3rd -Love Paradise- is the third album released by Morning Musume. It is their first release to include member, Goto Maki, who helped propel the group into stardom with their juggernaut hit, “LOVE Machine”. The album proved to be a great success, peaking at #2 and selling over 863,000 copies. The album includes two singles, both of which were incredibly successful with each selling well over one million copies.
Released: March 29, 2000
1. ~Ohayou~ (~おはよう~; ~Good Morning~)
2. LOVE Machine (LOVEマシーン)
3. Aisha Loan de (愛車 ローンで; A Beloved Car on Loan)
4. Kuchizuke no Sono Ato (くちづけのその後; Right After the Kiss)
5. Koi no Dance Site (恋のダンスサイト; Love’s Dance Site)
6. Lunchtime ~Rebanira Itame~ (ランチタイム ~レバニラ炒め~; Lunchtime ~Liver Leek Stir-Fry~)
7. DANCE Suru no da! (DANCEするのだ!; Dance!)
8. Omoide (おもいで; Memories)
9. Harajuku 6:00 Shuugou (原宿6:00集合; Meeting at Harajuku at 6:00)
11. “…Suki da yo!” (「、、、好きだよ!」; “…I Love You!”)
12. ~Oyasumi~ (~おやすみ~; ~Good Night~)
~Ohayou~ is an interesting way to start things off. It is like an intro/short song, with it only clocking in at around two minutes. It starts off really nicely with the light strings and almost orchestral quality. It doesn’t feature any singing, but just has the girls talking.
It oddly transitions into LOVE Machine, the groups most well-known hit. LOVE Machine is a contrast to the more serious tone that the group’s earlier music was known for. I love how the song is just a lot of fun. The funky music with the crazy synths and over-the-top vocals just work together so nicely and it brings a catchy breath of fresh air. There are still some great melodic parts, like the pre-chorus, which is still my favourite part of the song. The song is just full of hooks.
I’m not sure about Aisha Loan de. It goes to the lighter pop/rock and I just find it totally lacking compared to the last song. This feels like it would fit better on the group’s first album. It’s not a bad song, but the verses are just poorly produced. The chorus is definitely stronger, but it’s just not that memorable. A bit of a disappointment.
Kuchizuke no Sono Ato continues that pop/rock vibe and I just don’t know what’s going on. I was expecting some more catchy and fun pop songs, but instead we get these serious and rather forgettable songs. This one is definitely better than the last song and I find it has a certain charm to it, but it’s not particularly impressive either. I like that it feels more focused and the production is stronger. This version is also way better than Goto’s solo one.
I’m so thankful we get into the next single. Koi no Dance Site pretty much doubles down on the over-the-top silliness that was found in “LOVE Machine”. I feel like this is the clear point where the group really took on this role for better or worse. It has a stronger influence that seems almost ancient Egyptian. It’s a bit weird to be honest. I feel like the chorus is a bit lacking and doesn’t quite hit the same energy of the powerful music. Likewise, I feel some of the backing vocals were just a bit too much. It’s still pretty catchy though.
Lunchtime ~Rebanira Itame~ is so weird. This isn’t really a song itself either, but is just a long sounding commentary. It’s actually a bit disappointing because the sexier R&B sound that plays is actually pretty wicked and would’ve been a welcomed entry. Instead, we get another unnecessary track.
At least with DANCE Suru no da! we get back into the fun pop sound. Here, we go with a lighter pop song that brings some funk and disco into it. I quite like the energy of the music and while the melody isn’t particularly strong, it’s still a pretty solid tune overall. I feel like this is the kind of music I was expecting to hear more of from the album tracks. It’s just a bit too long for my liking.
I really like Omoide. It has a more dramatic pop sound that brings in some late 90’s R&B elements and it takes a sexier swing. It’s a cool follow-up to the last song because it brings some contrast as it is a darker tune, but still brings some of that wicked bass into it. I do wish the chorus pushed things a little harder as the vocals come off a tad light, but this is a pretty nice tune.
I was worried Harajuku 6:00 Shuugou was going to be another interlude type of song, but instead we get something more interesting. It starts off with a talking section, but soon switches things up to bring an almost explosive latin spin. It doesn’t seem as fluid as most latin songs, but the influence is clearly there in the brass and beat. However, this excitement all dies once the chorus comes in. It’s horribly boring, flat and kills all the momentum the music and the verses help to build.
WHY opens in a weird way with rapping. It’s a weird change, but the music is really great. The guitar is the focus here and brings a more organic feel. The verses are pretty lackluster though and sound more like a demo than the actual completed song. Things only start getting better for the pre-chorus. The chorus is pretty interesting and I do like that the song tries to change things up by having each member sing only a syllable instead of a line. It’s like a puzzle.
I like that “…Suki da yo!” brings a more positive sound. However, there is one horrible problem with the production. The music is great, the singing is pretty nice, but there is a huge disconnect between the two. It sounds like the music is far in the distance and the girls are singing really close. It really ruined things for me because this song has so much potential.
We end things with ~Oyasumi~, which is another spoken track. As the outro, it’s a bit odd and I’m just not fond of the guy’s voice.
Overall: This album was a bit of a disappointment for me. I was really expecting some great songs considering the singles were pretty fun and exciting, but most of the album tracks just ended up pretty flat sounding. I did like the experimentation in sound and there were many interesting aspects included in the songs, however, they just weren’t executed that well and there were some editing ideas that were just glaringly bad ideas.