ここがロドスだ、ここで跳べ! (Koko ga Rhodes da, Koko de Tobe!) – AKB48 – Nippon Month

Posted on March 2, 2016

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DSCF0929DSCF0930So last year in January the pink candy floss makers themselfs released their latest album Koko ga Rhodes da, Koko de Tobe, which I bought as a complete try out. I had only heard one or maybe two songs before so I had basically no expectations or thoughts about how this record might sound, but it’s AKB so I knew what I was getting myself into.
And boy was I right.. this album doesn’t offer anything new as far as the music goes, or at least that I know of, but it does contain some of AKB’s best work ever in my opinion, and I have been playing it almost every day since I bought it in October last year.
Ah AKB, so mind numbing and stupid music but also very addicting from time to time..
But with so many other bands and groups out there, where there is good songs there’s bound to also be some bad ones as well and AKB is no exception, so lets just dive right into this thing.

The first 5 songs are absolutely amazing stuff, and that’s fucking rare for an album to start out with 5 straight winners.
It opens with the single Kibōteki Refrain which sometimes sounds like a generic radio pop song that any weak minded person could enjoy, and it has some good stuff too but overall I would say it’s a very stereotypical single that you easily get bored with.
I’d rather prefer the following song Labrador Retriever which I have to admit I had a really tough time getting into at first.
For some reason I keep on feeling that I have heard it before or at least something very similar to it in the past, but I can’t really put my finger what it could have been.
Maybe it’s just the overall nice and laid back atmosphere it creates that gets my mind going.. but anyway, it’s a very nice song that I’d pop in almost every day.
But the real fun doesn’t kick in until track number 3, namely “Reborn”, and though I have no flying fuck of what the lyrics are about (I can guess though) but this song is so much fun and has some great vocal performance from the 19 (!) girls participating.
The main theme even sounds like something that I could have heard from the good old Mario Kart for the Nintendo 64, and It’s not surprising since they were both made in Japan..

Then we have the next song and yeah.. if you thought Jim Steinman had long titles for his song, get a load of this..
“Suzukake no Ki no Michi de ‘Kimi no Hohoemi o Yume ni Miru’ to Itte Shimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dō Kawatte Shimau no ka, Bokunari ni Nannichi ka Kangaeta Ue de no Yaya Kihazukashii Ketsuron no Yō na Mono”

Myeah.. You think that’s enough? Are you sure you couldn’t shoehorn in a couple of more words there?
It’s a really great song and it starts off with a nice guitar track, and is overall a very AKBish type of Rock song that really easily get stuck in your mind for a long time after.
And the same goes for the next track Mae shika Mukanee, which might be even more catchier and better than the last one and has to be one of my current AKB favorites. Not only for it’s overall atmosphere, but the vocal performance is really really good here too, so it’s always a delight listening to this great song.

So after 5 great songs you think this album would slow down a bit, and you would only be half right there.
True is that there are a couple of more slow songs coming, but the song quality goes down from here as well which really sucks, but one would expect these kind of things.
Not that all the songs are bad but it just seemed that all the great ideas were used up for the previous five tracks, and the result is just a mixed bag of good to avrage to right out bad songs.
Like I said, there are a couple of good songs here such as track number 6, Kimi no Hitomi wa Planetarium and 47 no Suteki na Machi e, but then you have disgracefully irritating songs like Kokoro no Placard, which btw is a single… -_-
How anyone could greenlight this one as a single, I have no idea.
I would rather have “Koi to ka…” as a single since it’s a very beutiful ballad-sorta-thingie with a nice piano, and in my opinion should have closed this record but for some reason they chosed something completely different just to fuck that up for us.
Nah okay, the last song “Ai no Sonzai” isn’t too bad either, but I just think “Koi to ka” would made a much better fit as a closer for this album.4931520302_034338e3f0_o

Then we run into some problems here, because the evil mastermind Yasushi Akimoto who is behind AKB48 and the greedy record company decided to fuck us all over and devide this album up into 3 different versions, version A, B and a Theater edition, all with the original album but each with different bonus discs.
Worth mentioning is that this is not the first time they have done this.
So version A and B have the same songs on disc 1, but disc two are completely different in an attempt to force fans to buy both albums (very expensively I might add) to get all the songs.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the Theater edition have one song that isn’t featured on any of the other versions.
Why the fuck are they doing this? Are people really stupid enough to buy the same album 3 times and spend 150 dollars or so just to get the bonus stuff? And for us living outside Japan it becomes even more expensive.
A real shitty way to treat your fans there guys.

I for once decided to just go with the regular A version, and I’m sorta glad I did because the song Ai to Kanashimi no Jisa, which features some fantastic vocals from Sayaka Yamamoto, is one of the best AKB songs ever in my opinion.
The other good song here would be Henachoko Support but otherwise I found this bonus disc to be a total waste, and that could be because these discs only seem to be the leftover songs that no one in the group really wanted to sing, so they brought in guest singers from all the 1000 different AKB Teams and such.. just so that they could make some easy money on shit and screw the fans over.
At least put some more effort into the songs like on the first disc if you are going to go with this shitty concept.

So after that bore fest that is the second CD, how well does this album hold up?
To have the first 5 songs be so brilliant and catchy is really rare and actually makes up for much of the lower ends of this record.
I wouldn’t say that this album is AKB48’s best album but it does contain some really fun stuff and great songs that are well worth giving a few listenings to, so at the end I’m not disappointed for buying it. It is a very good album.
But if you are new to AKB I would probably suggest to see if you could try out a couple of songs from here first before buy, or just go with a more safe album like Koko ni Ita Koto.

7/10

Photo 1-2: Robin Renmark

Photo 3: Dennis Amith

 

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