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C-ute – Campus Life ~ Umarete Kita Yokatta

It’s no big secret that C-ute aren’t really up there in my favourites out of the H!P groups – and not due to their own fault.  As I said when I reviewed their 5th album, they’ve had a pretty turbulent 2009, and had a “SHOCK”ing start to 2010 with one of their worst selling singles.

But lets wipe the slate clean, and look at Campus Life ~ Umarete Kita Yokatta (which translates into “Campus Life – I’m glad I was born”), a fresh new PV and track, which, although still Maimi and Airi dependent, gives the others a fair chance to actually sing some solo lines.  Excellent, you’ve taken a tip from the amazing Berryz Kobo, this is already looking good.  In fact, I read somewhere that the PV is more like a AKB48 PV and hence why some fans like it more – but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves yet – although the PV is a vast improvement, there’s still some way for C-ute to go.

The song is, for a start, is more in line with the style the group have been putting out with the album tracks of their 5th album – C-ute, less synths and a nice spread of vocals.  Okay, C-ute is always about Airi and Maimi, and they still have the leads, but it’s nice to see the other three gets a few lines.  Fast tempo and light-hearted, I wouldn’t exactly put it in the easy-listening category, but it’s a lot less inoffensive to the ears than some previous singles which have proved to be an accustomed taste in some cases (e.g. SHOCK and BYE BYE BYE).

Outdoor PVs are always a preference of mine as there’s no rough CGI on garish green/blue screens.  Once again, fans are drawing comparison to Morning Musume‘s “Shouganai Yumeoibito“, however, the carefree nature of it reminds me more of “Tomadachi ni tomodachi nan da yo!” by Berryz.  The dance segments also feature bizzare yet cute matching costumes which I love, as they don’t make the girls look loli, but keep them looking cute.  However, what really grabbed me about the PV, and gave me a lot more empathy for C-ute was the girls acting and messing about – being teenage girls – the sceen with MaiMai and Chisato playing catch is a particular favourite of mine – it’s nice to see a bit of personality in these H!P videos for once, rather than pouting (although from the looks of all the single covers, they’ve overdone it a bit there).

One quite irritating thing is the over-obvious product placement.  It looks like Apple have bought Hello! Project’s souls in exchange for a few iPhones, and I’m sure I’m seeing more obvious focus of that than anything else in the video.  However, if it gives the girls a bit more cash to put towards making slightly better PVs, I’ll put up with it.

The Verdict? C-ute are obviously back on a path which is more fitting for them after a few previous hick-ups.  The song is a vast improvement on quite a few of their previous singles, but whether it will pull their sales up is another thing.  There’s a lot of competition out there for idols at the moment, and wota only have so much money to spread about.  Although I like this single it’s not as catchy as I would have hoped, but hopefully it will sell a little more than SHOCK and give the girls a little more confidence.