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BEST OF 2010: Best Albums (and Worst) The Final! January 16, 2011

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 7:03 am

So let’s finally finish my best of 2010 posts with the most important categories! ALBUMS!!!

Can I get a what what for the best of albums?!

So the five that almost made the top 10: UNIVERSE, Okayui Tokoro wa Gozaimasen ka?, IMPACT EXCITER, gothic lolita agitator, and MICROCOSM were great albums in their own rights!  Such amazing collection of songs, but these next 10 are the best of 2010!

10. Bentley Jones – Finally Free

I was wondering what was going to happen since Bentley left EMI, but with Finally Free, it seems he got what he wanted in his music and it turned out to be actually a very strong album as well.  The only thing is that it’s the only English album to make the list, but he’s a special case here on the site.  Given that the album’s feel and lyrical content was from the heart, it was a personal album and I was surprised that I ended up enjoying it the way I did.

9. Yuya Matsushita – I AM ME

Despite the fact the album is mostly pre-released stuff with only three new vocal songs out of a smashing 18 tracks, I AM ME should be considered to be a Best-of.  Either way, all of the songs showcased Yuya’s vocals quite nicely and it fits various styles.  It still is a strong debut from him.

8. KOKIA – REAL WORLD

Oh the voice of angels released such a powerful and stylistic album.  Despite the digital singles actually being the crappy stuff found on the album, the other songs just screamed epic and the trip to Tunisia really helped her out with this album.  I just think it did wonders for KOKIA, and I have a lot of favorites from the album as well.

7. Mai Kuraki – FUTURE KISS

Was I ever surprised that Mai actually released a strong album (I still question how the hell “delicious way” got so popular).  Either way, FUTURE KISS is definitely her strongest album since joining NORTHERN MUSIC and even though some of the songs are a little on the old side, they were strong songs.  Though I do wish she had added to the second disc besides her collaboration with Michael Africk…Still, one of the more stronger releases from GIZA (though she’s kind of the only one left since Rina retired).

6. Saori@destiny – WORLD WILD 2010

Electro artists recently have slowly dropped the meter with their album releases, but Saori and another this year has risen above and beyond.  WORLD WILD 2010 just like its cover was colorful and varied which is what electro should be.  Besides the fact that the remix ended the album with a slightly bitter taste, it still was one of the stronger electro albums of the year.

5. AAA – HEARTFUL

For the first time in AAA history, we actually had an album from them that stuck to one style the entire way through (with the exception of FIELD, simply because it was a ballad).  The fact that they chose to go towards a more electro/eurobeat style was a little weird, but then again they’ve found solace in the style and it shows since they’ve gotten better sales since.  It might’ve not been everyone’s taste, but I enjoyed one solid style from the group since it meant there were less songs I didn’t like.

4. Mao Denda – Ren’ai Chuudoku

If there was one R&B album that really stuck out for me this year, Mao’s third album, Ren’ai Chuudoku filled that space up entirely.  Since the promotional stuff were released as digital singles, I treated this as an album with all new tracks.  Anyways, after hearing how good “I AM” was this was a major jump and I was very happy with this album and the styles she tackled here.  Beautiful!

3. SAWA – Welcome to Sa-World

Another debut album here, SAWA’s was actuallywas an amazing piece of art from her this year.  I will admit that I was skeptical before this was released since the mini-albums were up and down and weren’t consistent, but with the new songs and actually interesting interludes used, Welcome to Sa-World definitely deserves a listen, especially if she went out of her way to add her indie tracks too!

2. Kalafina – Red Moon

Once again, Kalafina has found themselves on this list even though they aren’t on the top this year.  Red Moon to me is slightly above their debut album, “Seventh Heaven”, but I think why it wasn’t on top is because they let something like “Hikari no Senritsu” happen and that track kind of is meh for me.  Either way, the amount of diversity is amazing and them fully as a trio is way strong now.

1. school food punishment – amp-reflection

However, there was no doubt that best album for me this year was school food punishment’s debut album.  Just like Kalafina’s album, there was so much diversity with the group’s song and the singles, it was almost phenomonal to see that all the songs even the song that I thought was the weakest was strong.  To be honest, there was no competition after this and “Red Moon” these two albums were just the pinnacle of this year.

Now for the somewhat craptastic ones!

So, MORE FRIENDS, infinite synthesis, IDENTITY, Koisuru Kimi e, and Chouzetsu Shoujo were pretty meh albums.  I will say that I was kind of disappointed with a few of them personally…but what can you do?

10. Nami Tamaki – STEP

I know it’s probably pretty stupid for adding this, but I still think that after “Don’t Stay”, STEP is just a major disappointment from Nami even after the fact she added some bad B-sides to the album as well.  It might have slightly gotten better, but there’s still songs I just despise.

9. Rie fu – at Rie sessions

To me, Rie fu’s conceptual album to me felt like a whole step back after the strong force “URBAN ROMANTIC” was.  at Rie sessions tried to be something new for her, but the fact that most of the songs were beyond boring and kind of bad in certain songs really pulled out the negative reactions out of fans.  To me, it was a bit of a bore fest…but at least she tried something new.

8. MIYAVI – WHAT’S MY NAME?

I really liked his last album, unfortunately with melody. having his two kids, he kind of left and went to another label and released this bareboned album in light of his new side.  To me the lack of bass and various instruments really made it feel like he was trying to go back as an indies artist, but even worse and it showed on the album.  I like him to get back to a much fuller sound when he releases his next album please.

7. FLOPPY – PROTOSCIENCE

I am surprised of the direction that Sharaku took for FLOPPY’s 2nd album.  Compared to the 8bit-ness of “Deus ex machina”, PROTOSCIENCE kind of took to a very boring way.  It felt so light and effortless and when the title track was the best thing and it turned out to be an instrumental, you know you have a bad album on you.

6. °C-ute – Shocking 5

I’m sorry, but after an era of losing two members, I wasn’t expecting Shocking 5 to be actually something good, but I didn’t know it was going to be typical H!P fodder.  I mean ok, some of the pre-released songs are ok and the only song I can fondly remember is the remix for “Shochuu Omimai Moshiagemasu”.  Either way, it’s great that the group has gathered themselves and started to come back to releasing good stuff after the album’s release.

5. cargo×seira – FLOWER SHOWER

I’m not sure what they actually consider the album to be…but it was pretty much a Q;indivi album without having to be a release from them.  I will admit I loved Seira’s voice, but when each song became the same arranging style as the last, it quickly becomes very boring, very quick.  Sorry, but it was a nice try though.

4. Aki Misato – from now on

Meh, for some reason Aki had to make this era as boring and stale as possible.  from now on’s songs that were old and new weren’t the best she’s released since she debuted and it’s quite sad that that collection of blah songs come together for an album release.  Luckily, Aki is gotten way better since this release as well which is a good sign!

JYJ – The Beginning

I didn’t like the fact that JYJ had to release a mini-album, but this album released internationally was just a mistake that shouldn’t have happened.  I have grown to slowly like “Ayyy Girl” but I still hate Kanye in the song itself, but the rest of the album felt so lame and even the remixes ended up sounding better than 90% of the album. 

 2. MOON -kana- – MOON DRAGON

Let’s just not be surprised that this album is on the list.  She clearly can’t hold a tune period and I’m shocked her fanbase is actually quite sizable.  MOON DRAGON might be a step up from her last album, but it’s still pretty hard on the ears.  One day maybe she’ll get better >.>

1. Q;indivi starring Rin Oikawa – Happy Celebration

Blah, I am not a fan of these series of albums from Q;indivi at all, but this one took the cake this year and just threw it all over.  The thing was that Happy Celebration was mainly about the ideas of birthdays…and when you have 5 versions of the Happy Birthday song…it’s bound to be terrible XD. 

 

 

SO IT’S OVER, WAIT TIL 2011’s XD, EH???

 

BEST OF 2010: ALBUM COVERS…They are important right??? January 10, 2011

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 5:11 am

So, albums this year have had some fun covers this year….let’s see em eh?

TOP ALBUM COVERS!!!

So BLOODY TUNE, to LOVE, REAL WORLD, La Vita Romantica, and HEARTFUL had great covers no doubt but they don’t hold a torch to these 10 covers!

10. Anna Tsuchiya – RULE

Iono why but I love the rather gloomy cover for RULE for some reason.  The kind of abandoned house setting is kind of different for an Anna cover and her in a white dress in that pose kind of makes it seem she’s an angel in a dark setting.  I have to say, it’s a pretty nice cover.

9. misono – Me

I’m not sure why I like misono’s cover for Me, but there’s something adorable and kind of reminescent about this.  The cut-outs kind of have that deja vu style to “never+land”.  Even the goth-like Hello Kitty is quite adorable.  It’s a little cluttered, but it’s still an interesting cover nonetheless.

8. Nana Mizuki – IMPACT EXCITER

There’s just something so epic with IMPACT EXCITER’s cover.  I will admit that the other cover is kind of poor, but this one looks like it was taken in a hangar or something.  All those windows and the support beams look pretty cool in the shot, so to me it’s one of the cooler “in the building” covers!

7. GIRL NEXT DOOR – NEXT FUTURE

Ok, while “IMPACT EXCITER” is inside, I love GND’s cover for NEXT FUTURE on the outside.  There’s just something that’s kind of epic when you’re sitting on the courtyard and the castle behind you has a giant black bow like it’s a present to CHISA or something.  Something tells me it kind of coincides with “Jounetsu no Daishou”, but I can’t be totally sure.

6. SAWA – Welcome to Sa-World

Generally, SAWA’s covers are usually weird or lame, but with her debut album, Welcome to Sa-World looks like a golden wonderland especially since SAWA is on a carousel, holding her disco ball (something she’s always brought to her PV’s minus a few of course).  It’s bright and full of flair just like the album itself.

5. Ayumi Hamasaki – Rock’n’Roll Circus

I know Ayu’s eyes are huge on the cover, but I can’t deny that it was a pretty strong looking cover.  I love the colors used since they’re bold colors and such.  The thing that kind of got me was the British look the album has and it’s pretty good but the hat kind of seems cheaply made.  Still it’s like pretty and cool (though it doesn’t convey the album right).

4. Aira Mitsuki – ???

I’ve always admired Aira’s art covers (cept for “6 FORCE”, but that was really plain for her).  ??? brings us a more traditional Japanese look but still catering to the fact that Aira is just not your normal artist.  Her kimono is all kinds of awesome of so colorful as well as that guitar she’s posing with (which is odd, simply because Aira’s a techno gal and all).  It’s just so different and she keeps putting that out there!

3. school food punishment – amp-reflection

If you like abstract art, school food punishment has definitely got your back with their cover for their debut album, amp-reflection.  While the over cover is slightly different (with a kind or warped area), the plain cover was enough to be up here.  I’m not exactly sure what the point of the art cover was, but it reminds me of something inside a computer (kind of like a drive), besides that, it’s very odd and colorful cover no doubt and one that would hide the surprises that the album has *snickers*

2. Yousei Teikoku – gothic lolita agitator

Finally, a rather sweet cover from Yousei Teikoku in the album side of things.  To me gothic lolita agitator is a perfect example at what Yousei Teikoku’s sound has gone.  I mean the smoky aura mixed mirrored images of a building and tree has this kind of freaky image happening and the fact that Yui is in the middle posing in dark clothing and a flag sticking out, it’s striking and kind of scary. 

1. Kalafina – Red Moon

Of course, this year album cover winner goes to Kalafina.  It seems their covers never really disappoint (well “oblivious”, “progressive”, and “Lacrimosa” were kind of sad) but either way, Red Moon’s covers are just as vibrant like the others but has this sense of mystery in it.  From the oddly placed trees and furniture to the obvious red moon and the pose of the members, it’s just perfection and weird and almost artistic view of the group.  Gotta say, I was definitely impressed with this more than the covers for “Seventh Heaven”.

WORST ALBUM COVERS!!!!

So I guess we have our bad album covers with MOON DRAGON, First Story, Possible, BEAST, and PROTOSCIENCE.  Yeeesh, and that’s not the worst of them haha

10. RIZE – EXPERIENCE

I guess since we had to start somewhere, RIZE’s cover for EXPERIENCE was so much weird.  I mean a Dalmation in midair?  Like really, you couldn’t have done with a little more effort?  At least the Kurohyo version of the album had a pretty badass cover. 

9. Masami Okui – i-magination

I really wanna know the concept of Masami’s cover was because it seems like a lot of artists earlier this year had some kind of attraction to red eyes.  This is the brightest red, but Masami being topless and having that weird thing on her chest didn’t make any sense to me.  It’s just very ick and the lack of a interesting background kind of sucked to.

8. kumi – Koisuru Kimi e

Why does this remind me of a BENI album cover?  *shrugs* kumi’s debut album does kind of show off that the album isn’t really all that and a bag of chips since it’s only kumi sitting on a heart with a ribbon around it.  The only thing that’s relatively interesting is the rainbow thing she’s wearing, but it’s still not that much.

7. Ayumi Hamasaki – Love songs

Why does this remind me so much of friggin “MOON/blossom”?  I mean the covers are quite similar in too many ways and they were boring to begin with anyway, but this rehash basically made me frown quite hardcore.

6. Juliet – Real

Gyarus crying?  Yeah, I really wanted to see that more or less as an album cover.  While it was the third to break the monotony of their single covers, Real was just three ugly pictures taken and Microsoft Paint to make them go together.  It’s just a trainwreck of a cover and just yikes.

5. High Speed Boyz – are u docono Softpunk!?

While it can be said that High Speed Boyz covers have usually been really crappy (with the exception for “Kanaetai Yume ga Aru”).  This one though takes the cake because it’s so plain and lifeless.  I don’t even know what the letters on the bottom are supposed to represent, but whatever, it’s just booooring.

4. 4minute – DIAMOND

I can’t believe that after an era of singles with all the members on it, their JPN debut doesn’t have them AT ALL!  Talk about disappointing all over.  The other cover is a little more represented since it’s white and more fitting to the cover of DIAMOND.  The pink cover though wasn’t right.

3. JYJ – The Beginning

I can’t explain why, but I just didn’t enjoy this cover for some reason.  I mean well I know the initial reason is purely on JUNSU who looks ugly (not new) on the cover.  It just looks like an odd cover and picture shot of the trio.  Not a very suited cover IMO and the limited edition wasn’t any better to be honest. 

2. ALI PROJECT – Gothic Opera

I’m for ALIPRO covers all the time, but they aren’t ok.  It’s either uber amazing or in this case sick-inducing.  While Gothic Opera was a great album from them, the cover was just terrible and not gothic.  I mean the bright colors, Arika in that poofy pink dress and the random inclusion of butterflies, a white tiger, and lion….I mean it’s a confusing cover and kind of too much for me.

1. Q;indivi starring Rin Oikawa – Wedding Celebration & Happy Celebration

I’m so tired of these covers.  They’re so boring and the kids in it aren’t exactly helping it out either (especially in the Wedding one where kids shouldn’t even be there IMO).  I’m just sad that there were more of these albums from them this year…still icky covers and worst of this year

 

 

NEXT TIME: THE BIG SHIBANG…BEST AND WORST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR WHOOP WHOOP

 

BEST OF 2010: ALBUM SONGS Y’ALL January 7, 2011

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 3:00 am

Yup starting on various albums this year, we start out with individual songs that stood out to me this year!!!

BEST ALBUM SONGS OF 2010!

Yep, 2010 has had a whole lot of amazing songs in particular, coming from albums which was great this year.  JUMP (NEXT FUTURE), ANIMAL feat. Yoko Yazawa (DOS ANGELES), Joker (Me), ENEMY (MICROCOSM), and Yami no Uta (Red Moon). 

10. pLumsonic! – CodeName “yuu.” (Atomic-girl)

I really wish I could explain why I love this song from pLumsonic! but I just do for some reason.  From the idol-like verses to the more smoother and mysterious chorus, CodeName “yuu.” is just a very good synth-pop track.  Of the songs from the album, this one just has a long-lasting feel for me and is silly, cute, and awesome!

9. Kana Nishino – WRONG (to LOVE)

Kana this year has been on a roll and when she released her sophomore album, to LOVE, she snuck this little gem onto the album to add on from how good most of the A-sides were.  I mean it shows a little attitude from Kana which is good and it’s slightly pop/rockish with synths.  Add the good amount of English and we have WRONG.  It’s just a great song from her and a powerful hitter.

8. ICONIQ – Crystal Girl (CHANGE MYSELF)

For being an R&B artist mostly, Crystal Girl was a light from the album since it was slightly her style still, but more electro than anything else.  I love the force of the song mixed in with ICONIQ’s vocals adding to the awesomeness.  Even the PV was pretty damn interesting, not gonna lie LOL.

7. Aural Vampire – Flare Stack (ZOLTANK)

God this song is pretty damn awesome.  Flare Stack’s synth opening and gothic-version of ethereal is quite simple but still didn’t stop from this song being pretty cool.  I thought EXO-CHIKA’s crying out in the song sounded great and gave a little more edge to the song.  It might be loud in places, but it’s still a great song for me and had a great arrangement and melody.

6. capsule – The Music (PLAYER)

After the amazingness that came from their last album, “JUMPER”, Nakata I guess wanted to have a few more tracks that were club-bangers and one of those songs was The Music.  Being a bit longer than said song, The Music carries the same repetitive notion, but there’s some other lyrics that makes sense this time and the synths are just blazing in the song and is one of my favorites from capsule. 

5. Bentley Jones – Road Trip to OBLIVION v² (Finally Free)

It always seems that Bentley has one song that sticks to me like glue with each release he puts out.  This time, it’s a revised version of Road Trip to OBLIVION and I swear the original feels so wrong now compared to this.  I’m so happy that there’s a lot more oomph to this as well since it made things so much more memorable.  It’s just a good synth/pop/rock track.

4. Ayumi Hamasaki – Microphone (Rock’n’Roll Circus)

OMG, it was so hard choosing between Microphone, Don’t look back, or Sexy little things since they all deserve this spot, but I chose Microphone over them because it was such an epic and powerful song that it almost shares that same feel that “Marionette” did back in 2008.  I love the gothic-rock kind of feel going and mix in the psychotic look of the PV, it’s no wonder why I radiated towards it from the start hahaha.  Just too awesome 😄

3. Utada Hikaru – Goodbye Happiness (Utada Hikaru SINGLE COLLECTION VOL.2)

While this is the only song from a Best-of on this list, Goodbye Happiness was just that cute, fun, and sort of silly (nostalgic points even with the giddy PV it had).  I mean yes, it does have that “ULTRA BLUE”/”HEART STATION” feel for it, but c’mon, those two albums were amazing (at least IMO it was) and for me this song just oozes Hikki-ness and I loved it!!!

2. The Aprils – Stainless Girl (BACK TO THE FUTURE MUSIC)

I have been waiting for the full version of Stainless Girl ever since that teaser of a PV was released so long ago…It took em forever and of course there’s a Miku-ized version on YouTube somewhere.  Stainless Girl might be a lot like Perfume’s “Polyrhythm”, but hell it’s supposed to be a rather joke/parody of it, but somehow it gained its own followers and is one of the coolest technopop songs from The Aprils.

1. school food punishment – Kakenukeru (amp-reflection)

It’s great that school food punishment took no.1 this year because I’m sure there was nothing that could overpass Kakenukeru which is like their usual pop/rock sound mixed in with a light dance-style to make it pop out at me from the album.  I just love Yumi’s vocals the most as well since they’re so lively and peppy for some reason.  For being top album track, I’m happy with this list for sure ^_^

WORST ALBUM TRACKS!!!

So as for bad songs of the year, The wall ~Koerarenai Kabe~ (IVY), Kimi ga Omoide ni Naru Mae ni (Otoko Uta II ~20 Seiki Nostalgia~), Namidacchi (10 MY ME), Sayonara (Koisuru Kimi e), and infection (MIRAGE) represent poorness on the albums released this year, but not as terrible as these!

10. S/mileage – Odorou yo (Warugaki ①)

Idol groups and reggae mixed with genki idol-pop never work.  Add the weird MC’s and very young vocals from S/mileage and you get a trainwreck that is Odorou yo.  I really wish there was a reason to enjoy the song, but there really isn’t and the small amount of Engrish didn’t help either.

9. Shoko Nakagawa – Sobakasu (Shokotan☆Cover 3 ~Anisong wa Jinrui wo Tsunagu~)

It’s sad that the worst song Shoko did this year was a cover of a JUDY AND MARY track.  Sobakasu from Shokotan really brought out the seiyuu voice from her and it really didn’t make any pure sense to why bring it to a song that really didn’t need it.  It’s just wasn’t a good song for her despite the album it came off turned out very well.

8. Morning Musume – Sungoi My Birthday (Fantasy! Juuichi)

Poor 8th gen, they aren’t meant for cutesy genki songs, they should have more serious songs especially since Junjun and Linlin has very strong vocals (can’t say much for poor Aika though).  The song was just a gut punch to the fans that wanted solos from those graduating, but whatever…It was just unfitting for the album IMHO.

7. Mizca – Takkun ga Suki na no… (Mizca feat. ALLaNHiLLZ) (♡UFUFU♡)

Being the promotional song for the album, I didn’t exactly enjoy Takkun ga Suki na no….  It felt so slow and sluggish to listen to and adding to the wound was ALLaNHiLLZ was even worse rapping across the song.  I mean he took over most of the song while poor Mizca sounded heavily like a VOCALOID.  It was just boring of a song.

6. SUPER☆GiRLS – THE Rock YOU★ ~Kimi ga Kureta Akashi~ (Chouzetsu Shoujo)

Also learning from idols, unless you’re Buono!, rock songs definitely do not work elsewhere and avex’s new idols SUPER★GiRLS didn’t take the memo because THE Rock YOU is pretty terrible.  I mean it’s so loud and in your face and just messy all over, it’s no wonder why I ended up turning it off early. 

5. MIYAVI – GRAVITY (WHAT’S MY NAME?)

Repetitive chords, deadly screams….it’s not what you call a recipe for success, but MIYAVI tried this and of course it was going to end up crappy as hell.  Even worse was that the song was too long at 6 minutes.  This song is just pretty much what I didn’t want to hear from the guitar god of Japan.

4. AAA – FIELD (HEARTFUL)

To me, FIELD is “Tabidachi no Uta” pt. 2.  If you remember I also disliked that song a whole lot because it was a random ballad A-side.  This time, FIELD was an album song, but it stuck out like a infected thumb since the song was crappy and that rap part even moreso, but it was the only ballad on HEARTFUL and it just didn’t work out for me. 

3. Q;indivi+ – ACACIA; (ACACIA;)

I was worried coming into the first male release from Q;indivi+, but the title track from the album was just purely a mistake and a major trainwreck.  The music sounds real nice, don’t get wrong, but Yuusuke Chiba just ruined the song entirely with his uber scratchy ass vocals and terrible tone.  Why they went to him for this song baffles my mind.

2. Mano Erina – Datenshi Ellie (MORE FRIENDS)

I wish I understood why this song had to be the way it was.  I would’ve had liked the song if it didn’t have those ungodly pauses in the song for random conversations.  I wanna listen to the song, not listen to Manoeri blab…seriously why Mano, why!!!

1. Kaori Mochida – sora (NIU)

Though taking up the number one slot, sora actually hurts to listen to.  I mean it’s alright as a song when there’s no headphones in your ear and such but once you put them on, this song because painful and almost impossible of a song to finish because of the high-pitched sounds this song has OVER AND OVER AGAIN!  I’m sorry, this is just worst album song of the year.

 

 

NEXT TIME: ALBUM COVERS!!!! YEAH, THEY PAID MORE ATTENTION TO THESE!!!!! >.>

 

BEST OF 2010: Mini-Albums, the best things ever! >.> January 5, 2011

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 9:43 pm

Yep there was quite a bit of mini-albums released this year, so let’s just go through it!

BEST MINI-ALBUM SONG!

Yeah there’s just something about these three songs that were just great from Victoria’s sultry yet, woman-powered synth bomb, Virgin Killer Santa’s more abstract, yet powerful ballad tone, and LEVEL5’s quirkyness these three really stood out for me this year, but not like these next two songs.

2. Meisa Kuroki – Are ya ready? (ATTITUDE)

There was just something quite hardcore about this song when it was released on New Year’s Day last year.  Are ya ready? is just a song that pounds yourself into your mind and does it quite nicely.  Add in the random amounts of English like ~sorry I’m so damn fly~ or ~Relax, they won’t kill you. Are you afraid?~  It was an amazing way to kick off 2010 and will always be that to me.

Bentley Jones – so much more…

Well of course I was going to put this as the number one song from a mini-album released this year.  Bentley Jones never seems to fault on songs that are SEGA based (even though, I think he severed ties with them later on in the year…)  Still, so much more… was like a slight continuation with what he started from “Dreams of an Absolution”, but carries the synth craze like “TRANS//LATION” did.  For that though, the song was just amazing and still is one of my favorite Bentley Jones songs

WORST MINI-ALBUM SONGS!

For worst songs, there actually wasn’t quite a lot this year which was a bit of a surprise, but there was still enough for this list.  To me I pray wasn’t all that and came off as a pretty boring ass ballad which Imaginary Ark lacked the GUNDAM spark that the other songs from the mini-album did.  Hana Tsuzuri would’ve been alright, if hadn’t been boring as well…and to make jazz boring takes a lot hahaha.

2. chatmonchy – Ai Kawarazu (Awa Come)

One of the songs off this mini-album really offended me to the point where I just deleted the song from iTunes.  Ai Kawarazu definitely was that song that drove me to that point.  To think that Eriko can sing in a way that she’s already going over her point and starts to sound offkey and make it try to sound cute was a poor poor idea.  It would’ve been salvagable if it wasn’t Eriko singing it IMHO

1. KOR=GIRL – TENJIN (KOR=GIRL I)

It was hard choosing which of the songs was the worst on the mini-album, but TENJIN was a mess.  I mean from the arrangement to the vocals, this song was just a trainwreck from start to end and I couldn’t wait to just finish it.  They just made a purely messy song.

BEST ART COVER!

Yep even mini-albums can have pretty great covers.  Asriel’s Bara no Hitsuji ni Taiyou wo Arazu isn’t anything new to them since all their mini-album covers are beuatifully drawn and such.  Satsuki’s UPPER REGION feels like traditional Japanese art and that impressed me and Akiko Shikata’s Utau Oka ~Ar=Ciel Ar=Dor~ looks magical and airy but also pretty as hell as well.

2. WEAVER – Tapestry

 

For being a new band, WEAVER’s cover for their first mini-album was actually different and maybe a little confusing, but still pretty nice.  I’m not sure what the colorful stuff is…blankets or just something else.  Either way, I was impressed with this cover.

1. moumoon – Refrain

Of course, moumoon had at least one pretty cover this year at least and that was with Refrain which doesn’t surprise me.  I love the way YUKA looks so peaceful and innocent in the watery purple and blue water.  It almost has this strange mood inducing style that just works for me.  Very pretty cover!

WORST ART COVER!

Representing bad covers of the year, these three begin the worst of the worst 0f 2010.  Gloriosa felt so plain and boring especially after “Revolver’s” great cover…I don’t know but it looks so out of place for her.  Jukai no Tsuki felt too light-core and the portrait thing was kind of meh since she didn’t look right either.  6 FORCE though is Aira Mitsuki’s weakest art cover since it was just a shot of her face.  The other cover was pop art at its finest, but this cover was just booooooring.

2. RURUTIA – Behind the blue

IT could’ve came out right, but the cover for RURUTIA’s third mini-album was somewhat pretty poor.  It felt like so much photoshopping went into this cover that it just destroyed, add the poor text styles and that random blue spraypaint crap and here we have the oddness. 

1. WEAVER – Shinsekai Souzouki.Zenpen & Shinsekai Souzouki.Kouhen

There’s just no way I could even start to understand the art covers for WEAVER’s 2nd and 3rd mini-album.  I mean dogs, babies riding and laying on them, over-proportionate dog….I mean it’s just unusual and kind of WTF-worthy.  It’s just wow and ick xD

BEST MINI-ALBUM!!

So here we are with the best of the minis starting with Utau Oka ~Ar=Ciel Ar-Dor~, SPARK, and Behind the blue.  All three mini-albums have pretty strong songs.  They all have songs that also stuck out to me this year and that’s always a good thing as well!

2. MAA – Monkey Kingdom

For being the only mini-album from an electro artist in the later parts of 2010, Monkey Kingdom is a great way to send anyone if they want to see what kinds of electro are out there and even then not all the songs are electro.  I was actually surprised it turned out so good like it did and it made me into an instant fan of hers.

1. Crystal Kay – FLASH

Despite I pray being on the tracklist, all of the other songs and the intro/outro are just amazing songs and I’m surprised she brought it for this mini-album yet slumped on “Spin The Music”.  This is the best of the best and I hope she can come back stronger than ever after her album’s failure.

WORST MINI-ALBUMS!!

There’s just something about Light Ahead, Shiki Love, and Nanji wo Terasu Oboro no Aria that didn’t stand out.  Especially since the first two had previously released songs on it.  I didn’t like Asriel’s just simply because it sounded forgetful and nothing stood out  for it. 

2. JUNSU / JEJUNG / YUCHUN – The…

I’m sorry but for J / J /Y to release something like this was just salt to the wound ever since the idea was announced to everyone.  The… really didn’t have any songs that stood out and the remixes weren’t all amazing and the lives were useless.  I’m sorry but I still think it was wrong to have done this as a debut.

1. KOR=GIRL – KOR=GIRL I

Yeah, I clearly stated it, but this was a new low for Terukado and D-TOPIA (prolly is why they changed labels).  KOR=GIRL I was just experimentation done wrong and it was pretty obvious it was a failed attempt.  All the songs are just hard to listen to and the girls sound poor (especially one that won a vocal competition). 

 

NEXT TIME: ALBUM SONGS…MULTITUDES OF EM!

 

Best of 2010: OVERALL SINGLES…Hey, there was quite a huge amount ok!!! January 3, 2011

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 10:25 pm

Yep, the final singles post, it’s basically overall XD.  So here we go!!!!

BEST SINGLES

They almost made it, they really almost did!

Yeah, these five barely made the cut this year, they are: Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido, Cross Illusion, ST4LK3R/Waiting For Clouds, YOU, and ∞2. They were great singles in their own right and deserve to be here!

THE TOP 10 GOLDEN SINGLES OF 2010!!!!

10. ZEBRA QUEEN – NAMIDA ~Kokoro Abaite~

For being an one-time deal kind of single, NAMIDA ~Kokoro Abaite~ was a pretty epic single for 2010.  The title track was pretty electro and had great vocals from Riisa Naka who pulled the song off by singing mysteriously and such.  Add in the fact that ZEBRA QUEEN no Theme was even better made this a full on great single…Loved it!

9. Yousei Teikoku – rebellion anthem

Like I said in every review up to this point in the “gothic lolita agitator” era, each single that Yousei Teikoku releases keeps getting better and rebellion anthem was the peak for them (then again they haven’t released a single after this yet >.>  It’s just that the title track was so hard-hitting and gothic galore that it wasn’t hard for me to enjoy the song entirely, but the B-side, still alive took the cake by being as hard, but with synths taking up the arrangement.  It’s just a super single!

8. SID – Rain

There’s just something I really liked about Rain, SID’s 3rd single for the “dead stock” era.  I love the fact that it was a rock ballad than what they usually put out so it was a great surprise for me and just did well.  Then they stepped it up further with cut which had even better vocals and sounded like an opening to an anime even though it had no tie-in.  Of course we can’t forget the fact that they added a live version of chapter 1 on the single and they came out great as well.  Though the singles after have slightly gone down, Rain was the best they had this year.

7. 4minute – I My Me Mine

While “FIRST” might’ve been the best A-side from the group, I think as a whole, I My Me Mine was a dang perfect single from them.  Not only I My Me Mine was just epic and so much more better than “Muzik”, their first JPN-only song was also found here in Goodbye and was the first time I’ve heard a much more lighter 4minute and I liked it.  Last but not least, it came with the original version of “HUH” and I already liked it from hearing it before the single so this was a good addition as well.

6. CHiAKi KURiYAMA – Ryuusei no Namida

With all the GUNDAMness of this year, I think Chiaki really found a gem with releasing this single.  I mean with Ryuusei no Namida being a powerhouse of a ballad and Kekkei IN MY BED being more of a pop/rock kind of deal, it was a taste of what’s to come from her and I enjoyed it very much.

5. faylan – Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana

Whenever I see this single, all I can think of is it’s damn epic of a single.  I know it’s that both the title track and Tobe Aoi Tori has pretty much everything it needs to be something huge and I loved it.  The whole folkish atmosphere mixed in with the guitars blazing in the A-side and B-side…it’s just a very good and solid single from faylan.

4. Morning Musume – Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game

It’s been quite a while since there’s been a Momosu single that’s been this strong! (To me, their last amazing single was “Kanashimi Twilight”).  Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game might have been Eri, Jun, and Lin’s final single but at least they went out with a bang with this smacker.  While I do admit that I love the album version of the A-side this was a strong song, just with more upgrades on the album.  Aisaresugiru Koto wa Nai no yo was also quite catchy and it shows since their singles have been slightly getting better with B-sides.  It’s just H!P’s best single of the year.

Ayaka Hirahara – Keropak

There’s always one Ayaka Hirahara song that tempts to impress me ever since I started listening to her, but Keropak was just three great tracks in one package.  Keropak itself was a giddy and fun track and we haven’t seen that from her (at least not me) once yet so it comes at a surprise that she’d go and do that.  Then we get into Spain and I was surprised at her even more with this because she’s doing a lot of scatting (specific kind of ad-libbing) and the music was just frenetic and kept up the pace with Ayaka.  I will say though the remix of Keropak blew me away since I’ve never heard a remix of anything that’s Hirahara’s so it’s just smooth all over.  Iono, but I was so very impressed like I was with “Campanula no Koi/Nocturne”.

2. Saori@destiny – Lonely Lonely Lonely

While I still think “Ethnic Planet Survival” still beats the songs off the single, Lonely Lonely Lonely is just purely one strong single.  I mean yeah half the single was 2009, but Lonely Lonely Lonely is just so very Katamari-like that there’s no way I couldn’t see the charm of the song and it’s slow in a good way.  Sympa though like tons of people have said equals to Animal Crossing and I agree it’s cute and friendly and just simple in other words.  It didn’t hurt either than both Breathe Breathe Breathing and Stainless Starlight were on it since they were pretty great songs on their releases as well.

1. mini – GiRLS SPiRiT

mini just has had her year.  I really didn’t know what to think when she released this single out.  I mean it stepped all over “Are U Ready?” and then some.  The title track is slightly more electro-pop than her debut and the Roxanne curse was there, but that was relieved by the awesome synth melody through it and it was dang catchy.  Dear Friend was more synth pop but it was smooth, lighter and mixed her R&B side quite nicely.  Baby baBy though was just evil and epic all at once.  I mean there was no way it could’ve been beat at this point. 

WORST SINGLES

Well…they’re lucky to be not in the 10!

Kite, Mayonaka no Guitar, Mamotte Agetai, Loop-the-Loop, and Hikari no Fillment represent the crappy that almost made the list hahaha. 

Oh….these 10….

10. Juliet -23:45

I don’t know, but I swear I chose a poor place to begin listening to the trio.  23:45 to me just felt way too bland and plain to even warrant a second listen through (even though I had to review it on the album x.x).  Kesenai Uso was slightly better since it had something going that was interesting, but still being R&B didn’t cut it for me.  It’s just a meh single for me.

9. Minori Chihara – Freedom Dreamer

I really wished I hadn’t started reviewing Minori with this single because it was a poor choice to begin with.  Freedom Dreamer and Best mark smile were so bad in similar ways that I was surprised she’d do two crimes at once on the single of all things.  Natsuiro Hanabi might have been the best thing, but it still didn’t save me from the first two tracks.  At least it’s low on the list because without it, I’m sure it’d be in the worst 3.

8. Ayumi Hamasaki – L

Ayu hasn’t really had that great of an era with singles this year, but L was just oi ve.  For being her 50th single, I was expecting more from it, but it just disappointed me.  I mean Virgin Road was like any other Ayu ballad out there so it kind bypassed me, Sweet Season was Life pt.2 which I said then never stood out for me and Last angel was just confusing to follow most of the time ever though it was the best of the original stuff on the single.  I really didn’t find much pleasure listening to two different versions of SEVEN DAYS WAR either and it made dislike the song even further.  The only good thing though was the orchestral take of crossroad, it was pretty good, but otherwise the rest of the single kind of just was bleh.

7. Zwei – Koyubi no Paradox

Oh Zwei what the hell happened?  Koyubi no Paradox was just so uncalled for and even signing to 5bp. Records was an equal sin to do.  I mean when I think of Zwei, I think of amazing guitar solos, Ayumu’s powerful vocals and Megu’s great bass playing.  This was just so not them being all cutesy anime like and Ayumu sounded repressed from using her vocals.  Forever More was better because it had Megu in it prominently, but after that Koyubi no Paradox, Zwei’s just not the same.

6. KOKIA – Kodoku na Ikimono/Ano Hi no Watashi ni

I know this is classified as a digital single, but so what, this single was boring as all hell.  I mean they all felt quite one-dimensional to me and it’s a surprise since KOKIA doesn’t usually end up this way, but damn this single could make anyone fall asleep.  I know it did for me, and I rather not struggle listening to it again hahaha.

5. Kaori Mochida – green/Acacia

Just like KOKIA, Kaori’s lone single to represent the “NIU” album was just very boring as well.  I mean OK, Acacia was alright, but it was older than friggin “Ame no Waltz” which is just wrong to release it now…green though was just boring and went nowhere and is still one of her worst songs on “NIU” as well.

4. S/mileage – ◯◯ Ganbaranakutemo Eenende!!

Yeah, S/mileage really bombed this year with the A-side and almost nearly took the entire single with it.  Not only did the A-side suck, they made a second version with different lyrics (though if I’m correct, it was under a different JPN lingo or something round that).  That was just mean to release.  Only thing that alleviated the problem was Smile Bijin but anything could’ve been better than Eenende!! and Iin da yo!!

3. RIZE – LAUGH IT OUT with Hayato

It wasn’t that the main track was bad this time (thank god), it was the three B-sides that really shot this single down the crapper.  I mean it sounded so underproduced and not controlled, or made any sense for that matter that I just didn’t like it.  LAUGH IT OUT though was catchy though I’ll give it that…but still it’s purely bad otherwise.

2. KOR=GIRL – NANBA

So before D-topia decided to switch labels, they debuted a duo with KOR=GIRL and we got our first taste of their music with NANBA and let me tell it left a pretty sour and bitter taste.  First off they aren’t like Aira or Saori in style which is bad, even with Terukado leading it.  Though the vocals and the music just do not mesh very well.  I mean NANBA can be good on a good day, but KIYOMIZU was just unbearable and way too off the mark for both the duo and Terukado.

1. Beckii Cruel feat. Cruel Angels – Tsubasa wo Kudasai

Oh god did this shot up a lot of talking on the forums.  Beckii Cruel I guess got shoved into this group with her friends for this single.  To be honest, Tsubasa wo Kudasai just sounded wrong and Tsuki no Kakera wasn’t much better.  What made it the worst single though was the aftermath with having so many “Cruel Angels” that Beckii left that idea behind and is returning to soloing.  I don’t blame her since it was getting quite ridiculous trying to follow who’s in and out…but w/e so much for this idea huh?

 

NEXT TIME: MINI-ALBUMS….YOU KNOW THOSE HALF SINGLES, HALF ALBUM THINGS YEAH!!!!!

 

Best of 2010: ART COVERS, the pretty and the ugly! December 31, 2010

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 9:45 am

So, on part three, we get to the art covers that gracefully tried to show off this years awesomeness. Let’s get to it!

BEST ART COVERS

The 5 covers that were great, but not top 10 centered.

So the five that didn’t make the cut: COSMOS vs ALIEN, Unmei no Shizuku ~Destiny’s star~/Hoshizora Keikaku, Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana, Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru, and Everlasting are great covers and shows they can really pull it off if they wanted.

THE BEAUTIFUL 10

10. angela – Soukyuu

angela always seems to have interesting single covers like last year’s “Alternative”.  This year though angela released this piece of art near the end of the year, but it’s definitely a pretty cover.  Of course KATSU looks like Cloud for some reason while atsuko is more frilly.  I love the concept and the fact that it’s mirrored on the bottom gives more depth.  I don’t know but it’s pretty for sure.

9. Aya Kamiki – Revolver

I don’t know why but Aya’s second single under avex was a surprise to me.  I mean everyone knew she was hot during the GIZA days, but she stepped it up immensely for this cover.  Like Lex said, dystopia has never looked this sexy and I agree, Aya is one hot lady!

8. JUJU – Sakura Ame/READY FOR LOVE/S.H.E./Last Kiss

JUJU never really had such elegant single covers until she released her quad A-side this year.  Sakura Ame’s cover is very pretty and the fact of the falling rain, but starry sky is quite funny if not ironic in a sense.  Of course JUJU looks really formal and pretty and it does carry over to “Request” later on.

7. miwa – Otoshimono

I know, I know miwa looks a bit off for her cover for Otoshimono, but it’s the only one of this year that portrayed Autumn like the it is and it’s dying leaves surrounding the windows, the window frame being withered and such and miwa’s breath on the window showing that it was cold.  It’s not the most flattering picture of her, but it’s still a pretty sight.

6. school food punishment – future nova/after laughter

If this was released back in 09′ it would’ve joined its brethren on the No. 1 spot, but seeing as this was the only single by the band released this year, future nova/after laughter made it here.  I never figured out what it had to do withth other covers since most of them were linked in a way.  The whole cube tower thing does make me think of AAA’s PV for “Dream After Dream” since they have the cube thing going to…Still mysterious though with the girl.

5. D – Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai

For some reason this year, D has stuck out to me with their covers this year.  This particular version of Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai was pretty interesting since it was the only one with the band sitting down haha.  Anyways I think the thing that sticks out for me is that the whole setting of the room is very vibrant and edgy too.  It’s so red and just regal sort of.  It surprised me lol.

4. ALI PROJECT – Ransei Heroica

Like I said last year, ALI PROJECT always have interesting single & album covers so seeing as Ransei Heroica is on the list is no surprise, but “Katana to Saya” was also pretty amazing.  I think what stood out for me was that Arika was split in half with the wardrobe and I thought the pink-haired princess and the brown-haired warrior was nifty and THAT SWORD OMG, I NEED IT!

3. Perfume – Fushizen na Girl/Natural ni Koishite

I know that Perfume’s covers are usually simplistic when compared to other artists, but Fushizen na Girl/Natural ni Koishite was the most complex thing they’ve released in a while so it’s natural (haha) that I’d think it’s a great cover.  Since it’s basically a shot from the Fushizen na Girl PV, it’s fitting that the girls are in bright and bold colors with the various back-ups holding up those boards with different colors and maybe a slight nod to the album the was released before the single.  Good covers!

2. Kalafina – Kagayaku Sora no Shijima ni wa

I will say that with Kalafina, their covers always leave me wondering how they come up with it and with Kagayaku Sora no Shijima ni wa, I think this is their darkest cover yet.  While the other cover is a bit blah, this one is very pretty with the burning candles, the poses from the girls, and the clouds and dark sky in the background.  Love the cover and its gloomyness haha.

1. SID – Rain, cosmetic, and Ranbu no Melody

To me though this year, I think the top position should be given to SID and the three singles Rain, cosmetic, and Ranbu no Melody.  The thing the three singles share is that all the covers (there’s more than these, trust me) are all artistic and done with watercolor paint and it seems pen-drawn (prolly the same guy doing all three).  I do think the artists high point was with Ranbu no Melody which look pretty much epic especially the wolf cover XD.  I will say each cover brough an interesting idea along and I hope the album will follow with one more of these covers.

WORST ART COVERS

Not grating, but it’s almost top 10 worthy

Yep the covers for Can We Go Back, PARADISE/Endless Fighters, Haru no Arashi, Re:ache, and SAKURA are pretty icky covers but aren’t as bad as these

THE UGLY 10

10. the GazettE – SHIVER

It’s not that it’s ugly or anything, but it’s just that awkward of a cover.  For some reason it’s not that I don’t mind shirtlessness, it’s the whole I’m into kinky sex kind of look that sort of weirds me out.  I still don’t understand the binoculars either so don’t ask me anything.

9. Ayaka Hirahara – Ifuu Doudou/JOYFUL, JOYFUL

It’s another one of those covers for me that’s more awkward than ugly, but it’s slightly a bit more less offensive as “SHIVER”.  For me is Ayaka’s pose and the lack of anything on the cover besides the title of the single (well, sort of).  I do laugh though at her lower half since it’s shaped like a muffin/cupcake.  Blah cover though.

8. JUJU – Kono Yoru wo Tomete yo

After all these good cover arts (“Trust In You”, is ok at best), Kono Yoru wo Tomete yo comes as a pretty big disappointment with the fact that all it is, is just a blue rose turning to dust.  Add the fact that the title of the single is covered in the blue fadeout.  Otherwise, it’s just really lame of a cover.

7. mihimaru GT – Omedetou

Poor mihimaru GT, acting as the last single release before the duo taking a break and go off on solo careers, Omedetou was an oh my detour.  I mean yeah I liked miyake’s silver/white hair for the cover, but hiroko’s was just WTF+.  It was a bad hairdue and it makes her look like she doesn’t wash her hair enough hence the wacky objects found in it.  It’s just a icky cover xD

6. Meisa Kuroki – 5 -FIVE-

This is a mess, just a big mess.  I really don’t know why Meisa chose to take the cover for this and turn it into a photoshop mockety with bad nods to comics like Superman.  It’s just a terrible act and such a drop from her last few singles/albums.

5. ikimono-gakari – Arigatou

Nothing against old people, but old people in beach attire on a rather blah background is not acceptable ikimono-gakari!  I really wanna know why they came up with the cover for that (and for “Kimi ga Iru” for that matter).  It just looks very awkward and unusual for me at least.  Sorry weird cover.

4. mini – GiRLZ SPiRiT

Another case of awkward pose and lack of an interesting background, the thing that really made it bad though was those goofy claw gloves or whatever they were supposed to be.  That wink as well was just very strange…what am I supposed to think when she’s doing that huh? 

3. XIAH junsu – XIAH

Yeah there’s not much to say here.  JUNSU has always been my least favorite from THSK so I might be biased here, but this cover was as boring as boring could get.  I mean the shadow idea didn’t exactly help either, but whatever…he could’ve had a much better cover IMHO.

Juliet – Haru Love & Haru Love 2

We all know Juliet are lazy with their covers and while I’m sure people will disagree and say “Aki Love” and “Yuki Love” have more boring covers, I think HL and HL2 take the cake because they use the same dogs for all four covers (two each).  Still, it feels like a copout with Haru Love 2 (the only difference is background colors though and positions of the dogs).  Still very lazy work.

1. flumpool – Kimi no Todoke

And like last year’s wors art cover, this year’s is from a group that I don’t review and flumpool really did a number with this cover and the alternate as well.  There’s just something really foul about this (though not as bad as Yuzu’s though).  Just ugly looks of people really letting it out…though if I remember, I thought one was really bad cuz their nose tears was going in the mouth or something, maybe I’m crazy XD.  Still ICK+

 

NEXT TIME: OVERALL BEST/WORST SINGLE!

 

Best of 2010: B-SIDES, yes, they’re important too!!! December 29, 2010

Filed under: ~Best of 2010~ — solarblade @ 8:41 am

Yesh, we’re now at B-sides of the year and I was happy to see there was a lot to choose from too hehe.  Now let’s begin our track down.

BEST B-SIDES!

The 5 that just missed the uber mark 😄

Yup, the 5 that didn’t make the cut are as listed: Soba ni Itai Kara (Little Girl), Danro (Ranbu no Melody), Hallucination (YOU), Shining Sun (Namida no Regret), and diamond high (RAY OF LIGHT).  These five songs are pretty awesome, but sadly they were beaten by ten others.

10. Haruka Shimotsuki – Kii te wa Seikenai Uta (Saigo no Michishirube)

While it isn’t Haruka’s only release of the year, the only song that fully stood out from her was the B-side of “Saigo no Michishirube”.  The thing about Kii te wa Seikenai Uta that really stood out to me was the slight electronic feeling it had amongst her other songs.  Add in Haruka’s whispery vocals and full ones later and it’s just an interesting tune and one of the cooler ethereal songs I loved.

9. Aki Misato – Defy Gravity (Not Found 2010) (Cross Illusion)

I first thought that Defy Gravity was going to be one boring song, but knowing that the A-side was pretty synthy, the B-side made it even so and made it so much stronger in its approach.  I love the energetic trance-like arrangement mixed with Aki’s good vocals and we got a winner from it.  A great surprise for sure!

8. MiChi – JUMP ON IT (LOVE is. e.p)

Being the most recent addition to the list, JUMP ON IT was surprisingly amazing for something that was meant to be repetitive and blah.  Either way, the song is catchy and full of attitude (which is always a good thing to hear in a MiChi song).  Very bouncy and charismatic, JUMP ON IT has a great reason to be here despite being one of the last releases in 2010.

7. faylan – Tobe Aoi Tori (Senjou ni Saita Ichirin no Hana)

I thought the A-side was pretty impressive, but what really took the single to new heights was the epic B-side.  I didn’t think it would be much by the minute and forty second intro with the background choir chanting, but once the brazen guitars join in, turns into this holy-ish like atmosphere that has great stuff going on like flute solos and a little folk tagging along.  faylan really sounds pretty though as well so it’s definitely the strongest faylan tune out there.

6. Morning Musume – Aisaresugiru Koto wa Nai no yo (Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game)

It seems that recently Momosu has been getting better with their B-sides since it’s never their high-point if you know what I mean.  I love the song sounds kind of idol-pop, but danceable as well.  It seems like a more synth-based “Nanchatte Renai”.  There’s just a lot of exciting things going on like the catchy chorus, Sayu under auto-tune again, and some other small things.  Still, Aisaresugiru Koto wa Nai no yo is one of the better tracks of the year.

5. NIKIIE – Gensou Forum (Shunkashuutou)

Yep, another debut artist making the list from the debut single, I found it amazing that Gensou Forum was her first official song but was downgraded to a B-side on the single release.  To me this song was one of the most powerful songs of the year since it’s like a very emotional mid-tempo piano/rock track.  I can see NIKIIE growing from this and becoming a powerhouse in due time.

4. Yousei Teikoku – still alive (rebellion anthem)

Of all the great Yousei Teikoku releases this year that culminated onto their 3rd best-of album, still alive stood out the most this year from them and it’s great because they’ve been steadily releasing stronger songs with each release.  still alive is still one of the cooler synth-goth tracks out there and Yui just made it simple to love it. 

3. angela – Tsunaga Room (Aoi Haru)

While I haven’t been following angela for a long time, I thought the B-side of “Aoi Haru” was a slice of heaven to my ears.  I love whenever an artists (or in this case, artists) change genres for a little bit and with Tsunaga Room they opted for a more futuristic sound and with atsuko being under auto-tune was actually good for her.  It’s a very transportive kind of tune if you get my drift and that’s why it stood out so much for me.

2. Ayaka Hirahara – Keropak <HIRARA Remix @ Keronboshi> (Keropak)

It’s rare to see me fully enjoy the hell out of a remix, but this year Ayaka Hirahara pulled a 180 out of her hat and released this remix for Keropak.  While the original was more natural and had a kiddy-like nature to it, Keropak’s remix was definitely synth love and had a bunch of great moments from both Ayaka’s singing (which is auto-tune slightly) and the bouncy arrangement.  It does stay as the best remix of the year as well.

1. mini – Baby baBy (GiRLS SPiRiT)

All year, I was waiting for the epic electro song to just pop out of nowhere and take me to another place.  mini and JIN shows off once again with Baby baBy.  I love it because of the fact that it’s dark electro and pulsating overload for me.  It’s definitely a catchy ass tune that will be hard to replace.

WORST B-SIDES!

The 5 somewhat crappy B-sides before Armageddon

So here’s the 5 that luckily got out of being majorly criticized hahaha: memory of snow (LEVEL 5 -judgelight-), GRAB BAG (Aitakute Aitakute), Usagi (Let’s dance in the moonlight), Sayonara (Motto Motto Kimi wo Oshiete yo), and Chotto Samishii na (Shining Power).

THE UNLUCKY 10

10. KOTOKO – Raimei ga Naku Koro (Loop-the-Loop)

 

It’s pretty disappointing that KOTOKO didn’t exactly release anything that was deemed excellent this year through her own releases.  Raimei ga Naku Koro was definitely under the weather compared to both previous B-sides, “Digital Snail” and “BUCCANEER” which the latter was the best of last year’s B-sides.  The biggest difference was the fact it was like a mid-tempo pop/rock tune that just didn’t work well for KOTOKO’s voice.  Collision course of icky.

9. Hanako Oku – Trump (Garasu no Hana)

Let’s just say that Hanako’s B-side for “Garasu no Hana” was a very boring ballad that she’s done so many times before that it just was a punch to the gut listening to it.  Sorry this definitely didn’t hit the mark for me and just was very ick to listen to.

8. Porno Graffitti – Get It On (Kimi wa 100%)

 

Being the only cover song on this list, it was only featured because it was just bad to listen to.  Akihito basically was the reason the song turned out so bad because his English is near impossible to sit through and sometimes very hard to decipher what the hell he was saying.  I mean the arrangement is good, but this isn’t the vocals that should be here >.>

 7. Ayahi Takagaki – Oh Happy Day (Hikari no Fillment)

Christian-like songs and Seiyuus just do not mix and with this song is gives that reason in full force.  While the chorale sounds rather pretty good, it isn’t until Ayahi takes over is when it gets weird (especially that whole ad-libbing section).  I just hated that it was a mostly a follow me kind of song until they start seperating.  Ayahi’s vocals even sound rather ick as well…almost nasally.  Sorry not my kind of dig.

6. Momoiro Clover – Coco☆nuts (Pinky Jones)

I don’t what it is about this song that just annoys me but it’s prolly the multiple ideas that are flying around the song.  Like the song tries to be soft in the verses, making the girls uber cute in the bridge and then the chorus is basically consisting ~co-co-co-co-co-co…etc. nuts~.  I’m sorry but when the chorus is that stupid, the rest of the song doesn’t really matter anymore.

5. BUCK-TICK – Yougetsu (Kuchizuke)

Yougetsu from BUCK-TICK’s “Kuchizuke” single to me felt so unlike the group since it was low and Atsushi was under filters the entire song so that also bothered me a bit since it felt like it was underproduced or something along those lines.  I just never connected with the song and it still doesn’t do much for me.

4. Minori Chihara – Best mark smile (Freedom Dreamer)

The problem with Best mark smile was that it was almost like deja vu simply because it was so much like its A-side counterpart.  I think it was bad because of the fact that it was still a pop/rock kind of tune with Minorin singing in her seiyuu style.  It’s kind of still crappy and I rather much listen to the other B-side, “Natsuiro Hanabi”.

3. D – K no Hyousoukyoku (Akaki Hitsuji ni Yoru Bansankai)

Whenever ASAGI sings it’s either great or in the case of K no Hyousoukyoku, it’s pretty poor shot.  I honestly dislike his growling/screaming in the songs and it quickly turned me off when I started listening to the song.  At first I thought the arrangement was pretty awesome and Dir en Grey-ish, but ASAGI’s growling just was yikes for me, at least unti he started singing.  Bleh.

2. AAA – TWO ROADS (Heart and Soul)

It’s rare to see one of the members of AAA getting a solo song, more or less Hidaka actually getting it.  Everyone knows him as the MC/Rapper of the group and that he is, but he actually isn’t rapping in this song but actually singing.  Add the fact that it sounds like a song for druggies, TWO ROADS just was a trainwreck to listen to. 

1. RIZE – GOLD RUSH (LAUGH IT OUT)

It was really hard to choose which song was the worst out of the three B-sides on the single.  RIZE really messed up for the single and GOLD RUSH leads it because it was nearly impossible to sit through.  I don’t think it was because of JESSE being filtered to no end, but the band felt out of sync and just messy throughout.  Sorry, but this was el crappo of the year.

 

 

NEXT TIME, PRETTYFUL COVERS and well…..NOT THAT GOOD 😄