I do have to say, 2011 wasn’t really the year for J-pop music(but then again, I listen to mainly H!P :x ). I can’t say that I was really blown away by several J-pop releases. I almost had to revert to choosing songs that were just half decent! However, there were a few singles/albums that did keep me hooked and listening. To celebrate the end of the year, I’ve decided to create this little wrap-up for the year 2011(and yes, I do plan to do this every year). So, without further ado, here is my top 10 favorite J-pop songs of 2011!
10. MINMINMIN – SDN48 [MINMINMIN]
SDN’s third single title track comes in at number 10. I’ve been an SDN48 fan since the beginning and I’ve never been disappointed with a single song. The only thing I am dissatisfied with is the fact that their whole lineup will be gone in March. But that’s besides the point. MINMINMIN is a very SDN-esque song(whatever that may be) with a minor electronic sound. There’s something about SDN’s style that draws me in. I have no idea what it is but it’s too inviting to ignore. MINx3 is a downright favorite of 2011.
09. Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun da yo! – Morning Musume [Kono Chikyuu.. / Kare to Issho..]
Ai’s last single with Morning Musume honestly did not disappoint me. I really didn’t know what to expect exactly but I’m glad it wasn’t corny or tacky. I’m a big fan of disco-esque, funky songs–those who read my blog would know. This song reminds me of MM’s unity and fun ‘personality.’ It’s an uplifting and happy song. I could not help but love this at first listen. I’m really happy that such an important single was actually a good one.
08. Joshikai The Night – Berryz Koubou [7 Berryz Times]
I really don’t have the slightest idea why I am addicted to this song so much. It might be because it has a circus-like, fun, electronic-rock sound. Either way, I was addicted to this song when I first listened to it. It’s very whimsical and playful but still dark in a sense. It’s very, very fun to listen to and I still can’t get enough of it.
07. Baby U! – MBLAQ [Baby U!]
Normally, I hate when a group goes from Korea -> Japan or vise versa. It pains me even more when their debut is just a previous song of theirs in a different language. Like, how uncreative could you be? I understand the remake song being a coupling track, but the actual title track? But, like always, MBLAQ never ceases to fail me. Baby U! is their second Japanese single and it’s just plain good. The single contains awesome songs that either make you wanna get up and dance or sing along and sway from side to side. Baby U! is upbeat, catchy, and lovable. I love it, love it, love it. And like always, the boys sound great.
06. Only You – JASMINE [Only You]
JASMINE is a creative, beautiful soul with such amazing talent that it’s hard to comprehend sometimes. I’ve been a fan of hers for over a year now and I’ve most definitely stayed faithful. If you love the RnB, beat-infectious scene, you’ll absolutely adore JASMINE. Only You is J’s 7th single and is as good as the rest. You all know I’m a sucker for pianos, so this song has to be on here. Along with J’s purely gorgeous vocals, this is one of those songs you just have to hear to believe. I could go on about how fucking talented J is, but that’s why I have The Ultimate Profiling ;]
05. My alright sky – Airi Suzuki [Partenza]
Okay, yeah, you’re probably like, “WTF? *head tilt*” But the piano and RnB beat works its magic yet again here. Although it’s Airi(and you all know I am not an Airi fan), she does the song justice. Anyone else, most likely, wouldn’t have been able to execute it in the same way. I find it odd that it’s in a Buono! album(the most un-Buono! album ever created, to be exact), but it is a really beautiful song. I was pretty surprised that I would even like it, but I did. Seriously, take a listen; I guarantee it’ll keep you intrigued.
04. Glitter – Perfume [Spice]
I do have to say, 2011 wasn’t really the year for Perfume. While downloading and listening to their 2011 singles/album, I was quite surprised that nothing truly stood out to me; I was beginning to worry that Perfume wouldn’t even be on this list. But then Glitter came along, and wow, was I in love. I like when Perfume’s songs have heavy techno sound but can still be a vocal song. That desire was totally fulfilled in a little package covered in Glitter~ It’s addicting, long, and worth listening to. This is the definition of the Perfume I enjoy.
03. WOWTOWN – Aira Mitsuki x Saori@destiny [PARK OF THE SAFARI]
This collab album was one of the best albums/releases this year, if not the best. At first, I was doubting its excellence, but oh man, once I truly sat down and gave it a good listen, it was a.ma.zing. The third track, WOWTOWN, is my overall favorite of the album. Its disco funk is to die for. It has to be a Michael Jackson inspired song in some way or form because the two make plenty of references to MJ. This song doesn’t fail to make me wanna jump up and just start dancing. God, words cannot even describe how much I love this song.
02. Aa, Yoru ga Akeru – Berryz Koubou [Aa, Yoru ga Akeru]
It’s true that Berryz most recent singles haven’t been up to par with releases from a few years back. And yes, this disappoints me because Berryz is basically a veteran group that has been around for nearly 8 years. I always want them to be at their best since they’re my favorite J-pop group of all time. But sadly, that can’t always be the case. However, August was graced with a fantastic single by Berryz. Aa, Yoru ga Akeru has a mature, dancey feel that Berryz always seems to be masters of. Not to mention all of the girls sound great.
01. Natsu DAKARA! – Buono! [Natsu DAKARA!]
After a year long hiatus, Buono! came back with a mediocre single. Months came and went and soon, another single was announced–a summer-themed single, to be exact. Boom. Natsu DAKARA! was released and the mixed feelings came rushing in. Some people liked it, some didn’t; some thought it was un-Buono!-like, some enjoyed its sweetness. I fell under the “omg-this-is-the-best-Buono!-song-I’ve-heard-in-forever” group. I shook my head at the people who thought it wasn’t Buono!’s style, laughed in the faces of people who thought it was boring, and sang like a banshee every time it played. I. Was. Obsessed. Seriously, this song is great. It’s soothing. It’s sweet. It’s playful. It’s fun. It’s cheerful. Not Buono? WHAT? Just because there wasn’t loud guitars and banging drums doesn’t mean it wasn’t Buono! The acoustic guitar gave that summer fun feel while still keeping Buono!’s personality. This was definitely the song of the year, hands down.
Heroine ni Narou ka! – Berryz Koubou [Heroine ni Narou ka!]
This song packed a punch. It had a great electro dance beat with awesome vocals by the girls. It kept you listening and never let you down. It was a fantastic way for Berryz to start their year; however, it just couldn’t beat the other Berryz songs.
Kiss Me Aishiteru – C-ute [Kiss Me Aishiteru]
KMA irked my last nerve when I first heard it; I thought it was too fast and repetitive for its own good. But gradually, it started growing on me and the infectious beat and great dancey vibe sank into my soul. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough to make it into the top 10.
I SEE ME – BoA [Milestone]
BoA hasn’t really released anything great, imo, since Hurricane Venus–and even that album had a few sketchy songs. However, when I heard BoA would be celebrating her ten years in Japan’s music universe, I thought, “Hey, this has to be good.” I wasn’t necessarily disappointed, but I still wasn’t blown away. Milestone is a good song, but it’s nothing I haven’t heard before, and its too short for its own good. I SEE ME, imo, is a much stronger song with more to take from. BoA sounds amazing and does the instrumental great justice. It’s a really fantastic song.
I hope you all enjoyed this little segment for end of the year! Look out for tomorrow’s Top 10 Favorite K-pop Songs of 2011!!
P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!