#1 Song Review: Week of 10/12 – 10/18 (Kanjani8 v. Hoshino Gen)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw B’z defeat Hi-STANDARD and RADWIMPS. This week, we have 2 newcomers facing off. 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: Kanjani8 – Panorama (not released digitally)

Ronald: I generally find Kanjani8 to be more tolerable when they’re in band more as compared to pop mode. This song is a nice medium between the two. It’s a pop rock song that verges on being cheesy, but keeps it on the good side of the line. I really wish they wouldn’t Shibutani Subaru’s vibrato so much. His voice is interesting, but his vibrato veers into goat territory. I’m also not a fan of the canned guitar bridge. It seems like space filler. They could’ve done something more interesting in that part of the song if they felt the need to pad it out. 6/10

Polaris: There’s not much to say about the latest single from Kanjani8. “Panorama” is a fun song, reminiscent of all things bright and sunny. The song is catchy, but safe. A typical pop rock track composed of repetitive chords. I do appreciate the production on the track. There are some interesting parts, like noise distortions and tunings here and there. The bells in the chorus added a nice touch. The music video is quite cute with its futuristic, imaginative theme. 6/10

Sou: I’m failing to get anything from this song apart from its somewhat enjoyable hook. It’s okay, but I find this standard pop song far from being anything memorable. While it’s far from being a bad song, it doesn’t have anything interesting either. Not feeling it that much. 5.5/10

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Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi (Oricon #6)

http://youpak.com/watch?v=jhOVibLEDhA

Ronald: 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

Polaris: Powerhouse artist Hoshino Gen produces yet again another hit song. “Koi” is the perfect balance between quirky funk and upbeat pop. Right off the bat, the song hits off with alluring sounds of the erhu. It pops in and out of the backdrop, taking focus in the chorus and instrumental. Overall, the backtrack is easy on the ears. But I argue it’s so good, it distracts from the vocals. I find myself trying to pick out all the layers of frisky strings, playful piano, and groovy guitar riffs. “Koi” is the type of song that makes me want to get up and dance. Just like they did in Nige Haji! 7/10

Sou: “Koi” definitely got me with its captivating funky sound. The chorus is amusing and catchy and the instrumental perfectly mixes instruments from different worlds. The song finishes with a half minute long outro that maintains you in the mood even after the track ends, which definitely made the song even stronger as a whole. While I generally don’t follow Hoshino Gen, I see myself coming back to this song for some time. 7/10

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Ronald’s Rank:

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi

2. Oricon #1: Kanjani8 – Panorama

 

Polaris’ Rank:

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi

2. Oricon #1: Kanjani8 – Panorama

 

Sou’s Rank:

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi

2. Oricon #1: Kanjani8 – Panorama

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Which one do you like the most?

Oricon #1: Kanjani8 – Panorama
Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi

Poll Maker

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