Regarding the Top 30 Songs of 2014 List I have compiled, please be aware that this post only contains MY opinions, and mine alone. I don't expect you to think this is a great list, or a list that is correct in terms of popularity, sales, views, etc... because it isn't, it's just a list of songs I genuinely liked this year, or thought were superb. If you do not like the choices, that is fine, but this is my personal taste, so please respect that.
2014 is coming to an end and, wouldn't ya know it, 2015 is coming down on us like a hawk that found a mouse for dinner!
Okay, where the fuck do I come up with these analogies? XD And guess what? Like last year, I am SO not prepared! I never am! Still, like always, I'll do everything last minute, but still have fun whilst rushing things, or tearing my hair out over a post because it's nearly 6am, and I still. Have. Not. Finished. o 3o I finished. I was just typing what I thought! XD So tired!
Here. Have a banner. It's actually cuter than the last one~
Seriously though, it was difficult to do because it's 30 damn songs (plus 5 Honorables), but I am satisfied, and I feel content and complete now that it is finished. Okay, so I didn't listen to as many groups as I wanted to this year in terms of different acts or projects, but what I did listen to... I enjoyed it. Immensely. Next year though, I want to listen to more acts, rather than sticking to certain ones. I like diversity, and I didn't have that as much this year as I did last year. So yeah, next year, hopefully more acts will be in here, rather than a huge chunk of a certain collective.
By the way, here's a fair warning: This is a long-ass post, so if you actually are going to read it, then grab a drink of some sort, some crisps or cakes or something, and sit down in a comfortable position, because this ain't a fairy dance in the woods - this is the real deal, this. Is. SPARTA!!!
It's My Top 30 Songs of 2014, with the long-awaited question that is this; What is the #1 song of 2014, according to Chiima? What song will REIGN SUPREME, and which song impressed her the most? Who lays at the Bottom, but really, they are at the Top of the Food Chain in the Musical World of J-Pop? To find out, you must read on and experience the horror that is...
The Grand Top 30 J-POP Songs of 2014
(... According to Chiima!)
(... According to Chiima!)
If I ramble and make no sense in this post, please note, I'm tired. Like always. So ignore me. THANKS!
Towa no Uta by Berryz Kobou
If I had listened to this song earlier, it might have been higher in my list, however I didn't, but despite being so low, I don't mean to say that this is a bad song - it isn't. It's really cute, really Berryz, and it is, overall, a very nice song! I think that, for one of their final songs, this was well-suited to the girls, the title especially.
It's nice to hear them go out on a calm note, one that isn't sexy or cute, but just... well, them. In this song, thanks to the calm of it all, we can appreciate their vocals and the unity of their voices, and that's what is so nice about it - there is unity in the song, and you can hear it and feel it completely. In a way that's sad, but it's also encouraging for me as a listener; it shows that Berryz really have come together, through thick and thin, and that they are great together in voice.
Visually, I'm still not convinced I admit. Oh well.
Whilst it isn't one of their strongest songs of 2014, it is an enjoyable one that is a great addition to their track list. It's cute and uplifting, and makes me think of Berryz from the good ol' days! Ah, nostalgia~
Asu wo Tsukuru no wa Kimi by Morning Musume '14
(from the album 14 Shou ~The message~)
This song would be higher on my list, if it wasn't for the fact that there are other songs I overall preferred. Also, I didn't start listening to this song until the very end of the year, because I like riding on the late bus when albums come out! So, whilst it isn't in a desirable position here, because it could be in my Top 10 if I really loved it, it is still here. That's how good it be!
Seriously though, despite how much I dislike Masaki's voice in this
It's low on the list, for sure, however I really like it despite not knowing the song for that long, and I hope that it continues to stay as a favourite, because from the current lineup
MOON PRIDE by Momoiro Clover Z
When I was getting ready to compile a list of songs together for this years TOP list, I had told myself with absolute pride and happiness 'Ah, I successfully ignored MomoClo this year, well done, me!'.
And then I remembered that I actually really enjoyed MOON PRIDE. FU------!!!
Still, I can't deny that this is a really catchy, really nice Anime song, one that needs taking note of. Through all my sheer dislike of MomoClo Z, they do have really good music and I do enjoy a song of theirs from time to time, with MOON PRIDE being one of those songs. Of course, it's an Anime Song, so it's going to be addictive and fun, but what really surprised me about this release was how good the vocals sounded, and how nicely that Screeching Red Demon sang. Weird.
I won't deny that it's a good song, and honestly, I enjoyed it so much, it's somehow made it into this list! How that happened, I don't know, but whatever. A good song is a good song, no matter what I think of the group singing it! Well done, MomoClo Z!
I will try and ignore you completely in 2015, though!
Arekore Shitai! by Juice=Juice
When I say that this song could be waaay higher, I mean it, and not because it's a good song - it's a weak-ass song, actually - but because I really adore this song and it has been one of the most looped songs of the year. That said, there are better songs, ones more deserving with more quality that deserve to go to the Top of the List, so, this is where it will go - nestling nicely with the rest of the Underlings.
When I say that, from 2014, Arekore Shitai is my favourite Juice=Juice release, then I mean it - I have not really cared much about any other song from this group so far this year, and whilst they have done pretty well music-wise, they were not as good as they were last year. In fact, they were really weak musically this time around, and I held little to no interest for them. Well, aside from my interest in this song, but that was pretty much it for me and JuJu this year.
Still, it's a really cute release, and one I enjoy thoroughly. The lighthearted tone and feel allows me to enjoy it thoroughly and also makes me feel calm, but also happy. It's a sweet little tune, and though it wasn't their best song this year, it is a song I keep close to my heart and ears.
Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai by Morning Musume '14
2014 was a good year for Morning Musume, especially when it came to their music. They were incredibly strong in their soundtracks, but one I really did enjoy was Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai, which came out at the beginning of the year, I believe. Of all their tracks that were released, this is the one I probably listened to the most, or the one that I thought was the best... well, aside from one other one, but we won't say much more on that matter, shall we?
This is a good song, an addictive one at that. I love the yells of Nippon! added into it, and just the general pace of it. The song is enjoyable, and though it uses some vocal distortion, it's still a really good song! I like how it just feels like a dance tune, one that you can easily follow, but also a song you can sing along to as well - whenever I hear it, I want to start singing and join in! It feels exciting, it's like it's pumping up my adrenaline, and it makes me want to join in, something I really appreciate about music - if it makes me want to join in, then it is, to me, something worth listening to.
Though it isn't high on my list, this was definitely a song from 2014 that I remembered and enjoyed greatly. It's fun, and it gets me pumped! That is the power of a good MoMusu song.
Install by Bitter & Sweet
Bitter & Sweet were only announced this year as a unit, but by golly, was their debut single amazing or what!? Not only are both the girls immensely talented vocally, but the music they have is better than what I had expected, especially from Up-Front! So of course, at least one of their songs had to make it into this list, and even though it's so low for my Top 30
This is the wonder that is actual Talent under the Up-Front label, isn't it? May I just bask in it a little longer?
I like both songs on Bitter & Sweets debut single to be honest, however Install, despite not being the front song, is one heck of a piece that really shows off this duo's talent and sounds all-around great. Though they haven't released much yet, I do look forward to future releases like this one in 2015, because seriously, they're powerful together, and UFP need to use them, no matter what their sales.
Or, King Records could pick them up. I wouldn't complain about that! :D
Sakura Horizon by Idoling NEO
I'm going to inwardly battle with myself even after I've posted this about the placement of this song on this list, because Idoling NEO's Sakura Horizon is a really good song, one that I enjoyed thoroughly throughout the beginning of 2014, and one I will probably continue enjoying even after the year has ended.
One of those beginning-of-the-year Sakura songs, Idoling NEO trounced the release of Sakura, Minna de Tabeta by HKT48 in sound and look by bringing out something that is really cool, and really well-rounded as a sound. It isn't flimsy or girly like other Sakura songs are, but instead strong and raw, highlighting the quality of the girls' voices rather than hiding them. This is only the second release from this group, but seriously, it's really amazing and was one of the best openings to 2014 I could have asked for. Sakura Horizon, bringing me into 2014 with a nice, cool welcoming that was much appreciated!
Can't Stop Loving by GEM
(from the single Star Shine Story)
Okay, this is one of those I-found-this-at-the-end-of-the-year-but-GOD-DAMN-I-LOVE-IT songs, and whilst it's higher than a few songs I've known for a good half of the year, or even a full year
It's just one of those really nice, peppy up-beat songs that inspires you, and that's what I adore about it - that it inspires me. Whenever I hear music like this, I want to write or dance, so having a motivational song like Can't Stop Loving is great for me as a writer, because it makes me want to move forward and, y'know, get shit done! So that's why it's here, and also because for an end of 2014 song, it is pretty damn great! I wish I had known about it before December, however...
Well, I have next year to loop it like crazy, right? RIGHT!
FiNAL DANCE by BiS
You know when you think to yourself 'Oh, a group disbanded this year? I'd better highlight a song in a post...', well, that was my thought when I added FiNAL DANCE to my playlist of 2014 Top Songs. Thing is, I actually do really like this song and think that, for a last song, it's great. In fact, it was so great, it made me cry, because there's that little lyric that goes something like this: Final Final Dance, Omoidasu No More~. That. Got. Me. So I'm not adding this as a pity-song, but because this song genuinely got to me, and I remembered it above others.
If I was going for a pity party, I would have posted something about Oshima Yuko's last single.
Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no You ni by ODATOMO
I might get some flack for the placement of this song, but honestly? I preferred other songs, however I admit that Kodachi wo Nukeru Kaze no You ni was one of those songs I reached for to press 'play' on when I wanted something really good to listen to. And yeah, this is really good.
I don't know who thought these two would work so beautifully together, but whoever you are, I commend you! Sure, the SATOYAMA x SATOUMI lot had a blunder with that Karin x Masakins unit (they sounded ew together), but this duo? Perfect! Plus, they're both talented and their voices combined is really nice to listen to! You have that rough huskiness of Tomo, and then the clear smooth voice of Sakura, and somehow they create a perfect combo. Not to mention, the song itself is really lovely and easy to listen to. It's very soothing, and has a nice lull to it.
ODATOMO as a duo is great, a duo that I wish would become a permanent Hello! Project unit, but if not... well, we have this song to tide us by, right? It isn't my favourite song of the year, granted, but it's still a daaaamn good song!
NOVA Revolution by StylipS
Holy shit, we're already in the Top 20, and what better song to grace the Top 20 than a loop-like-heck favourite, NOVA Revolution? Seriously, there is no group like StylipS that could put me in a mood as happy and fun as this song, and it has been a joy hearing this throughout 2014.
Hands down, this was also my favourite release from them for the year. Their other single was not so hot, for my ears, at least.
Okay, so NOVA Revolution isn't the best song from this group period, but it's still a really fun tune, one that I anticipated with great impatience when I first heard the preview for it, and it is also one of the many tracks I kept playing for a long time, though the playing of this song waned towards the ending months, admittedly. Still, it's a fun song in my mind, and one worthy of mentioning for the End of Year Awards I am doing. Though it's not the best this group has done, it is a good song, and I love it. That's all that matters, right?
Dream Last Train by Triplet
I'm having a struggle with where to put this song because, whilst I love it, I am not in love with it - there are way better songs, and songs that grab me a lot more than this one does, however... DUU!!! CHISSA!!! SAYUKI!!! All those beautiful, deeper voices! Triplet is a damn joy to behold, and is the sort of Idol group I've wanted from H!P for a while, because honestly... DEM. VOCALS. SON! So, where I place it is because of this - the sheer talent behind it, and also because it is a gem of a song, even when it isn't a favourite.
Truly though, this is a gem and Dream Last Train is a good song, but the wonder behind the entire thing is the girls singing in it, because they're all fabulous. Especially Duu, and she makes me so happy in this! Finally, I can hear her voice! AND SHE'S CENTER!!! Arrrrgh!!!!
This song makes me incredibly happy, but only for the reason that Duu is in it, has lines and is also the center, and she's so fantastic in it that this is, for me, a song that must be appreciated. In general, it's a great song, all of the songs on this single are wonderful, but when it comes to Dream Last Train... well, it makes me feel happy to hear Duu and know that her vocal talent is appreciated in it. Seriously, if there is one group from this single that should continue as a unit, it's Triplet, because Duu needs this! Her talent... it needs to shine!
2015, help me out on this one, kay?
Holy shit, I fangirled HARD here!!! o-O
Garapagosu Asuparagasu Basugasu Bakuhatsu by Houkago Princess
(from the single Manatsu no Yoru no Yume)
It's really hard to place some of these songs, I swear. Sigh...
HouPri have been a treat this year, a treat I say! So of course they would make it onto this list because, whilst I loved their songs last year, I didn't expect the songs they would bring out this year, but boy am I happy with what they added to their track list! By far, Manatsu no Yoru no Yume as a single has been one of their best singles to date, and I only hope that they get better. Of the songs released this year, one that stood out to me a lot was Garapagosu Asuparagasu Basugasu Bakuhatsu, at first for the name, but then for the hyperactive, energetic sound it had, and how it feels like such a crowd song. Seriously, if HouPri don't use this song in concerts with the crowd singing along to it, I'll be very surprised, because this is like the sugar-induced version of Kojiki Shika!, and that is a concert song, too.
G.A.B is a good song actually, and whilst it doesn't have a great deal of lyrics to it (it's mostly made up of the chorus and would-be fan cries) I really think that it's a great song that will get a crowd pumped rather quickly, and one I can see as a concert opener. It's fun, jumpy (it reminds me of Saori!) and so fast-paced I sometimes can't keep up with it, and also very HouPri. For an indies group, they seem to have a knack for creating really good concert songs, and this is one of them! Though not my favourite on the Manatsu single, it is one that really stood out to me, which is why it's on this list for all to appreciate.
Shoumei Teenager by Yumemiru Adolescence
I admit, this is one of those songs I didn't listen to a great deal, however it is one of those songs that, when I hear it, I remember how good it is, and how much I appreciate its existence. I may not loop it like crazy as I do with other songs, but when I listen to it, I enjoy everything it has to offer, and Shoumei Teenager has a lot to offer.
Like most of YumeAdo's discography this year, Shoumei Teenager is a really good song that sounds quite mature and a lot cooler than typical Idol tracks, and by far the best track of the year that the group has produced, at least for A-sides. The sound of Shoumei Teenager is really appealing (the video is also a great watch) and when I hear it, I can't help but think about how talented and wonderful these girls are, and how the sound fits them so perfectly. Granted, I have not appreciated this song as much as I could have this year, but I really do think that this song is great and a tune many should listen to.
From one of the most talented Idol groups I have seen this year, Shoumei Teenager, though it isn't in my Top 10 or even my Top 15, is a wonderful song, and YumeAdo is a group with a wonderful sound and style. I am serious when I say that I look forward to what they bring to 2015.
Pure Secret Love by i☆Ris
(from the single Make It!)
I don't know how, I don't know why, but somehow, i☆Ris captured me again, and suddenly I rather like them. I haven't felt this way towards them since their debut.
I blame Anime! It's the only reason I listened to this single at all, because PriPara was so addictive and I liked the opening song, so of course, I went to look for it. Turns out, i☆Ris sang it, and they sang it well. Then there was this song, this wonderful little song, in the soundtrack. How can it be so cute!?
Well, let's just say that Pure Secret Love is addictive and adorable, overall a really nice song to boot. It's not the strongest contender in this list, in fact stronger have been put in the 20's, however this song is so high on the list because I really freakin' adore it! It's one of those songs I've listened to and enjoyed completely no matter what the occasion, and because I've liked it pretty much since I heard it, listening to it at least once a week, it deserves to be at this point in the list - it's a song I really enjoy, and I can't deny that.
I curse the addictive nature that is Anime songs, because so far, three have popped up in this list. CURSES!!!
Diamond days ~Kokoro no Tsubasa~ by Ueno Yuuka
We're breaking into the Top 15, and starting off this side of the list is the one and only Yuuka Ueno! Seriously, I adored this girl back in 2013 when she debuted, but since being busy I have had little time to look at her releases and to see what she's been getting up to. Luckily enough though, I was around when she released Diamond days ~Kokoro no Tsubasa~ back in the spring, and whilst I found it weaker than her debut and second single releases, I still enjoyed it. Heck, listening to it now, I feel so incredibly happy! That is the wonderful effect of Yuuka Ueno~
This girl is one of the most talented singers of the younger generation in J-pop right now if you ask me, and whilst I may not have enjoyed everything she released in terms of songs (her b-sides left a lot to be desired) I found Diamond days to be a great release and one that I can enjoy time and time again. Really, after re-discovering it, it was like rekindling long-lost love with an old story or hobby! The song is cute, it's fun to listen to and it brings a smile to my face, allowing me to remember just why I adore Yuuka and her spectacular voice.
She is an effective singer, one who I want to continue following for a long time. The reason she has made it here to the Top 15 for me is because she is incredibly talented and makes the song sound alive, even when the instrumental to the song isn't the strongest. Somehow, Yuuka Ueno manages to make me fall for her, no matter what.
1-Oku 3-Senman Sou Diet Oukoku by Berryz Kobou
I admit that I wanted to get this song into the Top 10, but I know that if I did that now, it would be a pity addition rather than a real addition, and honestly? 14 is damn good! If this was solely a H!P TOP list, you would be damn sure that this song would be in the Top 5 for songs this year, because it's so damn good! In general, Berryz did really well when it came to their music this year.
When it comes to most Hello! Project releases this year, I just want to say that nearly all of them rocked, and I don't think that anyone rocked harder than Berryz this year, especially when it came to their soundtracks. That said, I have always appreciated their sound better than their image, and this is no different, really - they still suck image-wise (very much like S/mileage, erm... ANGERME... fuck it, ANGERSMILES) however their music somehow got even better, in a way. Is this because they're jumping ship? Probably, either way though, I'm glad their music is some of the best H!P had to offer this year, because this way they can leave with some damn good music!
Now whilst it isn't my favourite, I do really enjoy listening to 1-Oku 3-Senman Sou Diet Oukoku as a song. It's a mature, rather cool track with some effects to distort the voices in it (nothing can distort Risako's seriously bad warbling, though) and, surprisingly, it fits Berryz like a glove! It's also a song about dieting, which seems controversial, but BK have been all in the controversy circle this year, I swear. Still though, it's a good song, with a good meaning behind it! Probably one of the strongest releases they've had this year, 1-Oku 3-Senman Sou Diet Oukoku is definitely a song that needs to be appreciate before the year runs out. BK, well done! Y'all have given me some joy this year, which is a good thing, because after March 2015, I won't have you to poke fun at any more or diss for how awkward you all look. Boo!!!
Dare ni mo Naisho by Bitter & Sweet
I would have liked to have seen you break the Top 10, I really did, however... it cannot be! -hand to forehead, drama mama style!-
Is it surprising that I find this to be the type of song for Vanilla Beans to produce, and not Bitter & Sweet? Because it sounds like a VB song completely, but with the addition of Bitter & Sweet singing it instead. And yeah, I really like it. It has this Perfume/VB style to it that's quite distinct, but strangely suits these two, enhancing their vocals and making it sound prettier with each listen. It's a glorious song actually, one of the best on this list I would say, which is why it feels like such a shame to put it in the Top 15 rather than the Top 10, but I have other songs that I prioritize over this one... still though, if this is the quality and talent of Bitter & Sweet, I'm going to have to keep my eye on them next year, and hope they break away from Top 15 into the Top 10, or even Top 5. Seriously, their talent is incredible, and they deserve more recognition than what I have given them this year.
These girls, they are on my radar next year, just you watch! I will keep my eye on you two...
Unicorn Parade by Cupitron
I originally planned to place Unicorn Parade a bit higher in the list, at around #9 or #8, however after re-listening to it I realised that at #11, it would be perfect, because whilst I adore this song to the fullest... stronger contenders for the Top Spots, me dears! No matter what though, I do like this song! It so goooooood!!!
On the off-chance that I chose to listen to a group I knew would be techno pop, of course I had to fall for them and their sound, right? But how can I not fall for Unicorn Parade when it's so poppy, cute and lively? That, and the video was Disco-divine, plus the girls are adorable! Really, it's a good song, and I'm glad I chanced this group when I did, otherwise I wouldn't have found a trio worth watching or listening to.
Whenever I hear it and whenever I watch it, I really become engrossed in the techno world that is Unicorn Parade, and the cuteness it holds. It's a fun song, one that we should all give a try! For a random listen, Cupitron brought me into a world different to what I know, and kept me there willingly! I look forward to their future releases, now, so all aboard the Cupitron Space Shuttle for me! Aye aye, captain!
Mikaeri Bijin by Morning Musume '14
If trying to figure out where to put Dare ni mo Naishi was hard, then figuring out whether to put Mikaeri Bijin at #11 or #10 was harder. In the end though, I went with the song I liked best to go for the #10 spot, and here lies MoMusu, forever #11... ah well, can't be helped! The better song evidently won~
I kid, I KID!!! Stop throwing vegetables at me, OW!!!
I love this song, I really do, and it is quite possibly the best A-side song they have released this year, by far. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Tsunku had nothing to do with it, but right now, I don't care because it is so pretty!!! Seriously, this group needs more ballads! When they sing chorus together in this format, Morning Musume is spectacular and you can really feel that unity and talent that only happens when they come together! Stop giving Riho lines to butcher, stop trying to force us to care about can and can't sing, and do this for a while - make them sing together, without solo lines, and allow our ears to soak in the beautiful nature that is MoMusu, doing ballads. Ahh...
In all seriousness though, this is one heck of a pretty song, and definitely one of the best releases of 2014 from Hello! Project. It's sweet, sentimental, and, amazingly, it is literal music to my ears.
Smile x3 ~Egao Zutto Saitama made~ by Houkago Princess
(from the single Manatsu no Yoru no Yume)
Okay, if it was hard not placing Bitter & Sweet into the Top 10, it was even harder doing so for HouPri; weirdly enough, that's where it was placed anyway, so HAHA!!! But no, really, I had a hard time figuring out where this song would go, because whilst I adore it completely, but I know for sure it isn't one of my Top Spot contenders in this list. As an absolute favourite, though, it is nestled comfortable here, at #10.
Weep, HouPri fans, weep! The small indies group I love so much beat out Mikaeri Bijin, a strong release from Hello! Pro, and also Cupitron, which I obsessed over for a while. Honestly though, this song is stronger if you ask me, if only for its sound and happy nature. That said, it also had a head start in the competition compared to a few other songs, because when I received my concert DVD for HouPri early this year, one of the performances was Smile x3 ~Egao Zutto Saitama made~, which actually hadn't been released until Manatsu no Yoru no Yume was, and the second I heard this song I was in love and listened to the concert version a lot, completely engrossed in it - this song, it is extreme love if you ask me, and I will continue to enjoy ever essence of it for as long as I like. When it comes to Smile x3 ~Egao Zutto Saitama made~, I can't help but smile and feel happy.
In general, when it comes to HouPri, I can't help but feel at my happiest.
Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni by Berryz Kobou
Of all the songs to love from Berryz this year, it had to be Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni, because when it came to this song, BK killed it in sound. When I said they had a rocking year, I meant it, and nothing rocked the H!P boat more than this dance!
And those shorts, daaaaamn!
Even in image, Berryz were impressive, and by far this was one of H!P's best releases, right next to Mikaeri Bijin, in both sound and video! I absolutely love it, it's so cool and mature, and something I would never have expected Berryz to pull off until I saw it! Of all the Hello! Pro songs I thought were great this year, this song and another gave me so much grief in where to place them for the TOP list this year , because they are both amazing in their own right - making it into the top 10 though, for a group that I claim to not care about
I am so Tsundere for Berryz XD is amazing, and this song is amazing too. In general, Berryz have been a stellar group throughout 2014, consistently producing awesome songs and showing off their talent, and winning me over.
It's because their graduating, that's why, but I have always liked their music - it's the image I find iffy.
I'm glad that throughout 2014, I have enjoyed everything Berryz released, but when it comes to Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni, this group was at their peak for the year - they gave it their all, and they brought it on! In look, skill and voice, they rocked the Hello! Pro boat for all it was worth, and they made me love them. Berryz, well done - you deserve it!
Yume no Tsubasa by i☆Ris
(from the single Make It!)
Much like a good chunk of my Top 10 in this post, I had a struggle placing Yume no Tsubasa because, like every other song on this list, I absolutely adore it. That said, unlike many other songs in this list, I actually knew right away that this song would be in the Top 10, because it's been one of those songs that I have found myself attracted to this year, so I knew it would place high on the list, but how high, I did not know. That said, #8 is very high, especially in a list that has 30 songs in it!
Yume no Tsubasa is, by far, the best song on the Make It! tracklist from i☆Ris, though it has a very distinct Anime sound - in fact, it reminds me a bit of Sailor Moon music. Still, it's one of the strongest songs from the Make It! single and is extremely enjoyable in tune, taking on a less shallow approach than what Pure Secret Love has. Where that song sounds rather generic and typical, this one sounds like there is more to it, and a deeper emotion behind the instrumental rather than focusing on the positive, love-heavy tone.
That said, it may just be what I described for Pure Secret Love, regardless though, I think this is a pretty cool song, and i☆Ris do it a lot of justice! When I never expected much from this single itself, it proved me wrong by delivering really fun tracks, with this song being one of the best on it. So, where it sits now at #7, it truly deserves that spot - i☆Ris have well and truly earned it.
Aa, Subarashiki Hibi yo by Sato no Akari
I think I have just made the hardest decision in my entire life, because of the last few songs to be a part of the Top 10, there are three ballad-like tracks that are absolutely beautiful, each taking my heart and appealing to me no matter what. For this song, I had the struggle of trying to figure out whether or not it would enter the Top 5, or if it would come after Ai wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka ni, or just before it.
In the end, it didn't make the Top 5, however I am happy with my decision - I love this song, I adore it completely, but I know deep down that it shouldn't make the Top 5.
All that said, this is a beautiful song, one of the best SATOYAMA songs I have heard recently, and my absolute favourite of the three - I know all three songs made it to the list, which is pretty darned awesome if you ask me, but this is the one song that trumped them all from this sound track, and it's absolutely breath-taking. Seriously, who would have thought that these girls would fit together so perfectly? A squeaker, a really refined voice, and one really soft, unpolished singer. It's amazing! Whenever I listen to Aa, Subarashiki Hibi yo, I feel calm and at peace because the girls are so sweet and soft, allowing you to feel at ease. They have such a beautiful tone together, and I feel really happy when I hear how good they sound in unison. This unit is really lovely.
Though it never entered my Top 5, this is one of those songs that I have listened to constantly all year round, enjoying it completely. It's a song I choose when I want something sweet and gentle to listen to, and something I find pleasing to the ears. For me, this is the best SATOYAMA track to come out for 2014, and the best unit created for the project, period. Sato no Akari is an amazing group, and they really need to keep going.
Dear my hero by Ueno Yuuka
Hardest decision of my life. EVER! And I will keep saying that until this post is done, because seriously, choosing to place this at #6 was not easy - I freaking LOVE Dear my hero, but this song and another were having a battle, and in the end, the other song won out.
I am still wondering how I was able to do it, as in choose between them, because gosh darnit, this is a beautiful song, and that song is beautiful, too! No matter what though, this song has come a long way and beat out quite a few contenders for this spot! Originally #6 was to go to Sato no Akari, but nope, Yuuka managed to snag it, and for good reason; Dear my hero is a damn good ballad, one that makes my heart swell and a song that shows off her perfect talent. Of course, this position in my year end ranks could go to no one finer. Though I do really wish that she had a spot in the Top 5, I am really happy that once again, I was able to experience the pure joy that is Yuuka Ueno's talent this year.
When it comes to supreme beauty in singing, no one can top Yuuka Ueno, and Dear my hero is a great song that shows off the beauty in her voice. She is an Angel.
Sayonara Mae ni by AAA
AAA were never meant to be in the Top 5, I had actually planned for them to be in the Top 15 to the Top 10 somewhere, and yet here they are. Somehow, they got into the Top 5! Of the one spot I was completely unsure of who would get, Sayonara Mae ni was the song that made it into the Topmost ranks. After hours of re-listening to songs, re-arranging my list and writing stuff out, it turns out that this song got to me more than I remembered.
This is the song that beat Dear my hero from getting the spot, because Sayonara Mae ni, simply put, is flawless. AAA in general is flawless, but I remember the first time I listened to this song, I was overwhelmed by how amazing it was. I've liked AAA for a while, but I didn't think that they could ever create a song this beautiful or emotional in tone. It's a really pretty song, too, but its depth and the talent behind it is incredible. The song is just... it's wow.
To be honest, with a song like this, I am happy that AAA did make it into my Top 5, because it's an incredible song, one that I could listen to all day. It's gentle and soothing, and the atmosphere is very romantic but also bitter-sweet towards the end, leaving me with a lingering sense of longing even after it has ended. Though it's not an upbeat song that is happy-go-lucky or peppy, it's still a very well-done, beautifully crafted song, and a favourite of mine from the year 2014.
Though it was never supposed to be in my Top 5, this song has earned its rightful place here; Sayonara Mae ni is gorgeous, and one of AAA's best releases this year.
Baka da ne by Houkago Princess
In the very beginning of my plans for this list, Baka da ne was one of the first songs on my list for my Top 30 songs of the year, and I knew straight away that it would be in the Top 5 - it's one of my most listened-to tracks of the year, after all! In fact, I am pretty damn sure it is the fourth-most played track of the Top 5 songs for this years list! I am really damn addicted, guys!
I am addicted with good reason, though, because this has to be one of the best songs HouPri have done ever! I may be biased, and it may just be because I adore this song, but it's brilliant! It's fun, upbeat, it has a really cute sound to it and the overall tone is quirky and inviting! It's a song that, upon my first listen, I knew that I liked right away - I just didn't know how much I liked it until I realised I had been listening to it everyday since receiving the single and hearing the songs. Seriously, I think that I have listened to this more times than I would care to count, but you know what? Hearing it so many times is worth it, because this song makes me feel deliriously happy, and it gives me the energy I need to do my work.
Call me biased, but honestly, I think that Baka da ne is one of the best songs of the year 2014 as well as one of my all-time favourite HouPri songs, ever. It's catchy, jumpy and hits all the right notes, and it's mine, all mine!!! MUAHAHA!!!
My VOICE by Funky Kato
I'm the sort of person who, when she finds something she likes, plays the hell out of it and then some. When I found the PV for My VOICE, this was my jam for a month or so, and then it eventually filtered into being played randomly now and again, but always loved and never forgotten. For me, this is a song that was both inspirational and motivational in how it was sung, not just how it sounded - there is something about Kato's voice that struck me when I heard it, and for a while, this was my inspiration song, or the song that I listened to when I was upset.
My VOICE moved me. With the raw vocals, strong presence and a great instrumental, I was completely taken in by everything Kato did. His singing, whilst not the best, is really appealing to me and strong - the sound of his voice makes me want to keep going and do what I can to find the best solution, or to get out of the slump I am in. The song is encouraging to the listener, allowing you to feel the need to keep going and to not give up.
This song was always going to be here in the Top 3, because it's fantastic, one of the best songs of the year and one of my favourites by far. Though I have actually never heard anything by Funky Kato or his band before now, this song struck me and it stayed, and I really do love how it sounds and what it does to me as a listener. This is an inspirational song, one that should be shared. My VOICE, though it isn't at #1 where it could be, is truly amazing.
7 Girls War by Wake Up, Girls!
When you have two songs you really love, two songs that have been constant throughout the year that you have listened to on loops, fallen in love with and then some, it becomes damn near difficult to choose between the two and pick a favourite.
Ultimately it did indeed come down to that, and whilst this is one amazing song, one that has made me happy and brought me energy and random dancing about the bedroom, some para para as well if you will, 7 Girls War has officially grabbed the #2 spot here on my Top 30 list. Holy cow... the struggle was real, but this is how it has to be, and honestly? This is an amazing song, and it deserves the spot it has. It deserves better in fact, but I can't! There is a song I love MORE!
Honestly though, I nearly did a tie, I love both songs almost equally... with 7 Girls War, it's that it is an amazing, emotive, characteristic, energetic and genuinely good song that I really appreciate coming into my life, and honestly, I have Steve to thank for introducing me to it - if he hadn't introduced me to the anime Wake Up, Girls! at all, I wouldn't have found this song and fallen in love with it, nor would have I realised just how amazing Anime songs have become recently. This group, they're really talented, and their ability to sing with such energy and passion is enviable - they're an awesome group of girls, and I really hope that they release more next year, because whilst they aren't the most talented group out there, they are a group with diversity in vocals, character and expression in their voices. Within their music, there is an undeniable presence that is overwhelming and bursting with greatness, and I want them to continue as Idols together, because they are seriously a wonderful group.
For my #2 spot, Wake up, Girls! take the cake and eat it, and listening to their fabulous 7 Girls War just makes me want to sing and spin around my room like the mad woman I am! It's fantastic, and I love it! For sure, it is one of the songs I looped the most this year, but that's because it's GREAT! Otherwise, why would I loop it?
29 songs have been listed, songs have been chopped and changed from their original placements, some even kicked out from the running in favour of others, but which song rose above the rest as my all-time #1 song of 2014, the song that made my year musically wonderful?
It was really hard to decide that, definitely, this was the song that would be my #1, but whenever I think about it I smile, and whenever I hear it I become the happiest person around, as if it completes me. For me, this is the song that screams 2014!!! and is, ultimately, my song of the year. Are you ready to unveil my winner?
Song of The Year 2014
Make It! by i☆Ris
Don't take my words lightly when I say that, this year, I have been completely obsessed with i☆Ris, because I have. I really have.
How do you think they made my NUMBER 1 SPOT!? I LOVE THIS SINGLE! And I love this song! Holy crap, I really love this song! From the second I press 'Play' and the music comes on, I am grinning like some idiot, and not many songs get me grinning from the get-go, let me tell you! This one though... holy cow, this one is something else.
Thinking about the Top 30 list this year, it was really hard to think about the songs that would go on it, but aside from Baka da ne, this songs name was actually the first to hit the list, and then it was Baka da ne right after - from the beginning, I think I somehow knew that Make it! would be the song that I chose above the rest as my #1 Song of the Year 2014, because it's the one song that I always wanted to play without fail, it seemed. Sometimes when I feel down, there are certain songs I refuse to play, but no matter what my emotional state I always liked to play Make It!, and it would always make me feel happy and confident again, sending me off into a frenzy of terrible singing, badly-pronounced Japanese lyrics and some silly dancing. The effect this song had on me was really strong.
I know that, with this #1 spot, not everyone would agree with my choice - in fact I kind of expect a lot of people to hate my decision and disagree with it because it's an Anime song, and also because it's not the best on the list. I know it isn't. I know that it isn't on par with a lot of songs listed here, but for me this is what I think of when I look back at the music of 2014 - I think Happy, Energetic, Bouncy, Cheerful, Cute, Adorable... I think of how Make It! sounds, and how it made my 2014 a happy year, and how it completed it for me music wise. I know it isn't a glorious, well-made song that is diverse and different, or that it isn't on the same pedestal with the likes of Mikaeri Bijin or My VOICE. This I do know, however; when I listen to this song, I am completely overwhelmed with how much I love it, and how happy it makes me as a listener. When I hear this song, I feel like I am at my best - this is what makes it so brilliant for me.
Finding Make It! was the best part of my year in terms of music, from Idols or Artists, and when I hear it I think of how happy 2014 has been as a year, and how lucky I am that I got to do the things I did. For me, this is my Song of the Year, and it doesn't matter how many of you disagree with me.
Even though it isn't perfect, this song is perfect to me, and that is all that matters. Make It! is my #1, and I am happy that for the year of 2014, it made it to the Top of the List.
And so my Top 30 Songs of the year has officially come to an end! It took a long time to write, and there was a lot of struggle with where to place songs and many decisions were made, but in the end I managed it, and my list is now complete! I know that, with this list, there will be disagreements, however this year these were the songs that stood out to me and made 2014 what it was, and the ones that I remembered the most.
With the Top 30 list I have created, I feel happy in the artists and songs chosen - all groups, Idols and artists are amazing in their own way, but for each individual we have certain tastes in music, and for me, these were the pick of the crop. They are strong, amazing and talented, and they have brought me great joy in the music they have produced this year, much like many other artists who aren't in this list. Still, it's been a great year in terms of music, and I have really enjoyed it! Hopefully 2015 will be just as good, maybe even better. Who knows?
We will have to find out next year, won't we?
Now before I even attempt to finish this lengthy post off, we have to go through a few special mentions! So, without further ado, let's take a look at a few songs that didn't make the list, but are still worth the listen and a little shout-out. What shall we find as we take a peek~?
Chiima's Special Mentions Corner ~The Honorable 5~
Eighteen Emotion by S/mileage (originally placed at #30)
This song actually placed at the #30 spot originally, however after looking back, I realised that I didn't feel as strongly about this song as I had previously thought, but still wanted to take note of it - hence why it is here as a special mention, rather than a Top 30 contender.
Now if there was one thing that S/mileage did really well in this year, it was music - their image is still a mess at this point in time (and will probably become an even bigger mess upon becoming ANGERME, but only time will tell with that one...) however when it came to their sound, I really did enjoy what they released! I admit, Eighteen Emotion is the weakest link of all the songs the group brought out this year, but it's also the one song that reminds me of good, old S/mileage, before their image became a wreck and their music steered towards the 'sexy' and 'mature' zone. Urgh... Still though, this is a fun and friendly song, a memory of what S/mileage were once upon a time. The PV's also pretty nice, too!
Romance wo Katatte by Berryz Kobou (originally placed at #29)
This song was originally placed somewhere around the Top 20, to the Top 15, then it was pushed back to #29, before I decided to take it out all together. Actually, it was either going to be this song or Eighteen Emotion that left, but before I even decided on scrapping Eighteen Emotion completely, this song was the first to go. I mean, I really like Romance wo Katatte, however I don't think it fit with my list of favourites because... well, it isn't a Top 30, to me. If this was a H!P orientated list, maybe, but here? Nope.
To be honest, this song is beautiful, but Towa no Uta beat it out in the end as a song I wanted to feature, and that's because I think Towa no Uta's sound is more unified. This song is gorgeous, for sure, but Towa no Uta feels more complete for Berryz. Still, Romance is a wonderful track and one I do think you should all try out, if you haven't already.
For one of their last singles, BK really did do well. I commend them on a job well done!
Jump! by Yumemiru Adolescence (from the single Mawaru Sekai) (originally placed at #18)
I was either going to cut out Jump! or Shoumei Teenager, and given how good Shoumei Teenager is, and how I had actually forgotten Jump! existed after not listening to it for a while... well, you can see why this one was cut out, right? That said, it was at the #18 spot, which is pretty damn good if you ask me!
Anyway, I really liked Jump! when I first heard it, and I mean really liked it. It was one of my favourite songs for a while, but as I said, I forgot about it after a while, but upon re-discovering it I realised why I enjoyed it so much. It was definitely one of my many favoured 'Happy' songs of the year, and it was pretty inspirational towards my writing to. The thing I liked the most about it though was that, despite their 'cool' image, YumeAdo had returned to the Idol sound for a brief moment with Jump!, and I really appreciated that.
When they Idol, they do it well, and Jump! feels incredibly refreshing amongst the 'cool' songs of YumeAdo's discography.
Manatsu no Yoru no Yume by Houkago Princess (did not place)
Whilst this song never actually placed, I still think that this is a great song, and a fantastic A-side for one of my favourite Indie groups. As a song, I really enjoy Manatsu no Yoru no Yume and what it has to offer, such as the cool and mature approach it has in comparison to some of HouPri's other songs.
It's one of their best title songs yet, and a favourite of mine to listen to, but it isn't an ultimate favourite - those were a part of the Top 30, however this is still a very good song, and one worth tuning into. If you haven't heard it yet, I say give it a try; you may find you like this group just as much as I do!
One of the last songs from this year to include Marius and Sou, this was my favourite release from the boy band this year, and the only one I won't completely ignore, either. And, honestly, this is the better of the three releases, though very generic.
It's some jolly good fun, though! Seriously, if there is any way to make me like that smug little thing in the center, it's dressing him up as the Queen he truly is, and forcing Kenty and FuFu to fight over him as a sexy King, and a hunch-backed Joker. My favourites in the video were still Marius and Sou however, because they make very adorable, dashing little fencers! D'AWW!!!
Back to the song... it's a cute song, and basically shows off that friendly, cute concept SZ had until they rid themselves of the two best members ever. It's a fun release, and if you haven't boycotted the group completely yet, give it a try; it's adorbs, and Marius gets little solo lines in the form of one-syllabled-things ;w; MA BABY!!! <3
And so, with the Honorable mentions done and dusted, that completes my Grand Top 30 J-POP Songs of 2014 post for the year! It was a long list, one that took forever to do but was fun to create, but I finally found my #1 song for this year, and boy do I love it! In general though, the music for the year gone by has been good, and whilst I may not have listened to all of the songs created, I did listen to some pretty good stuff, so that's all that matters!
Alarmingly enough, for another year (is it the 3rd year in a row!?) C-ute have yet again not made it onto to my list for a Top Songs of the Year! That's... well, that's shocking! XD I like C-ute, I really do, but I don't think their songs are that amazing, either, though they suit the type of music they do... still, I hope one day, they make it onto my Top list at least once, possibly next year. Who knows?
Anyway, this was the list I compiled of my Top 30 Songs of the Year, and I hope that as you read it, you enjoyed it as well, and maybe even found some songs to listen to that you haven't heard or seen before. It was fun to do this once again, but also hard as well. I may have overdone myself a bit by giving myself the challenge of a 'Top 30', rather than my usual 'Top 20'. Ah, well!
For you, what were your Top Songs of 2014? It can be a Top 10, Top 20, Top 100... whatever you want! Likewise, are there any songs that you agreed with from my list, or even disagreed with? Let me know! It's tough to think about, but you can do it, I know you can!
And now... SLEEP! But also, I need to think of the songs from this year that I hated! That'll be hard, considering I liked a lot of what I heard. Still, one can try...~
Hmmm, maybe next year, I#ll advance to Top 40? Maybe Top 50? What do you think?
Until next time!