It’s that time again for the best of the year that was 2010. Of course just like last year, there’s gonna quite a lot of posts like these and it’ll come in due time, but right now let’s pay attention to the A-sides that filled out the year!
The 5 that just missed the top 10!
Being as the 15-11, Over the clouds, Otakebi Boy WAO!, Ethnic Planet Survival, Freedom, and Fate represented great A-sides respectively but were just beaten out. I will say that each of these releases were surprisingly good despite not having much of a good year. Still great stuff nonetheless!
THE TOP 10!
10. Perfume – Fushizen na Girl
I will say that Perfume kicking off the top 10 is kind of strange, but Perfume hasn’t exactly had the best year in 2010. However, I was split on which A-side to include between this and “Natural ni Koishite”, but I chose this song since it was more a nod back to the days of “GAME”. Plus the PV and song itself was fun and had great stuff from Nakata.
9. CHiAKi KURiYAMA – Ryuusei no Namida
For a debut artist to make this list is quite the daunting task, but Chiaki’s debut single, Ryuusei no Namida is one of the few ballads that I always keep coming to since it’s really heartfelt and kind of pretty strong inducing, and that’s not even including the fact that it’s a GUNDAM tie-in either. It’s definitely the best ballad of the year considering the rest of the list is energetic songs for sure.
8. JASMINE – THIS IS NOT A GAME
When we first learned that JASMINE was going on a trilogy of singles, I was worried since those don’t do well (or sell well for that matter). In the case of JASMINE though I was kind of getting tired of both “sad to say” and “NO MORE” since they were so one in the same. However, when she released the first of the trilogy, THIS IS NOT A GAME, it changed everything about her and just quickly became one of my early favorites of the year with the darker vibe and heavier R&B sound that she was pushing out. Still think the English parts were the best thing though hahaha.
7. moumoon – Sunshine Girl
If there was a song that perfectly epitomized summer in music form this year, moumoon’s Sunshine Girl was that song. It was bright, cute, colorful and just catchy that it would make you wanna frolic down the beach singing the song, though even better was that there is an English version available as well. Such an amazing tune heh
6. 4minute – FIRST
It was hard trying to decide which deserved this place from 4minute between this song and “I My Me Mine”. but considering the fact that FIRST was an original JPN tune, it kind of beats out said song. To me I was already a fan when “IMMM” was released but FIRST was what kind of solidified it. The song is just K-pop goodness but set with JPN lyrics and catchy hooks all over. The thing was that the song did feel like a few ideas rammed together, but it’s still damn catchy!
5. mini – Are U Ready?
Like I said about Chiaki, debut artists getting on here is no easy task and most of the time debut songs are usually stepping stones. With mini, she scored major points with her electro track, Are U Ready? There was just something that screamed epic from it and given the fact that it was produced by JIN of High Speed Boyz fame made it even better for me.
4. IMALU – Uh Uh
I was surprised at that IMALU would’ve have released something that’s synth-pop since her previous singles were more pop/rock. Uh Uh at first confused me since the title kind of sounded sexually driven, but the song is kind of cute, kind of serious lyrically, and just bounds of fun (like the rather goofy PV). One of the hidden surprises I loved this year.
3. MiChi – All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~
There’s not much to say when it comes to MiChi this year and surprisingly was strong with the releases. All about the Girls ~Iijanka Party People~ though really surprised me with the fact it sampled “Scatman” in the arrangement made it even cooler. I just love the carefree attitude MiChi portrayed for the song and it was just a fun party song and catchy all over!
2. VAMPS – DEVIL SIDE
As the only J-rock song and only English song on this list, VAMPS really came through the speakers with DEVIL SIDE. It’s such a surprise that HYDE from Lariku would’ve released something so edgy, slick, dark, and just all out awesome. Even KAZ should get points for the awesome and rockin’ arrangement.
1. AAA – Dream After Dream ~Yume Kara Sameta Yume~
Finally at the No. 1 spot, AAA clearly won me over this year with the second A-side of the first single of the “Buzz Communication” era. When I first saw that Tetsuya Komuro were taking over as arranger for the single (and later the era itself), I had my worries since his music can come off as too aged. Dream After Dream was pretty much a gem of stuff he produced this year and while Urata, Nissy, Misako, Hidaka, and Chiaki took vocal roles, I think Tetsuya should get an applause since the song was arrangement heaven for me. So many synths and melody abound. I love this song to death and once again the PV was even better ^_^
The 5 that luckily missed being in the 10
There’s no doubt in my mind that theses songs won’t get the full blast of the 10 haha. ALWAYS, Koyubi no Paradox, Toki wo Tomete, READY FOR LOVE, and Chance no Junban weren’t good songs, but they are better than what’s coming up.
THE BAD 10!
10. Juliet – 23:45
Juliet hasn’t really been that exciting a group for me, but it came at a low with the release 0f 23:45 which did break the monotony of similar-titled singles for a little but that’s not the point. 23:45 to me came off as way bland for R&B and barely stood out for me one bit.
9. Natsuko Aso – Everyday sunshine line!
There’s just something very saddening when you see an artist go down the wrong path for her music career such is the case for Natsuko Aso. She started out great with her two singles. Then came “Perfect-area complete!” and it made me worry, but it wasn’t til her fourth single where I just shook my head in disbelief since this song is just very sugary and way too cute to be taken seriously. She still hasn’t recovered, but I hope she goes back to where she started.
8. PUFFY – R.G.W.
After that short break after “Dareka ga”, R.G.W. just baffled me to no end. I mean I know PUFFY is a pretty groundbreaking group and actually somewhat got popular here in the states, but R.G.W. was just kind of lame for a Christmas song since they’re yelling colors at ya for most of the song. It just seems everytime I try to listen to it, I get a headache for trying, so whatever.
7. Kaori Mochida – green
I’m not entirely sure why Kaori had to choose this song to represent “NIU”, but green just did nothing for me but put me to sleep almost. Nothing much more to say about the song besides the fact it wasn’t the worst on the album.
6. Ai Otsuka – I ♥ ×××
There’s sentimental songs that make you happy and there’s one like this that just gets annoying after a few listens. While it’s great that Ai is married and pregnant, but somehow with that came the fact that her works since hasn’t been stellar and this song just kind of marks as her low point in A-sides. I don’t know why I get so bothered by it, but it just is so repetitive…
5. m.o.v.e – Fate Seeker
We all know that m.o.v.e has always been about electronica and techno/eurotrance but what they did with Fate Seeker was just inhumane. The rule is is that don’t give the leading lady who’s vocals are already kind of meh auto-tune….it messes things up and it did quite harshly. Definitely did not like this song and still don’t
4. faylan – Last vision for last
Last vision for last for me was a failure amongst her other songs because while this was another tie-in to an anime it didn’t do enough to stand out like her other songs. Add in the fact that the arrangement was all over the place didn’t help nor was faylan. I don’t but this song was her worst yet.
3. Watarirouka Hashiritai – AkKanbe Bashi
I would like to believe that Ayaka Kikuchi had something to do with AkKanbe Bashi sucking so much. The fact that the song feels so disorienting and just purely genki annoying was the reason I despise it so much. Add the girls sounded too high and there was transitioning issues, and you got No. 3
2. Minori Chihara – Freedom Dreamer
While I’m not entirely entranced by Minorin’s music (her last album is a different story), Freedom Dreamer was pretty bad for her. The fact that it was a summer song and Minorin was using her seiyuu voice for the song was just a recipe for disaster. Ick, just hated this song and luckily “Ittousei” fixed things up.
1. S/mileage – ◯◯ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!
As the worst A-side of the year, S/mileage really chose a doozy with this song. Not only it’s genki to the max, the song has the most random of sounds that H!P has ever used up to this point and it really kind of turned me further away from the song. I still didn’t think the four gals did much to help alleviate the problem, but added to it. Sorry, just not my song and it really sucks for me.
ANYWAYS, STAY TUNED FOR PT.2: THE B-SIDES!!!