This definitely has to be my favorite end-of-the-year posts to create. 2011and 2012 were rather difficult years to pinpoint just exactly what I wanted. But 2013 was a breeze! So shall we countdown my Top 10 Favorite J-pop Songs of 2013?
10. Furikaeru to Iru yo – Perfume (LEVEL3)
This song has many levels to it, yet still manages to stay coherent and coordinated throughout the whole 6 minutes. There’s not one part that sounds misplaced or out of touch. This track somehow reminds me of a journey–a long winding trek with many obstacles and abominations to be met on the way. Don’t ask me why, that’s just what I imagine. I also love that there is plenty of time to enjoy the track without feeling copped out of a full-length song.
09. EMOTION – Miliyah Kato (EMOTION)
I’ve explained how even though this song might not be totally original or out-of-the-box, it still somehow captures my attention. Its beat is repetitive and the melody can be boring, but Miliyah just makes this song impossible to ignore. The light dance track features Miliyah’s soothing yet strong vocals which creates such an imaginative mood for the song. I find it to be one of the catchiest songs of 2013.
08. Re:NAME – Ai Otsuka (Re:NAME)
Not only did Ai Otsuka release the most perfect single of the year, but she decided to include this gem of a track. Like the previous songs, Ai Otsuka pulls off a wondrously soothing track paired with her lovely vocal talent. I love the brass-filled chorus that seamlessly melts with the quiet verses. A shocking track by an artist that will never go unnoticed by me. I’m quite proud of this whole release.
07. CANDY – 9nine (CUE)
Performed by the most impressive artist of 2013 is the fun-filled CANDY. Stealing some elements of TGS’s old-school swagger plus the vibrant sound of AKB48 equals this light-hearted pop wonder. The silent verses emphasize the group’s beautiful, mature voices. The upbeat chorus just spells out fun. Can’t you picture yourself singing and dancing along to this song?
06. Ninjari Ban Ban – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (Ninjari Ban Ban)
Like every year since she debuted, Kyary continued to make me fall in love with each release in some way. Even though the corresponding music video was mediocre, this song kept me jamming all throughout 2013. Every bit of it is addicting and catchy. Although we all know Kyary is a pretty poor in the vocal department, I can’t get enough of her singing during the chorus! It’s too adorable~ Kyary has completely won me over this year.
05. Sore de Ii Jan – TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE (Yakusoku)
Yakusoku was centimeters away from winning best album of the year. TGS are experts at releasing music that I end up adoring one way or the other. Not only does their brassy, jazzy, big-band, 80’s club music already win me over, but their presence matches up to their fantastic tracks. Sore de Ii Jan is one of those happy-go-lucky songs that I enjoy so much by the young girl group. It’s insanely easy to become addicted to the upbeat, vibrant sound.
04. Maboroshi – TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE (Yakusoku)
Again, TGS have clinched more than one spot on my countdown. Maboroshi is a much darker track than the previous(fittingly so since Maboroshi translating into “phantom”). Although it still retains an 80’s dance track sound, it feels very modern and cool. The twisted and creepy vibe of this song makes it very unique to their usual sound.
03. LOVER – m-flo ft. Miliyah Kato (LOVER)
Featuring some of the best vocals to bless 2013, m-flo delivers a lovely piano-infused ballad. Although it was my first time actually giving m-flo a try, I knew of their existence for much longer before then. VERBAL’s powerful rapping paired with Miliyah’s sweet sound is a match made in heaven. It couldn’t have been done better.
02. Unmei – TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE (Unmei / Wonderful Smile)
Yup, TGS has invaded the countdown yet again. What can I say? They’re an amazing group! Unmei is an utterly flawless 80’s club hit made perfectly modern. It’ll keep me jamming well into 2014. From start to finish, the song has me tapping my feet, dropping my shoulders, and nodding my head. I should probably add that I’m already a huge fan of 80’s and 90’s club music, so I guess that sort of explains my infatuation with this song.
01. Megitsune – BABYMETAL (Megitsune)
BABYMETAL completely took over my brain this year. Rock was always something that I took in bits and pieces–it took a really special sort of band to get the juices flowing. I hadn’t dabbled into Japanese rock into the perfect bitches of BABYMETAL decided to weasel their way into my heart. Their music is legit and Suzuka’s vocals are absolutely beautiful. They were in very close running to win best music video of the year. BABYMETAL made me remember how much I loved those hard-rock/metal bands from back in the day. Megitsune is this flawless blend of drums and guitar infused with that totally adorable ancient Asian sound. It’s perfect.
Sayonara Crawl – AKB48 (Sayonara Crawl)
Golden Chinatown – Berryz Koubou (Golden Chinatown / Sayonara Usotski no Watashi)
Big Boys Cry – Namie Amuro (Big Boys Cry / Beautiful)