[REVIEW] LAGOON: bokutachi no mainichi ga eien ni naru + My little treasure

Their mini album has been out for a couple of weeks now and a week ago, LAGOON also released a digital single with one track.

LAGOON mini album preview

1. 僕たちの毎日が永遠になる。 ★★★★☆

I like this song a lot. The opening really has that “new beginnings/good days to come” sort of sound to me. Miori has a lot of emotion in her lyrics in this! It’s a wonderful composed song overall, mostly pretty mellow with just the right amount of energy in the choruses. I think this song is a really good representation of everything LAGOON aspires to be. It’s a great title track and opening track for the mini album. This song is still no Rhapsody in White for me, although it’s pretty close.

 

2. あの日の青空、君と ★★★★☆

While this song doesn’t have anything that gets it stuck in my head so far, it’s one I enjoy listening to! It’s another song with great composition. The vocals and music match each other really nicely. I think everyone’s talents are shown in a way that strengthens all pieces of this song! It’s a really heartfelt rock song. This is another example of what LAGOON is about.

 

3. my home ~心が帰る場所~ ★★★★☆

This is just a pretty solid mini album because I am also very impressed with this song. It has enough tempo switches in it to keep it interesting and every part seems to suit the others. It shows Miori’s vocal range as well as her ability to handle most varieties of music. I think this is what LAGOON has been aspiring to do in previous songs when trying to switch between beats and song structure. This is a really good girl rock/pop song.

 

4. サヨナラ ★★★☆☆

One of the most upbeat songs on the mini album for sure. There’s a lot of energy in this and I imagine the girls will have a lot of fun with this track when they perform it on stage. I just like this song less than the others for some reason. It has the great nostalgia vibe happening and it’s another example of what LAGOON has been trying to pull off in b-sides of their singles. They did it much better here than previously. However, it just feels like a typical/done before sort of song, if that makes sense. No part of it blows me away or surprises me even though it’s a nice track. Maybe I expected a sadder song given the name? Hard to tell.

 

5. Red eye ~1人の時間が教えてくれたこと~ ★★★☆☆

Not a bad song, but it feels like they’ve already done this one! There’s a great instrumental segment in the middle that I’m glad to hear because it definitely shows off the guitar skills. Miori’s dainty voice is pretty but I feel like it would have been more effective in this song with some grit added. This seems like a song to take vocal risks on and doing that would make it awesome. Instead it’s just okay.

Overall, this mini album gets a 3.6 star rating. It’s a pretty good mini album, but I know they can and will have stronger performances. LAGOON is finding their groove and this is completely on the right track!

僕たちの毎日が永遠になる music video

 

 

My little treasure ★★★★★

This song has a lot going on but it’s all AWESOME. Miori’s voice almost sounds cutesy in this song despite the fact that it’s heavier than most of their stuff. Everything is on par. The energy is great, the bass and drums are perfect, the guitar riffs work so well with all of it. This definitely deserved its own release!

 

10 years without SweetS?!

088-830x1024In 2003, this beloved group of charming pre-teens with a girl-next-door vibe debuted. They were a powerhouse for talent, each girl showing a spark in certain areas of strength. SweetS had the personality, the chemistry, the vocals, and the visuals that made them so unforgettable to all of us.  These 5 found a place in our hearts: Aki, the bossy but caring leader; Aya, the quirky, quiet, smart vocalist; Haruna, the sweetheart with the heavenly voice; Miori, the secret weapon and charm; and Mai, the personality with passion and drive. For some, of us, they meant the world. For many, they were one of the staples of J-pop in the era they were in. Although they only had minor success, SweetS provided substance to the J-pop fanbase, especially overseas. SweetS fans were one of the most peaceful and tight-knit communities around, because their talent brought us together.

089On June 7, 2006, SweetS had their final release and disbandment as a group. The months between Bitter Sweets release and Color of Tears release were a strange time within the SweetS community, because the anticipation of a new single also meant the end of SweetS. This group had only been active for a little under three years, but they had already made a place in our hearts. I know I’m not the only one that remembers checking SweetSdesu forums daily — not just for SweetS news, but after a while just to talk with fellow fans. SweetS was a part of our daily routine. Time with this amazing group was short, but the memories of anticipating live performances, releases, interviews, and guest appearances on variety shows and laughing over them with friends from all over the world sits dearly with us. June 7 was one of the saddest days of my life. The SweetS fans made a strong bond not just with each other, but also formed a genuine love for the girls and their performance abilities themselves.

SweetS will always be a part of us. I know they’ll always be a part of my childhood. Ten years later and we’re still here. I know we’ll never have our 5 hearts that beat as 1 back in the way we miss so dearly, but I treasure 2003-2006 even more with age. Those were sweet times, every pun intended.

So where are the girls now?

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Aki is currently just being awesome in Tokyo with her really cute dog. No. Really. She auditioned with EXPG back in 2011 to be in the LDH group FLOWER, along with some former avex members. However, it was just honorary auditions. Since then, Aki’s kept an online personality and is probably one of most easily accessible and responsive SweetS members! She and I have communicated some over the past few years. It appears as though she may have given up on her music dreams, but she keeps up an active social life with the other former members, notably Miori and Mai (this is a cute video and you should watch it). She’s definitely worth a follow on instagram (and so is her dog… no really, do it) and is pretty friendly, but naturally I request that everyone will be respectful (although I know we’re one of the best mannered bunch out there) because it would be a shame to not have a chance to talk to her!
instagram ameblo twitter • aki’s dog’s instagram

 

o0480048012660856061Aya

Aya attempted a solo artist career from circa 2009 until 2013. She was with an indie label, Kool Groove Studios. I don’t know if it was just lack of proper budgeting or losing her passion, but Aya has more or less disappeared from any of the limelight for years now. It makes me sad to see vocal talent like hers go to waste, but she didn’t have enough structure on her own to create a successful solo career. I’m not sure what she’s up to these days, but I hope that she is happy and wish her all the best in the years to come. It would be great if she auditioned for a bigger label in a group atmosphere, but I will always respect her decision! Maybe the music biz just wasn’t for her after all.
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Haruna is by far the member I get asked about the most and who people seem to miss the most. I can agree, she was the heart of SweetS and she was the entire package. It’s no wonder she was so loved. However, Haruna hasn’t pursued any sort of celebrity career and keeps her social media private. She attended cosmetology school and graduated and was temporarily employed at ATENA salon. I’m not sure on the specifics since then, but I *think* the child she is with in this picture is hers (don’t quote me on that, I have no official source confirmation). She seems happy and still interacts with the other girls on social media. It looks as though she wants to be a normal and private person, and I respect her choices. I miss her a lot and would have loved to see a solo career but perhaps she has found her calling in life. Since there is not much to say about her public life after SweetS, please enjoy a few photos of her:
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Miichan! She’s the most successful member post-SweetS. She’s a well-known actress in Japan and has landed leading roles in dramas (Ikemen Desu Ne and GTO being notable). She’s currently the vocalist for the band LAGOON. She jumped right into ad campaigns and appearing in music videos shortly after SweetS disbanded. I think it goes to say that she was probably the most underrated member of SweetS. She’ll always be that awkward kid I grew up with, though. Rumors reported that she was dating her former co-star Fujigaya (Ikemen Desu Ne, Kis-My-Ft2) in June 2015, but April 2016 it was reported that they had broken up. She’s doing very well for herself, but it’s nice to see that she’s still quirky and charming when she’s in interviews. I’m so happy to be able to follow her career all these years later, even if I don’t pay as much attention as I should.

instagram • ameblo official lagoon imdb

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My favorite of the SweetS. She’s only recently become active, but now she’s doing as much as Miori! Mai lived a normal life for a couple of years after SweetS, hanging out with her best friend Mai and being excited about her boyfriend. She appeared in some local commercials. She became a member of Yuigadokuson in 2014 and they began performing live and releasing singles in 2015. Mai definitely gets Most Improved in terms of vocal skill. Her hard work shows. Mai is always genki.
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And there we have it. 5 of the most important girls from 2003-2006, completely grown. Go ahead and take a moment to cry with their graduation footage: