Year in Review • Part One: The Poll Results

I’ve been very excited about the results ever since I launched the poll, and now I finally get to announce the results. The return was slightly disappointing, and I will comment about whether I agree or object to the result (I do have a few objections).

Best Promotional Video and Best Single
Koda Kumi • TABOO

Koda Kumi, TABOO

So we were all pretty surprised when we saw this roller-coaster ride of a PV. I have to admit, the colors the choreography and all the stuff is pretty amazing and does represent the content of the song pretty well. However, I have to say that I think many other PVs are better than this one—by far.

Koda had disappointed us with her previous quadruple A-Side (leave it avex to come up with something as horrible as that) MOON, which, although it had two good songs, was pretty meagre and nowhere close to 4 hot wave. TABOO took an almost record length to come out, but I have to say, it was worth the wait. Although I don’t think this single merits “best single of 2008”, it definitely belongs in the hall of fame of singles. Snazzy, sexy, powerful, and catchy.

A) Best Single

2. RED CLIFF – Shin, Sen – (alan)

3. Tegami – Haikei Jyuugo no Kimi e – (Angela Aki)

4. Kaeritakunatta yo (Ikimono Gakari)

5. Kurage, Nagareboshi (Ai Otsuka)

B) Best Promotional Video

2. 360° (Ai Otsuka)

3. ORION (Mika Nakashima)

4. RED CLIFF – Shin, Sen – (alan)

5. GREEN (Ayumi Hamasaki)


Best Album
Ami Suzuki • Supreme Show

Supreme Show, Ami SuzukiI object, Your Honor! No offense to techno-philes, but although I gave this album five stars, the best album of the year is by far not, for me, Supreme Show. For all intents and purposes, this album was a “supreme show” of techno, but many albums trump this one. Take, for one, Nichika’s self-titled debut album, which is absolutely breathtaking and everyone should listen to. But before I start talking about them, maybe I should focus a little on the pros of this album: it may not be excellent in all fields, but it does have some very good songs on it (well, all of them are above-average techno), and Nakata did some interesting stuff, especially on songs like flower, which featured an interesting and powerfully catchy mix of techno and strings.

2. Sing to the Sky (ayaka)

3. VOICE (Mika Nakashima)

4. LOVE LETTER (Ai Otsuka)

5. no votes issued for the other options



Best Artist

GAME, Perfume

I may think that Perfume is overrated, they still proved themselves to be the most amazingly successful band of 2008. Their album GAME reaching #1, the first time in the history of Japanese music for a techno band to reach the top spot on Oricon. While the album isn’t as great as I would’ve expected it to be, it did include some pretty spectacular and bizarre tracks, in particular the title track.

I think there are few others who deserve an honorable mention this year, in particular Ikimono Gakari and alan, who released massive amounts of stuff, in particular the first, who released two albums and five singles this year, most of it between September and December. Either way, 2008 was a really good year for Japanese music, and I can only hope that 2009 will bring equal achievements.

2. Mika Nakashima and BONNIE PINK

3. alan and Ikimono Gakari and Ami Suzuki and Ayumi Hamasaki

4. GIRL NEXT DOOR and Ai Otsuka and YUI and Koda Kumi and Ayaka

5. no votes issued for the other options


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