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Author Topic: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]  (Read 1665 times)


Offline shirenuファクトリー

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 08:11:03 PM »
The instrumental for A Gonna sounds a little.. void/empty at times? Other than that, cool stuff... Thanks!

Of course both vid stills are Maachan looking awesome xD
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Offline Slack

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 03:34:11 AM »
The instrumental for A Gonna sounds a little.. void/empty at times? Other than that, cool stuff... Thanks!
Concert fan recordings have a tendency to cut out certain frequencies so that might be what you're hearing.
I find that the high-end and mid-range frequencies are usually muted a bit, or are drowned out by audience noise.
In these songs, there's so many overlapping rhythms that missing a layer or two can make the arrangement sound sparse.

When I just heard the concert rip of Are you happy, I was underwhelmed by how repetitive it sounded.
After seeing both of these songs performed in concert last weekend, hearing all the parts clearly made a huge difference.

In the recording, it's unclear how the song slowly keeps adding layers and intensity.
From the quiet parts, it keeps building up and up until the end of the choruses when the entire arrangement drops out.
That's really the dramatic punch of the song, which you can't really tell from the recording.

As a side note, the dance around 1:45 of the recording reminded me of Maasai jumping dance.
That tribal context made that part of the song make so much more sense.
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Offline oaxiac

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 03:28:34 PM »

Offline Rayle

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2018, 05:19:45 PM »
Are You Happy is so Tsunku and I love it.

A-gonna had its potential (especially that Sakura moment in the pre-chorus), but they made a huge mistake of making the hook into the chorus and it's flaccid. All that build-up to nothing.

Offline shirenuファクトリー

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2018, 07:35:41 PM »
^ Yeah... I *still* think it sounds empty. Cuz it goes nowhere :lol:
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Offline J-Triumf

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2018, 08:47:47 AM »
On the contrary, there's nothing "flaccid" or "empty" about "A Gonna" at all. In fact, quite the opposite: this song is a huge breath of fresh air in H!P's music landscape! I've been saying for years that H!P compositions and arragements have been falling short in the beat/rhythm department, and adopting this trap style is precisely the kind of kick that's sorely needed. Everything from that sustained bass, to the punchy percussive bursts of sound, to the smartly-timed stuttery flow of the vocals, this is a pretty damn lively song! To say this song goes "nowhere" is a disservice and misunderstanding of this approach to music making, because what makes this song strong is how it hits and flows in its general groove; it doesn't have to "go somewhere" when it's already where it needs to be, and it's all the better for it especially thanks to its rhythms.

And really, with all the talk I've seen about how Momusu "needs" to change their sound, going with these kinds of hip-hop/trap beats is a much more refreshing change than retreating to the same old eurobeat/disco/speedrock idol cliches that so many others seem to want.

(I was hoping to save this kind of analysis for when the full music video is released, but I felt compelled to strike a little earlier this time :P But I suppose I can still expand on it after I hear the whole song in proper quality)
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Offline muppet

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2018, 03:41:09 PM »
Am ^ onboard with what J-Triumf is saying about the beat and rhythm strengths of the song.
And in another departure from the standard presentation is the outfits that the girls are wearing -

gives the MV a
nice departure from the standard shiny sequin Idol Bare midriff look (although Maria still shows off that remarkable
waistline). These are fashionable Young Women, and would guess that they enjoy this opportunity to express their taste...

Offline Rayle

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2018, 05:06:40 PM »
The beats and rhythms are fine for most of it. But the A-gonna chorus rhythms aren't enough to merit being a chorus. Consider Take Off Is Now, where the chorus is furious and dense with the rhythms, and so are triumphant as a chorus. I don't mind a down-tempo chorus, but you have to earn it with either a god-tier melody or rhythm (see Ariana songs), and A-gonna is not that.

Another western comparison would be "I Slay" chorus from Beyonce's Formation, the finisher to Lemonade. Its arrangement and rhythms sound deceptively simple on first listen, but are actually very layered and always have a counter-rhythm and new shiny timbre filling every space. A-gonna is flaccid because it has way too much empty space, which works as a hook, but not a chorus, especially when the pre-chorus had way more interesting things going on. It really does build up to a disappointment. If they really wanted to justify that chorus, then the structure of the rest of the song needs to lead to that. Start furious in the verse and then build downwards. Instead, the structure is literally an increase in the rhythm density and the melody heading upwards.

Hell, the perfect counter-example is already there in this single: Are You Happy is superior on the rhythms in every way.

Offline muppet

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2018, 12:41:57 AM »








In many a piece of music, it's the pause or the rest that gives the piece its beauty and its shape. And I know I, as a writer, will often try to include a lot of empty space on the page so that the reader can complete my thoughts and sentences and so that her imagination has room to breathe.
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Offline Rayle

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2018, 05:11:14 AM »
Pauses and empty spaces have to be placed appropriately within the structure. Here, sticking it in as the chorus makes the result misshapen. (Edit: For example, the bass dropping out for the beginning of the pre-chorus, and the pause before Sakura's lines, those are great empty spaces! But then the pre-chorus follows with a ratchet up to the end, which means you can't fall back and let that be the peak. You have to fulfill its promise with either More Stuff, or like I said before, have a god-tier melody. See Indigo Blue Love as another example of doing it right. And I have no issues with Cho Dai, which has the same rhythm-focused aesthetic as A-gonna but none of its problems.)

I'm pretty on board with the Makino-abs though.

I enjoyed the variety of colors in the MV, but sometimes the lighting was weird, which detracted from the impact. Like, the Sakura moment in the pre-chorus wasn't as good as it was in the Hello!Station footage because her face is weirdly shadowed. Too much top lighting and back lighting maybe?

EDIT: after watching the full MV, I find that they just needed to beef up the instrumental during the chorus. Whereas with Renai Hunter I didn't like the melody of the hook at all, the chorus of A-gonna could work if it just had more oomph to it via the arrangement (BASS BOOST THAT SHIT), or at least increasing density with each repetition.
Alternatively, they needed (yes I realize the irony of this) more of a pause between the pre-chorus and chorus. The first time, they go straight from the piano hits into the chorus, which has maximum dissonance. The second time, after the dance break, there's a slight bit of a pause, which did wonders for it.

Hrm. I think I can make that edit.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 06:43:23 AM by Rayle »

Offline J-Triumf

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2018, 09:04:07 AM »
Full music video is up! (for some reason it's "unlisted" at the time of this posting, which makes me wonder how people on Twitter found it)


The beats and rhythms are fine for most of it. But the A-gonna chorus rhythms aren't enough to merit being a chorus.

Strongly disagree; the beats and rhythms are precisely what makes this song so good and what makes everything about it work.

Pauses and empty spaces have to be placed appropriately within the structure.

And I'd say they've been placed appropriately. :P I don't think there needs to be any pause between the pre-chorus and chorus, I think that would ruin the sense of flow going on (which the pause at the end of the instrumental dance break does I'd say).

Consider Take Off Is Now, where the chorus is furious and dense with the rhythms, and so are triumphant as a chorus. I don't mind a down-tempo chorus, but you have to earn it with either a god-tier melody or rhythm (see Ariana songs), and A-gonna is not that.

Another western comparison would be "I Slay" chorus from Beyonce's Formation, the finisher to Lemonade. Its arrangement and rhythms sound deceptively simple on first listen, but are actually very layered and always have a counter-rhythm and new shiny timbre filling every space. A-gonna is flaccid because it has way too much empty space, which works as a hook, but not a chorus, especially when the pre-chorus had way more interesting things going on. It really does build up to a disappointment. If they really wanted to justify that chorus, then the structure of the rest of the song needs to lead to that. Start furious in the verse and then build downwards. Instead, the structure is literally an increase in the rhythm density and the melody heading upwards.

Okay, to be honest, a lot of my initial hard fighting for this song is mainly in the hip-hop/trap stylings, but all this focus on structure and "normal" song building made me realize that this inverted approach actually makes this song even more interesting! Yes, the usual way of building a song is to "build up" during the verses and go super-layered during the main chorus, but I think doing that spaced-out chorus with a more "rich" traditional-build-up verse/pre-chorus is yet another way of helping this song stand out from the norm. I mean, it's Tsunku being Tsunku, and if he wants to switch it up like this I'd say he's done a great job here.

Again, I love this song because of how much of a refreshing change it is from idol music complacency, and ironically all these arguments against it made me realize even more ways that make it unique and fun to listen to. :lol: Don't get me wrong, I think your expectations are valid, but I'm just trying to argue for another way to approach music that other H!P fans might not yet grasp.

If there's any actual weakness to "A Gonna" I'd say it's the instrumental break and the overall length of the song. The instrumental break, placed before the second verse this time (yet another break from pop music norm) is too much of a bland four-on-the-floor passage that the rest of the song successfully rebels against. And if there's any part of the song where "disappointing build up to nothing" applies, it's that outro, which sounds like it's a transition to more music but instead simply ends things. Clocking in at a disappointing 3 minutes and 37 (?) seconds, this song is way too short for what it brings to the table.

Hell, the perfect counter-example is already there in this single: Are You Happy is superior on the rhythms in every way.

Another strong disagreement; "Are You Happy" may start strong but it succumbs to the same four-on-the-floor drum beat once the music gets into full swing, so I'd say it's rhythmically inferior in that sense; at least with "A Gonna" such elements are restricted to transition sections rather than being the foundation.

(not to say "Are You Happy" is a bad song; it seems decent enough and I'll comment on it more when the full version comes)

« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 10:30:30 AM by J-Triumf »
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Offline oaxiac

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2018, 06:32:31 PM »


Offline Rayle

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2018, 02:17:52 AM »
L O L we didn't even make it to the chorus in the H!S cut of the Are You Happy PV. Tsunku just can't stop with the double sized pre-chorus. (chorii?)



Can't wait to see the recording booth sessions of that "Loneliness" line. Probably Oda, but it kinda sounded like Riho. :P

Offline oaxiac

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2018, 06:49:18 PM »
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 02:24:37 PM by oaxiac »

Offline oaxiac

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2018, 12:56:24 PM »

Offline oaxiac

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2018, 06:30:58 PM »

Offline oaxiac

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Re: [6/13] Morning Musume '18 65th Single -[Are you happy/A gonna]
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2018, 06:51:22 PM »

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