#1 Song Review: Week of 10/29 – 11/4

Hello AramaJapan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week, V6 beat off competition from SEKAI NO OWARI to come out on top. This week we have 2 new songs! 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: Dream5+Buri Taichou – Dan Dan Dubi Zuba! (Recochoku #10 / appeared in the iTunes top 10 for 1 day at #9)

Ronald: I really don’t get this… I know it’s from an anime and that Dream5 has gained some semblance of relevance this year via that video game song earlier this year. But what exactly would make someone want to listen to this as a song? Half the song is exercise instructions. The rest of the song just sounds like the title over and over again. I can see this working in a video game but as a stand alone song, no. 2.5/10

Ryusenkai: All right, I’m going to do my best to ignore the whole “exercise video” schtick that this song has interspersed throughout it (despite it appearing to at least be somewhat of a part of the actual song, if the track length on tower.jp is accurate). “Dan Dan Dubi Zuba!” is weird, since it seems to alternate between these atmospheric synth passages while the character is talking and the disco and faux jazz mash-up that makes up the pieces of the song where Dream5 is actually singing. I’m… not quite sure that this mixture really works, since the flow between the two is somewhat awkward, and this is on top of the fact that the instrumental itself isn’t really all that well composed. The vocals are passable, if a bit high and somewhat childish for my tastes, but this is the theme for a kid’s show, so I shouldn’t really have expected anything else. I can’t find a translation of the lyrics, but from what I can catch by ear, they’re nothing too complicated or impressive (once again, kind of as expected). Honestly, this song isn’t bad, but I have the acute feeling that this really isn’t for me, and even after a few listens I really can’t shake that. 3.75/10


Recochoku / iTunes: Che’Nelle – Happiness (not released physically til 11/19)

Ronald: Don’t get me wrong, Che’Nelle has a really nice voice but most of her songs leave a lot to be desired. They’re just so standard, so expected, so generic. She’s that foreign girl who sings generic ballads in Japanese. I hear this and I just think “God, haven’t I heard this a million times before?” It’s like… was May J. not available? 4.5/10

Ryusenkai: Che’Nelle is another in the group of singers like May J. who have a particularly pleasant vocal tone to listen to, but really could use a bit of work on their overall vocal technique. Che’Nelle in particular needs to get a better handle on her breathing, since it’s something that you can’t help but notice once you’re aware of it. That said, I still do quite enjoy the R&B-tinged vocal performance that Che’Nelle gives in “Happiness”, since I’m something of a sucker for these emotional styles of singing – particularly at this time of year. Her command of both Japanese and English is also to be praised, since it’s not something that you see done this well all that often. The lyrics are trite and the instrumental sparkling and pretty, and though it’s far from the best song I heard last week, I’m still going to name “Happiness” my overall pick of the week. At the very least, I have the urge to listen to this song again, unlike the previous one. 5.5/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. Recochoku / iTunes #1: Che’Nelle – Happiness

2. Oricon #1: Dream5+Buri Taichou – Dan Dan Dubi Zuba!


Ryusenkai’s Rank:

1. Recochoku / iTunes #1: Che’Nelle – Happiness

2. Oricon #1: Dream5+Buri Taichou – Dan Dan Dubi Zuba!