Although K-Pop did a commendable job of distracting me from the J-Pop scene, H!P of course kept me interested, but I can’t leave behind all the other amazing artists that have made 2009 such a spectacular year.
Our popular soloists, Kuu, Ayu and Amuro all released an album and at least one single, thus always having something for us to look forward to. Unfortunately, Utada, my absolute favorite artist, was pretty much absent this whole year in the J-Pop world. Her only release was “This Is The One”, her second full length English album.
2009 was a big year for a lot of newly debuting artists(or others who changed labels). The pop-R&B genre really became quite popular with releases by Nishino Kana and BENI reaching large numbers in sales, surpassing the shelf-life of albums like NEXT LEVEL and TRICK.
Groups also formed a large part in the releases of the year. school food punishment being the best example, along with Kalafina. UNfortunately, we saw the disbandment of one of the most amazing J-Pop groups I had gotten my hands on, the incomparable Nichika. Johnny’s groups also sold like crazy this year, unfortunately leaving a lot of artists incapable of achieving that awaited #1 spot on the Oricons.
None-the-less, I can say that 2009, such as it was for H!P and K-Pop, is the best year it has had yet. So without further ado, here are the final rankings for 2009 on J-Pop.
Kalafina – Seventh Heaven | Amuro Namie – PAST<FUTURE | alan – Voice of EARTH
SWEET BLACK feat. MAKI GOTO – SWEET BLACK | Kylee – Love Kicks… | Ikio Ayaka – GOSSIP
KOKIA – KARMA | Perfume – One Room Disco | Amuro Namie – WILD / Dr.
school food punishment – light prayer | moumoon – Aoi Tsuki to Ambivalence na Ai | BONNIE PINK – ONE
Suzuki Ami – Reincarnation | SAWA – Swimming Dancing | GIRL NEXT DOOR – Infinity
Kalafina | school food punishment | Perfume
KOKIA | alan | Kylee
KOKIA – KARMA | alan – Together | GIRL NEXT DOOR – Infinity
That’s right. KARMA. No other song from the entire year showed off best an artist’s vocals(especially when they are KOKIA’s, no doubt the best voice in J-Pop) to an EPIC instrumental that just gives me goosebumps each and every time I listen to it. If you haven’t given this song a listen yet, you should at least try it to get a taste of KOKIA’s opera vocals and the way her voice alone can make a song by itself.
Honestly, she was the real only flop out of the entire year, imo. The music she’s released since switching labels has just been… awful(with the exception of Moshimo Negai ga… which is a step in the right direction. I just wish she would go back to that genre of music that made her famous. You know, that anime-like rocky/synth stuff with catchy choruses. So yea, BoA and Utada flopped sales-wise, but their music was at least good.
KOKIA / alan
I really couldn’t decide who to give this to. KOKIA released two great albums, two digital singles and two other singles, one of which(KARMA) was spectacular in all ways. alan also released two albums, which I consider BOTH to be good efforts, along with various singles. I’m not just counting the amount of stuff they released, but by how they don’t let quantity win over quality. What I wish from KOKIA now is another album like The VOICE and for alan to return to her ballad-filled roots.
Ahhh, finally done! Well, their it is. 2009 in J-Pop, H!P&AKB48 and K-Pop all summarized in a few pics and words. Honestly, 2010 is gonna be EPIC. 2009 was like a transition year for H!P filled with changes, so now that they are all set, the pwnage is about to begin. K-Pop had tons of debuts, so they should all be getting even better next year, while 2010 for J-Pop will bring a lot of surprises me thinks.
Also, I tried to make my rankings for J-Pop as least mainstream as I could. Or rather, I didn’t add NEXT LEVEL or TRICK as part of the best albums just because they were released by highly known artists, instead I placed Kalafina and alan in there simply because their albums were simply better.