Posted by: honkidayo | May 2, 2008

Prelude / Ai no Tane ga Uwarimashita

Honkidayo/Honki writing. I’m joining sauder and hopefully will contribute well to Bigaku!Palace.

To begin – a project to promote and bring attention to the older or less-heard songs of Morning Musume. Shall we begin?

Ai no Tane
Ai no Tane
(愛の種 | あいのたね)

Found in the single “Ai no Tane” or the album “Morning Coffee”.

Performed by: Morning Musume.
(Nakazawa Yuko, Ishiguro Aya, Fukuda Asuka, Abe Natsumi, Iida Kaori) left-right

Background: A challenge set to the five runner-ups to Michiyo, then Heike Michiyo, winner of the ASAYAN-hosted audition for Tsunku’s group Sharam Q – sell at least fifty thousand copies of the single in five days, and the group, named モーニング娘。(Morning Musume, meaning Morning Daughters/Girls), would win a record deal. On the fourth day of selling, Morning Musume reached the number; in a few days, the newly-established group was preparing its next single, Morning Coffee.

Comments: With an introduction of descending bells and piano, Morning Musume begins with “Come now, let’s set out./ surely it’ll be noticed/ [that] I cut my hair,/ refined my dreams;/ for my favorite sky/ I am aiming for”. One hears the ascending phrases starting from “I cut my hair”, a musical illustration of “aiming for the sky”. The title’s namesake is repeated on that pattern, in the lyrics “the seeds of love/ I want to spread”.

Solo lines proceed after that chorus – each line switches the singer. You can hear well-practiced singing (“Countless times…” is given a small crescendo to “I’ll end up smiling”, thus completing the sentence with less abruptness; also heard in “The new season is…” to “a little cruel”. Lines such as “Before I knew it”… gets a small break before “my tears dried up”, as grammatically, there would be a comma), demonstrating the hard work the young Morning Musume put into their first assignment.

I found this song to be, whilst typical of an early pop song, well thought out. Musical intervals of perfect fourths (“Sa” to “~a”), perfect fifths (“namida wa kawai” to “-da”, and major sixths (“Sa~” to “deka”) are heard, giving Tsunku a way to train his new project. Considering how these girls were mostly had non-musical training in their youths, their good voice control and sense are shown.

Lyric-wise, we see an implied message of Morning Musume’s hopeful beginnings. The lines “Before I knew it, my tears dried up… countless times, I’ll end up smiling” perhaps gives an inside view of how the five felt after losing in the ASAYAN auditions, but then given another opportunity by Tsunku. With the group practically selling the recordings with their own efforts, one isn’t surprised to hear that “the new season is a little cruel”.

Ai no Tane was a perfect introduction to Morning Musume and in some ways sets the philosophy of the now thirty-some released single group. Hearing it, especially after the electronic-heavy songs of today’s Morning Musume, really gives perspective to the dreams of moving on, no matter how painful the experience is. Scandals and bad sales will always pass and be left behind, as long as one aims for the sky. The seeds of love have been planted.

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