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Best and Worst of 2012: Mini-Albums April 15, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 7:53 am

Yeah, this has been forever in the making so I feel like I should move my ass and finish up these posts eh?

BEST MINI-ALBUM SONG!

  • Shoko Nakagawa – Tokimeki☆Dreamer (nsum ~Nakagawa Shoko ga Utatte Mita!~)

canyouhearmesangawakiyumemiru

So here we have the mini-album songs that I liked but didn’t make the top 2, but overall there wasn’t a lot of choices this year.  Just Friends (Can you hear me?) from Kie was a surprisingly fun song to hear from her and is one of her best songs yet!  palm love (Sang) by Eri Takenaka was a definite chill and unique experience, especially with how light and pretty Eri sounded and finally Loveless (Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana) from Asriel definitely was the best the duo released this year with perfect vocals and soft arrangement.

2. Buono! – Mirai Drive (SHERBET)

sherbet

Buono! released another surprisingly good song in Mirai Drive this year which is a bit lighter but also one of the more pleasant songs as well!  I guess it helped that it had acoustic guitar and all three of the ladies sound good here.  Yeah this was just a great song!

1. D – Like a Black Cat ~Mujitsu no Tsumi~ (Namonaki Mori no Yumegatari)

namonakinoyume

Strangely enough, I felt like D’s song, Like a Black Cat was definitely the best of the mini songs here.  It was dark and gothic and brought back the things I love about D (especially ASAGI).  There’s a lot to this song that really worked out so I was happy with my decision!

WORST MINI-ALBUM SONGS

loveyunchiamoyamo

You know, like I said there wasn’t a whole lot of songs this year to really deal with but there were some bad ones.  Melody (LOVE) isn’t totally bad persay, but the song didn’t really make me feel anything for it.  Guruguru* (Yun*chi) would’ve been OK if there wasn’t so much dubstep thrown in alongside Yun*chi’s YUKI-like vocals. AMOYAMO’s theme song from the A☆M☆O☆Y★A★M★O mini-album was pretty damn bad, especially the hook of it is mostly spelling the song out too..yeah that was not a smart move!

2. GO GO Summer! 2012 (KARA Collection)

karacollection

KARA really didn’t need to do what they did to GO GO Summer!, but they did with this being included on KARA Collection.  GO GO Summer! is already a great JPN KARA song, but seeing it retouched and given another slab of synths did not work this time around.  Just drove me nuts!

1. Asriel – Souyoku Fuuga (Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana)

awakiyumemiru

Asriel knows how to do good songs, but that’s covered with so many bad songs that it’s really strange.  Souyoku Fuuga is definitely the worst they put out this year.  I mean KOKOMI shouldn’t be singing like the banshee she was in this song TBH…Yeah it was bad!

BEST ART COVERS!

youmakemebluenamonakinoyumesopranorain

Covers this year have been pretty good for the most part.  Yukino’s You make me blue is such a pretty shot of her in front of some mountains (if they’re photoshopped, then it’s pretty damn good lol).  Namonaki Mori no Yumegatari cover is quite symbol heavy with the deer and the black/white of them showing light and darkness.  I loved that cover though.  Soprano Rain feels like artwork with SAWA standing in front of it and it kind of worked for her lol.  Very colorful yet simple lol.

2. Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SEAPARADISE no Hihou

seaparadisenohihou

This kind of fits in with “Shiny tale”, but SEAPARADISE no Hihou had a bit more going on with the showing the members in their ever-changing outfits on a pirate shit!  Still very colorful!

1. Asriel – Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana

awakiyumemiru

Finally I give some positive to Asriel, they always have the most elaborate and beautifully drawn artworks for their mini-albums and Awaki Yumemiru’s is no exception.  Very pretty and innocent looking and just kind of suits with the many other covers they have!

WORST ART COVERS

sangloveyunchi

The thing about Sang and LOVE that found themselves here was the fact that they’re just close-up shots of them and neither really do much otherwise 😄.  Yun*chi is just a bit plain though its kind of weird that she and her mirrored image kind of creates a lip xD…weird xD

2. Tommy february6 / Tommy heavenly6 – HALLOWEEN ADDICTION

halloweenaddiction

I think the duo covers for Tomoko’s HALLOWEEN ADDICTION were pretty bad, mostly because they look so plain and while the February version has a beige color, both are still kind of meh just from not having to much on it.

1. MIYAVI – SAMURAI SESSIONS vol. 1

samuraisessions

MIYAVI took the crown of worst cover of the year…both covers for SAMURAI SESSIONS were a bit too odd looking, but this with the hair in front of his face just made him look psycho XD.  Doesn’t help the text is bad for the album title LOL

BEST MINI-ALBUM OVERALL!

canyouhearmeagainquinamonakinoyume

2. MIYAVI – SAMURAI SESSIONS vol. 1

samuraisessions

Even though the covers are bad, the experimentation MIYAVI did was splendid!  SAMURAI SESSIONS vol. 1 was a great thing for MIYAVI to have especially with having the singles prior included as well.  I love that the songs were all fresh and totally different…I hope there’s a second one in the future because this was a great mini!

1. Yukino – You make me blue

youmakemeblue

HOWEVER, if there was one artist that blew me away it was new artist Yukino and her debut mini-album, You make me blue.  She sounds AMAZING on the mini and her style was completely refreshing from the pop stantards Japan is slowly fading into.  It was a bit jazzy, but also bright pop too…it was just such a sweet surprise!

WORST MINI-ALBUMS OVERALL!!!

halloweenaddictionkaracollectionsopranorain

Sooo there’s really not a lot of TERRIBLE albums but they were on the lower side of the spectrum.  HALLOWEEN ADDICTION by both Tommys has 3 great songs BUT the killer fact is the those three songs are split into sections (the older songs never had that treatment).  Yeah it just wasn’t very well done or very smart.  KARA’s KARA Collection isn’t bad either, but none of the songs really stood out (plus GG! Summer 2012 was horrendous).  Soprano Rain by SAWA was a bit meh and a bit shaky but it’s because SAWA switched labels.

2. NIKIIE – CHROMATOGRAPHY

chromatography

NIKIIE might have impressed me with “Everytime” but CHROMATOGRAPHY was quite unimpressive overall and seemed like dropouts from her first mini-album which was pretty depressing.  Yeah I mean one REALLY good song and I was just like over it 😄

1. Yun*chi – Yun*chi

yunchi

When I think of my least favorite mini-album of the year it was between NIKIIE and Yun*chi, but NIKIIE was slightly better because her vocals are so much better than Yun*chi’s!  Her self-titled debut was very lackluster and the only good song was the promo track Reverb*.  Yeah the other songs were like zzzzzzzz…

NEXT TIME: ALBUM SONGS

 

Best and Worst of 2012: Best Single Overall!!!! (and worst…) January 14, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 10:47 am

And here we are, the best and worst singles overall this year!  Let’s kick things off with the top!

Best

  • Ayaka Hirahara – NOT A LOVE SONG
  • Daichi Miura – Right Now/Voice
  • DiVA – Lost the way
  • Dream Morning Musume – Shining Butterfly
  • Eri Kitamura – Destiny
  • Fairies – Beat Generation/No More Distance
  • faylan – Dead END/Soukyuu no Hikari
  • JASMINE – Best Partner
  • Kavka Shishido – Aisuru Kakugo
  • Kie Kitano – Darl:orz
  • MiChi – TOKYO NIGHT
  • Miliyah Kato – HEART BEAT
  • miwa – Kataomoi
  • Momoiro Clover Z – Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”
  • PASSPO☆ – WING
  • Piko – Make My Day!
  • Satsuki – FATE/INSIDE
  • Sayaka Kitahara – Natsu ga Yattekuru
  • Stereopony – stand by me
  • Tohoshinki – ANDROID
  • Up Up Girls (Kari) – Barebare I LOVE YOU
  • Vanilla Beans – Choco Mint Flavor Time

Awwww, just that close to the 10 y’know?

ladymind7thtriggerstrengthsynchrogazertakaramono

Lots of great singles this year and a lot more impressed as well when compared to last years.  At the 15th spot, Nami Tamaki’s return to music under a new label was a bit risky but she pulled off LADY MIND in such great colors and got me to pay attention to her again.  UVERworld’s 7th Trigger was also a really powerful single from this group.  All three tracks were surprisingly strong and even better since all three tracks made their album in some form.  I knew Kou Shibasaki was capable of impressing me since she usually does that at least once an album era and this year, that single would be Strength.  Especially since the leading track is fun and the B-side is a pretty ballad. Even though she had the best A-side this year in my opinion, Nana Mizuki’s single for Synchrogazer was also pretty good and even the B-side I wasn’t interested in had grown on me this year so it really grew!  Takaramono by Marina Kawano is probably one of the most surprising for me because she still is a new artist and all, but she stepped up to the plate with this single and was very impressed.

10. Leo Ieiri – Shine

shine

I could say all of Leo’s single could’ve made this list, but with Shine, Leo actually had three very strong songs.  The leading track is quite nostalgic, but really showcases her powrful vocals as well as in Hello.  As for Colorful, she definitely went the playful and fun route with it and still stands out strong amongst her current discography.

9. yanaginagi – Laterality

laterality

Another surprise to me on this list (well not really) but yanaginagi has had a really solid year in releases so like Leo, any of her three singles could’ve been in this place.  However, I thought Laterality really did the best showcasing Nagi’s vocals and style.  First off the lead song is upbeat and really pushed Nagi to the limit and she pulled it off very well.  Then there’s Shinjitsu no Hane and link which had an experimentive sound and that also worked to her advantage.  What a great single this was for her!

8. Kaya – SALOME

salome

I have to say that, it’s shocking to see me enjoy a Kaya single fully like I did with SALOME (well mostly).  Minus the prologue/epilogue thing,  SALOME was a great way to bring back Kaya’s dark-trance with deep vocals sound that I just LOOOOVE in this single.  Then there’s Babylon which is pretty unique in the way that it sounds like circus music, but also quite mysterious.  Even with the two other songs on there, it still managed to get into the top 10!

7. MIYAVI vs YUKSEK – DAY 1

day1

I would have never have guessed that MIYAVI would release this electro-rock track as the second of his collaboration era and DAY 1 is so progressive and edgy and relaly true to MIYAVI and the updated take on FUTURISTIC LOVE was not too shappy as well adding more knick-knacks for greater effect!  Then there’s the live versions of songs…nothing could go wrong there…this was definitely strong for MIYAVI and I loved it a lot!

6. Maon Kurosaki – HELL:ium

hellium

I have found myself loving Maon as she continued her career and even though she slumped once, she had a lot of great stuff including this single HELL:ium.  If you really love rock songs that mixes a little bit of the anison in, then both Nari Hibita Kodou no Naka de, Boku wa Seijaku wo Kiku and I’m still breathing… are powerful and epic in the terms for Maon.  As for Just believe., she knows also how to work a ballad and this altogether, made my #6 choice!

5. Crystal Kay – Delicious na Kinyoubi/Haru Arashi

deliciousnakinyoubi

When Kuri switched labels, I was curious to see how her music would change and by god was it awesome and I feel like the pinnacle of that is with Delicious na Kinyoubi and Haru Arashi.  Both are upbeat, synth heavy, but fun to listen to.  Luckily it was just those two songs so it was just right with me!

4. Namie Amuro – Go Round/YEAH-OH

goround

Even though this isn’t better than last year’s pick, I feel like Go Round and YEAH-OH were pretty damn good.  I did prefer the latter because it flowed a lot more smoother and left a much bigger mark, but Go Round is pretty good…though I would totally avoid the English versions…talk about redundant!

3. Perfume – Spending all my time

spendingallmytime

Even though this single did split the fandom quite a bit, I really loved Spending all my time even if it’s essentially a very English-fied sounding track with a whole lot of repeition but that’s where the B-sides kick in.  Point took a more drum n’ bass style and mixes cute with Nakata’s genius for this bright and fluttery track.  Hurly Burly on the hand was more of what we’ve gotten accustomed to, but that’s a good thing and it’s also quite good…awesome single!

2. Nami Tamaki – PARADISE

paradise

Yeah it could be my bias talking, but I really loved PARADISE as a whole more so than the other single Nami released this year.  Considering the single is produced by the same two people of “LADY MIND”, I thought it was genius!  That being said, the main track and COLORS exceeded much more than her last single together…I was impressed a lot, and this single brought my crazy fandom back in!

1. KOKIA – New Day, New Life

newdaynewlife

I’m sure most of you are suprised about this choice, but this single was a bright light in a dark year for KOKIA because all the other singles released this year, were bad and boooooring, but New Day, New Life was like an antithesis of those singles.  It’s bright and sung beautifully by KOKIA who is no stranger to that and then when life ~Seimei no Hibiki~ kicks up, things go in a more frantic and epic sound which I love even MORE than normal and she did that amazingly!  It’s my favorite single of the year for sure!

Worst

  • Aimer – Yuki no Furu Machi/Fuyu no Diamond
  • Aki Misato – Ai no Sei de Nemurenai
  • Aki Toyosaki – Shirotsumekusa
  • angela – THE LIGHTS OF HEROES
  • Annabel – anamnesis
  • chatmonchy – Thermae Roman
  • Dream5 – Kirakira Every day
  • faylan – WHITE justice
  • FLOWER – forget-me-not ~Wasurenagusa~
  • girl next door – all my life
  • JUJU – sign
  • Kaya – Vampire Requiem
  • KOKIA – Memorial days
  • KOTOKO – Restart
  • Miliyah Kato – AIAIAI
  • moumoon – Wild Child
  • Plastic Tree – Shion
  • Sakanaction – Boku to Hana
  • Sakura Gakuin – WONDERFUL JOURNEY
  • SCANDAL – Pin Heel Surfer
  • SDN48 – Makeoshimi Congratulation
  • SID – Nokoriga
  • Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Shounen wa Uso wo Tsuke!

At least they’re not on the 10!

imawoikirumemorieshimitsuselfproducersweetoxic

I was surprised with the amount of singles I just didn’t like this year…I don’t remember having this much last year 0.o  Starting things off, I chose DOES’ Ima wo Ikiru and Rola’s Memories because they both had lackluster songs and that was it (well Rola scored higher, because that at least had an instrumental).  With Juliet’s Himitsu ~Kimi no Soba ni Iru Tame ni~ It was just a forgettable single because both tracks were reminescent to their previous works.  Minori Chihara’s SELF PRODUCER might have had one good song on it, but the rest of the single (which is three tracks) were total borefests.  Last but not least, SuG’s single for sweeToxic was bad had it not been for their touching up of “LOVE SCREAM PARTY”.  Otherwise…it was quite poor.

10. Anna Tsuchiya – Voyagers

voyagers

Topping the list at #10, Voyagers by Anna Tsuchiya is a good way to start this list.  I felt like the song was pretty damn weak for a Kamen Rider theme and definitely makes her previous one like like a solid winner (even though that wasn’t all that great either).  What’s worse though was that the single looked like a mess and even looked lazy.  I mean one edition had a live version of IS THIS LOVE?. while the other had an orchestrated version of Switch On! and that had 0 vocals.  Tack on a mega-mix that really didn’t make sense in the long run and you get this single…

9. Fairies – Tweet Dream/Sparkle

tweetdream

Oh Fairies, you really need to continue to do things correctly, not veer off the road and throw an absurd amount of auto-tune into your sound as such is the case of Tweet Dream which is made worse by the fact that it’s repetitive and annoying as well.  Sparkle has the auto-tune going as well and while it’s not as terribad as it’s sister A-side, it was still something that was hard to take in.

8. Maon Kurosaki – reimei

reimei

I honestly don’t know why Maon went in the direction she did after the amazing “HELL:ium” single but reimei is such a contrast from exciting to mind-numbingly cheap and bland which shows that she can release something so great, but now shows she could release something poor.  As for Hiyoku -Contrast with you-, she tries to come back, but she ended up flat with a very sluggish ballad despite having such soothing vocals…it was just a boring melody.  Hopefully she doesn’t pull this again!

7. Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Shiny tale

shinytale

One of the more depressing releases, Shiny tale at first was at the top of the list.  Luckily, the song that I was missing was found and the rating went up quite a bit.  The lead track and Capsule were rather horrid songs to listen to but without Pirates of Emerald, this single would’ve been the WORST of the year!

6. ikimono-gakari – Kaze ga Fuiteiru

kazegafuiteiru

I wasn’t too thrilled with ikimono-gakari’s music this year and it reached a boiling point with they Olympics theme, Kaze ga Fuiteiru.  You think I wouldn’t be too harsh, but this song was too boring and plain and TOO LONG for its own good…it seriously felt like it was dragging the entire time…plus there was no B-side which made the single even more ridiculous to me.

5. supercell – Kokuhaku/Bokura no Ashiato

kokuhakusupercell

I love supercell, I really do, but ever since ryo replaced Nagi with Koeda, I just haven’t been feeling the same about him.  I think the lowest point came in the form of this single and it really is mostly Koeda’s voice that turns me off.  Kokuhaku and Bokura no Ashiato had potential to be good, but I couldn’t stand listening to the single much longer because of the lead.  Kare is strangely enough passable, but it didn’t save the single from getting onto this list.

4. KOKIA – Yume Oibito

yumeoibito

Yeah a bad KOKIA single huh?  I really don’t know why she released this as a single, but this song is pretty boring with the typical ballad-formula that not even the pretty vocals from KOKIA.  You know what’s worse, they toned it down even FURTHER by giving Yume Oibito a seperate piano version which is even MORE sleep-inducing…Yeah, this was just an extremely boring single lol.

3. AKB48 – Eien Pressure

eienpressure

Janken single is most of the reason why I don’t like Eien Pressure but the rest of the single is just handled badly.  First AKB’s Totteoki Christmas is pretty boring of a Xmas song and the Theater release of Watashitachi no Reason is literally the only good thing on the single.  HOWEVER AKB did something pretty poorly and that was getting the other ___48 groups together and doing a song which brought me to loathe it because I would rather have an AKB single BE just only AKB.

2. Model Girls – ROCK STAR

rockstar

This is probably the worst debut I’ve heard ever since I started reviewing the site.  ROCK STAR is just about as lazy as the name of the group is.  It’s like taking the worst things that I don’t like in a song and collide it together.  TIGER LILY is even worse if you can imagine that at all.  LET ME LET ME is a little light on the single, but those vocals were pretty terrible to listen to.  Yeah this was quite embarassing to be honest x.x

1. Yui Sakakibara / Yui Ogura – Manatsu no Cielo/Samurai Girl

manatsunocielo

Worst single of the year though belongs to these two for putting such a ear-cringing single together.  Sakakibara’s Manatsu no Cielo is back to the loathsome high pitch singing I’ve been listening to for a long time while Ogura’s Samurai Girl was even worse with very squeaky vocals and a lame arrangement…together, this sing was just not at all a good experience (or review for that matter).  Still worst single of the year!

 

 

NEXT TIME…MINIs!!!!

 

Best and Worst of 2012: Beautiful, Beautiful Art Covers…and Uglys too #oop XD January 9, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 3:45 am

There were quite a lot of covers this year so let’s just dive in before I get bored of typing this one out!

Best

  • AFTERSCHOOL – Rambling girls/Because of you
  • angela – KINGS
  • KOKIA – New Day, New Life
  • Kylee – Mirai
  • May’n – Chase the world
  • Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Shiny tale
  • Momoiro Clover Z – Otome Sensou
  • Shoko Nakagawa – Horoscope
  • SID – V.I.P
  • Sukima Switch – Eureka

So close to making the top 10!

kokuhakuhikariwokasanetevidromoyoualwaystripinnocentofd

I’ve noticed that the first four mentioned: Angela Aki’s Kokuhaku, KOKIA’s Hikari wo Kasanete, yanaginagi’s Vidro Moyou, and Kana Nishino’s Always kind of has this simplistic yet beautiful concept.  Angela’s with the paper flying around but she’s playing her piano, KOKIA’s being more suble with the light shining in that desolate room she’s sitting in, Nagi’s being a bit more pattern-friendsly and classy and Kanayan’s with the flowery field and bright cover.  As for Larval Stage Planning’s Trip -innocent of D-, I love the wings and the whole chessboard look to it. 

10. MiChi – TOKYO NIGHT

tokyonight

Starting the top 10, we have MiChi’s cover of TOKYO NIGHT and I really liked the all black/night cover with the Tokyo Tower being lit up even with the blur effect on high.  I do question MiChi’s fashion sense but I still like the cover a lot!

9. Berryz Koubou – Be Genki <Naseba Naru!>

begenki

I think of all the covers from H!P this year, I thought this one from the Berryz was quite energetic and kind of has this futuristic badassery.  Plus the girls have their colors with those laser beam-ish attacks…it’s pretty awesome!

8. GACKT – HAKURO

hakuro

I know this cover is kind of like another of GACKT’s covers, but I really like the dark tone with GACKT looking up at an eclipse with rose petals raining down while he’s sitting on a throne.  Pretty simple cover but quite effective for the song!

7. Yousei Teikoku – filament

filament

I guess the recurring theme for me is dark covers…Yousei’s single cover for filament was a really cool looking cover from the lady (Yui?) being suspended like she’s in a web in a forested area is kind of freaky…but cool at the same time.  Creepy cover but it’s a great cover for the duo!

6. ALI PROJECT – Kyomu Densen

kyomudensen

I guess this is what happens when you escape from the web…you fall to the ground in a cemetary and looking like a zombie it really worked for ALIPRO.  I’m always impressed with how much effort they put into the covers and this was nature-y and creepy!  Lovin’ it!

5. faylan – WHITE justice

whitejustice

Another artist that I’m usually impressed with the art covers, faylan’s cover for WHITE justice is kind of cool…a little simple with her pose but I love the spaceship with a blown out area with a clear view of Earth behing her and the blue space.  Such a wondrous cover though lol.

4. Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SKY HEAVEN

skyheaven

There’s something about the whole storybook-like atmosphere I get with SKY HEAVEN that I thought was so charming.  Plus I think it has a little nod to the whole Jack and the Beanstalk going…Cute and nicely drawn in a way…and the gold border is cute too lol.

3. Momoiro Clover Z – Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”

mugennoai

There’s nothing wrong with being space pirate and MomocloZ’ cover for Mugen no Ai is nothing short of epicness!  It’s just cool and flashy and seeing Kanako leading the group is really cool though strange seeing Reni being faded out…still this cover is bangin’!

2. Mika Nakashima – Hatsukoi

hatsukoi

Once again, simplicity won me over with Mika’s Hatsukoi.  I love the whole floating in space  with stars all around and sitting with a bicycle is sweet, yet classy.  I approve of this cover a lot!

1. HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA – HALLOWEEN PARTY

halloweenparty

C’mon, I think we all know I was going to choose this because of all the costumes and Halloween goodness this cover has.  Everyone is dressed as a different thing like Kanon being a cross fusion of Little Red Riding Hood/Big Bad Wolf and RINA as a bunny, and etc. etc.  I just really loved this cover and the castle behind then fit the subject at hand too…Yeah this was my favorite cover of the year!

WORST

  • ABCHO – Me wo Tojite Gyuushiyou
  • AKB48 – Gingham Check
  • Aki Toyosaki – music
  • Ayahi Takasaki – Meteor Light
  • Ayaka Hirahara – NOT A LOVE SONG
  • chatmonchy – Thermae Roman
  • ClariS – Naishou no Hanashi
  • Crystal Kay – Delicious na Kinyoubi/Haru Arashi
  • Eiko Shimamiya – Onkalo
  • EVANPONY – Just rock with me
  • girl next door – all my life
  • Hitomi Shimatani – Shiawase Hakoberu You ni
  • ikimono-gakari – Itsudatte Bokura wa
  • JUJU – sign
  • Juliet – “Daisuki”
  • Kana Nishino – SAKURA, I love you?
  • Kaori Mochida – Megumi/Kanashii Toki mo Ureshii Toki mo
  • Kaori Mochida – Utsukushiki Urawashiki Hito
  • Kie Kitano – Darl:orz
  • Kou Shibasaki – Strength
  • Kyarypamyupamyu – Tsukema Tsukeru
  • Kyarypamyupamyu – Fashion Monster
  • Leo Ieiri – Sabrina
  • Maika – Yada yo…
  • Mami Kawada – Borderland
  • Miliyah Kato – LOVERS II feat. Wakadanna
  • Minami Kizuki – Ai Tsumugi/Shiawase no Tane
  • MISIA – Koi wa Owaranai Zutto
  • misono / Me – Maialino!/”…?” no Tsuzuki ~Eien Nante Nai…Itsuka Owari ga Aru Keredo~
  • moumoon – “Love is Everywhere”
  • NEWS – Chankapana
  • Not yet – Suika BABY
  • Piko – Make my day!
  • Plastic Tree – Shion
  • PUFFY – Tomodachi no Wao!
  • StylipS – MIRACLE RUSH
  • Sukima Switch – Last Scene
  • Suneohair – slow dance
  • Tohoshinki – STILL
  • UVERworld – THE OVER
  • Vanilla Beans – Non-Section
  • Versailles – ROSE
  • YUKI – Watashi no Negaigoto

Close to the worst!

chocomintflavortimememorieskuchizukeharuutarockclimbers

So many bad covers this year!!!  Starting with Vanilla Beans’ Choco Mint Flavor Time, the cover is quite bland for them, plus with them singing into Baskin Robbins ice creams and wearing waffle cone dresses is just quite blah blah.  The blandness continued with Rola and her cover for Memories, which is just too place with her sitting on a platform…nothing else really.  The whole rain on a window shtick on the Kuchizuke cover from Plastic Tree is a bit meh, but their singles covers this year have been weird to say the least.  I’m sorry Kiyoe, but the cover for Haru Uta does not make exactly look any good to be honest.  For FLOW’s Rock Climbers the cover is really plain…and kind of extremely cheap to be honest.

10. Kana Nishino – GO FOR IT!!

goforit

I mean Kanayan did have some rather eh covers this year, but GO FOR IT!! was a bit tragic.  I mean the neon colors and quote-on-quote balloons were one thing.  Kana looking a little idol-ish on the cover, the rabbit mascot and the title writing is about as meh as it gets.  I just kind of gave up on it, even if the song is good lol.  This cover was just yikes.

9. angela – THE LIGHTS OF HEROES

thelightsofheroes

Something about the single looks really cheap and the whole foreground to background backdrop remind me of “Alternative” but was because the colors just didn’t work together…plus what is up with KATSU’s outfit…it looked a bit out of place next to atsuko’s outfit >.<

8. Model Girls – ROCK STAR

rockstar

Nothing says cheap like Model Girls’ cover for their debut, ROCK STAR.  It might be good for the ladies as they are used to the camera shots and all, but the whole latex outfit and color-coded seperation did clash with the backdrop and while it might help seperating the girls apart (like Momusu and MomocloZ) but this doesn’t seem like it works here for me.  BTW, the shoes don’t match the outfits >.> yeah…

7. Crystal Kay – Forever

forever

Yeah, Kuri didn’t have great single covers but I actually couldn’t guess why she only put her legs for the Forever cover.  Legs only covers are kind of meh and the angle of the shot plus her constipated pose left me rather in a laughable position.  I just can’t with this cover to be honest lol.

6. Chara – Alterna Girlfriend

alternagirlfriend

You know it’s just a little strange when you’re wearing a dress made of plastic masks.  I mean Chara is being a bit more creative with her covers since returing to a major label, but this was just a little too out there for me and it looks so awkward looknig at it lol

5. Ayaka Hirahara – Smile Smile

smilesmile

Oh Ayaka another boring cover this year?  Smile Smile is just plain to me and while she smiles and has a cute hat of flowers, it still didn’t make up for everything else that was plain and just yawn-worthy.

4. POLYSICS – Everybody Say No

everybodysayno

Huh…a drumkit with muscles?  I really don’t know where this idea came from but that’s kind of freaky and then to see the design being repeated across the cover is just putting salt on the wound.  Yeah, this is kind of a bad choice.

3. Minori Chihara – SELF PRODUCER

selfproducer

SO MANY SPARKLESSSS…lord Minorin, I enjoy you and all, but this cover seemed so strange for her and her as a businesswoman sitting on purple furniture…what is she playing at exactly?  Icky!!!

2. Miliyah Kato – AIAIAI

aiaiai

SOOO MUCH EYESHADOW…Miliyah I don’t want you looking like you had a rough night on the streets of Chicago, please learn some form of makeup prevention lol….yikes!

1. Morning Musume – Pyocopyoco Ultra

pyocopyocoultra2

We all knew this was coming!  Momusu took childish to a very horrifying level with the cover of Pyocopyoco Ultra.  While I do like the one I used for the review, the rest of them were pretty much a travesty.  The older members looked rather uncomfortable with the whole idea and the COSTUMES…lord have mercy they had to wear chocobo skins for this…it really was bad and it carried into its PV…oh god was it the worst of the year!

 

NEXT: SINGLES OVERALL…THE BIG SHI-BANG!

 

Best and Worst of 2012: B-sides…DEM COUPLINGS!!! January 5, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 5:51 am

This year in B-sides there were quite a bunch of good ones this year and there were also a lot of bad ones…kind of evened out for the most part…so let’s start it!

Best

  • 2PM – Kimi ga Ireba (Beautiful)
  • access – Beyond the Second-D. (Wild Butterfly)
  • ALTIMA – -Indefinitely- (I’ll believe)
  • angela – THE DARK (KINGS)
  • °C-ute – Saikou Music (Aitai Aitai Aitai na)
  • Ceui – Amorossia (Kaze no Naka no Primrose)
  • D – Koori no Bohyou (Danzai no Gunner)
  • DiVA – Kanashimi no Mirage (Lost the way)
  • GRANRODEO – Mesmerize (Can Do)
  • Mami Kawada – Angel // resident of the nightmare (Borderland)
  • Marina Kawano – a long long letter (Takaramono)
  • Mayu Watanabe – Saba no Kanzume (Synchro Tokimeki)
  • Momoiro Clover Z – LOST CHILD (Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”)
  • Momoiro Clover Z – Wee-Tee-Wee-Tee (Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi yo)
  • Nana Mizuki – Risouron (Synchrogazer)
  • PASSPO☆ – RUIN (Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru)
  • SCANDAL – Welcome home (Taiyou Scandalous)
  • StylipS – Honey Groove (MIRACLE RUSH)
  • StylipS – Fragile Crazy (Choose me♡Darling)
  • Up Up Girls (Kari) – Cyalume (Mecha Kyun♡Summer (‘▽`)ノ)
  • UVERworld – Barbell ~Koutei no Atarashii Fuku ver.~ (7th Trigger)
  • Vanilla Beans – Himitsu (Non-Section)
  • You Kikkawa – 17sai (Koko Kara Hajimarunda!)
  • Yousei Teikoku – Zetsubou plantation (filament)
  • YUI – If you (fight)
  • Yuya Matsushita – Dream on dreamer (Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~)
  • Zwei – MONSTER (Kakuchou Place)

The 5 that missed out!

karikeiyakunocindereallatakaramonokyomudensengivemefivestrength

Like I said above, B-sides have been mostly good this year!  The first song to talk about, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku’s Houkago Getobako Rock ‘n’ Roll MX (Karikeiyaku no Cinderella) is a really unique idol song for being a little more metal heavy and random of sorts…It was pretty awesome!  I’m surprised but Marina Kawano’s February March (Takaramono) was also an interesting song for me as well since Marina’s vocals were pretty and bright and the song was just a happy-go-lucky tune!  ALIPRO might not have had a busy year in comparison to previous ones but Yomi no Tasogare no, Utsurou Naru Aoki Hitomi no. (Kyomu Densen) was really dark and powerful, something I haven’t seen from the duo in a long while…one of their best B-sides!  Me and AKB48 never really see eye to eye on songs, but as a Theater Edition release they surprised me with an extremely nice ballad in Jung ya Freud no Baai (GIVE ME FIVE!).  I don’t remember exactly who was involved, but I liked this!  Last, but not least there was another ballad I loved and that was Kou Shibasaki’s Mou, Inai yo (Strength).  Very soothing to the ears and Kou just sounds lovely in it!

10. SHOW – GOING DOWN (MAGIC)

magic

Beginning the top 10, I thought it would be nice to kick things off with an upbeat track in GOING DOWN…which was 10 times better than the leading track.  I love his upbeat songs and I think this was the best one he did.  It’s just cool and catchy and really suits him (though dance tracks are his strong points)! 

9. Kana Nishino – SUMMER TIME (GO FOR IT!!)

goforit

Same thing applies when talking about Kanayan’s B-side, SUMMER TIME as well!  I really liked the energy of the song and Kana seems to accels at these songs but somehow doesn’t do this much on albums…That being said, she needs more songs like this leafing her repetoire because I really liked SUMMER TIME.

8. TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Discord (ROAD TO BUDOKAN 2012 ~Bad Flower~)

roadtobudokan

I’m surprsied that a TG’S B-side had impressed me as much as the leading song did this year.  I was also surprised that Discord had a tie-in to the Transformers series…something you don’t see a lot with idol groups….haha.  The song itself is a lot like their other songs…but this was really good and made better knowing the 5-nin are stronger singers too!

7. Eri Kitamura – Shine (Destiny)

destiny

Coming after her first album, I’ve kind of wanted something that was just like “re;story” and it came true with Eri’s B-side Shine.  It was very badass and Eri’s vocals are strong and powerful and fitting for such a track.  Definitely an impressive song!

6. Kie Kitano – It’s all right (Darl:orz)

darlorz

There’s something so cool about Kie’s B-side from Darl:orz with it’s synthpop drive and slight 80’s fixtures.  It’s a really great song and I would’ve never expected that from her because it’s just catchy and fantastic to me!  Great song here!

5. HIMEKA – Kami to Akuma to Tenshi to Watashi (Where I belong)

whereibelong

For having such a long time pass by before HIMEKA reappeared on a new label, Kami to Akuma to Tenshi to Watashi is surprisingly really good and showed off HIMEKA’s power as a vocalist in a VERY good way this year!  It was even stronger with that rockin’ arrangement, it really worked and I loved this song!

4. Berryz Koubou – Loving you Too much (cha cha SING)

chachasing

Berryz just had a really good year this year and they released this B-side (though it was being treated as an A-side), Loving you Too much.  As another Thai cover, this song isn’t as wild and crazy like its A-side, but it’s such a happy song and everyone sounds good (even Risako!).  It’s just such a fun song to listen to and always brightens my mood!  Plus the rapping between Captain/Miyabi is lulzy but charming!

3. RAINBOW – Hello (Gonna Gonna GO!)

gonnagonnago

I would have never expected a K-pop group hitting this high, but Hello is such a great song despite me not having been really interested in the group prior.  It starts off slowly, but gains a lot of momentum once the verses jump in,  It’s a fun song to listen to and hearing all the changes in the track makes it a fun journey…catchy song!

2. Morning Musume – Kanashiki Koi no Melody (Pyocopyoco Ultra)

pyocopyocoultra

If you wanted a primer on the Morning Musume members, this would be the song to go to because you get to hear everyone sing a solo line, back it up with a really cool electro arrangement and you get Kanashiki Koi no Melody!  I’m surprised they didn’t get to promote this as the leading track (good lord was it SOOOO much better than Pyoco).

1. KOKIA – life ~Seimei no Hibiki~ (New Day, New Life)

newdaynewlife

I love KOKIA’s epic songs and life was definitely the B-side of the year just for actually being that.  When KOKIA does these aggressive, but also songs with a life on their own, it really impresses me a lot (like “Fate” and “Road to Glory”.  This fits snuggly with those songs but this has more of that adventurous tone to it….Definitely blew through the other B-sides of the year in one fall swoop!

Worst

There wasn’t that many bad B-sides but they were more than 15 xD let’s check them out!

Only 3 songs didn’t make the 15?

  • Aki Toyosaki – anniversary (music)
  • Kyarypamyupamyu – 100% no Jibun ni (Fashion Monster)
  • StylipS – Session Plan! (STUDY×STUDY)

The 5 almost worst!

thelightsofheroessexyfreesinglejpngivemefivekimienolovesongmanatsunosoundsgood

Yeah not many bad B-sides but there’s still enough! Starting things off, we have angela’s So sweet memories (THE LIGHTS OF HEROES) which is quite bland when compared to their previous works.  It just didn’t have that angela spark besides KATSU…so that’s not good.  Our Love (Sexy, Free, and Single) by SuJu ranks up here as that BOOORING K-pop ballad.  It just wasn’t very good and sounded a lot like their other ballads (which aren’t totally that great either).  I really am starting to dislike AKB and their summer songs and with NEW SHIP (GIVE ME FIVE!), it really came to a head and I really disliked that a LOOOOOOT!  I’m surprised to have a Yuya Matsushita song here, but Virtual World (Kimi e no Love Song ~10nen Saki mo~) had that terrible rapping in it that instantly turned me off from the song.  I just couldn’t believe he would do such a thing and it came out BAAAAD.  Another AKB song?  Yup, Mittsu no Namida (Manatsu no Sounds good!) is incredibly bland and just really doesn’t do much for me, even if the most popular members are there.  Terrible soooong!

10. Perfume – Communication (Spring of Life)

springoflife

I know there isn’t many that don’t like this song, but I JUST CAN’T TAKE THIS ANNOYANCE of a song!  Perfume does cute sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and this is one of those times.  I mean the arrangement doesn’t really go anywhere and the singing is really annoying as well.  I’m just kind of over this song even before the single was released. 

9. Yui Sakakibara – Heart of Mind (Judge of a Life)

judgeofalife

Heart of Mind, Yui’s higher pitch vocals…same reasons as I’ve complained the last couple of years.  Basically, the song I would avoid as a sort-of fan of her stuff.

8. Kana Nishino – Happy Half Year! (Watashitachi)

watashitachi

I just can’t with this song!  It’s so mind-numbingly cheesy and just so pale when compared to many of the other B-sides released this year from Kanayan.  I just disliked this song a lot and loathed that it was chosen for her album!

7. LIL – THIS LOVE (LUCKY STAR)

luckystar

No ucio!  Don’t be covering Maroon 5’s song because it’s a song that probably shouldn’t be covered…plus LIL’s version was gross…why it was added on the album…I don’t know…bleeh

6. Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas – Break Out Your Stained Brain (Just Awake)

justawake

As much as I enjoyed the leading track, Break Out Your Stained Brain was a giant mess in comparison.  I mean the whole DIR EN GREY screamfest was more annoying with auto-tune involved and it just didn’t make much of melodic sense to me…Oh well…>.<

5. Kyarypamyupamyu – Kyary ANAN (Tsukema Tsukeru)

tsukematsukeru

Kind of like with Perfume’s song here, Kyary ANAN is really annoying and the repetitive hooks really just took me out of the song.  I just couldn’t get into it at all and once again questioned why it was on the album ffffff.

4. Super Junior – Way (Opera)

opera

Yeah another SuJu B-side that was even MOOOOORE boring than “Our Love”.  Way was just a borefest from start to finish and I was even starting to get sleepy after the first minute…yeah it was THAT uneventful for them!

3. Model Girls – TIGER LILY (ROCK STAR)

rockstar

Bad singers + too much auto-tune = why I loathed this song…TIGER LILY had no chance to really get anywhere and I just couldn’t get pasy any of it without cringing! 

2. SCANDAL – Cherry Jam (Taiyou Scandalous)

taiyouscandalous

This single would’ve been great if they had not split into two units.  The one I’m talking about is MAMI/TOMOMI because Cherry Jam is a terrible mess and so VERYYYYY uncharacteristic for them both who tried to rap like they were The Beastie Boys.  It was hilariously bad and I couldnt get through it all the way without gagging almost.

1. Berryz Koubou – Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡Taisou (cha cha SING)

chachasing

Of course there had to be one that was worse than all the others this year and it’s the lone B-side from “cha cha SING”.  Why Momoko got a solo track is beyond me and what’s worse is that the song is based around her catchphrase which is annoying and very childish (c’mon Momoko, how old are you???).  This was just SOOOO frustrating and annoying to listen to….gawd *fires missile launcher at the song*.

 

 

THERE YA GO, NEXT TIME, COVER ARTS the + and the -!!!

 

Best and Worst of 2012: A-sides…them leading songs y’know? January 2, 2013

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 2:13 am

This year in A-sides, there seemed to be a lot less impressive songs, but at the same time the good ones were extremely good, so let’s start out with the songs that didn’t make the top 15 T.T

Best

  • 2NE1 – SCREAM
  • AAA – Still Love You
  • AFTERSCHOOL – Rambling girls
  • Ayaka Hirahara – NOT A LOVE SONG
  • Berryz Koubou – WANT!
  • D – Dying message
  • DiVA – Lost the way
  • Dream Morning Musume – Shining Butterfly
  • faylan – Soukyuu no Hikari
  • faylan – Realization
  • FLOW – Rock Climbers
  • FLOWER – Koibito ga Santa Claus
  • Kyarypamyupamyu – CANDY CANDY
  • Leo Ieiri – Sabrina
  • LIL – LUCKY STAR
  • LM.C – Ah Hah!
  • Mano Erina – Song for the DATE
  • miwa – Hikari e
  • Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SKY HEAVEN
  • Momoiro Clover Z – Nippon Egao Hyakkei
  • moumoon – DREAMER DREAMER
  • Nami Tamaki – LADY MIND
  • Namie Amuro – YEAH-OH
  • PASSPO☆ – Next Flight
  • Perfume – Spring of Life
  • S/mileage – Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki.
  • SID – S
  • SPYAIR – 0 GAME
  • Super Junior – Opera
  • U-KISS – Forbidden Love
  • Up Up Girls (Kari) – Barebare I LOVE YOU
  • yanaginagi – Ambivalantidea
  • Yui Sakakibara – Mujuuryoku Aria
  • YuiKaori – Wake Up!!

Now to the songs that barely made the top 10!

lovetensionnewdaynewlifeonetwothreeday1uza

There have been a lot of good A-sides this year for me, but not to the whole crowd it seemed like.  Starting at the top, 4minute’s Love Tension was what the group needed after having somewhat a kind of a slump prior with rereleases, boring stuff and just trying to hard…then this came out and I was so pleased with the sound and energy from the song.  KOKIA is also someone who has had a really bad year it seems with music, but one of the three singles she released together, New Day, New Life, actually turned out really well.  It’s the KOKIA everyone loves and it wasn’t just a boring ass ballad!  The resurgance of Morning Musume came to a high this year with the electro-goodness of One Two Three simply because it was such an important release (being their 50th single and all).  It really stuck to me and this electro-musume is something I’m loving right now!  DAY1 was a rather awesome surprise from MIYAVI because I would have never thought he’d go back to this electro/rock sound, but he worked it and that song is really badass which could be said for the same about UZA from the mother idol group AKB48.  I love this fall singles as they bring in the most wonderful sounds and energy that most of the other singles lack. 

10. Up Up Girls (Kari) – UPPER ROCK

upperrock

You know, considering this group has been releasing like crazy bitches this year, they popped UPPER ROCK out and I was completely surprised and overly happy!  The groups is more known for their rock numbers, but this was heacy electro that had a great party atmosphere along for the ride.  It was a great song from them (and have you seen the choreography for this?  BADASS!!!).

9. moumoon – “Love is Everywhere”

loveiseverywhere

Despite that it does sample a little bit from Martin Solveig’s “Hello”, “Love is Everywhere” was still an amazing moumoon tune with YUKA singing as brightly as she has been for quite a while.  Song is immensely catchy and since most of it is in English makes it easier to connect with!  One of the more fun songs on this list ^_^

8. Berryz Koubou – cha cha SING

chachasing

Kind of like how moumoon’s song turned out, Berryz released a new cover song, this time a Thai cover!  cha cha SING was such a blast to listen to and it was definitely the earworm of the year because I kept finding myself either doing that dance or sing most of the lines of the song!!!  It was just Berryz way of saying WE STILL GOT THIS!  Great song and definitely is also a party song all the way!

7. TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE – Bad Flower

roadtobudokan

Last year, “Limited addiction” was at #10 so this year you can tell I was REALLY impressed with Bad Flower and for good reason, all the girls sound SOOO amazing in this song  and it captures this dark and angsty sound the group have been utilizing since the aforementioned song.  Hitomi and Ayano, even the three other ladies just sound exponentially BETTER than they have been which is an instant win!

6. Leo Ieiri – Shine

shine

Leo has really had a great year, it’s something surprising when I say I loved all three A-sides she released but I thought the best one was her second in Shine.  It has a classic kind of tone to it, plus with Leo’s soaring vocals, it really made my year.  I hope she continues to release amazing music into the new year!!!!

5. Crystal Kay – Forever

forever

I didn’t think Crystal would be so strong on my radar like she was this year and Forever was the highpoint of the year.  The song is really refreshing and Crystal actually sounded awesome as well.  She just had fun with this and let things just take its place and I appreciated that (though most of the VIVID era had impressed by leaps and bounds).  This was definitely her strongest year in a long time!

4. Kyarypamyupamyu – Fashion Monster

fashionmonster

At one point in the year, I did feel as if Nakata was in a trench with his music, but it seems he had tricks up his sleeves when releasing Fashion Monster because it sounded nothing like anything I heard yet.  This Halloween-themed A-side brought the edgy arrangement alongside Kyary’s cutesy vocals and they blended into this wondrous and quirky song.  Plus the chorus is so catchy too!

3. Nami Tamaki – PARADISE

paradise

It feels as if my favorite artist of all time had fell out and kind of become this boring artist under UNI-J, but with her transfer to Teichiku, I was completely wrong!  I love “LADY MIND” let’s not forget that, but PARADISE is what solidified my back to being such a stan for her in the first place.  There was a lot more room for her here and a lot more variety than LM and the song is really bright and kind of sentimental almost.  It’s really one of the strongest songs she’s done in a LOOOOONG time.

2. 9nine – Shoujo Traveler

shoujotraveler

If you would have told me that 9nine would release something like this, I would laugh because they’ve had a very lackluster year in 2012.  However the single that started the year for them, Shoujo Traveler is definitely their best single since joining SONY.  It’s edgy, electro…super catchy and it really gives such a mature yet futuristic approach.  I just wish that they had kept this sound and not dove into some of the worst songs they’ve done yet…>.<.  Still Shoujo Traveler is my favorite idol song of the year!

1. Nana Mizuki – Synchrogazer

synchrogazer

Is it really a surprise that Synchrogazer topped my list?  The bar was placed VERY high when this came out because it was one of the first releases of the year so there was NO ONE that could come close to beating this badass of a song.  I’ve always wanted to see Nana release something more futuristic and not stuff like “METRO BAROQUE” or “BRIGHT STREAM”.  This was perfect this year and Nana deserves a crown for putting out such an amazing calamity of synths and powerful vocals!!! ^_^

Worst

Worst A-sides not a part of the 15

  • AKB48 – GIVE ME FIVE!
  • Anna Tsuchiya – Voyagers
  • Annabel – anamnesis
  • ikimono-gakari – Kaze ga Fuiteiru
  • IMALU – 4751 Nichi Mou Inai Kimi e
  • Kaya – Vampire Requien
  • KOKIA – Memorial days
  • NEWS – Pokopon Pekorya
  • Vanilla Beans – Non-Section

hajikeyoyukinofurumachionetwothreeselfproducerginghamcheck

Not a lot of bad A-sides happen this year which is great and the year means that it has gotten better. HOWEVER there was some bad ones to go through!  I enjoy Sayaka Kitahara considering she’s now an ex H!P girl, but she did have one fault in HAJIKE-YO!!. I don’t know why I don”t like it beyond that it’s such a bland and one that lacks an identity when compared to the other singles she’s released!  Aimer’s Fuyu no Diamond is really on here because it got trumped hard by its album version which makes this such a lifeless and boring song from her!  Similar to Aimer’s song, The Matenrou Show from Morning Musume is on her primarily because that there’s a better version of it in the TYPE 0 version…plus the line distribution between Riho and Reina is REALLY offputting here. Minorin hasn’t really had a great A-side since I’ve started reviewing and this year, SELF PRODUCER was kind of her crappy single this year…poor vocals, bland arrangement…nothing to really remember it by.  Even though the PV was great, AKB48’s Gingham Check was a pretty boring ass song this year.  Shocking that it wasn’t the worst (foreshadowing much!)

10. JUJU – Tadaima

tadaima

To me, JUJU hasn’t had the most interesting releases this year, no doubt people will like her stuff though so this was more like a personal bust because I simply can not remember ANYTHING about Tadaima.  It just really wasn’t anything special and kind of bland when compared to her other singles this year.

9. Yui Sakakibara – Manatsu no Cielo

manatsunocielo

I’m personally not surprised that a Yui song would be a part of this list somehow.  The song’s arrangement isn’t the bad part though as it’s more of Yui’s pitchy vocals that ruin the song altogether.  It just was a pretty icky song to listen to this year!

8. KOKIA – Yume Oibito

yumeoibito

KOKIA was also having an off year having three of the four singles released to really be a boring mess.  Yume Oibito miht not have a part of the simultaneous release with the three other singles, but this might have fit right in because damn this song is SOOOO booooring to listen to.  The only redeeming factor is that it’s KOKIA who can sing amazingly…but the song just didn’t work and it put me to sleep.

7. SuG – Fukanzen Beautyfool Days

fukanzenbeautyfooldays

When I listen to SuG, I get a sense of wackiness and pure driven energy from the group, but with Fukanzen Beautyfool Days, there was a total lack of that.  Add that it was messy as hell and the lyrics were just weird (plus with the messy sound…it just didnt work very well).  Prolly the worst of the Oshare-kei I heard this year!

6. Momoiro Clover Z – Otome Sensou

otomesensou

I hated “Z Densetsu” so when I was immediately thrown back to that time with Otome Sensou it made me frustrated because they can have such great songs, but all have the WORST.  Otome Sensou is just like the above mentioned track, but it’s over 7 minutes which is like a death sentence to my ears!  Just baaaad!

5. AKB48 – Eien Pressure

eienpressure

Do I even need to explain why a JANKEN single is here…gawd this was a really crappy song for a girl who really couldn’t handle being lead (Sorry, Paruru, but you even have to admit that you really couldn’t handle a song like this)…then again Janken singles always suck so it’s not totally her fault.

4. chatmonchy – Yume Mitai da

hatena

As the only cover song on this top 10, Yume Mitai da was everything gone wrong for chatmonchy.  I mean there was “Hatena” which was actually good, but then they made a last minute switch to having this as an A-side as well and it was a shitty move for a shitty song.  I really didn’t like that whole indie rock/experiment shtick here and Eriko sounded BAAAAD as well…what a poor idea!

3. supercell – Bokura no Ashiato

kokuhakusupercell

Just like MomocloZ’ song, supercell’s Bokura no Ashiato is a 7 minute torture device for me.  It was a very flat-lining song and mid-tempo tracks that are that long are going to make me feel extremely bored.  What was worse was that we were dealing with Koeda and she sounded TERRIBLE in the song…so add that together and you got the #3 track here…>.>

2. Yui Ogura – Samurai Girl

manatsunocielo

Why yes, it was a double A-side of FAIL.  The only reason why Sakakibara’s away from the top is because I liked the arrangement….however with Samurai Girl, it was both the arrangement AND Ogura’s vocals which was even more scarier to listen to over Sakakibara’s.  Very gross track and it would’ve been the top if I had not found our #1 before the end of the year!

1. 9nine – Yie Ar! Jiang Shi feat. Hao Hao! Jiang Shi Girl

yiearjiangshi

If there was ONE song that truly annoyed me to death, it had to be Yie Ar! Jiang Shi and it’s really the vocals that went down the crapper alongside the annoying hooks, the poor melodic components, even the arrangement was pretty lackluster…why did 9nine have to crash and burn so harrrrd?!?

 

 

NEXT TIME: B-SIDES!!!!!

 

Best Of 2012: Korea & America FUSION DANCE!!!! December 28, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 3:44 am

Starting this long amount of posts, like last year I’m beginning with the best Korean and American songs for me personally this year ^_^

  • BEAST – MIDNIGHT
  • BIGBANG – MONSTER
  • BOYFRIEND – Love Style
  • CROSS GENE – La-Di-Da-Di
  • miss A – Touch
  • miss A – Lips
  • NU’EST – FACE

The Almost List-making 5

mamathegrasshoppersloveydoveyiloveyousexyfreesingle

K-pop might have had less impact this year than the last two, but they still managed to put a lot of good releases. Even though I like EXO-M’s version of MAMA a lot more, I can’t deny that the Korean take was also REALLY well done as well.  There was a lot of power and force in it…just badass…but really…those teasers leading up to this was too much hah.  The Grasshopper Song by Sunny Hill was a really fast track that really tested tge group out and it did really well considering their male member was about to leave due to being called into the military.  T-ara’s LOVEY DOVEY was the first song of 2012 that really caught my eye (before the drama started rolling out).  It’s a very catchy song though true to T-ara’s signature style.  2NE1 didn’t have a very exciting year with only a small amount of releases in Korea but I LOVE YOU isn’t a bad song, a lil different as it’s a love song that’s kind of textbook written, but it’s really cool.  Last, but not least, Super Junior’s Sexy, Free, and Single was a great song and even better to reintroduce Kangin.  Awesome song overall ^_^.

10. AFTERSCHOOL – Eyeline (FLASHBACK)

flashback

Kicking off the top 10, Eyeline is the only song of the ten that was not promoted on its release.  The song itself is also a solo from Nana and it really suits her.  Her vocie is sexy and dark and with the arrangement being all K-pop it was a great song (even better than anything else off the “FLASHBACK” single).  Great song overall and an awesome way to kick off the top 10.

9. PSY – Gangnam Style (PSY 6 Gap Part. 1)

psy6gap

Everyone knows what Gangnam Style is.  It was definitely the song that I would have NEVER in my days as a reviewer and fan of K-pop see this becoming the biggest song in YouTube history or in sheer popularity around the world.  The song is infectious, the beats make you get up and dance and the amount of English is nice and doesn;r fully alienate people.  It isn’t higher because of its popularity, it’s become overplayed, but I still enjoy whenever it comes on…next question is…what could be PSY’s next song….hmmm

8. KARA – Pandora (PANDORA)

pandora

I wasn’t sure what KARA was going to do for Korea this year, but Pandora is a really epic song for them (not as good as “STEP” though).  I really love the classy feel and the members sound just as good if not better here.  It’s edgy and quite catchy for sure!

7. 4minute – Volume Up (VOLUME UP)

volumeup

Volume Up wasn’t a total surprise this year considering 4minute was slightly releasing good stuff in Japan but I really found myself entranced with this song.  It could be from the saxophone heavy arrangement or just hearing HyunA being a badass alongside GaYoon and JiHyun.  It was classy, yet refined 4minute and this came before “Love Tension” in Japan shows how much sexyness the group can bring ^_^

6. Ga-in – Bloom (Talk about S.

talkabouts

Behind this very pretty song with a funky arrangement belies some raunchy lyrics, but what can you really say about Ga-in, she tackled Bloom and despite its controversial ways, it’s still a great song and very easy on the ears to just jam too.  She always makes it so easy to love her songs and she’s definitely my favorite of the BEG girls. ^_^

5. VIXX – Rock Ur Body (ROCK UR BODY)

rockurbody

As the newest boyband to catch my eye, VIXX’s second single really brought up this new group to my attention.  Rock Ur Body is another funky track, but they also kept to the normal K-pop sound mixed in with dubstep.  It’s a quirky number and despite the poor English skills the guys have, I still really enjoyed the track and one of the cooler MVs in Korea.

4. Tohoshinki – Catch Me (Catch Me)

catchme

Like VIXX, TVXQ also released a Kpop track with heavy dubstep influences but they handled it 100% better.  This was DEFINITELY what they needed to show that they were even more badass than when they were 5 members.  They just hit everything hard which included the vocals, the choreography, and the edginess of it all.  I was definitely blown away by Yunho and Changmin here!

3. BIGBANG – FANTASTIC BABY (ALIVE)

alive

It was difficult to choose between this or “MONSTER” from the rerelease, but this song brought me into BIGBANG’s music so I had to choose this.  It was a really heavy party song and it was incredibly catchy from G-Dragon’s line to T.O.P’s rap…it was just a hell of a lot of fun.  Definitely a badass song!

2. U-KISS – BELIEVE (THE SPECIAL TO KISSME)

thespecialtokissme

Even though U-KISS have been release whores this year, they did manage to release a thank you to their fanclub and with it included this track BELIEVE (or in Japan called Believe (Believe You) because U-KISS already have a song titled the former there.  Believe is a bit sappy in the lyrics, but it’s a cool dance track and hearing AJ blazing this song impressed me a lot! 

1. INFINITE – The Chaser (INFINITIZE)

infinitize

HOWEVER, the best song this year for me is really a total surprise because I really never expected INFINITE to release such a badass song in The Chaser.  It’s got this really cool 80’s/Vice City-ish tone to it that really caught my attention and I loved everything about it…though I’m sure I’m the only one who thinks this song deserves the spot over a bunch of songs on this list…but I LOVED THIS SONG!!!!

American time!

  • Childish Gambino – Heartbeat
  • fun. – Some Nights
  • The Lumineers – Hey Ho
  • Max Barskih – Dance
  • MUSE – Madness
  • One Direction – One Thing
  • Walk The Moon – Anna Sun

The 5 that almost touched the top 10!

laceupromanreloadedthemidsummerstationwarriorbelieve

Starting this list, I knew coming in that there wasn’t many songs that really interested me in the States (yeah strange right?) So kicking things off, I also am not a fan of Rap so seeing Stereo by MGK will surprise many readers of mine.  It’s a pretty tongue-and-cheek kind of track and seeing MGK shoot lyrics out alongside Alex Fitts who takes the chorus…cool song overall.  While Nicki impressed me last year the most, she didn’t really seem to do it this year even though her Roman Reloaded album was pretty good.  Starships was definitely the highlight and I’m starting to think Nicki should sing more than rap in the future as she’s got great vocals.  I love Owl City and it was great to see Adam reappear with Good Time alongside Carly Rae Jepsen…they have great vocal chemistry and I wish to see more of these two doing duets in the future!  I actually got a little surprised when Ke$ha released Die Young because it’s kind of pop but not like the songs she’s known for.  It’s a bit like her older stuff, but a little more pop/generic…I still liked it for what it’s worth.  I know I’m also going to be shunned a little, but I actually liked one Justin Bieber song…Beauty and a Beat might be sung by Justin, but it felt like it was totally different and a lot less cheesy in both lyrics and arrangement.  Plus Nicki was there, what’s so wrong with that?

10. Chris Brown – Turn Up The Music (Fortune)

fortune

There’s been times where I’ve loved Chris’ music but then hated other songs he’s done.  Turn Up The Music was badass and the energy from it is probably the fiercest dance track he’s done.  I loved it and is probably my favorite from him since “Forever”.

9. Icona Pop – I Love It (Iconic EP)

iconapop

Even though the song was mainly popularized because of it’s tie-in with Snooki & Jwoww, Icona Pop’s I Love It was my main electro buzz this year.  From the anthemic lyrics to the gritty synth arrangement, this song was definitely up my alley and it was quirky and cool to listen to…definitely a song I wasn’t expecting but love that it exists.

8. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Red)

red

I think a lot of people enjoyed Tay’s return with this song.  It was charming, a lot of people went through what the lyrics were about which is a great way to connect with fans…and the video was random as hell.  I just loved the hook of the song and it’s one of Taylor’s fun songs but with a twist so I really liked this song!

7. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (Kiss)

kiss

Another song that really got a lot of attention this year, Call Me Maybe was incrdibly addictive and it spawned so many parodies that it’s not even funny.  Carly hit a pretty good song with this as the lyrics are cheeky as is the MV for it (which the ending was total lulz).  One of the most addictive songs this year ^_^

6. Kelly Clarkson – Dark Side (Stronger)

stronger

Kelly’s song is also another I would think not many people would’ve guessed I liked, but this was hard and the lyrics were pure as they come because that was the main reason I really liked it next to Kelly’s powerful vocals.  It hit home and I really ended up enjoying this song!

5. P!nk – Try (The Truth About Love)

thetruthaboutlove

P!nk is another artist that always makes me smile whenever she releases something new.  So seeing her back, I was ecstatic and I did love the first single, but the second, Try was a lot more personal and lyrically deep for her…which includes the video it got with all the dramatic dancing.  Great song this year!

4. Kylie Minogue – Timebomb

timebomb

Kind of randomly released, Timebomb was a really cool song and a good thing to release after “Aphrodite” even though it’s only a single and hasn’t exactly appeared on an album quite yet.  It’s got a lot of punch and she hasn’t lost that dance spark quite yet!

3. Owl City – When Can I See You Again? (Wreck-it Ralph Soundtrack)

wreckitralph

Isn’t it strange that one of my favorite songs of the year came from a soundtrack?  Owl City gets a second mention with the main promo song, When Can I See You Again?  It’s so cute and charming and Adam sounds axtually strong for such a sparkly setting.  I was just surprised this wasn’t on his recent album o.0

2. Linkin Park – BURN IT DOWN (Living Things)

livingthings

I love Linkin Park since the beginning so once again hearing a new album made me excited and since they’ve been changing their sound to include more synths, BURN IT DOWN, the first single was a great way to show off this experimenting AND keep the band’s aggressive rock feel.  Didn’t hurt that Mike and Chester sounded badass  Awesome song from the band overall!

1. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know feat. Kimbra (Making Mirrors)

makingmirrors

Even I think I was surprised that I loved Gotye’s song as much as I did this year.  It’s so artsy and indies that it’s also kind of eerie and cute at the same time.  Lyrically it’s a bit depressive and hearing Kimbra’s side of the story gives a lot more depth to the song.  Simple is the way to go it seemed and I made this my favorite of the year!

 

 

NEXT TIME, A-SIDES!!!!

 

Best Of 2012: ORICON RANKING…of what I reviewed! December 21, 2012

Filed under: ~Best of 2012~ — solarblade @ 11:38 pm

Another year comes to a close and ORICON finally released they top 100 singles/albums!  SOOOO LET’S GET TO IT SHALL WE?

Singles

  • 100. UVERworld – THE OVER
  • 98. Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Shounen yo Uso wo Tsuke!
  • 96. ONE OK ROCK – The Beginning
  • 95. Momoiro Clover Z – Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai”
  • 94. Namie Amuro – Sit!Stay!Wait!Down!/Love Story
  • 92. Shoujo Jidai – Oh
  • 91. LiSA – crossing field
  • 89. Morning Musume – Wakuteka Take a chance
  • 88. SDN48 – Makeoshimi Congratulation
  • 86. SUPER☆GiRLS – Puripuri♥SUMMER Kiss
  • 84. Momoiro Clover Z – Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi yo
  • 80. HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA – HALLOWEEN PARTY
  • 79. Nana Mizuki – BRIGHT STREAM
  • 78. Perfume – Spending all my time
  • 76. Momoiro Clover Z – Otome Sensou
  • 75. AKB48 – Uekara Mariko
  • 73. Mayu Watanabe – Otona Jelly Beans
  • 70. Morning Musume – One Two Three/The Matenrou Show
  • 69. Mayu Watanabe – Hikaru Monotachi
  • 65. Perfume – Spring of Life
  • 64. no3b – Pedicure Day
  • 59. Super Junior – Sexy, Free, and Single
  • 58. Shoujo Jidai – PAPARAZZI
  • 52. 2PM – Masquerade
  • 50. Mayu Watanabe – Synchro Tokimeki
  • 49. KARA – Speed Up/Girls Power
  • 48. Tohoshinki – STILL
  • 47. 2PM – Beautiful
  • 42. Not yet – Suika BABY
  • 35. Super Junior – Opera
  • 20. NEWS – Chankapana
  • 5. AKB48 – Eien Pressure
  • 4. AKB48 – UZA
  • 3. AKB48 – Gingham Check
  • 2. AKB48 – GIVE ME FIVE!
  • 1. AKB48 – Manatsu no Sounds good!

Once again AKB leads the way this year with a lot of Johnnys and 48 units crowding the front x.x

Albums

  • 99. KARA – KARA Collection
  • 98. Leo Ieiri – LEO
  • 86. Jin Akanishi – JAPONICANA
  • 84. – ikimono-gakari – ikimono-bakari ~Members BEST Selection~
  • 82. Porno Graffitti – PANORAMA PORNO
  • 80. Perfume – JPN
  • 79. ClariS – BIRTHDAY
  • 77. Miliyah Kato – TRUE LOVERS
  • 76. Ayumi Hamasaki – LOVE
  • 66. KARA – Girls Forever
  • 61. UVERworld – THE ONE
  • 56. YUI – ORANGE GARDEN POP
  • 54. YUI – GREEN GARDEN POP
  • 52. YUKI – POWERS OF TEN
  • 48. Kyarypamyupamyu – Pamyupamyu Revolution
  • 45. NEWS – NEWS BEST
  • 42. Ayumi Hamasaki – A SUMMER BEST
  • 41. Shoujo Jidai – GIRLS’ GENERATION II ~Girls&Peace~
  • 38. Ayumi Hamasaki – Party queen
  • 37. Koda Kumi – JAPONESQUE
  • 34. Perfume – Perfume Global Compilation “LOVE THE WORLD”
  • 32. Acid Black Cherry – “2012”
  • 29. ayaka – The Beginning
  • 28. JUJU – BEST STORY ~Love stories~
  • 25. Shoujo Jidai – GIRLS’ GENERATION
  • 21. JUJU – BEST STORY ~Life stories~
  • 18. KARA – Super Girl
  • 17. Kana Nishino – Love Place
  • 12. ikimono-gakari – NEWTRAL
  • 11. Namie Amuro – Uncontrolled
  • 3. AKB48 – 1830m

Well those are the albums…the top two spots were Mr. Children so it was to be expected as such lol….What do you guys think of ORICON’s list this year?