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Translation: Morning Musume. '21 New Song "Teenage Solution" Explanation At A Whisper (Tsunku♂)

Posted by Lurkette, in Translations 02 November 2021 · 738 views

Morning Musume. '21 New Song "Teenage Solution" Explanation At A Whisper​
2021.10.31 17:00

Thank you for reading note magazine "Tsunku♂ Super Producer Opinions." This new article is his explanation on Mornng Musume '21's new song "Teenage Solution" to be released on December 8. Please enjoy Tsunku♂'s thoughts that he couldn't fit into the liner notes.

Editing/Ogawa Aya
Illustrations/Mizushina Takayuki

So, I'd like to do an Explanation At A Whisper column from the producer's perspective as I review my own chart of the line distribution and watch the MV. Please enjoy it as enthusiasts!

I was very stuck on "Teenage Solution" as to whether the singing should be done as solos or with a few members in unison. Ultimately, I went with 2 singers to bring out the teenageness (youth) of the song. We start with 15th gen in Homura and Yamazaki. In terms of the MV and the camera, they seem less nervous and more "look at me!" which is a huge difference from before.

Then, Kitagawa's part. At this part in the MV, after Homura and Yamazaki's close-up entrance, there is no room for error, but she is also quite impressive here. From the recording side of things, too, she is singing with more mastery, so I can tell how much she has grown.

In the second half of the A-melody, the line division all at once bumps up the number of people singing. Fukumura, Ikuta, Ishida, Sato, Oda, and Nonaka sing as 6, which gives it more intensity and intimidation, in a good way. I also feel this sharpness from the song with the new members who had been singing up to this point getting pushed aside.

Sato sings the last part of the first A-melody as a solo, but she actually ended up recording over the course of two days. The second day's take had more energy and speed than that of the first day, so that's the one we went with. When she sings this part, you can tell she's a professional with 10 years of experience.

The mood completely changes from the B-melody. The line division is now Haga and Morito. Haga's singing has gotten so robust. Morito's voice is flexible and elegant.

After that is Kaga's solo. She has always had a voice that is very striking to the ear, but I feel that now she has developed even more.

A short Makino solo follows. The strong need for approval that she has is something that is necessary for the current Morning Musume. Afterwards, Yokoyama joins her to sing in unison in a somewhat reserved way, which makes me extremely interested in her voice (presence). She has won me over with that, even with it being kind of shy... That's a product of developing her skills within the group.

(Important: I've explained this several times, but when you sing, there is an inherent distance between "you and I." The moment it becomes "me and everyone else," that distance emerges. That's why if you try to force it and sing like you're trying to say, "Well? Aren't I good?" people won't listen. Just like someone standing on their soapbox in a public place, it just ends up becoming noise. So if you create some distance, people will become more interested in hearing you, so that is a very important part of singing.)

In the past, I've put in little lines of dialogue in Hello!Project songs that are like shouts of passion or a message that I wouldn't fit into the lyrics. They also appear in this song in various places.

The first line I put in is "I want to," from Homura. Her face at this point in the MV came out well.

The second half of the B-melody is the introduction to the chorus. Veterans Fukumura and Ikuta, as well as Ishida, Oda, and even Nonaka let you know the chorus is coming and they await it well. That's the kind of song it's turning into.

Everyone sings the chorus together, but the last part in the first chorus goes to Oda. There's some leeway with it, but the last line of the chorus has a message to that she expresses well: "I accept that your love is enough, but you have to let me do my own thing right now."

Onto the second part. The A-melody here is Ikuta and Ishida. You can feel how skilled they are as senior members, and then in the MV Fukumura appears after and they walk together as 3.

At the start of the A-melody in the MV, the camera starts on the two of them before Fukumura turns around to make her entrance, and the three of them are incredible (and have impact). It gives me this image of them walking downtown and the doors open right up for them.

The MV gives this impression of troops being aligned behind Sato at the center. It looks cool, kind of like West Side Story. Just like in the first section of the song, Sato gets the last line of the A-melody. Even in such a short time frame, she gives a lot of face (expressions).

In the B-melody, Oda and Nonaka have solos. How do you all feel about these critical voices? Please listen to it with earphones. Even now, I think I will come back to this part over and over. It's a "moe" moment, with tons of character.

The "I want to talk" is Kitagawa.

Then, just like before, we press into the chorus, but the point here for me is the dance, with the movements matching the "knock" sounds. Some time after we had finished the song, I decided I absolutely wanted that knocking in the song. I'm glad the dance matched up to it.

The next chorus starts in the MV with a wide shot of the whole group, which I understand from a directorial perspective to stem from a desire to show the scale and give the effect of everyone in unison. It gives it some impact.

The last line of this chorus is Fukumura. She really is so gallant.

Now this part is sort of the main event, with all the dialogue. I wrote this in my main liner notes, but there are 3 different personalities at play here.

The first person is a girl soliloquizing indifferently while looking a mirror.
The second person is a girl desperate trying to express herself to someone specific.
The third person is a girl giving a passionate speech in front of her class or school.

I explained each of these to the girls during recording, too.

For the first character, I challenged Homare to pretend like she was speaking to herself. If you're listening with earphones you'll understand, but the voice in the middle is Homare's. It's the first voice you hear.

The next voice is Yamazaki, playing the part of someone giving a speech in front of the blackboard to her class or at morning assembly. For this, I gave her the direction to try speaking at volume, like she was calling out to someone on the opposite side of a train station. There are going to be trains passing through, and so I think that got her to go pretty loud. She is on the right side of your earphones.

The last one to speak is Kitagawa, who is the girl trying to communicate with a certain someone. My image for this character was, something you were mad about at the time, but when you think back later, you laugh about it. She's chasing down her partner, or maybe just pushing very hard. We can say the general feeling is, "Hey, listen to me when I talk, look at me, sit down. Listen!" This is the first voice on the left in your earphones, I believe.

The three of them had to do some acting for this. Differences emerged between the three of them, both in their acting and in their personalities. I see so many possibilities for their live performances (or dancing, I should say), so I'm looking forward to seeing it.

(Important: To not show their specific choreography during the MV for this part is perfect editing, timing included. It isn't synchronized or lip-synced, and the dance even follows the backtrack, rather, so you can't see what it would end up looking like. I think they can also find another level of performance because of this, letting the song soak into them physically.)

Then, the tempestuous intermezzo, before returning to the chorus for a final time. However, the rhythm of the backtrack gets tricky (there's an emphasis on the syncopation, the cymbal crashes increase, etc, if you follow). This part of the song is filled with the clamor of the heart, I assume you realize. Then we quickly get to a Sato solo in this chorus, but there are still 2 members here, with Haga beside her. Haga makes some great facial expressions here. Definitely check out the MV.

The solo part of "I can't do this now" is Yamazaki. She understands the finer points of the rhythm, and she can handle some vibratto, too. The close-up of Yokoyama immediately after in the MV is also really good.

Everyone sings together afterwards. Everyone shows off their own level of intensity in this MV.

I left the final line to Sato. I already said that she showed so many expressions in the second part of the MV, but she ends the whole thing with a single look. Many different personalities appeared throughout, but at the very last, it might just be Sato herself.

(Important: Speaking of which, I guess it was Sato's third year after joining... When I watched her on the monitor during concerts, she really only had about three different expressions: "smile," "pained & heartbroken," and "looking down and then turning up because I've decided that's sexy." She might have thought she was doing more, but her basis was in those three, and I told her as such. "Go home and watch the footage carefully. You only have three modes for your face." It seemed like it was in one ear and out the other at first, like, "No way~"
However, the next day, she came dashing up to me and said, "Tsunku♂, it was true! I'm lacking different expressions." After that, I remember it was like her whole attitude changed. It goes without saying that her singing and appearance multiplied in the number of styles. Definitely study her in different live footage and MVs!)

I hope that my additions will help you to watch the MV and enjoy it twice or three times as much as you would otherwise.

I'll feature different members in other commentary for "Yoshi Yoshi Shite Hoshii No."

Thanks for your work! This song it's hitting me hard and now I can understand it better.