Hey, Senpai!

Chicks Who Rock: “Melon’s Not Dead” streets tomorrow!

Posted on: February 16, 2010

Those of you who are new to Hello! Project may not be familiar with the awesomeness that is Melon Kinenbi. Melon is made up of a group of four girls who were recruited from the Second Morning Musume and Heike Michiyo Protege Audition in 1999. That’s right, 1999. These girls hit Hello! Project at the same time as Gocchin. And you know what? They’re still together. No graduations, no additions, no major scandals. If you’re looking for girls who are passionate about making music, look no further.

They’ve had some fantastic songs, too. “This is Unmei” explores the frustration of a girl who feels she’s being toyed with. It alternates sweet tones with exasperated shouts and a chorus that demands at one point, “Do you want to sleep together for life?” It’s a work that’s a bit beyond any of H!P right now, but even at the time of its original release the members of Melon Kinenbi were mature enough to deliver the song with feeling.  Check it out:

Of course, they’ve had their share of Tsunku pop, too. Fans who have watched the auditions of Reina, Sayumi, and Eri will be very familiar with the song “Akai Freesia.”

So what can you expect out of these girls now? Well, if you’re a fan of the rockish sound of Buono, that’s the closest thing in the current H!P to what you’ll find here — except that now that sound comes to you without the poppy hooks and cute choreography. Instead, it’s brought to you by women who have worked together for years, performed huge venues and intimate clubs, and most recently, collaborated with other groups. Check out this recent release with NEW ROTE’KA that appears on the new album:

I think what impresses me most about Melon Kinenbi is that they’ve gone from being “just another girl group” to being a unit that’s strictly about the music. Strip away the choreography and the meticulously crafted images and you have a group that is forced to win over fans through the power of their vocals and their passion for their art. Not many idol groups could make that jump. Melon did, and they’re most certainly not dead.

Melon's Not Dead album cover

Take note: the quality of your cover art drastically increases once you leave H!P.

Album at HMV, CDJapan, YesAsia

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