So March has come and gone and it’s time for another idol power ranking. March started off pretty so-so but picked up a lot of momentum towards the end. This year is certainly shaping up to have some really great songs. So, let’s take a look at what made onto the list this month.
|Fairies||I've never been a big fan of Fairies, but their newest single "Kiss me babe / Hirari" has me re-evaluating them and hoping they continue on in a similar vein. "Kiss me babe" has a big band/swing feel that really makes you want to get up and move.
If Fairies can keep with a more unique style like this rather than the K-Pop stylings of previous singles, I think they really have a chance to make it. They have spread the vocals around more in this too I feel, and let more of the girls voices show through in the harmonies which certainly doesn't hurt in this era of harmonies and chorus sounding so similar.
|Fudanjuku||Fudanjuku is a group that we probably don't spotlight enough. I've mentioned them briefly before but they are the male or "danso" side of Nakano Fujou Sisters. It's same members just Fudanjuku has them dressing as guys, and with the seeming popularity of danso it's a concept that seems to be serving them well.
Their newest single "Shunkan Tourou Future" is a powerful electronic rock song. The choruses don't have the typical blended harmonies, and they take the opposite tack from other groups but keeping in line with the danso image by letting the members sing in lower octaves away from the more high pitched vocals.
It's honestly a refreshing sound for me with as many idol songs as I listen to in any given week. If you haven't heard of Fudanjuku before, this is a good first look at the group.
|Q'ulle||Q'ulle is starting the year off on a bullet train, with their first single "mic check one two" ending last year (The single actually came out in 2015 -ed) and their 2nd single "Monster" starting off this year, and a 3rd single already announced.
"mic check one two" was a highlight for me last year, and "Monster" while I don't feel it has the same hook, I think it emphasizes some of the problems that "mic check one two" had. "Monster" is a straight rock song with a few auto-tuning effects to the vocals and a bit of electronic wub in select spots for effect.
The biggest problem with "Monster" is that the instrumentals almost completely overshadow the vocals making the song seem more about the band than the girls, "mic check one two" also had this but not nearly as heavily. If they can strike the right balance between instrumentals and vocals then they will have a definite winner.
|Dancing Dolls||Dancing Dolls is a group that cross my radar last year with their one and only single of the year "Monochrome" after which 2 members - Asuka and Kyoka left the group. "MY→WAY" is their first single since "Monochrome" and they have added a couple of fresh faces.
"MY→WAY" is a fairly bass heavy electro dance song. The problem I'm having is I don't know how to describe the vocals in this, the three veteran members have a more mature vocal tone, while the two new members add the more traditional young fresh vocal sound to the song. There is a melody to the vocals that is hard to describe but it really plays well with the instrumentals in the chorus.
|Spica no Yoru||We covered Spica no Yoru on the podcast and at the time I said I didn't know who Yuika was. As it turns out I probably should have. Spica no Yoru is a duet of Iida Raura Ex-Sakura Gakuin, and Shima Yuika Ex-Karen Girl's. Karen Girl's is the same group that has given us Nakamoto Suzuka Ex-Sakura Gakuin and now Babymetal, and Muto Ayami Ex-Sakura Gakuin and now soloist. It's amazing just how things have come around and now another Ex-Sakura Gakuin member has reunited me with the last member of Karen Girl's. So that is the history that I know, onto the single.
"Spica" I won't say there is anything really stand out about the song, it's a pretty standard electric synth pop song. The girls' vocals are solid and on point, but what really makes this for me is the complete package of the song and video. The creativity in the video is awesome and really needs to be viewed to be appreciated. The backing track "Lovely Lovely Lovely" is more of the same but maybe a bit more dancey than "Spica". Overall I would say it's a solid single but not particular special.
So there you have it, the top 5 songs/singles of March. Check out This Week in Music and let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices and what choices you would have made.