January – May 2016 Song Reviews 2017-04-18T16:05:05+00:00

CDJapan   6_Jpop CDJapan    

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These are older song reviews that we have done in the past, from January to May 2016. If you like the songs, we still recommend everyone to purchase the album from CD Japan.

こちらは2016年1月から5月までのレビューでございます。 もし、気にってる曲はございましたら、CD Japanにお買いするとお勧めです。

Japan Top10がCD Japanと正式に提携しました!こちらで気に入った曲は是非CD JapanでCDをご購入ください。CD Japanは公式ウェブサイトで、このサイトからの購入はオリコンチャートに反映されます。送料も安く、商品価格も正規価格です。他のサイトは送料・商品価格共に高額となっている場合がありますので、ご注意ください。


May 1, 2016:


1. アイラミツキ – Detective A

Nick’s thoughts: The bright synths on melody take over the vocals to the point where I can’t really hear much of what they’re singing in the chorus, but it’s a good thing the overpowering background tune is extremely catchy. This sound has shades of Madeon, a French electronic producer. While it’s nothing new, Detective A certainly fits the bill as a fun synthpop hit. 7.5/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/detective-a-single/id1099769885


2. Perfume – Baby Face

COSMIC EXPLORER / PerfumeNick’s thoughts: Interesting optimistic minimalist pop tune. It’s cute that they seem to have used Boomwhackers as their main melodic instrument but it’s just that – a novelty. I normally love Perfume’s heavy synth production, but this song is completely devoid of that sound. 2/10
COSMIC EXPLORER [2CD+Blu-ray / Limited Edition / Type A] Perfume


3. GreenJacket – I Promise You

Fantasy / GreenJacketNick’s thoughts: The opening singer has a wonderful tone in their vocals that compliments the other’s voice very pleasantly. The second singer has a unique voice that I couldn’t tell if I enjoyed or not at first, but in by the end of the second verse, GreenJacket shows off each singer’s solid vocal control. Even though the plain, subdued instrumentals provide an appropriate backdrop to showcase these talented singers, it leaves me wanting more, and they could have had an opportunity to compliment these vocals rather than let them control the entirety of the song. 6/10


4. スネオヘアー – 無くした日々にさよなら

0 / SuneohairNick’s thoughts: This song makes us feel good with this uplifting tune. The bridge is a nice rock adjustment to an otherwise light pop melody. The lead singer comfortable raises up to a soothing falsetto, which is almost a requirement for similar optimistic-feeling pop rock songs. The recurring riff is catchy too, but otherwise this doesn’t do much to stand out. 7/10



DEADMAN / BiSHNick’s thoughts: What I thought was the chorus turned out to be the conclusion of the song when it abruptly ended on me a minute and 39 seconds in. It’s unfortunate because I was gladly hoping to enjoy more of this switch up, as it happens to be my favourite part of the song. BiSH treats us to an excellent change of pace here that sweetly wraps up this fast paced rock tune without losing any momentum. As for the rest of DEADMAN, I appreciate the melodic yells, which they mix in with some less melodic ones over a consistent heavy rock guitar which dulls until the final segment. 5.5/10
DEADMAN [CD+DVD (Music Video Edition)] BiSH


6. odol – 退屈

Nick’s thoughts: The exciting intro instantly pulled me into an adventure. The crisp drumline works wonders with a sporadic piano melody that doesn’t give too much away off the top but teases you into wanting to hear what’s next in store from odol. And they manage to deliver with a song that not only has a solid vocal performance but has creative instrumental breakdowns and transitions that add depth to the fearless mood. One of my favourite things about this song is the effectiveness of the piano. Although the notes are simple and scattered, each one is so meaningful to the overall composition. 9/10


7. 松井はチャラン・ポ・ランタン – シャボン

Shabon / Matsui Rena to Charan-Po-RantanNick’s thoughts: There’s a right way and a wrong way to be different. For the song, it works. This is likely the most interesting and distinct song on this list, by nature of the composition of not only the accordion but the creative direction of how the lyrics are song. The volume, pace, and inflection of their voice are all accounted for with seemingly impromptu but calculated intent. It sounds like I’m listening to a beautifully crazy circus. 8.5/10
Shabon [CD+DVD / Type A] Matsui Rena to Charan-Po-Rantan


8. T.M. Revolution – インヘリット・ザ・フォース-

2020 - T.M.Revolution ALL TIME BEST - / T.M.RevolutionNick’s thoughts: This instantly pegs itself as a potential Gundam Seed opening theme song. The quick upbeat synths and beat and classic energetic male vocals fit into a very familiar 90s synthpop sound. It suits its purpose as one of these songs very well, but it’s not exactly the most original tune. I definitely feel like I could have heard a variation using the exact same tone and production style of this song in a mecha anime opening. 6/10 P.S. I just did some research. It’s the opening theme for a recent PS Vita game called Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force. Lo and behold, my point remains valid!
2020 – T.M.Revolution ALL TIME BEST – [Regular Edition] T.M.Revolution


9. aR-sol – 青空キャンパス

Nick’s thoughts: I’m not a fan of the individual vocals, particularly the female’s, which sound flat and forced at times in the chorus. One of the male voices also sounds uneasy and shakey in the first verse. However, they work great when both genders sing in harmony, almost as if they mask the poor production and undesirable tone of the solo voices. Overall, the song sounds happily generic. 3/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/qing-kongkyanpasu-single/id1101981772?l=ja&v0=9988&ign-mpt=uo%3D1


10. きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ – 最&高

Sai & Ko / Kyary Pamyu PamyuNick’s thoughts: Kyaru Pamyu Pamyu does her genre incredibly well, and it shows with this particular song. Kyaru’s producer knows exactly how to compliment her saccharine voice. It’s a decent track, but I’ve heard better songs from her. 7/10
Sai & Ko [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] Kyary Pamyu Pamyu


April 1, 2016:


1. GReeeeN – 夢

Yume / GReeeeNMike’s thoughts: I really enjoyed the build up from the female vocalists leading into the song here.  This one had a very natural sound with almost no auto tune or computerization used.  I’m also a sucker for a good key change on the refrain and it was utilized very well here.  9/10
Yume [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] GReeeeN


2. Daichi Miura – Cry & Fight

Cry & Fight / Daichi MiuraMike’s thoughts: In a musical world full of auto tune and heavily textured voices, the clear sounds from singers like Miura-san are a nice change of pace.  Even when effects are added, it feels like they aren’t overpowering the natural sound.  The deep, booming instrumentals really drew me in as well.  8/10
Cry & Fight [CD+DVD] Daichi Miura


3. EXILE ATSUSHI + AI – No more

No more / EXILE ATSUSHI+AIMike’s thoughts: I loved the soft piano opening for this one.  The music had a very soothing feel to it.  A song like this makes it easy to see why EXILE has managed to endure in the sometimes fickle musical world with its combination of great instrumentals and spot on vocals.  8/10


4. BLUE ENCOUNT – Survivor

Survivor / BLUE ENCOUNTMike’s thoughts: I wasn’t a big fan of the guitar intro here.  It sounded a little too scratchy for my taste.  However, once the song got going, I started enjoying it a lot more.  It had a fun beat and is the kind of song I’d want to crank up and rock out to while driving to work.  7/10
Survivor [Limited Pressing] BLUE ENCOUNT


5. NICO Touches the Walls- エーキューライセンス

Yuki mo Ai mo Nainante / NICO Touches the WallsMike’s thoughts: This was a fun song that I could see being very popular at karaoke clubs.  I really enjoyed the guitar solo in the middle and you could really feel the fun they were having while recording this one.  8/10
Yuki mo Ai mo Nainante [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] NICO Touches the Walls



Unlock / KAT-TUNMike’s thoughts: When I hear the intro to this one, I can picture it playing as the credits begin to roll at the end of an action movie.  KAT-TUN always has good rhythm to their songs and this is no exception.  The effects mix well with the music to give an altogether good sound.  9/10
Unlock [Bundled Set of All 3 Editions] KAT-TUN


7. 山崎まさよし – 空へ

Sora e / Masayoshi YamazakiMike’s thoughts: I really liked the tonal quality here.  The violin work adds so much to the overall feel of the song and merges well with the vocals.  This song seems like one that would be good to dance to with your significant other. 9/10
Sora e [Doraemon Edition] Masayoshi Yamazaki


8. ナオト・インティライミ – together

Together / Naoto IntiraymiMike’s thoughts: Another really nice soft piano intro starts this one.  The song has a romantic feel to it that you can get immersed in as ナオトsan is singing.  The instrumentation and vocal merge so well in this song that it’s hard to not just close your eyes and take it in.  8.5/10
Together [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] Naoto Intiraymi


9. ケツメイシ- 友よ ~ この先もずっと…

Tomo yo - Kono Saki mo Zutto... / KetsumeishiMike’s thoughts: The soft intro changing into the slightly faster beat of the verse was a little jarring at first but I’d consider it more of a contrast than a clash.  I enjoyed the harmony between the voices though a few times it was hard to hear the second voice.  Overall, a not perfect but still very enjoyable song.  6.5/10
Tomo yo – Kono Saki mo Zutto… [CD+DVD] Ketsumeishi


10. Rihwa – ありがとう、出会ってくれて

Mike’s thoughts: This one had a nice beat that had me snapping my fingers right along with it.  I like the way the verse built up to the refrain.  Rihwa san’s voice blended with the music very well giving it a very pleasant feel and a great listening experience.  8/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/arigatou-deattekurete-single/id1089092974


March 1, 2016:


1. Charisma.com – サプリミナル・ダイエット

Aidoro C / Charisma.comAmy’s thoughts: This track was thoroughly interesting! The electronic beats were mesmerizing but the track manages to keep the listen alert with unconventional cuts and other electronic techniques. I quite enjoyed the rapping parts; it both complimented and contrast with the constant melody. 9/10
Aidoro C


2. indigo la End – 心雨

KOKOROAME / indigo la EndAmy’s thoughts: The intro was exceptionally smooth and sentimental. I especially love the bass guitar in this piece; it gives the music much more dimension. The singer’s voice has a wistful sound to it that compliments the instrumentals beautifully. 8/10
indigo la End


3. JUJU- Viva La Vida (Cover)

Timeless / JUJUAmy’s thoughts: This cover has a gentler take on the instrumentals than the original. Although there is a strong drum in the background it has a rounded softer feel rather than harsh strikes. I love the tenderness of the singer’s voice during the regular melody and how it rises in power as she hits the chorus. 8/10


4. やなぎなぎ – カザキリ

"Norn + Nonette (TV Anime)" Intro Theme: Kazakiri / Nagi YanagiAmy’s thoughts: I absolutely love the violins in this track! The way they rise and fall in volume and speed is like the ocean’s waves. The singer’s voice blends beautifully with the instrumentals; powerful and emotional but not overbearing. 8/10
“Norn + Nonette (TV Anime)” Intro Theme: Kazakiri [w/ DVD, Limited Anime Edition] Nagi Yanagi


5. コブクロ- SNIFF OUT!

Amy’s thoughts: This track has a nice jazzy tune to it. The melody has a bounce in its step and the variety of instruments in the background adds depth to the music. The drums and bass keep a constant tune but the different insertions of the trumpets, guitar, and piano ensures the listen is never bored. 7/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/sniff-out-!-single/id1076282365


6. ハジ→ – 絆。

Kizuna. / HazzieAmy’s thoughts: The instrumentals in this song sound complacent and laid back while the vocals almost seem to push forward in excitement. I find this a contrast particularly interesting; it is as if the vocals and instrumentals are two people with different personalities who blend together extremely well. 7.5/10
Kizuna. [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] Hazzie


7. ファンキー加藤 – 中途半端なスター

Chuto Hanpa na Star / Funky KatoAmy’s thoughts: This song sounds upbeat contrasted with a hint of longing. The guitar coupled with a constant drum makes me think about the future. Although it had a nice enjoyable tune, nothing really stood out about it. Overall it makes for easy listening. 6.5/10
Chuto Hanpa na Star [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] Funky Kato


8. 家入レオ – Hello To The World

Hello To The World / Leo IeiriAmy’s thoughts: This rock tune is vibrant and lively. The vocals in this single are quite strong; I could feel the emotions behind the mic. It is as if the singer really wanted to say Hello to the world. As such, the instrumentals take a back seat and provide support so the vocals take the spotlight. I quite enjoyed this piece in the beginning however it became slightly repetitive as the song carried on. 6/10
Hello To The World [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A] Leo Ieiri


9. 秦 基博 – スミレ

Sumire / Motohiro HataAmy’s thoughts: This song has a springtime of youth feel to it; it’s upbeat yet humble. To me, this is the kind of song one would listen to while out for a walk during a sunny afternoon. The background of violins, piano, and drums rise and fall in such ways that create the feeling of an optimistic future. 7/10
Sumire [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] Motohiro Hata


10. 高橋優 – クラクション

Sakura no Uta / Yu TakahashiAmy’s thoughts: Like the previous song, this track has a youthful bounce to it, however it seems more about freedom and adventure with a hint of rebelliousness. The guitar and drums play a key role in the liveliness can be heard clearly throughout. The song is considerably fast paced and the singer has a distinct voice and style. 6/10
Sakura no Uta [CD+DVD / Limited Pressing] Yu Takahashi


February 1, 2016:


1. AI – みんながみんな英雄

Paul’s thoughts: The background tune used in this song was nostalgic to hear. Reminiscent of an old children’s rhyme melody, this song uses it with its own original lyrics to create an exception sounding song. The choir vocals used throughout the song was used perfectly throughout the song. 8/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/minnagaminna-au-single/id1069515998



Right Now / ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATIONPaul’s thoughts: The guitar is the best part in this song. It sounds so mesmerizing and the sounds of the vocals just go together with the guitar so seamlessly. These guys have done songs for anime before such as Naruto and Bleach and I wouldn’t be surprised if this new song of theirs becomes an anime song as well. 7.5/10
Right Now [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION


3. BLUE ENCOUNT – はじまり

Hajimari / BLUE ENCOUNTPaul’s thoughts: I loved the emotion put into the vocals in this song. It makes you feel really moved on the inside. The mini guitar solos thrown in throughout the song were really nice to listen to. 8/10.
Hajimari [Limited Edition] BLUE ENCOUNT


4. BUMP OF CHICKEN – Butterfly

Butterflies / BUMP OF CHICKENPaul’s thoughts: The synth piano really carries this song through. Listening to it makes the song sound very focused and lets the vocals shine really nicely. It’s hard to pick out the other instruments played though, but it makes up for that near the end. 7.5/10
Butterflies [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A] BUMP OF CHICKEN


5. flumpool – 夜は眠れるかい-

Yoru wa Nemurerukai? / flumpoolPaul’s thoughts: The whispering vocals style incorporated with the song was very unique at the beginning. The low-sounding vocals let the hard-playing band instruments be heard more clearly. 7/10
Yoru wa Nemurerukai? [Regular Edition] flumpool


6. KANA-BOON – ランアンドラン

Run And Run / KANA-BOONPaul’s thoughts: I really like Taniguchi Maguro’s voice. His unique high-pitched vocals really bring the songs KANA-BOON shine the most. The high notes played by the guitar played throughout this song accents his style of vocals and makes the song sound really great. 9/10
Run And Run


7. LADYBABY – アゲアゲマネー -おちんぎん大作戦-

Ageage Money -Ochingin Dai Sakusen- / LADYBABYPaul’s thoughts: I’ll give this song 10/10 on originality. Attempting to combine heavy metal and J-pop styles into one song is never heard a lot and this song brings the best of both genres together in one messy tune. Fans of both genres will get a kick out of what this song tries to bring to table. 7/10
Ageage Money -Ochingin Dai Sakusen-


8. MISIA – オルフェンズの涙

Tears Of Orphans / MISIAPaul’s thoughts: The vast number of instruments this song uses is a great feat to conquer. Just from listening to it myself, I can list guitar, piano, drums, bongos, various strings, and harp. Maybe I’m wrong about some of those, but it’s what I picked out from listening to the song. The smooth tone of the song makes all the instruments used work perfectly together. 8.5/10
Tears Of Orphans [Limited Edition] MISIA


9. ゲスの極み乙女。 – 両成敗

Ryoseibai / Gesu no Kiwami Otome.Paul’s thoughts: This song was going ok for the most part until the latter half when it sounded like distorted noise for a few seconds. I also felt the vocals and the instrumentals didn’t really align with each other throughout the song. 4/10
Ryoseibai [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] Gesu no Kiwami Otome.


10. ナオト・インティライミ – 未来へ

Mirai e / Naoto IntiraymiPaul’s thoughts: The vocals are what makes this song good. His voice makes you really want to listen to him the most over the other aspects of the song, and that’s ok. The background music is pretty standard with nothing too unique. 7/10
Mirai e [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] Naoto Intiraymi


January 1, 2016:


1. SEKAI NO OWARI – Mr.Heartache

Recca’s thoughts: I really enjoyed the opening minute of electronic buildup before the first verse starts – Thanks, DJ Love! (He may wear a goofy clown mask, but he knows how to do electronic music right). And, going along with the opening, the electronic-infused vocal style that Sekai No Owari typically uses fits well here. And, like most of their recent songs, this one is all in English, giving it some real crossover potential. 7/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mr.heartache-single/id1065440003


2. Urashima Taro (Kenta Kiritani) – Umi no Koe

Recca’s thoughts: This song was used in a series of commercials for au (cell phone company) starring Kenta Kiritani as the fairy tale character “Urashima Taro.” The shamisen (Japanese banjo-like instrument) in the song certainly brings the traditional setting to mind, but provides the backing for a modern ballad. I like this mix of traditional and modern music, but Kiritani is primarily an actor, not a singer, and his vocals are not the most skilled. 4/10

iTunes download: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/album/umino-koe-single/id1058290964


3. Tube – Toudai

Todai / TUBERecca’s thoughts: It’s nice to see that Tube is still around after 30 years! They are known primarily for their power ballads, and this song is no exception. Toudai means “lighthouse,” and the song talks about the theme of a “guiding light” through one’s life, using the lighthouse as a metaphor. Yes, a little corny, but this is a true retro power ballad, so that comes with the territory. I typically don’t enjoy this kind of song, but this one was just nostalgic enough that it grew on me. 6/10
Todai [Regular Edition] TUBE


4. Momoiro Clover Z – Koyoi, Live no Shita de

Hakkin no Yoake / Momoiro Clover ZRecca’s thoughts: The delivery of this particular group has never been to my liking. However, the upbeat acoustic guitar fills, chimes, and bells contribute to a soaring atmosphere that helps cover for the less-than-stellar performances of some of the singers. And, after all, Momoiro Clover is known mostly for their performances and dancing, so listening to the song alone doesn’t give the full effect. This is easily one of their better singles so far, and that in itself is an accomplishment. 2/10
Hakkin no Yoake [w/ Blu-ray, Limited Edition] Momoiro Clover Z


5. L’arc en Ciel – Wings Flap

Wings Flap / L'Arc-en-CielRecca’s thoughts: This one starts out strong – the synthesizer melody feels like it came straight out of a ‘90s racing video game (like Outrun). Of course, once Hyde’s distinctive vocals come in, we know we are listening to a L’arc en Ciel song. I’m not a fan of the “show-offiness” of some of his falsettos, but that is part of L’arc’s style, for better or worse. Overall I enjoyed this better than the typical J-rock song, thanks largely to the chill atmosphere and synth elements. 6/10
Wings Flap [CD+Blu-ray] [Limited Edition] L’Arc-en-Ciel


6. SAKANAMON – Player Prayer

Akutamokuta / SAKANAMONRecca’s thoughts: When the virtuoso guitar solos in the beginning of this song came in, I was expecting a much heavier and more ostentatious vocal style, but the lead vocal was much smoother and more listenable. To me this gives this song an advantage over your typical J-rock song. The lyrics are also pretty interesting – the song seems to be putting someone down at first, saying they are a failure, but then turning to encouragement. 5/10
Akutamokuta [Limited Low-priced Edition] SAKANAMON


7. Rihwa – Ashita wa Kitto Ii Hi ni Naru

Ashita wa Kitto Iihi ni Naru / RihwaRecca’s thoughts: The title menas “tomorrow will surely be a good day,” and after listening to this upbeat song, I couldn’t help but think that. Rihwa’s voice is lovely and very easy to listen to. The strings and electric guitar give what would otherwise be a pretty standard pop song more of a transcendent quality and turn a simple “cheer up” ditty into a power pop anthem. My only complaint is it goes a little too over the top and masks Rihwa’s vocals. 7/10
Ashita wa Kitto Iihi ni Naru


8. Motohiro Hata – Sei Naru Yoru no Okurimono

Ao no Kokei / Motohiro HataRecca’s thoughts: This is a Christmas song, for sure – the title means “holy night gift.” I have enjoyed Motohiro Hata’s songs ever since listening to “Q&A” last year. His lyrics are thoughtful without being overbearing, as they are here. The “gift” in the title is snow falling from the sky that lands on a girl’s downcast face and causes her to look up – a very poetic image. 6/10
Ao no Kokei [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] Motohiro Hata


9. Morning Musume ’15 – Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi

Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only / Morning Musume. '15Recca’s thoughts: Morning Musume’s latest incarnation of many would not have caught my attention were it not for their many appearances on NHK World’s “J-Melo” program recently, where I unexpectedly found myself enjoying their latest output. This song has a great electronic edge and slightly melancholy feel with a perfect mix of group vocals, synth interludes, and quiet pensive moments. I am looking forward to more songs like this from Morning Musume in the future. 8/10
Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only [w/ DVD, Limited Edition/Type A] Morning Musume. ’15


10. Flower – Hitomi no Oku no Ginga (Milky Way)

Hitomi no Oku no Milky Way / FlowerRecca’s thoughts: I love the electronic edge to the instrumentals, but the vocals are a little too ambitious for me in this one. The song tries to sound epic and soaring, but doesn’t quite pull it off due to the singer’s constant breathiness when singing the higher notes. This is not Flower’s best performance, in my opinion. However, as to be expected from a subgroup of E-girls, the dancing in the live performances of this song is fluid and skillful, so it’s worth checking out as a video rather than as a song alone. 6/10
Hitomi no Oku no Milky Way [CD+DVD/Type A] Flower


December 19, 2015 (bonus song reviews for the holiday season):


1. 安室奈美恵 – Red Carpet

Red Carpet / Namie AmuroNick’s thoughts: I still can’t believe Namie Amuro is 38. While her age might not show physically, Red Carpet definitely shows off her veteran music knowledge of what makes a catchy pop song. She sings comfortably and confidently in the English words that are present (‘Walking on the red carpet / oooooh ooh ooh oooh’) and it sounds awesome. Cheers to the Queen of J-Pop for still being a queen! 8.5/10
Red Carpet
Namie Amuro


2. E-girls – Merry x Merry Xmas

Merry x Merry Xmas / E-girlsNick’s thoughts: I actually really like the lead singer’s voice here, but it’s the same basic beats for any upbeat holiday song. The pre-chorus is nice, but it leads into a cheery yet dull refrain that doesn’t wow me in any way. 4/10
Merry x Merry Xmas


3. Goose house – LOVE & LIFE

LOVE & LIFE / Goose houseNick’s thoughts: Goose House’s voices flow beautifully together, from their melodic ‘oohs’ and ‘ahh’s’ to the big anthemic chorus. But individually, each vocal performance in the verses and the breakdown is amazingly soulful, and proves that each singer is more than capable of holding their own. The flying vocal runs behind the final chorus showcases their amazing solo talent beyond choral singing. Although the light background instrumental is appropriate for showing off the vocals, I would have appreciated something more than plain guitar and piano chords. 8/10
LOVE & LIFE [Regular Edition] Goose house


4. コブクロ – 未来

MIRAI / KobukuroNick’s thoughts: What a voice these two guys are blessed with. I particularly liked the smooth harmonies they incorporate pretty frequently, as shown in their delicately harmonized high notes. The subtle electric guitar notes add some much needed flavour to this ballad which is otherwise only powered by Kobukuro’s voices. 7/10


5. RADWIMPS – 記号として

KIGOU TOSHITE/'I' NOVEL / RADWIMPSNick’s thoughts: This song starts off with a very odd disjointed string of short guitar riffs before it picks up into a more conventional rock tune. I admit that the weirdness is a bit outside of my personal taste, but I found myself bobbing my head to the chorus. 5/10


6. back number- サイレン

Chandelier / back numberNick’s thoughts: Back Number releases yet another solid rock song. My favourite part of this song would probably be the breakdown, after the second chorus. Iyori Shimizu, the lead singer, does some creative vocal acrobatics at the end of that chorus, followed by a short and sweet rock interlude. However, not too much sticks out to me besides that. 7/10
Chandelier [Regular Edition] back number


7. やなぎなぎ – オラリオン

"Seraph of the End (Anime)" Outro Theme: Orarion / Nagi YanagiNick’s thoughts: This is an incredibly upbeat tune, led by Nagi Yanagi’s beautiful voice, and powered by the intense drums. The song breaks down to a slow, marching band pace for the pre-chorus and then picks up the tempo back into a fulfilling uplifting atmosphere that I can definitely see working for an anime opening theme. 8/10
“Seraph of the End (Anime)” Outro Theme: Orarion [Regular Edition] Nagi Yanagi


8. androp – kokoro

Nick’s thoughts: I was worried that this would be a quiet ballad throughout the song, which is why I was glad to hear it pick up at the 0:46 mark. I don’t find anything special about this song, although the melody of the chorus is nice, and I like the guitar solo in the second half. Otherwise, it’s just another ballad. 6.5/10


9. SHISHAMO – 君とゲレンデ

Kimi to Gerende / SHISHAMONick’s thoughts: I reviewed SHISHAMO’s Tropical Night back in September, which I loved. Again, I like Asako Miyazaki’s voice combined with their rock tune. There’s just something about the softness of her voice that compliments the hard rock vibe that seemingly shouldn’t work on paper, but SHISHAMO proves this theory wrong. However, the constant playfulness of the guitar throughout the song just comes off as childish and I can’t take it seriously. This unfortunately ruins what could have been another big favourite. 7.5/10
Kimi to Gerende


10. 星野源- Week End

Yellow Dancer / Gen HoshinoNick’s thoughts: Love the funky intro of this song. And then it gets funkier. The composition of the song, including the well placed trumpet accents, and classic synth keyboard makes it sound like an awesome 70s disco song. Gen Hoshino kills it on this! If you want to be thrown back to a time with big hair and flared pants, this song is for you. Or if you simply want to have a good time, this song is also for you. 8/10
Yellow Dancer [Regular Edition] Gen Hoshino