Thursday, July 31, 2014

Time Capsule Reviews: Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide

So the winner of July's Time Capsule Review poll was Onyanko Club's Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide! Honestly, I didn't think Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide would get as many votes as it did, let alone win. It's one of the older releases I've featured on the poll so far but hey, it's a nice change of pace reviewing a blast from the past! Before getting into the songs though, a brief history lesson:

Before there was AKB48, before there was Hello! Project, there was Onyanko Club. A "super idol" group created by Scrooge McDuck Akimoto Yasushi, Onyanko Club consisted of fifty-two official members (and three unofficial members!). Now that AKB48's around, that doesn't seem like a huge number, but back in the day, Onyanko Club was big. Not only that, there were three subgroups that stemmed from Onyanko Club: Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi, Nyangilas, and Ushirogami Hikaretai. From what I've read, Onyanko Club was big not only in size but in popularity and influence. Had Onyanko Club never been around, Tsunku never would have been inspired to create Morning Musume. In the time of solo idols, Onyanko Club took the concept of an idol group to awe-inspiring lengths. Or that's what I've read! You see, while I know of Onyanko Club, I don't listen to a lot of their songs. Except for one: their debut song, and their most infamous to boot, Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide. And while I love that song, I have neglected to look further into their discography. Well today on this last day of July, I'm going to look at Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide as an entire single, reviewing both the infamous A-side and the not-so-infamous A-side. So grab your sailor uniform, and let's go back to 1985!


Since Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide came out back in the day when there weren't 50 different versions of a single, there's only one cover for this single. And it's a very nice cover! The cover for Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide just shows the girls posing and a random cartoon dinosaur is on the cover too for some reason. It's what I'd expect from an idol single. I'm sure back in the 80s, the outfits would be the type of stylish but relatable normal clothing that idols would wear. Now though, the outfits look a tad bit dated. But some of the outfits on the cover look stylishly retro! Like that girl in the middle has a cute getup! I do like the variety in all the outfits. There's something nice about not seeing all the Onyanko Club members in the same costume. I was honestly expecting the girls to wear sailor uniforms since you know, that's the central theme of the single. Still, I like this cover! It's a fun look at what was hip and trendy in the 80s!

Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide

I feel like I wrote about this song in my favorite idol songs list just a week ago. Of the songs on that list, there are several that I can't go into great detail about why I like. In fact, they can basically be summarized in one basic sentence: I like the way they sound. However, Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is not one of those songs. I wish I could have been alive the year this song was released. I would have loved to see public reaction to this song. Did people get spun up over the lyrics? Was everyone okay with it? Did little kids go around singing this song having no idea what the connotations were? I want to know! All I can do is look through the lens of history and draw my own conclusions about Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide. The song is about a girl who wants to have sex. So pretty much any teenage girl. But she's torn between waiting for the right time and just getting the damn thing over with. The lyrics remind me of AKB48's Virgin love. Considering Aki-P produced both groups, I've got to think he was at least a little inspired by Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide when penning Virgin love.

I know that Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide was controversial for talking about sex, but I actually think that's what makes the song so good. I think Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide approaches virginity and sex from an angle that a lot of teenage girls can relate to. The lyrics talk about sex in a blunt (but not smutty way), going through all the reservations and anticipations that come with having sex for the first time. I may not be a fan of AKB48 currently, but I still admire Aki-P's uncanny ability to write like a teenage girl. He clearly hasn't lost his mystical superpowers since the 80s. Even past the lyrics, Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is a fun song. It sounds like something you'd hear in Grease, which adds this weird humor to the lyrical dissonance. Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is such a peppy song, with one of the catchiest choruses that I have ever listened to. I also think the song has kind of a flirtatious sound to it, which is only amplified by the lyrics. I don't know how the rest of Onyanko Club's A-sides hold up, but Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide was a strong A-side to debut with. It has risque but memorable lyrics, a fun, bouncy sound, and overall, the song holds up just as well as it did in 1985. Maybe even better!

So big surprise here, but I'm giving Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide five apples. I don't have a lot of older idol songs I love, but Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is one of those few. I think it's an insanely catchy song with entertaining lyrics. Sure, those lyrics came with some controversy, but I think that's part of what makes Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide such a standout song. If you aren't into 80s idol pop, at least check this song out. You may find an exception!

Hayasugiru Sedai

So the B-side on Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is Hayasugiru Sedai, which translates to, "A Generation That is Too Fast." Funny, I think they've said the same thing about my generation... Before reviewing this single, I had never listened to Hayasugiru Sedai. Like I said, I haven't looked very deeply into the Silver Age of idols. I went in to Hayasugiru Sedai with no idea how it would sound. Now that I've listened to the song several times, my impressions of Hayasugiru Sedai are... not as strong as the ones I had for Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide. I couldn't even find much information online about Hayasugiru Sedai. Hayasugiru Sedai is an 80s pop song, and it sounds like an 80s pop song. You've got the synths, the happy-feel-good sound, that brass, the works. When I think of 1980s idol music, Hayasugiru Sedai is the kind of music that comes to mind. However, I don't think Hayasugiru Sedai aged quite as gracefully as Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide. There's not much about Hayasugiru Sedai that leaves a clear impression with me. The song sounds nice, don't get me wrong, but there are lot of nice songs. I don't need to listen to another nice-sounding song.

I don't want to use the b word (starts with "b" and ends in "land"). But there's not as much with Hayasugiru Sedai that I can talk about as there was with Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide. I think the song sounds good, and it is kind of cute and carefree. I think if I were more into 80s idol pop, then I would like Hayasugiru Sedai more. But if you reading this are a fan of 80s idol pop, you'll probably like Hayasugiru Sedai more than I do! I don't hate this song at all; it's pleasant enough. I think maybe if I were in the mood to listen to some retro music, I'd be able to enjoy Hayasugiru Sedai! Right now though, I'm not into this song as much as Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide. As a B-side, it gets washed out in favor of Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide. That might have been inevitable, since Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is such a distinctive song. I'm not sure what Aki-P could have put as the B-side after a song like that. So overall, Hayasugiru Sedai is the kind of music I'd expect from an 80s idol group like Onyanko Club. The song is all right, but personally, I'm not a huge fan of it.

Still, I think Hayasugiru Sedai is good enough for three and half apples. Sure, the song is a little too tame for my tastes, but I think it still sounds nice. Vocally, everyone sounds good! I'm not familiar with the front girls of Onyanko Club, but the girls sound very unified in Hayasugiru Sedai. Other than that... that's all I've got for Hayasugiru Sedai!

The Verdict

This single is nearly thirty years old. I don't know why I find that so hard to believe. The 80s doesn't seem like a decade that happened a long time ago, but as year passes by, I realize that it did. And lot of these idols from the 80s grow older with it. Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide was the debut single for Onyanko Club, and I think it was a pretty strong debut. The highlight of the single is most definitely the A-side. Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is a song rife with double entendres and surprisingly cheeky lyrics. But the song is also fun and catchy with a 50s-style sound to it. Combine it with lyrics about losing your virginity and when to do so, Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is a highly memorable song. For that reason, it is one of my favorite idol songs, as I have mentioned in an earlier post. Unfortunately, with such a distinctive song like Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide, I kind of have a tendency to forget about Hayasugiru Sedai. The problem with Hayasugiru Sedai is not that it's a bad song but that it's simply an average song. It's classic 80s idol pop and doesn't have the quirks that Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide does. For me, Hayasugiru Sedai just isn't at the same level as Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide.

So how do both songs hold up together? Like I said, the biggest problem with Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is the contrast between the A-side on the B-side. I will say though that both songs sound cohesive. Sure, the A-side definitely has the more memorable sound, but both songs sound like they fit in with Onyanko Club's catchy 80s sound. Together, both songs do fit nicely with each other, and they do have different levels of nostalgia appeal. Overall, Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide isn't one of my favorite singles, even though the A-sides is one of my favorite idol songs. Listening to the entire single though makes me think that maybe I should look more into the idols of the 80s. The only groups I've really looked into are Pink Lady and Onyanko Club, along with Matsuda Seiko, Okada Yukiko, and Togawa Jun (but I'm not sure if she counts being... well, Togawa Jun). The 80s were a very different time for idols, and the more I read about it, the more I want to know more. So who knows? This may not be the last time we foray into 1985! For now though, Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide as a whole is a decent single. But seriously, go listen to the A-side.

I think Sailor Fuku wo Nugasanaide is a four-apples kind of single. It's a good single, especially the title song. To me though, the B-side is the weaker of the two songs on this single. However, neither song is outright terrible, and if you're curious, you should check this single out! It's interesting listening to the first "super idol" group on the market. I can definitely see how Tsunku was influenced, and how AKB48 is-more-or-less the spiritual successor to Onyanko Club. And so that's a wrap on July's Time Capsule Review! The poll will be up again, and once again, it's up to you guys to determine what August's Time Capsule Review will be! Until then, I'm going back to the future.

Moon Prism Power, Make Up!

Sailor Mooooooooooon!!!

Admittedly, I did not watch a lot of Sailor Moon as child. Mainly because the English dub aired before I was even born. I do remember watching bits and pieces of the re-runs that aired and loving the outfits and the sparkly transformation sequences of the show! I had no idea what was going on plot-wise, but I liked it! Now years later the reboot's come along, and I finally have the chance to watch the plot of Sailor Moon unfold with new animation, new voice actors, and new music!

Oh yeah, and Momoiro Clover Z is somewhere in the mix.

The Sailor Moon reboot has been common knowledge, as has Momoiro Clover Z's involvement with the reboot. The wacky idol group was selected to do the opening theme for the series way back in 2012. 2012... to think that the news of this reboot has been floating around for over two years. I admire any Sailor Moon fan who waited patiently for it! But I'm not an anime blog, I'm a J-pop blog, and I'm here to evaluate MomoClo's latest single. Said single just so happens to be affiliated with Sailor Moon. The only other single MomoClo's released this year is Naitemo Iin da yo, and I've written already about what a big giant dollop of boring that song is. I'm hoping that with the aide of love and justice, Moon Pride can be a step-up from the dull affair that was Naitemo Iin da yo! So is Moon Pride a worthy Momoiro Clover Z single and furthermore a perfect match with the Sailor Moon of 2014? Or is it a disappoint effort from an idol group slowing losing their quirkiness? I'm hoping it's the former. So brandish your Moon Tiara Boomerang and let's take a look!


What more appropriate outfits for a Sailor Moon theme song than Sailor Moon-inspired outfits? I was downright expecting this! The outfits for Moon Pride showcase the girls as the Sailor Senshi, only with their own member colors incorporated into each outfit. Conceptually, they sound like really cool outfits. But the actual outfits look kind of tacky. The outfits are variations on the actual Sailor Moon outfits, and they look overdone. I mean, the poofy sleeves, the exaggerated seifuku look, it's all a little messy. I think MomoClo would have been better up straight-up cosplaying the Sailor Moon outfits. Other than that, the two covers are both nice. The other one shows the Sailor Moon characters against a giant moon. I actually like the animated version better, but the MomoClo edition shows the girls themselves. It's more appropriate for the review!

Moon Pride

I am not an avid watcher of anime, but of the few shows I have watched, one of the highlights has always been the theme song! Whether it be Rinbu Revolution from Revolutionary Girl Utena or Connect from Puella Magi Madoka Magica or Moonlight Densetsu from the original Sailor Moon, an opening song should get me pumped for the show I'm watching. My favorite anime theme song will always be Tank! from Cowboy Bebop. And just about any of Mizuki Nana's opening songs are a personal favorite of mine as well. Even some of 9nine's anime songs are decent listens! Now Moonlight Densetsu is one hell of a theme song, especially the catchy English version. Honestly, I thought MomoClo was just going to cover that for the new anime. Turns out that was not the case, which is for better or worse. Moonlight Densetsu is a song that I just associate with Sailor Moon. When I think of the song that goes with Sailor Moon, that's the song coming to my head. However, I think having a new song for a reboot with a different edge than the old anime is also a good way to go. Dwelling on nostalgia is an unhealthy activity, and a new anime should have a new song!

If only Moon Pride were an interesting song.

Moon Pride isn't an awful song. I like it better than Naitemo Iin da yo. The song has its strong points. The chorus picks up after the second go-round. Vocally, the girls sound pretty decent too! And the guitar composition by Marty Friedman is a nice addition to Moon Pride. But I'm not feeling it. Moon Pride sounds subdued, dull at times. I don't get a strong impression from Moon Pride, just a vague pleasantness. I thought maybe the song would grow on me after listening to it several times, but I'm not loving Moon Pride. I'm liking it. But that's pretty much it. I think my problem with Moon Pride is that there's no hook. Nothing about the song reels me in. There's a nice melody and a good instrumental, but nothing about Moon Pride reaches out and grabs me. Maybe if a group like 9nine handled Moon Pride, the song would work, but this is Momoiro Clover Z. For a group known for its craziness, their stuff has been so blah. Even their rendition of Moonlight Densetsu had more life than Moon Pride. Overall, Moon Pride leaves me lukewarm, but it's decent as far as anime openings go.

I was hoping the music video for Moon Pride would have the girls dressed as the Sailor Senshi, fighting their way through monsters and mayhem! Turns out, got that music video. What did Momoiro Clover Z get? A lame-ass clip show. The PV for Moon Pride consists of clips from the rebooted Sailor Moon that you've already seen if you watched the first two episodes. Hell, most of the animation comes from the animated opening. I'm all for recycling, but for Momoiro Clover Z, this is such a disappointment. Half of what makes MomoClo so interesting is that they get some cool music videos. Even Naitemo Iin da yo in all its pointless cameos and meandering storyline at least had some cool visuals. And the girls were at least in that music video. MomoClo isn't in the PV for Moon Pride at all. Not even a cameo at the end. I wouldn't have minded if they'd done something cool like make an animated music video. But if you've seen the anime so far, you've seen the music video. It's a downright cop-out. And that leaves me very, very displeased.

So I'll give Moon Pride 3.5 apples. As a Sailor Moon theme song, it pales in comparison to Moonlight Densetsu. As a Momoiro Clover Z song, it pales in comparison to everything off of Battle and Romance. In the end though, Moon Pride is a nice song, and not a bad one for the anime. Still, I can't help but feel the song is lacking.


Featured on Moon Pride is not only the opening, but the ending! Gekkou (which very appropriately translates to Moon Beam) is a slow, melodic kind of ending. The uplifting calm after a wave of action. I'm not a huge fan of MomoClo's slower songs (save for Kimi no Ato), but I think Gekkou works for them. It helps that the girls don't have to screech out any high notes. Even the harmonizing they do in Gekkou isn't half bad. Again, Gekkou is a very calm, tranquil song. There's not much to it, but the pacing and the ambient nature work better than I expected. Yet there's still this underlying epicness to the song highlighted by the strings and the pick-up in energy during the last verse. The instrumental overall is very well-done; it's the right blend of orchestral and mystical. Gekkou is the kind of song that I'd expect to hear from Sailor Moon. The song sounds like it was made to be played during the ending credits. Watching the show, I think Gekkou fits right in with the rest of the episode. I don't think Gekkou is Momoiro Clover Z's best song, but it is a nice song.

Nonetheless, there are a few nitpicks I have with Gekkou. My two problems with Gekkou are the length and the vocals. Gekkou actually isn't much longer than Moon Pride, but after three minutes, it starts to feel longer than it actually is. That's the problem with me and slow songs. They've got to keep my attention, otherwise I'm going to start nodding off. Then again, that may just be because I'm typing this at two in the morning. Nonetheless, Gekkou gets a tad monotonous, which doesn't help with the pace. And as always, the weaker aspect of Momoiro Clover Z are their vocals. With their faster songs, it's a little easier to ignore. But for slow, epic songs like Gekkou, some of that epicness gets pegged down when you hear the squeaky voices of MomoClo. I do think the girls are trying though! And they sound better in this songs than they've sounded in several of their slower songs! Still, I think I'd have given Gekkou to a solo singer with a more resonant voice, maybe one of the female seiyuus acting in the reboot. As it is though, Gekkou works pretty well as an ending. It has that atmospheric slowness of an anime ending and that cosmically epic feel of Sailor Moon.

Gekkou gets 4 apples from me. I think Gekkou works better as an ending than Moon Pride does as an opening. The song still isn't without its flaws, but I like how calm and ambient Gekkou sounds. After twenty-six minutes of sparkles and monsters and Usagi's screeching, Gekkou is a nice song to close out each episode. For Momoiro Clover Z, Gekkou is one of their better attempts at a slow song.

Moon Revenge

This last song is featured on the MomoClo edition only! It's a cover of the ending theme to Sailor Moon R, originally sung by Peach Hips. I'm surprised that Moon Revenge was included on Moon Pride and not Moonlight Densetsu. I thought that was the more popular Sailor Moon theme song, and MomoClo's already covered it. You think their cover will ever get a CD release? Oh well, maybe MomoClo's version of Moon Revenge will be featured in the reboot at some point! I wouldn't mind. I listened to the original version, and I think it's a very fitting song for Sailor Moon. Momoiro Clover Z's version of Moon Revenge isn't much different from the original, beyond the vocals. I will admit, I do like the vocals of the original better. It doesn't help that the original is performed by the seiyuus of the Sailor Senshi. Can you imagine what the reboot would have been like if the members if MomoClo voiced the Senshi? I think that would be downright terrifying! Entertaining, but terrifying! Overall, I think MomoClo's cover of Moon Revenge is done well, but I also don't feel like they really added anything to the original. It's like they basically just made a karaoke version.

Still, it's a very enjoyable song and my favorite track on Moon Pride. Honestly, Moon Revenge gets me more pumped to watch Sailor Moon than Moon Pride. The sound fits well with Momoiro Clover Z. Moon Revenge reminds me a bit of Otome Sensou, but thankfully three minutes shorter. It's nowhere near as crazy as some of MomoClo's other songs, but there's enough bubbliness and energy to Moon Revenge that it works as a MomoClo song. Moon Revenge does sound like a 90s anime song (because well, it is) and that gives the song a nostalgic feel. It's like combining the past with present by having a song sung by the older voice cast get covered by a new generation idol group. Going through the history of Sailor Moon makes me realize just how much of an impact it had on the magical girl genre and what a juggernaut the original franchise is. Moon Revenge is just one of many songs from the original anime; I wonder if MomoClo will cover any of the other Sailor Moon songs! For now, I am happy with Moon Revenge. I think it's the most fun of the three songs on Moon Pride, even if as a cover, it's more-or-less the same as the original.

I've settled on four apples for Moon Revenge. For a cover, it's a pretty good one, and I do like hearing idol groups cover older anime songs. The Peach Gips version may be the one I prefer, but Momoiro Clover Z's cover of Moon Revenge holds up well! It's fun, vibrant, and fits right in with the rest of this single!

The Verdict

Overall, Moon Pride is a Sailor Moon single that embraces Sailor Moon, which is what this single needed to do. You've got the reboot's opening, the ending, and then a cover of an older Sailor Moon song. And the group performing all these songs are wearing Sailor Moon-inspired outfits. And the promotional video for the single is a clip show of the reboot itself. This single might as well be named The Sailor Moon single. I would have been okay with that! If you're a Sailor Moon fan and are looking for a collection of songs from the reboot, Moon Pride is a good single to check out. However, I need to separate Sailor Moon from the songs themselves on this single. In my opinion, the weakest song on Moon Pride is the title song itself. Not that it's an atrocious song, but Moon Pride is such an underwhelming song that lacks a good hook. The two B-sides, Gekkou and Moon Revenge fare better. While Gekkou can get really slow, it's still a nice-sounding slow song. And Moon Revenge is a fun cover of an older Sailor Moon song. I wouldn't have minded if Moon Revenge was the opening theme for the reboot. As things are, Moon Pride makes for a decent opening.

As a Momoiro Clover Z single, Moon Pride is not the best they have done. I don't think Moon Pride is a failure single by any means, but I do feel like it's missing something. I've felt that with a lot of MomoClo's more recent songs. It's like they're all missing a... spark. A spark present in their earlier music. Maybe that's nostalgia clouding my vision. But that doesn't stop me from feeling that Moon Pride is lacking compared to some of MomoClo's other singles. Overall, I do think Moon Pride is better than Naitemo Iin da yo, which I am ever-so-thankful for. And in comparison to some of the other songs I've looked at this year, Moon Pride offers up some good songs. The A-side is the weakest off the single, but the two B-sides are both pretty good. I will say that Moon Pride as a single does have nice variety. You've got the anisong orchestral A-side, the ambient anime ending B-side, and the nostalgic cover of a previous Sailor Moon song. Together, all the songs fit with the Sailor Moon theme but stand alone as different songs. So yes, Moon Pride has its weakness, but the single also has just enough going for it to be a decent collection of songs all revolving around the moon princess herself.

So in the name of the moon, I will bestow upon Moon Pride four apples! I don't think this is a perfect single, but I didn't dislike any of the songs on it. For Momoiro Clover Z, Moon Pride is a step-up from their last single but nowhere near the quality of some of their 5th Dimension and Battle and Romance singles. But as a Sailor Moon single, it's a nice blend of old and new! So are any of my readers following the reboot Sailor Moon? What do you guys think of it so far?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spirited Away to Perfume World

Move over Cupitron, Perfume is back and ready to cling!

Wow, it's been over seven months since I had the opportunity to review a current Perfume release... Come to think of it, I've completely forgotten their last single. Did Sweet Refrain actually happen? That wasn't just some delusion everyone collectively had, right? Sweet Refrain started the post-Level3 era with more of a fizzle than a bang, and a new single from Perfume was long overdue. Fast forward through yet another long break between singles, and here we are at Cling Cling! It's always so much fun riding the momentum of a Perfume single, from the fan speculation to first impressions to final verdicts. And Cling Cling was an especially fun single with four different tracks! I'll get to reviewing the overall single later. For now though, I want to talk about just the A-side. Visually, the single has an Oriental feel to it, and that's reflected in the song itself. Cling Cling is an upbeat Perfume song with Oriental overtones. Think Handy Man except instead of Middle Eastern, Cling Cling sounds Oriental. It's an interesting sound for Perfume and definitely leaves a clear impression.

Admittedly, the short version of the song didn't have me falling for Cling Cling. But then I heard the full song. After hearing the full version, I slowly began to like Cling Cling each time I listened to it. Cling Cling sounds so fun; it's a song you can dance too without being too heavily EDM. I don't even mind the little bits of Dupstep in the song. And the vocals are done really nicely too; I love all the vocal embellishments in Cling Cling, like the repetition of, "I will cling to your chest" throughout the song. By the way, that's a pretty sensual statement from Perfume. Overall, Cling Cling got better for me with time, and I think Cling Cling lives up to the hype I held out. However, there is something disconcerting I've noticed with the release of Cling Cling. Actually, this isn't a first-time occurrence. I've noticed something that tends to happen when Perfume comes out with new music. There's a varying percentage of fans who think that the latest Perfume song sounds like a Kyarypamyupamyu song. And that Nakata's just giving Perfume Kyary reject songs. I've especially noticed this with Cling Cling. As a reviewer, I feel I need to clarify this mishap. So I'm going to say this in all bold:

Cling Cling does not sound like a Kyary song- okay, it sounds like a Kyary song.

I really hate making comparisons between Kyary and Perfume. Yes, they're produced by the same person, so it's only natural that sometimes their sounds would converge. But I still think Nakata gives Kyary her own distinct music style and Perfume has their own. Really, the only characteristic Kyary and Perfume share is that both parties release technopop music! And lots of J-pop singers release technopop! I don't see anyone comparing Curumi Chronicle to Kyarypamyupamyu! Now that I've mentioned Curumi Chronicle, let me take this moment to remind you all that she's releasing two new singles that you should all listen to! Where was I? Right, Perfume and Kyarypamyupamyu. On the flip side, I can't say to someone with a straight face that Cling Cling sounds nothing like a Kyary song. Because... it kind of does. I think because the pitch of Cling Cling is a little high for Perfume, akin to the pitch Kyary uses for many of her songs. I can easily imagine switching Perfume's vocals out with Kyary's in Cling Cling. Doesn't make the song sound better, but I can see where people come from when they say Cling Cling sounds like a song Kyarypamyupamyu would get.

But if I have to pick between Kyary-songs-that-sound-like-Perfume-songs and Perfume-songs-that-sound-like-Kyary-songs, I'm sticking with the latter. I like the way Perfume sounds better; their voices sound smoother, less squeaky and adorable. So yes, Cling Cling may sound similar to a Kyary song, but it is not a Kyary song and I am thankful for that. I do extend a wary warning to any other listeners who happen to be Kyary fans, because it is a little jarring when you hear Cling Cling for the first time. The vocals are high-pitched compared to Perfume's usual pitch, but if you can get used to that, then you might find a very fun song! I find Cling Cling to be such a breath of fresh air after Sweet Refrain. That song, while not terrible, was way too laidback for my tastes. That single overall was very light; call it the bran flakes of Perfume's discography. Cling Cling is a lot more energetic and bouncy, and the song leaves a much clearer impression! After seven months since their last single, Cling Cling is more-or-less what I was hoping to hear from Perfume.

But only half the fun of a new Perfume single is looking at the song itself. As always, I can look forward to a Perfume music video that's sure to grab my attention! The promo art for Cling Cling and the covers piqued my interest enough. They gave off an Oriental feel. So did the song itself, so does Cling Cling go for three with an Oriental-looking music video? Let's find out!

Down the stairs we go into the mystical land of Perfume!

In Level3, we entered the sphere. In Cling Cling, we enter the black market!

Someone in a Perfume PV that isn't Perfume!? What a miracle!

Is anyone else getting Firefly-vibes from this set?

I'm also getting Spirited Away vibes. I'm just gonna call that little girl Chihiro.

I'd know those legs anywhere!

I wonder who that mysterious person is! It's Aira Mitsuki, right?

Fried snake skin tendons? How delectable!

What a lovely plot device... it would be a shame if something were to... happen to it.

Nocchi looks amazing in this PV. Especially her hair.

I swear Kashiyuka could make a paper bag look glamorous.

So are Perfume the only three people working at this market? Tough crowd.

I don't know what to marvel over: Perfume's costumes or people other than Perfume in a Perfume PV.

Then again, those costumes are pretty exquisite...

A-chan spies with her eyes Cupitron trying to copy Spring of Life!

Alas, the plot device has vanished! Who could have taken it!?

Whoever took it, A-chan has much more pressing matters to attend to. I don't think she's stirred those noodles enough!

The Japanese Artful Dodger!

I'll bet Kashiyuka's cat Lyon stole the plot device!

If you steal my noodles, I will rip your head off and send it to Kyarypamyupamyu.

Egads, I love this set so much.

I love the colors, the atmosphere, the set decoration, the whole gorram thing!

The culprit's revealed! Wait... who is this person again? Oh well, that doesn't matter!

However will Perfume stop him!?

By sending a thousand volts through every nerve in his body!!!

No, A-chan just pulls a lever and that magically saves the day.

I need one of those "That was easy!" buttons.

This triumphant victory clearly calls for more dancing!

And a victory pose!

Not without one last look through the telescope though...

Part of what helped Cling Cling grow on me was listening to the song a lot. Another part was this music video. I love Perfume's clean, artsy videos; Sweet Refrain and Magic of Love were both wonderful PVs. But you know what I also love? Sets with character. I love sets packed top to bottom with props and decorations and signs and quirky little details that no one will ever notice. And that is basically what Cling Cling's set is. The PV takes place in what looks like a marketplace tucked away for only the truly curious to find. A truly curious little girl comes along, finds a magic telescope, mayhem ensues, and the good guys come out on top in the end. It's a simple story, but the story isn't the main highlight of Cling Cling. The most distinctive characteristic of the PV for Cling Cling is the sheer atmosphere. I said in my screencap that the set reminded me of something I'd see on Firefly, one of those grittier sci-fi TV shows with a lot of charm. But the PV also reminds me of Spirited Away, especially with the conclusion of the little girl and the host of hooded figures that are never explained. Are they spirits haunting the marketplace? Has the little girl wandered into the spirit world much like Chihiro did? And where does Perfume fit in to all of this?

I'm not sure what the producers of Cling Cling were going for storywise. But aesthetic-wise, Cling Cling's PV has a very clearly Oriental look. And like with the song, it's a very refreshing look for Perfume. A lot of their recent singles have been very clean and classy. Cling Cling has a gritty, but still refined, flair to it that's flashy and colorful. The girls all look beautiful in both costumes; I think the styling was extremely on point for Cling Cling. I particularly like Nocchi's hair. It looks like her stylists flat-ironed it to hell and back, but it's a good look for her! A nice variation of her usual bob. Both outfits are gorgeous, and my favorites are the ones used in the dance shot. The dance shot in general I think was well-done. I like how the girls are performing on a makeshift stage surrounded by spectators. It looks like they're giving a street performance. That's just another thing that adds to the gritty, urban feel of the music video. Also, the signs in the dance shot are all cool. I love how they're all in different languages such as English, Arabic, Mandarin, etc. It's embellishments like that that make me enjoy the PV for Cling Cling even more.

Another standout of the PV for Cling Cling is the fact that Perfume aren't the only people in it. How long has it been since we had a Perfume PV with someone else in it? Okay, yes, Mirai no Museum kind of counts, but they were cartoons half the time. Other than that release, we haven't had another person show up in a Perfume PV since Laser Beam. And in Cling Cling, there are tons of people wandering around. There's the adorable little girl who plays a pivotal role in the PV and the hooded villain who steals her telescope and then everyone else! I don't think the PV for Cling Cling would have worked as well had Perfume been the only ones in it! Then we wouldn't even have our major conflict! Speaking of, the conflict that pops up in Cling Cling is a little sloppily handled. The guy steals the magic telescope then A-chan pulls a lever and that gets the magic telescope back somehow? I'm not sure how that works. I'd actually heard a rumor that the PV for Cling Cling was going to have a fight scene, but that obviously was not the case. Doesn't mean that the music video is irredeemably terrible. But I was kind of expecting Perfume to battle all the hooded figures...

So there were a few things about Cling Cling that I wish could have been handled better like the storyline, but overall, I'm a happy Nia. The PV for Cling Cling is just about everything I hoped for. I do wish there could have been a full-blown fight scene, but my heart will go on without that. Besides, the lack of a fight scene does not diminish my enjoyment of Cling Cling's PV. This is such a wonderful PV from Perfume with a look that I don't see very often in Perfume's music videos. Cling Cling is a PV that relies on atmosphere and excels in that. Cling Cling has a messy, vibrant atmosphere with an Oriental theme, and it works so well. The dance is just as much fun as the song, with a lot of bouncing and even some head bobbing. The outfits look great, the set looks great, I am really going to miss the visuals of Cling Cling. Maybe Perfume's future singles in this era will continue this Oriental style! But I'm not holding out on it. The PV for Cling Cling is a treat to review, and together with the song, I couldn't be happier about this Perfume A-side! What did that Sweet Refrain sound like again?

Oh dear, I've been flitting back and forth between 4.5 and 5 apples for Cling Cling. I did end up going with 4.5 apples. Cling Cling is a great Perfume song, with a few tiny flaws. It's not my favorite Perfume A-side, but it is one of their stronger ones. Cling Cling's PV is what really stands out. The music video for Cling Cling is one of my favorites for 2014, and I highly recommend it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Top 20 BiS Songs

Well, the deed is done. BiS has disbanded. It was a sad day for many a BiS fan, but slightly less sad upon finding out that all the members were doing stuff post-disbandment. Still, it's not the same as seeing them all together in BiS releasing unconventional singles and doing strange things. How I will miss them...

I admit, the disbandment's been easier to deal with than I'd thought it would be. I think maybe because I've been busier than I expected this month? But I do feel a pang of sadness when I'm planning out things to review. Still, just because BiS has no future doesn't mean I can't dwell on their past! For a fairly short tenure, BiS left behind a large number of songs, music videos, and crazy stunts. Yesterday, I was trying to tally up how many songs BiS has released since their formation. Technically, they released three albums and ten singles of music. But they also did a boatload of collaborations with other artists from Vampillia to to Hijokaidan to Dorothy Little Happy! The total number of BiS songs I was able to come up with was over sixty. They've were around from late 2010 to July 2014 and in that time they release over sixty songs. To put in in perspective, Perfume major debuted in September 2005. From September 2005 to May 2009, they released twenty-eight songs. I am downright grateful for the amount of music BiS released before they left. They could have been one of those groups that barely released anything before dropping off the face of the planet. Like amU...

So as you can imagine, with over sixty songs, BiS has some released some pretty amazing music. They've also released some pretty terrible music. But when have you heard of an idol group that hasn't? Besides, I'm not here to focus on the low points of BiS. They were one of my favorite idol groups, and I need to pay respects to them. And since I can't draw, the only way I know how is by writing about them! I think a top 20 list for BiS is long overdue anyways. From nearly the get-go, I've sung my praises about BiS on the Wonderland. I've loved them for their unconventional image, their many, many strange music videos, and most of all, their really good music. BiS music varies from pop rock to ska to death metal to even electronica. The only consistency is a level of energy that I wish I'd hear in more idol groups. So after much internal deliberation, I have come up with my favorite 20 BiS songs. They have so many great songs to pick from that narrowing it down to 20 was a challenging feat! For that reason, here are a few honorable mentions:

I'm coming!!
I wish I was Special
nasty face
Teenage Flavor

And now let's get to the good stuff! The following twenty are my favorite BiS songs, and while they may be my personal favorites, I highly recommend you all listen to them. Hell, if you haven't listened to BiS, then do it! If you can get past their visuals, you might find some pretty good music! And then you too can experience crushing sadness over their disbandment! Fun for the whole family!

20. Demo Sayonara

I have and always will find Get You to be the weirdest BiS single, even if technically it was a collaboration with Dorothy Little Happy. But that's where most of the weirdness stems from! Dorothy Little Happy is about as cookie cutter as idol groups get, and if you like that sort of thing, this group is your cup of tea. Personally though, Dorothy Little Happy is my cup of blandness. And I don't drink tea. Anyways, for Get You, BiS and Dorothy Little Happy each covered one of each other's songs. Dorothy Little Happy covered Nerve and handled it pretty well, and in turn, BiS covered Demo Sayonara. The original Demo Sayonara is just as boring as everything else I've heard from Dorothy Little Happy, so hearing BiS cover it was definitely weird. Luckily, the BiS version changes so much of Demo Sayonara and ends up sounding nothing like the original! BiS's Demo Sayonara goes heavy on the synths, and I love it. Demo Sayonara reminds me of most of Ash and Error, but the added appeal comes from the fact that Demo Sayonara is a cover. BiS's cover has such energy and loudness to it. I'm not sure if they performed it at concerts much, but when they did, I'll bet it was awesome. Really though, all the songs on this single are good. Demo Sayonara's just my favorite!

19. Gugigi

I'm not sure if Gugigi is even a real word. But the song is cool! I love all the songs off the Nerve single, and I'm coming!! was so close to making it on the list. What I like about Gugigi is that it's one of the more pop-sounding songs from BiS. I love their alternative and rock songs, but their pop songs are just as strong! And I just feel very refreshed when I listen to Gugigi. It's such a happy song! BiS has a ton of abrasive and serious songs, but there's this very laidback happy sound that Gugigi has. There are even parts where the song sounds kind of bubbly! I don't know, there's not much else I can say about Gugigi. Insert something about nice composition or arrangement. Honestly, I just get good vibes whenever I listen to Gugigi. It's a nice B-side! Something that disappointed me about BiS's B-sides is that very few of them made it to their albums, especially for Brand-new Idol Society and Idol is Dead. Who Killed Idol? got a few. It really is a shame, because BiS released some strong B-sides. And there's such a nice variety with the B-sides too! Not every BiS B-side worked, but they all stand out. Gugigi stands out as one of BiS's happier, calmer songs. Gugigi isn't even the strongest B-side on this list! It is one of many to come so let us proceed onward!

18. Split Brain Syndrome

See? I told you there were more B-sides to come. This one's from My Ixxx! The title alone is enough to land Split Brain Syndrome in my top 20 BiS songs. But there's more to it than just a cool name! Over BiS's tenure, a lot of the songs I liked best from them were their rock-oriented. There aren't anywhere near as many alternative/rock idol groups as I would like, and BiS stood out in that respect. So yes, Split Brain Syndrome follows in the trend BiS's other rock-ish songs like Blew and PPCC and Lullaby. I always liked the vocals of Split Brain Syndrome. The girls sound so energetic when they sing this song, although that's partially thanks to a fast arrangement. My favorite parts of Split Brain Syndrome are when the singing speeds up in the chorus. I think it gives this sporadic, crazy feel to the song, and a song like Split Brain Syndrome needs a little bit of craziness. I like that Split Brain Syndrome doesn't sound too insane either, like StupiG did. Good god, that song is a mess. Back to Split Brain Syndrome, this song has all the energy that made BiS work so well and just a hint of the craziness that would come back in their later B-sides. It's my favorite B-side of the three on My Ixxx (honorable mention to Animal though) and definitely one of BiS's B-sides I'd recommend!

17. Our Song

Another cover (there are several on this list), although thankfully not a cover of the Taylor Swift song of the same name. No, this Our Song was originally by Osawa Shinichi. I actually love the original version, but I never would have known it even existed without hearing BiS's version. What I always liked about BiS's covers (even the ones that didn't make it to this list) is how BiS puts their own spin on each one. Like Demo Sayonara, had the gritty synths, and DenDen Passion had more of a hard rock edge then the original. And you know, BiS didn't sing it like chipmunks. Back to Our Song, BiS's version is a lot less upbeat than the original. Their version also sounds very muddled and noisy. Our Song sounds like a mishmash of grunge and dream pop, and to me, it's one of BiS's most distinctive songs. The song sounds so downtrodden and pretty at the same time, and back in 2012, I was kind of going through a grunge phase. And Our Song takes me back to when I was waiting for the entire Idol is Dead album to leak. I remember going crazy wanting to hear the album. Our Song was one of the first songs off the album that was leaked in full, and for some reason, that's a very clear memory of mine. I guess because that was when I really became a fan of BiS.

16. Thousand Volts

BiS's first album Brand-new Idol Society took awhile to grow on me. It's not that I thought it was a bad album, but I was much more impressed with Idol is Dead. And so Brand-new Idol Society kind of got cast off to the side. In recent months, I have listened to the album more, and it's really grown on me! One of my favorite songs off the album is Thousand Volts (or Southern Bolt depending on which romanization works). The general sound of Brand-new Idol Society is definitely closer to pop than their other two albums, but Thousand Volts is one of the more rock-ish songs on the album. Yeah, it's still pop rock, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun! Thousand Volts has a few quirks to it, like the record scratches thrown around in the instrumental. The song brings me back to early 2000s pop rock for some reason like Smash Mouth... Did I really just compare a BiS song to Smash Mouth? Whatever Thousand Volts sound similar to, I still think the song is fun! And while I love BiS's serious and edgy songs, I also like their lighter songs too! Thousand Volts sounds so easygoing and fun. That's the vibe I get from a lot of the songs off of Brand-new Idol Society. Thousand Volts is a personal favorite of mine, simply because I enjoy listening to it.

15. MMGK

Admittedly, Who Killed Idol? is probably my least favorite of BiS's three albums. Don't get me wrong, it's still got a few highlights. One of them being MMGK. MMGK dabbles into a more electronic sound for BiS, and I think it works really well. The riff at the beginning makes for such a strong opening and the rest of the song maintains a high level of energy. What I always liked about BiS is that they balanced electronica and rock really well in their songs, and that especially stands for MMGK. I also love the pacing of MMGK. The vocals go by really fast, and it's like you're getting swept up into this wave of crazy electronic rock music. I'll bet this was one of the crowd-pumping songs at concerts! I jam enough to MMGK in my car, can you imagine how crazy it must be with other people around? MMGK goes hard but not to the point where it's abrasive. My biggest problem with the other electronic songs on Who Killed Idol? (mainly StupiG and Error) was how abrasive they sounded. Like someone was mashing a hammer against my skull. MMGK is just right. It's not too messy, still maintains an earworm of a melody, and is long enough to hold my attention. Of the album tracks on Who Killed Idol?, MMGK is definitely the top one I'd recommend.

14. Ash

Speaking of electronica!BiS, here's Ash! A lot of what I said about MMGK can also be applied to Ash. But I think Ash is a little more all-over-the-place than MMGK is. I mean, I'm not even sure how the hell to describe Ash. Yes, it's got a ton of synths but there are also parts where it sounds closer to metal? All I know is that Ash reminds me of something I'd hear out of a cypberpunk movie. Which is pretty damn cool. Ash is such a hectic, energetic song. The song is frighteningly loud and doesn't relent on that loudness until the song stops playing. While BiS's more hardcore/metal songs usually didn't resonate with me, I took to Ash much better than I thought I would. I think that may be because there is still a clear melody to Ash that's buried under synths and growls and loud noises jam-packed into three minutes and twenty-five seconds of insanity. There's a lot of energy to Ash too, which is always something I admire in a song. The song sounds effing crazy, and the music video doesn't let up on the craziness. Ash is crazy in the same way that watching an explosion is crazy. And then Ash ends all that craziness with what? A fart noise! It's equal parts hilarious and stupid, but I think that describes a lot of BiS's antics. I may never know what to completely make of Ash, but I love listening to it all the same.

13. Mirror Mirror

Technically, this song isn't a BiS release. The song was a collaboration between BiS and alternative/experimental/orchestral band Vampillia for their album, The Divine Move. For the album, Vampillia collaborated with a variety of unconventional artists, including Togawa Jun! BiS contributed their vocals to two of the album songs, this one and Oops we did it again. Of the two, I prefer Mirror Mirror. I'm not even sure what to categorize Mirror Mirror as. The song is five minutes long and crams in so many different sounds and vocals; it's beautifully chaotic. Mirror Mirror starts out sounding like a church chorus, but then the song swings back and forth between soft delicate melodies and brutal screams and snarling. It's a little unsettling. I'm pretty sure that's what Vampillia was going for! Mirror Mirror took awhile to grow on me because of how dissonant it sounds, but over time, I really appreciated the whiplash of sound. I wish BiS had done more collaborations with Vampillia. I think they could have produced some pretty amazing stuff if Mirror Mirror's anything to go by. Oh well, as things are, Mirror Mirror is calculated chaos, the kind that you can't bring yourself to get away from. The collaboration with Vampillia makes Mirror Mirror one of BiS's most original songs.

12. Elegant no Kaibutsu

So has anyone heard of vaporwave? I swear it must be a buzzword these days, because I keep bumping into that term everywhere. Maybe that's because I've been listening to a lot of Especia these days... Anyways, I still don't 100% get vaporwave. From what I've read, it's a tongue-in-cheek approach to 80s pop and features album art that looks like it was created with Photoshop and Microsoft Clip Art. Anyways, I bring this up because I just found out a few months ago that Elegant no Kaibutsu is a vaporwave song. And I think Teenage Flavor is too, but that song didn't make the list. Elegant no Kaibutsu is a cover originally by an also-defunct band called Spank Happy. Funny enough Pour Lui covered Elegant no Kaibutsu as a solo single before going on to form BiS. I don't have the original to compare BiS's Elegant no Kaibutsu to, but I love the BiS version. At the time, I liked Elegant no Kaibutsu because it sounded so different compared to the other songs on Brand-new Idol Society. It had a funkier, quirkier sound, like something I'd hear from Cyndi Lauper. Then came my aforementioned discovery of vaporwave. I may not have a firm grasp on vaporwave, but I do think that Elegant no Kaibutsu is a cool song that would fit right in with an 80s hairspray commercial.

11. Tofu

BiS was never big on releasing digital singles, but of the few they did, Tofu was my favorite! Yum, Tofu. Honestly, I am not a big fan of tofu, but I love the song! Tofu's a pop rock song, like many BiS songs. And... that's pretty much all I have to say about it. I like how Tofu sounds, and it's a happy song from BiS. Yep. Very articulate song description, I know. Well, one other thing I do like about Tofu is the lineup around this time. If I recall correctly, UK had just left the group leaving BiS a trio yet again. Yufu was one of my favorite members of BiS, and I love hearing her voice in Tofu. It really is a shame that she and Pour Lui got along so poorly. Then came the Avex label and two new members; the five-member lineup of Pour Lui, Nozomi, Yufu, Mitchel, and Wacky is my favorite BiS lineup. I do get nostalgic thinking about the one around Tofu though. I think Idol was around the time when BiS started experimenting more and more, and Tofu's one of their last safer-sounding songs. Safe doesn't always equate to bad, and I enjoy listening to Tofu a lot. It's a happy song that gets me nostalgic for the older BiS. Although now I think many of BiS's songs are going to invoke nostalgia in me. Overall, Tofu's just a sweet, likable pop rock song from BiS.

10. Yah Yah Yah

I swear Yah Yah Yah is the last cover on this list! From here on out, it's original BiS music! Yah Yah Yah was originally by Chage and Aska, a duo formed in 1979. Their version of Yah Yah Yah was released way back in 1993, and it's a fun song! The two guys singing the song sound really into it. A lot of the covers I've listed on here I liked because they sounded so different from the original version. But BiS's cover of Yah Yah Yah retains pretty much the same upbeat nature of the original.  I can't spot many differences between the original and the cover. There are probably some compositional differences, but I don't have the ear trained to listen for those. As much as I loved hearing BiS put their own spin on various songs, Yah Yah Yah is refreshingly close to the original song. I don't even think I'd want BiS to change much about Yah Yah Yah, because the original version is a really great song. It's a bright, sunny rock song, and BiS's version puts me in a great mood. And it's easy to sing along to. Most of the song is pretty much just singing "Yah Yah Yah." Even a non-Japanese speaker can learn that! Primal was one of BiS's best singles, and Yah Yah Yah is one of two B-sides on it that particularly stand out to me. It's one of BiS's more feel-good songs, which is nice!

9. Mura-Mura

DiE is a decent BiS song but pales in comparison to B-side Mura-Mura. And that's not even factoring in the music video. Mura-Mura's PV was definitely one of the stranger ones from BiS. It involve satirizing the Minegishi Minami shaved head scandal and then kidnapping a random fan. And a face in a Pour Lui's crotch spewing out white liquid. The song does mean "horny" in Japanese... In their later years, BiS branched out to a lot of different sounds and gimmicks. Some didn't work as well as others, but they were always interesting. Mura-Mura is BiS's foray into ska. I haven't listened to a ton of ska, but I have listened to enough to enjoy the genre of music. And hearing BiS take on ska was something I never thought I'd hear them do! The final result was immensely enjoyable, entertaining too! Mura-Mura sounds equal parts playful and energetic and a little crazy. That brass in the instrumental fuels on the energy, which is part of what I think made Mura-Mura work so well. I love how the song starts by pretty much bursting to life then stays that way until the very end! Special mention again to the batshit-crazy music video. It's definitely not for everyone to watch but it does leave an impression... But hey, so does the song! Mura-Mura is a ton of fun, and if you like ska, check it out!

8. hide out cut

I am a sucker for pianos. The prettier they sound, the faster they're going to reel me in. Even shitty piano songs still appeal to me just a little bit. Hide out cut is my second favorite BiS B-side and mainly because of that beautiful instrumental. I wish I had sheet music to Hide out cut, because I would love to learn that melody. And the rest of the song is beautiful. Hide out cut isn't exactly a ballad; the tempo's too quick to be one. Hide out cut is an emotional song, and I think that's propelled by the vocal delivery of the girls of BiS. The original song has a little more of an impact than the re-recorded Who Killed Idol? version, but both recordings still sound emotional. The only off-putting aspect of Hide out cut are the lyrics. BiS released a few songs that they sang in English, Hide out cut included. The only problem is the English lyrics... make absolutely no sense. Like seriously, look. Parts of it I get but other parts just need to be re-worked entirely. When I first reviewed Hide out cut, the lyrics really bothered me. Now though, I don't care. I still love this song, strange, nonsensical lyrics and all. The composition of Hide out cut is pretty enough to transcend the lyrics. So if you can get past those lyrics, I strongly recommend listening to Hide out cut, especially if you're looking for a prettier BiS song.


Ah, memories. I remember the teaser videos for PPCC involves the girls dancing in underwear labeled "PPCC." Those were later revealed to be swimsuits, but nobody realized that at the time. PPCC was BiS's first side under a major label, and I was so worried at the time how switching to Avex would affect their sound. Luckily, PPCC was a much-needed confirmation that the BiS we knew and love wasn't going anywhere. This song rocks. There are many BiS songs that do, but PPCC gets a special trophy for being a song that rocks. And PPCC does it so effortlessly. PPCC has an amazing buildup to an even more amazing hook. Pero-Pero-Chuu-Chuu (I can't say it out loud, I have to sing it out loud) is such a perfect hook. And the rest of PPCC is just as great as that chorus hook. It's fun, it rocks, and did I mention the music video? I can't talk about PPCC without talking about the music video. It's one of my favorite BiS PVs and one of my favorite summer PVs in general. While Final Dance was a good effort from BiS, the PV for PPCC is bloody, violent, and the first introduction of BiS's spiked baseball bats. It's probably the most un-summer summer PV an idol group's released, but that's part of its charm. PPCC was BiS's entrance to a major label, and it was a memorable one.

6. Hitoribocchi

BiS didn't release a ton of ballads, but of the few they did, I like them all. I've always said what I like in a ballad is emotion. Don't give me something that sounds soft and full unless I want to fall asleep. I like my ballads to have some life in them. And I think that's why I love Hitoribocchi so much. The song is definitely a rock ballad, which also plays to my favor. I think it may even be more of an alternative-rock ballad. I'm reminded of The Smiths or The Cure during parts of Hitoribocchi which isn't a bad thing at all. What carries Hitoribocchi though is the vocal delivery. To put it plainly,  the girls sing their hearts out. They carry such clear, unbridled emotion when they sing Hitoribocchi, especially in that final chorus. Even the music video is about them trying to complete a 100km and the obstacles that come with that. Hitoribocchi is a loud ballad, yet there is this strange tenderness to it. The quieter bits in Hitoribocchi give me chills, like the singing before the final chorus. Hitoribocchi is raw and emotional but also a beautiful ballad. I think the members of BiS writing the lyrics to Hitoribocchi adds to the emotion of the song as well. I've heard a lot of J-pop ballads, and Hitoribocchi is ones of my favorites, maybe even more now that BiS has disbanded.

5. Chelsea

There are so many great album tracks off of Idol is Dead. Hell, I probably could have just put the whole album in this list. But my absolute favorite song off the album is Chelsea. Chelsea is fast-paced, fun, and freaking crazy. If you like punk, I enthusiastically recommend checking Chelsea out. Chelsea is BiS at their punk-rockest, and they completely own this song. I do wish BiS had done more punk songs. The sound really worked for them. The chorus of Chelsea is the best part of the entire song. It is insanely catchy. The best part though is the final rendition of the chorus when the key changes, and the song starts building up and sounding even crazier. The final thirty seconds of the album is pretty much the girls just screaming and ad-libbing whatever they want. It's amazing; I could bang my head to that last part all day. And then the song is over. Chelsea is around three-minutes long but feels more like a minute and a half. I think the length of the song works. Chelsea's meant to be a fast song! Idol is Dead had a ton of memorable songs on it, but Chelsea was the first one that instantly stuck in my memory. The song is equal parts fun and crazy, and that was when BiS's music worked best. Who knows who Chelsea is, but the song is the bomb.

4. Eat it

I wish this B-side made it onto one of BiS's albums. Even their best-of album would have sufficed. Eat it doesn't deserve to be only a B-side off of Primal. Okay yeah, BiS Kaidan covered it, but that doesn't count. You know how I was saying that Chelsea had the buildup of craziness? Well, Eat it also has one and bumps it up to eleven. With BiS's crazy songs, even their more disturbingly crazy songs, despite being somewhat terrified, I could never pull myself away from them. Eat it starts out with an eerie music box accompanied by static, my first sign that this song was going to be freaky. But then as the song goes on, Eat it sounds catchy and has a strong chorus and buildup. Then very slowly, the song gets weirder and weirder. After the second chorus, there's this creepy chanting. Topping it all off, the members of BiS spend the end of the song screaming their heads off. Then it's over. Eat it sounds like the kind of song I'd hear in a horror film. An exploitation horror film like Planet Terror or something. And yet... I love this song. There is something about Eat it that keeps me coming back. Maybe it's the delivery. Maybe the energy. Maybe the sheer freakiness. It's one of the BiS songs I could more easily see Togawa Jun singing. Actually... maybe that's why I love Eat it so much.

3. Nerve

From here on are all the songs that I included on my 50 favorite idol songs list. I know, kind of a spoiler, but what can I do? I do feel like I'm repeating myself at this point though. Besides, what can I really say about Nerve that hasn't already been said? Well... BiS did a Nerve dance video project! Via Youtube, various idol groups (and random people) all uploaded videos of themselves dancing to a snippet of Nerve. Even groups like Bellring Shoujo Heart and Tokyo Girls' Style got in on the action! I may have even done a video... Anyways, watching all these different idol groups dancing to Nerve was so heartwarming. I think it was a fun little sendoff to BiS. And what other song would they have used than Nerve? I think every idol group has that one song that's their "staple." This staple is either a fan-favorite, gets performed at concerts a lot, has many different version, or some combination of those three (for instance: Perfume's Polyrhythm, Morning Musume's Love Machine). Nerve is BiS's staple song. And I can see why. It has a fun, swinging beat and a melody that stays with you. Nerve did start getting a little overemphasized towards BiS's disbandment, but in the end, I still love Nerve. I love every incarnation of it, from the very first one to the final lineup version.

2. My Ixxx

My Ixxx was the first BiS song I ever listened to. Also, it was the first music video I ever saw from them. Together, My Ixxx left a very strong impression on me. My Ixxx showed me that there are more to idol groups than just AKB48 and Hello! Project. There's a complete underbelly of idols all over the spectrum, from conventional and friendly to strange and grotesque. BiS often leaned toward the latter, but had I never discovered BiS, I may have never even branched out into looking at the weirder idol groups on the market. Even without the nostalgia of My Ixxx, I still love the song. My Ixxx doesn't pull as many sounds out as some of the songs on this list. In comparison, My Ixxx is actually one of BiS's tamer songs. It's pop-rock, a genre of music that can either sound completely generic or surprisingly pleasant. My Ixxx just works well. The vocals are weirdly laidback, with the instrumental sounding more driven, and that all works. The song goes really well with the music video. Despite all the controversy surrounding it, I always liked the PV for My Ixxx. Was it controversy-invoking? Sure, but I found it to be very artsy. And the girls looked so carefree in it! My Ixxx is a song that strikes a lot of memories for me, while also being a great song. That is why My Ixxx is one of my favorites.

1. Primal

And at number one is Primal. God, I love this song. I really love this song. Obviously, that's a no-brainer, but sometimes I sit back and think to myself, "Man, Primal is a wonderful song." But why do I love Primal so much? Because it sounds so raw, so powerful. The riff in the beginning sets the serious, emotional tone, and the rest of Primal is the girls singing like the world is going to end. The vocals or Primal are what make the song. The way the girls sing it hits me with such emotion. I get chills when I listen to Primal; even after playing it a bajillion times, I still do. When I listened to Primal, that's when I knew that I wanted to be a fan of BiS. Primal is BiS at their most brutal and most vulnerable. The music videos emphasizes that. The PV for Primal stands out just as much as the song with too-close-for-comfort home footage and the girls shoving cameras down their throats. It's disturbing and poignant at the same time, and I don't think BiS was ever able to capture that in a music video again. BiS has done crazy and weird, but Primal feels like something much more raw. For that, I love Primal. It's my favorite BiS song and ultimately, one of my favorite idol songs. Even if you never listen to another BiS song in your life, I at least recommend listening to this one.

BiS went through a lot of changes in their career from lineups to labels to music. Going through the songs on this list, I realized that the many faces and sounds of BiS were what helped make them such a great group. I'm gonna miss their variety. So how you other BiS fans holding up post-disbandment? And what are your favorite BiS songs? While we're at it, what your least favorite BiS songs?