01. MOONINGU SHOTTO (モーニングショット)
02. Lovin’ Life
03. Chippoke na Yuuki (ちっぽけな勇気; Tiny Courage)
04. Daijoubu Da Yo (大丈夫だよ)
05. Mou Kimi ga Inai (もう君がいない; You’re Not Here Anymore)
06. LAST HUG
07. Naitte Waratte Yume wo Miteta (泣いて笑って夢を見てた)
08. My Home
09. Yubikiri Gen Man (指きりげんまん)
10. Tenshi to Akuma (天使と悪魔; Angel And Devil)
11. Chou I Love You (超I Love You)
“FUNKY MONKEY BABYS 2,” released on December 12, 2007, is FUNKY MONKEY BABYS second studio album and first major album. The album debuted at number five on the Oricon charts, selling 59,429 copies its first week. Without a pre-album digital hit, the album experienced only moderate sales, in contrast to the break-out success of two of their singles.
“MOONINGU SHOTTO” is a poppier take on FUNKY MONKEY BABYS, which is an appropriate way to begin their album. The listen gets to take in their distinctive vocals, beat, and over all sound in a more familiar pop environment. The energy on the track is explosive as usual, and the backing music is great.
“Lovin’ Life” is a softer take on FUNKY MONKEY BABYS; it’s their essence embodies in ballad form. A violin and occasional acoustic guitar do well with powerful layered lead vocals. The song is undeniably catchy, with good hooks throughout. “Lovin’ Life” will stick with the listener mainly because it’s so memorable on so many levels.
“Chippoke na Yuuki” is mid-tempo, and continues with strong choruses carrying the song. The verses are Spartan in comparison to the choruses, which sound much fuller, vocally and instrumentally. The strength of the song lies in the repetition of hooks throughout the song; even though the vocals change, from rap to singing, the song still sounds similar. One of the better tracks on the album.
“Daijoubu Da Yo” feels like a ballad that’s been turned more island sounding. That’s the best way to describe it; the background of the song is soft pop. The crescendo of the song is nothing to write home about – but the ending of the choruses are done well, with a string of “la la”’s backed by what sounds like children.
“Mou Kimi ga Inai” is a very strong ballad for FUNKY MONKEY BABYS. They play to their undeniable strength , their sheer numbers, to harmonize during the choruses. Juxtaposed against solo verses, this does well in the song. Also notable are very strong instrumentals that follow this trend quite well. The song ends well, too, making “Mou Kimi ga Inai” a very pleasant listen.
The tracks preceeding “LAST HUG” have all had a redeeming quality that made them strong. “LAST HUG” simply doesn’t have that, and fails to impress. The harmonies present in other songs become discordance, and the polished instrumentals turn into a poppy mess. It sounds like mid-tempo pop, but “LAST HUG” fails at sounding right for FUNKY MONKEY BABYS.
“Naitte Waratte Yume wo Miteta” is mid-tempo pop that FUNKY MONKEY BABYS does well. The group harmonizes well on the chorus and creates clear, catchy choruses. Sadly, the climax of the song isn’t very strong.
“My Home” works off of acoutisc guitar, harmonies, and all of that backed by the repetition of “My Home.” There’s not necessarily anything wrong, but the song doesn’t really soung good until the layering of the final chorus. At that pont, the power attained is too little, too late.
“Yubikiri Gen Man” lacks the vocal layering and harmonies of other FUNKY MONKEY BABY tracks. For the most part, it just doesn’t sound like a cohesive song. Over all, that’s the same problem with “Tenshi to Akuma.” Too much rapping and too many gimmicks equate to a really poor album track, that only really turns around late in the song.
“Chou I Love You “ is a great way to end the FUNKY MONKEY BABYS 2 album. The song is one of the most energetic and happiest, which definitely provides a jumping point for the rest of their music in the future. FUNKY MONKEY BABYS end with one of their strengths: an acoustic track tinged with their distinctive sound.
FUNKY MONKEY BABYS gained success because they sounded novel and different. No one in J-pop has that exact same feel as they do, and listeners hadn’t really seen it done before. Without good looks, the band worked solely off of musical quality, finding variety by changing tempos. However, after listening to the album, it becomes evident that this may not be enough to keep listeners coming back. If FUNKY MONKEY BABYS can bring more diverse sounds and more vocal power along with catchy beats, they can create a hit album. Right here they have the makings of one, they just need to polish their game.