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.
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!