#1 Song Review: Week of 7/22 – 7/28 (Nogizaka46 v. Carly Rae Jepsen)

Hello Arama Japan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week saw Sandaime J Soul Brothers beat out NMB48 to take the top spot. This week we have 2 newcomers battling it out. 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 – Taiyou Knock (Recochoku #4 / iTunes #8)

Ronald: Nogizaka46 has in the past shown that they are the 48 group with the most tolerable music. This kinda is and isn’t keeping in that tradition. This sounds like many other 48 songs, but it’s not as annoying. It actually is tolerable (they’ve had better). I like the use of the piano in this song, especially that piano solo. It adds a touch of elegance to the song. 4/10

Thomas: Compared to NMB48’s “Durian Shonen” which I reviewed last week, I think this song is much more enjoyable. They have a typical idol summer song without ear-piercing cheering and the lyrics are also more straightforward. I also feel like Nogizaka’s vocals have improved significantly since their debut. 5/10


Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You (not released physically)

Ronald: I actually like this song, but not enough to play it on my own accord. It get why it’s popular in Japan. It’s a cute song. It’s cute, not not in that really saccharine, cheesy way like a lot of idol songs are. I could imagine someone like Nishino Kana making a song like this (if she ever stopped pretending to be last decade’s version of Taylor Swift like she currently is). It’s a fun song. 6.5/10

Thomas: This is one of the western songs that could as well have been J-pop. It’s upbeat, catchy and bubblegummy. I really liked (no pun intended) that “I’m pregnant” joke. I’m not a big fan of Carly’s voice and I feel like her songs always go in the same direction (maybe because of her weak vocals?) but I guess it’s an alright bop. 6/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You

2. Oricon #1: Nogizaka46 – Taiyou Knock


Thomas’ Rank:

1. Recochoku #1 / iTunes #1: Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You

2. Oricon #1: Nogizaka46 – Taiyou Knock