Best Singles of 2011

Since I had so much fun doing my best and worst of 2010 extravaganza posts, I knew it was something I wanted to make a yearly event on my blog. So, here I am doing it again! In this post I’ll be ranking my personal favorite 10 singles of 2011. This list was a lot harder than last year. I started following more idol groups which added to the number of singles I had to pick through. I counted and there are about 81 singles from idols that I follow. Which is an insane amount of music to go through, so these rankings took me a few days to do.

So, without further ado I bring you part 1 of my 2011 ranking extravaganza.

10. Kakkowarui I love you!

Believe it or not, number 10 is the hardest song to pick. Mainly because it’s the absolute last song I can pick, and I have to really think about what last song I want to add. Originally number 10 was going to be Not Yet’s Naminori Kakigoori, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Kakkowarui I love you. And from that it became obvious that I had to pick it. I absolutely love this song. From the hard rock and electronic beat that it has to the way it’s sung. I think everyone in French Kiss are amazing singers, and everyone has a very similar tone to their voice so they blend together amazingly well. I love how soft every 2nd line of the verse sounds. But the real reason I picked this song is because of the chorus. The song is pretty slow for the most part, but when that chorus hits it takes the song to whole new level. The chorus is is just incredible and extremely catchy. Just the way it’s sung it’s very entrancing. And of course the cute lyrics also add to my love of the song. I just love that it’s about stumbling though an accidental love. It’s really cute. But also sad at the same time, because it’s also about not being able to say I love you because you feel like it’s too late.

9. Ganbatte Seishun

To me SUPER GiRLS has always been the Frankenstein monster of idol groups. Collectively, and shameless, copying elements of other idol groups to heighten their own popularity. While, that might annoy people I say, “do what you gotta do.” And that reason is pretty much why I’m so drawn to SUPER GiRLS. They make the typical, or generic to some, idol songs which are my favorite. And Ganbatte Seishun is 100% an idol song right down to it’s core. This song is upbeat and happy, with encouraging lyrics that tell you to always do your best. And that’s pretty much all there is to the song, but that’s honestly all it needs. Ganbatte Seisun is one of those mood maker songs that instantly cheer you up. And that’s all you can really ask from music.

8. Maji Desu ka Ska!

Since I first heard this song I wasn’t shy about praising it or professing my absolute love for the song. And that hasn’t changed one bit. I’ve listened to this song constantly throughout the year and have not grown tired of it once. A song like this is just Morning Musume at it’s best to me. It’s upbeat, happy, energetic, and just over the top fun. The song has an infectious ska beat and even more infectious chorus. Each line might not correlate to the next, and the song might not actually have an overall meaning, but that doesn’t stop me from loving every second of it. From start to finish you just can’t help but want to dance and sing along to it. And not every song has that effect. 

7. Valentine Kiss

Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 is one of my favorite idol groups out there because they make nothing but adorable songs. And that’s exactly why Vanlentine Kiss landed a spot on my list. This song was definitely one of the, if not the, cutest idol songs released this year. Even though this song is a cover I think Warota really made it their own. And I honestly think it surpasses the original. If only on the cuteness factor alone. But who doesn’t love a song about trying to get someone’s attention to have a kiss on Valentine’s Day? Especially if it’s sung by the always adorable Watarirouka Hashiritai 7.

SWF file 

6. Heroine ni Narou ka!

I never really realized just how much I love this song until I started making this list. But looking back at the year this has been one of those songs that I couldn’t get enough of. And the reason I love this song so much is because it’s powerful. Just everything about it is powerful. The electronic/dance dance music is very strong, as well as the singing being extremely powerful. There’s a lot of intensity in the way it’s sung, it’s honestly one of Berryz’s best vocal performances. Especially Miaybi’s whoa towards the end of the song, that was just incredible. I was also really inpressed with Yurina’s harmonizing and Risako’s high note. As well as loving Massa’s echoed mirai. The lyrics are also pretty powerful. They have these empowering undertones to them. To just step on out the street and just be super confident because tonight you can do it. And because, hey, everyone notices you tonight.

5. Vivi Natsu

Ever since I first discovered Passpo they’ve been impressing me with their unique sound. And because of that they becoming one of my favorite idol groups out there. I think Vivi Natsu really encompasses what makes Passpo so great. The music is a great combination of a great guitar riff and still that sweet idol music sound. And it also features awesome rapping parts by Naomi, Shiori, and Anna. Though honestly Noami’s raps are hands down the best. And it also has that really beautiful part where Mio Mio sings softly and sounds absolutely amazing.

4. T.W.L.

I’m a little sad that T.W.L. is the only Johnny’s song to make the list this year. It was actually a pretty good year of JE, there were just other songs that were better. T.W.L. is one of those songs that I didn’t expect to like as much as I do. When I first heard it I was kinda indifferent towards it, and thought it was just ok. This song is really fun and extremely catchy. It captures the crazyness and over the topness of Kanjani8 without going to overboard. And can I just say that I absolutely love Subaru’s solo at the end with the microphone effect. That is definitely the highlight of the song. The lyrics however are honestly all over the place, so it’s hard to really get the message. I mean, I’m not even sure what T.W.L. even means. What I take away from the song is that it’s about facing your future no matter how unsure it might be. And to just honestly cope with life. If things are hard say they are, instead of just pretending to be happy.

3. Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~

When I was picking my top singles of 2011 it was a complete no brainer to add Z Densetsu ~Owarinaki Kakumei~ to my list. MomoClo is one of the most energetic idols out there, and this is probably the most energetic songs they have every released. I absolutely love this song. It’s just nonstop energy and excitment from start to finish. It’s one of those songs that is fun to listen to. It’s a song that isn’t trying to be serious, it’s just trying to make you happy. I also really love the lryrics to this song. I love how they are about each member’s personality. And then the rest of the song really matches their weekend heroines theme. And the lyrics go into say how MomoClo won’t lose and will protect fans. And will sing with all their hearts and might to cheer up fans. I think that’s really sweet. And it really seems like MomoClo really means what they are singing.

2. Uchouten Love

It’s a bit bittersweet to pick the last song featuring the original line up of S/mileage. But hey, at least they went out with a bang. And it really was a bang indeed. This song is absolutely incredible in every single way. From start to finish this song is a nonstop party. The heavy eurobeat music doesn’t let up for even a second throughout the song. Ever during the soft solos towards the end of the song. You can hear the beat growing in the background, waiting to make it’s blaring return. And I love the song for it. The song is incredibly fun and so loud that it almost demands you dance along. And S/mileage’s sugary sweet voices really work with this type of techno music. It’s one of those combinations that sounds terrible on paper, but then you actually hear it and you’re blown away. The lyrics are the typical idol fare of falling in love and being excited every second because of that. The overly cute lyrics we’ve come to expect from S/mileage.

1. Banzai Venus

It was completely obvious to me which song was number one, it was so obvious it was the first song I wrote down. When it comes to 2011 I cannot think of one song that surpasses Banzai Venus. SKE48 is really starting to surpass AKB48 for me. Mostly because of their constant upbeat releases lately. The song is actually pretty slow for most of the song, but once the chorus starts that’s it. You just get this punch of pure energy that you can’t help but be drawn into the song. It’s so mesmerizing and addicting that just the power from the song’s small chorus beat every other song this year. No other song this year gets me as pumped or happy as Banzai Venus does. The only real drawback to this is that some of this song;s lyrics are so random that they are laughable. A cart full of toliet paper, and an old lady being delayed in line. What does that have to do with anything? Lucky the rest of the lyrics are much better. And it’s a pretty cute song about to have the courage to go for it and confess your feelings.

 

Honorable mentions: (Because yet again, I had way too many favorites.)

1. Morning Musume – Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai
2. C-ute – Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko
3. Mano Erina – Seishun no Serenade
2. S/mileage – Please Miniskirt Postwoman!
4. Arashi – Meikyuu Love Song
5. KAT-TUN – Ultimate Wheels
6. Tegomass – Aoi Bench
7. Hey! Say! JUMP – Over
8. AKB48 – Flying Get
9. Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Hetappi Wink
10. Not Yet – Naminori Kakigoori
11. SKE48 – Oki Doki
12. NMB48 – Zetsumetsu Kurokami Shoujo
13. YuiKaori – Shooting Smile
14. AAA – Daiji na Koto
15. SUPER GiRLS – Joshiryoku Paradise
16. Yamashita Tomohisa – Hadakanbo

French Kiss’s PV isn’t love at first sight

A couple weeks ago the full PV for French Kiss’s 4th single, Saisho no Mail, was released.

Much like most French Kiss PVs this PV revolves heavily around a storyline and nothing else. Which is usually fine. I thought the story in the If PV was adorable. However, I am just not into the storyline in this PV at all. What I get from the PV is: the story follows around 3 girls who were obviously friends in high school but drifted apart because of their drastically different career choices. All of the girls are doing pretty badly at their most likely new jobs and are feeling pretty down. That is until Aki texts them and they all meet up. They do a few girl get together cliches, like shopping and karaoke. And then magically through the power of friendship, I guess, after they meet up everyone is now doing fantastic at their jobs.

First off, I do apperciate when my idol PVs have a storyline. It does help to make it more interesting, and an overall better PV. Since just dance shot and close-up PVs are a little boring. But I don’t want a PV that is so focused on having a storyline that it forgets it’s a music video. I do still want my close-ups and dance scenes. And in this PV their are hardly any close-up singing shots and no dancing.
Also, the entire PV is a walking cliche. And like most cliches it’s completely inaccurate. Not amount of support or positive reinforcement from your friends is going to make you a better teacher, actress, office worker, or anything. It’s not. And I know a lot of idol PVs are riddled with cliches. But I can’t really stand it. If it’s done in a quirky, intentionally cheesy sort of way, then that’s fine. But if it’s done in this super serious sort of way, I can’t really take it seriously. Honestly I wish they did what they did with the 10nen Zakura PV. The storyline in the beginning, but still the happy idol PV I love afterwards.

I can’t imagine Yuki ever being a kindergarden teacher. XD

Denied.

I wanna say that Asuka is a dancer.

But then why does she get some sort of script?

Aki looks amazing with this hair.

Boring close-up setting.

Aki looks super goegeous.

I always complain when there’s Japanese writting in PVs that I can’t understand. And now that there’s some that I understand most of, it’s not important to the story at all. XD

Yuki is adorable.

Cute.

Kanpai.

Asuka is way too into it. Lol.

Are they seriously just standing there?

At least this is a bit of variety.

3 way high five. XD

That face. Lol.

Asuka looks gorgeous here.

I guess Asuka is an actress. But then why the streching in the beginning?

It’s about time.

French Kiss-Saisho no Mail PV preview

The PV preview for French Kiss’s upcoming 4th single, Saisho no Mail, was released. And Avex must read my blog because the PV preivew is a nice short 40 seconds, like I prefer.

Since most of French Kiss’s PV tend to tell stories than have a regular idol PV, it’s no surprise that this PV seems to be exactly the same. Pretty much there are 2 scenes really in the PV so fare. Yuki and Asuka get a text message obviously from Aki, and then they meet up. The other scene is French Kiss randomly standing in a pure white sunlit room. Which makes me think that this song will not have a dance. Which is completely boring. The PV as a whole seems kinda boring. At least If had a better story, actually had a dance, and was a better song. I am just completely not into this single. The only positive I have about this is the girls look amazing. Especially Aki who’s rocking that shortcut. But the girls always look amazing. I want more from a PV.

French Kiss-Saisho no Mail radio rip

The full radio rip for French Kiss’s upcoming 4th single, Saisho no Mail, has just been released. It might be the full rip but French Kiss talks over about half of the song, which honestly annoyed me to no end.

I’m not really into what I hear so far. The song is very soft and elegant. A very light and airy song. That no doubt has some heartwarming lyrics, about a first love letter or something along those lines. Which is fine, and standard idol far. But the song itself is far to slow for my taste. I’ve said it a hundred times before that I am not a big fan of slow paced songs at all. For me to actually like a slow song, it better have such beautiful lyrics that tear well up in my eyes. Somehow, I doubt this song is like that. The song is sung beautifully, but it’s just not my cup of tea.