Thank you for taking a break from planning that long-delayed trip to Japan to join us for our latest installment of Reader’s Best. Today we are giving you a very diverse, 19-song compilation consisting of the Top Ten picks from two readers, smsmsmsmssm and Hello_Moto. If you just thought, “wait D, two times ten equals 20”, congratulations on finding an opportunity to apply third grade math to real life. Also, yes, I was just getting to that part.
The reason smsmsmsmssm and Hello_Moto find themselves sharing the same post is the affinity they share for the song they both picked for #5. We earlier featured two readers who picked the same song as their seventh favorite, so this is the second time we are stumbling across the occurrence. Out of the tens-of-thousands of possible chika idol songs to choose from, I’m not sure of the odds of two people picking the same one for the same slot on their top ten. I’m also not sure of the odds of it happening twice, but it will definitely take more than third grade arithmetic to calculate it. Instead of hurting our brains on the maths, let’s check out these song picks curated by two individuals with some impeccable taste. There’s some truly great stuff here.
smsmsmsmssm and Hello_Moto’s 10 Favorite Idol Songs
10. smsmsmsmssm: DAI DAI DAI – YUUKAI
Yuukai is a song that makes me feel like traveling at the speed of light. I has this really big expansive pad on the chorus that fills all the space by itself. It feels complete while having so few elements, but so well produced at the same time, being innovative but accessible.
Hello_Moto: Kinopo. – Generation
I find it fairly reminiscent of the indie rock that’s been pervading the underground these days, which can be a bit hit or miss for me. This, however, hits hard in all the right spots. Catchy, fun, and mixes things up enough so as to never be boring.
9. smsmsmsmssm: Nuance – Hatsukoi Pedaru
I find the vibe on Hatsukoi Pedaru to be very infectious. It doesn’t let me have a second to rest, every part is equally catchy. The vocals of the members are also well balanced and charming. Is a very energetic and fun song.
Hello_Moto: CYNHN – Suisei
A very busy song, to say the least, which I’m normally not a fan of. However, it’s written and arranged well enough that it succeeds anyways. Some pretty good vocal performances on display and the bass groove is absolutely killer as well.
8. smsmsmsmssm: Femme Fatale – Kodou
An EDM inspired idol song that feels very sharp in production, that finds balance while using different textures and melodies to fill the space in the instrumental. Both members also are a main point in why this song works so well, as their voices are a great match for the instrumental.
Hello_Moto: EMPiRE – I Have a Chance!
As much as I normally dislike cheesy-sounding songs, I can’t help but smile whenever I hear this one. The positive energy emanating from it is so infectious. It’s hard for me to think of another song that makes me feel as happy as this one does.
7. smsmsmsmssm: YUP YUP – Blue Baton
Blue Baton is a really straight forward song. Once it starts, you know what you will get. It has a retro feeling that works perfect for a late night walk, while feeling like the protagonist. The chorus gives a very simple message, but it really inspires me. The members’ voices compliment the gentle but nostalgic overall vibe of the song.
Hello_Moto: BiSH – Tsui ni Shi
Abrasive, offensive, loud, obnoxious…and I can’t get enough. BiSH’s magnum opus as far as I’m concerned. Just thinking about this song makes me want to get into the nearest mosh pit.
6. smsmsmsmssm: DEVIL NO ID – BEAUTIFUL BEAST
This is the type of song that makes me think “this shouldn’t work as it does”. It is like a rollercoaster, as opposed to my #7 entry. It has this gentle and melodic chorus that changes easily to that aggressive hardstyle-type percussion and synths that are matched by a rap verse. The structure works surprisingly well until the end of the song.
Hello_Moto: Yanakoto Sotto Mute – Lange
A song that really puts the ’emo’ in emotional. The bridge of the song sends me into another universe. With any Yanamyu song you can expect top notch vocal performances and this song is no exception. Nadeshiko especially shines here.
5. smsmsmsmssm: RAY – TEST
I think TEST is a very unique song in RAY catalogue, as it doesn’t have their common shoegaze inspired concept, but still feels like a song they would do, thanks to the members performance and and energy i could only describe as very sharp and geometric. I think it is one of those songs that feels like a parallel world itself.
Hello_Moto: RAY – Test
Quite a departure from the shoegaze that Ray is known for, but it’s a welcome one. This song took several listens to grow on me, but when it did, it quickly became my favourite Ray song. I find myself completely mesmerized and entrancing by this song, which I can only assume was the intent behind it.
4. smsmsmsmssm: BABYMETAL – Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!!!
I think this is the song in early Babymetal material in which the combination of cute adlibs with powerful and loud instrumental works the best. The concept is still really unique, as it gives a ceremonial-like feeling to the idea of going to a metal concert for the first time, combined with a 15 birthday celebration. Is also one of my favorites vocal performances of Su-Metal, cause she sings in a bit lower pitch compared to other songs from that era, that also gives the song the feeling of being in a very important ceremony.
Hello_Moto: Yanakoto Sotto Mute – Kesshou Sekai
Yanamyu attempts post-hardcore and succeeds with flying colours. The song keeps plugging away without stopping and without running out of steam. I’m just along for the ride and enjoying every second of it.
3. smsmsmsmssm: TipToe. – Soda Pop Aquarium
Like my #5 entry, this song makes me feel like I’m in a parallel world that I would never want to leave. It has a very straight forward dreamy and nostalgic approach. I think this is probably the best explanation of the TipToe concept, as it uses just a few elements, but still achieves a very complete and nostalgic feeling. The melodic-rap mix of the verses make me feel like being on a very comfortable bed floating in the air.
Hello_Moto: EMPiRE – Ordinary
That guitar solo. It gives me goosebumps every time. Of course, the rest of the song is great as well, and very interestingly written. Makes me wish the-artist-formerly-known-as-EMPiRE would perform more mellow rock numbers like this one.
2. smsmsmsmssm: Emiri Kanou – Gomen ne
I wanted to write just about the songs, but I feel this song and the video are just one piece. As a song, it is a late 80’s idol inspired track based on a simple but catchy synth melody with a very lo-fi and homemade feeling. The video fits that homemade image, while Emiri Kanou shows a funnier side of her as a performer.
Hello_Moto: Owaranaide, Yoru – Genei Tokyo
This song SLAPS. Holy crap. Everything about it works, from the trance-like vibes, to the chords, the vocal performances, the arrangement. Everything comes seamlessly together to form an incredible song that I’ll be listening to for a long time to come.
1. smsmsmsmssm: KOTO – PLATONIC PLANET
This song takes you on a ride and doesn’t let you out of it until it ends. A very fast and energetic ride. As a concept, it pays homage to b-tier late showa era idols, while KOTO gives the song a lot of personality with her vocals, using her natural voice on the verses and chorus, and autotune on the bridge. On a personal level, I discovered this song in the middle of quarantine, and it was my biggest emotional support while staying at home, so it just had to be number one.
Hello_Moto: Yanakoto Sotto Mute – Am I
Forget idol music; this is one of my favourite songs, period. It’s a rather unassuming mid-tempo song, but the way it’s written and performed allows it to transcend this as far as I’m concerned. The vocals – perfect, writing – perfect, instrumentals – perfect, vibe – perfect. Even the solo sounds perfect despite only consisting of tremolo picking. It’s really a case of less-is-more that just works and sounds absolutely flawless. Play this song on my deathbed.