#1 Song Review: Week of 8/20 – 8/26

Hello, AramaJapan readers and welcome to this week’s installment of #1 Song Review! Last week was a battle between Kis-My-Ft2 and Nishino Kana, with Kana coming out on top. She’s back again this week but will she be able to hold off competition from EXILE TRIBE and Eir Aoi? Check out what the staff thought of these songs and give us your thoughts as well!

Oricon: EXILE TRIBE – THE REVOLUTION (Recochoku #3 / iTunes #9)


Ronald: Good God, was this monotonous to listen to. I don’t really like Sandaime J Soul Brothers being in this because it taints them with the lameness that is the current EXILE and that pretty much has always been GENERATIONS. And where is ATSUSHI? He’s the best singer out of all of LDH and he’s not even here. I was bored like a minute into this song. It just feels as if it doesn’t go anywhere. It just sounds like the same thing over and over again. This just isn’t for me. I miss the days before EXILE because the lame mess that they currently are. 3/10


Ryan:  The sets have great variety (even if they are just random and lend nothing to the song), a unique variety of members, but the song goes absolutely nowhere. I don’t think I have anything to say about it. Singing about being ready for the revolution, I honestly thought something would happen. It fell flat. After my first listen I honestly couldn’t remember any element of it, even the chorus. 2/10


Kyle: Visually the video was well done. A lot of their songs sound really similar to me though, I feel like I’ve already heard this before? Nothing new and really boring. The part starting at 3:33 I quite liked actually, but then it fell apart shortly after. They at least have talented singers! 3/10


mintyaiko: You know how much this song hurts my heart on account of how much I don’t like it? Like EXILE TRIBE has been making good songs for years, then this. The song is so-so, uninspiring, felt more like a throwaway song off an album then an actual single that one would promote. The PV is pretty and all, probably to distract us from how subpar the song is. I think as a fan I feel more disappointed than anything. It’s also so strange not hearing ATSUSHI’s voice. It feels like it’s missing an element. 3/10


Ryusenkai: Before I go into my critique of this song, I should probably give a bit of background on my history with EXILE. While I was never a really big fan of the group, around 4-5 years ago I did like the type of music they were putting out. However, in more recent times I haven’t really found myself enjoying their releases nearly as much; I’m not sure if it’s the fact that the type of music they’re making these days is different or if it’s that my taste in music has changed. Probably a bit of column A and a bit of column B, if I’m honest. This brings us to ‘The Revolution’, which falls squarely into the type of innocuous upbeat pop that neither bothers nor enthuses me. The instrumental itself is straightforward and doesn’t really take any unexpected turns, and while the vocals are pretty strong, they’re certainly not spectacular. Combine these two factors with the repetitive nature of the lyrics, and ‘The Revolution’ just starts to blend together for me. Not a bad song, but kind of a boring one. 3/10


Recochoku: Nishino Kana – Darling (Physical #22 / iTunes #2)



Ronald: I feel the same way I felt last week. 4/10


Ryan: I feel like I should hate this but it’s kind of cute. She looks a lot better now with this casual look instead of her pouty too much lipgloss look when she rose to fame. The song does give me “Taylor Swift of Japan” teas with that banjo, and while I have absolutely no interest in Taylor Swift, the song is by no means terrible. It just seems like more of a song sung by an anonymous singer in a commercial for paper towels. 6/10



#BuyMiliyahKatoLOVELANDNow. 0/10


mintyaiko: We’re not going there again. 5/10


Ryusenkai: “Innocuous” happens to be a term that I’d also apply to Kana Nishino, since while she’s certainly possessed of an above-average voice, a lot of her songs tend to end up sounding the same. I’ll give ‘Darling’ credit, since it does try to disguise some of the touches that have practically become hallmarks of her music behind a more folksy instrumental. That’s about all I can say for the song though, since other than this (practically) cosmetic alteration, there’s really not much different about this song compared to most of her recent output. Still, I suppose trying has to count for something. Trying, and the fact that I do rather enjoy folk music. 4/10


iTunes: Eir Aoi – IGNITE (Physical #9 / Recochoku #2)


Ronald: Ohh God, this is an anime song, isn’t it? I’m not really fond of “anime music” but surprisingly this is the least offensive song this week. Her voice is decent. I feel as if maybe she’s altering it to sound a bit more “anime.” The song has some pretty decent points. Overall though, I’m not really driven to listen to this song on my own. It’s ok but I’m not dying to hear it again. 5.5/10


Ryan: I haven’t listened to her since her album ‘Blau’, which was only last year, but I think she has come a long way arrangement wise. Her vocals seem to a little bit more… harsh? But the improved instrumentation compared to other artists in the pop-rock-(one-step-away-from-)anime-opening genre was a much needed improvement for her music to be less bland. It does happen to be an anime opening (for ‘Sword Art Online II’), so it works in her favor. 5/10


Kyle: Arrangement wise this isn’t anything new, she really played it safe with this release. Like Ryan said her vocals sound a bit harsh especially compared to some of her past work. Right when I heard the song it made me think of an action orientated anime or video game, it serves it’s purpose well. With that being said if I was watching the anime I would probably skip the intro after a few episodes because it doesn’t provide much more than what it serves as. 5.5/10


mintyaiko: Was thinking this sounds like an anime song. And when I looked it up, I was right. It’s the opening for Sword Art Online. Well I don’t care for that anime or this song. It’s not bad but it definitely sounds like something I’d only listen to once along with the anime’s opening and skip over every time afterwards. She’s not a bad singer but it does sound like any other action themed anisong. Her voice gives me a sense of nostalgia to another OP song but I don’t know where. 5/10


Ryusenkai: Well, if nothing else it was fairly easy to recognize that ‘Ignite’ is an anime theme. Yet, even though this song does fall into that general niche of sound, it still has far and away the most interesting instrumental to listen to this week. While it’s definitely NOT a departure from the sound that Aoi Eir has become known for, the composition is most certainly busier and has far more moving parts than some of her previous songs (‘Aurora’ and ‘sirius’, for example). Her vocals are also a bit… sharper on ‘Ignite’ than they’ve been in the past, but I think that that actually benefits the song by making them stand out from the busy background. Overall, I’d call this song pleasant, if a bit messy, but it was still the most enjoyable of the bunch by a nose. 5/10


Ronald’s Rank:

1. iTunes #1: Eir Aoi – IGNITE

2. Recochoku #1: Nishino Kana – Darling



Ryan’s Rank:

1. Recochoku #1: Nishino Kana – Darling

2. iTunes #1: Eir Aoi – IGNITE



Kyle’s Rank:

1.  iTunes #1: Eir Aoi – IGNITE


3.  Recochoku #1: Nishino Kana – Darling


mintyaiko’s Rank:

1.  Recochoku #1: Nishino Kana – Darling / iTunes #1: Eir Aoi – IGNITE



Ryusenkai’s Rank:

1.  iTunes #1: Eir Aoi – IGNITE

2. Recochoku #1: Nishino Kana – Darling