Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 in review: J-pop singles that rocked my world

Now that the new year is almost upon us, it's time to look back at 2010--a great year for great singles everywhere (unless you're Berryz Kobo or Morning Musume, but hey, we all have crappy years). This year introduced me to a lot more great music, including AKB48, whom I'd never really gotten into before this year.

So, let's start the countdown!

#10: "Kirari☆" -- Tokyo Girls' Style

I am so excited for this group. They released 4 great singles this year, and are about to release yet another, which will be sure to put them over the top. Out of all their singles, "Kirari" was my favorite. Fun dance moves with a great message that I, for one, REALLY needed to hear this year.

#9: "Emerald"-- Becky♪♯

Newcomer Becky♪♯ is fantastic. She looks like Isabella Rosselini's twin sister from a parallel universe, and her music was always fresh and amazing all this year. She got so much attention that she was asked to appear on the soundtrack for the Japanese version of "How to Train Your Dragon" (one of my favorite movies EVARRRR). Love her, and I can't wait to see more.

Watch the video/listen to the song here.

#8: "Sakura no Shiori"--AKB48

Once in a while, musicians need to experiment. Sometimes those experiments pay off, as AKB48 found out this year. AKB48 experimented with many different styles and genres this year, and I personally loved the choral gorgeousness that was "Sakura no Shiori." As much as I dig most idol music, change is good sometimes.

#7: "Oshare my Dream"--Ogawa Mana

NICE GIRL Project...Tsunku's side-project...the stepchild of Hello! Project...surely there can't be anything goo....WHO THE HELL IS THAT GIRL?!?!?!

That was basically my reaction upon discovering NGP and Ogawa Mana earlier this year. Mana seems to blend into the background in Canary Club, but oh damn does she have an incredible set of pipes on her! Mana and Risako released a single together in October for the anime they both provide voices for, and Mana's song is just awesome...I could listen to her voice all day.

Check it out, and then run off to buy all of Mana's music and her photobook. DO IT!!

#6: "Dance de BacOON!"--C-ute

My leading ladies...back and kicking ass again! HOORAY! You'd be surprised at how easy this dance is to learn--it's just a bit of a workout. Love this song, and I hope they release more songs like this.

#5: "Otakebi Boy WAO!"--Berryz Kobo

I don't know why, but I am still crack addicted to this song. Best thing Berryz has put out all year. It's fun freaking my partner out when I do the dance moves while driving. :D

#4: "Beginner"--AKB48

This song is the most epic thing AKB48 has ever released. Ever. In the history of ever. I'm not a ginormous AKB48 fan, and I still have to check myself whenever I get peeved that they're selling more copies than pretty much anyone. But this song deserves it. Too bad we can't see the stupid PV. You suck, Akimoto. This is as close as we get.

#3: "Aozora Kataomoi"--SKE48

They may be AKB48 version 2.0, but I love this group. I'm not sure what it is, but I honestly like their music better. In light of all the 1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku! fever, we might have forgotten about their awesome second single. I spammed this song for a good couple of weeks when it first came out. The video's not bad either, though you'd think SKE48's official channel could post a higher-quality version on their own damn site.

#2: "Yume Miru 15sai"--S/mileage

S/mileage's major debut is still their best-selling single, and for good reason. This song rules. I think people like this more mature sound from the girls--I know I do. This song was super-spammable for me, and I hope they go in a similar direction with "Shortcut."

#1: "VOICE"--Perfume

"Nee" might be the big thing right now, but VOICE was so much more nuanced and awesome. (That and it wasn't primarily promoted through a commercial.) VOICE is the best thing Perfume has put out since "Secret Secret," and if they ever manage to top that, I'll probly pee myself in sparkly joy.

1. Natural ni Koishite/Fushizen na Girl-Perfume
2. moonlight-moumoon
3. Onegai Dakara-Mano Erina
4. Seishun Collection (KISS MY BUTT, HATERZ!! :P )-Morning Musume
6. Jumping-KARA
7. Aitai Lonely Christmas-C-ute
8. Flower-BRIGHT
9. Himawari to Hoshikuzu-Tokyo Girls' Style
10. Ev'rybody Alright!-Dream

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