It’s that time of the month again for another Power Ranking, and this time around we are going deep, not so much because of how many releases but because of what’s available. So let’s see just how deep we have to go to find this month’s gems.
|Kikkawa You||While I normally wouldn't include something from UFA, Kikkawa is pretty indie still and I don't expect I'll be seeing her in our H!P ranking any time soon. "Amai Melody / ""Suki" no Kazoekata" brings us two very good songs. "Amai Melody" is not a very sweet melody in terms of feel, it has a rather dark almost melancholic edge to it making you wonder how they came up with the name if you just listen to it. At the same time it has a very punchy, dancey bass line that makes you want to get up and move.
The PV is rather odd, you have Kikkawa sitting in a black and white outfit looking sad and depressed and then suddenly we have her in this belly dancer outfit that really doesn't feel like it matches the tone of the song.
Meanwhile ""Suki" no Kazoekata" brings me back to the old Kikkawa days, with a clean and catchy little pop tune, and unlike "Amai Melody" the PV just adds to the fun, with various Kikkawas just goofing off and having fun. Both of these songs really make me want to pick up the single and hope for the future that she doesn't return to the style of her more recent singles.
|Tochiotome25||This one is a little harder to justify the ranking, but I have to give someone credit for being willing to release "Wagyu Fire" as an A-side for Tochiotome25's new single. "Wagyu Fire" is, well...a song about beef. The PV is insanity with head banging, fire breathing cows, trumpets that blow fire and dancing steaks with the girls in the background.
The song's instrumentals jump all over the place with horns, some traditional instruments, and was that a banjo? Very country flavored, which makes sense for the theme I guess. The vocals are just as much a mix and match with some rap, harmony and chorus elements. Not too many solo lines at all but I don't find myself missing them all that much. To sum up the single, it's just crazy fun and almost on par with Stardust.
|Lyrical School||Ah this stuff is really fresh, ok no not really but "Pride" from our resident idol rappers is probably one of my favorite singles from them to date. The instrumentals don't really impress me, but the lyrical quality seems to be much higher then their previous singles. The rap seems to flow smoother and doesn't seem as stilted and jarring. I don't know if you can really call Japanese rap "rhymes" but that is what I want to call them as that is what little I know of western rap.
This song just seems to show a higher quality in writing that Lyrical School hasn't had in the past, the way they switch off every line in the verses really lets you see each member shine. If you've liked their previous singles be sure to check out "Pride."
|Chu-Z||I don't think I've ever covered Chu-Z before, they have been around since 2012, and Maia (Pink) is a former Idoling!!! member. So, brief history over let's take a look at their newest offering in "Bombastic". "Bombastic" is an EDM song with some instrumentals that I really like, the vocal work is really interesting as well. The part I don't really like about the song is that it feels very repetitive in the lyrics, which is honestly why it's ranked so low. Those critiques out of the way, let's delve a little deeper.
The vocal work in this song is very interesting for me, especially if you watch the PV with it. A lot of the vocals are done in a chanting or rapping style with singing as a background and much deeper or lower key than one might expect from an idol group. You'll see one badass looking girl rapping along with some interludes from the other girls singing, and then all of a sudden badass girl pops off with this very typical high pitch idol singing while looking cute. There is a very big gap in the visual and vocal work which makes you go back and re-watch it to see if that is what really happened. This song does a very good job of showing off just what the members are capable of, if it had been less repetitive than it could have easily ranked 2nd or 3rd this month.
|GALETTe||I have really liked the previous GALETTe singles but "She is WANNABE", while having a similar feel it just doesn't have the same hook for me. I don't know if it's the instrumentals which are very brass heavy or the vocal styling. I'm leaning more toward the vocal styling which is fast paced almost rapping rather than singing. If you have liked GALETTe previously check out "She is WANNABE" but don't have high expectations for this one.|
Check out “This Week in Music” for more of this month’s releases and tell us how you would rank the singles and what your favorite single was this month.