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BEST OF 2011: BEST/WORST ALBUMS WHEEEEEE!!!! January 16, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 9:21 pm

Finally, the last post of the best-of 2011!  Here is what you all have been waiting for and that’s ALBUM OF THE YEAR…in both good and terrible aspects, LET’S DIVE RIGHT IN!

BEST

  • Akiko Shikata – Istoria ~Kalliope~
  • °C-ute – Chou WONDERFUL!⑥
  • Daichi Miura – D.M.
  • Do As Infinity – EIGHT
  • DUSTZ – TROIS
  • Juliet – Shibuya
  • Onmyo-za – Kishiboshin
  • SCANDAL – BABY ACTION
  • Shoujo Jidai – GIRLS’ GENERATION
  • SPYAIR – Rockin’ the World
  • Stereopony – More! More!! More!!!
  • SuG – Thrill Ride Pirates
  • supercell – Today Is A Beautiful Day

 

The 5 albums that JUST BARELY MADE 15

I must say, I was happy there were a lot of good albums…but there wasn’t a lot of AMAZING albums this year which was a bummer to last years.  HAHAHA, I just totally saw how similar the the cover for BREAKERZ’ GO and Perfume’s JPN are hahah and it works in a phrase…GO JPN!  Anyways…BREAKERZ had a pretty badass album and even though it had two bad songs on it, I still enjoyed the rest of it quite nicely.  Perfume’s might not have had great album songs but the rest were all worth it together again!  Pretty solid album!  For someone who takes time to release albums, I thought Kaya’s QUEEN album was a nice return.  Pretty solid and has great electro tracks to throw out as well ^_^.  Momosu’s also had a great album here with their first with the Kyuukies in 12, Smart.  It was a good debut for the new members and a great way to send Takitty out.  Last, but not least, ONE OK ROCK had a great year with their album, Zankyo Reference.  One of the  more impressive albums from a rock band I saw this year whoohoo!

10. School Food Punishment – Prog-Roid

Even through the change of how they write their names, Prog-Roid is a little disappointing compared to their last album, “amp-reflection”, but this was still a pretty damn good album.  I mean they know what got them rather well-known and they just stuck to it this time around.  Some people might not like that they didn’t experiment much here but I thought it was a good, cohesive album from them!

9. Maki Goto – Ai Kotoba (VOICE)

Gocchin’s lone avex album finally released this year and I gotta be honest, I really enjoyed this album.  From the Ayu-esque songs to the heartwrenching ballads to all the different sides to her upbeat stuff, it was just great to hear something from her despite going into hiatus after it.  Plus the second disc is worth the buy as well…unless you already have “SWEET BLACK”.

8. Genki Rockets – GENKI ROCKETS II -No border between us-

I was happy to hear Genki Rockets were returning and they really outdid themselves with GRII.  I mean it’s a pretty happy and breezy album that just flows seamlessly the entire way (sans the remixes).  It’s just an album to drive with…just sooo good.

7. KOKIA – pieces

Even though this album might be unfair, because it’s an outwork collection album, it did feature the singles that didn’t have an album and a song from a mini I reviewed.  pieces by KOKIA kind of flowed smoothly and it had quite a bit of epic songs on it haha.  Yeah a much more easier album to listen to than her other one >.>

6. MAA – BubbleMan Engine

MAA is definitely one of two artists to watch out for in 2011 (the other would be ONE OK ROCK).  BubbleMan Engine is pretty much random all wrapped in an album but I loved it all the same since all the main songs really impressed me and she chose good songs from her “Monkey Kingdom” mini to be represented as well.  Quite an electro album this year…just loving it!

5. capsule – WORLD OF FANTASY

WORLD OF FANTASY from capsule was a much needed upgrade after 2010’s “PLAYER” IMO since there was a lot more cohesion and a bit of a different direction that I expected here.  I mean tribal drums and an almost Indian-like feel in some of the songs, plus the typical club bangers…it just came together like it was meant to be.  Pretty much a cool album for me!

4. moumoon – 15 Doors

While this should be classified as a best-of, 15 Doors from moumoon was a nice and sugary good album.  I mean it had tons of the duo’s great songs they’ve released prior and it had a pleasant tone through all of it.  Even their more natural sounding songs had a cute tune as well.  Ok, moumoon had a great album and I hope their next one is great!

3. SID – dead stock

I actually really enjoyed SID’s album, dead stock this year!  Another one of those rock bands that seem to surprise me, this album had a lot of different styles that actually worked for the band.  It’s varied and showed a lot of interest from me…Here’s hoping their next album works!

2. Kalafina – After Eden

Once again Kalafina finds themselves just that close to the top spot but was surpassed by something better.  After Eden is definitely better than “Red Moon” which is great for sure and the members still are pulling off amazing songs as well.  Just three amazing singers with Yuki Kajiura…what more could you ask for….oh wait FictionJunction XDDDD.  Still a great third album and still shows the spark within this rather great group!

1. MISIA – SOUL QUEST

The best album of the year for me is definitely MISIA’s release for SOUL QUEST.  After being rather bored with her last album, “JUST BALLADE”, this album exceeded all expectations for me.  It has such powerful songs and a mix of amazing ballads and fun tunes.  There’s just something for everyone here and I’m happy she released this!!!

WORST

  • eufonius – bezel
  • faylan – ALIVE
  • T.M.Revolution – CLOUD NINE
  • YuiKaori – Puppy

The 5 albums that were basically mediocre XD

Not many bad albums happened this year but there were still quite a bit a poor albums this year!  MOMAJIK’s album might be intrigue people because it’s such a relaxing album but westview lacked something for me that was present in their singles beforehand.  gnd’s Agaruneku! felt rushed and most of the songs felt like rejected releases from the previous three albums to be honest!  Momoiro Clover Z’s Battle and Romance was kind of messy and the the songs weren’t all that great IMO.  There were a couple of good songs but nothing that could’ve helped it.  Shin from Kie Kitano was bad because it was Tetsuya Komuro hax to the max and it just felt SO outdated and bland.  It just didn’t work for her or me XD.  The most surprising this year was YUI’s HOW CRAZY YOUR LOVE album.  It was lacking a spark and none of the album songs were pretty unmemorable and just kind of bored me all the way through…

10. Sukima Switch – musium

Maybe it’s just me being biased here but their music wasn’t of any interest to me and I kind of was mega-bored with this album but it’s so low on the list because I’m sure there’s fans that really liked it.  It just wasn’t my thing from them…too light and not enough oomph.

9. RO-KYU-BU! – pure elements

This album was pretty bad because most of the songs lacked interest as well (though it also had some rather icky vocals in a couple of them).  It might’ve been an album for an anime…but I just wasn’t impressed with this.

8. Angela Aki – WHITE

WHITE was definitely like it was meaning it.  I felt like there wasn’t much of anything going on that was remotely interesting.  Kind of simple and just very one-dimensional and it made “LIFE” look like it was the greatest thing ever.  It just lacked energy for me!

7. Aki Toyosaki – love your life, love my life

Non-memorable songs mixed with rather weak vocals and it’s just a bad combination here.  Aki’s debut album could’ve been ok, if her voice wasn’t weak here.  I just couldn’t get into it.

6. AKB48 – Koko ni Ita Koto

Besides “Beginner” and “Heavy Rotation”, this album was all kinds of bland unfortunately.  I mean the songs tackle that typical AKB sound plus the typical styles of idol songs as well just kind of made me roll my eyes in defeat.  This album was a bad idea…(at least they could’ve done more with the music…).

5. Yui Sakakibara – Ringing

I don’t know what to think of Yui’s album really.  I mean it’s like most of her other ones that I’ve reviewed.  Some ok songs and the rest is rather hard to get through because of her uber cutesy vocals.  This one had maybe one or two good songs but otherwise the rest just was poor for me! 

4. Asriel – Oratorium

Same thing can be said here as well but KOKOMI’s vocals were really off the wall on this album.  Add the fact that none of the arrangements seem to connect with me as much as “Angelrhythm” did.  Just unoriginal and KOKOMI’s wacky vocals just ruined the album for me.

3. KOKIA – moment

Great vocalist and all but KOKIA’s album, moment is the stuff of pure boredom.  I mean considering that “pieces” and “REAL WORLD” and other albums exist this was just snooze-worthy and left nothing of a mark on me except, she better not do this again!

2. AYUSE KOZUE – U&I

What?  Another boring album?  At least we know it’s not AYUSE’s fault but more of GIORGIO13 who produced the entire thing.  Ugh, this was so boring and one-dimensional that I was even tired of it after the second song!  It really was another one of those easy sleep albums!

1. Chara – Dark Candy

I still don’t see why people like her music.  I mean, I can agree with the fact she’s a great producer and songwriter…but when it comes to her singing this stuff…she really sucks (and I really don’t know how people can enjoy it).  I just couldn’t stand Dark Candy and it really was worst album to my ears because of her vocal oddity…seriously…people think she’s the best singer in J-pop…are you people on LSD or something?!?

 

 

SHOULD I DO A TOP 50 SONGS OF THE YEAR AS THE FINAL POST?  (This is all J-pop so it doesn’t have the Korean and American choices this year!)

 

BEST OF 2011: ALBUM ARTS: THE PRETTY AND THE FUGTASTIC!!!

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 5:15 am

Yay!!!!, so now we’re onto art covers this year and there is oddly not a lot from both sides but definitely enough to make a list out of em!!!!!  So let’s get it!….SHINE GET!

BEST

  • °C-ute – Chou WONDERFUL!⑥
  • D – VAMPIRE SAGA
  • HIMEKA – Himekanvas
  • Maria – MERCI VOX
  • ON/OFF – Legend of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu-
  • Sakanaction – DocumentaLy
  • SuG – Thrill Ride Pirates
  • Suneohair – Suneohair
  • TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Kodou no Himitsu
  • YuiKaori – Puppy

The 5 almost very pretty covers!!!

In the better side of album covers comes 15-11 starting with Kanako Ito’s cover for VECTOR.  I think I’m a sucker for some anime-ish covers and since I’m not sure what this one is based from it stood out to me because the character stands out from the pink background nicely.  Kind of looks like she’s laying on some platform.  Aira and Saori’s fit the the title of the album…you know since it is called ×~PARK OF THE SAFARI.  Kind of goofy but it does have a rather safari-like theme to it!  Of course it’s from the cheetah, leopard, and zebra print y’know and the middle having a giraffe on the savannah…I mean it’s that obvious.  Mix Speaker’s, Inc. usually has pretty nifty cover arts but I think I prefer “Wonder Traveling” still.  The cover for It’s a Dream World is simple but it has the members in costumes (kind of their shtick as an oshare-kei band y’know?).  Simple but cool.  CIRCUS’ cover from Chiaki Kuriyama actually surprised me since it’s totally out of left field and I didn’t expect this from the singles either.  I like how there’s a cage around her head and a bird perched on it…plus Chiaki’s shocked expression is priceless lmao.  Last but not least, the cover for eufonius’ Phonon was different but not overbearing.  The whole piano look was kind of cool but the blotches of cover kind of gives it a much needed life actually lol.  I liked it a lot!

10. Eri Takenaka – Kioku no Mori no Ghibli

There’s just some really relaxing and nature-friendly about Eri’s cover for her cover album of Ghibli’s songs.  Just the fact she’s standing their holding an acoustic guitar in a forest is just pleasant.  Though sometimes I get the feeling that the cover was painted and p-shopped on but whatever, it’s a pretty good cover from her!

9. Akiko Shikata – Istoria ~Kalliope~

Like I said, I’m a sucker for some anime covers and Akiko’s never seem to not impress me so here we have the cover of the LAST album released this year.  Istoria is bright and full of fantasy shtuff that I oogled over it.  Plus the main character shown was drawn REAL nicely here. 

8. Daichi Miura – D.M.

Nothing like a good intergalactic cover right…Since it fits “Black Hole” (odd) Daichi’s album cover for D.M. was really different yet kind of artistic in a way.  Daichi free-falling in front of a sun with beams of light going through him.  Better is that we don’t see his natural beauty as well so it’s not a factor here lol.  Different, but I like it a lot!

7. Shoujo Jidai – GIRLS’ GENERATION

Likewise, Shoujo Jidai’s cover for GIRLS’ GEN was pretty different for a K-pop group to do since it’s bright and has a rather monochromatic tone to it to make seem a little more fluffier looking.  Plus I like the setting of the room as well…and the text for the album was nice.  It just was a nice cover all-around for me!

6. ALI PROJECT – QUEENDOM

Heh, ALIPRO…they always have such bold and unique art covers for everything it seems!  This year they might not have had as many interesting covers but I thought one that stood out the most was QUEENDOM actually.  I love the medieval setting with Arika on a horse in front of a castle…very fitting stile and even though it’s a little odd for an Asian to be in front of a European castle (at least I think it is) it’s still rather cool nonetheless.

5. Sound Horizon – Märchen

I have to admit, Sound Horizon also makes pretty good art covers to different things and “Moira” was on this list back a couple years ago.  Märchen was intriguing because not only it has a night version, but it has a day version and they both contrast each other SO well!  I will say the night one was better since there’s a lot more creepy things going on…LOVE IT!

4. Genki Rockets – GENKI ROCKETS II -No border between us-

Ahhh, gotta love this cover for GRII.  I mean it’s Rachel (I think) levitating above grown and somehow she has the ability to bend the air XD.  It’s simple but it’s got such a breezy, happy vibe like the album that it just works as a whole.  Though having the “II” being in rainbow was a little unusual… >.>

3. NIKIIE – *(NOTES)

NIKIIE’s debut album cover was interesting to me.  I mean it’s like some other artists who lay down and act as the focal point of the cover but NIKIIE made it interesting with the drawing that lie around her.  I do wonder what she drew but it’s kind of cool and has this lonely feel with the way she’s laying there in a near-fetal position with her shoes off XD  Still a pleasant cover here.

2. Koda Kumi – Dejavu

This is prolly Kuu’s most random cover but I loved it (and it’s leagues better than that cover, “UNIVERSE” had).  From the clocktower setting, to the random items, and the cakes…this cover was kind of classy and a little more softer than the last few covers that tried to WOW people but didn’t….(here’s looking at you “Kingdom” and “TRICK”).  I think Kuu looks good here as well so it worked here…loved this cover.

1. MONKEY MAJIK – westview

I love covers that are shot in another country and shows off a town or village.  With the cover for westview, the band actually went to Greece for this one and it’s a great cover!  I mean the building are white and blue…add in a sea on the side and you’ve got such a great looking cover.  The other cover is always quite nice since it’s set at dusk…they really took best cover art for the year in my eyes!

WORST

  • Akiko Hasegawa – Simply Lovely
  • girl next door – Agaruneku!
  • HIROKO – OPEN THE DOOR
  • Kie Kitano – Shin
  • KOKIA – pieces
  • Momoi Haruko – Showa
  • Nami Tamaki – Ready

Oi ve, here’s the 5 that are bad but not stinkers!

Clearly there wasn’t as many bad covers which is good but there was still a bit.  JPN from Perfume feels rather simple and boring which is weird because I had the same problem with their last album.  I mean the girls posing next to (under) the letter of the title just doesn’t cut i!  SFP’s Prog-Roid cover is such a disappointment after “amp-reflection’s” which is still one of the coolest covers I’ve ever seen.  This one just lacks effort and looks weird to me.  I guess Safarii’s cover for Mou Ichido Waraeru Kara isn’t so bad since it’s the trio on the beach and all the but the text actually bothers me here!  It just ruined it for me.  A simple headshot bored me and that’s the case with U&I from AYUSE KOZUE…I mean the pastel pink background was boring and the fuzzy effect kind of felt unneeded IMO.  Not cool.  Finally, pure elements by RO-KYU-BU! was just a standard pose in front of a beach shot…though they’ve had too basic of covers in their active time.

10. SPYAIR – Rockin’ the World

You would think the band would actually appear on their major label album debut…since they were on all five of their singles…but NOOOOOO all we get is a flag waving with the band’s name and the title of the album on the bottom…WHAT THE HELL…bad decision to be honest!

9. Kylee – 17

Kylee’s cover for her first album was also quite a bust as well.  I mean it looks way to plain and basic for her (especially since her singles for the most part were rather interesting ones).  I mean “Everlasting” was also a headshot…but at least THAT WAS GOOD unlike this boring ass cover!

8. Stereopony – More! More!! More!!!

I do not know why Stereopony had to get such a crappy cover out for their third album.  I mean the lighting is all off and make the members look like druggies or something.  It didn’t help that the text was godawful and the top left and bottom right had phrases about the album…EW…it’s like Kuu’s “POP DIVA” and “COME WITH ME” covers all over again…

7. Sakura Gakuin – Sakura Gakuin 2010 ~message~

It’s boring and simple…what more could be said about Sakura Gakuin’s debut album…it just was too unoriginal and lame-sauce for me!

6. FLOPPY – Over Technology

While this isn’t as bad as “PROTOSCIENCE” was, Over Technology is not far behind and has a pretty mundane and boring covers this year.  I mean a big gray F with the background being all ocean blue.  Though if I look closer, I see some of that gray in the blue…just boring and useless!

5. Angela Aki – WHITE

The problem with WHITE from Angela Aki is that it’s TOO WHITE.  There is just a serious lack of color (the only color besides that is Angela’s skin color…gawd this was a very boring cover and even though the white piano is cool…it just blended to much to the already one-color statement Angela was going for T.T

4. Versailles – Holy Grail

You might think, why’s Versailles cover for Holy Grail on this list because it’s a nice and interesting cover yeah!  I mean the little girl walking into a dance is cool…but that’s not it.  The first thing I noticed was not the background but the horrible text of the title’s name that takes a third of the cover.  Plus the golden color of the band’s name on the bottom didn’t help either.  It felt like it was lazily placed…I mean we could’ve had better text here. 

3. Chara – Dark Candy

If you’re gonna look like someone that’s been abused by a clown and haven’t tooken a shower for weeks, Chara’s Dark Candy might be the visual after.  God forbid whoever thought this was a good idea because it’s a shitty looking headshot.  The blue lips that look rather fish-lipped and her derpy stare just doen’t cut it for me!  I mean you can try to defend this all you want…but “CAROL” was a better cover…at least she didn’t ram her face into the wall muliple times for different bruise colors >.>

2. eufonius – bezel

If you want a lazy cover, then eufonius’ bezel is in order here.  I mean wires strung out in a random fashion doesn’t make sense to me and I’m sure not to many other people as well…but the whole grayscale + the typewriter-like text of the cover just felt like it was done in 15 minutes time.  What is the point of this?  I mean at least “Phonon” was trying something right…

1. KOKIA – moment

Kind of like the case of alan’s “Ai wa Chikara”, KOKIA’s moment really was just a bunch of bull.  Taking a picture of the sky with clouds flying by just isn’t all that great of a cover and after the last few KOKIA covers…this was a drop!  Plus if you looked at it closer…WHY is the “A” in her name spaced far away from the “I”….it’s just ODD and stupid because not it looks like the title is like “KOKI A moment”….HUH?!?…worst cover by far!

 

 

NEXT TIME….THE FINAL POST, BEST ALBUMS OVERALL!!!