What Did I Miss!? ~2010 Singles Edition~

November 12, 2010 at 5:25 PM | Posted in ~Features! | 4 Comments

Featuring Kana Nishino, the new queen of Jpop. Ayuwho?

Sorry but I just love to troll the Ayustans (crazy people need love too). They get so upset. ;D

Anyway, here’s a quick look at 10 singles from late June up to now. These are going to be short reviews so expect just a paragraph with a star rating. I’m a little rusty… >_>

♦ ♦ ♦

Namie Amuro – Break It / Get Myself Back
Released on: July 28
Oricon Chart position: #3
Copies sold: 84,566
Overall Rating: 

This is easily the best single released by an avex diva this year. I love Break It mostly for its wacky arrangement that includes Middle Eastern inspired acoustics and thumping drums. Amuro’s vocals could have better since she’s singing at a higher pitch than usual. The 2nd A-side Get Myself Back is a little slower but not slow enough to classify it as mid-tempo. It features a lot of beats and synth so it maintains a pretty lively atmosphere.

Kana Nishino – if
Released on: August 4
Oricon Chart position: #5
Copies sold: 86,343
Overall Rating: 

I was like “Ahhhhhh” thinking which Kana single to feature on this post…if or Kimitte because they’re both good but I went with if. It is the better single and it has stronger B-sides as well. For one thing, I was glad if was not some “aitakute cellphone” song so Kana gets an A for that. The B-sides are what really make this single shine though. I’ll be there is sweet and heartwarming while Beautiful is an absolute club banger. When is she ever going to release a song like that as a A-side because I need it NOW.

Sayuri Sugawara – “Suki” to Iu Kotoba
Released on: September 1
Oricon Chart position: #37
Copies sold: 3,075
Overall Rating: 

For those who don’t know her, she’s the chick who sang the Final Fantasy XIII Japanese theme song Kimi ga Iru Kara. The 2nd single of her current era, I kind of love “Suki” to Iu Kotoba (『好き』という言葉). It’s so pretty! Get rid of the stupid background vocals and the song would be perfect. As for the B-side I Wanna Cry… (a rockish type of song), I thought it was nice to hear Sugawara sing out of her pop/almost-not-even R&B niche.

Ai Otsuka – I ♥ ×××
Released on: September 8
Oricon Chart position: #8
Copies sold: 14,178 (LOL FLOP)
Overall Rating: 

What a truly bad song. Come at me, Ai stans! I ♥ ××× is terrible and probably one of her worst A-sides to date. The song tries to be cute and uplifting but it’s really just annoying and repetitive. All Ai does is sing “I love you this” and “I love you that” followed by cult chanting at the end. It’s not charming and it doesn’t make me feel all ~warm and fuzzy~ inside. BYE!

Koda Kumi – Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. / Anata Dake ga
Released on: September 22
Oricon Chart position: #2
Copies sold: 73,955
Overall Rating: 

I was totally on TEAM KUU during the crossroad vs. Suki dex3 wars. XD Would you imagine if Kuu did get the #1? I would be laughing all the way to boot camp. Anyway, as far as Kuu’s ballad singles go, this was a good one. Suki de, Suki de, Suki de. (好きで、好きで、好きで。)  was nice but I thought Anata Dake ga (あなただけが) was better. They’re both extremely pretty songs in the end. The single also includes a new version of her classic song walk titled walk ~to the future~.

Ayumi Hamasaki – L
Released on: September 29
Oricon Chart position: #1
Copies sold: 93,521
Overall Rating: 

Ah, Ayu’s landmark 50th single! Awful covers aside, I think this was her best overall single since Rule / Sparkle. It definitely craps all over MOON / blossom and crossroad, too. This is a triple A-side single and features a different leading track depending on the edition. I liked Sweet Season because it was a pleasant song with an arrangement that didn’t come off as overblown or forced. Virgin Road is a grandiose ballad but I didn’t care much for it and then there’s Last angel which I thought was pretty cool since it was reminiscent of her early eurobeat and trance days. Just like the last 2 singles, there’s bonus material depending on the edition like new versions of crossroad and SEVEN DAYS WAR. Check the page at JpopStop! *lazy*

Hitomi Shimatani – Mayonaka no Guitar
Released on: October 6
Oricon Chart position: #64
Copies sold: Bitch, I don’t know!
Overall Rating: 

Giiiiiirl, why are you releasing cover songs as A-sides again? I thought we got past that. Tsk tsk~ Even though I was disappointed, I must say that Mayonaka no Guitar (真夜中のギター) is a grower. It’s a simple, basic song but good lawd it got stuck in my head numerous times to the point that I now like it. The B-side Futari no Sora (ふたりの空) should have been the leading track since it’s more upbeat and has a better arrangement.

alan – Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru
Released on: October 13
Oricon Chart position: #20
Copies sold: 5,624
Overall Rating: 

Now this is what I’m talking about! After that Voice of EARTH wannabe Kaze ni Mukau Hana (sorry but I had to admit that), alan steps up her game with this haunting winter ballad. Seriously, Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru (悲しみは雪に眠る) is magnificent and it totally reminds me of music from a RPG. The B-side Namonaki Tane (名もなき種) is also well done and follows the same dramatic tone as the leading track.

Yuna Ito – Mamotte Agetai
Released on: November 3
Oricon Chart position: #41
Copies sold: 1,919
Overall Rating: 

About time this girl releases a single. It’s been a year since Let it Go. I want to like Mamotte Agetai (守ってあげたい) but the song is pretty BLAH. I think of it as a poor man’s miss you or trust you. XD It sounds nice but that’s about it. The B-side Kiss me (that’s the 3rd Sony artist with that song title!) is alright I guess. At least it wasn’t super cheesy. The single also includes a remix of Precious (you know, her hit single from 4 years ago ;D).

Ken Hirai – Aishiteru
Released on: November 10
Oricon Chart position: It hasn’t been a week yet. I can’t predict the future! OMGZ
Copies sold: At this rate, probably not a lot.
Overall Rating: 

Isn’t that just the most dramatic cover art you’ve ever seen? It makes a perfect banner for this blog. XD Focusing on Aishiteru (アイシテル), Ken-chan once again proves that he excels at ballads. I loooove it. The single before this, Sing Forever, was just okay and I didn’t care for it. The first B-side has a weird title. What’s an air cameraman? And why does he want to take my picture? Creepy… The next track is a cover of the classic song Unchained Melody, where I thought Ken-chan’s English singing was pretty good. His falsetto is crazy, too!

Other Observations

  • BoA’s last Japanese single WOO WEEKEND sucked. I’m so glad that she quickly rebounded with her Korean comeback album Hurricane Venus, which has to be one of my favorite albums this year.
  • Thelma Aoyama’s LET’S PARTY! / 23 proved to be her biggest flop yet, charting at #164. I kind of feel sorry for her now.
  • K is going on a 2 year hiatus! *crying rivers of tears* Since he’s a Korean male, he has to complete 2 years of military service before he turns 30. It’s the law! =O At least he released one more single (dear…) and has an upcoming best-of album in December.
  • JIDAISHIN by Do As Infinity fucking rocks!
  • BENI released her obligatory marriage song Heaven’s Door in August. I liked that song but the B-side I like it was pretty bad. Too much auto-tune.
  • Hopping on the LIFE train, Salyu’s latest single was great.
  • Did you see the covers of WaT’s 24/7 ~Mou Ichido~? Just woooooow.
  • I would have mentioned Yuya Matsushita’s Bird / 4 Seasons up there, but I still haven’t heard L.o.L yet. Is it good?

Upcoming Singles

  • JUJU – Kono Yoru wo Tomete yo (この夜をとめてよ) [11/17]
  • BENI – 2FACE [11/24]
  • Crystal Kay – Journey ~Kimi to Futari de~ (Journey ~君と二人で~) [11/24]
  • YUI – Rain [11/24]
  • Ai Kawashima – I Remember feat. Joe Sample [12/15]
  • Juliet – Yuki Love (ユキラブ) [12/15]
  • alan×Kei Fukui – Ai wa Chikara (愛は力) [1/1]
  • Nami Tamaki – Missing You ~Time To Love~ feat. KWANGSOO, JIHYUK, GIONIL (from Choshinsei) [1/12]

Coming up tomorrow: GOLD! LIFE! STAR! You can see what’s happening. coughALBUMScough



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  1. I miss you Lex :)

  2. *TACKLES AND HUGS* This was a blast to read! >:D

    Still haven’t heard Namie’s last single- SLAP ME.
    She does look like a FIERCE BITCH on the cover though. hehe :D

    Your praise of Kana Nishino almost makes me want to DL her stuff…almost.

    Sayuri is looking SMEXI on this cover but I still can’t find this to DL…her album was a little on the boring side (but then again, so was ALL the first albums of the new artists I was following…*cough*schoolfoodpunishment*tusjishion*kalafina*cough). It’s no wonder I havn’t heard from any of these artists, save for Sayuri, since then! >:(

    Otsuka musics has been tasting like a dirty piece of candy lately. I don’t know WTF her problem is. She lost me with LOVE BEST.

    Been lazy to listen to Kuu as well, as I usually am. haha. Although, I did watch the hot battle for Oricon’s top spot. ;)

    Ayu’s L tops her other two singles for sure. <3

    Glad alan redeemed herself. Oh, did you know that Younha is back in Japan? And BETTER? Not sure if you listen to her.

    Damn, Ito's new single was SO disappointing. What's up with that?!

    This is the first I've heard of Ken's new single. I love the cover and your new banner as well.

    :o But I LOVED BoA's WOO WEEKEND and Kumi-X's remix even more. You're right though, VENUS kicked all ass!

    Good luck to you K. *tears*

    Having DAI back "fucking rocks!" in general!

    Of course I'm excited about YUI and alan's new singles! Just a few more and my YUI collection with be COMPLETE like my Haikara!!!

  3. I LOL’d so hard at the Ai Otsuka cult chant and Hitomi’s sale comments XDD

  4. Good to see you back! =) Have fun at airforce training.. superawesomeness!
    Agreed about WOO WEEKEND. And poor Hitomi Shimatani.. she went so downhill so fast =(

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