Yep so it’s almost midway through the year, so how bout going down memory lane and review best albums and other albums! starting with January THE BEGINNING!!!!
POLYSICS – BESTOISU!!!!
The earliest album that I didn’t review was POLYSICS’ third best-of album and unfortunately the last one with KAYO as a member of the band because of her leaving later on this year. BESTOISU!!!! of course has all the big songs on them plus the recent awesomeness in that last era of theirs. Great collection of songs and a good way to say goodbye to their synth star
Aya Kamiki – INDIVIDUAL EMOTION CD 2
So on her avex debut album, there was a second disc and of course that was filled to the brim with more songs Aya did when she was under GIZA. While I’m not familiar with what’s on them, it’s definitely worth listening to and there’s no tracks that were copied onto her actual release of her best-of.
Aya Kamiki – AYA KAMIKI Greatest Best
Released simultaneously with Aya’ avex album debut, “INDIVIDUAL EMOTION”, her Greatest Best is what it is. It’s a collection of her A-sides and a few special tracks from her days working for GIZA. I didn’t get this release because I just wanted to start on her avex career and not look back too far in her GIZA days.
Kanako Ito – Chaos Attractor
I know I haven’t reviewed a thing from Kanako yet, but it’s hard to when the last thing she released is a best-of album. I’ll say I really like Chaos Attractor and it gives me a lot to look forward to when she does return to sing!
Koda Kumi – BEST ~third universe~
I’ll admit that sticking a best-of album along with a studio album is a pretty sad idea, moreso the fact that the best-of album comes first before “UNIVERSE”. Kuu’s newest best-of album chronicles most of the last three eras she’s done “Black Cherry, Kingdom, and TRICK. There are a few missing A-sides which surprised me…but otherwise not a bad best-of but I think the other two were better…
Yui Sakakibara – You♡I -Sweet Tuned by 5pb.-
When isn’t this girl releasing shit? I swear this best-of is just too much for me. Not only it’s a best-of of previous songs, it’s a best-of containing songs that were produced by 5pb. which is bad because just like her “LOVExSingles” album…this was mostly too cute to listen to. There were a few songs that were….ok, but still not a great album.
Nanase Aikawa – ROCK or DIE
Nanase returns after her long hiatus with her last studio album, released her single for “tAttoo” and then whips this sucker out at us. What I like most about this release is that ROCK or DIE is either a plain old best-of (CD only & CD+DVD) or a complete A-side best-of (2CD + T-Shirt) I much prefer the 2 disc simply because all her A-sides are featured.
Tohoshinki – BEST SELECTION 2010
If it wasn’t for the fact that a later release would make this one basically irrelevent and obsolete, BEST SELECTION 2010 would’ve fared better for me. The first best-of album this year has a lot a great choices on the first disc and most I have heard and liked. The 2nd disc is more interesting because each of the members got to choose a song personally for it and also had “BREAK OUT!” which was their single right before the album, “Amaku Hateshinaku”, their digital single, “Toki wo Tomete” which was the recut single for this release and “With All My Heart ~Kimi ga Odoru, Natsu” which is the only song that is stuck here. Like I said, good best-of if it wasn’t for the fact that it basically gets replaced.
Guardians 4, Shugo Chara Egg!, and Buono! – Shugo Chara! Song♪Best
Yea, it’s more of a collection of songs that were tied into the anime. Also seems to be the ending for all three groups…Buono! did last longer than these two however. Anywho, the album contains the openings/endings of the show and features only one new track which in hindsight is a B-side that’s sung from all three groups together. Other than that…not much here…
JUJU – JUJU CD 2
Another album I didn’t fully review, JUJU came with a second disc as well but this time it was purely cover songs. Some are old and some are new and I thought that was pretty nice and of course…a Daft Punk cover? Talk about abstract!
chatmonchy – Hyoujou: Coupling Collection
chatmonchy is the first band I reviewed to release a coupling collection this year and they didn’t leave one off on this release. 19 tracks total and a second disc with five songs turned acoustic, this was a pretty solid release…but I’m still not that big of a chatmonchy fan because of Eriko IMO.
miyavi – FAN’S BEST
I’m surprised this was released quietly…I mean it took me awhile to even figure out what was on the tracklist. Anyways, as a fan-chosen best, there were 10 songs chosen. Most of them were of his recent major label stuff but there was one or two songs from his indies days that appeared. As a bonus 5 more tracks were put on chosen by miyavi himself…sadly there were just live versions…Interesting album of course though.
Rina Aiuchi – COLORS
After Rina’s complete A-side release last year, I wasn’t expecting Rina to drop COLORS, which is basically most of Rina’s B-sides (and a few album tracks) that actually had something to do with colors. A concept best-of??? There were a few tracks that left me wondering why she included them “Kirakira” and “marble”??? I don’t know but there were a few missing color songs missing as well…I’m surprised that the A-sides with colors weren’t added either. Strange release but FINALLY she releases some of these great B-sides.
Tohoshinki – TVXQ NON-STOP MIX VOL.2
I don’t listen to these kind of “non-stop” remix albums but what I can tell you is that the tracklist here is basically “The Secret Game”, the Jaejoong/Yuchun single, and the single that were after The Secret Code album minus “Toki wo Tomete”.
Koda Kumi – Koda Kumi Driving Hit’s 2
Just like the last Driving Hit’s album, the sequel actually is a bit stronger than the original which is a great thing. I don’t exactly agree with the choices of songs this time, but they did well with what they got and that’s the point.
Maaya Sakamoto – everywhere
So we get into Maaya’s best-of and I’m surprised it has a lot of songs spanning two discs total. There’s also a few surprises in some of the songs having a new arrangement “Loop” and “Magic Number” stands out from that and even a new song, of course the title track. I suggest that if you want to start getting into Maaya, this best-of should really give you a taste of her brand of music.
Sweet Vacation – Cover the Vacation!! -ep- vol.2
So…this release is definitely useless to me. It’s basically “Cover the Vacation!!” sans one song. So that being said, I didn’t review it because, well I already have! XD
AKB48 – Kamikyokutachi
Since AKB48 never releases albums and when they do, it’s just set-lists of lives and stuff, Kamikyokutachi is the first actual best-of from the mega group. Spanning through “Oogoe Diamond” through “Sakura no Shiori” and adding most if not all the B-sides, this is a pretty fulfilling best-of album. Although…some of the B-sides are bad xD
BREAKERZ – B.R.Z ACOUSTIC
As the first concept album from BREAKERZ, B.R.Z ACOUSTIC was a pretty nice mini-album actually. Although half the songs were already heard on singles in the “FIGHTERZ” era. The new acoustic renditions of “Ao no Mirai”, “Miss you”, and “BAMBINO” are really nice and the new song “Shunrenka” was just as nice. I’m surprised they left out they didn’t do anymore acoustic versions for this mini, but still pretty good overall.
Rain – BACK TO THE BASIC
Ok, given I haven’t reviewed him yet either, the reason I didn’t review this is because well…there’s a Japanese version coming out and I wanna review that instead. But yes, BACK TO THE BASIC is Rain’s Korean mini-album and then he decides to take a break…such a winner…
Miyu Kasegi – Utahime ~ Chiaki Naomi ni Akogarete
I guess when you’re a newer artist, you do what you can to stand out and with no albums under her, Miyu releases Utahime which is a cover of Enka songs that were originally made famous by Naomi Chiaki. Interesting idea, but it got her nowhere in sales unfortunately.
Saori@destiny – SELECTRO ~10songs selection~
Only a week after her sophomore album “WORLD WILD 2010”, Saori and TSUTAYA slipped this little album out (even though it’s only a rental release). Its considered the Beginners first to Saori and in a way it’s true because it’s 10 strong and electro filled songs from Saori. It did miss “Sayonara Revival” since that is well-known, but it’s a good set.
Chihiro Onitsuka – ONE OF PILLARS ~BEST OF CHIHIRO ONITSUKA 2000-2010~
Besides the terrible cover art for the best-of, I think ONE OF PILLARS might’ve been a pretty bad idea to have thrown out even though it does feature A-sides through both major labels. A lot of her A-sides are present and one album track mixed with a new song “Wakusei no Mori” which is nice but makes me want more of Onii-chan…
YAZIMA Beauty Salon – YAZIMA Beauty Salon THE MOVIE MUSIC ALBUM
I guess it’s not exactly one artist’s album, but it’s a soundtrack album and while I did play with the thought of reviewing it, it just didn’t happen because there were a lot of instrumental pieces. Also were songs from other people that weren’t YBS. Artists like BRIGHT and another moniker of DJ OZMA. The big things that came from YBS is a revamped version of their 3rd single, “Hamaguri Bomber” to “Pink Bomber”. and three new songs.
Tsuki Amano – PEEK A BOO
To commemorate with Children’s Day in Japan, Tsuki Amano first album release under OTAKURA RECORDS was PEEK A BOO a collection of many different tunes given the Tsuki touch. While there’s not much to account for besides having a big tracklist, an interesting self-cover of “Bodaiju” (her first major label A-side) is on the album which is cool!
Asriel – AntiQue ~INDIES BEST SELECTION~
I’m surprised that Asriel would release a best-of now since it’s been a long time coming. However, it is Asriel’s argubly 3rd best-of release. I’m surprised there wasn’t a lot on the album and for the most part the songs chosen were pretty spread out through the many mini-albums they have. I guess it’s a nice release but nothing too special.
Morning Musume – Morning Musume BEST OF SINGLES Japan Expo Limited Edition
Released exclusively for when the 8-nin group was in Paris, this sort of pseudo release is basically their “ALL SINGLES COMPLETE” which was released almost three years ago. It contains almost everything from “ALL SINGLES COMPLETE” except “HELLO TO YOU ~Hello! Project 10 Shuunen Kinen Theme~ & “Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima”. Instead we get a third disc that contains the missing singles that weren’t made then which is “Mikan” to “Seishun Collection” + plus “Tomo”. Interesting compilation, but sad it’s only a European release.
mihimaru GT – mihimaballads
As the title suggests, mihimaballads is a best-of containing a good portion of their ballads whether they were A-sides, B-sides or album tracks you’ll find at least one of each on this album. For me, it’s not really a good thing since I’m not totally a fan of their ballads that I’ve heard, but it might be for other people. There is a new track though in “Te wo Nobaseba” and I thought that was nice, but yeah…
Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – NEVER ENDING STORY
As the only V-kei band I review that released a best-of so far this year, Mix Speaker’s released NEVER ENDING STORY which spans between the two chapters so far released in the band’s history. I recognize a few songs from “BIG BANG MUSIC” and “Wonder Traveling” which are both good releases. At least they’ve been releasing fast so that’s good.
GACKT – ARE YOU “FRIED CHICKENz”??
As the compilation album, ARE YOU “FRIED CHICKENz”?? is a collection of his hardest hitting songs he’s released and the choices are pretty much amazing from recent “ZAN” to the more religious “Jesus” to his experimental “Dybbuk”. A lot of hard songs that needed to see the light of day. New stuff includes live versions of “uncontrol” and “Justified”…not much but pretty passable nonetheless.
Kou Shibasaki – Love & Ballad Selection
Just like mihimaru GT’s best, Kou’s best-of contains a lot of ballads and songs about love (which is still ballads). Once again not too much of a fan of that, but at least there’s a lot of new songs on the album (even though some are covers nonetheless). Not a bad to be release (this and the next few are next week releases).
Tohoshinki – TOHOSHINKI COMPLETE A-SIDE COLLECTION
Which brings us to why I think “BEST SELECTION 2010” is basically non-existant anymore. The first thing is this complete A-side collection from the group. All of the A-sides are present here except for the Jaejoong/Yuchun duet single…but the solo singles are present too. I don’t think there was any real problems but w/e.
Tohoshinki -TOHOSHINKI SINGLE B-SIDE COLLECTION
Unfortunately, it also came with a coupling collection and while I haven’t heard most of these B-sides, I can say it’s a pretty nice tracklist. I mean why do we have just a complete best all-around from THSK because avex are just being whorish…
Also is that these two are also put in a box-set together so that should give you some idea why the covers suck balls.
So there’s the albums I missed in the first half of the year!