Juice=Juice#2 -¡Una más!-
Juice=Juice has finally released their long awaited second album Juice=Juice#2 -¡Una más!- just a few days ago on August 1st. It comes in a single disc regular edition, and a deluxe limited edition with two CD’s and a blu-ray. The two discs serve primarily as a collection of the groups physical and digital singles over the last two years. Continue past the jump to read my take on all of the songs in the limited edition!
1. Fiesta! Fiesta!
This was Juice=Juice’s first digital single released on August 23, 2017, and was also their first single to feature Yanagawa Nanami and Dambara Ruru. This is a fun, upbeat song with a strong Latin flair. As one can imagine, this was a particularly popular number during Juice=Juice’s concert in Mexico City from their 2017 World Tour.
2. SEXY SEXY
“SEXY SEXY” was released as part of Juice=Juice’s 10th single on April 18th, 2018. This a mid-tempo song with a more mature feel. Takagi’s English pronunciation is actually quite good here.
3. Naite Ii yo
“Naite Ii yo” was also released as part of Juice=Juice’s 10th single . This a slower ballad style of song. Personally I consider it to be a bit bland. I find that the instrumental in the outro seems to contrast oddly with the rest of the song.
4. Vivid Midnight
“Vivid Midnight” is last of the trio of songs released as part of Juice=Juice’s 10th single. This is a peppy upbeat song, with a huge infusion of Kpop. The Kpop sound is wholly intentional too, as the song was composed and arranged by Tenzo & Tasco, a pair of prolific South Korean producers.
5. Jidanda Dance
“Jidanda Dance” was released as part of Juice=Juice’s 9th single on April 26th, 2017. This is a very upbeat and silly song. It seems a bit reminiscent of the sillier songs that Hello Project would produce in 2000’s.
6. Feel! Kanjiru yo
“Feel! Kanjiru yo” was the other half of Juice=Juice’s 9th single. This is another ballad, but this time with an uplifting message, rather than focusing on heartbreak. In contrast to “Naite Ii yo,” I find this song to be much more enjoyable. I find the choral segments to be particularly nice.
7. Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~
“Dream Road ~Kokoro ga Odoridashiteru~” was released as part of Juice=Juice’s 8th single on October 26, 2016. This is another uplifting ballad, with a segment of the chorus featuring a chant encouraging you to follow your dreams. If you happen to watch the promotional video for this song, take note that a few of the close-up scenes were filmed backwards, requiring the girls to lip sync in reverse to match with the lyrics!
8. KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!!
“KEEP ON Joshou Shikou!!” was also released as part of Juice=Juice’s 8th single. This is a cheery pop number that features a good deal of inspiration from the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. Takagi’s rendition of the classic, “heehee” is especially fun. This is easily my favorite track on disc #1.
9. Ashita Yarou wa Bakayarou
“Ashita Yarou wa Bakayarou” was the last of the trio of songs released as part of Juice=Juice’s 8th single. This is a fun pop number that makes fun of people who always seem to put things off to tomorrow. I like that this song that calls procrastinators fools was released along with (and placed next to on this album) next to another song that is essentially one huge YOLO.
10. Next is you!
“Next is you!” Was released as part of Juice=Juice’s 7th single on February 3rd, 2016. This song was the lead single by the fictional group NEXT YOU (which was played by five member Juice=Juice) in the drama Budokan. This is a mid-tempo song with lyrics that reflect the frustrations and difficulties facing a modern idol.
11. Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai
“Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai” is the second half of Juice=Juice’s 7th single. Like “Next is You!,” this is a mid-tempo pop song. There is heavy use of synthesized brass horns in the instrumental. Uemura’s solo “Makenai yo” is my personal favorite part of the song.
Disc #2 (Only included in the Limited Edition):
1. Never Never Surrender
This is a very upbeat song that features the triumphant return of the synthesized bagpipes in “Kaze ni Fukarete.” This song has been played for a while now at Juice=Juice’s concert and I’m happy to finally have a copy to listen to at home. Finally having a physical copy of this song makes this one of the highlights of the album for me.
2. Jouro (Album Version)
This is a slightly updated version of a digital single that was previously released on June 16th 2017. This is another mid-tempo song. The song is pleasant piece of background music, but ultimately nothing incredibly memorable.
3. TOKYO Glider
This is another upbeat song that we’ve previously heard performed live. The song has a very funky sound. It stands out from the rest of the album and deserves a listen!
This is a slower ballad. The lyrics and instrumental are reasonably pretty, but nothing special. Unfortunately, it’s quite forgettable for me.
5. Abarete kka?! Have a Good Time
ARE YOU READY TO FUNK? Yanamin’s English pronunciation may not be great, but this is still a pretty cool song, and as she so politely asks, this is indeed a rather funky song. The guitar solo in the bridge is pretty unique for Hello! Project with the heavy use of distortion.
6. Sunao ni Amaete
This is a slower song with a bit of a smooth jazz feel to it. The lower pitch of the song seems to work very well with a lot of the girls’ voices, with Ruru and Uemura being particular standouts. This would be my favorite of the newly released slower tempo songs.
7. Goal ~Ashita wa Acchi da yo~ (Album Version)
This song was originally released as a digital single on May 19th, 2017. This number has been well known as a fan favorite in Juice=Juice’s live performances for quite a while now. It is fun and upbeat, with a chorus that is invites you to chant along. If you don’t already have the digital single, this is a great place to finally have a copy of it.
8. Gin’iro no Telepathy
This is a mid-temp song with a cute chorus. Something about the song seems a little nostalgic to me, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Other than that, it is relatively bland.
9. Kono Sekai wa Suteta mon ja nai
This is a mid-to-up-tempo song with fast paced lyrics. Good luck singing this one by yourself at karaoke! The various members all get a few nice solo lines at the beginning of the song. It’s not my favorite on the album, but I can see many people liking this one.
10. Kindan Shoujo
This song has a very nostalgic, 80’s feel to me. I think it is the particular usage of synthesizers in the instrumental. As a general fan of such music, this one is right up my alley. Another standout on the album for me.
11. Otona no Jijou – NEXT YOU
This is the other single from the fictional NEXT YOU. Previously released as a digital single on March 2nd, 2016, or as a bonus in the blu-ray box set for the Budokan drama. It is a slower paced song with a very pronounced synthesized drum beat. I like the chorus on this one; it has a very cool, mature feel to it.
12. Wonderful World (2018 English Ver.)
This song was originally released as a digital single along with “Fiesta! Fiesta!” It is fun to hear the girls sing in English, but to be honest I would suggest sticking with the original version. The girls struggle a bit with pronunciation which I think takes a way a bit of the enjoyment that a native English speaker would derive from this.