It’s that time again so let’s kick the week off with “This Week in Music”. Before that though, I’d just like to mention last week’s releases briefly if I may. Last week wasn’t a particularly great week sales wise for any of the groups I featured in this column. Every group with perhaps the exception of BABYMETAL (they broke top 30 on Oricon which was a surprise to most) and Momoiro Clover Z had very mediocre first day sales which then dropped away even more as the week went on. I don’t know if it’s a lack of marketing budget or if you’re just not going to sell well if you don’t have a 48 at the end of your name (although SDN48 didn’t exactly have a great week last week) but it is pretty worrying when other idol groups are hovering under the 30k sales mark, niche market or not.
This is a topic for another article or possibly podcast though. You’re all here to find out about what’s coming out this week and if it’s worth your time to check out, right? With that said, read on after the break because we have some pretty sweet releases this week.
SDN48 – “NEXT ENCORE”
We kick things off this week with SDN48 and their…I guess it’s a “Best Of” album “NEXT ENCORE”. This is the second SDN release in a month that sees the group set to disband and move on to other ventures. The album itself features singles “GAGAGA”, “Ai, Juseyo”, “MIN MIN MIN” and “Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban” along with their various b-sides and a new song that is titled “1 Gallon no Ase”. I don’t know about you guys but I sorta wish this album had more original songs on it or was even completely original, although with the group disbanding I suppose that doesn’t make particularly good business sense. Still, this album basically has every song SDN have ever released apart from “Makeoshimi Congratulations” and its b-sides so if you had been meaning to check SDN out then this album has everything you need in one convenient place.
SKE48 – Team KII 3rd Stage “Ramune no Nomikata”
Next up we have SKE48’s Team KII with their stage album “Ramune no Nomikata”. The album features KII’s first original stage in its entirety with songs such as “Omatase Set list”, “Bowling Ganbou” and “16 shoku no Yume Crayon” to name but a few of my favorites. I suppose I should explain that a stage album is a studio recording of the songs that the team in question performs when putting on a theater show. Many casual idol fans in my experience tend to skip over stage albums from the 48 family and opt to focus solely on single releases. These people are all missing out on some fantastic idol songs that in many cases are actually better than the bulk of the group’s major single releases. This is easily my most anticipated release of the year so far which should hopefully tell you something and encourage you to check the album out. Even if you’ve never listened to a SKE song before, I can’t recommend this release highly enough.
Station♪ – “Let’s Go Tetsudo Idol”
If you’re looking at this release and thinking “I have no idea who this group are” then you’re probably not the only one. Station♪ are a fairly new idol group with a railway platform attendant theme, just bear with me here. “Let’s Go Tetsudo Idol” is their second single release with their previous single “Susume” having come out last month. Their songs are upbeat and catchy idol songs which as you all know, I’m a big fan of. Sadly they don’t have their songs or PVs up online anywhere for you guys to check out so any recommendation I give right now can’t really be backed up. However, I have splashed the cash on both of their singles and I should hopefully have a review post up on the site when I get them in the mail. For now though you can tweet either myself or community member @delerium48 (or talk to us on IRC) for more information on where to find their ameba blogs, ustream radio show and bunch of other pointless facts that probably only we care about.
Tokyo Girls’ Style – “Limited Addiction”
Last up this week we have Tokyo Girls’ Style with their not-to-be-confused-with-their-single-of-the-same-name album “Limited Addiction”. This is the group’s second album, featuring their past three singles “Liar”, “Limited Addiction” and “Rock you!” as well as the other a-sides that feature on those releases and a number of new songs exclusive to the album. As you know, I can’t praise TGS enough and I’m really disappointed that they’re not making a very big impression on the singles charts in Japan for whatever reason. If you’re even remotely interested in seeing what TGS are all about then definitely check out this album along with their first album “Kodou no Himitsu” and judge them for yourself. They’re not for everyone but if you like slightly more mature sounding but still catchy idol songs then I think TGS might be exactly what you’re looking for.
That’s it for this week. As always, leave a comment and tell us your thoughts on the new releases or just feedback on the article in general. Come back next week when I try to put as much positive spin on Berryz and DiVA as I possibly can and Sakura Gakuin release a new album that you’re all probably not going to listen to.