Given my innate reaction to Koharu’s voice, I’m not sure what exactly possessed me to download her most recent Kirari album. Morbid curiosity maybe? Whatever it was, I can’t unlisten to it now, so I may as well do a review. I’m rating these songs on a scale of 1 (the song is tolerable) to 5 ‘s (we are holding a funeral for what’s left of my speakers on Sunday).
Track 1: Happy-
Koharu’s 3rd single, so you’re probably familiar with it. This also just happens to be my least favorite single out on the entirety of Hello Project. The term “musical vomit” comes to mind. She’s barely even singing. Most of the time she’s just kind of shouting at the microphone. I think I have made it clear that I do not hate Koharu, but every time she winds up for another “HAAAAPPY” I find myself wishing her serious bodily harm. Don’t even get me started on the bridge *shudders*. I have a feeling that no matter who was singing this song it would annoy me, but Koharu just pushes it to another level.
Track 2: Chance
Koharu’s 4th single, mercifully, is a lot less annoying than Happy. I think it’s much better suited to Koharu’s voice, and I’ll have to admit that the song is pretty catchy. I almost like the, “anata yo ne” parts and the “yay!” homage to Koi Kana. Of course, she has to ruin it by baby-talking her way through the chorus. If she had just tried a bit less hard to be cutsey I might like this song.
Track 3: Olala
Okay, I take back what I said about the verses of “Chance” because Koharu quite literally babytalks the verses of this song. That’s right; there is no attempt at singing whatsoever, just cutesy talking. Ug. She’s 15 years old, not 3. The chorus isn’t too bad, I guess. It’s this album’s first example of Kirari’s preference for choruses that consist almost entirely of nonsense syllables (see “Balalaika”). The whole thing is kind of low-key and forgettable which is probably a good thing, coming from this album.
Track 4: Himawari
The intro to this song is pretty nice. It sounds very anime, but that’s appropriate. Then Koharu comes in “singing” almost in monotone and ruins it again. I guess having her stick to only 1 or 2 notes is one way to keep her in tune, but it’s still not very pleasing to the ear. Again, the chorus is super-anime, but, listenable. It’s not as much solid-Koharu, which helps, and there are some good guitar bits. I can imagine what this song could have been had Buono sang it. I think it would have fit their style, and they could have sung it sooo much better. With that positive image in my mind, I give this song a good rating.
Track 5: Konnichi Pa
Holy shit. How can I even describe this song? ‘On crack’ comes to mind, but that just doesn’t do it justice. Let’s see, it’s polka, Koharu is way more hyper/annoying than usual, and she becomes intoxicated somewhere around the middle. I am not joking. The middle is Koharu trying to sing while falling on her ass drunk, and nothing you say can convince me otherwise. If you are ever even the slightest bit annoyed with Kirarin, DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS SONG. It is everything that is obnoxious about Koharu’s singing magnified 1000x. Oh God, please get this song out of my ears!!!
Track 6: Very Berry Strawberry
Another forgettable generic song made horrible by Koharu’s voice. That’s really all there is to it.
Track 7: Hana wo Puuun
Any track with Maimai to cut the Koharuness couldn’t be that bad, though this one puts up a valiant effort. It’s very very very strange, but there’s nothing here that requires Koharu to hold a long note unaccompanied, so despite being weird, it’s relatively non-offensive. Surprisingly, the background vocals are more terrible than Koharu’s, particularly the “Hana hana hana” part at the beginning.
Track 8: Koi no Mahou Habibi no bi
Repeated nonsense syllable song number 2. I suppose it’s kind of catchy, and most of it doesn’t bother me much. I was almost thinking I could give this one a favorable rating, but then after the chorus Koharu had to do her trademark shouting at the microphone in lieu of singing move, and it all went out the window. Sigh. I had so much hope.
Track 9: Futari wa NS
Maimai to the rescue again! To be fair, Kirari ballads give Koharu the least opportunity to act cute/hyper, so they generally are not as bad. The song is kind of boring, sure, but with this album, ‘boring’ is not one of main concerns. It’s kind of funny how clear it is from listening to this that little Mai can sing circles around Koharu.
Track 10: Ramutara
Nonsense syllable song number 3! The sound of this song is kind of Arabic, which makes it stand out. Unfortunately, the chorus is one giant Koharu shout-fest. RamtaTAramtaTAramtaTA… I actually wince every time she hits one of those “TA’s”. Then at the end it’s just one extended TAAAAAAA! I believe that forcing someone to listen to the chorus of this song more than once counts as torture in most of the developed world.
Track 11: Shiawase Clover
Just when my courage was faltering, when I felt I could not go on and I may not get through one more Koharu track alive, Shiawase Clover came along. The gentle strains of a ballad hit my ears, and I thanked my lucky stars. As I continued to listen, something very strange happened… I started to like this song. Had Koharu’s voice finally robbed me of my sanity? Could it be that her voice, when paired with this song, sounds cute? Was this actually a good song, or was it but a mirage brought on my Kirari-induced delirium? In order to find out, I did the unthinkable. I voluntarily listened to one of Koharu’s songs twice in a row, and I came to the same conclusion. I like this song. God help me, but I do.