#1 Song Review: Week of 5/6 – 5/12

Hello Arama Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw Nishino Kana win over Hey! Say! JUMP. She’s back again this week along with a new challenger. 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: V6 – Timeless (not released digitally)

Watch here.

Ronald: I don’t mind this… It’s not all that great, but it’s good for what is is. It’s a decent midtempo pop song. It’s unoffensive, but not in a way where I’m completely bored. It does keep my interest, to a certain extent. It does sound like a lot of other songs, like an album track to be honest. I could see this song easily getting lost with a bunch of other songs that sound similar. I remember having to review another V6 song and this one guy’s voice just stuck out for how nasal and juvenile it sounded. Well he’s back again here! Thankfully, it’s only for like 1 line. 4.5/10

Ryusenkai: As per usual, idol groups don’t tend to be my thing, but every song out there deserves a shot or two. V6 makes their return to this feature with “Timeless”, a song which I’m kind of torn on in some ways. The track was released in honor of the group’s 20th anniversary early on in May, and in some ways calls back to the style of pop song which used to be prevelant back then. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a healthy dose of nostalgia hitting me right now; while I wasn’t a J-music fan back in the 90s, I started listening to songs from that era when I was fairly young and as a result, have a certain attachment to this kind of track. That said, there isn’t very much to make “Timeless” stand out from my memory of this style of music, save for perhaps the bass which at times overpowers the rest of the primarily piano and synth-driven (and string-supported) instrumental, often to negative effect. I can’t find anything glaringly wrong with the vocals, though there are a few moments where the group’s breathing could perhaps be a bit more under control. While the lyrics alone aren’t particularly remarkable, they do gain a certain kind of poignancy in light of why this particular track was released. I can particularly appreciate the multiple perspectives from which they can be read, which is always a nice touch. In the end, I’d call “Timeless” a very good execution of a certain kind of song that unfortunately lacks any real beneficial changes that push it beyond that mold. Still, it’s definitely enjoyable in its own way, and something I feel that I could come back to on the right occasion. 5/10


Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Nishino Kana – Moshimo Unmei no Hito ga Iru no Nara (Oricon #12)

Ronald: Same review as last week – When the music video for this song came out, I voiced my dislike for it. I’m still not a fan. It’s the follow up to her massive hit “Darling”, and it seems as if she’ll be continuing in this country-pop vein. I’m not a fan of this genre. I remember comparing Kana to Taylor Swift years ago because they were both their respective country’s darlings because they were young female singer-songwriters who made inoffensive music for the masses. But Taylor has somewhat spiced things up since then, while Kana really is making music like Taylor used to make. I never liked Taylor Swift, so I certainly don’t need a Japanese clone. Especially when said clone has made better music in the past. It’s like part of me wants to like Nishino Kana, but then she releases aural wallpaper like this… 4/10

Ryusenkai: I can’t say that I’m surprised to see Nishino Kana here again, nor can I say that I’m paritcularly surprised to see her following in the footsteps of her very successful hit “Darling”. This follow-up, “Moshimo Unmei no Hito ga Iru no Nara”, has a bit more motion to its melody and on the whole appears to be an attempt at a jaunty, mid-tempo track that won’t stray too far from what Kana’s known for, but still take an incremental step towards something a bit different. Assuming that was their goal, I can say that her and her team have succeeded quite handily, since that’s exactly what we’ve got – it’s inoffensive, it’s lilting, and it’s even just a bit cute. When we break down the composition a bit more, it’s a fairly simple pop song that wears its light country and folk influences on its sleeve, supported primarily by piano and acoustic guitar, though there are also some more varied orchestral touches ranging from bells, to flute, to what sounds to my ears to be timpani. I like that there’s a bit more liveliness than I might usually expect from Kana’s vocals on an A-side here, though the same can’t really be said for the lyrics, though I believe I’ve already gone into that at length in the past. Still, I’d call “Moshimo…” my overall pick for the week, primarily due to the instrumental variety on display here, though the generally ‘fun’ atmosphere that pervades the song is worthy of a nod on its own. 5/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. Oricon #1: V6 – Timeless

2. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Nishino Kana – Moshimo Unmei no Hito ga Iru no Nara


Ryusenkai’s Rank:

1. Oricon #1: V6 – Timeless / Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Nishino Kana – Moshimo Unmei no Hito ga Iru no Nara