Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw Hoshino Gen defeat Kanjani8. Gen is back again this week, facing off against a newcomer. Find out what various staff members thought of the songs that topped the physical and digital charts this week and share your thoughts on them too!
Oricon #1: Hey! Say! JUMP – Give Me Love (not released digitally)
Ronald: Some would say that I’ve developed a soft spot for Hey! Say! JUMP this year, and I will admit, I kinda have. I think out of the younger Johnny’s groups, they stand the best chance of actually being relevant with the general populace, rather than just fans. Their songs actually sound contemporary, rather than the dated, cheesy pap that the other groups put out. “Give Me Love” is a ballad, but it has a lot of things going on sonically that give it a touch of difference, like that Spanish guitar. I normally think of ballads as something used to display vocal ability, but I can’t say this in the case of this song because there really isn’t anything going on in the vocal category with this group. 6.5/10
Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi (Oricon #9)
Ronald: Same review as before: Hoshino Gen has quickly risen to be one of the big names on the scene today. He’s is one of the two surviving breakout acts of 2015 along with back number (RIP Gesu no Kiwami Otome.), and it’s easily to see why. His song are just so bright and full of energy, but with a sound that is able to crossover to different audiences. “Koi” is a mix of old and new. It incorporates traditional Japanese music, jazz, and funk, but with a pop edge. I like the bridge on this song, and it’s pretty much the opposite of how I felt about the one in the Kanjani8 song. This one is organic and complex and it feels right. That being said, I would like to see Gen switch things up on his next single because I don’t want him to make a bunch of “SUN” clones. 7.5/10
1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi
2. Oricon #1: Hey! Say! JUMP – Give Me Love