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!