#1 Song Review: Week of 11/2 – 11/8 (KinKi Kids v. Hoshino Gen)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw Hey! Say! JUMP defeat Sexy Zone. 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: KinKi Kids – Michi wa Tezukara Yume no Hana (not released digitally)

Ronald: I don’t get why this is a single. It’s just there… I can see how they were trying to go for calm and soothing, but this is just dull and flat. There are small upticks in the song where you think the song is finally going to go somehwhere, but it goes nowhere. If anything, they serve as alarms to wake up the listener. Their voices are good at least. 4/10

Sou: I might have lost some sensibilities, but in general I’m finding this song quite bland and plain. Sometimes some power and energy is heard, but it quickly fades away and fails to wake up anything in me in any way; and while the general mood of the song is really calming and soothing, its lack of depth and different elements erases those components just leaving a gray rhythm all over the song. On the other hand, the vocals are pretty much on point, and the last chorus does bring something to the song, but not that much. In general, I don’t dislike this song, but there’s nothing making me want to give it a second listen. 5/10.

Polaris: “Michi wa Tezukara Yume no Hana” fails to impress me. Nothing really stands out. And I guess nothing isn’t supposed to. No aspect of the song has a lasting, substantial impact. Everything is mellow and gentle from the melody to tone to tempo. Slow and elegant vocals drape over soft wind and piano instrumentals. Harmonies blend nicely. Though the buildup arrives too late, failing to peak my interest. Overall the song feels a little bland, mediocre at best. 5.5/10

Tom: Another week, another Johnnys group at the top. KinKi Kids are probably my favourite Johnnys and after the very underwhelming “N Album” I didn’t have high expectations for this, and after listening I can see why I didn’t. To me the song is very calming but at the same time it’s also very bland yet at the same time it does has its moments here and there but ultimately they just fall flat and seem to go nowhere. I don’t really have strong opinions on this song, either positive or negative. It’s just kind of….there. 5/10


Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi (Oricon #13)

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

Sou: Same review as before: “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

Polaris: Same review as before: 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

Tom: This on the other hand I absolutely adore! It’s just so positive and cheery but not in the kind of way that’s it’s absolutely overwhelming. The rhythm of the song is also very catchy and infectious and his vocals are really light and positive too, which makes this song really memorable to me. One negative thing I have to bring up though is the outro. To me it just feels really unnecessarily long but I could see why some people would like it. I have to quickly talk about the video. Although it’s very simplistic it’s very effective given how stylistic it is; the prominent yellow colour of it also really helps bring out the positivity in the song. 8/10


Ronald’s Rank:

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

2. Oricon #1: KinKi Kids – Michi wa Tezukara Yume no Hana


Sou’s Rank:

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

2. Oricon #1: KinKi Kids – Michi wa Tezukara Yume no Hana


Polaris’ Rank:

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

2. Oricon #1: KinKi Kids – Michi wa Tezukara Yume no Hana


Tom’s Rank:

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

2. Oricon #1: KinKi Kids – Michi wa Tezukara Yume no Hana


Which one do you like the most?

Oricon #1: KinKi Kids – Michi wa Tezukara Yume no Hana
Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Hoshino Gen – Koi