[Part Four] Oricon Year Top Singles

December 9, 2008 at 5:10 pm (AAA, Aira Mitsuki, alan, Amuro Namie, Angela Aki, Aoyama Thelma, Arashi, ayaka, Berryz Koubou, BoA, BONNIE PINK, Buono!, C-ute, Crystal Kay, Fukui Mai, GIRL NEXT DOOR, Hamasaki Ayumi, Hey! Say! JUMP, Hirahara Ayaka, Ishida Yuko, Ito Yuna, Jyongri, KAT-TUN, Kawashima Ai, KinKi Kids, Kitahara Aiko, Kobukuro, Koda Kumi, Kuraki Mai, Leah Dizon, MEG, MilkyWay, Misia, Morning Musume, Nakashima Mika, NEWS, Otsuka Ai, Perfume, Shibasaki Kou, Shiraishi Kikyo, SMAP, Suzuki Ami, Tackey & Tsubasa, Takasugi Satomi, Tanimura Nana, Tegomasu, Tohoshinki, TOKIO, Utada Hikaru, V6) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Well there have been a lot of singles out this year. Some of them have been amazing and have made me fall in love with certain artists while others made me feel very disappointed. Which single took the number one spot? How many Johnny’s singles and H!P singles made the countdown? You’ll have to continue to find out.

mnsb1Hey! Say! JUMP has definitely impressed me this year, much more than I thought they would. I can’t even describe just how great their music has been but I’ll try anyway. The group’s fourth single, 真夜中のシャドーボーイ, wins title of “Single of Oricon Year 2008.” If there is one thing that these guys know how to do it, it’s make an upbeat single that makes the listener take notice. 真夜中のシャドーボーイ uses Spanish and Arabian themes to push their instrumentation over everyone elses. Except for Kei, Keito and Ryutaro, everybody has a real turn to shine. Yamada, Daiki, Nakajima and Chinen all have this center role (Yamada having the actual center role) since this song was used to promote their new drama Scrap Teacher so it was nice to see different people getting the time to shine. Everything about the song was perfect. With the constant repetition of the word “チェリー,” the listener is taken to another world. These boys really pull off the mature sound strongly and Chinen’s voice sounds different on this song than the others ones. Daiki, Nakajima, Yabu and Takaki all sound great too. With the multitude of live performances the song has gotten, the guys have looked hot and they sing the song with such confidence. It’s an amazing single that reigns above all the others so they should be very proud to have “Single of the Year.”

It was very hard to choose a first place winner and this single was so close to taking the top spot. Second place though kumitaboocddvdis something to be proud of too though and the runner up for “Single of the Year” goes to Koda Kumi with TABOO. After the controversy, Kumi went for a more conservative approach with MOON. However there’s something magical about Kumi when she does the sexy thing. She exutes confidence and it really makes for an enjoyable time when you can get up and move with Kuu. TABOO is the sexy anthem of 2008 as Kumi provides smooth vocals that lay over the hot instrumental. The verses are what make this song so addictive, particularly the last lines when she sings “drive away.” Kumi uses a certain cleverness with these lyrics using various metaphors to describe secret love and they come across to the listener perfectly. Plus I’m sure this single has given many others faith that Kumi will always have that sexiness in her because people have been worried that it’s been declining. Always is a nice compliment to the A-side even though it’s pretty forgettable. TABOO is the hot dance track that Kumi delivered and is just too good to pass up. Even the PV for the song was perfect. They really made sure this would be a strong single from all angles. This song single-handedly has me assured that TRICK will not be an album to forget.

cantstopthediscocddvdThird place was also really close to nabbing that top spot. The moment I heard the title track, I was instantly addicted and I knew the album that would soon follow would be amazing. That is why third place goes to Suzuki Ami with can’t stop the DISCO. It’s no secret that Ami and Nakata make a dream team because every single they release together just shines. I loved ONE but the moment I heard can’t stop the DISCO, I fell in love with the team. I first heard the chorus when it was used for the Mister Donuts CM and couldn’t get enough of it. But then when I heard the verses…I was blown away.  Ami really pulls off the cool vibe here and she’s given me one of the most addictive lines of 2008: me to me no kakehiki (love tactics). I can’t get enough of this song and it’s definitely one of the highlights of Supreme Show. Even the B-sides were amazing: climb up to the top and SUPER MUSIC MAKER (SA’08S/A Mix) were extremely strong numbers that helpe make this one cohesive single from start to finish (and that includes having each song have perfect transition into the next).

In case it wasn’t clear already, Hey! Say! JUMP has put out some fantastic music this year. So does it really come as a yssurprise that they have two singles in the top 5 best singles of 2008? I didn’t think so. Hey! Say! JUMP takes fourth place as well for their 3rd single, Your Seed / 冒険ライダー. It was with this single that I officially became a fan of these guys. Your Seed is the first time they really brought a mature song and the difference from Dreams come true shocked me. Everyone sounded great on this song and the rap section is absolutely infectious. I still haven’t found out who is doing that but the first person that came to mind was Nakajima. Was it actually him? Probably not but ya never know. It’s hard to really put my love for this song into words so let’s just say everything about this song was perfect. Not one thing could have made it any better. 冒険ライダー also had a kind of mature sound while having that fun-loving breezy atmosphere that just makes you wanna smile. I particularly like the chorus when all the boys come together and harmonize so perfectly. Also Yabu shines on his few solo lines before the final chorus so good job to him. So it’s the single that made me a Hey! Say! JUMP fan and one of the best releases of the entire year! The boys are on fire!!!

singles5Johnny’s Entertainment was definitely on a roll at the beginning of the year. NEWS’s first single of the year, 太陽のナミダ, comes in fifth place of Single of the Year. The title track uses Spanish and Arabian influences to really make the instrumentation addictive. Everybody sounded great on the song and personally, Massu’s voice stood out a little more than everyone else’s. Nonetheless, everyone sounded fantastic and their vocals really were smooth over the instrumental. バンビーナ and Lady Spider were also amazing, really catching my ear. It was actually Lady Spider that made me a real fan of NEWS because it just really sparkled in my eyes. It’s so catchy and one that could have been an A-side. バンビーナ really shows the sexy side of the boys. The lyrics have that dirty edge to them and they might even make you blush. Tegoshi can friggin sing and if you had any doubts about it, listen to バンビーナ. They did a magnificent job on this single and it’s certainly not one to pass up. As an overall package, it’s their strongest single to date so give it a listen if you haven’t already and fall in love with these boys like I did.

Suzuki Ami and Nakata really are the dream team. can’t stop the DISCO was amazing as was this year’s 6th best single, amisuzukionecddvdONE. The moment I heard ONE, I was addicted and I began following Ami thereafter. The song features a more aggressive instrumental with some perfect vocals from Ami to give it that extra flavor. When the song first opens, we are treated to the best part of the entire song: キラキラの the one. This one line makes the song fantastic but the rest of the song nicely follows this section. The chorus also stands out with the English phrases like “I love music and this world” and “I love your smile.” It’s absolutely perfect in every way so it’s the perfect way to introduce the formal come together of Ami and Nakata. Originally the B-side, A token of love, did not really impress me but after giving it some time, I fell in love with it. A token of love also features that aggressive sound that supports Ami so perfectly. I really like that last line of the chorus, the title of the song, because she says it with such edge and sleekness that it sticks in your head. Plus that ending instrumental sequence is fantastic, really standing out to the listener. Overall, this is definitely one of the strongest singles of the year, without question. It shows Ami’s cool side and is the perfect product of the dream team.

singles7alan has had a smash year with her Element Project. Each single repesented one of the 5 Godai elements and the best one to emerge of the five: 空唄. The title track is a beautiful upbeat song in which alan claims she can fly away. I think because this is the real upbeat number chosen to be an A-side, it stands out from all the other singles she has released. It really portrays the element of the sky well and lets the listener believe what she is singing. If you want even more amazingness, then turn to the B-side, My Stage. This is definitely alan’s most cheery and infectious song because the instrumentation is so light and heavenly, prompting the listener to just smile while listening. Honestly, I think I would have preferred My Stage to be the A-side since it’s a real standout in alan’s discography. I hope that she’ll be doing a similar song to this on her album…whenever that will be coming out. It shows the versatility of alan as an artist and proves that she can do music closer to mainstream music while still having that special touch that only alan can bring.

Perfume also had a strong year, releasing various singles that showed Perfume’s quirky and fun nature. However they singles8really stood out when they released Baby cruising love / マカロニ. They’re really the best examples of electrpop ballads as the instrumentation is strong and the girls’ voices suit them perfectly. Baby cruising love was nice because it still had traces of that unforgettable Nakata aggressiveness. However the real star of the single and the reason it placed so high on this chart was because of マカロニ. It is the prime example of how to slow down an electropop song and still maintain the quality. There is such a relaxing and natural atmosphere about this song that when I listen to it, I can just smile and drift off into another world. And having an emotional connection with a song just makes it all the better, which is why this is Perume’s best song to date. It was released at the end of the winter and I can see that there are some wintery traces hidden in the instrumentation. I’m hoping that the girls will bring another strong song like this for their next album, which looks to be strong looking at the singles released thus far. Good lucks girls and I hope the future brings you luck!

24If you want the best winter song released this year then you definitely have to look at 24 Xmas Time by Kuraki Mai. I was blown away when I first heard the song because there is something so natural and fun about this song that I can’t help but love. The song kind of goes back to her older style with songs like Love, Day After Tomorrow, which is always a good thing because I adore that song. Okay, let’s be truthful, the song isn’t that wintery or Christmas-like but that’s okay because it’s just a fantastic song. The verses are what make it so addictive and those moments where the instrumentation changes to set up Mai for a strong line (such as my favorite line in the whole song which translates to “kyou mo, watashi wa sekushii.” The B-side was nice, although a little generic but it compliments the whole wintery theme of the single nicely. I can’t believe Mai put out such a great single after a few that were questionable. I’m already anticipating her new album, touch Me!, because of this one song.

I love Tanimura Nana. She’s talented; she’s fun and she’s ready to go! Her 10th single, If I’m not the one / SEXY singles10SENORITA, featured two different songs that show off two different sides to her. If I’m not the one is a very beautiful ballad with Nana lamenting that she needs to know if she can’t be her admired’s one and only. She really portrays her emotions strongly and it keeps the listener focused and sympathetic towards her. However the star song on this single is SEXY SENORITA, a fun song that shows off Nana’s sexy and playful side. Her vocals here are strong and the chorus stands out proudly. She portrays attitude and sass, which is perfect for making the listener believe her. I really like the English phrases such as “call me, call me” and “crazy crazy.” I’m still waiting for an album to be released from her since I know I’m going to love it but she’s going to school (she’s attending one of the most prestigious law schools in Japan so go Nana!) so I can’t blame her. I just want any piece of news of a new release soon and it better be an album. Congratulations Nana for being such a threat with your fourth single, If I’m not the one / SEXY SENORITA, which rounds out our top 10.

11. Misia – Catch The Rainbow [Digital Release]

12. Morning Musume – ペッパー警部

13. Leah Dizon – Love Paradox

14. C-ute – 江戸の手毬唄 II

15. alan – 風の手紙

16. Perfume – Dream Fighter

17. Tohoshinki – 呪文  -Mirotic-

18. Arashi – One Love

19. Morning Musume – リゾナント ブルー

20. Ito Yuna – miss you

21. Koda Kumi – anytime

22. Perfume – love the world

23. Tanimura Nana – JUNGLE DANCE

24. V6 – 蝶

25. Kinki Kids – Secret Code

26. NEWS – SUMMER TIME

27. Leah Dizon – Vanilla

28. Aira Mitsuki – チャイナ・ディスコティカ

29. Berryz Koubou – 行け 行け モンキーダンス

30. alan – 懐かしい未来 ~longing future~

31. MEG – HEART

32. AAA – MIRAGE

33. Ishida Yuko – Changes

34. Hey! Say! JUMP – Dreams come true

35. Tohoshinki – Runaway / My Girlfriend

36. Tohoshinki – If…?! / Rainy Night

37. Tohoshinki – Purple Line

38. Utada Hikaru – HEART STATION / Stay Gold

39. Tegomass – アイアイ傘

40. Takasugi Satomi – ありがとう

41. Ito Yuna – 恋は groovy x2

42. BONNIE PINK – Ring A Bell

43. Shiraishi Kikyo – again

44. Shiraishi Kikyo – BLACK

45. Shimatani Hitomi – 泣きたいなら

46. Hamasaki Ayumi – Mirrorcle World

47. ayaka x Kobukuro – あなたと

48. alan – RED CLIFF ~心・戦~

49. Amuro Namie – 60s70s80s

50. Berryz Koubou – MADAYADE

51. Nakashima Mika – ORION

52. Crystal Kay – 涙のさきに

53. Jyongri – Winter Love Story

54. C-ute – 涙の色

55. Kuraki Mai – 夢が咲く春 / You and Music and Dream

56. Arashi – Step and Go

57. Arashi – Beautiful days

58. V6 – LIGHT IN YOUR HEART / Swing!

59. AAA – MUSIC!!! / ZERO

60. Aoyama Thelma – 守りたいもの

61. Koda Kumi – MOON

62. NEWS – Happy Birthday

63. Kitahara Aiko – その笑顔よ 永遠に

64. Shibasaki Kou – よくある話~喪服の女編~

65. Milky Way –  タンタンターン!

66. Kuraki Mai – 一秒ごとに Love for you

67. C-ute – FOREVER LOVE

68. Otsuka Ai – クラゲ, 流れ星

69. Aira Mitsuki – ロボットハニー

70. ayaka – おかえり

71. Utada Hikaru – Prisoner of Love

72. Shimatani Hitomi – WAKE YOU UP / 雨の日には 雨の中を 風の日には 風の中を / Marvelous

73. Hirahara Ayaka – 孤独の向こう

74. Milky Way – アナタボシ

75. alan – 恵みの雨

76. BoA – be with you.

77. BoA – VIVID

78. Fukui Mai – アイのうた

79. V6 – VIBES

80. Hirahara Ayaka – さよなら 私の夏

81. EXILE – LAST CHRISTMAS

82. Tohoshinki – Close to you / Crazy Life

83. Nishino Kana – Style

84. Arashi – truth / 風の向こうへ

85. KAT-TUN – White Xmas

86. GIRL NEXT DOOR – Drive away / 幸福の条件

87. GIRL NEXT DOOR – 偶然の確率

88. TOKIO – 雨傘 / あきれるくらい 僕らは願おう

89. Tohoshinki – Beautiful you / 千年恋歌

90. SMAP – そのまま / White Message

91. Angela Aki – 手紙 ~拝啓 十五の君へ

92.Tackey & Tsubasa – 恋詩-コイウタ / PROGRESS

93. AAA – BEYOND~カラダノカナタ

94. Kawashima Ai – カケラ / Flag

95. SMAP – この瞬間, きっと夢じゃない

96. EXILE – The Birthday ~Ti Amo~

97. Buono! – ガチンコでいこう!

98. Berryz Koubou – ジンギスカン

99. Buono! – Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!

100. Buono! – ロッタラ ロッタラ 

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[Part Two] From The Boys of JE

December 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm (Arashi, Hey! Say! JUMP, Kanjani∞, KAT-TUN, KinKi Kids, NEWS, SMAP, Tackey & Tsubasa, Tegomasu, TOKIO, V6) (, , , , , , , , , , )

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Without a doubt, the “Kings of JE” title belong to Hey! Say! JUMP. I have fallen for these boys and am amazed at how far they’ve come since their debut single in 2007. These guys have released three singles this year and each single got better and better. Dreams come true was a very catchy and upbeat pop number that really showed the boys’ personality and made it an enjoyable listen. After that, the boys really impressed me with Your Seed / 冒険ライダー. It was with Your Seed, that I really got hooked on this group as they showed that mature sound that they do so well with. Even 冒険ライダー featured a slightly mature sound while still having that regular boyband feel. It was a perfect single and I couldn’t have asked for any better. But then they released 真夜中のシャドーボーイ and I fell in love all over again. The song featured a Spanish twist to bring out the boys mature side yet again (I think it should be manditory for all JE groups to have a Spanish influenced song since it always goes well). Along with falling in love with the music, I fell in love with the members of the group. Yamada is my absolute favorite and I’m glad he’s been the center of attention. He’s a good singer, great actor and is really hot. Yabu is my favorite BEST member and he’s extremely sexy. Thanks to both Sensei wa Erai! and Scrap Teacher, I’ve fallen for Nakajima and Daiki as well and I look forward to seeing more episodes of Scrap Teacher with them. Chinen and Takaki have considerably grown on me as well. Basically, Hey! Say! JUMP has done everything right this year except for one thing…AN ALBUM! If JE does not give them an album soon, I will go crazy so here’s to hoping we get an album in the first three months of January…

Coming in second for the “Kings of JE” is one of my favorite boybands, NEWS. The boys have released three heat1singles and one album this year, having their ups and downs. The boys’ first release of the year was with 太陽のナミダ, an absolutely fantastic dance song with Spanish and Arabian influences that sounds absolutely fantastic. Two of the B-sides on that single (バンビーナ and Lady Spider) also helped me fall for these guys, particularly Lady Spider. It is these types of songs that NEWS shines at so they really should continue exploring them. They followed up with SUMMER TIME, a sweet and cute summery number with that fun pop atomsphere that is perfect for that time of year. Once again, two B-sides (EASY COME, EASY GO and Liar) hooked me onto the single. Then came Happy Birthday, which was the weakest single from this era but still a nice enjoyable song. GAME of LOVE, which was the second B-side, was very strong and could have been the A-side. Then the album came and that’s why these boys don’t win the title of “Kings of JE.” After the amazing album, pacific, I was hoping that this album would be just as good, if not better. Unfortunately, this album was filled with forgetttable songs that just made me so disappointed. The one amazing new standout number was ケセナイ, sung courtesy of the man to your right, Tegoshi (Ryo and Shige were there too but it was Tegoshi leading). He definitely wins the “Prince of NEWS” title because he’s done everything right this year. He’s brought killer vocals to each song and he has looked since day one of this year until now (and before of course). I absolutely love Tegoshi and he’s one of my favorite members (alongside Massu) so it’s no surprise that he would deliver. Also the boys brought a concert DVD, which was absolutely entrancing. Certain performances such as SHOCK ME vs Devil or Angel. 愛のマタドール and ゴメンネ ジュリエット really made the DVD a perfect watch because the boys really bring the heat (i.e. see Yamapi perform his solo song…it’s…wow). I hope the boys are able to deliver strong material next year but I don’t doubt them. All the singles leading up to the album were fantastic so I’m hoping next time around, they put a little more effort into making the album as varied as the singles. On a related note, Tegoshi and Massu teamed up again as Tegomass and released their third single, 相合傘, which is a beautiful ballad about being unable to tell your feelings to the one you love while sharing an umbrella. It was an adorable single and I’m glad that they did this, which leaves me ready for an album from them next year.

ohnoWell I’m sure people will diasagree with this position but I give Arashi third place for “Kings of JE.” They’ve have been some very busy boys this year, releasing four singles and an album, which makes them the most active releasers of the year in Johnny’s Entertainment. They released Step and Go in February and that was my first taste of these guys and it caught my attention. It’s definitely the type of song that gets stuck in your head. Then they released Dream”A”live, an album packed with enjoyable uptempo numbers to keep the listener moving. It was pretty enjoyable and I would crown it “Johnny’s Entertainment Album Of The Year” (even though that may not be much of a prize seeing as only NEWS, SMAP and KAT-TUN were released an album besides Arashi but they get it nonetheless). But it was One Love, which really made me interested in these guys. This song is absolutely fantastic and is definitely the best song they have released thus far. It’s so pretty that it could even make me cry. Following was truth / 風の向こうへ, which everyone seemed to eat up. Honestly though, I didn’t really see what was so fantastic about it. Luckily Beautiful days was a step up and stood out to me. If you want proof that people love Arashi, just look at the sales. They have absolutely smashed the charts and stomped people out from the top spots. I was really surprised but I congratulate them and hope their success continues. My favorite member is without a doubt Ohno. The first thing I noticed about his him was his face and how it kind of had a sadness to it, at least to me anyway. I think he’s a good leader and look forward to see him grow and sing in the future.

It was a close call for third place but ultimately I gave it to Arashi. So fourth place (but still really close to taking kenthird) is V6. The guys’ first single of the year was 蝶, which immediately caught my eye. Well it wasn’t so much the title track as the second B-side, SHOW ME, that made me fall for these guys. SHOW ME is amazing and fantastic, definitely worth being an A-side. It’s the real reason that I came to follow these guys music. However all the songs on that single were fantastic, including the two other B-sides (Keep a Chance and Twlight emotion). 蝶 was a great title track, taking on Spanish sounds to push the instrumentation over the edge. VIBES, a DVD single, was released soon after and it was kind of like a mini album since there were so many new tracks. VOLTAGE, サンキュー! ミュージック! and DIVE were the three standout songs on this single and definitely kept the group’s momentum of strong songs. Next they released LIGHT IN YOUR HEART / Swing!, which was a very catchy single worth listening to. I didn’t really get to know these guys very well but I’ve chosen my favorite member, who we can take a look at to our right. Let’s take a big thanks to Raid at Raid My Mini Bar for pointing out Ken Miyake to me. There is a picture of him on the website (a random picture in a group appears at the top) and that’s how I got introduced this very hot guy. I tried to find that picture but to no avail. I hope these boys will be putting out an album soon so I can see just how talented these boys are and I hope they continue to deliver hot uptempo tunes.

kokiIt was also hard to choose who would get the 5th spot for “Kings of JE” but I chose to give it to KAT-TUN. With three singles and one album under their belt for the year, KAT-TUN definitely had their share of releases. Let’s be honest, T∀BOO is the reason that these boys got this spot. They’ve released LIPS, DON’T U EVER STOP and White X’mas but none of those songs could hold a candle to that amazingness that is T∀BOO. It’s a sleek and sexy number that is not only one of the best opening tracks of the year but one of the best opening tracks ever. It is addictive and worth the listen if you haven’t heard it. QUEEN OF THE PIRATES was a nice album although a little too focused on rock and not strong enough ballads. Keep the faith was a strong follow up to the introductory track and was another album highlight. Who is my favorite member of KAT-TUN? Tanaka Koki of course. He always stands out to be when I watch their PVs and his voice catches my ear when I hear their songs. Plus he has such a different look from the rest of his bandmates, it’s hard not to see him. Even though the singles could have been a little stronger and a little more aggressive, I would say KAT-TUN did a good job this year with their releases and I’m excited to see what they bring next year. Also their tour DVD comes out next year and I’ll be waiting to see T∀BOO  live.

The rest of the groups I’ll be counting down did not release very much in comparison to their counterparts so I’ll just tackey1review them as one paragraph. 6th place goes to Kinki Kids, who actually only released one single. But what a single it was…Both Secret Code, the title track, and the B-sides made me really fond of these guys. It’s such a shame that they only released one single because I was looking forward to hearing more. While Secret Code takes on the cool jazzy route, strategie uses Spanish influences with Fu Fu Fu and ビターショコラ following the jazz suit. Plus I found out about Domoto Koichi, who is hot beyond belief. Up next is Tackey & Tsubasa, who take 7th place. Much like Kinki Kids, they only released one single but it was pretty good. 恋詩 – コイウタ- was really pretty so it was worth the listen while PROGRESS was a nice uptempo number. The 8th spot goes to SMAP, who released two enjoyable singles: そのまま / White Message and この瞬間, きっと夢じゃない. These guys have some really nice voices so I’m glad I was introduced to them. They also released an album entitled super.modern.artistic.performance, which I haven’t gotten around to listening to but I will soon. Kanjani∞ comes in 9th, mostly for Wahaha. That single was pretty catchy although not the most memorable song I could have hoped for. This group is just okay for me so I hope they release some material to really make me like them because I think that it’s just their style / image that just doesn’t suit me very well. Finally 10th place is TOKIO, who only released one single, 雨傘 / あきれるくらい僕らは願おう. It was nice although it didn’t really catch my attention like the other groups. I hope that these groups (Kinki Kids in particular) will be more active next year so I can really experience what they’re like.

Johnny’s Entertainment certainly has the talent to back up their big name. Many people associate JE with boys who rely on looks rather than talent but that is absolutely not true. Of course these boys have the looks but they have extreme talent to match. Hey! Say! JUMP brought some amazing material this year, winning them title of Kings of Johnny’s Entertainment 2008. NEWS and Arashi also brought some very nice material and had NEWS made a stronger album, they might have taken the crown. Arashi had a very big year as the most releasing group of JE so I wonder what next year will have in store for them, seeing as it is their 10th anniversary. The other groups all had their own special touch even if some weren’t very active. I look forward to seeing what Johnny Kitagawa plans for in 2009…it better be an album from Hey! Say! JUMP at the beginning or I will be pissed.

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SMAP – この瞬間, きっと夢じゃない [43rd Single]

August 12, 2008 at 10:29 pm (SMAP) (, )

SMAP’s 43rd single, entitled この瞬間, きっと夢じゃない, was released on 08.13.08. The title track was used as the theme song for the TBS Beijing Olympics.

The title track is a pretty relaxing number. The song starts off with a nice and relaxing instrumentation that catches the listener’s ear before the first verse chomes in. Supported by smooth vocals and an enjoyable instrumentation, it really stands out. The boys harmonize very well on the chorus and the way that they sing the lyrics hold a certain prettiness to them, making the chorus so memorable. There is a very pretty pure instrumental section and it’s definitely one of the song’s stronger points.

Single Ranking: A –

This single features a very enjoyable A-side that holds a prettiness and smooth vocals from the boys, making it really enjoyable. It’s definitely a single to enjoy.

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SMAP – そのまま / White Message [42nd Single]

August 6, 2008 at 11:40 pm (SMAP) (, )

SMAP’s 42nd single, entitled そのまま / White Message, was released on 03.05.08. そのまま was used as the theme song for the dorama Sasaki Fusai no Jingi Naki Takakai.

そのままis an excellent midtempo number. The song begins with a sweet midtempo sound and then the chorus comes in, with strong vocals that catch the listener’s ear easily. Following is the first verse, with vocals that really match the song’s atmosphere and show off what these boys can really do. Each moment of pure instrumentation really shine as they show the simplistic beauty of the music. This is an excellent song that really shines as the boys bring strong vocals over a very pretty instrumental, making it one to check out.

White Message picks things up nicely as the second A-side. Opening the song is a sparkling and sweet instrumental that has a dreamy feeling to it that cradles the listener. Things then pick up for a poppier sound on the chorus as the boys give strong vocals and sound great. Then the first verse comes and the vocals and music take on a more relaxing feeling that lets the listener sail through. The rap sequence is a perfect fit with this song as there is a sort of cuteness to it that makes the listener smile. Closing the song is more of the twinkling instrumentation to make the song enjoyable from beginning to end. White Message is another great song, which is very loveable.

Single Ranking: A

SMAP delivers strongly on both songs to make this a memorable single. そのまま is a very sweet midtempo number that is really strong and then things pick up a little for White Message, which is adorable. It’s definitely a strong and memorable single from start to finish.

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