Underappreciated Idol Power Rankings July 2014


It’s Charlie again, here for another underappreciated idol ranking. This month is slow for idol releases, we’ve got a couple big names, a fair number in the middle of the pack and only a handful of indie groups to pick from. So let’s see what gems we can find in this sparse landscape.

Shiritsu Ebishu ChuugakuEbichu is pretty clearly on top of the pile this month, beating out even Berryz Koubou in sales by nearly 10,000 with their single "Butterfly Effect". The typical crazy Stardust sound goes to show that sometimes you just want wacky and weird. "Butterfly Effect" is also the first single with the new members Kobayashi Kaho and Nakayama Riko. If you want to see Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku live, now is the time to do it. Another year or so and they will be nearly as big as Momoiro Clover Z.
GEMI had to pick one iDOL Street group over the other and honestly Girls Entertainment Mixture aka GEM with "Do You Believe?" won by a fair margin over Cheeky Parade. The instrumentals are catchy and more interesting, and I really like the vocal/lyrical styling they used in the song. The auto-tune, despite my hate for it, works well as an effect in the song.
GALETTeGalette squeaks into the third spot this month just barely with "Brand-New Style", for one simple reason - the instrumentals are more interesting and catchy than the competition. Having said that, I find the vocal style doesn't fit the song. The instrumentals feel more like a dance song and the vocals more like a medium or up tempo ballad or love song - at least in the beginning, by around the mid point they come together for a good catchy song.
Cheeky ParadeCheeky Parade's newest single "Together" was written with live interaction as one of it's main points. They seem to be really pushing towards the New York live in October. As for the song itself - it's an upbeat catchy song, though it suffers primarily from generic instrumentals. There are a few spots where the vocals pull the song up like the rapping, but I feel this is a song that is best experienced live rather than as a CD track.
Vanilla BeansVanilla Beans is a duo that is an oddity to me, they appear to be fairly popular but I couldn't tell you why. Most of their previous songs I've never disliked, as long as I was trying to fall asleep. Their newest song "Kitto Ii Basho (Fuchi)" offers a much more uptempo composition with good harmony of vocals, while still keeping the feel that Vanilla Beans has established for themselves.

There you have it, what I considered to be the gems this month. It wasn’t as hard this time around as the last couple months – it was mostly a case of who was better. There were several others (as in all of them) that I looked at, but most just fell into the “this is typical idol music” category, which is by no means a bad thing, it’s just that they didn’t stand out from the rest.

If you are curious to see what else there was this month, check out “This Week in Music” where Garry managed to find videos for nearly everything that came out.

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