Ai no Tane (Love’s Seed) is the first track coming from the newly formed Morning Musume in 1997. This group was formed from, no other way to say it, the rejects from a singing contest. But Tsunku seems to have seen something in them, and told them that if they could sell 50,000 singles, he’d turn them into a group. They did so within four days, and thus Morning Musume (morning daughters) was formed.
Morning Musume has been a JPop powerhouse for 24 years now as of this writing, and they’re still going strong, through they haven’t been nearly as popular now as they were back in their heyday years ago. They were kind of the genre defining idol group, but others such as AKB48 have popped up and, well, stolen their thunder. Rightfully so? I don’t know. They tended to be much more polished, with a much stronger discography, than AKB48, though AKB48 had a better “gimmick” going on, but oh well.
Anyway, this was their first track.
To summarize, I kind of liked it, and I’m not sure why.
The music itself was cookie cutter JPop – nothing overly catchy about it, and that didn’t impress me too much. Also in the video, the girls were rather stilted and mostly motionless, lacking a kind of fluidity that I think they gained a little more in their later works. But on the plus side, the natural scenery in the video was amazing, and I’ve found that cute girls or women do much to add to an already amazing natural scene, so in spite of their general lack of movement or enthusiasm, the video was beautiful and well produced. And I think the lyrics are somewhat thoughtful. They seem to speak of, when you’re a little down, going out and being around people and being kind can help to improve your own mood as well.
Morning Musume and AKB48 are different groups and need to be taken on their own terms, obviously, but a little comparison is unavoidable, and even here you can see the fact that the girls in Morning Musume are a little more polished musically than the girls in AKB48 – there’s not quite as much ebullience, they mesh well together, and there’s a bit more vocal control. But that’s by design. Morning Musume was intended to be an idol group. AKB48 was intended to be cute girls that sing and dance. Nothing wrong with each being what they are, but comparisons really don’t work except on the most superficial of levels.
So, with all that said, let’s move on to a Lone Star rating.
Cookie cutter pop, though competently performed.
Even at that age, the girls were well meshed.
Not earthshattering, but thoughtful with some meaning.
Loved the scenery, but the girls were a little stiff.
Total Lone Stars
A little better than average, a good start.