me (and I know I’m not the only one). The song is just… I dunno. Like Kimi no Kawari, it’s missing something. That extra umph. The instrumental is okay, and I like the electronic voices that say “zero zero zero password is zero” but I don’t like the girl’s lines of “Zero, Zero, Zero, Password is Zero”. It’s grown on me after a couple of listens, but I do think the song could do just fine without it. I like the verses well enough, and I like the Riho and Sakura slow solo parts (although Riho’s Engrish is terrible – I think Sakura’s is better and they should have swapped them), but the chorus is a bit weak for me. I do love the verses where they shout though – that’s probably the best part of the song besides the instrumental parts. The song, for me, is just “okay”, “good” at best. I like it.
The music video is not as nice as TokiSora’s. It’s a mix of the close up and dance shot, with small shots of the girl’s freestyling dance moves and such. The close up is just a black background, which is okay because it draws attention to the girls. The dance shot is in a small space, a white stage with while rectangular sections of walls surrounding them in a circle, one of which is black. Throughout the video, green and red letters and numbers appear on the screen which covers the girls up a lot and can be a bit irritating, but I see what they were trying to do. I do like the effects where the words are in their hands, like for example, Sakuara’s “I love all” at the 3:00 mark (it does it for Riho’s “What goes around comes around” line too). The dance is okay, from the live on Hello! Station, the beginning and ending instrumental parts are the best for the dance and it’s sad they didn’t show it in full in the video. The rest of the dance just looks like a mess to me, and I don’t personally like the jumping () parts either. The chorus is the worst though, as it looks disorganized and messy. The girls are forming a triangle and a star at one point, but you can only see that from an aerial viewpoint, and otherwise is just looks oddly… well, messy. The odd arm movements aren’t impressive either. The whole ‘formation’ dance thing was cool in the beginning, but it’s starting to get stale and overused, and I feel like the group is going to get stuck with it and people are going to get bored. It’s just not impressive anymore, at least not with this dance. This is probably MM’s worst EDM-era dance so far in my opinion. With that said, the beginning and ending sections are super impressive, so had that type of choreography been continued throughout, it would have been much better.
Overall, the song is simply good, the outfits are okay, the dance is also okay and so is the music video. It’s nothing impressive, really. I was hoping for more, but I’m happy with TokiSora so, it’s okay. It gets a 3/5 from me.
This single is looking pretty good. Even if one song is better than the other for me, that’s okay. I don’t dislike Password is 0, it’s just at that “good” level for me. Maybe it’ll grow on me more. The Promotional Versions are not the final music video, by the way - the MVs on the DVDs for the single will have slight differences, so if you’ve purchased those, you’re in luck I suppose. :)
The single will be released April 16th.