I know this is quite late but here we are once again at past a half year and I want to talk about releases that I deliberately passed over just in shorter reviews/info! So let’s begin with January!!!
fripSide – fripSide PC game Ccmpilation vol. 01
Released on New Year’s Day, fripSide opens up 2012 with a compilation of their songs used in PC games! The good thing about this release is that none of them are on their official releases (exception is “Hidamari Basket”). This is a pretty good release for dans of fripSide and it means more of Yoshino!
Is it worth it?: I’d say if you’re a fan of fripSide since Yoshino joined, then this is worth a listen so it is new material to most people, to the people that were fans of fripSide prior Yoshino…not so sure, but if you liked “infinite synthesis” then this might be your thing.
Angela Aki – SONGBOOK
Angela Aki also released an interesting album at the beginning of the year in the form of SONGBOOK which is her first cover album! It features quite a bit of cover songs and some returning ones. Though I will have to remind you that the final three tracks; “Creep”, “Still Fighting It”, and “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” were NOT resung for this album.
Is it worth it?: Personally, I’m not a huge fan of cover albums but if you are a fan of Angela Aki (which a lot people are) then this is definitely worth a listen but it might be familiar to people if they heard “WHITE” since that in an odd way was mostly a cover album as well.
Chiaki Kuriyama – CIRCUS Deluxe Edition
The first of questionable albums this year, Chiaki re-released her debut album, CIRCUS in early 2012 and really includes three things. First off the tracklist is moved around a little bit and included her single “Tsukiyo no Shouzou” and it’s B-side “Seishun no Mabataki”. Also the PV for the former on the DVD.
Is it worth it?: Honestly, no. The fact that it really only had added two songs that were already released as a single and STILL lacked “Ryuusei no Namida” made this release still quite underwhelming overall even if the album is still quite solid. So if you haven’t picked up the original, than this might be a good buy but if you already have the original release, pass this up!
DIR EN GREY – UROBOROS [Remastered & Expanded]
Another strange release, DIR EN GREY decided to re-release their 7th album, UROBOROS but also change things about it. First off the mastering was redone matching the same mastering as “DUM SPIRO SPERO” has gotten (which is their 8th album). Next is that the tracklist got a little bit bigger! Moving the number of tracks from 13 to 15 with the addition of “Hydra -666-” and “BUGABOO RESPIRA” and Japanese versions of “DOZING GREEN” and “GLASS SKIN”.
Is it worth it?: I’m kind of curious to why they did this now to a 2008 release for one thing. Now I’m not the biggest Diru fan out there but I’m sure this is worth the purchase if you forgot about it and want to get it then yes! As for the remastering, I’ll leave that for the people that have heard UROBOROS beforehand to tell the difference between the two.
Girls’ Generation – The Boys
Now we all know the group released The Boys in Korea and Japan in 2011 but this is the American album…WAIT…AMERICAN?!? Yup, the had did some promoting in the states with The Boys (the song) so it was released with no changes in languages so it was still primarily a Korean album. The only difference was that it came with remixes of the title song (4 actually and one in its original Korean form).
Is it worth it?: If you already have the Korean release (or Japanese release) then this isn’t really worth buying because the remixes are pretty poor even as big as Snoop Dogg is rapping in your tune…it’s not good. Now if you’re in the USA/France then it might be worth it since it’s right there.
YUKI – POWERS OF TEN
Celebrating her 10th Anniversary, YUKI decided to commemerate this occasion with her best-of, POWERS OF TEN. It features most if not all her A-sides and 4 new songs: “Otona ni Natte”, “Rainbow st.”, “MY HAND”, and “Sekai wa Tada, Kagayaite”. All split into two discs, this is pretty much a filled release!
Is it worth it?: Totally worth it to get a 2-disc best-of of all YUKI’s lead tracks and 4 new ones to enjoy.
m.o.v.e – m.o.v.e B-SIDE BEST
m.o.v.e went on a rampage releasing albums this year, as in 3 albums. The first that was released was a digitally released best-of focused on B-sides. Now of course the album is at a full 20 songs but some of the tracks are actually album songs and the way the tracklist is setup is from the newest to the oldest.
Is it worth it?: I think it hurts that it’s a digital-only release but the selection of songs is pretty good for the most part highlighting a good portion of their good B-sides (even though there are some missing). I’d say it’s a good release overall but mostly found on iTunes.
Buono! – Buono! Paris Collection
Kind of a quiet release of an album but when Buono! was in Paris to performed they sold a limited releases of a best-of album. It has every A-side they’ve done since their debut up to “Hatsukoi Cider/DEEP MIND”
Is it worth it?: With this being sold on one night this is HARD to come by but the singles aren’t which is good and there weren’t bonuses on them either which knocks off any incentive to buy (or search for the album). I will say that the fact it has every A-side does make it stand out more from “The Best Buono!” since that best-of was missing a couple of A-sides but had album tracks and B-sides. I’d say this is a pass…
chatmonchy – chatmonchy BEST ~2005-2011~
I’m kind of curious why they released this best-of but I’m pretty sure it was due to the fact that they wanted to start on a clean slate when Kumiko left the band. The album is mostly just the A-sides and leading songs from the mini’s and albums they’ve released as well. So it’s a pretty basic release.
Is it worth it?: If you want a good starting place for chatmonchy, this would be the album I’d give them next to “Hyoujou: Coupling Collection”. It shows what the band does best (or well when they were a trio since now they’re doing different things as a duo and all that).
GRANRODEO – GRANRODEO B-side Collection “W”
Another band releasing a B-side best-of, GRANRODEO surprisingly released a B-side best before an A-side best is kind of strange but kind of cool. It features one B-side from their debut single up to “ROSE HIP-BULLET”.
Is it worth it?: I actually do not know if it’s worth it because I haven’t heard anything of theirs before their single, “Koi Oto”. So I don’t know how their B-sides were before when I started listening to them. I’m sure it is a good release to get because it is B-sides all in one package.
Super Junior – SUPER JUNIOR JAPAN LIMITED SPECIAL EDITION – SUPER SHOW 3 Kaisai Kinen Ban
In Japan, Suju this year released this oddball of an album which is merely a live album of their SUPER SHOW 3. I’m not too familiar with a lot of the songs on the album but it’s there
Is it worth it?: I’m not a big fan of live albums either so I assume it was released for their big fans to gather up…though it does have some songs done by Suju units so that might be a kick for some.
m.o.v.e – m.o.v.e anim.o.v.e BEST
m.o.v.e’s second of their album releases (the third was their 12th studio album, “XII”) this was a best-of showcasing their anim.o.v.e series featuring the cover songs from all three albums plus two new covers, “Daia no Hana” and “Go Tight!”
Is it worth it?: Errrrr, not so much. anim.o.v.e BEST might have taken a lot of songs from the three albums that spanned it but there was a lot more better tracks than the ones chosen. Plus the new songs aren’t that great either…
BUCK-TICK – CATALOGUE VICTOR→MERCURY 87-99 & CATALOGUE ARIOLA 00-10
25 years of BUCK-TICK and we’re celebrating it with two releases! One celebrating their earlier years with Victor and Mercury and one with Ariola (their current stuff). They both have two discs in which the second disc contains the PVs for the songs. I’d say this is a pretty hefty release from this old band!
Is it worth it?: If you are a BUCK-TICK fan, this would be definitely one to get since (especially for the VICTOR→MERCURY set because it’s their old stuff). For casual fans and more recent, you might wanna to stick with Ariola unless you want to risk it by going further back in their discography.
girl next door – Single Collection
Celebrating 5 years together, gnd also decided it was a good time to release a best-of album having released 4 studio albums. It has all the primary A-sides on the album (meaning stuff like “Shiawase no Jouken” & “Hoshizora Keikaku” are not on here). Also there’s a new remix for “Guuzen no Kakuritsu”
Is it worth it?: It’s a toss-up since gnd has always been sameish with their music since their debut but this collection has some great A-sides on it but the fact that the only new thing is just merely a remix is slightly disappointing. Your decision
KOKIA – Kokorobakari
KOKIA has also been a release hound this year though so far Kokorobakari is the only album so far this year. It’s actualy a 2-disc B-side collection spanning most of her non-animu singles. There’s also a couple of surprises like two concert versions of “Otona no Ookami” and “moment ~Ima wo Ikiru~” and a new track, “Sekai wo Tsutsumu Ribbon in our heart”.
Is it worth it?: I’d say so since it’s a lot of B-sides on two discs, plus it’s KOKIA which is always a plus! 3 extra tracks and one of them is new is also a good incentive to buy it (though the “moment” songs are a bit shady and the B-sides from the digital singles might be a little meh lol.
SCANDAL – SCANDAL SHOW
Another best-of, SCANDAL released SCANDAL SHOW in March and it’s an interesting release primarily since there’s an assortment of songs that are A-sides, B-sides, and even some album tracks. Also included is a new song, “SCANDAL no Theme”.
Is it worth it?: Well considering the tracks on it, I’m sure there’ll be something that you haven’t heard on the album (sans the new song). So it might be a good buy and it does have some good tracks on it ^_^
2PM – 2PM BEST ~2008-2011 in Korea~
Kind of a strange released but K-pop boyband 2PM released a best-of of their Korean works in Japan (weird). I’m not too familiar with their stuff before their debut in Japan so most of the tracklist is rather unknown to me but I see “Without U”, “Hands Up!”, and “Heartbeat” so that should mean something right?
Is it worth it?: Don’t know exactly but I guess if it’s the best of the best from 2PM’s works in Korea then this might be worth getting then.
Koda Kumi – KODA KUMI LIVE TOUR 2011 ~Dejavu~
Released on iTunes and to Fanclub members, LIVE TOUR 2011 ~Dejavu~ is a live album featuring songs the she performed on the tour duuuh. the iTunes release only has 7 songs but the Fanclub release has 2 discs woth of songs. Most of the tracklist is stuff from her album “Dejavu” and her cover album “ETERNITY” with little sprinkles of other songs.
Is it worth it?: Not so much to be honest. I mean unless you’re a Fanclub member than there’s really no other way to get it. Sadly the iTunes’ version is severely lacking when it’s just 7 songs.
Koda Kumi – KODA KUMI DRIVING HIT’S 4
At least she released something for the non-fanclub members on the same day ^_^. Though it’s her 4th in the Driving Hit’s series of remix albums. Of course a good portion of the tracklist is of the “JAPONESQUE” singles and other random tunes. Sadly, there’s no unremixed song on this album (the previous three did).
Is it worth it?: Well…it is a Kuu remix album which are hit or miss so it depends if you love remixes or not. Personally, it isn’t really worth it but it’s definitely this over the live album.
SDN48 – NEXT ENCORE
As a farewell gift, SDN48 released two seperate albums. First was NEXT ENCORE which is sort of a complete collection of the group’s first 4 singles (don’t know why they left off “Makeoshimi Congratulation”). Also included is a new track, “1 Gallon no Ase”.
Is it worth it?: I’d say that if you are a fan and missed their singles, then this is a pretty good buy since four of the five singles are here in complete (and chronological form too) without instrumentals! The new song is a little bonus but would it be that hard to put their 5th and final single on here too?
AAA – Another side of #AAABEST
I really don’t know why but AAA also released a “B-side” best of album. I actually don’t think it is because three tracks are legit B-sides while the rest are album tracks, a digital single, and an A-side. What really is the point of the release is that there is a second disc of songs sung solo by each of the 7 members (a different song of course for each). Also the DVD has a lot of the great other A-sides that weren’t on “#AAABEST” and a PV for “WISHES”.
Is it worth it?: I think I’d get the 2CD+DVD release only because that seriously is the only reason to even purchase unless you are interested in the first disc which is just a random assortment of songs. The second disc and DVD is more worth it to be honest.
2NE1 – COLLECTION
2NE1 finally released their first album in Japan and sadly it really was a collection of songs they’ve done. I mean a good portion of “NOLZA” and their singles are here as well as new Japanese versions of other Korean songs are present as well. There are two bonuses at least. One is their song they did with m-flo but remixed and the other is a Madonna cover, “LIKE A VIRGIN”.
Is it worth it?: I’d say for the album to be all in Japanese, I’d say a good portion of the songs is worth the listen but their Japanese in the newly translated songs aren’t as good…and the bonus tracks are just kind of meh.
Anna Tsuchiya – 12 FLAVOR SONGS ~BEST COLLABORATION~
Anna surprised everyone with a best-of collaborations album and it’s an interesting release. There’s just a random assortment of songs from A-sides to B-sides to remixes to straight up tracks, it’s got a lot of variety. There is only two new tracks, “ALL RIGHT NOW” & “IS THIS LOVE?” but there’s a couple of surprises.
Is it worth it?: I kind of liked this release since it had a lot of great tracks on it like “Bangalicious”, “CHECKMATE”, and “GINGER” and the other songs are quite impressive. Definitely a must-get!
SDN48 – SDN48 1st Stage “Yuuwaku no Garter”
The group’s final release, Yuuwaku no Garter is the group’s only stage release and it looks filled with original songs so it’s not like “NEXT ENCORE”. However, there is one song that’s on here from that album and that’s “Kodoku no Runner”. It was also a release split into two discs because the first disc was only for the 1st Generation and the second disc was for the 2nd & 3rd Generation. Same tracklists though.
Is it worth it?: I can never tell if Stage Albums are studio made or live albums because I frankly haven’t heard one. I’m sure the sheer fact that this release has songs that has not been on their singles might be interesting enough to take a listen…but I’m not exactly sure how it sounds like.
Sound Horizon – Chronology [2005-2010]
I find it weird that Sound Horizon/REVO would go and release a best-of album (considering that I wouldn’t think they would be possible since their songs are all tied to this story. 10 songs on this best and their mostly of the more important songs (but nothing of the singles).
Is it worth it?: I’m not sure if it is because the songs chosen were of the more popular songs so it’s more for the hardcore fans. Though it does have “Meiou” which is pretty wicked! I would say no but if you wanna hear some of their stuff pre-“Moira” then this is a good place.
Momoiro Clover Z – Momoclo★All Stars 2012
I’m not surprised that Momoclo would once again release a special mini during their lives. It features 7 new tracks, two being duets and instrumentals of all seven songs. It’s a pretty unique release for sure.
Is it worth it?Well, big fans of MomocloZ will be able to have this as a completionist since it is 7 original songs and all.
Haruka Shimotsuki – Koboreru Suna no Aria
I think Koboreru Suna no Aria is a legit release but I didn’t seem to review it. It seems to continue with a story since the writing is pretty similar to “Griotte no Nemuri Hime”.
Is it worth it?: New Haruka material is always a good thing so yes, I’m sure this is worth the buy. Even though it is a short mini-album.
MEG – LA JAPONAISE
It’s nice that MEG came out of her short hiatus with a cover album. A good portion of the album is digital singles she released in a monthly fashion by two. There’s a bit of new tracks too so it’s npt a bad release.
Is it worth it?: I’d say yes, because the songs are good for the most part but there are some songs that aren’t my favorite. It’s worth a listen!
Shoko Nakagawa – Shokotan☆Best ――(°∀°) ――!!
Probably one of the most jam-packed best-ofs of the year. Shokotan’s best-of is 3 filled discs of music and a DVD of one of her performances. The first disc has all of the A-sides…well all but one…With no “Sen no Kotoba to Futari no Himitsu”, “Gozen Rokuji” (A B-side) took its place. The second disc is the best of songs she’s covered and include 4 new tracks. A new Chinese version of “Sorairo Days” and new tracks: “Horizont”, “apple universe”, and “Souffle Secret”. The 3rd disc is a megamix disc gonig through MANY of her songs. Oh yeah…tons of stuff.
Is it worth it?: Totally! I mean it’s filled to the brim with songs because there’s just so many songs to go through, the megamix CD, and 3 new songs and Shokotan doing Chinese! Oh yeah, this is pretty awesome!
Chihiro Onitsuka – FAMOUS MICROPHONE
Jeeze so many cover albums this year! Chihiro is the last for the half year of cover albums too so that’s good. FAMOUS MICROPHONE is 10 songs chosen and for the most part I recognize quite a bit but another artist covering “Time After Time”?….also there’s an original track as well as the 11th song, “Bitter Flavor Road”.
Is it worth it? To be honest, besides the original song…no the album is kind of boring and Chihiro has a poor grasp at English which is such a no-no this especially going against other artists like BENI and MEG. I’d say pass this up.
mihimaru GT – THE BEST of mihimaru GT2
I feel as if they put out more best-ofs than literal studio albums, even though it’s their second A-side bests, THE BEST of mihimaru GT2 chronicles their A-sides from “Gazen Yeah!” up to “One Time” (though missing “Ai Kotoba”) and added two new tracks and a one-take version of “Shiawase ni Narou”.
Is it worth it?: I’d say it’s a pretty solid release and to have the A-sides from “mihimarise” to the “One Time” single. Both “SAY YES” and “Propeller Daikaiten”. are nice additions to the album and the extra version of “Shiawase ni Narou was unexpected but cool. I’d say it’s a solid release…but jeeze mihimaru…lay off the bests for a while!
S/mileage – S/mileage Best Album Kanzenban 1
I guess this best-of happened because they wanted a fresh slate to start on because of all the changes that were happening to the group. It’s great to see all the A-sides here going from most recent, “Dot Bikini”, to their debut single, “aMa no Jaku”. Add one new song, “Kiiroi Jitensha to Sandwich” and you get this rather surprising release of a best.
Is it worth it? I’m kind of on the fence on this one. I mean they could’ve easily made a studio album with the current A-sides (even though there’d be Saki, Yuuka, and Fuyuka involved so it would be difficult in some ways. I would say that this was done to kind of close a chapter and open a new one. Current S/mileage does have two, soon three singles so it might be just that. I think it’s a solid best-of but kind of awkward timing.
NEWS – NEWS BEST
Also like with NEWS, it felt like they were also closing a chapter in the group’s history by releasing NEWS BEST. It has the A-sides they’ve done since their debut, a second disc of solos that are sung by the remaining 4 members and a third disc of their fans choosing what songs to be put that aren’t already on the album.
Is it worth it?: I think for NEWS fans, this is a must-buy because of the second disc being all new (I think) and it’s solos. The main disc might not be that interesting because it is A-sides and the fan-picked disc is in the middle of things since it’s a lot of songs from different parts of their discography!
ELISA – rainbow pulsation ~THE BEST OF ELISA~
Even though I haven’t reviewed ELISA yet, I did notice that she released a best-of that has her A-sides and a couple of other songs. I notice that there’s a couple of interesting things like the full version of “ENDLESS ANTHOLOGY” and her cover of “Ai Oboeteimasuka”.
Is it worth it?: I have no idea because I haven’t heard the best-of to tell you if it’s good or not. I guess you might have to be a fan of hers to decide.
Haruka Shimotsuki – Tindharia no Kanade
Closing out the half year, at the end of June, Haruka quitely released Tindharia no Kanade (any connection to “Tindharia no Tane”?). Anyways it’s a compilation of songs she’s done well on the first disc it’s just 7 tracks and their instrumentals while the second disc is merely BGMs
Is it worth it?: Maybe for the first disc because that’s where the meat of this release resides. The second disc is definitely for the hardcore Haruka fans because I don’t think I could sit through 22 tracks of background music. I kind of wished there was more to the first disc besides instrumentals but I’ll live.
SO THAT’S IT! IF THERE IS ANYONE I REVIEW THAT I MISSED, Please leave a comment on the page and I’ll add it ^_^