This Week in Music 12.19.2012

The year may be drawing to a close but we still have a few new releases to get to before we bid farewell to 2012. Let’s just get right into it and take a look at what this week has to offer.


Berryz Koubou – “WANT!”


We’re kicking things off with Berryz Koubou and their new single “WANT!”. I wasn’t the biggest fan of their last release but I have to say that I find this song to be a more enjoyable listen for the most part. The song, perhaps unsurprisingly features the same electronic synth-pop that all of the Hello!Project groups seem to be doing right now. I guess when Tsunku finds something that he likes, he just copy and pastes the formula and applies it to all of the other groups that he produces. Still, “WANT!” is a catchy number and it’s certainly not the worst thing to come out of Hello!Project this year. You could do a lot worse than checking out this single.


Nogizaka46 – “Seifuku no Mannequin”


Finally, the single that I knew Nogizaka46 had in them from the start. No more of the wishy-washy songs with weak vocal arrangements please. “Seifuku no Mannequin” sees the group taking what is in my mind a very large step in the right direction. It’s nice to finally get an a-side from Nogizaka46 that has a bit of pep and personality to it. Let’s hope this is trend and not a one off. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a fantastic b-side on the Regular edition of this single called “Shibuya Blues” which is sung by Shiraishi Mai and Takayama Kazumi. That alone would be enough for me to tell you all to check out this single but when it’s also coupled with a great a-side, you really have no excuses.


That’s your lot for this week. Make sure to join me again next week when Kasai Tomomi and Ono Erena will be bringing down the curtain on a year that was packed full of fantastic releases.

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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 still think Nogizaka has not had 1 good song besides the one they did for Mayu’s single. Hashire Bicycle is the closest they got to having a decent single on their own, but even that song broke down to mediocrity by the time the chorus hit. I see lots of people mentioning this as the single from them that “turned them into fans” or something or “finally did it right” but I can’t disagree more. It sounds exactly like the lackluster AKB singles of yore from their first 2 or 3 years, where everything just sounded like trying-to-be-serious versions of Onyanko Club music with crap arrangements.

    Also, as far as Tsunku repeating a lot of similar sounds when he finds something he likes, it seems like AKB has generally done the same thing for quite some time now. Even though I like a few AKB-related singles this year, the realist in me can’t deny they sound pretty goddamn same, and some of them this year were so same and unoriginal that I absolutely cannot listen to them, but there were still those few that turned out pretty well.

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