#1 Song Review: Week of 12/11 – 12/17 (Sandaime J Soul Brothers v. Utada Hikaru v. Spitz)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw Utada Hikaru defeat Bodan Shonen Dan and Chris Hart. She’s back again this week, facing off against two newcomers. Find out what various staff members thought of the songs that topped the singles charts this week and share your thoughts on them too!

Oricon #1 / Billboard Hot 100 #1: Sandaime J Soul Brothers – J.S.B. HAPPINESS (Oricon Digital Singles #8 / Billboard Download Songs #6 / Billboard Streaming Songs #17)

Ronald: This is so cheesy! Is this a joke? Is this a parody release? Why was this released, let alone as a single? This is supposed to be a feel good, inspiring song, but it just makes me cringe. I hate the chorus, in large part because it’s a forced singalong chorus, with the all the “ohhh” and “yeah” going on. The song generally feels repetitive and as if it’s really goes nowhere, except to that forced turd of a singalong chorus. I honestly don’t get this group’s point anymore. Two years ago, I was going on about how they were making a change in the industry, and that sure as hell didn’t happen. And it won’t happen with the crap they’ve released since then. But at least they’re not releasing more “R.Y.U.S.E.I.” clones. On second thought, I’d rather have a “R.Y.U.S.E.I.” clone than this… JSB Crappines. Ughh, yeah… this is bad. 1/10


Oricon Digital Singles #1 / Billboard Download Songs #1: Utada Hikaru – Anata (not released physically / Billboard Hot 100 #2 / not available for streaming)

Ronald: I’ve been quite critical of Utada since her comeback due to her releasing music that I feel doesn’t live up to her legacy. This is one of those songs that I would rank in the middle. I don’t really see it as single material, but it’s a nice album track. I think the jazz influence is quite interesting. It’s a bit like a stripped down Shiina Ringo song. 7/10


Billboard Streaming Songs #1: Spitz – Kaede (not in the Oricon top 50 / Billboard Hot 100 #6 / Oricon Digital Singles #2 / Billboard Download Songs #2)

Ronald: This is decent. It’s not something that I would actively listen to. It makes for good background music though. 5/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. Oricon Digital Singles #1 / Billboard Download Songs #1: Utada Hikaru – Anata

2. Billboard Streaming Songs #1: Spitz – Kaede

3. Oricon #1 / Billboard Hot 100 #1: Sandaime J Soul Brothers – J.S.B. HAPPINESS


Which one do you like the most?

Oricon #1 / Billboard Hot 100 #1: Sandaime J Soul Brothers – J.S.B. HAPPINESS
Oricon Digital Singles #1 / Billboard Download Songs #1: Utada Hikaru – Anata
Billboard Streaming Songs #1: Spitz – Kaede

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  • Comments

    • ProllyWild

      This is likely a difficult time. For one reason or another old songs are creeping up the digital charts due to CMs and other tv stuff. That can only really imply that the state of music lately is so poor, that other more recent songs are beaten by much older songs.

      In this case Spitz song is a classic from way back that became popular again to a sudden hit commercial for tea.

      The music scene has a lot of talent, but none of it is being fully expressed. That is the real tragedy.

      • Diego

        As I’ve stated here before, I also think 2017 has been a poor year for mainstream J-pop scene. New music doesn’t hook people so they prefer to revive old classics that come to the spotlight thanks to a drama, CM or viral video.

        Spitz and Oginome Yoko are the two most recent examples and after watching all the year-end music special I gotta admit their songs are pure gold compared to 2017 releases.

        • ProllyWild

          This seems to be a problem for this generation. Even in movies and tv it is harder to push out hit new material, not just in japan but in many countries. Most traditional media these days rely on remakes, covers and reboots of classic well known material. Hit new media seems to only come from being buzz worthy, but the longetivity and overall impact of that media is harder to compare to what we’re used to.

      • Lol
        Its nothing just a really good song from past, relax)))

      • Kanjo Maru

        Most big artists avoid December as people generally turn to old songs for the month.
        Couple of explanations but it’s probably mostly due to all the year end programmes.

        Either way it’s a thing, so there’s not a lot of big releases.

        • ProllyWild

          December is a terrible month because all the media is focused on the hits of the year for things like the japan record awards and Kōuhaku..but I’d say this problem is hardly about this month alone. Likely it’s the start of a longer trend. Anything that hit this year hardly stayed around as a definitive hit they all of japan knows. Nothing seems to hit this full potential lately.

          • LOL. the biggest hit of 2017 was a song from 2016, so yeah.

    • Taima-kun

      vote goes for Kaede

    • Bobson Dugnutt

      lol I didn’t listen to entire JSB song but 1 seems a bit harsh. Seems like a boring song and I would consider 1 to be a auditory attack type of song.

      • Sui

        Ya but for me I kinda liked the vocals and the general feel of the song. Not wow kind of exceptional but definitely not assaulting.

    • Azura Of Ylisse

      I think 1/10 was far too harsh for the JSB song.
      It wasn’t nearly as bad as you described.
      Perhaps a 4/10 would be apt because it’s not their best song but it’s not too bad either.
      The chorus was a let down but the lyrics are inspiring.
      Anyhow, my vote went to Utada Hikaru.
      I like the song but I’m not a big fan of the PV.

    • Kylie

      Really love the vocals for jsb definitely better than a handful of overrated boy groups in Japan. Hoped to see more choreography in the mv though, found no need for all the extras, sometimes less is just more😌

    • Ivan

      God ronald’s reviews are like seeing my Mom on menopause

    • M

      Would be nice to have other staff members also give ther reviews as it’s boring to have just Ronald all the time. That’s the way it was before and it was nice reading different opinions on each song but now it’s just the same old same old.

      Also, could we have a review for album charts too? I know the review would have to be longer as there’s more to cover than just the one song but it would be interesting. And I mean, a single is more than just the one a side (or a lot of cases these days, a main a-side) so it would be interesting to see a full review of a single if it has more than one a-side and/or b-sides.

      Just a thought. :)

    • Ronald, which JSB’s song that you thought is making a change in the music industry two years ago?

      • It was more their overall rise. Now they’re just… there.

    • Still striving for relevancy..

      Ryuji’s voice is worrying me! >.<

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