My Life got Flipped, Turned Upside Down

The new ‘Buono!’ mini-album, ‘Partenza’, just crashed my car. Brought home my bacon. Shivered my timbers. Warmed the cookies of my heart.

‘Buono!’ has lived up to its reputation as the quirky experimental group, and with this mini-album, can now be considered full-fledged pioneers of H!P. It’s been a long time since I… well… I’ve actually never been this surprised and excited by a H!P release, ever. This selection of new songs and recent single releases put into this mini-album is such a diverse and incredibly fresh package, and I can’t stop listening to it. These are idol songs with some serious quality.

The new tracks of an album are usually approached with apprehension because from my experience, most idol albums end up sounding half-baked and underdeveloped. But from the wildly different like ‘Partenza Let’s Go!!!’, to the incredibly soothing ‘My Alright Sky’, all of them have such personality and backbone that several of them could be released separately as stand-alone singles.

But a number of these songs can polarize fans. To a long-time H!P fan that prefers H!P’s current sound, one needs to come into this with an open mind. And by that, I mean you need to be a fan of music in general. If you think k-pop, electro or r&b is unbearable or too much of a departure for your tastes, then this probably isn’t for you. But to me, this is a colorful celebration of different genres that take residence in the pop-scene, and done in a very whole-hearted way. I really appreciate that this group was taken out of its comfort zone, and yielded very impressive songs as a result.

During my first listen-through my mind was stunned, trying to wrap my head around this album. “Is this really a UFA release? How?” It takes such risk and balls to make a move like this, which seems to be everything that H!P hasn’t been for a long time. It’s like witnessing a super-speed race boat climbing up the Niagra Falls. You never expect it to happen, and it’s something beautiful, not to mention, something mega-super-awesome.

Will this experiment prove fruitful? Will this be the start of something big? Whatever becomes of this, I hope there will be more exploration in store in the near future.


P A R T Y – E N Z A ! ! ! ! !

About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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  1. From what I’ve heard it really does sound great. I remember awhile ago you, David and Tron all predicted that H!P would trend further downward but the opposite seems to be happening…Buono is sounding good, S/Mielage are starting really build some momentum and their sales are looking good, I’ve really liked What I’ve been hearing from C-ute and BK as well, the girls who are remaining in the S/mileage audition look quite promising to me and that bodes well for the future of Morning Musume as well as S/mileage.

    I think the only major problem they have to fix before they really turn things around is their poor promotion of their members. So far they are wasting the 9th generation of MM by having them on Ustream playing with an IPad rather than running from giant reptiles like Idols should be lol.

    It really would be great to see AKB and Morning Musume at the top of the charts together and being really competitive…it would probably result in both of them producing better music to try to best each other. Let’s hope this trend continues…and I love the show, keep up the good work guys.

    • Yeah, H!P is showing growth in ways that I once felt was a long shot so it’s pretty exciting right now.

      But I agree that there isn’t enough promotion being done. No matter how much you improve internally, like music and getting charismatic members, the average person is never going to see that unless you put it in front of them in heaping great amounts. I would personally love to see some competition with AKB; the only other idol group out there smashing the competition is SKE, and they’re on the same team, haha.

      Awesome to know you’re listening to our shows; We’ll always be keepin’ up :]

  2. I must admit I was surprised by this album, I bought it on the principle that it had Miya and Airi, two of my H!P favorites in it and not for the music so you can imagine my joy (after getting round to really beleiveing this was a Buono album!) at how good this was.

    Experimentaion and variation, is this really a idol album? Yes! Is the happy answer to that I’m so proud of H!P right now (wow when was the last time you said that?) for relesing this. It’s as if suddenly someone in the meeting for this album smacked thier head and went ‘hey I know what we’ve been getting wrong, lets do this instead’ and the effects are superb.

    As you guys say promotion is a problem, a haunt back to when MM managed to piss everyone off when the could afford to and know they are paying for it, perhaps for the benefit of the company a few humble pies may need to be swallowed to get these girls back on tv, they can do it to recently S/mileage were on tv with SKE on Music Japan and really those 4 S/mileage girl give nothing away to thier SKE counerparts, they are just as engadgeing and entertaining and should be put in the same situations more often….

    Well not really a topic for here but I’ve kinda almost thought of S/mileage in the end becoming the new flagship of H!P instead of MM, bit of a ‘the king is dead long live the king’ type of thing but until the said promoting problem is sorted out (this along with a drastic member/image change up I feel H!P needs are the two biggest problems they have to me!) no real progress can be made and this is a shame for even if the just get to as position where they can ‘bother’ the 48 groups it will bring out the better in all the groups!

  3. Wow, I didn’t expect to hear this type of sound from an H!P group. THIS is the musically, bold direction I’ve been waiting to hear from them. While I’ve been on the fence about autotune in the past, I’m beginning to understand how essential it is to the concept of Partenza and the past autotuned songs before it. Partenza has a very electronic, house music sound to it and the autotuned vocals really complement that.

    There is no denying it, no matter how far of a departure the sound is, this is just good music. It truly is a love letter to today’s pop music and my what an endearing assortment of words so eloquently put.

    Any word on who produced or co-produced these tracks? I sincerely doubt that Tsunku would stray THIS far from his own signature sound. If this is indeed Tsunku’s work and his work alone, then bravo good sir, bravo. I truly did not expect this of you.

    BTW, NSK getting some love on Kotaku? Wa sugoi desu yo!

  4. I heard the intro to Partenza Let’s Go!!! and thought “……H!P are doing dubstep now?” then the song really kicked in and I was pleasantly surprised with the very un-idol sounding song I was presented with. The k-pop influence is painfully obvious and I’m not sure how I feel about that right now but at least I’m enjoying a H!P release, which doesn’t happen often enough for my liking.

    To continue to flog the dead horse of no promotion it really just baffles me that H!P seems to put so little effort into promoting its members. We as idol fans know about these releases and the girls behind them but the casual music listener isn’t going to run out and buy anything unless its been viral marketed to hell and back.

    Oh well, incredibly solid release regardless of how well it does or doesn’t end up selling.

  5. You mean, warm the COCKLES of my heart.

  6. When I started the listening to the beginning of Partenza Let’s Go!!, all I could think was “Wow…”

    This song is absolutely great. It is so un-idol-ish but that is not a bad thing. I might be a bit biased because I have a love for electronic music but this nice electronic flair to Buono’s music is really refreshing and extremely catchy.

    It’s great music. Although, I would be a bit dissapointed if Buono completely abandoned their rockish songs, I will not mind more songs like this.

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