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A Review of the Album Called "Country Musume Daizenshuu 1" by Japanese Pop Music Group Country Musume

Updated on May 20, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

Introduction to the Album & Country Musume

What now follows is a review of the Country Musume album called “Country Musume Daizenshuu 1” and it is the group’s debut album. It was released on December 12, 2001. The opening song called Hajimete no Happy Birthday! is a kind of silly pop song with the repetition of the words Happy Birthday plus some clapping by the girls. Note: Country Musume now goes by the name of Country Girls and it has a very different lineup but as we review an album unknown to Western audiences, we will review this album under the name of Country Musume. For this first album the lineup is Rika ishikawa, Rinne Toda, and Asami Kimura. The group's style of music is classified as Japanese pop and in some instances electro pop but I would say it is a mixture of pop music with country music influences.

A Photo of the Country Musume Members for This debut Album

From left to right: Asami Kimura, Rika Ishikawa, and Rinne Toda.
From left to right: Asami Kimura, Rika Ishikawa, and Rinne Toda. | Source

Country Musume Daizenshuu 1 Track Names

Note: as this review is being updated here is a list of all the songs with their English titles wherever it is possible to provide them.

  1. The First Happy Birthday
  2. Snowscape
  3. A Lover is the Heart’s Cheerleader
  4. Hokkaido Shalala
  5. A Girl’s Interrogation Time
  6. The Season When Love is Wonderful
  7. A Couple’s Hokkaido
  8. Unrequited Love is Hot Milk
  9. From the Snow
  10. Which Way is Beautiful…
  11. Ah, Some Kind of Wonderful

Why is the Album Country Musume Daizenshuu 1 Significant?

For those of you that have a birthday in July, this song can be a reminder to celebrate your birthday as well as the fact that you are alive and well to enjoy this song. For me and hopefully for audiences worldwide, this album takes on special significance because of the fact that I am listening to it on Independence Day! The second reason to listen to this album is because this is a vibration raiser! In other words, this album should bring your vibrational frequency up.

Asami Kimura

A Brief Review of the Album Country Musume Daizenshuu 1

The next song is better and it is called Yukigeshiki. It is a country music influenced type of song. There is no contribution from idol singer Mai Satoda because she would join the group after the release of this album. The third track called A Lover is the Heart’s Cheerleader is an up-tempo dance song that you can clap to and dance at the same time. The album is not as good as a Morning Musume or an AKB48 album but it still makes for a good listen. By the end of that vibrant third song, don’t be surprised if you get a little emotional. Even for someone like me that doesn’t understand much Japanese, the album is an enjoyable listen.

One person that makes a contribution on this album is former Morning Musume member Rika Ishikawa. She sings guest vocals on the song called “A Girl’s Investigation Time.” I wrote the English translation of the song to make it easier for those non-Japanese speakers. The song Futari no Hokkaido which is song 7 contains some male rap style vocals which makes it silly in a way. A few other members making appearances on this album are original leader Rinne Toda and second leader Asami Kimura. Both of these women have graduated from both Country Musume and Hello! Project. This debut from Country Musume did not sell very well, selling only about 24,850 copies as of this writing. In spite of the low sales volume, the album is an enjoyable listen and can really lift your mood and spirits up if you are having a rough day. Other strong songs on this album are Kataomoi wa Hot Milk, Docchi ga Kirei desu ka, and Aa Koishikute. This last song has good vocal harmonies and is a nice way to end a decent dance pop album.

How Good Was Country Musume Daizenshuu 1 as of the First Analysis?

Overall, I would give Country Musume Daizenshuu 1 an 80 out of 100 points for its consistency. The reasons it does not get a higher score is because of the weird nature of the first song, the rap style vocals in song #7, and in general, the songs are not as exciting as AKB48 or Morning Musume.

A Photo of Mai Satoda With Rika Ishikawa and Hitomi Yoshizawa

Thoughts About the Album in 2020

Fans of this group will also enjoy Hangry & Angry (a dance pop duo formed by Ishikawa and former Morning Musume member Hitomi Yoshizawa), as well as the mentioned Morning Musume and AKB48. Country Musume was formed by TSUNKU and the group’s main producer Yoshitake Tanaka back in 1999. Upon reviewing this album several years later, I realize that the first song called Our First Happy Birthday is not as silly as it sounds so the album gets an 83 out of 100 points but it still is not as good as a Morning Musume album. Even so, in the history of Japanese pop music, the album is still enjoyable more than 18 years after its release. Country Musume Daizenshuu 1 in terms of its style is softer pop mixed with a limited amount of rap is how I would describe the album and it is not like the later releases of Morning Musume. This is just an album to listen to and dance along with and just feel good.

© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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