More Best of 2004

Filed in Cult of Pop 1.0

Best Group of 2004 – W
I love Kago Ai and Tsuji Nozomi, and it’s frightening how much less I care about Morning Musume now that they’re no longer in the group. (Keep in mind, I only became a Jpop and Hello! Project otaku at the start of 2004. But the depth of my otaku-ness has run ridiculously deep in this first year. Just ask my wife.) At any rate, the legendary Tsujikago team have finally become their own unit in the H!P firmament and delivered three great singles as well as a wonderful collection of PVs. It’s a shame that Kago’s individual voice doesn’t get as much play as it has in the past, but the harmonies are enjoyable and serve the songs well.

Best Single of 2004 – SweetS’ “Love Like Candy Floss”
Musically, SweetS is the Jpop group I most enjoy, and their third single shines for several reasons. Haruna, while not as naturally strong a singer as Aya (who is absolutely phenomenal), does a great job in the lead. The songwriting duo of Bounceback deliver a wonderfully melodramatic ballad that’s as good as the best disco ever, balancing deeply emotional delivery with aggressive rhythms (and an oddly effective flute solo). And of course, the PV must be seen to be believed: some Gackt-ish twentysomething schmuck in a parka is chased around by the pre-teens of SweetS in an abandoned town. I’ve had dreams like that, but never thought I’d see it on television. Sadly, the two singles that have followed “Candy Floss” – neither of which were written by Bounceback – aren’t as strong as the first three. But the future still looks bright for Avex’s youngest assets – with any luck, the Penty quintet will still be together once they get past puberty. Stranger things have been known to happen.