MOMOIRO CLOVER Z vs KISS – “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina” / “Samurai Son” (2015 King Records Japan CD singles, sold separately)
Here they are, the new singles featuring the Kiss vs Momoiro Clover Z collaboration. “Samurai Son” appeared on the current Best of Kiss 40 CD, billed there as the “U.S. Mix”. That meant there are other versions out there, so I ordered the singles (two separate releases) from Japan. Even if I did not like the other versions of the song, the single covers were cool enough to keep as collectibles. As it turns out they are printed on high quality textured parchment style paper, and have stunning inner and outer art. They also come with transparent outer shells with shiny embossed symbols and writing. For packaging, it’s 5/5 stars for these singles.
Between the two singles, there are four different mixes from the “U.S. Mix” of “Samurai Son”. All feature Kiss, to a certain degree. Here’s how the versions break down, from “Least Kiss” to “Most Kiss”:
5. “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina”. This is the full-on Japanese version with the spotlight primarily on Momoiro Clover Z. They take the lead vocals and their elements of the song and style and brought up in the mix. It’s funny to hear Kiss singing background vocals in English, underneath the Japanese lead vocals! Who know if the words actually go together in any way.
4. “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina” (instrumental version). Kiss are the backing band on this track and you can clearly hear Tommy soloing, but the Kiss and J-pop elements are mixed fairly equally here. These first two renditions of the song are on both versions of the single.
3. “Samurai Son” (instrumental version). From the CD with the artwork emphasizing Kiss. This instrumental is based on the Kiss rather than the Momoclo version of the song. Tommy is in the spotlight a bit more on this version, as the instrumental mix leaves more room for his guitar licks to take the spotlight.
2. “Samurai Son”. From the same CD as the above track, this is a Kiss-heavy version similar to the “U.S. Mix” on Best of Kiss 40…but not quite the same. It follows the same blueprint of Kiss being up front and the Momoclo girls audible in the background and on the chorus. It has vocal, guitar and J-pop parts that are not as apparent in the “U.S. Mix”. Gene’s vocals also sound higher in the mix. It’s audibly mastered way, way louder than Kiss 40, as you can see from the Audacity waveform below. Track 3 from the CD is on top, the “U.S. Mix” from Kiss 40 is beneath.
1. “Samurai Son” (U.S. Mix). The Kiss 40 version; the mix that is geared to appeal mostly to Kiss fans. Logically, it sounds the most like Kiss. It’s only on Kiss 40; neither of these two singles have this mix which makes it a little more special for Kiss fans.
There are more tracks, but I’ll be frank — I didn’t even rip them to the computer. These tracks are vocals and instrumental covers by Momoiro Clover Z of “Rock and Roll all Nite”. I listened to it; it’s cute. If you want to try and get your little niece into rock music, this might be the way to do it. It has some guitars but it’s very cutesy. (Probably still better than Poison’s version though, Mr. Rockett.)
Finally there is the Blu-ray containing the music video, that I cannot play due to region restrictions. That’s why they invented Youtube, I think….
I give Kiss credit for doing something different like this and making it accessible to different audiences. My favourite version is the one on Kiss 40, but that one was custom built for people like me. These two singles are fun additions to the collection. It’s one of those conversation pieces you can show that one guy you know who says he has “all” the Kiss CDs.