We're finally into September, a month where Summer ends and Fall tries to begin, where education in the West starts anew, and the very month that I turn a year older! It's an exciting month, but right now, we're going to celebrate the songs of August. So, before the September Blues (Hues?) get to you, let's take a look back at what Summer's end delivered to us all, and enjoy the sweet sounds of the Idols we do adore...~
Welcome back to Music Selection! As per the usual, all songs listed within this post were chosen by me, to remind me of the music that entertained me so much from the month gone by! Whether it's old or new, from way back when or just released a week ago, I will pop on here what I think is awesome! Of course, this list is also here to introduce you all to something new, too! Perhaps there is an artist or song you've given a miss, or maybe you're looking to update the Idol Files, and introduce some fresh music into the system? Hopefully you will find something here, and if not, there will always be next month! No matter what, I will try to spice up my list with a little variety.
Of course, I cannot - and do not - listen to all of the J-Music that comes out on the wide, wonderful web. I don't have the time or the taste for everything, so if there's something missing that you enjoyed, there is a chance I either did not listen to it, or I didn't like it. It's the way of the world, and the way of the mind. We can't share the exact same music tastes, otherwise life would be boring, aye.
If there is something you would like me to listen to that you enjoyed, however, please do list it and let me know! I'm always happy to find new groups and songs to enjoy, and your recommendations help my love for Idols to grow even bigger! Sharing is caring, after all~
And with the spiel all done and dusted, let's dive into some music. Plug those earphones in, and crank up the volume! Summer will never die, especially when Idol music is all around us!
I feel like August has been such a fruitful month in music. I have enjoyed so much, and was not left hanging dry. Plus, the month gone by introduced me to some great new tracks, and I am so delighted that all I have heard, has introduced me to a few new groups! This is definitely an energetic mix, and admittedly, it's not as diverse as it could be. When it comes to the summer, however, I a all about that sunshine and cheer, so definitely prep your ears for some high-tension fun!
Hopefully you will all find something in here to enjoy, no matter what the group or song! And if not, then please stay tuned for next month, where more music will be featured. For now, however, let's enjoy the sounds of summer, and let our energy fill the room. It's time to play the music, and set ourselves free~
Ho wo Agero! by BOYS AND MEN (2017.08.02)
I waited so long for this song to come out, and when it did, I listened to it a lot. It's probably not my most played for the month of August, but it was damn close, because this is such a jam. I don't know what the heck was infused in this song (maybe that Hyadain magic?), but good grief, Ho wo Agero! is such a wonderful song, and so dang infectious! I adore it!
I've already PV Reviewed this one, so I've given quite a few thoughts on it, but as a song itself, this one stands alone well. It's energetic and fun, with such a driven sound that you can't help but enjoy. It would be great for children, actually, and the dance is hella funny to watch, too. I think there are enough lyrics here that you can easily sing along to, as well, even if you don't know Japanese. And, it sounds so happy! What more could you want?
Ho wo Agero! is a bouncy, cheerful song that is a great summer track. You could listen to it all year long, actually, but it is perfect for the time of the year it was made for. I really can't fault it, and think that it's a flawless little release from BOYS AND MEN.
I don't know what happened, but August became the month of me finally realising just how awesome THE HOOPERS are. Good grief, these cross-dressing girls are a hella talented, and wow, that charisma! I am loving their cover of SHAMROCK, it's such a joy to listen to! Plus, it's damn catchy, and works well for their vocals. They've given it a nice little update, making it more pop than rock, of course, and freshening it up for their fans. It works in their favour, if you ask me.
SHAMROCK is just one catchy tune. It's going to easily infiltrate your brain and stay there, and it'll keep you singing along and smiling for a good few days. It's actually been my song of choice for, like, the first half of August, and has motivated me beautifully for writing and job hunts. I really do adore this track, and think it's a winner. I'm glad that I finally paid attention to THE HOOPERS long enough to become enamoured by SHAMROCK!
Great song, great vibe, catchy-as-heck tune. If you haven't given SHAMROCK a try, I insist with all my being that you go and give it a whirl. Hopefully, you won't be disappointed!
I haven't paid a lot of attention to Wake Up, Girls! in a while, but I'm super invested in their latest release. According to my sister, the anime that this song acts as the opening for is absolute trash, but I'm not in it for the anime; I am here for the music, and dang, this song is super-freakin'-catchy! It's been my jam for the latter half of August, snuggling nicely next to SHAMROCK as one of my absolute favourites from August '17.
I wanna say this is a 'bop', but I dislike that word, so I'll say this is a jam, for old times sake. It's this high-pitched festival of energy and charm, and I feel like I am being given a dose of sugar every time I put it on. I want to dance and sing along, jump about and loop it to the Heavens. I do loop it to the Heavens, but if I could play it all day, I would. It's just so fun and wonderful, and I can't get enough of it!
It's a great little team-up for both Wake Up, Girls! and May'n, and I feel like May'n's vocals and WUG's energetic cuteness works really well. It has such a textured, vibrant sound, and it sucks you in right away. If these guys ever team up again, you can count me in for being a listener! A perfect mix of two beautiful worlds~
Jet Set Music! by Ohara Sakurako (2017.08.09)
I really like two songs from this single, but the one that stands out most is Jet Set Music! Now, I don't think it's the most original track out there, but it really is a catchy one. The energetic instrumental (I am seeing a pattern, here... ¬o¬) mixed with Sakurako's vocals is just wonderful. It feels summery and carefree, and it makes me want to sing along and dance like the nut I am. It's my favourite track on her recent release, by far, and I honestly wish that this had been the A-side, because My Favourite Jewel kind of sucks.
Well, not that it sucks... it's just bland, and I forget it. When I listen to it, I just feel frustrated. Jet Set Music!, however, is such an entertaining track. It draws me in, and it keeps me wanting more. I especially love its bridge. It has a divine sound, in my opinion.
I can feel all of Sakurako's energy in this, and each time I tune into the song, I feel that very energy and cheer pouring out of her. You can hear how much fun she is having, and I just feel so overwhelmed by her delight. It's a great song, and so much more deserving of the A-side position than the other track. Ah, well. At least I can imagine what the PV would be like in my mind.
Finally, a cool track! It's not all sunshine and rainbows and flying carpets, I assure you, though the energy is also pretty damn high in this song. Still, I really love how charged 〇〇〇〇〇 sounds, and I love the vocals from BabyraidsJAPAN, as per usual. They're on fire hear, and I can just hear that surge of energy in their vocals, and how powerful they sound with each passing lyric. It feels like they're really on the ball, and like they enjoy what they're singing about. This song is such a perfect match for them.
This isn't a song I would listen to everyday, but honestly, I think it's amazing. It fits the image and style of BabyraidsJAPAN beautifully, and it shows off just how amazing they are as a group. They're such great performers, and I love how varied their vocals are. It's such a pleasure to listen to 〇〇〇〇〇 whenever I do put it on, because it's such a powerful, driven sound.
〇〇〇〇〇 is awesome, and I like how it has varied my sound for August. Yes, I am mostly into the energetic stuff, but by far, 〇〇〇〇〇 is the most unique (of the current lot) for its sound and style, and how rock-n'-roll it feels. Less pop, more action, and a vigorous pace to keep us on our toes when we pop it on. I like it, very much, and hope it comes back in future Selection posts.
I may complain about AKS' tell-tale sound, but honestly, I do like that very same tell-tale sound, especially when it's done well. #Sukinanda is done well, despite having such a sound. It's old-school, catchy, memorable, yet refreshing. It's also 100% Sasshi, and it feels like such a great introduction track to some of the new Senbatsu members, rather than some quickly thought up cast-off to just tide us over. Then again, all of Sasshi's songs are great whenever she wins Senabtsu, even the ones I dislike. There is always going to be something memorable about Sashihara Rino and her winning tracks.
Even though it hasn't been out long, the full music video has thankfully been around. I've listened to #Sukinanda a lot, and I can safely say that it's one of my favourite tunes from the August releases. It's just such a nice, summery track that feels so relaxed and freeing. It's also really happy, and I want to smile whenever I hear it. I guess that's the joy of such a nostalgic AKS tune; it's truly effortless and sweet, and you can't help but be sucked in by how genuinely nice it is.
This is not a tiresome track, and regardless of how much I've griped in the past about AKS using old sounds, I really do think that it works well, especially when they know what to do with it. It's the same with any group out there; if they understand how to produce it correctly, it works wonders. When they don't, however, fans notice a little more, and aren't overly happy. Luckily, #Sukinanda was the former, and it is the perfect beach track that you can listen to whilst sunbathing, driving, or just lounging around in your house. Pop it on, and enjoy the blue skies and summer waves~
If #Sukinanda is my summer relaxation track, then Fiesta! Fiesta! is my summer outdoor club tune. It really feels like you should be in a club or at a summer music festival for this one, because it's such a fiery tune with some fist-pumping qualities. It will certainly give you some drive, and damn, how did H!P get this kind of song!? I was expecting them to continue with their forgettable and dry releases (with a few 'nice' ones thrown into the mix).
Fiesta! Fiesta! is such a glorious track though, and it seems that almost all of the fandom (and those outside of it) are in collective agreement, for once. We're thoroughly enjoying the Spanish vibe surging through, the power of the vocals, this unforgettable passion that the members are delivering, and finally, that undeniable sound! It's crazy just how amazing this is.
Finally, Juice=Juice is fresh again, and their fire is back! Lord All Mighty, Prayers have been answered!
Oh, and what a way to introduce the noobs! Ruru and Nanami are getting a divine introduction into the group, and the rest of the members are just as impressive. It feels like the rebirth of a stale group, almost!
This song has great replay value, and it never gets old. I can't wait to continue listening to it, and yeah, it's bloody amazing. Well done, H!P! You're doing something right in the mess you've created for yourselves, so, at least there's something to be proud of.
Okay, so I've basically been enamoured by this entire single. I really like it. I mean, Wonderful World was an awesome song, anyway, but I love how they've just Anglicised it. It sounds super freakin' cute now, especially when I can't understand what the heck they saying. Also, damn, they had to go and choose the perfect song to translate into English.
Now, where is out Ça va? Ça va? French version, huh? C'mon, H!P. Chop, chop!
Seriously though, I love this rendition. It's a cute tune, and it's a fun way to give the fans across the pond a bone. I like it, I think it's absolutely freakin' adorable, and I think all of the members (especially Karin) sound adorable as heck, and seem so excited by singing in English. They do super well, too, and I love all the effort and charm thrown in here. Well done, Juice=Juice!
I have spent a little bit of time with this song in the past the month, due to reviews and such, but honestly, I do enjoy it. I'm glad I'm not sick of it by now, actually, but I think that is because it's such a great tune. It may not be as original as some people would like (cause, Swan Lake and The Swan Theme), but I think that it's a nice, Gothic style for HouPri that they haven't tackled yet, and it suits them well.
I'm impressed by this track, though. Sayonara Duarena went into a style I didn't expect, and Maika is exceptional in her singing here, too. She takes her pitch to a level I would have never expected, and owns it completely. She's a remarkable singer, and I'm glad that she dominates this song; she deserves it, with her voice being as amazing as it is. Maika is truly a force to be reckoned with here, and whilst I don't like the unfair distribution at all, I recognise the talent she has, and how she keeps the song interesting and unique.
I've reviewed the single for Selective Hearing, so my full thoughts are there, but in short; I like this song, I think it's awesome. It's another interesting chapter in HouPri's collection of 'stories', and I think that they are only improving and showing off more strengths. Next time, though, I would like to see more of the other members. And no, I don't just mean Nana and Sasara. I mean everyone.
Tokonatsu Orai! by BOYS AND MEN (2014.07.25)
I almost forgot to add this gem, but for the first half of August, I was completely taken by this song! It's such a funny, energetic track, and so cheeky, too! It's basically an Idol song, and the PV itself is so reminiscent of what AKB48 do; it's eye candy galore, but with men! It's such a fun vibe, though, and it truly feels like a friendly, happy summer track. It'll suck you in, and if you watch the accompanying PV, I don't doubt that you'll be laughing!
This song is filled with a lot of personality and joy, and I can't help but adore it. It's just so appealing and cheerful, and every time I hear it, I want to jump up and have a fun day. It makes me want to go to the beach, too, and if I listened to this at the seaside, I feel like I would be running up and down the sand, just to match the pace and energy this song gives.
It's a carefree, great track, and if you're just getting into BOYS AND MEN and want to see a silly, cheeky side to them, this is the song to do that with. It's similar to Ho wo Agero! I suppose, in that it's energetic, cheerful and doesn't take itself seriously. It's charming, too, and yet another reason why I should love BOYS AND MEN, and follow them. I seriously need to do some research, guys.
SUMILE SMILE by Uchida Aya (2016.11.30)
I have had a brief fling with my darling SUMILE SMILE once again, and oh, it was glorious! Just a slight affair, I assure you, but the few days I spent with it were filled with high-pitched vocals and happiness galore. Seriously, I adore this track, and I can't believe that it has taken me this long to return to it.
It truly is wonderful, you know~?
I love dancing along to SUMILE SMILE and singing along. It really is catchy, and listening to it now, I have a feeling I may return to it a little bit for the month of September. It's a song I'll love forever, I believe, just because it's happiness and sugar personified. Truly, Uchida Aya is amazing, but yeah, she's hella squeaky XD
Just a note to end on, though; if you listen to this with headphones on, be sure to turn it down a bit. It actually hurts my teeth, not my ears. MY. TEETH!!! Cavities, Ahoy!
Hear ~Shinjiaeta Akashi~ by Chise Kanna (2016.03.16)
Oh gosh, I love this song. I love how much passion is in this song, and I love how clear and angelic Chise Kanna's voice is. It's such a shame she's disappeared, and only has one year of singing under her belt. It's also a complete mystery, too, but I will forever remember her from that one year where she was active, and gave us the most beautiful songs I could have ever heard. It's sad that she's no longer a singer, though, because she was great.
I returned to this song, mostly for writing purposes. If I want to pen a sad moment in a tale, I generally go for a song with a lot more emotion thrown in there. Hear ~Shinjiaeta Akashi~ is perfect for that, because Kanna gives the right amount of emotion and passion with each note. Also, this is just a wonderful, impressive song. It's so freakin' pretty!
I could listen to this song all day, but I won't, only because I have other songs to go through on here. However, if I was writing a story, this is the song I would listen to all day. It's just perfect, and it's so beautiful!
Lychee Red no Unmei by Houkago Princess (2017.02.15)
I am half/half on Lychee Red no Unmei. On the one hand, I really do love this track, I think it's an amazing piece with some interesting, authentic sounds, but on the other hand, it gets on my nerves quite quickly. Maybe it's the rushing sounds of the Chinese instruments they have sound, the fast pace, or the vigorous charm it has? Well, whatever it could be, it grates me quite quickly, so I can never listen to this track for too long.
I don't doubt how good it is, mind, I just can't seem to stand it for too long. It's a song I hate to love, in a way. Such a weird feeling.
Lychee Red no Unmei is great, and I know why people like it. I think it's amazing, too, but in small doses. Otherwise, it truly is a wonderful song, and so freakin' well done!
Kimi no Uta by Yasuda Rei (2017.05.4)
I love Kimi no Uta, but the reason I returned to the song this time was also for writing reasons, and it did help quite a bit. It's such a gorgeous track though, and it's one of my favourites from this past year because of how mesmirising and heartfelt the song is. Seriously, Yasuda Rei is a goddess, and her singing voice is a joy to hear.
I won't ever get sick of Kimi no Uta, and I hope that we get some more wonderful tracks from Yasuda Rei this year. I can't deal with just one release, because she is just such a glorious singer! Give me more, please!!!
It's a stunning release, and it gets better with age, I swear. I mean, it's not even old, but the more I listen, the more I fall in love. A bittersweet, beautiful track with wonderful lyrics, and an amazing vocalist to enhance the simplicity of its pure instrumental. It is just perfect.
Just be yourself by Wa-suta (2017.04.19)
I feel like Just be yourself hasn't been here a while, but I also feel like it was on here just last month. It's one of those songs I always go back to, though, so it was most likely on here, because I just can't help myself. It's cute, it's generic, it's everything Idol. I love it, and you know that well. I mean, I put it on here enough.
I won't get into the nitty gritty with this one, because again, it's been on here a few hundred times. I enjoy it a great deal, I think it's wonderful, blah blah blah, zero surprise, no need to go on. Le End~
Defying Gravity by Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenworth (2003.12.16)
Sometimes we need a break from our Idols. Not a long break, but a break to allow us to remember that there is other music out there in the world, somewhere. For me, that little break usually means Musicals, movie or Broadway. If I like it, it doesn't matter, and through the plethora of Idols I've heard this month, I have also enjoyed me a little Broadway. Mulan, Beauty and The Beast, Legally Blonde, Anastasia, to name a few... and then there is Wicked, because, yeah, I can't get enough of Defying Gravity. This song is fantastic.
I think that Defying Gravity is a song almost everyone knows. It's iconic, really, especially Idina Menzel's 'Bring me down!' and how she manages to hold such a glorious note. This song and Idina's voice give me the chilld, and I just love hearing this song, beginning to end. It's an epic track, and so climactic. I think that, because it has so many emotions and awareness running through it (sympathy, anger, sadness, acceptance, resolve, realisation, etc.) it becomes a song that is complex, but it's satisfying as well.
From the beginning, it's as if the characters are unsure and coming to grips with their own reality, but by the end, they understand themselves completely and what they need to do. This song shows the growth of the characters, Elpheba and Glinda, but it doesn't feel rushed in all it wants to show. It is complete, and it is perfect. There is such a rush I experience when I hear this song, and I love how it makes me think about the characters, their struggles, and the confidence they both have in their relationship, despite knowing that they are walking down completely different paths.
I may have to review this entire album on Selective Hearing at some point, because I adore Wicked's OST, but that will be for another day. Until then, let me enjoy this song, and love it unconditionally.
READY TO KISS by READY TO KISS (2017.09.13)
Truth be told, I am not exactly enamoured with this song, but I do enjoy it. It could get stuck into my head quite easily, but, it's too old-school HouPri for me. Yes, R2K are under Get-Crazy, the original agency for HouPri, and they are utilising the skills of Ishitani Hikari, the original composer and lyricist of HouPri (until very recently. Thanks, Universal), but honestly, this is way too HouPri, to the point where parts of it are carbon copies of Ichki Ichi Tomo, one of the worst HouPri tracks out there.
That said, I do like the song.
I am mostly anticipating this release because 1) it's the return of a physical release (or, a release, period) for READY TO KISS. 2) This is also the debut track for the new members, more so, the re-debut of Ayase Miho, now named Sasaki Miho. I love that girl to pieces, so of course I'll follow her new venture in the big, bad Idol world.
So, decent song, but I am not overly excited for it, either. I'm more or less looking forward to the B-sides (despite them being updated versions of older songs) and the leading coupling track, Emerald Cream Soda. Hopefully one of those will pick up the slack and prove that this single is quite worthwhile. I will enjoy the A-side for a while, though, no doubt about that.
=LOVE by =LOVE (2017/09/06)
Like #Sukinanda, this song feels like some nostalgic 48 magic. It's catchy and bright, a perfect summer tune that will light up the on-coming fall days of September. It has a very cute, crisp vibe to it, and the fresh faces of this new Sashihara-produced unit give us something new to enjoy. They're polished but raw, and very, very 48, regardless of how much Sashihara might want to present them as their own thing, at some point.
They aren't. They are a total 48 carbon-copy, but when it's not broke, why fix a specific system?
That said, the vocals feel so H!P / AniIdol, which makes sense, given these girls are meant to be a voice acting unit, at some point. Very high-pitched, very screechy, but energetic enough for anime. If you don't like voices too high, though, forgo this song with headphones. That's a mistake I'm currently making, and yeah, I regret it greatly, but it's almost 4am, so I have no choice.
=LOVE is a cute song all around. Very 48, but in a good way. I would love to see this group find their own identity, however, because they need their own footing in order to truly become a group that is not 48 oriented. For now, though, all we need to do is watch over them, and figure out if they are worth their salt.
Oh, and has anyone else noticed the singles I am anticipating, are both self-titled? September is the dawn of the self-love, so let's love ourselves, and not just the Idols!
And I do believe that is all, folks! Hopefully there was something here that suited your tastes from the month of August, and if not, well... my tastes are what they are, and I can't apologise for that! Hopefully I will give you something to love next time, though~
And if you did like something, what was it? It would be great to hear about it, and it would be wonderful if everyone can share their own August favourites with me, whether the music is on here or not. Sharing is caring, as I have already said.
For now, though, it is time to take my leave. Thank you all for reading once again, and thank you for taking your time to listen to and enjoy the wonderful Idols who make us so happy. It's great to be a part of this fandom, and to share the music I adore with all of you. Hopefully, I will see you again soon in my next post.
Please take care, stay healthy and happy, listen to music, and love thy Idols!
Happy September, and toodle pip!