#1 Song Review: Week of 3/23 – 3/29 (Nogizaka46 v. aiko v. ONE OK ROCK)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw ONE OK ROCK defeat Kis-My-ft2 to take the top spot. This week, we have a returnee facing off against 2 newcomers. 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: Nogizaka46 – Harujion ga Saku Koro (Recochoku #11 / iTunes #11)

Ronald: I distinctly remember reviewing this song before, and being really bothered by it. I think the reason that I thought I may’ve reviewed this before is because a lot of Nogizaka46’s songs sound the same. Their songs are a tad more contemporary and less cutesy than AKB48’s, with a touch of light EDM, but they end up being just as stuck as AKB48. This is an example of that. I feel as if I’ve heard this multiple times from them before. And the thing that really bothers me at times is that the vocals and the track don’t match. It’s like as if the girls are struggling to keep up with the rhythm of the song. And it makes it seem as if their voices go higher in order to achieve this, which in effect makes their voices even more grating than they already are. 2.5/10


Recochoku #1: aiko – Motto (Oricon #41 / iTunes #2)

Ronald: This is another song where I feel as if I’ve reviewed this before. This is such a generic song. Anyone could’ve made this. It was honestly a chore getting through this. I felt very much like aiko on the cover of this single while listening to this song: drained and on the verge of falling asleep. There is nothing new being brought to the table to keep me interested, or even conscious. And then when you mix in aiko’s aggravating vocals, it’s a disastrous mix. 2.5/10


iTunes #1: ONE OK ROCK – Always coming back (not released physically / Recochoku #5)

Ronald: Same review as before – Listening to this song, I can’t help but think that this was released as a sequel to the unexpected hit “Wherever you are.” Both songs show the softer side of the band, but this one is more fine tuned than its predecessor. It still retains the band’s sound, but in a more mature fashion. The juvenile, “Hot Topic” sound of “Wherever you are” is not present here, replaced by something a bit more reined in. Speaking of things that are more under control, the vocals on this song. They’re pleasant. Emotional, but not an over the top mess like in their earlier song. They’ve seen the success of “Wherever you are” and tweaked its formula to make something that is more more public-friendly. 6.5/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. iTunes #1: ONE OK ROCK – Always coming back

2. Oricon #1: Nogizaka46 – Harujion ga Saku Koro

2. Recochoku #1: aiko – Motto


Which one do you like more?

Oricon #1: Nogizaka46 – Harujion ga Saku Koro
Recochoku #1: aiko – Motto
iTunes #1: ONE OK ROCK – Always coming back