Saturday, December 8, 2012
Whose Line is it Anyway? -The Worst Line Distribution I've Seen in Idol Music-
For my last post on line distribution, I tried my best to show some of the bright, shiny subversions of line distribution. The harsh truth is for a lot of idol music, cases of really even line distribution are rare. Most groups rely on lead singers and aces like a pair of crutches and it's inevitable that some girls will get shafted, especially with larger idol groups.
This is focusing on the worst of the worst.
To me there's bad line distribution and then there's bad line distribution. This goes beyond just having lead singers getting more lines than the others. This is having lead singers getting the only lines in the song, this is shafting everyone so fantastically you can't help but wonder how awkward the studio recording must have been. Once again, I've taken examples from idols that I follow and be warned: there's a lot of Morning Musume on this list. In fact... they even start off this list! So let's go to number 10, shall we?
One Two Three – Morning Musume: Starting off the list with the least bad distribution compared to everything else on the list is one of Morning Musume's more recent songs! Now I'll before you really get into this: there's a lot of Momusu. And why not? The group is notorious for having some of the most disproportionate line distribution in the idol industry! Every now and then, yeah, there's a hope spot that maybe their line distribution will get better but that's a sucker punch for their next song to have two girls singing lead. In this case, the two leads in question are Reina and Riho. Yay. Yeah, you all know I'm not the hugest fan of Riho and it doesn't help that she's Autotuned to hell (so much I nicknamed her RiDOS). I mean, if a song has bad line distribution but is still a good song then I can at least enjoy the song and ignore that aspect of it. While I do enjoy One Two Three a lot, it would be so much better to me if there were other girls singing it. Like girls in the group that can sing. Come one UFP, it's not like you're so lacking in the talent department of Momusu that you can only rely on two people to carry the songs! Oh well, maybe I'll get another hope spot for the 52nd single...
Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku - Mobekimasu: Now this group was a cool idea! What a better throwback to the H!P All Stars than to have all the current idols in Hello! Project together again under one giant group! It could be just like old times where all the members could be put in groups and sing harmonious group solos- oh wait, except it's totally not. I was very surprised when I found out the line distribution for this song. The verses consists of nothing but duets and solos from all the popular girls of Morning Musume and everyone else doesn't even get to sing until the chorus kicks in. Even then, that's just each group singing one part and so on. And a lot of other people were also pretty miffed that only the faces of Hello! Project really got to sing on a song that was supposed to represent H!P as a whole. In letting only the popular girls sing, it felt less like MoBeKiMaSu and more like RisAiYuRiMaGaReMi. The song also didn't stand out to me and the sheer fact that the line distribution was bad only lowered my opinion of the song even more. Seriously, Manatsu no Sounds good! had more girls in it and they had better line distribution! Man, I wish I'd had a blog when this song was released so I could bitch about this song even more...
Limited Addiction – Tokyo Girls’ Style: Now this is actually one of the few songs on the list that I really, really like. In fact, it's probably my favorite TGS song because I think it perfectly captures that sound that works best for the girls. It's got an awesome intro that builds up to an even awesome-r song with the highlight being the sheer... awesomeness of Ayano's voice. You think pre-teen girls can't sing because their voices haven't developed? Listen to Limited Addiction and see if Ayano can change your mind. Speaking of Ayano... the song is pretty much her and Hitomi. True, Mei, Yuri and Miyu do get a few small-ish solo lines but the song is still pretty much just those two leading. I mean, in past TGS songs, Hitomi and Ayano had lead a lot of the songs but it always felt a little more balanced than it does here. As great as I think Limited Addiction is, the only time the other three members get to sing is in the chorus and even than they only get to sing part of that so Ayano can blow everyone away with her amazing voice. But yeah, the verses also consist of just Ayano and Hitomi singing. So does the line distribution ruin the song for me? Well... no. Not really. Limited Addiction is a damn awesome song regardless of the disproportionate vocal distribution!
The Matenrou Show – Morning Musume: Oh, UFP, how many ways did you mess up this single? Aside from this A-side being promoted like a B-side, one of the many things I dislike about this song is that it has terrible line distribution. Okay, so One Two Three's was also really bad but choosing between the two songs, I'm glad One Two Three got the huge promotion instead of this song! Okay, that's like picking which level of electroshock you wanna get but still! This entire song is just Reina and Riho bouncing back and forth with the vocals, much like two banshees swinging across trees. Everyone else gets to sing parts of the song but it's usually just backing vocals. The members who definitely get the shortest end of the already short stick are Haruna, Eripon, Zukki and Haruka; they pretty much get only backing vocals. I guess I'd be a little less angry with this song if I actually liked the idols who are leading it but as I've said on more than one occasion, I don't care for Riho and I'm not particularly fond of Reina either. Neither one of them sounds really good in this song either; hell, everyone sounds bored out of their minds in The Matenrou Fail. And shouldn't they? I'll bet the recording for everyone who's not Riho/Reina was almost as dull as recording for the next song was!
SHOCK! – C-ute: I wish I'd been following C-ute around the time they released this single because I really wanted to see how other people reacted to it. So in the past, C-ute has always had shaky line distribution at best. I think a lot of people were used to Airi and Maimi getting the most lines with everyone else getting one every now and then to keep the fandom calm. Looking at their past PVs, I noticed that a lot of girls got shafted but not really shafted... is there even a difference? Well, for Shock! there was and this time around it wasn't Airi and Maimi leading the song. It was just Airi. Lots and lots of Airi. I mean seriously, she has chunks of lines where she sings and all the other girls of C-ute just awkwardly dance in the background with these really pissed off expressions on their faces. I love Airi and her epic derpiness but even I think that Shock! had way too much of her! And salt on the wound was that Erika had just graduated and this was the first song to feature 5nin C-ute. More like 1nin C-ute! Get it? Yeah... I guess you do. When I first saw the PV, it was very disheartening to see such a horrible shaft of four other really talented idols. Fortunately, now judging by their current singles I think UFP has managed to give all the C-ute girls pretty even line distribution and hopefully nothing as shocking as Shock! will happen again!
ONLY YOU – Morning Musume: Maji Desu ka Ska! was a hope spot for me. It was the first current single I saw released after discovering Morning Musume and as I said in my last list, the line distribution was great. I was excited for Only You and hopeful that the trend would continue! Naturally, my hopes and dreams for an equal Momusu were sadistically crushed by UFA and the Ai/Reina show that had been so prevalent in the Emo Musume era. Now I wasn't around when this era was in full swing but I listened to the songs, I saw how Ai and Reina dominated vocally. Only You could pretty much blend in with those songs because Ai and Reina are all over it. It was also my first taste of Riho the Ace I'm Not Okay With. Look, I was wary of Riho even during the auditions because I feared that if she got in, then UFA would dump all the promotion on her and shaft everyone else in the 9th Generation. Only You proved that I was right although I sorely hoped it was just a one-time thing. Now, five singles later with Riho still in the center, I was horribly right. These three make up 90% of the song and every now and then one of the other members gets a line or duet but yeah. It's the Ai and Reina Show Featuring Riho. And I'm not okay with that.
Resonant Blue – Morning Musume: You! You started this! You started this whole trend of Ai and Reina being the only people to get lines in Morning Musume singles! Actually no, but this was the first song in a long time that had a really disproportionate amount of lines for each member. I mean, up until this point I could tell that there had been leads but there had also been minor vocalists to back them up and everyone got a least one line here or there. But with Resonant Blue, the song is pretty much Ai and Reina with Koharu popping up every few verses or so. In that sense, it reminds me a lot of Only You except Riho replacing Koharu and at least the girls got to sing actual words. Here, everyone else sans Gaki and Eri only sing "Fu!" "Wow~" and other various sex noises. And even Gaki and Eri barely get to sing much outside the chorus and two little duets. The song is Ai and Reina and from what I've read digging through old reviews from other blogs, not a lot of people were happy with that. Also, people were pretty divided about giving Koharu vocals considering her lack of... vocal talent. I do admit, of all the minors to go with Koharu seems like an odd choice to me but I guess she was good promotion material. Still, this song did a crapsack job of promoting everyone else and that trend has continued to this very day for Momusu!
Furusato – Morning Musume: Here it is. The song that started it all. When I say "all" I mean the trend of giving Morning Musume really crappy line distribution. Hell, Furusato is notorious for having line distribution at is worst for Momusu. I mean, the color-coded lyrics speak for themselves! The text is nothing but red with a few backup harmonies thrown in here and there. Whenever someone complains about the bad line distribution in Morning Musume, there will always be someone to pop up and say "Well, you should just get used to it because they've had the lines done like this since Furusato. Newb." It's pretty clear that Nacchi is the ace of the old Morning Musume in this song, at least until Goto Maki came prancing in. I will say, despite its notoriety, I actually think it's a very pretty song. However, I think it should have just been released as a solo single for Nocchi instead of dragging six other very talented (and probably very jealous) other girls into the mix. You know, I've always wondered how the other idols who don't get a lot of lines feel about that. Do they mad? Do they get bummed? Do they just get used to it? Oh well, at this rate I'll never know unless one just pulls up to my driveway and wants to give an English interview!
You might be wondering what song could possibly top Furusato in terms of bad line distribution? I didn't think anything else could and the song was originally in my number one spot. But then I looked up the color-codes for one more group and the minute I saw them, the song in question skyrocketed to the number one spot. Yes, the song I have found with the worst line distribution ever is none other than...
More Kiss – Fairies: This song. This... I need to explain something. I haven't really emphasized this much but poor line distribution in a song can turn me off from a new group. It's that important to me. I can't suck it up and deal with it because my reasoning is why should I listen to a group if it's not even really a group? For that reason, More Kiss turned me off from Fairies faster than a light switch. I don't care if they all look good, I don't care if Momoka has a good voice, I don't care if they can all dance, when you have seven girls and only use one to sing an entire fucking song I'm not going to get interested. Look up the color-coded lyrics to this song. Seriously, do that now. The whole song is highlighted in pink. Freaking pink! Literally nobody else gets to sing in this song, not even to do harmonies. At least the Momusu girls got some harmonies to back up Nacchi! Here it is 100% Momoka and that really pisses me off. Avex isn't exactly known for stellar line distribution but I've never seen it get this bad. I don't even know why it was released under a group; it's a solo single with glorified backup dancers. From what I've seen, the line distribution has gotten marginally better since More Kiss but it's still not enough for me to get interested in this group.
So I've decided to make one more little poll just to balance out the first poll. The poll question is Which idol group do you think has the worst line distribution? The options are the same as the first poll so be careful not to get the polls mixed up!