09 January 2012
No Sleeves [Pedicure Day] 1st Week Sales + Review
No Sleeves' 8th single [Pedicure Day] had a fairly successful first week, taking second place in the weekly rankings with 85660 units sold.
They were up against some formidable competition from the JE empire, so I think they did quite well. It seems there's been a new spurt of promotional activities and collaborations (including the mini-live for [Pedicure Day] and the newly released No Sleeves phone app), so hopefully their hard work will be reflected in even better sales for their next release!
The single was released in four formats - a regular CD version as well as three limited edition DVD versions, bringing the combined tracklist to a total of six songs (if you count the French Pop Mix as its own song).
Pedicure Day (ペディキュアday)
Taken from a broad perspective, this is rather standard peppy j-pop fare. It's got a nice energetic backing track, and the vocal melody is quite sweet (and suits the girls well). It's not exactly catchy enough to be getting stuck in my head, but it's definitely a cute song! I do like how the arrangement brings out the fact that the three girls have very different voice types, and yet they blend fantastically in the choruses.
Pedicure Day (French Pop Mix)
TBH, I feel really bad for anybody who bought the regular version, because at first listen, I can't even hear any real difference between this version and the original arrangement... In fact, it just sounds like they're doing a mediocre fandub of themselves (painfully obtrusive reverb effects) to a bad home-made instrumental rip of the original (i.e., all of the bass disappeared). And I'm not sure what makes this "French pop" - is there some perception that French pop music has no bass?
Jessica wa Door wo Knock Shinai (ジェシカはドアをノックしない)
This song is a delightfully angsty contrast to the poppy A-side. I like when they have contrasting A and B-sides, because these girls do an excellent job of performing all types of songs, and this really allows them to show that off. I tend to find this type of song particularly catchy, so perhaps that's why it makes more of a impact for me than the A-side. Also, it creates a mental image of some fierce choreography.
Madoromi (微睡み) - Kojima Haruna Solo
This is such a lovely lilting ballad. I'm particularly a big fan of the lower range they set the verses in, because that's really the best range for showcasing Haruna's voice. I'm sad that they took her up a bit higher in the chorus again. I find that she starts sounding a bit pinched when she has to sing high, so I think it would have been more to her advantage if they really kept this fully in the middle of the alto range since she sounds absolutely divine in that range (I mean, just listen to the last 5 syllables!!! amazing!!).
Still - Takahashi Minami Solo
This song is PERFECT for Takamina's voice... just PERFECT!! The song has an angsty sound, and is something of a power ballad. Takamina has the vocal power to pull off this type of song that not every singer has, so it's really excellent that they chose this genre for her. In this case, having the low verses + high chorus format is great, because it shows off the husky expressionism of her low range, while also allowing her to really let go and show off that power and intensity.
Hanbunko (半分こ) - Minegishi Minami Solo
This is back to sweet and peppy, which I think makes for a nice spread of genres across the girls' solos. Plus, Miichan's personality and voice are nicely suited for this type song, so I think overall they did a decent job of matching song genres to the girls' individual vocal strengths this time. Unfortunately, this song itself I find a little bit repetitive and not particularly ear-catching (sorry Miichan... I love you but I don't love this composer).