My Top 25 songs of 2015 – 5 to 1

Alright gang, here it is! The top 5 songs of the year! These are all songs I’ve listened to very frequently over the past year, and are the best of 2015.

5. Rev. From DVL – What a Surprise

I know so many people have an impression of Rev. from DVL being the Kanna show, but honestly they have some to fhte most consistently great idol music out there. What a Surprise, because of that, isn’t a surprise to me, but it might be to those of you who haven’t checked out Rev. It’s performed by about half of the group, featuring the older members of Rev, and is a more laid-back, mellow kind of funk/disco sound. Right away the song hits you with the best part, the phenomenal chorus. The rest of the song is great too, featuring some solid vocal work from Rev, a great guitar solo near the end, and just a lot of great, mellow idol music. The thing that Rev has been doing so well lately is being a more classic idol group, with some great performances and top notch music. I get a big old-school Morning Musume vibe from them sometimes, which is a very good thing in my book.

4. LinQ – LinQuest – Yagate Densetsu e

This song is as perfect for me on paper as it is in practice. Hyadain writing an epic of a song for LinQ with video game chiptune sound in there? Sign me up. This song is just so big – it’s one of the songs that the word “epic” works for. Every member is constantly belting out their lines (and every member does get a solo). It’s a tad melodramatic but in the best kind of way. Aside from the strong melody and performances, this song is perfect down to the details – the chiptune inclusion here and there works very well, as do the little instrumentation details that pop up. I also love the lyrics and how the song builds them up. When all the members sing “hitori janai” in the slower section near the end, it genuinely moves me to tears. This song is perfectly built up and constructed, and I really hope LinQ keeps up the good work!

3. Takoyaki Rainbow – Genki Uri no Shoujo ~Naniwa Meika Gojussenn

Takoyaki Rainbow- Genki Uri no Shoujo ~Namihana… by margie-gigi

Like all of Stardust Promotion’s groups lately, Takoyaki Rainbow has been putting out some consistently great things. However, their best song yet is Genki Uri no Shoujo. It’s.. weird, but in the best possible way. It’s high energy funk that includes things like two of the members doing a comedy routine mid-song, which is followed up by Kurumi hamming it up, belting out lines. If you aren’t already onboard with Stardust’s madness, Genki Uri no Shoujo might not be for you. However, if you’re like me and want idol music to be as weird as it possibly can and you want it to include as much disco/funk as it can, Genki Uri no Shoujo might be your best bet. It’s strange, frenetic, and one of the most addicting songs of the year.

2. Team Syachihoko – J.A.N.A.I.C.A

Speaking of Stardust being manic and strange, J.A.N.A.I.C.A fits the bill! Written by tofubeats and Seamo, J.A.N.A.I.C.A is a high-energy parapara dance themed song that manages to be both a great song and still Syachi-brand weird. For example, the rap verse is strange but totally fits into Syachi’s type of weirdness. That said, while it is a generally weird song, it still feels very cohesive. I don’t know parapara dance very well, but it seems like it would be a fun song to dance to for that. The other thing that draws me to Syachi and makes me love this is just how high energy of a song it is. While Team Syachihoko has some great slower songs (Maji Kansha, Yume no Tochuu, Akeboshi), Syachi’s biggest strength is their energy, and J.A.N.A.I.C.A has it in spades. It’s fun, great to listen to, and an incredibly cohesive, well put-together song.

1. Juice = Juice – Umaretate no Baby Love

While I could have reorganized my top 10 a million times, Umaretate no Baby Love is my favorite song of 2015 by miles. If you had told me in January 2015 that my favorite song of 2015 would be a Juice=Juice album song I would have laughed at you, but here we are. I’ve written about it in my First Squeeze review, but honestly Umaretate no Baby Love is not only perfect, but it’s perfect for me. It’s upbeat, happy disco music (the chorus even starts out with ‘boogie woogie baby!’), with a great arrangement. The performances are spot on (all of Juice=Juice is in top form and they’re all very strong vocalists), and I even love the lyrics. Even the ending is just perfect. Umaretate no Baby Love is one of those rare songs that feels like it was made just for me – it’s just about a perfect song, and one of my favorite idol songs of all time.

My Top 25 songs of 2015 – 10 to 6

First off, I have to say that aside from the #1 song, I could have probably rearranged this top 10 list about a thousand times. This is an incredibly strong list top 10, which shows just how great 2015 was for idol music.

10. Osaka Shunkashuto – Chameleon Shoujo

Osaka Shunkashuto is a TIF discovery I made, and they are a really strong group with some killer vocals and a lot of intensity. While their song C’Mon could have easily made this list, Chameleon Shoujo works just a little bit better. The vocals are consistently some of the best idol vocals I’ve heard in a while, the song blends dubstep/electronica with rock pretty perfectly. This isn’t a typical idol song, but manages to be as catchy as some of the best of 2015. The intensity is very strong, as the song uses percussion in particular to build perfectly. This is one of my most listened to tracks of the year, and I hope Osaka Shunkashuto has a bright future.

9. Rev. from DVL- Kimi ga Ite Boku ga Ita

Kimi ga Ite Boku ga Ita is much more of a typical idol song, but what a great one it is. From the starting piano notes, everything about this is just about perfect. The chorus is undeniably catchy, and this is a very good, but very standard, idol melody. The bridge before the last chorus, the only section with any solos, is a particular highlight in how it builds throughout. The arrangement is also pretty fantastic, as well, utilizing a lot of electric guitar but also with a lot of small details. There’s a lot of rich sound to Kimi ga Ite Boku ga Ita which rewards multiple listens. While this isn’t the most original of idol songs, it does what it sets out to do perfectly, which made it one of my most listened to tracks of the year.

8. Dempagumi.inc – FD2 ~Raison d’etre Dai bouken~

For some reason I didn’t quite gel with Dempagummi.inc’s music as much in 2015 as I have in previous years. While, in hindsight, I should have probably put Ashita Chikyuu ga Konagona ni Natte mo on my Top 25 list proper, in general I wasn’t as fond of their output in 2015. Otsukare Summer did nothing for me, neither did their collaboration with Nakagawa Shoko. I enjoyed their limited single Gidagida da Zubazuba da, but it wasn’t quite to the level of their previous work. Too much felt low-key and mellow. While Dempa has great mellow songs (Ashita Chikyuu, Fuyu e to Hashiridasou, Kira Kira Tune), Dempagumi.inc is at its best when it’s at its most energetic, its most eccentric self. That’s why FD2 was really quite special this year.

FD refers to Future Diver, one of their earliest singles, and coincidentally the single that got me interested in Dempagumi.inc. While FD2 isn’t quite as much of a sequel as W.W.D 2 was to W.W.D, it shares a lot of the same qualities – the electronic production, the energy level, and just how frantic it is.
7. Team Syachihoko – Ike Ike Hollywood

As I mentioned in my review, Tensai Bakabon is Team Syachihoko’s weakest single song. However, despite that, Ike Ike Hollywood is one of my favorite songs they’ve ever done. It’s one of the most fun songs they have, with an instrumentation that’s all over the place, lots of energy. However, despite being a high-energy song, there are some great varied moments, with Ando Yuzu’s slower, dramatic solo and Yuzuki’s big solo at the end (which, totally biased here, is one of my favorite solos of the year). This is also one of the funniest idol songs – Yuzuki’s “I’ll be back” at the start always makes me laugh, but all the Hollywood references are top form. While the arrangement is probably my favorite part of the song (seriously, listen to it, it’s so weird), the entire song is a whole lot of fun and is Team Syachihoko in top form.
6. Niji no Conquistador – Yarukkyanai 2015

I feel like every year there’s one idol group I discover and become a fan of in a big way, and that group for 2015 was definitely Niji no Conquistador. While I enjoyed all of their music in 2015 a lot, and their entire first album could probably make this list, Yarukkyanai 2015 was the group that introduced me to Nijikon and the one I come back to most. Written by one of Team Syachihoko’s most frequent songwriters, Yarukkyanai 2015 is frantic, weird, and all over the place. When I saw this was written by the songwriter, it all immediately made sense. There’s a lot of dissonant sounds, a weird rap break, and a bit of a strange introduction, but at its core Yarukkanai 2015 has one of the best melodies of the year, and all the weirdness makes sense and is controlled. All of the brass instruments work very well here, and all of the members are in top form. This is one of the best idol songs of 2015 and I hope more people discover Niji no Conquistador in the future!

My Top 25 Songs of 2015 – 15 to 11

Sorry for the wait! Guess I’m finishing this list in February!
15. Country Girls – Wakatteiru no ni Gomen Ne

This is basically the cutest thing ever. Country Girls captured most people’s interests with the great Itooshikute Gomen Ne, which is understandably great. However, I much prefer Wakatteiru no ni Gomen Ne to their first single. Just about everything about this song appeals to me, even the small details. There’s a great clinking piano line in the background, for example. This also has a little bit more energy than Itooshikute, moving a bit faster, so that it ends up being a much faster, fun song to listen to. Everything keeps moving in the song, with sections overlapping each other. It’s effective and cute. Did I mention cute? Because this is adorable, and one of the songs I listened to most this year.

14. Up Up Girls – Bijo no Yajuu


Up Up Girls is quite possibly the group I’ve said “I should follow them more” about most on this list, rivaled by the artist behind #13 on this list and the artist behind #11. I think the reason behind that is simple – for the most part I don’t care about their music one way or another, but every so often there is an Up Up Girls song that blows me away. 2013 was the year of Samurai Girls, for example, but 2015 was the year of Bijo no Yajuu.

Compared to Up Up Girls’ earlier efforts, Bijo no Yajuu has a very mature feel to it, as they do EDM/club music. It feels like an actual EDM song, not just an idol group doing it. And it’s a good EDM song at that. The song constantly builds to the next peak throughout the song, constantly building towards the next chorus. There’s also something great and primal about the growls as they sing “I am a beast.” If I was someone who went clubbing at all, this is the type of song I’d want to dance to. Which is what I think UUG was going for with this track. However, just listening at home, it’s a fun song to listen to and get pumped up to. So it succeeds in that way as well. It’s primal, full of energy, and does a great job of building up all the time.

13. E-Girls – Dance Dance Dance


Ah, E-Girls. For the most part I can’t get into them as a group, yet every so often a song of theirs appeals to me a lot. First it was the perfect Gomen Nasai no Kissing You, now it’s Dance Dance Dance. While Dance Dance Dance doesn’t quite hit the heights of something like Gomen Nasai no Kissing You, it’s a great, funky song. I love just how much funk, featuring lots of drums and horns. Every element at play works – the vocals, the pacing, the melody, the arrangement. It has a great energy to it, as well, and a great beat. It’s an E-Girls song that’s captured my attention and I’ll keep listening to, even as I ignore the group.

12. Rev. from DVL – Ai Girl

Every so often the top three girls in Rev do a song for the series Aikatsu. The songs are usually pretty fun and idol-y songs, but Ai Girl is definitely the best of the Aikatsu songs so far. The highlight are the parts of the verses where each member sings a short phrase individually, going quickly back and forth between all the members. It adds a lot of energy to the song. However, beyond that, the entire song is catchy, is really punch-y, and is full throttle the entire way. It’s not perhaps the most interesting song Rev or other idol groups have ever done, but it perfects the type of high energy idol music I enjoy.

11. LinQ – Hare Hare Parade

Ah LinQ, another group I’d like to appreciate more. This year they had some absolutely stellar music, though, including Hare Hare Parade. Hare Hare Parade has one of the things I mentioned a lot in this list, which is energy. The song builds throughout the verses perfectly to the great chorus which, while slowing down a bit, still has a great feel. This song feels like summer, too, and also utilizes a lot of horns and drums (while sounding very different from Dance Dance Dance!). This is fantastic, energetic pop music, and I hope that LinQ keeps it up!