#1 Song Review: Week of 6/1 – 6/7 (AKB48 v. Flower v. back number)

Hello, Arama! Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw Arashi defeat Namie Amuro and back number. back number is back this week, 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: AKB48 – Tsubasa wa Iranai (Recochoku #16 / iTunes #44)

Ronald: This is probably one of the most tolerable AKB48 songs I’ve heard in ages. It does remind of an AKB48 song, but in a stripped down and slowed type of way. AKB48’s music is largely tinged with nostalgia, and so this song kinda fits them in a way. This song reminds me a bit of AKB48 covering some classic song from yesteryear on one of the big midyear / year end shows. AKB48 isn’t really the focal point of the song, but rather the song is itself. The fact that it doesn’t blatantly scream “AKB48” makes it a lot more tolerable than most of their material. But it is weird though that this is the election single, and it’s not some upbeat summer song. I can’t blame them for wanting to switch their format up. 6/10


Recochoku #1: Flower – Yasashisa de Afureru You ni (Oricon #2 / iTunes #2)

Ronald: When I heard that Flower was covering JUJU’s contemporary classic, “Yasashisa de Afureru You ni”, I was curious. I love the original, so I wanted to see how this turned out. The first thing that got to me was the :11 second market. There is a really strange bit in the arrangement that was a bit jarring, and pointless. Flower’s vocalist has a nice voice, but it doesn’t compare to JUJU’s. When you cover a song, you either need to make it your own, or outdo the original. This cover did neither. It’s pleasant, but it very much reminds me of a girl in a high school talent show. There’s just something lacking here… I don’t get the same emotion from this girl that I get from JUJU and it bothers me. JUJU gives me “woman”, a woman who sings from experience, while this just gives me a girl who lacks that experience, and is just singing something “pretty.” 7/10


iTunes #1: back number – Boku no Namae wo (Oricon #25 / Recochoku #6)

Ronald: Same review as before: When I reviewed back number’s album from last year, “Chandelier”, for The Japan Times, I noted how the band has made a name for itself making soothing pop rock numbers that are tailor made for dramas and commercials. With “Boku no Namae wo”, the band doesn’t stray from the script. The song is pleasant, but isn’t really anything that we haven’t heard from them already, or other nice, but middle of the road acts, that cater to the stereotypical drama / CM crowd, and do that only. 6/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. Recochoku #1: Flower – Yasashisa de Afureru You ni

2. Oricon #1: AKB48 – Tsubasa wa Iranai

2. iTunes #1: back number – Boku no Namae wo


Which one do you like the most?

Oricon #1: AKB48 – Tsubasa wa Iranai
Recochoku #1: Flower – Yasashisa de Afureru You ni
iTunes #1: back number – Boku no Namae wo

Do Quizzes