Maybe you thought the past few weeks have been pretty slow on the release front. You’d be wrong but still, I respect your opinion. Regardless of your opinion, it can’t be denied that this week is packed with fantastic new music. Won’t you join me on this journey as we explore everything that this week has to offer?
AKB48 – “Sayonara Crawl“
Might as well start things off with AKB48 who release their new single “Sayonara Crawl” this week. This is the senbatsu election voting single so it’s sure to sell a ton of copies, but how does the music measure up? Well, the a-side feels rather flat for a summer song which is unfortunate as the group’s last few singles have also been rather subdued affairs. However, the b-sides are all quite good. Highlights include Team B’s “Romance Kenjuu“, for my money the best song on the single as well as BKA48’s “Hasute to Wasute” which is just a ton of fun. Definitely one of the stronger AKB singles (at least as far as b-sides are concerned) in a good while.
Moving right along, next we have Matsushita Yui who is making her solo debut this week. If the name seems familiar to you then you’re probably a SKE48 fan who remembers her from her time with the group. Well, now Yuimin is striking out on her own and what a song to debut with. There is absolutely nothing bad to say about this, in fact I can’t praise it highly enough. This is definitely my pick of the week (if I did that, maybe I should do that from now on?) so if you don’t check out anything else (apart from AKB), make sure you check this out. Everything about this song just does it for me. From the vocal delivery to the instrumental layering, it’s truly a fantastic single. It would not surprise me if this ended up on my awards list at the end of the year.
As if this week couldn’t get any better, we even have a new single from PASSPO☆. I can’t help but roll my eyes at yet another idol group releasing a double a-side single but whatever, as long as the music is good right? Well these songs certainly are good, that’s for sure. “STEP&GO” continues the pop-rock angle that the group has been pursuing for the past year and a half while “Candy Room” is the kind of straight up pop song that the PASSPO☆ of old were known for. A little bit of the old mixed in with a little bit of the new, something for everyone you could say. Whatever the case, if I could make a second pick of the week (seriously, this should just be a thing right?) it would without question be this single.
S/mileage – “② Smile Sensation”
The last of our featured releases this week comes from Hello!Project because really, you can’t leave them out of this party. This week sees S/mileage release their second album “② Smile Sensation” (that ② is such pain to type by the way) and it’s the usual mixed bag that most Hello!Project albums end up being. Besides past singles “Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita“, “Suki yo, Junjou Hankouki.” and “Samui ne.” the album also features four new songs for fans to get their teeth into. S/mileage have had a pretty solid if not understated year as far as singles releases go so if you haven’t been keeping up then what better way for you to catch up than to check out this album.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
Let’s review shall we? Once you get sick of the new AKB single, go check out Matsushita Yui and PASSPO☆ because those are some solid singles. Then if you’re feeling adventurous give that S/mileage album a look. Want to go completely off the beaten path? Well, Especia and Prizmmy☆ both have some pretty cool music too. Let me know what catches your attention in the comment section if you feel like it.