Kurayami Monogatari

Would love a comment every so often <<

BEST OF 2011: Here is my top 100 songs of the year!!! January 17, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 2:14 am

Yep so overall in 2011, here’s the top 100 songs…at least to me!

  • #100: You Kikkawa – Konna Watashi de Yokattara
  • #99: Stereopony – Bibara Bibara
  • #98: Maki Goto – Fake
  • #97: Kana Nishino – Distance
  • #96: Yui Sakakibara (PHANTASM) – Preghiera no Tsukiyo ni
  • #95: Mizca – Suki na no
  • #94: HYNA – TARATIKA
  • #93: pLumsonic! – Ginga Patrol
  • #92: Ayumi Hamasaki – BRILLANTE
  • #91: Porno Graffitti – One More Time
  • #90: MISIA – Kioku
  • #89: You Kikkawa – Fuyuzora Hanabi
  • #88: KOTOKO – Light My Fire
  • #87: GRANRODEO – SUPERNOVA
  • #86: DiVA – Chika Suido
  • #85: Rie fu – Come on Come on ~Rie fu no Eikaiwa Kouza~
  • #84: ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D – D×H×C×T
  • #83: Larval Stage Planning – Dreamroid
  • #82: Yui Sakakibara – Blue mind
  • #81: eufonius – Aletheia
  • #80: SPYAIR – Crazy
  • #79: YUKI – Dear.Mama
  • #78: 2PM – Unmei
  • #77: Sakanaction – Rookie
  • #76: Kana Nishino – Secret
  • #75: Minako Kotobuki – Colorful Diary
  • #74: Maaya Sakamoto – homemade christmas
  • #73: SDN48 – Tengoku no Door wa 3kaime no Bell de Hiraku
  • #72: Sayaka Kitahara – Kanari Junjou
  • #71: capsule – I WILL
  • #70: Anna Tsuchiya – Master Blaster
  • #69: Hello! Project Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku
  • #68: Natsuko Aso – Tokimeki☆Traveler
  • #67: SCANDAL – LOVE SURVIVE
  • #66: Do As Infinity – Ariadne no Ito
  • #65: Sakura Gakuin / BABYMETAL – Doki Doki☆Morning
  • #64: HIROKO – GIRLZ UP ~stand up for yourself~
  • #63: YUI – Green a.live
  • #62: °C-ute – Midnight Temptation
  • #61: TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – W.M.A.D
  • #60: Morning Musume – Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!
  • #59: YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz – THE END OF THE DAY
  • #58: Morning Musume – Give me Ai
  • #57: Tsuki Amano – CORE
  • #56: DUSTZ – warning
  • #55: Mizca – 1925
  • #54: Meisa Kuroki – BYE BYE MY FRIEND
  • #53: Sowelu: I want U to… feat. WISE
  • #52: Maki Goto – What is LOVE
  • #51: Aural Vampire – HUMAN NOISE
  • #50: AAA – Digest
  • #49: School Food Punishment – How to go
  • #48: MAA – King&Queen&Kiz
  • #47: Namie Amuro – NAKED
  • #46: AKB48 – Rinjin wa Kizutsukanai
  • #45: Tommy heavenly6 – I’M YOUR DEVIL HALLOWEEN REMIX
  • #44: KARA – GO GO Summer!
  • #43: Perfume – Laser Beam
  • #42: Namie Amuro – Higher
  • #41: Akiko Hasegawa – Fateful Actor
  • #40: Berryz Koubou – Omoide
  • #39: Mami Kawada – See visionS
  • #38: lecca – Hinkou Housei
  • #37: Buono! – 1/3 na Kanjou no Junjou
  • #36: Momoiro Clover Z – D’ no Junjou
  • #35: Berryz Koubou – Ai no Dangan
  • #34: Brown Eyed Girls – SIGN
  • #33: Meisa Kuroki – One More Drama
  • #32: Daichi Miura – Black Hole
  • #31: Namie Amuro – Fight Together
  • #30: Sowelu – Let ME Lead U
  • #29: MISIA – THIS IS ME
  • #28: Aira Mitsuki×Saori@destiny – WOWTOWN
  • #27: YuiKaori – Puppy Love!!
  • #26: exist†trace – Daybreak ~13-gatsu no Shikisai~
  • #25: capsule – STRIKER
  • #24: TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Kodou no Himitsu
  • #23: Saori@destiny – GAMBA JAPAN
  • #22: Kyarypamyupamyu – PONPONPON
  • #21: Maon Kurosaki – Emergence!
  • #20: U-KISS – Tick Tack
  • #19: JASMINE – ONE
  • #18: MONKEY MAJIK – Headlight
  • #17: DiVA – Tsuki no Uragawa
  • #16: TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Limited addiction
  • #15: Meisa Kuroki – Wired Life
  • #14: girl next door – Dada Para!!
  • #13: 2PM – Take off
  • #12: Yuya Matsushita – Secret Love (feat. BRIGHT, SHUN)
  • #11: DUSTZ – Criez
  • #10: AAA – CALL

  • #9: °C-ute – Kiss me Aishiteru

  • #8: ONE OK ROCK – Re:make

  • #7: Genki Rockets – Curiosity

  • #6: Nami Tamaki – My Style

  • #5: ONE OK ROCK -Mr. Gendai Speaker

  • #4: 2NE1 – I AM THE BEST

  • #3: Berryz Koubou – Aa, Yo ga Akeru

  • #2: Perfume – GLITTER

  • #1: Kalafina – Magia

 

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

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

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

BEST

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

 

The 5 albums that JUST BARELY MADE 15

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

10. School Food Punishment – Prog-Roid

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

9. Maki Goto – Ai Kotoba (VOICE)

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

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

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

7. KOKIA – pieces

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

6. MAA – BubbleMan Engine

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

5. capsule – WORLD OF FANTASY

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

4. moumoon – 15 Doors

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

3. SID – dead stock

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

2. Kalafina – After Eden

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

1. MISIA – SOUL QUEST

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

WORST

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

The 5 albums that were basically mediocre XD

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

10. Sukima Switch – musium

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

9. RO-KYU-BU! – pure elements

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

8. Angela Aki – WHITE

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

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

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

6. AKB48 – Koko ni Ita Koto

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

5. Yui Sakakibara – Ringing

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

4. Asriel – Oratorium

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

3. KOKIA – moment

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

2. AYUSE KOZUE – U&I

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

1. Chara – Dark Candy

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

BEST

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

The 5 almost very pretty covers!!!

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

10. Eri Takenaka – Kioku no Mori no Ghibli

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

9. Akiko Shikata – Istoria ~Kalliope~

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

8. Daichi Miura – D.M.

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

7. Shoujo Jidai – GIRLS’ GENERATION

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

6. ALI PROJECT – QUEENDOM

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

5. Sound Horizon – Märchen

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

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

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

3. NIKIIE – *(NOTES)

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

2. Koda Kumi – Dejavu

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

1. MONKEY MAJIK – westview

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

WORST

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

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

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

10. SPYAIR – Rockin’ the World

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

9. Kylee – 17

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

8. Stereopony – More! More!! More!!!

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

7. Sakura Gakuin – Sakura Gakuin 2010 ~message~

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

6. FLOPPY – Over Technology

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

5. Angela Aki – WHITE

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

4. Versailles – Holy Grail

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

3. Chara – Dark Candy

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

2. eufonius – bezel

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

1. KOKIA – moment

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

 

 

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

 

BEST OF 2011: ALBUM SONGS…Oh Boy! January 15, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 5:33 am

So here starts the final three posts of the albums category starting with singluar songs (meaning they aren’t from singles…originally from albums).  So let’s get it started!

BEST

  • 2PM – Unmei (REPUBLIC OF 2PM)
  • Angela Aki – Honesty (WHITE)
  • °C-ute – Midnight Temptation (Chou WONDERFUL!⑥)
  • capsule – I WILL (WORLD OF FANTASY)
  • eufonius – Cyclation (Phonon)
  • FLOPPY – Everyday (Over Technology)
  • GIRL NEXT DOOR – Yume no Katana (Destination)
  • GRANRODEO – SUPERNOVA (SUPERNOVA)
  • KARA – Only For You (Super Girl)
  • Koda Kumi – Choi Tashi Life (Dejavu)
  • Kou Shibasaki – Parallel World Reading (CIRCLE CYCLE)
  • Natsuko Aso – Tokimeki☆Traveler (Precious tone)
  • Piko – Piko Piko☆Legend of the Night (1PIKO)
  • pLumsonic! – Ginga Patrol (U・RA・HA・RA Rouge)
  • Sakura Gakuin / BABYMETAL – Doki Doki☆Morning (Sakura Gakuin 2010 ~message~
  • Stereopony – Bibara Bibara (More! More!! More!!!)

Yeah, you know the drill bout these 5!

So the 5 that missed the cut is kind of surprising actually!  Starting with Momosu’s song Give me Ai (12, Smart), this song was still in the veins of Emomosu, but it’s still rather strong and left the biggest mark on me from the album actually!  Meisa at first didn’t surprise me with her album but as time flew out in the year, one song of hers actually made a mark on me and that was BYE BYE MY FRIEND (MAGAZINE).  It has this 80’s dance feel to it and I loved it!  Gocchin’s What is LOVE (Ai Kotoba (VOICE)) was one of my favorite club bangers this year…just heavy and unique to her gotta love that!  Even though this album was kind of a failure, AAA’s Digest (Buzz Communication) was oddly upbeat and and kind of a little cheezy (especially the chorus) but it was still one of the great songs this year IMHO.  Finally, MAA’s song in King&Queen&Kiz (BubbleMan Engine) is all kinds of random spliced into a song and it somehow worked for her!  YEAH! this was a good song as well!!!!

10. Daichi Miura – Black Hole (D.M.)

Ironic that Daichi is once again #10 for singular album songs of the year.  Back in 2009, it was with “Who’s The Man”…not it’s 2011 and he’s done it again with the promotional song with Black Hole.  Some people might disagree with this because it is jagged between a regular dance/pop track and dubstep…but I thought it flowed as nice as it could without being too rough and awkward. 

9. MISIA – THIS IS ME (SOUL QUEST)

After having a rather tough start with listening to MISIA, I’ve concluded that sometimes she can pull ballads off VERY WELL…but this year (and a little of last year) she’s pulled off upbeat stuff like it’s nothing!  THIS IS ME was an epic choice to choose for being the promotional song.  It’s edgy, upbeat and let’s not forget MISIA’s awesome vocals.  Plus the PV was kind of interesting in its own way hehehe.

8. Aira Mitsuki×Saori@destiny – WOWTOWN (×~PARK OF THE SAFARI)

Aira and Saori…it took them long enough to have them collaborate and they somehow created this gem on the album!  WOWTOWN is another one of those blast from the past kind of songs and it’s even cooler that the song keeps mentioning big 80’s hits!  It’s fun danceable and still shows that Terukado has tricks in his sleeves.

7. YuiKaori – Puppy Love!! (Puppy)

Ok, I know I’m kind of being odd about this choice seeing as “Shooting☆Smile” was the worst single and all that (plus my already low fandom of them) BUUUUT, Puppy Love!! is friggin pure and unadulterated cuteness DONE RIGHT!  I still feel like it sounds like an intro to some early 90’s cartoon.  This is 2011’s guiltiest pleasure RIGHT HERE!

6. capsule – STRIKER (WORLD OF FANTASY)

I know I put “I WILL” on the list that didn’t make the top 15, but I still pretty much prefer STRIKER to it for sure.  I mean it’s not as jaw-dropping as “JUMPER” or “The Music” but it’s still a song that just hypnotizes you and forces ya to dance.  I really think it’s just a cool and heavy piece (ala my normal capsule club banger) XD

5. TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Kodou no Himitsu (Kodou no Himitsu)

I know it was released as a recut single and I much prefer that since it doesn’t have that useless album-only introduction….but it did originate here and the PV was promoting the album.  Kodou no Himitsu was the start of a new ballsy style and it’s working for them because they lept bounds on this tune.  It’s catchy and has pretty good vocals throughout actually!  Plus, the pseudo-goth PV it got was a nice and unique vid, I must say!

4. Maon Kurosaki – Emergence! (Butterfly Effect)

I wasn’t expecting a Maon song to actually have impressed as much as Emergence! did but somehow it got here.  Kind of does remind me of “Memories Last” but at the same time, exceeds it for sure.  I’m just loving her mix of rock and synths which is awesome.  Definitely one of the best songs to remember this year!

3. Genki Rockets – Curiosity (GENKI ROCKETS II -No border between us-)

Even though I knew it was released digitally first, I still think it deserves a spot since it was found more easily on the album actually.  The project finally hit the right spot with me with the song Curiosity!  I mean I know it’s a song sung entirely in English but it’s still makes the list for me.  I mean it’s breezy yet dance-heavy and has such uplifting lyrics that it’s hard not to love the song.  Another gem this year!

2. Nami Tamaki – My Style (Ready)

Kind of forgotton amongst the other releases this year, there was one sung that stuck to me like glue and it’s by my favorite artist!  Even though she didn’t take the #1 spot, My Style was really catchy and was the closest she was getting to her old SONY sound.  It was just that song to tell me that Nami hasn’t lost all of her awesomeness!

1. ONE OK ROCK – Mr. Gendai Speaker (Zankyo Reference)

Number 1 this year was no surprise to me actually and it really was ONE OK ROCK’s year in 2011.  I mean who knew they would end up on my lists this year right?  Mr. Gendai Speaker was definitely the crowning moment in album songs this year.  I mean if there was anything to rival “Re:make”…it was this all-around epic song!  Just heavy, in your face and Taka really has the vocals to just blast away with this song…Congrats ONE OK ROCK!

WORST

So this year also produced some stinkers so let’s go through em shall we?

  • AAA – STEP (Buzz Communication)
  • AKB48 – Ningyo no Vacances (Koko ni Ita Koto)
  • AYUSE KOZUE – Still In Love (U&I)
  • Chihiro Onitsuka – WANNA BE A HAPPY WARRIOR (Ken to Kaede)
  • DIR EN GREY – Juuyoku (DUM SPIRO SPERO)
  • Haruka Shimotsuki – Kaleidoscope (Hoshizora Ensemble)
  • Maon Kurosaki – Baby☆maybe (Butterfly Effect)
  • Maria – love again? feat. Dohzi-T (MERCI VOX)
  • NIKIIE – little summer (*(NOTES))
  • Plastic Tree – I Love You So (ammonite)
  • POLYSICS – Don’t Cry (Oh! No! It’s Heavy Polysick!!!)
  • Safarii – Natsu no Owari, Koi no Owari (Mou Ichido Waraeru Kara)
  • Sakura Gakuin / sleepiece – Medaka no Kyoudai (Sakura Gakuin 2010 ~message~)
  • Sukima Switch – Mata ne. (musium)
  • Suneohair – Ii Desho (Suneohair)
  • TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Attack Hyper Beat POP (Kodou no Himitsu)

The 5 So-called lucky ones!

So it seems there was just as much bad as there was good I guess right?  Well, starting off is PASSPO☆’s Material Girl (CHECK-IN).  It started off ok, but then it just went down the drain as soon as that annoying ass chorus popped up.  It was just not cool.  BREAKERZ also had a rather bad song this year with the closer, Destruction (GO).  It’s edgy yes, but it was also annoying with how much DAIGO was butching the title…it was just sad!  Masshiroi Ano Kumo (7 Berryz Times) from Berryz Koubou was just a typical H!P ballad and it was plain and unoriginal to be honest…ick.  Piko did try do at least make a good sounding ballad with Koishikute (1PIKO) but it all came crashing down when his vocals took over…it was BAAAD.  Finally, we get into the #11 spot with Yui Sakakibara’s Blue Horizon (Ringing) and the same thing could be said about it like I did with Piko’s song.  Good arrangement but poor ass vocals…

10. D – Black Swan (VAMPIRE SAGA)

Starting off the 10 worst, D kicks thing off early in 2011 with Black Swan.  There’s just something about it that really made me cringe.  I mean it reminds me of “Toki no Koe” in the fact that there’s so much growling it just gives ya a headache.  I barely understood what ASAGI was growling about anyways…meh.

9. KOKIA – Mou Ichido… (moment)

Way too relaxed is a bad thing and that follows this song from beginning to end.  If there weren’t so much “relaxing” songs on that album this probably wouldn’t have made the list but considering the thing that happened and Mou Ichido… is the final song…it was the hatchet at my neck…just too damn boring for me!

8. Sakanaction – Ryuusen (DocumentaLy)

Same thing can be said about Ryuusen from Sakanaction’s album, DocumentaLy.  It was really long and mostly instrumental with sparse vocals here and there.  It just felt like white noise to me the entire 6+ minutes.  Might spark a few people but to me, lacked energy for me.

7. FLOPPY – Jikuu Holon (Over Technology)

As short as Jikuu Holon was, it was a minute and a half of messy MESSY work from the duo.  I mean the music was all over the place and kind of rushed as well.  Poor Sharaku was also covered up by the amalgation of everything going on as well…it just was rubble (especially since most of the other songs was nice).

6. Asriel – Sekiki Chou wa Yami yo ni Kiete (Oratorium)

Funny though, while FLOPPY’s singer was actually covered too much, I kind of wanted KOKOMI to have been covered up in Sekiki Chou wa Yami yo ni Kiete.  She has a voice that’s love or hate and in this song it pushes it WAYYYY into the hate zone.  It’s very high pitched and she’s abusing vibrato like it’s nothing…and the hope it had with the arrangement.

5. Chara – Dark Candy (Dark Candy)

To have a title track on the worst is quite something since most of the time they’re the best…It’s just a very oddball song for her and add on her wacky tone and nasally yelling parts, it’s like WHY THE TORTURE!  I just couldn’t believe this was a title track (and that there were better songs off the album xD).

4. Kou Shibasaki – Focus (CIRCLE CYCLE)

For a song to be titled Focus, it surely lacks A LOT OF THAT here.  I mean it starts off ok, but as time passes by the song just keeps getting brash and messy and really loses what it initially started with…it’s so odd how that worked…even weirder how she let this song pass…

3. ON/OFF – Christmas Carol no Koro ni wa (Legend of Twins II -Zoku Futago Densetsu-)

I know this was a recent addition but it sure earned its placing.  Christmas Carol no Koro ni wa could’ve have been shelved off since it was a bonus track for the album (and could’ve saved us from this tragicness) but here we are with a song that just sounds like it could be sung by Arashi, NYC, Sexy Zone (shudders)….basically it has JE written all over it and I’m not liking it one bit on a duo signed to SONY…

2. JUJU – YOU (YOU)

Yep, the original version of YOU also managed to find its spot on the list.  The single version is slightly better because of the added strings…but that was a small and tiny hop above the original.  Both still are sleep-inducing BOREFESTS if I ever heard one.  To think YOU was also a title song…jeeze…I’m just getting tired writing about it!

1. the GazettE – PSYCHOPATH (TOXIC)

Worst album song of the year goes to the GazettE and their gloriously terrible song, PSYCHOPATH.  It’s kind of like how I felt about D’s “Black Swan” with the icky growling…BUUUUT PSYCHOPATH takes it further, including yelling and a VERY rage-like atmosphere.  Might work live since it’ll create most pits easily…but for casual listening, this was THE HEADACHE of the year!!!

 

 

NEXT TIME, ALBUM ART!!!!! THE PURDY AND THE FUGLY!

 

BEST OF 2011: Mini-Albums, The Big, Small post XDDDD January 12, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 5:20 am

So with the singles over and done with let’s get into the middle of the important line with….MINI-ALBUMS!!!!  It’s gonna look a little different from the singles posts but you’ll catch on quick.

BEST MINI-ALBUM SONG!!!

  • Aural Vampire – HUMAN NOISE (Kergeulen Vortex)
  • Aya Kamiki – Aria (EVILÄLIVE)
  • Ayumi Hamasaki – BRILLANTE (FIVE)
  • Buono! – 1/3 na Kanjou no Junjou (partenza)
  • DOES – Kuroi Taiyou (FIVE STUFF)
  • eufonius – Aletheia (Aletheia)
  • Maaya Sakamoto – homemade christmas (Driving in the silence)
  • Maki Goto – Fake (Gloria)
  • Sowelu – I want U to… feat. WISE (Let me…)

Kicking off the list with the best mini-album songs of 2011 we start off with Sowelu who made up for that crap album with “Love & I”.  One of her two leading tracks, Let ME Lead U (Let me…) really took sexy into a whole new dimension and she rocked that shit down well this year with both leading tracks off her mini-album.  I chose this though because most people would be attracted to this more than the dubsteppy-ness from “I want U to…”.  I don’t know why I’m having a rock-tinted year, but exist†trace really struck gold with their promotional song, Daybreak ~13-gatsu no Shikisai~ (THE LAST DAYBREAK).  It’s just all kinds of epic and they made a VERY powerful rock song out of this.  I just hope they continue to release great rock songs in 2012.  With a possibility retirement of Saori…she’s still releasing great music and surprisingly I found myself loving the hell out of GAMBA JAPAN (Domestic domain) since it’s got a festive atmosphere and still manages to show some small dance and dubstep qualities that worked as a whole this year!

2. Kyarypamyupamyu – PONPONPON (Moshi Moshi Harajuku)

To me, she kind of became an overnight sensation with her promo song from her mini, Moshi Moshi Harajuku with PONPONPON.  I mean it’s ridiculously cute yet in a way that it doesn’t seem very overbearing.  Let’s not forget the fact that Kyary worked with Nakata on this and you got a pretty nice combination.  Plus the PV was downright RANDOM and awesome XD

1. 2NE1 – I AM THE BEST (NOLZA)

To be honest, my number one shouldn’t be a surprise but it also seems like it’d be rather mundane to make a Japanese reedit of your own K-pop song but when it came to 2NE1’s I AM THE BEST, there was no doubt that I was loving every minute of it and it sounds better than the original (not gonna lie).  Even the English lines sound cooler rather than that “million dollar baby” shit xD.

WORST MINI-ALBUM SONG!!!

  • Prague – Circus Life (Hanataba)
  • Saori@destiny – Pray (Domestic domain)

There weren’t a whole lot of “bad” songs this year which is good but there were still parts of em there which is good.  Momoko’s solo, Kia Ora Gracias Arigatou (partenza) was just odd for the mini-album and kind of lame…plus it’s Momoko and it left the least amount impression on me which is sad.  RURUTIA’s Invitation (RESONANCE) was pretty damn boring and I just could not remember anything about it which is the same thing I felt for Ayu’s beloved (FIVE).  Both songs were just very blank for me and didn’t leave a mark on me…

2. Nana Kitade / Loveless – Snow Hell (Ai to Hate)

It seems that experimentation is not one of Nana’s more easier things to do and with a song like Snow Hell it just fell flat for me.  I mean she sung with a whispery tone and all but it had to be at such a snail’s pace that I lost attention and just left me with a blank stare.  Just not interesting.

1. Chara – Mayonaka no Yakusoku (Utakata)

Well, there’s only really one song that disturbed me vocally and that’s Chara’s Mayonaka no Yakusoku.  I mean the arrangement is more of what I’d enjoy with synths and stuff…but her voice killed and slaughtered the song for me.  You can not even TRY to defend on this one…she sounded downright gruesome and sounds like 10 dying cats trying to sing in unison…really…why?!?

BEST MINI-ALBUM ART COVER!!!

  • Aya Kamiki – EVILÄLIVE
  • Prague – Hanataba

I’m not sure exactly why I enjoyed Sayuri’s cover for Forever… but it’s oddly simple and seeing her stand in between different music stands is kind of cool and maybe a little cluttered but it’s still a rather nice looking cover from her.  Once again it seems WEAVER manages to capture my interest (bad and good) with their covers.  Luckily Jubilation is more on the good side since it’s a rather impressive cover and bold with the kids running on a planet with sun and moon balloons XD.  Last but not least, Maaya’s cover for her Driving in the silence is simple but like WEAVER’s cover, it’s pretty vivid.  Kind of reminds me of her “Buddy” cover but set in the evening in and she’s wearing a very red shawl.  I liked it and it follows with said other single!

2. Saori@destiny – Domestic domain

Saori’s cover arts (for her albums and minis) have always seem to interest and intrigue me and with Domestic domain, she does it again and mostly confused me.  I can clearly see a lady holding tons of flowers and a fan on top of that…but what’s the meaning is what gets me.  Still colorful and catches my eye for sure!

1. D – Huángdì ~Yami ni Umareta Mukui~

I must say however that D’s mini cover of Huángdì impressed me the most of 2011.  I loved the sepia tone of the cover and having a picture taken in front of a pagoda is kind of cool and classic and matches the whole theme of the mini ^_^.  I must say, impressed FOR SURE and I wonder what the outfits look like in color XD

WORST MINI-ALBUM ART COVERS

For bad covers this year there were some rather mediocre covers.  DOMINO’s GO GiRL cover really brought ridiculous things to the front for it.  I mean big ass bows and poor clothing choices and it’s just really like a rainbow puked on it XD.  After Nana’s “Bondage” album, her cover art for Ai to Hate kind of a big disappointment for me.  She’s still rockin’ the whole lolita thing but nothing else really stood out and the cover being gray didn’t help.  Maybe the rose petals were ok touches…but still boring.  It isn’t as boring as lecca’s Hakobune ~ballads in me~ which is the epitome of boring this year.  I mean a simple side headshot is kind of unoriginal and it just wasn’t good!  The other cover almost made its place though because all it is is a picture of a boats (a rather small one at that too >.>).

2. Sowelu – Let me…

While the other cover made sense because honey down the boobs is always sexually motifed, the women’s cover of Sowelu’s Let me… cover is kind of WTF and just kind of like how is nomming on a chicken anything sexy.  I guess it’s better than her shoving it down her shirt and having a wing stick out between her knockers…but wow…food-related fail cover XDDDDD

1. Miho Fukuhara – The Soul Extreme EP & EP2

To me, this year’s worst mini covers is two of them from the same artist.  Miho just icked up both covers for The Soul Extreme EP and EP2.  Though I will say the first one is worse because the lighting on her was making her look weird and fake tanned and the hairstyle was ugly for her.  The second one kind of also has hair failure but at least it looks better…Still both are just bad this year!

BEST MINI-ALBUMS!!!!

  • D – Huángdì ~Yami ni Umareta Mukui~
  • DOES – FIVE STUFF
  • Maaya Sakamoto – Driving in the silence
  • Maon Kurosaki – Goshiki Uta -Immortal Lovers-

 

Ahhh, the important end right?  We get the best mini-albums but it seems these three just missed out.  I didn’t expect to actually enjoy eufonius’ Aletheia mini but this was quite good for them and makes up for how boring both “bezel” and “Phonon” was.  Tsuki’s Bara to Shinjuu also was a pretty great surprise after the crappy “CHELSEA” mini she released earlier in 2011.  However it was no surprise when it came to Miho’s The Soul Extreme EP.  It’s five good songs from here and carried over from the good stuff of 2010. 

2. exist†trace – THE LAST DAYBREAK

Like I said, 2011 was just full of great rockin’ stuff and exist†trace left a huge mark with me in THE LAST DAYBREAK which had five great songs that showed off their skills and power in their V-kei style.  I just hope it leads into more awesomeness for them this year ^_^.  It’s pretty much a need to listen to…including the next one.

1. Aural Vampire – Kerguelen Vortex

Though my favorite of the year was a surprise release to me with Aural Vampire’s mini, Kerguelen Vortex.  It had a lot going for it with their darkwave/electro mix (with a couple of experimentive songs).  Add in the fact that THE REPOMAN sounds even more cooler is a taste of how good this was.  Loved this album and I hope they’re more active in 2012.

WORST MINI-ALBUMS!!!

These three albums share the fault together which is kind of eerie but at the same time not really.  Gocchin’s LOVE, RURUTIA’s RESONANCE, and Ayu’s FIVE could be switched around in the places because they all have one or two good songs but the rest is all a borefest!  It’s kind of the year of ballads for em but none of them really stood out for me!

2. Tsuki Amano – CHELSEA

One of the earlier minis from the first half of the year was a huge disappointment for me.  Despite not having “CORE” (luckily it was better on “Bara to Shinjuu”) CHELSEA felt very one-dimensional with its direction and it felt like I was listening to the same song over and over again.  Sad to say, it was her worst release yet.

1. Chara – Utakata

Unfortunately, I think most people knew this was going to be on the bottom of the list.  Chara’s Utakata was bad in the usual Chara way but moreso for being so stripped since this was an indies release and it sounded a lot worse than normal.  Yeah, this was definitely worse mini of the year!

 

NEXT TIME: ALBUM SONGS…MANY O’ EM!

 

Best & Worst of 2011: SINGLES!!! January 9, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 10:21 pm

The final of the singles post is the overall best and worst of 2011….not much to choose from but at least it was enough for the year ^_^

BEST

  • 9GOATS BLACK OUT – draw
  • Chiaki Takahashi – Kon’ya wa Chupa♡Riko
  • Daichi Miura – Turn Off The Light
  • Momoiro Clover Z – D’ no Junjou
  • TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Kodou no Himitsu/Sayonara, Arigatou.
  • YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz – THE END OF THE DAY
  • YUKI – Hello!
  • Zwei – Kaze no Senritsu

The 5 that were pretty damn good but didn’t make it!

So in overall goodness there wasn’t a whole lot to choose from this year XD.  I loved the return of an actually good release from Tommy heavenly6 with monochrome rainbow since both tracks were harder hitting and just much more memorable when compared to “I KILL MY HEART.  One More Time by Porno Graffitti had three songs that were actually above average for me and while I’d say the leading track is still the best, it was their best for a long time!  One of the last single to be released in 2011, Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban is seriously SDN48’s best single though it’s questionable to whether it’s their final single or not.  Still 4 songs that ended up sounding great is a surprise (I mean I don’t think any AKB or sub-group wise has come near that yet).  Even though it’s only two songs and both were A-sides, ikimono-gakari’s Waratteitanda/NEW WORLD MUSIC were both songs I kind of needed to hear from them after their run with so many ballads previous.  School Food Punishment rarely disappoints me but I thought RPG was the better single this year because it’s more of what I liked about em and the B-sides were pretty good as well.

10. Akiko Hasegawa – Sourin no Pendulum

To begin the top 10, I started off with Sourin no Pendulum which is a pretty great single.  I thought the A-side was actually handled quite well for being an animu tune and Akiko’s vocals sound rather better than before which is good.  However, it was Fateful Actor and Fateful Actor (Relieve ver.) that really caught my eyes since both are jazzy songs and the latter kind of smooths it out even further.  Just an overall great single from someone I didn’t expect to have one XD

9. Perfume – Spice

Perfume really hasn’t had a memorable year IMO, but I will say thought that Spice ended up making the list this year.  The leading track kind of reminds me of how “Baby cruising Love” turned out and that’s good because it’s a much more laidback and relaxing kind of electro song.  Plus the chorus is quite catchy hahaha.  Though just like Akiko’s single, the clear reason was mainly for the single’s B-side in GLITTER.  I needed an energetic song and while “Laser Beam” sort of did it, it wasn’t enough until this song was finally released in full and I just loved it to death.  It’s just a good package for sure!

8. ONE OK ROCK – Re:make/NO SCARED

I have to say the ONE OK ROCK surprised me this year with their releases…Especially this big hitter.  Re:make is just the rock song I needed to hear this year and it’s explosive and in your face, plus Taka’s gritty vocals just fit this perfectly!  NO SCARED did it even further by making the song louder and screamo-filled but I didn’t care since it was just as powerful as “Re:make” if not more.  Funny enough that I felt that Rock, Scissors, Paper was in between the moods of the two song.  It’s just a very epic single from a band that I would love to see more in 2012.

7. Morning Musume – Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo!/Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!

It’s not surprising to see that I would put Ai-chan’s final single on the list, but it was a damn good single compared to the other two released this year.  Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo! was more of a nostalgic trip to the big and popular days when “LOVE Machine” took over the airwaves.  It just has that spark that’s pretty great to hear and all the members sound pretty good.  Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai! was a pretty nice surprise as well since it’s all youthful and just full of life as well.  Plus we get to hear Sayu actually lead a song for once and she kicked ass (but sweetly).  Of course there’s also Ai-chan’s song, Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara which has seriously grown on me because of the 10th gen auditions.  It’s a good graduation song and Ai does sing it quite well.  Just three different sides to Momosu and they all turned out great!

6. TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Liar/W.M.A.D

Most people would be surprised that I chose this overall more than “Limited addiction” but other than the primary A-side the rest was bad hahaha.  Liar might be similar to their last A-side but it’s one of those moments where its *if it’s not broken why fix it?* and it worked once again since I’m loving Liar quite equally to “Limited addiction and it’s got spunk and great vocals.  W.M.A.D luckily wasn’t the cute song and it seems the group wants to move away from that and I’m happy because this is a good move for them.  I actually preferred it over “Liar” which is great!  Liar -Royal Mirrorball Mix- has more of subdued kind of sound and personally is one of RM’s better sounding remixes with TG’S.  Pretty fun single and one of the stands out in 2011.

5. DUSTZ – Criez

It wasn’t going to be a surprise that DUSTZ were going end up on the list either, especially with Criez.  Like I’ve said in the best A-sides post, it’s just dark and has a good punch to it and Ray’s singing styles in the song…just great!  Swallow also stood out since it’s kind of one of those hopeful songs with a positive message in it.  Plus the addition of synths was a nice touch in comparison to “Criez” darker rock sound.  Just a great single from them this year!

4. Tsuki Amano – CORE

The earliest single to be released in 2011, CORE managed to leave a pretty epic mark on me this year.  I was hoping for something for Tsuki since she became an indies artist again and finally after all this time, we finally got this song which has hard guitars and synths all about.  Plus the chorus is pretty epic as well.  BLACK HOLE also kept with the synths and produced a rather cute song to be opposite of “CORE”.  I thought that was kind of cool to do and at some points, the melody kind of reminds me of the A-side but not straight on.  It’s a good mixture of serious and cute on one disc and I liked it a lot!

3. Namie Amuro – NAKED/Fight Together/Tempest

There’s always seems to be at least one Namie single that impresses me a lot in a year and this time it’s her triple A-side.  NAKED was just fun to listen to and since it was produced by Shinichi Osawa, the song was going to be a dance hit and it just sounds awesome (plus, making allusions to getting naked is a winner for me XD).  On the flipside, Fight Together was my favorite A-side of the year from Namie and it just sounds like it fits the One Piece series almost perfectly.  I mean it sounds like a watery tune and the sneaky pirates…it just works.  Then we get the dramatic ballad in Tempest and ties the whole single together in a nice and pretty bow.  I will admit that ballads aren’t my interest but this sounded like she gave it all here and I loved it!

2. Anna Tsuchiya – UNCHAINED GIRL

Anna Tsuchiya surprised me with releasing the single because I didn’t think she could pull off multiple styles on one single but she did haha.  Her cover of The Beegee’s STAYIN’ ALIVE wasn’t the most faithful of cover songs but she twisted it her way to give us a more rockin’ (and slightly jazzier version) of it.  It’s a fun song to listen to for sure!  She then tackles electro for the second A-side in JUICY GIRL feat. The SAMOS.  It also seems to mix her rock side and in some cases, it reminds me of “Bangalicious” but that’s good since I love those kind of songs.  Master Blaster though is just all kinds of awesomeness to be honest.  I mean the intro is quite powerful and the way it moved throughout was just wow to me.  I will say it’s my favorite of the single but it doesn’t mean the others are just as great either.  Just powerful and yet so good!  Great and unexpected single from Anna.

1. Berryz Koubou – Ai no Dangan

I think most people will be surprised that I chose this over something like “UNCHAINED GIRL” because they’re simply an idol group…but they can release some epic stuff as well.  Ai no Dangan might be their second peak of their edgy rock songs after “Otakebi Boy WAO!” but this song had equal lines which sets it apart from some of their other A-sides which is great!  Powerful and rockin and god Risako’s shouting of ~AI NO DANGAN!!!!~ is orgasmic!  Let’s not forget Omoide though, which is more towards a synthy sound but it’s quite the song and it kind of reminds me of Emomosu’s songs but a little more feisty with the synths.  Yup this was definitely my favorite single overall this year to be honest!

WORST

  • °C-ute – Momoiro Sparkling
  • Haruka Tomatsu – Oh My God♥
  • Hitomi Shimatani – Kantan ni Ietanara
  • kanon×kanon – Koi no Doutei
  • KOKIA – Sakura no Ki no Shita/Hikari no Kata e
  • mihimaru GT – Masterpiece
  • Miliyah Kato – Yuushatachi
  • Not yet – Perapera Perao
  • RAINBOW – Mach
  • Shoko Nakagawa – Sakurairo
  • Tomato n’ Pine – Jingle Girl Joui Jidai
  • YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz – ALL MY LOVE/YOU ARE THE REASON

The 5 that didn’t impress me!

There were a bit more stinkers this year more than great which is sad but it’s whatever.  HoMin’s Superstar kind of failed for me this year primarily because it was more of the same after their last single plus they abused auto-tune to a pretty sad degree.  MIYAVI shouldn’t have released WHAT’S MY NAME e.p. because it was the same song played over and over but with different guitarists from other groups.  It just seemed very redundant at the least to me.  to by Kaori Mochida was pretty damn boring and it was just only one song that sounded like rejected “NIU” material…weirder that they chose to postpone this release because of the earthquake…tbh was it necessary with this one?  The problem with Satsuki’s SYMPATHY was the fact that it had a boring A-side plus a song that was already released prior…kind of lazy release if you as me!  Finally, °C-ute’s Momoiro Sparkling was such a disappointment after how explosive their last single was.  It was just random to see the girls go from epic to too cutesy (though it is their name so….hmmm).  Still…the B-side was just atrocious though btw.

10. Sukima Switch – Saigo no Hi

Beginning this 10, Sukima Switch starts with a rather boring single in Saigo no Hi.  I’m just not into the song very much because it drags the entire time, plus it’s a long song as well which putting together is a nono.  The small beam of light was in Denwaki but that was also a little too long for me…but it sounded alright.  The worst was Human relations though…why did it have to be so damn boring and includes no singing…just 9 minutes of Takuya talking…WHY!!!!

9. Lia – Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo/Song of Life

I didn’t think Lia could make a rather boring single out of this but she did!  Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo and Song of Life both suffer from the basic outlook which might be good for some people because she does have the vocals but the music was so boring and basic.  There were two more version of both songs and they did really do much for them.  It’s just such a white single…needed more color to be honest!

8. Angela Aki – Hajimari no Ballad/I Have a Dream

The same thing could be applied to Angela Aki’s single.  Both Hajimari no Ballad and I Have a Dream both have really nice vocals but they’re put to such boring arrangements that it was a chore to listen to the single altogether.  However, what makes this single just a little more worse is that Creep exists.  I mean good vocals…but no solid emotion to make it worthwhile makes this cover just kind disppointing…IN A MAJOR WAY!

7. JUJU – YOU/BELOVED

Another single that has the SAME problem?  Jeeze!  Like the previous two, JUJU also suffered a boring single this year with the same ole good vocals, but poor arrangement.  I mean given that YOU on the single is a VERY SMALL smidge upgrade from the album cut but it’s still rather boring and plain.  Which also accounts to why her version of GLAY’s BELOVED turned out just as boring as well.  Just couldn’t stand listening to this single!

6. Momoi Haruko – Yoake no Samba

Now we’re at the point where the vocals are just as bad as the music.  Momoi’s singles haven’t been that great and this one kind of disappointed me on levels.  I mean I think Yoake no Samba has grown slightly on me but to many people it’s just cute overflowing and her vocals just don’t sound as good as it usually is elsewhere.  That being said, Live no Ato wa Samishii na was not the direction things needed to go in.  It’s softer and had potential but once Momoi opened her mouth, things just kind of went downhill XD. 

5. Piko – Yume Hana

Piko really needs to stop with his girly tones because I honestly prefer his deeper vocals MORE than what he pulled on Yume Hana.  That song sounds way too much like its predecessors which is not good since it’s so bland and forgettable IMO.  Immoral and Kodoku no Hate both also have vocals issues but the music was a little better…but damn the vocals were just not there this time around…

4. Momoiro Clover Z – Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~

So this year’s worst A-side makes the list as well and there’s not much to say since I’ve covered that in the A-side post and there’s just no B-side on Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~.

3. Minori Chihara – KEY FOR LIFE

Another year of a really BAD Minorin single…in this case it was found in her single KEY FOR LIFE.  I will say that the lead track is a bit better than “Freedom Dreamer” of last year but that’s only by a small margin.  However, it was Happy Kaleidoscope that really sold the deal on the list.  It took what was bad out of the main track and made it more unbearable with her vocals…this is just depressing to listen to!  Hitori ni Hitotsu no Eien did try to make up for the two icky songs but in return was actually a rather boring song and somewhat cheesy at the same time.  Talk about three strikes and your out kind of deal!

2. Sayaka Sasaki – Zzz

I like when an artist tries to be experimentive and different from each single but Sayaka’s try at super duper cute really failed for me.  Zzz and Gakkou Gakkou LIFE!! were just two bubblegum and way to cute for Sayaka and even today the former is a rather BIG wrench to her album.  They tried fixing the song by including an acapella and a bossa nova version…(the latter was what should’ve been the main, but it is what it is).  Crappy single overall!

1. YuiKaori – Shooting☆Smile

However, Shooting☆Smile ranks as the worst of the year because the entire package was at fault!  The rather bizarre (and rather creepy) art cover to the songs.  The main track was super cutesy and since I can rarely enjoy Yui Ogura’s vocals, it came at a head with this song and I just couldn’t take much more of it.  CUE the Future ~”Q” no Theme~ might have sounded less like the uber cuteness of the A-side, but hell it continued over in some way in the B-side which is more or less the same feeling I have towards it….Yeah….hated this single for sure!

 

NEXT TIME, MINI-ALBUMS!!!!!

 

Best & Worst of 2011: COVER ART! January 7, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2011~ — solarblade @ 1:38 am

Lots and lots of good (and bad) covers this year so there’s a rather big list but I had to whittle it down this year ^_^

BEST

  • Akiko Hasegawa – Sourin no Pendulum
  • Akiko Shikata – Byakumu no Mayu ~Ricordando il passato~
  • BREAKERZ – Tsukiyo no Itazura no Mahou/CLIMBER×CLIMBER
  • DiVA – Tsuki no Uragawa
  • faylan – TOMOSHIBI
  • faylan – Blood teller
  • FLOW – Hey!!!
  • hinaco – Kaerimichi Diary
  • JUJU – Sayonara no Kawari ni/Negai
  • Kylee – CRAZY FOR YOU
  • Maria – Deep into You
  • Mika Nakashima – LOVE IS ECSTASY
  • Minori Chihara – TERMINATED
  • Nana Mizuki – SCARLET KNIGHT
  • Natsuko Aso – Renai Koujou committee
  • Rie fu – For You
  • sphere – HIGH POWERED
  • the GazettE – VORTEX
  • WEAVER – Egao no Aizu
  • YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz – THE END OF THE DAY

The 5 covers that edge out the list!

Like I said, it was a prety filled list for best covers this year.  Not sure why I like mihimaru GT’s Evo★Revolution’s cover but the outer space idea and the amount of cover surprised me quite nicely…plus miyake looks rather cute there heh.  Something about Maaya’s Buddy cover was radically simple yet looks beautiful since it’s just her posing with a barren land behind her but she sticks out a lot.  Laser Beam’s cover was clearly going to make it but was surpassed but the girls posed with literal laser beams pointing in different directions was coool!  Like Maaya’s cover, NICO’s cover for Diver was simple but left a powerful look to it with the guy looking like he was dunked in water XD.  Last but not least is Anna Tsuchiya’s artwork for Switch On!, it’s so bright and Anna looks great on the cover as well.  A lot brighter than most Kamen Rider art covers TBH.

10. SCANDAL – LOVE SURVIVE

WHOOHOO! kicking off the top ten is SCANDAL’s single cover for LOVE SURVIVE!  It’s bright and really gives off this watery feeling because I like how the water looks and of course all of the members looking like they went for a swim as well.  Just a fun and cool cover for them!

9. Porno Graffitti – One More Time & Yuki no Iro

It’s funny that I put two covers for the same spot by the same band but they were pretty similar to each other that I couldn’t help but do that.  In the case of One More Time, the night time atmosphere is great and the starry sky really looked pretty.  Yuki no Iro also has the night sky going but there’s an Aurora on the cover and snow which adds stuff.  Pretty and is good amongst nature-themed covers.

8. Satsuki – INNOCENT

The cover might be a little confusing, but one can’t deny that it’s a pretty looking cover from the bed on the water to the strawberry bush and the angels, butterfly, and stars.  Dark and yet light at the same time…it’s quite something and ranked up this year ^_^

7. Do As Infinity – Ariadne no Ito

Whenever I see the cover art for DAI’s Ariadne no Ito, I think of Mary poppins for sure.  I mean seeing Tomiko and Ryo floating down from umbrellas is humorous (especially at Ryo) but seeing the background with the vast city (which I’m not sure what it’s based off of) but still pretty damn cool!

6. eufonius – Literal

I’m trying to figure out what the cover is all about but to me it looks like a lot of colored marbles/rock/or something.  However, it’s colorful and kind of meshes together in an odd (but good) way.  I’m sure there’s more to the cover but hmmm pretty!

5. Me – Ho・n・to・u・so/Su・ki・ra・i

misono has been getting better with her covers and her first under her new pseudonym is quite cool to look at actually.  I love the dark cover and her posing while her shadow is posed different though as well.  Plus I love her outfit here…just awesome all-around!

4. mihimaru GT – One Time

While I did enjoy “Evo★Revolution’s” cover quite a bit, I thought One Time’s was a lot better of a cover to be honest.  It’s a little random for them just sitting there in the woods, but the contrast of the gloomy forest plus whatever that is behind them is cool.  Pretty cover though.

3. JASMINE – ONE

Covers that use black and white always seem to fascinate me like 2009’s “Alternative” from angela.  JASMINE’s ONE takes what she’s been doing since her debut to a new level by having this rather Native American design for her cover.  Plus her outfit is her best one yet TBQH…simple, might give a little headache from the black and white stuff going on.  Still it’s quite artistic for me.

2. MONKEY MAJIK – Headlight

Why does it seem that 2011 has a night theme for me where most covers I liked had a night base eh?  MOMAJIK’s cover for Headlight is also weird but awesome at the same time since they have good covers most of the time (sans “SAKURA”).  I mean an astronaut floating above a road shining his light on a flower, who thinks of that kind of picture?!?  Random but I LOVE IT!

1. Aimer – Rokutosei no Yoru/Kanashimi wa Aurora ni/TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR & Re:pray/Sabishikute Nemurenai Yoru wa

See! the number one spot is another night theme cover (but TWO of theme as well!).  In Rokutosei no Yoru, I’m really loving the fact that Aimer is wrapped in lights and is floating next to a black cat too LOL.  In the case of Re:pray, the cover works with Aimer standing in the middle of a lake but with shards of (what I’m guessing ice) trailing behind her.  Both simple but really pretty and just stood out all year!

WORST

  • Aki Toyosaki – SHUN PU
  • Chiaki Ishikawa – Fukanzen Densho/Switch ga Haittara
  • Dream5 – Like & Peace!
  • GACKT – Graffiti
  • Hello! Project Mobekimasu – Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku
  • Hitomi Shimatani – Kantan ni Ietanara
  • JUJU – Mata Ashita…
  • Juliet – Motokare
  • Juliet – Motokano
  • KOTOKO – Light My Fire
  • Kylee – NEVER GIVE UP!
  • LM.C – Hoshi no Arika.
  • Mai Kuraki – 1000 Mankai no Kiss
  • Maria – Good bye Good day
  • MiChi – ONE
  • Miliyah Kato×Shota Shimizu – BELIEVE
  • Minori Chihara – KEY FOR LIFE
  • Minori Chihara – Planet patrol
  • MIYAVI vs. KREVA – STRONG
  • Momoi Haruko – Yoake no Samba
  • Natsuko Aso – Eureka Baby
  • Porno Graffitti – EXIT
  • RO-KYU-BU! – SHOOT!
  • S/mileage – Koi no Booing Buu!
  • S/mileage – Uchouten LOVE
  • S/mileage – Tachiagirl
  • Safarii – BAD DAY
  • School Food Punishment – RPG
  • Stereopony – Tatoeba Utaekunattara
  • Tohoshinki – Winter
  • Tsuki Amano – Ringo no Ki
  • YuiKaori – Shooting☆Smile

The 5 that are bad but not bad enough!

Rounding out before the top 10 eh?  YUP!  Something about Yousei Teikoku’s cover for Kuusou Mesorogi just kind of comes off as uninspired and reminds me of some of their other singles to be honest…plus it’s monochrome which is kind putting salt on a wound.  AYUSE KOZUE’s Cry For You/Kimi no Sei ~u knocked my heart~ also feels randomly plain but she kind of looks like a clown with all the blush on her face LOL.  When a dog seems to be more important than the artist…then it’s just bad news like in the case of Namie’s Sit!Stay!Wait!Down!/Love Story what was she thinking of putting a big ass dog on there that looked like he/she was going to nom on her XD.  Chihiro Onitsuka’s Aoi Tori does have the right thing going but damn she looked uber pale and the major amount of lipstick kind of looked ugly, clownish like AYUSE’s overdose on blush!  Though it isn’t cheap looking like Sayaka Kitahara’s Kanari Junjou cover where it’s just ridiculously awkward.  I mean crappy background and posing next to your anime half is just unusual…sorry but ewwww!

10. Lia – Kimi ga Hitori Nanka ja Nai yo/Song of Life

Nothing is quite poor as your cover being a shot of you singing in the studio.  I mean granted in recent times, Lia’s singles have been shown off with anime characters which is not surprising at the least.  Still, this is just disappointing and she could’ve put more effort into having a cover and not a lame ass shot of her in the studio!

9. Tomato n’ Pine – Jingle Girl Joui Jidai

Christmas covers are rarely good so it’s no surprise that I’d see at least one make it on the bottom this year.  First, those ugly clothes just do not work (well maybe with the expection of the girl in red) but polka dots and YELLOW?!? yeesh.  Add in that they must’ve went to Chuck Testa for those reindeers and it’s just kind of icky!

8. Sukima Switch – Hare Tokidoki Kumori

I’m kind of confused by Sukima’s cover for Hare Tokidoki Kumori.  I mean I know it’s a sign and such but the airplace symbol, then the words “let’s stay close” than two people walking AND THEN left or right between happy and miserable and it’s kind of like WTF.  Kind of just loses its meaning and it’s kind of too plain for me.

7. 4minute – HEART TO HEART

Once again proving that sometimes monochrome just doesn’t work with covers as in the case of 4minute’s HEART TO HEART.  Plus the banner kind of bothers me here…being soooo REEEED…Also I can’t believe that on a cover that’s monochrome and red…one of the girls wears pink…wth is this? XD

6. alan×Kei Fukui – Ai wa Chikara

Uh-huh….there’s a couple of these kind of covers (singles and albums) and I’m just like where’s the originality here?  Ai wa Chikara being a powerful and dramatic opera song has a really poor ass cover!  The sunset is pretty, but c’mon this is weak even for her!  C’mon, a little more effort please!

5. lecca – Right Direction

Seriously?!? Why would there ever be a girl in a ballerina outfit running and hopping down a beach?  Just doesn’t make sense and well…using white kids in your covers is already embarassing as it is >.>  This is just not a good cover!

4. °C-ute – Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko

There’s just seems to be too much white for °C-ute’s cover Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko.  It doesn’t help they put the signs in front of their bodies to makes us think they’re actually naked…but in reality they have white dresses on which kind of blends into the background.  H!P just couldn’t make this cover interesting and it kind of is weak all around.

3. Crystal Kay – Superman

Let’s be honest, what was the first thing you noticed?  The hideous looking turtleneck, the super pink background or the fact that Kuri is showing major cameltoe?  If it’s all three then wow you sure are really good at this.  Still all those things are really what makes this cover pretty embarassing…just all kinds of wrong XD

2. Miyu Kasegi – Nihon wa Hitotsu Chikyuu mo Hitotsu

Enka covers are usually pretty poor when compared to the more mainstream artists but Miyu’s is confusing and ugly.  The text used for the title and such are kind of bizarre and oddly sticks out from the cover.  The second is the fact that Miyu looks kind of weird looking on the cover…face…pose…everything…just odd.  Last but not least is whatever is on the bottom…I see a guy’s face on the bottom right, a dog in the middle, and something/someone sittin with legs crossed…confused and kind of disturbed actually. Blech!

1. Yuya Matsushita – SUPER DRIVE

I think it was fitting to put Yuya’s cover for SUPER DRIVE since it went from worse to terrible.  I mean all of his singles prior to it have been just purely head shots of him…yeah not original…but then all of a sudden we get this bomber of a cover and it’s like REALLY?!?  Making it even more sillier is that he put the website URL ON THE FRONT…what is this travesty?!?  UGH, still isn’t as terrible as Yuzu’s disturbing cover…but this is BAAAAD

 

NEXT TIME:  SINGLES OVERALL…YOU KNOW, THE BIG CAHONEYS!!!