Country Girls return to a familiar retro Hello! Project feel with their new song and PV, "Tamerai Summer Time". While many of their songs up to this point have had a standard idol feel to them, not taking away from their greatness of course, it is this song that finally makes one remember that they are in fact successors to classic Hello! Project group, Country Musume. Harkening back to a very different time in idol history, this song does more than simply make me appreciate Country Girls, it also makes me appreciate the Hello! Project/Tsunku legacy as well as the genre itself. This song is one of two A-Sides from their upcoming single "Wakatte Iru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summertime". A look at the first song can be found here.
First off one has to talk about the song itself. I mention the retro feel and yes there is something akin to the Golden Age here in both its simplicity and its style. In short it's a beautiful song that does away with much of the modern frills, but still manages to draw the listener in. The song is penned by Miura Yoshiko who has a long pedigree with Mano Erina and Buono! amongst many others. She most recently penned Juice=Juice's "Ca va Ca va" and is quickly becoming a strong creative voice in the new Hello! Project. Nostalgia reigns supreme here and one cannot help but feel they are being pulled into the song itself courtesy of the five girls lovely performances both vocally and in the video itself. Vocal-wise while the song is top notch, I still have been struggling to find that one special vocalist in the lot that draws my attention more than the others, they all do an admirable job here. I must say however that this type of songs are usually the ones that I love upon initial listens and think are a treat when performed live, but I rarely find myself listening to them on a regular basis. This of course is a matter of opinion, but it's that type of ballad that I don't think actually lives up to continuous play. Maybe it's the tinge of nostalgia in the song that makes it hard to hear regularly for myself, but this is something best left to each individual listener to decide on.
Onto the video itself. Now it does follow a very standard formula when it comes to content. Dance, close-ups, short drama sequences, call it a day. What makes this one truly unique is the location. Lovely Hokkaido is featured in all its glory. This is fitting of course as Country Musume was originally envisioned as a group made up of Hokkaido natives. Beautiful locations aside the video has a unique balance of colors that seems to put one instantly at peace. The girls look good here, no comments on the outfits and the dance is what is to be expected in a song like this. That selfie stick sequence though? I know it's referenced in the song as well, but I'm a sucker for selfies and this was a nice touch that made me like the song just a little more. While I personally still prefer "Wakatte Iru no ni Gomen ne" in this set, this one does well in holding its own. The true test for this song's longevity will of course be when the song becomes part of their live set.
With that we have heard and watched both new Country Girls songs! We remind everyone that the single drops on August 5th. While that's nearly a month away from now, I'm sure that to all the fans the time will fly by! Make sure to get those pre-orders in! Watch and enjoy!
Country Girls Are:
◆Tsugunaga Momoko (嗣永桃子) (Play Manager)
◆Yamaki Risa (山木梨沙)
◆Inaba Manaka (稲場愛香)
◆Morito Chisaki (森戸知沙希)
◆Ozeki Mai (小関舞)