First off, I want to thank International Wota for their plug on THE JPOP MUSEUM.
As for the Oricon Round-Ups, it’s been awhile since I did one. Feburary, to be exact. I’m not going to make excuses but all I can say is that I’m so glad I was smart enough NOT to name this “Weekly Oricon Round-Ups”. Nevertheless, I do like making (and reading) Oricon Round-Ups so don’t ever expect this feature to ever stop or die.
Therefore, I’ll do a runthrough of this week’s releases as usual. I’ll probably never cover all the releases that I missed from March-May though so it’s up to you to go listen to them yourself.
ayaka-Yume wo Mitai ni:
Wow. I think this will become one of my favorite ayaka singles as a whole, joining the ranks of “Jewelry Day”. Yume wo Mikata ni is a wonderfully beautiful and simple song that is slow-paced but never boring. While the chorus is catchy, the verses, with their soft piano-line, are the most outstanding for me. The b-side is a soft, beautiful piano ballad similar in vein to Konya mo Hoshi ni Dakarete. And the live version of Kimi ga Iru Kara, well ayaka’s live vocals are always superb, much better than her recorded ones. All in all, amazing single.
suara-Free and Dream:
Oh wow, suara doing an upbeat pop-rock single? It’s a miracle. I swear, next the sky will start emitting purple bubbles in the shape of bunnies. Anyways, this is a nice change of pace from suara’s typical ballad/slow-jam fare and Free and Easy is a very solid too. suara’s vocals are more than up to the challenge too as she sings effortlessly in Free and Dream, giving the song that extra little touch that can only come with her unique vocal tone. The b-side is slower but it isn’t bad, even if I felt like she’s done it before. Overall, a great single from suara and one of the few that I really enjoy.
Yu-A – Aitai…
So apparently this is the debut single from Yu-A who is a member of , Foxxi misQ, the urban girl trio. I never got to listen to them but Yu-A has a nice, smooth vocal tone that really captures emotion well. Aitai… is a really amazing ballad with a strong orchestra line and r&b-influenced beats that manages to be both catchy and heart-wrenching.
Another Aitai? Jesus Christ, I know them Japanese love that phrase but find something else. Anyways, I like this Aitai too. The chorus was stuck in my head as I was taking a shower. This is a laid-back ballad with a strong orchestra and acoustic guitar line. What stands out the most, is the chorus which really shines from their wonderful harmonization. The only problem I find with this single? The cover. WTF is up with the white dude with the egg? I don’t want to meet him, that’s for sure.
Stereopony-I do it:
The collaboration where YUI basically wrote I do it for them. And God, does this song reek of YUI and her wannabe-Avril-Lavigne-style “rock”, surprise surprise. I still like it despite not being a fan of YUI. Then again, the vocalist is much more suited to rock songs unlike the songwriter and she blows YUI out of the water, technique-wise. Other then that, there’s not much to say besides that the song is catchy and I like it. Oh and I keep on referring to Stereopony and Stereophony for some odd reason.
Megumi Hayashibara – Shuuketsu no Sou he:
Oh my goodness. Megumi-sama may be a “seiyuu goddess” but she seriously can’t sing for shit. Nevertheless, this song is surprisingly catchy and enjoyable enough. And is it just me, or is Hayashibara trying to revive her stagnant career? It feels like two weeks since she released Front breaking! Either way, if she’s trying to relive her heyday, her chances are 0.00000001% since Japan really doesn’t need another seiyuu idol who can’t sing, especially one past her primetime.
Oddly enough, I HATED KARMA when I first heard it. I couldn’t last through the song and was prepared to put it under the “EPIC FAIL” category. Just before I was about to do that though, I decided to listen to KARMA and now…I like it. Odd. Anyways, KARMA is a not-so-mainstream song with a really haunting, instrument-heavy instrumentation and a soft melody that almost seems to blend in with the rest of the song. I think you need to be in the right mental state when listening to this-at a certain point, you may not be able to process it. Besides that, it’s a pretty chilling song that gave me chills at the second listen.
Tohoshinki – Share the World/We are!:
Is it bad that the first thing I thought when I saw this cover was “gay parade”? Anyways, I like share the world for three reasons: 1). It’s got an incredibly catchy refrain. 2). It’s got an acoustic guitar line. Major surprise. 3). It doesn’t bore me. Even bigger surprise. I admit-the chorus could be a lot stronger; the refrain is currently owning the chorus’s ass big time. We are! is a cheesy, happy-go-lucky rock-pop song that is certain to be a guilty pleasure full of ~*rainbows and sparkles*~. Anyways, I like this single even though the limited edition track sucks.
I’m not going to deny it. I’m rather disappointed with MAY’S especially after their solid debut album. I Wish is basically their take of Yuna Ito’s “Precious” that somehow manages to be pretty bland with a very dumbed-down and weak chorus. MaMa is a lot better though it reminds me a lot of Koi ni Ochite. Actually, all of these songs sound way too similar to everything on their debut album-a big warning sign. I like the remix of Brave Heart though. It’s soft, catchy, and mellow-the best song on this pretty mediocre single.
Too obnoxiously rock and annoying for me. I swear the chorus gave me a heart attack. On the plus side, the song is full of energy and liveliness. In short, it’s full of GAR, an element that GRANRODEO tried (and kind of failed) to bring in at Animelo 08. The b-side is more mellower and a little softer. Much more my style. It’s even got a violin line-that pleases the violinist in me. If it wasn’t for the b-side, this would be dumped in the FAIL bucket.
Asriel – Tuiokoku no Titai
God I mistakened them for some other visual kei duo that I can’t remember the name of right now EDIT: Yousei Teikoku. Thanks solarblade . Unfortunately, this vocalist for Asriel can’t sing for shit with a nasally high and weak voice. I swear to God; I want to stuff a sock in her mouth whenever she sings the chorus. The other bad thing about Tuiokoku no Titai is that it seems to drag on. I can barely make it past the 2 minute mark. Imagine my reaction when I see that this song is 5:44. The b-side Dearest…is an improvement but the vocalist sounds even shrillier and weaker than before. At least they have that flute.
LOL Phosphorus LOL. I was hoping for some majorly Engirsh science lyrics like “The air has nitrogen. I bathe in radium. As a kid, I sucked in too much helium” but sadly Phosphorus has none of that. Actually, Phosphorus doesn’t have much and after 3 listens I still cannot recall any part of the song. Whatsoever. A song’s gotta epically fail if it’s that dull and unmemorable. Actually, I wonder how poor eufuonis got through recording the song. It’s that bland.