Friday, December 16, 2011

Nia's Best (and Worst) of 2011!

I have to be honest, 2011 was probably not the best year for me to get into idol music. I probably should have gotten interested in 2009 but as I was still in the Perfume phase (in which Perfume was the only group I listened to) I did not. But I intend to find the best in idol music in 2011 and all those songs that did (and still) piss me off. So let's get started with something positive!

Nia's Top 5 Singles of 2011

5. First off, Kono Chikyuu yo... whatever the hell it was called, really didn't do much for me. Granted, it was better than all the angsty crap Momosu had been spewing for the past 4 years but to me it was generic and Ai/Reina ft. Gaki/Riwhore. Then we got the acid trip of a PV for Kare to Issho... and I was hooked! I loved it! It wasn't annoying like Maji Desu ka Ska or reptitive like Kono Chikyuu; it had just enough craziness and just enough energy to make it this over-the-top but in a good way song! I think it was wise to let Sayu and Reina lead this and chunk Ai in the back because their voices fit perfectly. That's the problem with Sayu's voice; it only sounds good in some songs but when it does sound good... trust me, the result is worth it.

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4. Despite the fact, that this song's PV creeped out/fascinated me, I adore the song. I was hoping they would go in a softer direction than the "edgier" singles from 2010 and 2009. RIVER was hardcore and so was Beginner but with Kaze wa Aki-P toned it down and it shows. From the gentle strumming of the guitar in the opening to the muted, but still powerful vocals of the group it's a lot less about not giving up and staying strong but about looking over pain and hurt from the past and finding a way to move on. To me, that's what really makes me enjoy this song. I really love idol songs with substance or songs that tend to stray away from the norm (i.e. Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru, Keibetsu Shitaita Aijou). To me, AKB tried something a little bit different and they managed to pull it off successfuly.

Also, I happened to bomb my first SAT around the time this song came out. Just saying.

File:We Will Win! ~Kokoro no Baton de Po Pon no Po~n~ A.jpg

3. I really wasn't sure which TGS song to put here. Believe me, it was difficult. At first, I thought Koudou no Himitsu because that was the point where I assume the manager of Avex just said "Oh fuck it. These girls obvsiouly aren't beating those 48 groups. Do whatever the hell you want with them." and the artisitc director went crazy. I also considered Liar but in the end I chose Limited Addiction because I think that's the point where TGS really perfected that distinct style they'd started developing in Kodou no Himitsu. The backing track has such a distinct, kinda 90s style beat, and it's perfectly coupled with the girls' vocals. Have I mentioned I love the way TGS sounds vocally. They don't sound so cutesy like other idol groups, especially Hitomi's flawless vocals (guess who my bias is?). Overall, to me this song was interesting. In the good way. It pulled me in and started what you could call my addiction to TGS. And I can't wait to see what these girls will pull next.

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2. WHOA! Tsunku! Since when did you start... caring about C-ute? I swear, every since Dance de Bakoon! their singles just got better and better. It's like Tsunku's apology for the snoozefest of Campus Life and the line-whoring of SHOCK! I think it was really wise for Tsunku to make Chissa lead plus Airi and Maimi. I think the strong vocals were what made this song so appealing along with the great instrumental and use of effects. I think one of my favorite parts of this song is the echoing Nee~ and Please~. I think it just really adds a cool effect to the song. The English are actually really good too; the song is basically about a girl giving in to the lust locked up inside her she feels for someone else and losing herself in it. That's pretty heavy stuff for an idol group but I think C-ute pulled it off perfectly. It isn't ironic? The group is called C-ute yet some of their best songs are sensual and edgy (Tokaikko Junjou, Namida no Iro, Forever Love). I really hope they go back to this direction and not the bile that is Sekaiichi HAPPY na Onna no ko.

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1. Do I even have to say it? This year, S/mileage dropped a bomb or ten on its fans with member auditions, graduations, and GOD-AWFUL TACHIAA- no. We'll get to that later. Right now, we're focusing on the S/mileage the fans knew and loved first. That 4nin little group of Eggs and all that chemistry they had. And you can really see that in Uchouten Love. The energetic beat, the vocals of the girls, the surprisingly fun PV all combined to make this really good single. But added to this song is a bittersweet note of nostalgia; just after it was released, Saki graduated. And under short notice too so we fans didn't exactly have the months of months of preparation like we did for Ai. This song isn't just a happy go-lucky parapara song of ecstatic love, it shows an era of S/mileage that's never coming back. And in a weird way, I think it makes this song kind of sad but also beautiful at the same time.

Honorable Mentions

- AKB48: Flying Get
- AKB48: Sakura no Ki ni Narou
- Berryz Koubou: Heroine ni Narou ka!
- BiS: Primal
- French Kiss: Kakkowarui I love you!
- French Kiss: Saisho no Mail
- Mano Erina: My Days for You
- Passpo: Vivi Natsu
- S/mileage: Please Miniskirt Post Woman!
- SKE48: Banzai Venus!
- SKE48: Pareo wa Emerald
- Sukeban Girls: Tsupparu Riyuu
- TOKYO GIRLS' STYLE: Kodou no Himitsu
- Watarirouka Hashiritai: Hetappi Wink

It's nice to have singles you really enjoy. But much like Star Wars, with every light side, there is always a dark side.

So I bring you...

Nia's Worst 5 Singles of 2011

5. When Buono! came back, I expected it to be awesome. I waited with baited breath for that rockish, pop-punk trio of three of the best members of H!P. Instead we got Zassou no Uta, which wasn't bad but definitely a change from the Buono! we knew and loved. Then this song came along and we got... Airi ft. Momoko and Miyabi!? Good lord, they're Buono! not v-u-den! Airi is not Rika; her terribly done monologue to pad the bridge in the song proves it! The reason why I have such a moody relationship with H!P is their line distribution and this song really isn't helping. I admit, Airi sounds lovely as usual but Miyabi has a voice too! Let her use it! Line distribution problems on the side, I find this song to be really boring. It's kind of like that generic soothing song I always hear at Bath and Body Works (except in Japanese...). It's summer? Great, that's something awesome to celebrate! Except Buono! sounds completely out of it... the lackluster composition of the song and the awkward vocals just don't appeal to me. And UFA, I love Airi but have you ever heard of too much a good thing? Look it up.


4. What does this song even sound like? No seriously, I forgot. I've listened to this song five times and I still can't get it to stick in my mind. Isn't that sad? In fact, I found this whole group to be just a sad rip-off of Mobekimasu which happens to be a rip-off itself of both H!P All Stars and AKB48. Speaking of AKB48... this song is Sakura no Shiori UFA style. I'm serious; the PVs are eerily similar: the outfits, the concept, the RIPPING OFF. It's like they took a quick look at Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008 then at Sakura no Shiori, decided to put the two together with a tenth of the budget, and came out with this half-assed attempt to get wotas to buy more stuff from their two idol groups combined. UFA could have done something so much more interesting with this group but no. They just went in the Sakura blossoms = SALES direction.

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3. GAH! KILL IT WITH FIRE! ...As you can tell I don't enjoy this song. However, I think it's less of the song and more of the members I don't enjoy. First of all: no Saki. You've lost her so the obvious solution would be to use those new members to make up for her lack of vocals, right? WRONG. Second: where are those sub-members guys? *peaks behind CGI UFO* Oh, there they are! Nice glowsticks, newbies! I was considering putting Koi ni Booing Buu! on here but Tachiagaaru has rightfully earned its place on my bottom 5. Aside from the poor use of the new members, the song is generic and forgettable. At least with Koi ni Booing Buu! I actually remembered something about that song. Sure, it was the fact that my beloved S/mileage had been turned into pigs but at least it was something! UFA just took a few random concepts, threw them in, and it went nowhere. Luckily, S/mileage redeemed itself with Please Miniskirt Post Woman! but my final verdict won't be out until Chotto Matte Kudasai.

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2. Although I find Maji Desu ka Ska! both annoying and displaying the very apparent age gap in Momosu, I'll give it credit for one thing: it didn't revert to overused, gloomy Emomosu unlike THIS single. I swear, if I put this single's release date as 2009 do you think anyone would notice. It's boring. So. Damn. Boring. It's basically another weepy, angst-filled melodrama starring Ai and Reina featuring Gaki and Eri- I mean Riwhore! Another thing: UFA, Riho cannot sing. She can dance, so why don't you just pull a Hyoyeon and give her dance solos or something (though now not even poor Hyoyeon gets those...). She sounds like nails on a chalkboard after they've just taken a sedative. She added nothing to the song and frankly she was bored. Arrogant and bored. I don't like boring idols. Why else do think my biases are Sayu and Reina. Aside from the Riwhoring, the verses are awkwardly done and the verses that do sound good are pointlessly Autotuned to hell. Seriously, you use the Autotune on the best singer in Momosu but can't spare any for Riwhore? I'm listening to her more than Gaki! On top of that the song was choppy, the lyrics were cheesy, and I'd appreciate it if we could just forget this song and all of Emomosu.

1. WHY? Why Aki-P!? Why do you have to make the janken singles so boring!? Are you just already resigning to yourself that because the Senbatsu isn't regular Senbatsu they're going to crash and burn so you're not going to waste your time with them hence you're just going to throw some stupid-ass lyrics together and let that inconvenient single just slide by? As you can tell... this song makes me furious. And it's not just the fact that it's lazy and half-assed and sounds like an H!P B-side. They had Mariko as center; that's the best you can do with her. Throw in some cheesy story about Mariko-sensei inspiring a nervous girl to rise to the top? You couldn't think of ANYTHING else? I was just really let down. Here I was thinking that Aki-P would really put his best into it with a popular member as center but instead? We're stuck with this piece of crap. Nice job, AKBitches. You'd better come back better in 2012. I'll be watching. And waiting.

And P.S. one more thing, Aki-P: DROP THE JANKEN PVS. Just because you decide your senbatsu via janken doesn't mean you have to revolve each janken single around janken!!! Just... ARGH!

Dishonorable Mentions

- AKB48: Everyday, Katyusha
- Berryz Koubou: Ai no Dangan
- C-ute: Momoiro Sparkling
- C-ute: Sekaichii HAPPY na Onna no ko
- DiVA: Tsuki no Uragawa
- Kikkawa Yuu: Hapirapi ~Sunrise~
- Kitahara Sayaka: Yappa Seishun
- Mobekimasu: Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku
- Momoiro Clover Z: Roudou Sanka
- Morning Musume: Maji Desu ka Ska!
- NMB48: Oh My God!
- SKE48: Oki Doki
- Watarirouka Hashiritai: Kibou Sanmyaku

So because apparently the world is ending next year, I expect some good stuff to come out next year. Don't disappoint me or else I'll... what the hell will I do? Hrm. Oh well, apparently I have to prepare for the end of the world (?).

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