This year in A-sides, there seemed to be a lot less impressive songs, but at the same time the good ones were extremely good, so let’s start out with the songs that didn’t make the top 15 T.T
- 2NE1 – SCREAM
- AAA – Still Love You
- AFTERSCHOOL – Rambling girls
- Ayaka Hirahara – NOT A LOVE SONG
- Berryz Koubou – WANT!
- D – Dying message
- DiVA – Lost the way
- Dream Morning Musume – Shining Butterfly
- faylan – Soukyuu no Hikari
- faylan – Realization
- FLOW – Rock Climbers
- FLOWER – Koibito ga Santa Claus
- Kyarypamyupamyu – CANDY CANDY
- Leo Ieiri – Sabrina
- LIL – LUCKY STAR
- LM.C – Ah Hah!
- Mano Erina – Song for the DATE
- miwa – Hikari e
- Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SKY HEAVEN
- Momoiro Clover Z – Nippon Egao Hyakkei
- moumoon – DREAMER DREAMER
- Nami Tamaki – LADY MIND
- Namie Amuro – YEAH-OH
- PASSPO☆ – Next Flight
- Perfume – Spring of Life
- S/mileage – Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki.
- SID – S
- SPYAIR – 0 GAME
- Super Junior – Opera
- U-KISS – Forbidden Love
- Up Up Girls (Kari) – Barebare I LOVE YOU
- yanaginagi – Ambivalantidea
- Yui Sakakibara – Mujuuryoku Aria
- YuiKaori – Wake Up!!
Now to the songs that barely made the top 10!
There have been a lot of good A-sides this year for me, but not to the whole crowd it seemed like. Starting at the top, 4minute’s Love Tension was what the group needed after having somewhat a kind of a slump prior with rereleases, boring stuff and just trying to hard…then this came out and I was so pleased with the sound and energy from the song. KOKIA is also someone who has had a really bad year it seems with music, but one of the three singles she released together, New Day, New Life, actually turned out really well. It’s the KOKIA everyone loves and it wasn’t just a boring ass ballad! The resurgance of Morning Musume came to a high this year with the electro-goodness of One Two Three simply because it was such an important release (being their 50th single and all). It really stuck to me and this electro-musume is something I’m loving right now! DAY1 was a rather awesome surprise from MIYAVI because I would have never thought he’d go back to this electro/rock sound, but he worked it and that song is really badass which could be said for the same about UZA from the mother idol group AKB48. I love this fall singles as they bring in the most wonderful sounds and energy that most of the other singles lack.
10. Up Up Girls (Kari) – UPPER ROCK
You know, considering this group has been releasing like crazy bitches this year, they popped UPPER ROCK out and I was completely surprised and overly happy! The groups is more known for their rock numbers, but this was heacy electro that had a great party atmosphere along for the ride. It was a great song from them (and have you seen the choreography for this? BADASS!!!).
9. moumoon – “Love is Everywhere”
Despite that it does sample a little bit from Martin Solveig’s “Hello”, “Love is Everywhere” was still an amazing moumoon tune with YUKA singing as brightly as she has been for quite a while. Song is immensely catchy and since most of it is in English makes it easier to connect with! One of the more fun songs on this list ^_^
8. Berryz Koubou – cha cha SING
Kind of like how moumoon’s song turned out, Berryz released a new cover song, this time a Thai cover! cha cha SING was such a blast to listen to and it was definitely the earworm of the year because I kept finding myself either doing that dance or sing most of the lines of the song!!! It was just Berryz way of saying WE STILL GOT THIS! Great song and definitely is also a party song all the way!
7. TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Bad Flower
Last year, “Limited addiction” was at #10 so this year you can tell I was REALLY impressed with Bad Flower and for good reason, all the girls sound SOOO amazing in this song and it captures this dark and angsty sound the group have been utilizing since the aforementioned song. Hitomi and Ayano, even the three other ladies just sound exponentially BETTER than they have been which is an instant win!
6. Leo Ieiri – Shine
Leo has really had a great year, it’s something surprising when I say I loved all three A-sides she released but I thought the best one was her second in Shine. It has a classic kind of tone to it, plus with Leo’s soaring vocals, it really made my year. I hope she continues to release amazing music into the new year!!!!
5. Crystal Kay – Forever
I didn’t think Crystal would be so strong on my radar like she was this year and Forever was the highpoint of the year. The song is really refreshing and Crystal actually sounded awesome as well. She just had fun with this and let things just take its place and I appreciated that (though most of the VIVID era had impressed by leaps and bounds). This was definitely her strongest year in a long time!
4. Kyarypamyupamyu – Fashion Monster
At one point in the year, I did feel as if Nakata was in a trench with his music, but it seems he had tricks up his sleeves when releasing Fashion Monster because it sounded nothing like anything I heard yet. This Halloween-themed A-side brought the edgy arrangement alongside Kyary’s cutesy vocals and they blended into this wondrous and quirky song. Plus the chorus is so catchy too!
3. Nami Tamaki – PARADISE
It feels as if my favorite artist of all time had fell out and kind of become this boring artist under UNI-J, but with her transfer to Teichiku, I was completely wrong! I love “LADY MIND” let’s not forget that, but PARADISE is what solidified my back to being such a stan for her in the first place. There was a lot more room for her here and a lot more variety than LM and the song is really bright and kind of sentimental almost. It’s really one of the strongest songs she’s done in a LOOOOONG time.
2. 9nine – Shoujo Traveler
If you would have told me that 9nine would release something like this, I would laugh because they’ve had a very lackluster year in 2012. However the single that started the year for them, Shoujo Traveler is definitely their best single since joining SONY. It’s edgy, electro…super catchy and it really gives such a mature yet futuristic approach. I just wish that they had kept this sound and not dove into some of the worst songs they’ve done yet…>.<. Still Shoujo Traveler is my favorite idol song of the year!
1. Nana Mizuki – Synchrogazer
Is it really a surprise that Synchrogazer topped my list? The bar was placed VERY high when this came out because it was one of the first releases of the year so there was NO ONE that could come close to beating this badass of a song. I’ve always wanted to see Nana release something more futuristic and not stuff like “METRO BAROQUE” or “BRIGHT STREAM”. This was perfect this year and Nana deserves a crown for putting out such an amazing calamity of synths and powerful vocals!!! ^_^
Worst A-sides not a part of the 15
AKB48 – GIVE ME FIVE!
- Anna Tsuchiya – Voyagers
- Annabel – anamnesis
- ikimono-gakari – Kaze ga Fuiteiru
- IMALU – 4751 Nichi Mou Inai Kimi e
- Kaya – Vampire Requien
- KOKIA – Memorial days
- NEWS – Pokopon Pekorya
- Vanilla Beans – Non-Section
Not a lot of bad A-sides happen this year which is great and the year means that it has gotten better. HOWEVER there was some bad ones to go through! I enjoy Sayaka Kitahara considering she’s now an ex H!P girl, but she did have one fault in HAJIKE-YO!!. I don’t know why I don”t like it beyond that it’s such a bland and one that lacks an identity when compared to the other singles she’s released! Aimer’s Fuyu no Diamond is really on here because it got trumped hard by its album version which makes this such a lifeless and boring song from her! Similar to Aimer’s song, The Matenrou Show from Morning Musume is on her primarily because that there’s a better version of it in the TYPE 0 version…plus the line distribution between Riho and Reina is REALLY offputting here. Minorin hasn’t really had a great A-side since I’ve started reviewing and this year, SELF PRODUCER was kind of her crappy single this year…poor vocals, bland arrangement…nothing to really remember it by. Even though the PV was great, AKB48’s Gingham Check was a pretty boring ass song this year. Shocking that it wasn’t the worst (foreshadowing much!)
10. JUJU – Tadaima
To me, JUJU hasn’t had the most interesting releases this year, no doubt people will like her stuff though so this was more like a personal bust because I simply can not remember ANYTHING about Tadaima. It just really wasn’t anything special and kind of bland when compared to her other singles this year.
9. Yui Sakakibara – Manatsu no Cielo
I’m personally not surprised that a Yui song would be a part of this list somehow. The song’s arrangement isn’t the bad part though as it’s more of Yui’s pitchy vocals that ruin the song altogether. It just was a pretty icky song to listen to this year!
8. KOKIA – Yume Oibito
KOKIA was also having an off year having three of the four singles released to really be a boring mess. Yume Oibito miht not have a part of the simultaneous release with the three other singles, but this might have fit right in because damn this song is SOOOO booooring to listen to. The only redeeming factor is that it’s KOKIA who can sing amazingly…but the song just didn’t work and it put me to sleep.
7. SuG – Fukanzen Beautyfool Days
When I listen to SuG, I get a sense of wackiness and pure driven energy from the group, but with Fukanzen Beautyfool Days, there was a total lack of that. Add that it was messy as hell and the lyrics were just weird (plus with the messy sound…it just didnt work very well). Prolly the worst of the Oshare-kei I heard this year!
6. Momoiro Clover Z – Otome Sensou
I hated “Z Densetsu” so when I was immediately thrown back to that time with Otome Sensou it made me frustrated because they can have such great songs, but all have the WORST. Otome Sensou is just like the above mentioned track, but it’s over 7 minutes which is like a death sentence to my ears! Just baaaad!
5. AKB48 – Eien Pressure
Do I even need to explain why a JANKEN single is here…gawd this was a really crappy song for a girl who really couldn’t handle being lead (Sorry, Paruru, but you even have to admit that you really couldn’t handle a song like this)…then again Janken singles always suck so it’s not totally her fault.
4. chatmonchy – Yume Mitai da
As the only cover song on this top 10, Yume Mitai da was everything gone wrong for chatmonchy. I mean there was “Hatena” which was actually good, but then they made a last minute switch to having this as an A-side as well and it was a shitty move for a shitty song. I really didn’t like that whole indie rock/experiment shtick here and Eriko sounded BAAAAD as well…what a poor idea!
3. supercell – Bokura no Ashiato
Just like MomocloZ’ song, supercell’s Bokura no Ashiato is a 7 minute torture device for me. It was a very flat-lining song and mid-tempo tracks that are that long are going to make me feel extremely bored. What was worse was that we were dealing with Koeda and she sounded TERRIBLE in the song…so add that together and you got the #3 track here…>.>
2. Yui Ogura – Samurai Girl
Why yes, it was a double A-side of FAIL. The only reason why Sakakibara’s away from the top is because I liked the arrangement….however with Samurai Girl, it was both the arrangement AND Ogura’s vocals which was even more scarier to listen to over Sakakibara’s. Very gross track and it would’ve been the top if I had not found our #1 before the end of the year!
1. 9nine – Yie Ar! Jiang Shi feat. Hao Hao! Jiang Shi Girl
If there was ONE song that truly annoyed me to death, it had to be Yie Ar! Jiang Shi and it’s really the vocals that went down the crapper alongside the annoying hooks, the poor melodic components, even the arrangement was pretty lackluster…why did 9nine have to crash and burn so harrrrd?!?
NEXT TIME: B-SIDES!!!!!