This Week in Music 08.15.2012

Yet more new stuff from AKS, along with a new single from Passpo for those of us who like a little variety in our lives.

Read on to find out what new music you should be listening to this week.


AKB48 – 1830m

We kick things off this week with the much anticipated new album from AKB48. Featuring 34 tracks spanning two discs, you’re certainly getting a lot of songs for your money. It should be pointed out however that the majority of the first disc is comprised of singles and b-sides with the odd new song thrown into the mix. The second disc by comparison is made up of almost entirely new material. As someone who has listened to the entire album already I couldn’t help but feel somewhat disappointed by what is on offer. While I can’t deny that a handful of songs are fantastic, many are just more of what you’ve come to expect from AKB48 over the past few years. If you like those kind of songs then you’ll adore this album.

Passpo☆ – Natsuzora HANABI

The other big release this week comes from Passpo☆ and is much more to my liking than the majority of the AKB album. As it happens, we’ve already reviewed the song and the PV on the site and you can read that here. Basically if you like guitar driven idol songs then you’ll probably like “Natsuzora HANABI”. I’m personally a big fan of Passpo☆’s sound and how it has been developing over their past couple of releases. If you’re looking for something a bit different that packs some kick then I can’t recommend this one enough.

Another light week on the new music front. Check back next week when Nogizaka46 make their latest attempt at catching up with AKB, and I’ll also talk a bit about new releases from Buono! and S/mileage.

About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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  1. I wonder why NSK members are so pessimistic about AKB48’s future lately, are you guys tired of the group or what, please guys open up, this album has a lot of great & unique songs.

    • AKS has set a HIGH standard in the past couple of years. Give me songs from 2009, 2010, 2011 over the songs that have come out this year. A lot of their music released recently has started to blend together for me. It’s not even just AKB. I’m a little disturbed by hearing SKE’s new single preview. Sounds like an awful lot like AKB. Do you want all AKS groups to sound the same and release the same sounding songs every time? I certainly don’t.

    • I’m not worried about their future. They’ll keep selling well even if they release what I see as songs not living up to level of singles in the past but I might completely lose interest in their music at this rate. Will I still like the members and follow them? Sure, but musical creativity has a lot to do with my idol fandom.

    • “Unique” and “great” are highly subjective. I personally liked maybe 5 songs off of the album so of course I’m not going to sing its praises on the site. I don’t see the point in lying about my impressions on something just to fit in with everyone else who seems to be fellating this album for whatever reason (probably because their favourite member got a unit song or something).

      It’s hilarious because I’m pretty sure everyone thinks that I hate AKB48. Well first of all “hate” is a very strong word; saying that I’m “indifferent” would probably be a more accurate assessment of my feelings for CURRENT AKB48. I say current because I actually love AKB’s musical output pre-2011. I hold the unpopular opinion that their last two years worth of creative output haven’t been up to par.

      Everything AKB just sounds the same to me these days. Watarirouka sounds like a Mayu solo song (obviously), Not yet sounds like AKB (obviously?), the list goes on. The thing that worries me most though is that not many people seem to care.

      It’s my personal opinion that at this point Aki-P could take a shit in a CD case and it’d still sell hundreds of thousands of copies. In a more realistic analysis, he is basically just selling a bunch of singles that sound the same and raking in the profit.

      I have no worries for AKB’s future, I do however wish that one of their non-janken singles would completely “bomb” (maybe selling 200-300k) just so Aki-P has to actually try again.

      In summary, I believe that 1830m is a bad album but clearly popular opinion (and thus sales) says otherwise. Also, let’s spare a thought for the less popular non-AKS groups who do a much better job of being idols but get a fraction of the recognition.

    • It’s not all of us, that’s for sure. The good thing is that we have varying opinions, so we can have a discussion. From time to time, you’ll just hear a more vocal opinion than usual. I like to think of idol fandom as a highly subjective thing. You’re going to hear it all the time, “they were so much better back then”, “things aren’t the way they used to be” etc etc. Maybe if we get a formal review out, we can better explain ourselves.

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