1000 Japanese tracks

Said I’d post this list a couple of months ago.

  • This year I constructed a playlist of a 1000 of my favourite songs by Japanese artists – they could be anything from songs that first brought me into Jpop (like the first 10 on the list), made me fall in love with an act or a genre or simply, songs where I abused the ‘repeat’ button.
  • I referred to my Last.fm charts a lot which unfortunately only go back to 14 years so that’s missing a slice of my early Jpop-listening days from the late 90s to 2003 – had to trawl through my extensive archives and portable devices listening to older playlists and albums.
  • Almost 2/3rds of the list are 2000s tracks, with the 2004-06 period contributing 30% of the list overall. Figures, cos I was in university then and a hikikomori with too much time on my hands.
  • Not a saint only buying physical CDs (through Yesasia & CDJapan), so I obviously have a large collection of downloaded music: Audiogalaxy, winMX, winNY, Share, Bunko/Public MM tracker, soulseek and Jpopsuki being the primary sources in the 2000s. Nowadays I just check Youtube and stream off Spotify, then buy on iTunes or Recochoku if something’s to my liking – physical CDs are a no-go for me now thanks to space limitations.
  • Oldest songs would be from the ’60s, stuff that I found through kayōkyoku compilations & such. There are newer tracks too: 5 songs from 2017, in fact. Anisong/doujin/eroge themes makes up a good percentage (around 40%) of the list though a chunk of that overlaps with jrock/jpop as more & more rock acts such as VELTPUNCH and Tokyo Karankoron have had songs used in animation over the last decade.
  • I compiled the list by rough groups of 10 songs each with a loose ‘theme’ to them ie anisong rock, kayokyoku/folk faves, j-urban and so on and so forth. My favourite of these is probably the Kajiura Yuki vocal tracks list
  • It appears Tomatsu Haruka has the most tracks featured on the list both solo and as part of a unit (8). Not intentional at all.
  • Two of the songs here have nonsensical made-up lyrics: 100s’s Honeycom.ware & B-DASH’s Cho. One is in traditional Okinawan dialect (Warabigami)
  • Tracks with solo female vocals outnumber males by 588 to 367, with 30 duets, 14 instrumentals & 1 vocaloid. I blame the anisong for that high ratio of girls to guys…
  • To listen to every second of every song would take 3 days 2 hours 14 minutes and 34 seconds.
  • I tried to link to Youtube wherever possible but there are some with Spotify links (you’ll need an account for that) & legal Recochoku/iTunes/Mora (samples) links.

01. Ozaki Yutaka – I LOVE YOU (1983)
02. Hosokawa Takashi – Kita Sakaba (1982)
03. Southern All Stars – Manatsu no Kajitsu (1990)
04. Inagaki Junichi – Christmas Carol no Koro ni wa (1992)
05. Yamashita Tatsurō – Christmas Eve (1983)
06. Takeuchi Mariya – Genki o dashite (1984)
07. Madoka Hiroshi – Musōbana (1978)
08. Arai Yumi – 12gatsu no Ame (1974)
09. Murashita Kōzō – Hatsukoi (1983)
10. Yoshida Takurō – Ashita ni Mukatte Hashire (1976)

When I began my sojourn into Japanese music, I was not impressed. It was mostly bubblegum pop (Johnny’s, Hello Project, Hamasaki Ayumi) of little substance and really, it wasn’t ’til I stumbled across Ozaki Yutaka via a random download through Audiogalaxy that I started to think that Jpop might have more to it. Around that period my mom would flick through random folk/enka shows on NHK as well, which was how I got into the classic hits. These 10 tracks represented some of my earliest favourites that I first heard in the late 90s. 

11. Utada Hikaru – Wait & See ~Risk~ (2001)
12. m-flo loves melody. & Ryohei – miss you (2003)
13. Tokyo Jihen – Sōnan (2004)
14. sleepy.ab – Shiki Utakata (2006)
15. Spitz – Robinson (1995)
16. Yen Town Band – Swallowtail Butterfly -Ai no Uta- (1996)
17. FREENOTE – Re:Channel (2004)
18. Onitsuka Chihiro – Gekkō (2000)
19. Chemistry – Pieces of a Dream (2001)
20. HY – AM11:00 (2003)

  • These would be the 10 I’d say best reflect my overall taste in Japanese-language music – a mix of styles from urban to pop to rock and indie.
  • The defunct FREENOTE is probably the band here that is closest to my heart as I watched a bunch of their lives when I was still staying in Japan.
  • Obviously Utada Hikaru is my First (Jpop) Love [pun fully intended] and I think my local record shop was sick of me calling up on them all the time to find out whether her latest album had arrived.
  • Will never forget how loud I squeed when I found Onitsuka Chihiro’s first album in a pokey corner of a CD store in some godforsaken mall in town. It really was so hard to get hold of original copies of Japanese music at the time… (for a high-school kid like me)
  • I fell in love with Spitz after buying a triple-CD bootleg of their tunes out of desperation. I made sure to get their albums proper after Yesasia came into existence.
  • If you asked me to pick my #1 Japanese song of all time, push come to shove, I’d nominate Swallowtail Butterfly. 

21. Ōsawa Yoshiyuki – Soshite, Boku wa Tohō ni Kureru (1984)
22. KAN – Ai wa Katsu (1990)
23. Happy End – Kaze o Atsumete (1971)
24. H20 – Omoide ga Ippai (1983)
25. Nakamori Akina – Slow Motion (1982)
26. Moritaka Chisato – Watarasebashi (1993)
27. Kosaka Akiko – Anata (1973)
28. Hibari Misora – Kawa no Nagareru Youni (1989)
29. Ohashi Junko – Tasogare My Love (1978)
30. Yamamoto Kotaro to Weekend – Misaki Meguri (1974)

More evergreen classic Jpop tracks, the type you see oft featured on cover albums. Have a soft spot for melancholic, minor-key power ballads like Ohashi Junko (sad to hear that she was diagnosed with early-stage esophageal cancer earlier this year, hope she recovers well) and Nakamori Akina’s songs here.

31. JUDY AND MARY – Kaze ni Fukarete (1997)
32. Misia – Everything (2000)
33. Quruli – Bara no Hana (2001)
34. THE BACK HORN – Sunny (2001)
35. fra-foa – Light of sorrow (2002)
36. Noanowa – Yume no Arika (2009)
37. the pillows – That House (1998)
38. ANATAKIKOU – Fushigi na Ito (2005)
39. LOST IN TIME – Mada Furusato e wa Kaerenai (2006)
40. Swinging Popsicle – I just wanna kiss you (2004)

Another 10 songs that I’d consider to be amongst my favouritest of all times. noanowa and LOST IN TIME are 2 acts I spent a lot of time pursuing live as well – Yume no Arika is just so explosive to watch in person.

41. Sakai Masaaki – Saraba Koibito (1971)
42. Kondo Masahiko – Yuyake no Uta (1989)
43. Wada Akiko – Ano Kane o Narasu no wa Anata (1972)
44. Bread & Butter – Ano Koro no mama (1979)
45. Moriguchi Hiroko – Mizu no Hoshi e Ai o Komete (1985)
46. Anzen Chitai – Suki sa (1986)
47. Kubota Toshinobu – La La La Love Song (1996)
48. Fukuyama Masaharu – Heart (1998)
49. The Jacks – Tokei o Tomete (1968)
50. Akai Tori – Tsubasa o Kudasai (1971)

More all-time favourites. The Jacks is the one that stands out most on this one ‘cos it’s JP psychedelic-rock at its finest (not that there was a lot of that being made in the first place).

51. Every Little Thing – Time goes by (1998)
52. Fumido – Nakimushi no Uta (2005)
53. DEPAPEPE – Summer Parade (2005)
54. Lost in Time – Anata wa Ikiteiru (2004)
55. TRICERATOPS – Jewel (2004)
56. dorlis – Mabataki (2005)
57. Soutaiseiriron – Jigoku Sensei (2009)
58. Shiina Ringo – Kabukichō no Joou (1998)
59. Rin’ – Fuhen (2004)
60. ELLEGARDEN – Missing (2004)

  • It’s funny to think now that I actually discovered certain acts through watching NHK’s weekly (dead) Pop Jam show – TRICERATOPS and acoustic instrumental duo DEPAPEPE being 2 examples. Pop Jam died in 2006 & was replaced by Music Japan which in turn died in 2016. I haven’t tuned into NHK for ages now so god knows what’s replaced that now.
  • I discovered this Time Goes By (and other classics like Zard & YMO) through playing beat mania GB2 Gatcha Mix on the bloody Game Boy Color back in 2000. Somehow, I could still tell that it was a great tune despite being chiptuned beyond recognition.

61. Porno Graffitti – Saboten (2000)
62. EXILE – Your eyes only -Aimai na Boku no Katachi- (2001)
63, Hitomi – IS IT YOU? (2001)
64. Suga Shikao – 8gatsu no Serenade (2001)
65. YOSHII LOVINSON – CALL ME (2005)
66. SURFACE – Kimi no Koe de Kimi no Subete de… (1999)
67. Hysteric Blue – Haru~spring~ (1999)
68. Mr.Children – Tomorrow never knows (1994)
69. Sakamoto Ryuichi – energy flow (1999)
70. Hamasaki Ayumi – M (2000)

  • Another way I discovered Jpop hits at the turn of the century was through the MTV cable channel that would play the odd Jpop track here and there, and through watching dorama. EXILE and Hitomi’s tracks here were the themes from one of my fave doramas – Dekichatta Kekkon (Shotgun Wedding), headlined by Takenouchi Yutaka and Hirosue Ryoko
  • Hysteric Blue is one of those bands who used to be so big but whose legacy will forever be tarnished by an unsavoury scandal – in 2005, guitarist Akamatsu Naoki was jailed for 14 years, reduced to 12 upon appeal, for raping teenage girls. He’s due for release in October 2018.

71. Onsoku Line – Nagareboshi Line (2005)
72. Hirakawachi 1-chome – Hoshi kara Fuku Kaze (2004)
73. school food punishment – 04:59 (2010)
74. B’z – Konya Tsuki no Mieru Oka ni (2000)
75. Hotaru Biyori – Ringo Ame (2010)
76. CUNE – Refrain (2002)
77. Okuda Tamio – E10 Rider (1996)
78. ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION – Kimi to Iu Hana (2003)
79. Tsubakiya Shijuso – Koharu Biyori (2004)
80. Otsuka Ai – Daisukidayo. (2004)

  • Supposedly a rock-themed list but for some reason, Otsuka’s power ballad is tacked on at the end here.
  • I’ve written about Hirakawachi 1-chome before. The duo recently reformed for a series of gigs on the 10th anniversary year of their split and their previously-estranged mom came to see their tour finale. Elder brother Ryunosuke has remained in music all the while (he also married a single mother & they recently had their 1st child), but younger brother Naojiro’s now a personal trainer.

81. Lia – Tori no Uta (2000)
82. Supercell – Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (2009)
83. Ishiwatari Junji & Sunahara Yoshinori + Yakushimaru Etsuko – Kamisama no Iu toori (2010)
84. DOES – Shuraba (2007)
85. Suneohair – Waltz (2005)
86. Galileo Galilei – Aoi Shiori (2011)
87. Chatmonchy – Shangri-la (2006)
88. Lama – Fantasy (2011)
89. FLOW – DAYS (2005)
90. SPYAIR – Samurai Heart (Some Like it Hot) (2011)

  • Anime themes list. The first 10 that came to mind when I thought of ‘anisong’ – which apart from maybe Lia & Supercell, is probably not what other people think of when they think of ‘anisong’!
  • The opening bars of Suneohair’s Waltz evokes bittersweet memories tinged with regret, as I suspect it would do for those of us who watched and were able to relate to Honey & Clover during our college/uni days.
  • Aoi Shiori reminds me of Japan – I’d quit my job & was living in Japan, doing my ‘jibun sagashi’ thing when the song was released that summer. I particularly like the line ‘Mada jikan wa bokura no mono de’ (Time is still ours to spend as we wish).

91. DREAMS COME TRUE – Asa ga Mata Kuru (1999)
92. Superfly – Ai o Komete Hanataba o (2008)
93. JUJU – I can be free (2008)
94. Nishino Kana – Tatoe donna ni… (2011)
95. Dew – Dandelion (2008)
96. Natsukawa Rimi – Nada Sousou (2001)
97. Cocco – Jukai no Ito (1999)
98. ZONE – Secret Base ~Kimi ga kureta mono~ (2001)
99. Fayray – feel (2004)
100. RUI (Shibasaki Kou) – Tsuki no Shizuku (2003)

101. Shojo Jidai – you-aholic (2011)
102. Spangle call Lilli line – Crawl (2002)
103. Supercar – Yumegiwa Last Boy (2002)
104. Nao’ymt feat. S-key-A – Okay (2008)
105. Perfume – 575 (2010)
106. Amuro Namie – COPY THAT (2009)
107. Apogee – 1,2,3 (2009)
108. Modern Conya – Namida no Ame (2003)
109. Aira Mitsuki – China Discotica (2008)
110. Sakanaction – Identity (2011)

A vague attempt at an electronic-themed list.

111. Kobukuro – Million Films (2004)
112. Sukimaswitch – Furete Mirai o (2004)
113. Sasuke – Ajisai no Uta (2004)
114. Hata Motohiro – Uroko (2007)
115. L’arc~en~ciel – Honey (1998)
116. Fujifrabric – Akakiniro no Kinmokusei (2004)
117. Kuchiroro – Hawaii (2005)
118. BUMP OF CHICKEN – Guild (2004)
119. Oda Kazumasa – Masshiro (2004)
120. The Miceteeth – Kiri no Naka (2004)

  • Guild was a song that meant a lot to me when it was first released (on the album Yggdrasil) – lyrics about being tired and feeling like there’s no point in being alive resonated within me.
  • Mentioned it before, but I don’t really listen to Fujifabric’s music any more after they chose to continue on when vocalist Shimura Masahiko died – he was the last remaining original member of the band from the indie days and I don’t recognize anything of what Fujifabric used to be.
  • The Miceteeth are my favourite J-ska group but of course, I had to pick the one song that’s most unska-like. Try Subarashii Hibi for something a little more upbeat & typical of their sound.

121. Ketsumeishi – Sakura (2005)
122. Hilcrhyme – Shunkashūtō (2009)
123. RIP SLYME – Tasogare Surround (2004)
124. Aqua Timez – Sen no Yoru o Koete (2006)
125. ORANGE RANGE – Ikenai Taiyō (2007)
126. Steady&Co. – Shunkashūtō (2001)
127. Dragon Ash – Shizuka na Hibi o Kaidan o (2000)
128. Ozawa Kenji feat. Scha dara Parr – Kon’ya wa Boogie Back (1994)
129. HOME MADE KAZOKU – Thank you!! (2005)
130. Spontania feat. Juju – Kimi no Subete ni (2008)

Mainstream hip-hop/rap songs. I had a tendency to pick them when I went for solo karaoke in Japan despite having the rapping skills of a drunk priest.

131. BONNIE PINK – Last Kiss (2004)
132. KOKIA – Arigatō… (1999)
133. Tomosaka Rie – Cappucino (1999)
134. Odani Misako – rain (1997)
135. Shibata Jun – Hoshi no Yoin (2002)
136. Le Couple – Sofa (1997)
137. Hana*Hana – Sayonara Daisuki na Hito (2000)
138. Hirosue Ryoko – Rhythm (1999)
139. I WiSH – Asu e no Tobira (2003)
140. Kiroro – Nagai Aida (1998)

  • Quite a few of my early favourite Jpop songs on this list, which in hindsight, were pretty depressing. KOKIA’s is an ode to someone who’s died, Hana*Hana’s is a breakup song, and I can’t think of many Shibata Jun songs that aren’t depressing…
  • Hirosue Ryoko ain’t a great singer (she’s an actress so…) but I spent so much time listening to her albums which I had loaded on my old Creative Jukebox Zen MP3 player, during the 4 & 1/2 hour bus rides between London Heathrow and my boarding school in Somerset. I didn’t even own a mobile phone then, fun times.
  • I didn’t learn until a lot later on that Cappucino was a Shiina Ringo-written track (which she eventually self-covered), but I still prefer Tomosaka’s version
  • I thought Last Kiss might’ve been the weirdest choice for an anime theme ever but somehow, the lyrics ended up fitting Gantz so perfectly. Odd.

141. Mr. Children – Sign (2004)
142. TUBE – Natsu Matsuri (2004)
143. Under Graph – Paradigm (2005)
144. Do As Infinity – Tooku made… (2001)
145. KUMACHI – Sayonara (2003)
146. Kuwata Keisuke – Shiroi Koibitotachi (2001)
147. LUNA SEA – I For You (1998)
148. Janne Da Arc – Gekkōka (2005)
149. Ulfuls – Waraereba (2002)
150. 19 – Ashiato (2001)

More of those ‘ultimate favourite tunes’ (I have a lot of those). DAI was one of the first Jpop/rock bands I got into, and I remember having to hunt down their CDs when I went on holiday to Singapore back in the day before Internet shopping existed.

151. Kaientai – Okuru Kotoba (1979)
152. Ogura Kei – Saraba Seishun (1971)
153. Iruka – Nagoriyuki (1975)
154. Sakamoto Kyu – Ue o Muite Arukou (1961)
155. EPO – U, Fu, Fu, Fu (1983)
156. Kai Band – Anna (1979)
157. Hamada Shogo – Midnight Flight -Hitoribocchi no Christmas Eve- (1985)
158. Matsuda Seiko – Akai Sweet Pea (1982)
159. Nakajima Miyuki/Kashiwabara Yoshie – Haru na no ni (1983)
160. Ota Hiromi – Shiawase Miman (1977)

Classics, classics, classics. I wish I had more time to discover more of them. I do get fed up with modern day artists picking the same ones over and over to cover though – I really don’t want to hear another version of Nagoriyuki tbh…

161. Moriyama Naotaro – Toki no Yukue~Jō.Haru no Sora~ (2005)
162. BEGIN – Kimi o Miteiru (2004)
163. HY – Toki o Koe (2010)
164. Atari Kosuke – Ieji (2006)
165. Koja Misako – Warabigami (1997)
166. Nakashima Mika – Sakurairo Mau Koro (2005)
167. Matsushita Nao with Gontiti – Tsuyukusa (2006)
168. Rin’ – Sakura Sakura (instrumental with shakuhachi, shamisen) (2005)
169. Oshio Kotaro – Sakura. Saku koro (2004)
170. Hitoto Yo – Morainaki (2002)

  • Songs with a traditional feel, which tend to set my tear ducts into action pretty quickly. HY’s Toki o Koe, an Okinawan-flavoured tune (backed by a modern choir!) about the sacrifices of grandparents gets me every time.
  • Koja Misako’s Warabigami may sound alien to most – it’s sung in Uchinaguchi (Okinawan language) though over the years the likes of Natsukawa Rimi & Hana*Hana have recorded it in standard Japanese
  • At first I thought Morainaki was partly sung in a foreign language before I realized it was just Hitoto’s version of…yodelling or something. She’s half-Taiwanese, and her life has been eventful. Her parents died early on – her father when she was a young child, and her mother when she was 16. She got entangled in a messy affair with musician/producer Kobayashi Takeshi (who was married to his My Little Lover bandmate Akko at the time) in 2007 but they split in 2013 and she’s now married to guitarist Yamaguchi Shuhei and they have a child.
  • And yes people might remember Moriyama Naotaro for dissing anisong back in 2005 or so when he wished the moe and Akiba-kei stuff would disappear (responding to seeing Negima on the charts). His songs are lovely though, and the classic Sakura was later covered by Idolmaster seiyuu! w

171. RYTHEM – Kasumizakura (2007)
172. I WiSH – Yakusoku no Hi (2004)
173. Matsumoto Eiko – Naturally Yours (2000)
174. Ganaha Mina – Tsuki no Shizuku (2006)
175. Michelle143 – Futarigurashi (2006)
176. Takei Shiori – Sakurairo (2006)
177. Hoshimura Mai – EVERY (2005)
178. Takaoka Ai – LaLaLa (2004)
179. Lyrico – Kiseki no Hana (2002)
180. Le Couple – Ichinichi no Owari ni (2000)

  • Female singers, mostly ballads. There are a lot of these types in Japan, and most are underappreciated chart-wise.
  • Lyrico now operates under her real name Tsuyuzaki Harumi. She’s a powerhouse vocalist that again, Japan can’t seem to appreciate ‘cos it ain’t cute or novel.
  • I thought Takei Shiori (signed to Giza, home of Kuraki Mai etc) had a lot of potential but it just didn’t work out for her and she retired from singing at the age of 23 when her contract ended. Now a normal salarywoman.
  • Similar story for Takaoka Ai, another Giza talent who left the company in 2009 and after 2 years at Box Corporation, went on hiatus in 2011 at age 29. Never returned to the biz since.

181. Do As Infinity – Shinjitsu no Uta (2002)
182. Tanizawa Tomofumi – Kimi ni Todoke (2009)
183. Kukikodan – Aoi Hana (2009)
184. Rie fu – Life is Like a Boat (2004)
185. Younha – Houkiboshi (2005)
186. Takahashi Hitomi – Aozora no Namida (2005)
187. YeLLOW Generation – Tobira no Mukou e (2004)
188. Linked Horizon – Guren no Yumiya (2013)
189. Jinguji Sakura & Teikoku Kagekidan – Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan (1996)
190. Kuraki Mai – Secret of My Heart (2000)

More anisong that aren’t very anisong. Except maybe Sakura Taisen, which topped my list of my 100 favourite anisong.

191. SPECIAL OTHERS – STAR (2007)
192. Bonobos – Ano Kotoba, Ano Hikari (2004)
193. organic stereo – Upon My Soul (2008)
194. Tokyo No.1 Soul Set – Naked Waltz (2005)
195. POMERANIANS – Nagareru Hoshi no Youni (2005)
196. Dry & Heavy – Dawn is Breaking (2000)
197. ACIDMAN – Sekitou (2002)
198. Sacra – Yesterday (2003)
199. Iwase Keigo – Kurikaesu wa Kuchiguse to Zaiakukan (2002)
200. THE YELLOW MONKEY – MY WINDING ROAD (1998)

Not much of a theme going on here it seems. There’s ska, post-rock, dub, plain ‘ol rock.

201. Hoover’s Ooover – Fender (2003)
202. the brilliant green – angel song -Eve no Kane- (2001)
203. YOGURT-pooh – 8gatsu no Echo (2002)
204. Tokyo60WATTS – Soto wa Samui kara (2004)
205. 100s – Honeycom.ware (2005)
206. THE LOCAL ART – Sakura (2006)
207. SPARTA LOCALS – Tokyo Ballerina (2005)
208. Scoobie Do – Parade (2004)
209. STARBOARD – Drawing (2006)
210. Straightener – Hashiru Iwa (2002)

Some of my favourite rock acts. The majority of these I got hold of through trading albums on Soulseek – I recall some of those users being very particular about who they’d allow to download their stuff so unless you had a substantial collection of your own, you’d never get access.

211. Sing Like Talking – Spirit of Love (1995)
212. Skoop on Somebody – Sha La La (2001)
213. Kirinji – Kimi no Koto dayo (2008)
214. JAY’ED – Everybody (2009)
215. Yamamoto Ryohei – Moon Sexy (2004)
216. Crazy Ken Band – Loco Loco Sunset Cruise (2005)
217. Kinmokusei – Futari no Akaboshi (2002)
218. RAG FAIR – She Side Story (2002)
219. silly – break of dawn (2004)
220. m-flo – Yours only, (2001)

Urban/r’n’b music. Not a genre I usually favour but there is always the odd track here and there that piques my interest. Most of these acts have either ceased to exist or sunk into obscurity.

221. Syrup16g – She was beautiful (2001)
222. the ARROWS – Buribura (2004)
223. Saito Kazuyoshi – Kimi wa Boku no Nani o Suki ni nattan darou (2007)
224. advantage Lucy – Kaze ni Azukete (1999)
225. Sunny Day Service – Yoru no Melody (2000)
226. Burger Nuds – Kusa no Hana (2002)
227. THE BACK HORN – Requiem (2004)
228. Kicell – Hakobune (2004)
229. té – Onore ga bun… (2005)
230. Tsushimamire – Umeumai Tanedekai (2004)

The full title of the té track is 己が分を知りて及ばざる時は速やかに止むるを『智』と言うべし。I won’t bother trying.

231. YUI – LIFE (2005)
232. Salyu – Inazuma (2010)
233. Yamamoto Sayaka – Tsukushi no Kotozute (2006)
234. My Little Lover – DESTINY (1998)
235. wyolica – Saa Ikou (2000)
236, Yaida Hitomi – Andante (2002)
237. Aikawa Nanase – Ai no Uta -Magenta Rain- (2004)
238. Fukuhara Miho – Yuki no Hikari (2008)
239. aiko – Eriashi (2003)
240. NIKIIE – Shunkashuto (2010)

241. Bridge – Pool Side Music (1994)
242. Dojima Kohei – So She, So I (2005)
243. Harco – Kimi no Kami ni Furetai (2006)
244. Instant Cytron – SEE FOR MILES (1995)
245. Flipper’s Guitar – Coffee-Milk Crazy (1989)
246. Kaji Hideki – Sibylla wa Aru hi Totsuzen ni (1998)
247. Vanilla Beans – Nicola (2008)
248. Takeshi Nakatsuka – Koi no Uta (2005)
249. Uma no Hone – Moegara (2005)
250. Monopolys – Oyatsu (2010)

Vaguely (neo) Shibuya-kei theme. This is another subset of Jpop that I couldn’t quite get into – tried hard with the genre’s main exponents ie Pizzicato Five, Cibo Matto, Cornelius, Kahimi Karie etc but they all flew over my head. Conclusion: it’s only the twee pop variety that appeals to me!

251. Sasagawa Miwa – Himawari (2005)
252. Makichang – Chigusa (2008)
253. Makiyo – Sakura Saku made (2004)
254. Garnet Crow – Last love song (2001)
255. Teshima Aoi – Tsuredure Biyori (2007)
256. Hirahara Ayaka – Smile (2004)
257. Abe Mao – 19sai no Uta (2010)
258. Uemura Kana – Milk Tea (2005)
259. Shibasaki Kou – Katachi aru mono (2004)
260. Ikimonogakari – Koisuru Otome (2006)

261. Himuro Kyosuke – MONOCHROME RAINBOW (2003)
262. BOOWY – Marionette (1987)
263. Hotei Tomoyasu – Battle Without Honor or Humanity (2003)
264. JITTERIN’ JINN – Natsu Matsuri (1990)
265. Sharan Q – 18ka-getsu (1992)
266. Anzen Chitai – Jirettai (1987)
267. Inoue Yosui – Yume no Naka e (1973)
268. THE BOOM – Chūōsen (1996)
269. Brief & Trunks – Ishiyaki Imo (2000)
270. Southern All Stars – Namida no Kiss (1992)

271. Oe Senri – Kakkowarui Furarekata (1991)
272. Rebecca – Friends (1985)
273. DEEN – Kono mama Kimi dake o Ubaisaritai (1992)
274. J-WALK – Nani mo Ienakute…Natsu (1991)
275. Kobayashi Akiko – Koi ni Ochite -Fall in Love- (1985)
276. Off Course – Sayonara (1979)
277. Koizumi Kyoko – Watashi no 16sai (1982)
278. Kome Kome Club – Kimi ga iru dake de (1992)
279. L-R – Kimi ni Niji ga Orita (1993)
280. Murashita Kozo – Hidamari (1987)

281. GRAPEVINE – Bokura nara (2003)
282. GOING UNDER GROUND – Kirari (2005)
283. Base Ball Bear – Dakishimetai (2007)
284. Koeda Riko & Ogasawara Aki [Ohara Sakurako] – Chippoke na Ai no Uta (2013)
285. Tokyo Karankaron – Spice (2015)
286. Kinoco Hotel – Yuyake ga Shitteru (2010)
287. Hamada Akiko – 22 (2003)
288. Nico Touches the Walls – Sara Rainy Day (2007)
289. Tokyo Jihen – Nodoteki 3punkan (2009)
290. CureaL – Ichigo Biyori (2010)

291. little by little – Kanashimi o Yasashisa ni (2003)
292. Ikeda Ayako – Prism (2007)
293, Makino Yui – Undine (2005)
294. Round Table feat. Nino – rainbow (2005)
295. marble – Violet (2009)
296. KOTOKO – SHOOTING STAR (2002)
297. Matsushita Moeco – Ame Agari (2001)
298. Fukuda Mai – Tenshi no Yubikiri (1998)
299. Melocure – Meguriai (2003)
300. Little Viking – FUTURE (2002)

301. Kakoi Miku – Digidigi lala (2009)
302. Ohashi Trio – We’re Waiting (2008)
303. melody. – Close Your Eyes (2006)
304. AZU – CHERISH (2008)
305. BAGDAD CAFE THE trench town – Sweet Memory (2006)
306. Youmou to Ohana – Hare nochi Hare (2009)
307. Kawamura Yuka – Yūhi ga Shizundara (2003)
308. Koda Kumi – hands (2005)
309. MINMI – Ai no Mi (2004)
310. Amuro Namie – Baby Don’t Cry (2007)

  • I discovered Kakoi Miku when she was one of the artists on the bill of a random live I attended. Very taken by her stage presence.
  • melody. is better known as Miyavi’s wife these days.
  • I will always regret not seeing more of Youmou to Ohana live – vocalist Chiba Hana passed away from breast cancer in 2015 at the age of 36, which came as a shock to me. Anime fans may recognize the duo for their song Sekai wa Odoru yo, Kimi to. that was used as the Ikoku Meiro no Croisee OP.

311. Momoiro Clover Z – Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimitachi yo (2012)
312. Negoto – Mercy Lou (2009)
313. GO!GO!7188 – C7 (2001)
314. TK from Ling Tosite Sigure – unravel (2014)
315. Nirgilis – 24 Searchlight (2006)
316. can/goo – Kokoro no Uta (2004)
317. [iksi:d] – Jounetsu (2002)
318. Strawberry Jam – Kasabuta with “TANBARIN” (2002)
319. Tsubokura Yuiko – Ao no Requiem (2002)
320. Kyoko – Mirai Seiki Maruhi Club (2000)

321. Flying Kids – Boku de aru Tame ni (1996)
322. JUDY AND MARY – Sobakasu (1996)
323. Curio – Kimi ni Fureru dake de (1998)
324. Pierrot – Barairo no Sekai (2003)
325. Keno – Ohayou (2000)
326. 7!! – Bye Bye (2011)
327. The Scanty – I Love You (2002)
328. Arimachi Masahiko – Through the Night (1998)
329. Tokuyama Hidenori – FOR REAL (2000)
330. Salia – Trust (2000)

Older rock anisong.

331. W-inds. – Shiki (2004)
332. V6 – Dasenai Tegami (2001)
333. Sakuraba Yuichiro (Nagase Tomoya) – Omae yanai to Akannen (2003)
334. KinKi Kids – Jōnetsu (2001)
335. D-51 – Dreamin’ on (2004)
336. Arashi – A.RA.SHI (1999)
337. SMAP – Lion Heart (2000)
338. Breath – Kimi o Machi Tsuzuketeita (2003)
339. Hirai Ken – Hitomi o Tojite (2004)
340. Kiyokiba Shunsuke – Itsuka… (2005)

The boy-band 10, or so I tried. Was always partial to a bit of cheesy Johnny’s dancing.

341. The Folk Crusaders – Kanashikute Yarikirenai (1968)
342. Minami Saori – 17sai (1971)
343. Yuki Saori – Ikigai (1970)
344. Tulip – Seishun no Kage (1974)
345. Yamaguchi Momoe – Ii Hi Tabidachi (1978)
346. Candies – Haru Ichiban (1976)
347. Asada Miyoko – Akai Fūsen (1973)
348. Kubota Saki – Ihōjin (1979)
349. Pink Lady – S.O.S (1976)
350. Ishikawa Sayuri – Amagigoe (1986)

Some of these classics I discovered through other artists’ cover versions, like Ihojin (through Ishii Tatsuya) and Akai Fusen (through the Indigo).

351. I-lulu – Garasu no Hitomi (2006)
352. Azuma Maki – Kimi e (2003)
353. ao – Kotoba no Tokei (2005)
354. Angela Aki – Tegami ~Haikei, 15 no Kimi e~ (2008)
355. Tsuji Shion – Digital Mode (2010)
356. CORE OF SOUL – Hello Hello ~another star~ (2006)
357. Yamaguchi Yuko – believe (1999)
358. Kato Izumi – Blue (2006)
359. Okumura Hatsune – Koi, Hanabi (2007)
360. Nakamura Ataru – Tomodachi no Uta (2006)

361. Black Biscuits – Timing (1998)
362. Koyanagi Yuki – Be alive (2000)
363. MAY – Sarai no Kaze (2006)
364. Nakashima Mika – Yuki no Hana (2003)
365. LOVE PSYCHEDELICO – I will be with you (2001)
366. Okamoto Mayo – TOMORROW (1995)
367. Kayo Aiko – Hitomi no Naka no Meikyū (2003)
368. HAL – the starry sky (2001)
369. Matsu Takako – Koishihito (2001)
370. D-LOOP – Morning Mist (2004)

371. Magokoro Brothers – Dear, Summer Friend (2004)
372. Suzuki Keiichi to Moonriders – Anoko no Love Letter (1976)
373. TETSU69 – Shinkirou (2002)
374. YOUR SONG IS GOOD – Wahwah Boogie Boogie (2006)
375. LAST ALLIANCE – Akai Hana (2006)
376. TRIBAL CHAIR – brave new world (2005)
377. tobaccojuice – Triangle (2005)
378. Dirty Old Men – Kokoro no Kasa (2010)
379. roly poly rag bear – orange colored sky (2003)
380. Sambomaster – Tegami ~Kitaru beki Ongaku toshite~ (2006)

381. Kimura Yumi – Inochi no Namae (2001)
382. RIKKI – Suteki da ne (2001)
383. Inoue Azumi – Kimi o Nosete (1988)
384. Chiba Saeko – Ice Cream (2003)
385. Sakamoto Maaya – Platina (1999)
386. Okui Masami – Rondo -Revolution- (1997)
387. Okazaki Ritsuko – For Fruits Basket (2001)
388. Tamura Naomi – Yuzurenai Negai (1994)
389. Arisaka Mika – Yume o Sugite mo (1999)
390. Iwao Junko – Scarlet (2000)

391. Masayoshi Minoshima feat. Nomico – Bad Apple (2007)
392, MOSAIC.WAV – Saikyō x Keikaku (2006)
393. Team Nekokan – Airman ga Taosenai! (2007)
394. Team UD – Rambling Feather (2006)
395. ave;new Project feat. Sakakibara Yui – Sukissu Steady Kiss (2009)
396. ave;new feat Sakura Saori – Awayuki (2007)
397. Erio o Kamatte-chan – Os-Uchūjin (2011)
398. Takagaki Ayahi – Kigurumi Wakusei (2010)
399. Inoue Marina – Dokkyun Heart (2009)
400. fripSide NAO project! – Wireless Cosmic (2008)

Tagged: Denpa/annoying/meme songs. I lost all my enthusiasm for Anisama a long time ago but will never regret that random year I went & saw Nomico performing Bad Apple…8 years ago.

401. Momotsuki Gakuen 1nen D-gumi (Kadowaki Maii, Nabatame Hitomi, Sawashiro Miyuki, Shintani Ryoko, Matsuki Miyu) – Moonlight Love (2005)
402. Zetsubo Shojotachi (Tanii Asuka, Sanada Asami, Goto Yuko, Matsuki Miyu) – Koiji Romanesque (2008)
403. Kugimiya Rie, Horie Yui, Kitamura Eri – Orange (2009)
404. Sato Rina, Inoue Marina, Chihara Minori – Keikenchi Jōshochū (2007)
405. Akasaki Chinatsu, Tamura Mutsumi – Kill Me no Baby! (2012)
406. MAKO, Endo Aya, Makino Yui – Sora wa Shojo no Tomodachi sa (2009)
407. Sakurako K-ON Bu (Hikasa Yoko) – Don’t say “lazy” (2009)
408. Sato Rina, Kanda Akemi, Nonaka Ai, Kobayashi Yu – 1000% SPARKING (2006)
409. Goku. Rakujokai ((Sakura Ayane, Koiwai Kotori, Yamamoto Nozomi, Nanjo Yoshino, Goto Saori)) – Oato ga Yoroshikutte…yo! (2012)
410. Need Cool Quality – Kodoku Signal (2014)

Female seiyuu units for specific anime.

411. See-Saw – Tasogare no Umi (2003)
412. Shimokawa Mikuni – tomorrow (2002)
413. AKINO – Sōsei no Aquarion (2005)
414. the Indigo – Na mo Shirenu Hana (2002)
415. éf [Orikasa Fumiko] – Koi Kaze (2004)
416. Hana*Hana –Kaze no Hana (2003)
417. Bana – Shell (2002)
418. Yonekura Chihiro – FRIENDS (1999)
419. Suara – Musouka (2006)
420. Mizuki Nana – innocent starter (2004)

421. FictionJunction YUUKA – Akatsuki no Kuruma (2004)
422. Hikita Kaori – Michiyuki (2005)
423. Kalafina – Hikari no Senritsu (2010)
424. Tanaka Rie – Fields of Hope (2004)
425. Chiba Saeko – Sayonara Solitia (2004)
426. See-Saw – Yasashii Yoake (2003)
427. FictionJunction KEIKO – Kaze no Machi e (2005)
428. Makino Yui – you are my love (2005)
429. Seki Tomokazu – Shoot (2003)
430. Kuwashima Houko – Shinkai no Kodoku (2005)

This would be the Kajiura Yuki vocal tracks pick. Notably, only one of her compositions has ever been sung by a male – seiyuu Seki Tomokazu as part of the Gundam SEED charasong series (he voices Yzak Joule)

431. Chiaki Naomi – Kassai (1972)
432. Nakayama Chinatsu – Anata no Kokoro ni (1969)
433. Takeuchi Mariya – Junai Rhapsody (1994)
434. Sugar Babe – Down Town (1975)
435. Checkers – Anoko to Scandal (1985)
436. Yano Akiko – Kuma (1976)
437. Matsutoya Yumi – Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta nara (1974)
438. Mayuzumi Jun – Tenshi no Yūwaku (1968)
439. GARO – Chikyū wa Merry-go-round (1972)
440. Ozaki Kiyohiko – Mata Au Hi made (1971)

441. Bianco Nero – Shokichi -Jōkyo-hen- (2005)
442. Fureai – Fushigi na Hito (2001)
443. Ōhata Yūichi – Itsumo no Coffee (2004)
444. Utamaro – Kagerō (2006)
445. Keitaku – Negai (2005)
446. Fujioka Masaaki – Kirisame (2005)
447. Gentouki – Minami Hankyū (2001)
448. Okano Hironori – Lemonade (2007)
449. CANCION – ZERO (2006)
450. Hirosawa Tadashi – Niji no Tsuzuki (2007)

Male singer-songwriter acoustic ballads.

451. No Regret Life – Nishimuki (2006)
452. Aobouzu – Mabuta no Ura ni wa (2005)
453. B-Dash – Cho (2002)
454. Charcoal Filter – Kodoku na Taiyō (2001)
455. WRONG SCALE – End of Pain (2003)
456. TRICERATOPS – Bokura no Ippo (2006)
457. doa – Uzumaku Yozora (2004)
458. LOVE LOVE LOVE – Planetarium (2010)
459. ELLEGARDEN – Yubiwa (2002)
460. STRAIGHTENER – Tender (Title Version) (2005)

461. Aqua Timez – Niji (2008)
462. Def Tech – Canción de la Expansión (2006)
463. Monkey Majik + Yoshida Kyodai – Change (2007)
464. mihimaru GT – Tsuyoku Tsuyoku (2006)
465. Aoyama Thelma feat SoulJa – Soba ni iru ne (2008)
466. RSP – Kansha. (2008)
467. Kreva feat Kusano Masamune (Spitz) – Kureba ii no ni (2007)
468. GReeeeN – Kimi Omoi (2008)
469. FUNKY MONKEY BABYS – Mou Kimi ga Inai (2007)
470. SEAMO with Bennie K – A Love Story (2005)

Vaguely rap/hip-hop-themed.

471. Chihara Minori – Aoi Kotō (2008)
472. fripSide – only my railgun (2009)
473. angela – Asu e no brilliant road (2003)
474. Misato Aki – Kuchibiru Daydream (2006)
475. Inoue Marina – beautiful story (2007)
476. Ishida Yoko – White destiny (2003)
477. Maeda Aki – Minna ga Ii ne (2000)
478. Takahashi Yoko – metamorphose (2004)
479. Yokoyama Chisa – Renai no Sainou (1994)
480. Suzuki Yume – Sore demo Ashita wa Yatte kuru (1995)

I have never liked that other massive Takahashi Yoko hit; it’s just one of those songs that never failed to irritate me. Same can be said of other anisong classics like Digimon’s Butterfly, Tenchi’s Boku wa Motto Pioneer or Cowboy Bebop’s Tank!

481. Sekaiichi – Niji (2006)
482. plane – disco Mou Aenai (2008)
483. Psycho le Cemu – Omoide Aruki (2004)
484. Remioromen – Konayuki (2005)
485. Suneohair with Azumi (Wyolica) – happy end (2005)
486. Sid – Uso (2009)
487. B’z – FOREVER MINE (2004)
488. BUMP OF CHICKEN – Planetarium (2005)
489. SOPHIA – One Summer Day (2005)
490. TRIPLANE – Dear friends (2006)

491. Hanazawa Kana – Renai Circulation (2010)
492. Tainaka Sachi – Saikō no Kataomoi (2006)
493. Sphere – Moon Signal (2010)
494. Ceui – Sōai Calendula (2013)
495. KEYTALK – Ouka Ranman (2015)
496. UNISON SQUARE GARDEN – Sugar Song to Bitter Step (2015)
497. Sakamoto Maaya – Korekara (2015)
498. Ishikawa Chiaki – Prototype (2008)
499. Miyano Mamoru – Boku no Heroine (2015)
500. Hikita Kaori – Kumori Glass no Mukō (2009)

501. EXILE – Hane 1/2 (2003)
502. Sato Chikuzen – Kyō mo kimi ni koi shita (2005)
503. Koda Kumi – Come With Me (2003)
504. PUSHIM – FRESH! (2005)
505. canapecco – Teddy (2006)
506. J Soul Brothers – Fuyu Monogatari (2013)
507. Jasmine – sad to say (2009)
508. Suzuki Masayuki & Shimatani Hitomi – Futari de Iijanai (2007)
509. Santara – Taiyō (2004)
510. Sowelu – Last Forever (2004)

I used to be a massive fan of EXILE when Shun was still in the group – I never felt like Takahiro matched up with Atsushi as well as Shun did, and Hane 1/2 is the best example of why. I watched the video of that medley of songs the pair did during a reunion performance at Atsushi’s live last year and like most of the crowd (and Atsushi himself), I was in tears throughout.

511. APOGEE – Spacy Blues (2008)
512. Toddle – Hesitate to see (2005)
513. Chirinuruwowaka – Hanamuke (2005)
514. LOSTAGE – Tanemaku Hitobito (2006)
515. Oceanlane – Sign (2005)
516. detroit7 – Raymond (2005)
517. Spangle call Lilli line – rara (2010)
518. Hirama Mikio – Serifu (2005)
519. Bugy Craxone – 11gatsu (2004)
520. Tsubaki – Memai (2005)

  • Tsubaki were one of the earlier melodic Jrock bands I got into during my uni days. Sadly vocalist Isshiki Noriyasu succumbed to brain cancer in 2017, an ailment he had been suffering from since 2010.
  • Usually abhor the terrifying attempts by Japanese bands to Engrish (re: Beat Crusaders etc) but Oceanlane were different, because singer Kay Naoe is half-English.

521. Takahashi Mikako – Negai no Toki (2003)
522. Ishikawa Chiaki – Uninstall (2007)
523. Faylan – AROUSING SOUL (2009)
524. Hashimoto Miyuki – innocence (2005)
525. Chiba Saeko & Nanri Yuuka – Without you (2005)
526. Tomatsu Haruka – motto Hade ni ne! (2008)
527. Sphere – Now loading…SKY!! (2010)
528. eufonius – Bokura no Jikan (2005)
529. Ceui – Centifolia (2009)
530. Atsumi Saori – Mou sukoshi…mou sukoshi… (2003)

Another group of much-loved songs from anisong artists, seiyuu and the like. Though some of them remind me of series I’d rather forget, like Takahashi’s ending theme from L/R: Licensed by Royal, which probably ranks amongst the 10 worst anime I’ve had the displeasure of completing. Back in those days, you watched whatever was fansubbed – beggars can’t afford to be choosy.

531. Idoling!!! – Queen Bee~Shōjo no Jidai kara~ (2011)
532. Afilia Saga – Embrace Blade (2015)
533. AKB48 – Koisuru Fortune Cookie (2013)
534. BoA – LISTEN TO MY HEART (2002)
535. Dream – Kono Natsu ga Owaru Mae ni (2005)
536. Move – silent white? (2000)
537. Utada Hikaru – Automatic (1998)
538. Speed – my graduation (1998)
539. Sugawara Sayuri – Kimi ga Iru kara (2009)
540. Perfume – love the world (2008)

  • This was supposed to be a female idol-centric theme but as you can see, I ran out of selections pretty fast. Never understood Momusu or things like that 20 years ago so not much has changed there.
  • The Idoling!!! song came at the peak of the Hallyu wave in Japan and was pretty much, the most Kpop thing not made by a Kpop group. It was written by Sweetune, for one thing.
  • Koisuru Fortune Cookie is one of only two AKB48 songs I can claim to like – the other being Sugar Rush.
  • And of course BoA was my introduction to Kpop even though her style was so distinctively urban Jpop
  • Perfume’s love the world was my ringtone (on my old HTC) for a long while.

541. Horishita Sayuri – honey (2004)
542. Fairlife feat. Kishitani Kaori – Niji (2004)
543. Matsukura Saori – Choucho. (2006)
544. Hoshimura Mai – Sunao ni Narenai (2005)
545. Kanno Yoko & Kiyoura Natsumi – Obento o Tabenagara (2009)
546. Youmou to Ohana – Yureru (2008)
547. Nakano Yoshie – Soleil (2008)
548. dorlis x Toki Asako – Room 305 (2010)
549. BONNIE PINK – Water Me (2007)
550. I’s CUBE – Hane (2008)

551. Noto Mamiko – Yūgao (2004)
552. Kotobuki Minako – Hikari no Kage (2009)
553. Horie Yui – Andante (2005)
554. Ueda Kana – FLOWER IN THE DARK (2005)
555. Kuribayashi Minami – Hoshizora no Waltz (2003)
556. Ohara Sayaka – ray of light (2004)
557. Hirano Aya – Doushite… (2006)
558. Ueda Kana, Horie Yui, Tamura Yukari – Compass ~Egao no Yukue~ (2005)
559. Tamura Yukari – Hanbun (2005)
560. Kawaragi Shiho – Rin to, Rin to (2006)

Character songs-centric (do play spot the ancient forgotten series!). Somehow there ended up being quite a few Ueda Kana-featuring tracks (well, 4) in this list overall. Guess she was just the flavour of the day back then thanks to Fate/stay night etc

561. Haisuinonasa – Aru Yoru no Kokyū (2012)
562. Schroeder-Headz – Blue Bird (2014)
563. Kotringo – Konnichiwa Mata Ashita (2007)
564. Singer Songer – Shoka Rinrin (2005)
565. YUKI – Dramatic (2005)
566. Cocco – Dugong no Mieru Oka ni (2005)
567. Rurutia – Selenite (2005)
568. MAMALAID RAG – Harusame Dōchū (2002)
569. L’arc~en~ciel – Hitomi no Jūnin (2004)
570. the pillows – Ice Pick (2007)

571. Arai Akino – VOICES (1994)
572. Tane Tomoko – Love Song (1998)
573. Honda Minako – Kaze no Uta (1999)
574. Jinguji Sakura & Teikoku Kagekidan – Yume Mite Iyou (2000)
575. Kotobuki Minako – metamorphose (2010)
576. Takagaki Ayahi – LIFE (2009)
577. Toyama Nao – Koko kara Hajimaru Monogatari (2011)
578. Hayami Saori – Yume no Hate made (2017)
579. mao – Sentiment (2010)
580. Aina – Yasashii Sayonara (2005)

Hayami’s song is one of the newest songs on the list. It’s the best song Takeuchi Mariya’s written in years, that she really should’ve kept for herself.

581. Kiroro – Mirai e (1998)
582. day after tomorrow – for you (2002)
583. Mizuki Arisa – Hitomi no Chikara (2002)
584. Atsumi Saori – Ashita ni Nareba (2006)
585. Jungle Smile – Dakishimetai (2001)
586. Onitsuka Chihiro – Sign (2003)
587. Ono Mayumi – See Saw (2005)
588. Naja – 5 [Five] (2003)
589. Kiyoura Natsumi – Kaze Sagashi (2007)
590. Every Little Thing – nostalgia (2002)

591. Love Psychedelico – This is a Love Song (2002)
592. Hysteric Blue – Naze… (1999)
593. the brilliant green – There will be love there ~Ai no Aru Basho~ (1998)
594. Nishihata Saori – Hearts (2001)
595. Sleepin’ JohnnyFish – Radio Jack (2003)
596. Scudelia Electro – Sha la la (2002)
597. Kurosawa Kenichi – Pale Ale (2001)
598. Changin’ My Life – Eternal Snow (2002)
599. Shifo from UNIVERS★LD – Real (1999)
600. BUCK-TICK – Kuchizuke (2010)

601. Atari Kosuke – Natsu Yūzora (2008)
602. Moriyama Naotaro – Kachōfūgetsu (2010)
603. Nagayama Shōta – Arigatō (2006)
604. Kawaguchi Kyogo – Suiyobi no Asa (2004)
605. Kumaki Anri – Haru no Kaze (2007)
606. Kawae Minako – Shiawase (2005)
607. Ohnuki Taeko – Anata o Omou to (2001)
608. Hajime Chitose – Miyori no Mori (2007)
609. SAKURANBO – Poroporo (2005)
610. Hikawa Kiyoshi – Omokage no Miyako (2005)

Ah, I didn’t know where to tack on the one and only contemporary enka song I love…it still sticks out like a sore thumb. 

611. riya – Dianoia (2004)
612. Veil x Lia – Tazunebito (2008)
613. Duca – platonic syndrome (2009)
614. Hashimoto Miyuki – Star Drops (2007)
615. Chata – Kawari yuku Sekai no Tame ni (2006)
616. Marie – Seikōtōtei (2009)
617. Misato Aki – Montage (2004)
618. Kotera Kanako – Cry for me, cry for you (2007)
619. Murata Ayumi – Shining Star (2004)
620. KAKO – Junka (2007)

Eroge themes. I got into these through playing Stepmania to relieve the monotony of doing my uni dissertation.

621. Katakiri Rekka x Shimotsuki Haruka [MW] – Tamashii no Dōkoku (2009)
622. UR@N – refrain moon (2007)
623. eufonius – Narcissus (2005)
624. Chata – Shizai Senri~Koihime Yobite Hyakka no Ou to Nasu (2007)
625. Faylan – Gekka no Rasen (2007)
626. Ayumu – Occultics no Majo (2009)
627. Yuna – Towarebito (2006)
628. flair – Subarashii Sekai (2005)
629. Nakahara Suzuka – Remember (2006)
630. yozuca* – My wish = Only one (2010)

Mostly eroge/game themes. flair’s is a song written by Koshiro Yuzo for the Namco X Capcom game.

631. Chano – Kimi to Watashi o Tsunagu Mono (2010)
632. 40mp – Natsukoi Hanabi (2010)
633. fhána – kotonoha breakdown (2012)
634. Fullkawa Honpo (feat. Kikuchi Ryota) – Storywriter (2013)
635. Sasanomaly – Kyokankaku Obake (2015)
636. Duca – Ai no Niwa (2007)
637. Marie – Clover Heart’s (2003)
638. Yuria – Koe ga Kikoeru ~Calling You~ (2007)
639. Nana – Be_Natural (2006)
640. KAORI – Tenmu no Mai, Akatsuki no Mon (2005)

  • Mix of more eroge songs and doujin music.
  • I’d gotten into fhána through kotonoha breakdown, which featured the vocal of Naka Makiko from Tornado Tatsumaki. The EP it was taken off (New World Line) was from before the group hired towana as a fixed vocalist and went major. Not trying to be a snob or whatever but their music now doesn’t appeal to me as much – too much polish and overproduction; I prefer a more understated, stripped-down sound.
  • Storywriter is one of those songs that makes me feel depressed upon listening, even if the lyrical content isn’t particularly sad. It’s a pity Fullkawa has been in semi-hiatus mode since 2015

641. Ishii Tatsuya – River (2003)
642. SOX – B-chiku Sentai SOX (2015)
643. Onmyoza – Kōga Ninpōchō (2005)
644. GRANRODEO – Hen’ai no Rondo (2013)
645. UVERworld – D-tecnolife (2005)
646. Stereo Dive Foundation – Daisy (2013)
647. Takahashi Naozumi – Muteki na Smile (2006)
648. Ide Yasuaki – Reckless Fire (2001)
649. wyse – Kokoro no Sukima (2002)
650. Kotani Kinya – Glaring Dream (2000)

Grab bag of anime themes. Glaring Dream is from Gravitation, which represented my first taste of anything LGBT in anime.

651. 9nine – Cross Over (2010)
652. TRUSTRICK – Flying Fafnir (2015)
653. ZAQ – hopeness (2016)
654. ELISA – hikari (2008)
655. ClariS – Connect (2011)
656. Aimer – Anata ni Deawanakereba~Kasetsutōka~ (2012)
657. Kon Natsumi – Niji no Kakera (2014)
658. AKINO from bless4 – Miiro (2015)
659. Avaivartika – Sky5 (2015)
660. Origa – Mizu no Madoromi (2004)

Some of my ‘newer’ anisong favourites (apart from Origa I suppose). Though anything within the last 10 years seems ‘new’ to me….

661. tiaraway – Omoide good night (2004)
662. savage genius – Itsuka Tokeru Namida (2006)
663. Suzuki Tatsuhisa – Towayuki (2006)
664. Cell Division (Suzuki Tatsuhisa & Hatano Wataru) – Sweet Depression (2007)
665. Brace;d – Devotion (2006)
666. Tanisaki Naomi – Daisuki dayo (Into Your Heart) (2004)
667. Saegusa U-ka in db – Whenever I think of you (2002)
668. Under17 – Kujibiki Unbalance (2004)
669. Miko Twins (Kadowaki Mai & Matsuki Miyu) – just for my love (2005)
670. Makishima Yuki, Yoshikawa Yukako & Fujita Saki – Himitsu (2007)

These were all tracks that I loved when they were released, but I had not listened to for a very long time. Some not in 10 years! Really loved Sweet Depression, released back when I thought 90% of male seiyuu sang dreadfully – how times have changed.

671. More Peach Summer Snow (Noto Mamiko, Ikezawa Haruna, Saito Chiwa, Hirohashi Ryo) – Gaburingo Kajiri Tai (2005)
672. Saito Chiwa – Kami to Hairpin to Watashi (2006)
673. Kondo Takashi – Hitori Bocchi no Unmei (2007)
674. Eclipse (Tomatsu Haruka, Hayami Saori, Nakajima Megumi) – nO limiT (2009)
675. Chiba Saeko, Orikasa Fumiko, Kawasumi Ayako, Noto Mamiko – Ichigo Complete (2005)
676. Inoue Marina – Bara no Hitsugi (2006)
677. Horie Yui, Nonaka Ai, Inoue Marina, Hirano Aya, Fujita Saki – A Happy Life (2007)
678. Sphere – Hazy (2011)
679. Sasaki Nozomi – Futari no Kisetsu ga (2006)
680. Toyoguchi Megumi – Gindokei (2005)

  • More character and seiyuu unit songs.
  • More Peach Summer Snow has always been my favourite seiyuu idol unit name as it’s named after the characters: Moa + Momo(ka) + Natsu(mi) + (Ko)yuki. The lyrics also played around with those themes
  • Some songs instantly make your heart soar due to the memories they evoke and that final EP seiyuu cast’s cover of A Happy Life is one example. Manabi Straight! was truly something special to me at the time.

681. NakamuraEmi – YAMABIKO (2016)
682. haruka nakamura – Luv (sic) pt2 [acoustica] w/ Shing02 (2013)
683. amarazashi – Anomie (2011)
684. Tanimura Nao – If I’m not the one (2008)
685. REIRA starring YUNA ITO – endless story (2005)
686. Flower – Still (2011)
687. Amuro Namie – WANT ME, WANT ME (2005)
688. Yusuke – Himawari (2009)
689. Asia Engineer – Eternal Pose (2005)
690. AZU – Jikan yo Tomare (feat. SEAMO) (2008)

691. Shiggy Jr. – Summer Time Love (2015)
692. Frederic – Oddloop (2014)
693. Kimonos – Yureru (2010)
694. PLASTIC GIRL IN CLOSET — Magic Word (2012)
695. Shibuya Keiichiro feat. Ohta Rina – Sacrifice (2012)
696. Soutaiseiriron + Shibuya Keiichiro – Our Music (2010)
697. FOX CAPTURE PLAN – Shissō suru Senkō (2014)
698. la la larks – end of refrain (2014)
699. Awesome City Club – Outsider (2015)
700. TAMTAM – Enter Key (2014)

Newer indie music, though some of them have gone major.

701. Morita Koichi & Top Gallant – Seishun Jidai (1976)
702. Watanabe Machiko – Kuchibiru yo, Atsuku Kimi o Katare (1980)
703. Matsuyama Chihiro – Koi (1980)
704. The Wild Ones – Omoide no Nagisa (1966)
705. Sakakibara Ikue – Natsu no Ojōsan (1978)
706. Signal – 20sai no Meguriai (1976)
707. Ishida Ayumi – Blue Night Yokohama (1968)
708. Moriyama Ryoko – Kinjirareta Koi (1969)
709. Mori Shinichi – Minatomachi Blues (1969)
710. Pinky & Killers – Koi no Kisetsu (1969)

A few more folk and classic pop songs. Music was so innocent back then, ugly old dudes regularly appeared on TV and idols could actually sing…ah.

711. Suzuki Konomi – DAYS of DASH (2012)
712. SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:mizuki – aLIEz (2014)
713. Kitade Nana – Kesenai Tsumi (2003)
714. Taneda Risa – Wareta Ringo (2013)
715. fhána – Que Sera Sera (2013)
716. Itou Kanako – Fetishism Ark (2010)
717. Mizuhara Mai from Harajuku BJ Girls – Brand New Morning (2006)
718. binaria (Yanagi Nagi + annabel) – Kamiiro Awase (2016)
719. Suara – Hikari no Kisetsu (2006)
720. Takahashi Hitomi – Atashi no Machi, Ashita no Machi (2008)

  • Anisong tracks by female vocalists of the upbeat variety.
  • the mizuki with Sawano is from the indie band Itsue who feature somewhere else on this list
  • I was so uninterested in seiyuu at the time Shin Sekai Yori aired that I didn’t even know Taneda Risa was a seiyuu and not a singer w
  • Of course, Mizuhara Mai is now better known as the singer from GARNiDELiA.

721. Nishiwaki Yui – Kimi ga Iru kara… (1998)
722. Kasahara Hiroko – Condition Green~Kinkyū Hasshin~ (1990)
723. Iwasaki Hiromi – Touch (1985)
724. Maekawa Yoko – Cutie Honey (1973)
725. Hashimoto Ushio – Kokoro no Tobira (1985)
726. Terada Keiko – Thank you, love (1996)
727. TOM CAT – LOVE SONG (1985)
728. Matsuzawa Yumi – Asu no Egao no Tame ni (2000)
729. MIO – Mieru Darō Byston Well (1983)
730. Moriguchi Hiroko – ETERNAL WIND ~Hohoemi Hikaru Kaze no Naka~ (1991)

Anisong classics! Maybe it’s a stretch to call the Gate Keepers OP a classic when it’s only 18 years old…

731. whoo – Diary (feat Kakin) (2013)
732. Honeyworks – Boku ga Namae o Yobu Hi (feat. Gumi) (2015)
733. Honeyworks – Tokyo Summer Session feat. CHiCO (2015)
734. Mimimeme MIMI – Tentekomai (2015)
735. Absolute Castaway (Nakae Mitsuki) – Konpeitō Retrochika (2014)
736. H△G – Hoshimiru Koro o Sugite mo (2012)
737. Kano – Ima o Kakeru Shojo (2016)
738. Mili – Ikutoshitsuki (2017)
739. Shimotsuki Haruka & Nakae Mitsuki – mirage (2015)
740. yuxuki waga (s10rw) – Ashita e feat. towana (2012)

Doujin & utaite.

741. Field of View – Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku (1996)
742. Kids Alive – Bokura no Bōken (2001)
743. Sakai Mikio – Wonderful Life (2003)
744. Luck Life – Namae o Yobu yo (2016)
745. VELTPUNCH – Crawl (2008)
746. Vivian or Kazuma – Moment (2003)
747. SIAM SHADE – Life (2001)
748. Base Ball Bear – changes (2008)
749. ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION – Rewrite (2004)
750. II MIX DELTA – Toki o Koete (2007)

Mixed bag of rock-oriented anisong with the exception of the SIAM SHADE that got tacked on to follow-up lead singer Kazuma’s collab with Taiwanese talent Vivian Hsu for Gundam Seed.

751. Kamaboiler – Asa (2005)
752.Super Butter Dog – Sayonara COLOR (2005)
753. Thoroughblend – Yūgure Densha (2005)
754. Nakada Yuji – Shunrai (2012)
755. Merengue – Kimi ni Haru o Omou (2005)
756. redballoon – Ano Hi no Gogo (2005)
757. TRICERATOPS with May J – Startin’ Lovin’ (2010)
758. Quruli – Mahou no Jūtan (2010)
759. Spitz – Masayume (2004)
760. Yura Yura Teikoku – Machibito (2001)

761. Oku Hanako – Yasashii Hito (2006)
762. aiko – Koi no Super Ball (2011)
763. Yukawa Shione – Midori no Arch (2005)
764. Shono Juli – Kagerou (2005)
765. Shiina Ringo – Gips (2000)
766. suitcase rhodes – Shiroi Hanabira (2002)
767. tommy february6 – Lonely in Gorgeous (2005)
768. Chocolat & Akito – Tobira (2012)
769. Stereopony – Namida no Mukō (2009)
770. Dew – Night Wind (2007)

771. Makihara Noiryuki – Boku ga Ichiban Hoshikatta Mono (2004)
772. Bebechio – Namidabashi (2003)
773. Omori Yohei – Glider (1999)
774. Natural Punch Drunker – Shiori (2005)
775. haru x Daniel Powter – Find My Way (2008)
776. GACKT – Kimi ni Aitakute (2005)
777. HYDE – evergreen (2001)
778. Thmlues – Chinmoku no Kotoba (2005)
779. Suemitsu & the Suemith – Allegro Cantabile (2007)
780. Something ELse – Natsu Uta (2004)

781. Omigawa Chiaki – Hatch (2011)
782. Hanazawa Kana – Kokoro no Madobe ni te (2010)
783. Toyoguchi Megumi – Daigyakuten Kiss (2005)
784. Ohara Sayaka – flower in your heart (2006)
785. Nakajima Megumi – Tooku Kimi e (2011)
786. Hirohashi Ryo, Toyoguchi Megumi, Kojima Sachiko, Kuwashima Houko, Satou Rina – BAMBOO BEAT (2006)
787. Mineral Miracle Muse (Tomatsu Haruka, M.A.O, Yamazaki Erii) – Date Time (2013)
788. Koshimizu Ami, Sato Rina, Takahashi Mikako, Ueda Kana, Nazuka Kaori – Koisoku Jet (2007)
789. Toyosaki Aki, Mizuhara Kaoru, Kugimiya Rie – Kimi e to Tsunagu Kokoro (2009)
790. Ito Shizuka (with Yahagi Sayuri, Nakao Eri, Asano Masumi) – Honjitsu, Mankai Watashi-iro! (2009)

More seiyuu unit/chara songs. It used to be that they’d hire seiyuu for their acting first and be darned if they could sing or not but nowadays, it seems to be the other way around.

791. Kikkawa You – Kikkake wa YOU! (2011)
792. Kariya Seira – Colorful World (2016)
793. Yoshizawa Kayoko – Monogatari wa Kyō Hajimaru no (feat. Sambomaster) (2016)
794. Hyadain – Choose me feat. Sasaki Sayaka (2011)
795. Nanba Shiho – Kami o kiru 8tsu no Riyū. (2012)
796. Akira Kosemura – Hajimari no Kioku (feat. Yanagi Nagi) (2016)
797. Tenkousei – Tokyo City (2012)
798. Hanae – Kamisama Hajimemashita (2012)
799. Nomiya Maki loves m-flo – Big Bang Romance (2005)
800. Nisshoku Natsuko – Coelacanth (2011)

801. Jyukai – Koibito Dōshi (2006)
802. CooRie – Sonzai (2003)
803. Tateishi Rei – Tomodachi (2004)
804. Shela – Let me be with you (2003)
805. Snow – Sakasama no Chō (2006)
806. Yuumao – Sweet Home Song (2006)
807. Yanagi Nagi – Aqua Terrarium (2013)
808. Shimokawa Mikuni – Minamikaze (2005)
809. Sawai Miku – Konna Sekai, Shiritakunakatta. (2014)
810. Yato Yuria – Sayonara (2002)

811. Baba Toshihide – Kyō mo Kimi ga Suki (2005)
812. Utamaro – Itsuka wa Waratte Utaeru Kanashii Uta (2006)
813. Yamashita Tatsuro – FOREVER MINE (2004)
814. Hamada Shogo – Kimi ni Sasageru Love Song (2003)
815. Higuchi Ryoichi – 1/6 no Yume Tabibito 2002 (2002)
816. Hirosawa Tadashi x Oshio Kotaro – Baby, it’s time (2008)
817. Kobukuro – Towa ni Tomo ni (2004)
818. Suga Shikao – Gogo no Parade (2006)
819. Sukima Switch – Zenryoku Shonen (2005)
820. Ōhata Yūichi – Toki ga Tateba (2008)

821. Every Little Thing – fragile (2001)
822. mawari – Ichigo Milk (2000)
823. the Indigo – SHE SAID (2001)
824. DREAMS COME TRUE – Osaka LOVER (2007)
825. Alan – Ashita e no Sanka (2007)
826. Callin’ – Futari de (2006)
827. Itou Kanako – Sign (2005)
828. marhy – Hitomi no Tobira (2002)
829. Shiratori Maika – Aitai (2007)
830. Yusa Mimori – Cocoa (2000)

831. Sakamoto Maaya – Hemisphere (2002)
832. Kawada Mami – Hishoku no Sora (2005)
833. kukui – Concordia (2007)
834. Oshima Hiroyuki feat. Katakiri Rekka – why, or why not (2006)
835. annabel – Yoru no Kuni (2015)
836. Aimer x Chelly – ninelie (2016)
837. Shiraishi Ryoko – Kirari Futari (2009)
838. Saneyoshi Isako – Kaerimichi (2005)
839. Inoue Kikuko – jewelry (2005)
840. Yamamoto Maria – snow flower (2001)

841. Takahashi Hiroki – Chichi o Moge! More Moge version (2003)
842. G.addict (Kaji Yuki, Abe Atsushi, Terashima Takuma, Horie Kazuma) – signal (2009)
843. Sugiyama Noriaki – Pub’tte GO! (2009)
844. Fukuyama Jun, Ono Daisuke, Kamiya Hiroshi – Matsuge ni LOCK (2015)
845. Kirii Daisuke – Itsumo Soba ni (2006)
846. Suzuki Tatsuhisa & Takagaki Ayahi – Onigokko Rhapsody (2011)
847. Yasumoto Hiroki & Inoue Marina – Wagahai wa Shugoju de aru, ka? (2008)
848. Ono Daisuke, Chihara Minori – Curry no Uta (2009)
849. KENN – Dokuritsu Doppo (2016)
850. Seki Tomokazu, Miyata Kouki, Takahashi Naozumi – Haruka, Kimi no Moto e.. (2004)

Anisong chara singles featuring guys. Chichi o Moge is my favourite song to piss people off with at karaoke!

851. the pillows – TRIP DANCER (1996)
852. Bump of Chicken – Hybrid Rainbow (2004)
853. the band apart – Circles and Lines (2006)
854. Ling Tosite Sigure – Shandy (2010)
855. Husking Bee – Balance Yohō (2002)
856. Bacon – Butterfly (2005)
857. Suck a Stew Dry – Kasa (2012)
858. WINO – New Dawn F (2001)
859. Asai Kenichi – Kiken Sugiru (2006)
860. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Absolute Ego Dance (1979)

861. rino — Yami ni Yureru Hidamari (2006)
862. Okazaki Ritsuko – Mamoritai Hito ga Ite (2003)
863. CooRie – Yami ni Saku Hoshi no Youni (2009)
864. Iwao Junko – Yoru no Uta (1999)
865. Neriki Ryosuke – Bitter Fruits (2001)
866. Konishi Katsuyuki – REAL (2007)
867. Kitamura Eri – Rasen (2007)
868. Tomatsu Haruka – Izanai no Uta (2010)
869. yozuca* – Kirameku (2006)
870. Saito Chiwa – staple stable (2009)

Anime character, image songs, ED songs + a game theme (the Tomatsu one from Tokyo Mono Hara Shi)

871. Hora (Shibata) – Lee Dae Ho (2012)
872. Uchu Conbini – Compass (2013)
873. Kitasono Minami – Contrition (2015)
874. Ling Tosite Sigure Pierre Nakano – Animus (feat. Origa) (2014)
875. Hasunuma Shuta – Kiten (2016)
876. Akai Kouen – NOW ON RADIO (2014)
877. ayU tokiO – Koisuru Danchi (2014)
878. Towa Tei – Apple (feat Sheena Ringo) (2013)
879. Itsue – Umi e Kaeru (2012)
880. number0 – AO (2012)

Indie bands, weird music.

881. Mitsu – Acerola (2012)
882. FREENOTE – Hello Goodbye (2008)
883. nano.RIPE – Patricia (2010)
884. Hearts Grow – Kasanaru Kage (2008)
885. margarets hope* – sunny day (2003)
886. risette – Parasol (2008)
887. Zboned Zubon – Koi Zansho (2005)
888. Nichika – Atarashii Mizu (2008)
889. Abe Fuyumi – trip -Uchi e Kaero- (2008)
890. ROCO – Patchwork Lady (2009)

891. Kuroda Michihiro – Shinkyō Ranka (2005)
892. ACID BLACK CHERRY – Yes (2012)
893. LUNKHEAD – Hakudaku (2004)
894. Otona Mode – Doko ka Tooku e (2006)
895. Yum!Yum!Orange – Precious Days (2005)
896. The Rodeo Carburettor – Speed of Flow (2008)
897. 9mm Parabellum Bullet – Caucasus (2006)
898. Ono Kiyofumi – 100 Mile (2006)
899. Okuda Tamio – Sasurai (1998)
900. Sakura Merry Men – River (2006)

901. Akeboshi – Peruna (2006)
902. Yamazaki Masayoshi – Zenbu, Kimi datta. (2003)
903. Kumagai Hisatake – Pride (2007)
904. Gomes the Hitman – Jitensha de Oikoshita Kisetsu (2000)
905. Oshiba Hiroki – Nijiiro (2006)
906. Peridots – Rōdō (2006)
907. suzumoku – Tekitō ni Tōmei na Sekai (2008)
908. Gentouki – Suteki na, Ano Hito (2003)
909. Sasuke – Sotsugyō no Hi (2006)
910. Lambsey – Kimi Matsu (2006)

911. BAAD – Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai (1993)
912. TIMESLIP-RENDEZVOUS – Ushinawareta Aozora (1999)
913. dream – Get Over (2001)
914. Iijima Mari – Ai.Oboeteimasuka (1984)
915. Takahashi Hiro – Taiyō wa Mata Kagayaku Toki (1994)
916. Arai Masato – Anime ja nai~Yume o Wasureta Furui Chikyūjin yo (1986)
917. Sasaki Isao – Uchū Senkan Yamato (1974)
918. Kohiruimaki Kahoru – City Hunter ~Ai yo Kienaide~ (1987)
919. Kuwashima Houko – Toki Hanate! (1999)
920. Tsuji Ayano – Kaze ni Naru (acoustic version) (2002)

921. Hirano Aya – God knows… (2006)
922. Kuwatani Natsuko – COOL EDITION (2006)
923. Ono Daisuke – “Tsumaranai Hanashi desu yo” to Boku wa Iu (2009)
924. Suzumura Kenichi – Sorekara (2006)
925. Nonaka Ai & Koshimizu Ami – Harmonies* (2006)
926. Nogawa Sakura – Sokujin no Pandora (2009)
927. Nabatame Hitomi – crescent love ~Tsuki no Namida~ (2006)
928. Atena (Toyoguchi Megumi, Kugimiya Rie, Noto Mamiko) – 0 or ∞ -Love or Unlimited- (2004)
929. Sanada Asami – Winter Garden (2006)
930. Kikuchi Mika & Koshimizu Ami – Otome wa Do My Best deshō? (2005)

931. Arisaka Mika – Getsumei Fūkei (slow version) (2002)
932. ClariS – Hirahira Hirara (2016)
933. Kalafina – fairytale (2008)
934. Shimizu Risa – Promised Land (2015)
935. Miyamoto Shunichi – Michishirube (2003)
936. Makino Yui – Towa no Omoi (2005)
937. Yasuno Kiyono – Chiisana Hitotsubu (2017)
938. Mieno Hitomi – Dearest (2001)
939. Uchida Maaya – Mivv Dream (2016)
940. TRUE – From (2017)

941. Mizuki Nana – POWER GATE (2002)
942. Tomatsu Haruka – Nanairo Michishirube (2010)
943. Iizuka Mayumi – Sincerely (2008)
944. Okui Masami – Olive (2005)
945. Tamura Yukari – Dōwa Meikyū (2006)
946. JAM PROJECT feat Okui Masami – Little Wing (2003)
947. Park Romi – Naked flower (2007)
948. Shintani Ryoko – CANDY POP SWEET HEART (2006)
949. Tange Sakura – Chura Uta (2005)
950. Sakuma Kumi, Sendai Eri, Ueda Kana, Tsuji Ayumi – My Friend (2005)

951. Yun*chi – Wonderful Wonder World* (2014)
952. Wagakki Band – Senbonzakura (2014)
953. Taguchi Shoichi & annabel – Tōmei Answer (2015)
954. Sangatsu no Phantasia – Hana ni Yūkei (2016)
955. Omokage Lucky Hole – Atashi Dake ni Kakete (2009)
956. DAOKO x Okamura Yasuyuki – Step-Up Love (2017)
957. Q-MHZ – ‘Gomen ne’ no Cinderella (feat. Suzuki Konomi) (2016)
958. Brian the Sun – Maybe (2016)
959. angela – Sidonia (2014)
960. ONE III NOTES – Shadow and Truth (2017)

961. Yousei Teikoku – Shijun no Zankoku (2007)
962. Minagawa Junko – TRUTH (2004)
963. Sakakibara Yui – Till I can see you again (2007)
964. Nabatame Hitomi – amaranth (2006)
965. Kuribayashi Minami – Crystal Energy (2006)
966. Nakahara Mai – Konoha Biyori (2004)
967. Shimomiya Eiko – Higurashi no Naku koro ni (2006)
968. Horie Yui – Romantic Flight (2003)
969. Seto Asami – Akanezora (2013)
970. Chisuga Haruka – Momoiro Symphony (2014)

971. Fujiki Naohito – Wonderful Days (2002)
972. Tamaki Hiroshi – Seasons (2004)
973. Fukuyama Masaharu – Squall (1999)
974. Ozaki Yutaka – OH MY LITTLE GIRL (1983)
975. Oda Kazumasa – Shizuka na Basho (2005)
976. Beautiful Humming Bird – Itsuka Watashi wa (2006)
977. Nanbatatin – Zurezure Knee Socks (2014)
978. Nishiuchi Mariya – Mō Ichido (2015)
979. Leola – I & I (2016)
980. Hirai Ken – Ookina Furudokei (2002)

981. Hayashibara Megumi & Okui Masami – KUJIKENAIKARA! (1995)
982. Sasaki Yuko – Pure Snow (1999)
983. Koizumi Kyohei – Chance (2000)
984. Iwao Junko – Moshimo Koibito ga Uchūjin nara (1995)
985. Tanaka Rie & Higasayama Tsugumi – Say Over (2002)
986. Yonekura Chihiro – Winter Wish (2001)
987. Sugai Eri – Silent Wind (2001)
988. Ashihara Miki from LITTLE VOICE – Prism (2002)
989. Miura Reiko – CONFIDENCE (2004)
990. Arai Akino – Sakasama no Niji (2002)

I deliberately compiled a lot of my favourite anisong towards the end of the list overall because it reflects the fact that the ‘genre’ represents a large chunk of what I listen to in present day

991. Pirokalpin – Michi e no Dōkei (2012)
992. Kominami Yasuha – Trash (2012)
993. yucat – Bōsō Machine (2012)
994. Urban Garde – Moeteruyo (feat. Paspo) (2012)
995. Callin’ – Furui Kutsu ni Shimitsuita Komoriuta (2012)
996. Sayonara Ponytail – Natalie (2011)
997. CreepHyp – Aini (2016)
998. Lamp in Terren – Innocence (2016)
999. keeno – fix feat. Lasah (2016)
1000. MAGIC OF LiFE – Double (2016)

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2017: English Tracks

This is where the bulk of my listening went in 2017 – Youtube & Spotify rule, the album format is dead. Who’s got time to sit down for an hour to listen to a record? (my 1997 self would kill the me of 2017)

  • I’d been using my old iPhone 6 as a glorified iPod for most of the last 2 years and it finally died a couple of weeks ago so I bought an iPod Touch – my first since my Ipod (classic) 5th gen from 2005/6.
  • Headphones are unfortunately a no-go for me as I discovered when I got a Bluedio HT Bluetooth Wireless – they’re just incredibly uncomfortable & I’ve got skin issues so covering my ears up for sustained periods is not ideal. Earbuds are the only way to go for me & I currently rotate between 4 pairs depending whether I’m on the go or sat at home/in the office: Sennheiser CX 300-II, Creative EP-630, Xiaomi Mi Piston V4 Hybrids and Panasonic RP-HJE125 are what I’m using now. I tend to break a lot of these so I prioritize 1) price 2) fit 3) noise-isolation 4) bass boost in that order.
  • Genre-wise I remain all over the place but still comfortably mainstream – indie rock, electropop, soul/funk, EDM, acoustic folk, chill/ambient, country and contemporary Christian music are all represented on this list.
  • I honestly don’t follow or look out for any one artist in particular – it’s always about the songs for me. I mean, I’ve been listening to Freaky Friday a lot these past 6 months *sweatdrop*

PS please don’t mention Bodak Yellow, Passionfruit or Despacito.

1/Foster the People – Sit Next to Me
‘Feelin’ kinda tilted and I’m pourin’ out the truth’

2/Kehlani – Honey
‘I like my women like I like my money – green, a little jealous’

3/Kasabian – You’re In Love With a Psycho
“You got me walkin’ circles like a dog on a leash”

4/COIN – Boyfriend
“I don’t wanna be your boyfriend when you need a little company”

5/Capital Cities – Swimming Pool Summer
“Her eyes are laser-beaming me, Suspending all reality”

6/Charlotte Lawrence – Sleep Talking
‘Tellin’ me you’re different, but you’re just like the rest’

7/Cashmere Cat – Quit (feat. Ariana Grande)
‘We’ll fuck the pain away’

8/3LAU – Star Crossed
‘Don’t tell me that it feels like love’

9/Callum Beattie – We Are Stars
‘But something tells me you’re not quite lost without me’

10/Fickle Friends – Glue
‘Let’s stop being public, I guess we should get a room’

11/The Go! Team – Mayday
[instrumental]

12/Billie Eilish – idontwannabeyouanymore
“If teardrops could be bottled, there’d be swimming pools filled by models”

13/MercyMe – Even If
‘Oh give me the strength to be able to sing “It is well with my soul”’

14/Danielle Bradbery – Sway
‘No there ain’t nothing wrong when a song comes on that makes you wanna Sway’

15/Sheppard – Edge of the Night
‘Watching the weekend creeping closer into view, Eye of the Tiger on the highway home to you’

16/Before You Exit, Great Good Fine OK – Find Yourself
‘So don’t let someone find you until you find yourself’

17/Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Someone to Stay
“Can you keep me close, can you love me most?”

18/Dean Lewis – Need You Now
‘There’s broken bottles around me like a technicoloured hue’

19/Ruth B. – If This Is Love
“If this is love, why does it break me down, why do you break me down?”

20/Lecrae – I’ll Find You (feat. Tori Kelly)
“But when that ocean of doubt comes, don’t let me drown in my sorrow”

21/Charlie Puth – Attention
“You just want attention, you don’t want my heart”
[I actually like Puth’s latest album…God. I must be going soft…]

22/Katie Perry – Chained to the Rhythm
“Are we tone deaf? Keep sweepin’ it under the mat, thought we could do better than that”

23/Calvin Harris – Slide (feat. Frank Ocean & Migos)
“Starin’ at my diamonds while I’m hoppin’ out a spaceship, need your information, take vacation to Malaysia”

24/Felix Snow – Evening Buffalo
[instrumental]

25/Coast Modern – Dive
“So take my hand, let’s take a dive. Don’t hold your breath, we’re jumping in, dipping in the pool of life”

26/Phillip Phillips – Miles
‘Right now I need an escape from this gravity that holds me down’

27/Kiiara – Wishlist
“I’ve been riding shotgun in the silence, I love the taste of fear and Tanqueray”

28/Zara Larsson – One Mississippi
“We head for disaster, but live for the danger”

29/Sam Feldt X Lush & Simon feat. INNA – Fade Away
“I know it won’t stop if we turn the love up”

30/Joan – Love Somebody Like You
“I’m feeling emotion I wonder if you’re feeling it too”

31/French Montana – Unforgettable (feat. Swae Lee)
“It’s not gonna work for you, nobody can equal me”

32/Sasha Sloan – Runaway
“Every time I fall in love, I go and fuck it up right when it gets good”

33/Empire of the Sun – On Our Way Home
“True hearts will wipe away every tear from your eyes, there should be no more without the pain”

34/Parcels – Overnight
‘I will stand, for I’ve won again’
[produced by Daft Punk!!!!]

35/Sufjan Stevens – Mystery Of Love
“How much sorrow can I take? Blackbird on my shoulder”
[never thought I’d live to see the day Sufjan performs at the Oscars….backed by St Vincent, Moses Sumney & Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile no less]

36/The Night Game – The Outfield
“I’m getting closer, but I’m still so far away. You got me standing in the outfield”

37/VÉRITÉ – When You’re Gone
“I don’t mind you leaving when the damage is done. And I don’t mind, I feel the same when you’re gone”

38/PVRIS – What’s Wrong
“Don’t need you to tell me I’m so cynical, quit being so over-skeptical, don’t need a metaphor for you to know I’m miserable”

39/Jacob Lee – Breadcrumbs
“Haven’t seen you in a little while, and I get a bit lonely”

40/The Vamps & Maggie Lindeman – Personal
“Girl don’t take it personal, but personally I think you’d be better with somebody like me”

41/NIIA – Nobody
‘Bruise me like a heartache, drink me like a milkshake’

42/Fall Out Boy – Champion
“If I can live through this, I can do anything”
[also never thought I’d live to a day where I find myself liking a Fall Out Boy song]

43/Jorja Smith – Fine Lines
“Wait, my train won’t leave for a minute, no connection delays my departure from you”

44/The xx – On Hold
“When and where did we go cold?”

45/Cheat Codes & CADE – Stay With You
“If you wanna do drugs, come through, through, through”

46/Tei Shi – Say You Do
“No, I never wanna say to you what I keep inside, cause when I think about it, you don’t know me like you say you do”

47/St. Vincent – Los Ageless
“How can anybody have you, how can anybody have you and lose you, how can anybody have you and lose you and not lose their mind too?”

48/EXES – Cain
“Been about a year since I found myself in London, living in your memory, revisiting our history”

49/Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – So Close
‘There’s no safety in desire, preserving life is as good as dying’

50/Hedley – Obsession
‘Can you take me to the dark side? And show me what it feels like’

2017: Lists

As promised, bullet lists of my 2017 listening.

10 Korean albums

1. Epik High – We’ve Done Something Wonderful
2. IU – Palette
3. Zitten – Uni-verse
4. Red Velvet – The Red Summer
5. Glen Check – The Glen Check Experience
6. Dear Cloud – My Dear, My Lover
7. Oh Hee Jung – Short Film
8. Jonghyun – The Collection ‘Story Op.2’
9. No Reply – Beautiful
10. Fromm – REVE

10 Japanese albums

1. Luck Life – Life is Beautiful
2. la la larks – Culture Vulture
3. toconoma – Newtown
4. Evening cinema – A True Romance
5. Jyocho – Aoi Ie de Bokura Kurasu
6. Yogee New Waves – New Waves
7. Shinrizumu – Have Fun
8. Awesome City Club – Awesome City Tracks 4
9. Yoshizawa Kayoko – Yaneura Ju
10. She Is Summer – Water

15 Jpop tracks

1. Kamisama, Boku wa Kizuiteshimatta – CQCQ
2. Doughnuts Hole – Otona no Okite
3. Beverly – I Need Your Love
4. Half time Old – Outfocus
5. ShuukaRen – Love Your LIFE
6. Perfume – If you wanna
7. MAGIC OF LiFE – Senkō Hanabi
8. Nishino Kana – Girls
9. REOL – Endless Line
10. Ryokuoshakai – Mata ne
11. E-Girls – Kitakaze to Taiyō
12. Ling Tosite Sigure – DIE meets HARD
13. Che’Nelle – Destiny
14. Mili – Ikutoshitsuki
15. Silent Siren – Love Balloon

10 Anisong albums

1/ Yonezu Kenshi – BOOTLEG
2/ Annabel – Nylon Town
3/ binaria – Tsuzuri
4/ Sana –Hush a by little girl
5/ Aoi Shota – Zero
6/ Yorushika – Natsukusa ga Jama wo Suru
7/ Nishizawa Shiena – Break Your Fate
8/ Yasuno Kiyono – Namida.
9/ Sphere – ISM
10/ Tamura Yukari – Princess Limited

10 Anime Soundtracks

1. Hashimoto Yukari – 3gatsu no Lion
2. Hayashi Yūki – Ballroom e Yokoso
3. Kajiura Yuki – Princess Principal
4. Iga Takurō – Tsuki ga Kirei
5. Suehiro Kenichirō – Shōjo Shūmatsu Ryokō
6. Kevin Penkin – Made in Abyss
7. Ushio Kensuke – Devilman Crybaby
8. Evan Call – Jikan no Shihaisha
9. Ōshima Michiru – Haikara-san ga Tooru Pt.1
10. Yokoyama Masaru – Kabukibu!

20 Anisong themes

1. DAOKO x Yonezu Kenshi – Uchiage Hanabi (Fireworks theme song)
2. DAOKO x Okumura Yasuyuki – Step-Up Love (Kekkai Sensen & Beyond ED)
3. Yonezu Kenshi – Peace Sign (Boku no Hero Academia S2 OP)
4. Hayami Saori – Yume no Hate made (Haikara-san ga Tooru theme song)
5. ONE III NOTES – Shadow and Truth (ACCA13 OP)
6. GRANRODEO – move on! Ibara Michi (Saiyuki Reload Blast OP)
7. ORESAMA – Trip Trip Trip (Mahoujin Guruguru OP1)
8. ZAQ – Last Proof (Trinity Seven movie theme)
9. WEAVER – Dakara Boku wa Boku o Tebanasu (Sagrada Reset OP2)
10. Nakajima Megumi – Saturday Night Question (Net-jū no Susume OP)
11. angela – Zenryoku Summer! (Aho Girl OP)
12. SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Tielle & Gemie – gravityWall (Re:Creators OP1)
13. Kanda Sayaka – Ubiquitous dB (Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale IN)
14. Flower – Taiyō no Elegy (Shōkoku no Altair ED1)
15. YURiKA – Kyōmen no Namida (Hōseki no Kuni OP)
16. Luna Haruna – KIRAMEKI Lifeline (Urahara ED)
17. Isobe Karin, Yoshino Yuna, Lynn – behind (Just Because! ED)
18. Yasuno Kiyono – Chiisana Hitotsubu (Isekai Shokudō ED)
19. Aimer – Hana no Uta (Fate/stay night Heaven’s Feel: Presage Flower ED)
20. Luck Life – Refrain (Saiyuki Reload Blast ED)

10 Other Ani(artist) songs, charasongs, mixed-media, games, c/w tracks etc

01. Saito Soma – Yoake wa Mada
02. Kokia – Nostalgia [Yūkyū no Tierblade Fragments of Memory OP]
03. Kokia – Kimi ga Iru kara Tsuyoku nareru yo [Yūkyū no Tierblade Fragments of Memory ED]
04. Masuda Toshiki – iNiTiaTiVe [Dear Vocalist]
05. Taichi Yō – Under the Moonlight [Princess Principal charasong]
06. Kalafina – Tonbo [Hyakka Ryōran c/w]
07. Tomatsu Haruka – Anata no Shiawase ni Watashi ga nareru nara [Uchōten Traveler c/w]
08. Inoue Marina – Far Away [Shingeki no Kyojin charasong – Armin Arlert]
09. fhána – Que Sera Sera ~Pontochō ver~ [Moon River c/w]
10. Uchida Maaya – c.o.s.m.o.s

The English stuff gets its own post, up next.

radio silence

9 months without a post, that’s a record I’d rather not have had. In my defense, I had written up a bulk of the year-end posts by mid-December but Jonghyun’s suicide hit me for six and I didn’t have it in me to finish them off.

・I will post the lists shortly though. I have been looking through my year-end best of lists and rediscovered songs and albums long forgotten; it’s fairly alarming that I once claimed them as my ‘favourites’ but a mere 3-4 years on, they leave the barest of imprints on my memory. I need them lists to remind myself of the past in the future (do I make sense?)

・That brings up the theme of my 2018 – (Re)discovery. Apart from continuing to slowly rip digital copies of my CDs, I’ve actually spent a few months trawling through my Japanese music archives, unzipping albums I downloaded a decade ago but never even got around to listening to. My teens & 20s were spent chasing the latest trends in an attempt to be one of those cool music kids but I don’t have the time or interest in doing that any more now that I’m in my mid-30s.

・One of my iPod playlists is titled ‘1000 Japanese tracks that influenced my listening’. I haven’t actually finished populating that particular list yet (about 600 tracks deep in at the moment) but perhaps I’ll post that list here…someday.


・Looking at my charts for the past 6 months it appears I have been listening to stuff recommended by Youtube and Spotify as well as the usual selection of anime theme songs. Albums are a relic of the past now and that’s fine by me – it’s all about the quick consumption nowadays; the streaming services, the music videos. I certainly don’t miss the crappy filler that padded up otherwise half-decent albums (for some reason, this particular track by James is what immediately comes to mind when I think of album filler) and I can just press SKIP whenever I hear something that’s not aurally pleasing.

・The only artist I’ve really picked up on this year is NakamuraEmi, whose song Kakatte koi yo is the ending theme song for the 50th anniversary Ashita no Joe project anime, Megalo Box. She’s a hard-hitting singer-cum-rapper who only made her major debut in 2015 through Nippon Colombia and is the first female soloist from Office Augusta in 14 years since Hajime Chitose. It’s taken quite a long time for her to get a break – she’s 36 this year and had been active since the late 00s as a conventional pop singer but it wasn’t until 2011 that Nakamura reinvented herself after discovering reggae, jazz and hip-hop and started incorporating those styles into her writing. Check out YAMABIKO, one of my fave tracks.

10cm – 4.0

I was jittery approaching the release of 4.0. Perhaps it is the 3-year gap between this record and the previous one (helpfully titled 3.0) that increases the anxiety, though there were a couple of placeholder songs [3.1 & 3.2 EPs] to tide us over. Is it writer’s block? Maybe even a drastic change in direction? Added to that was the departure of the not-so-well-known half of the group, guitarist Yoon Cheol Jong in July, ostensibly for ‘health reasons’ before his arrest for marijuana use was made public.

This is the most expensive solo concert in the world
I’m the singer and the audience is just you

Opening line from Phonecert (video linked above) – confidence, eh? But then.

Is everyone the same as me
But just holding it in?
Or am I the only bad person?
//
Help, somebody help
Somebody help
Somebody help me please tonight

goes the lyrics for lead single Help, a desperate plea for help, said to nobody in particular.

Sound-wise 4.0 toes the conventional 10cm line, which is to say, alternating between cheery and moody ballads. Not a bad thing, mind you, but I look back at 2.0 with its more experimental blues/bossa nova moments [한강의 작별 etc] and can’t help thinking I want to hear more of that. But hey – it ain’t broke, why fix shit? Koreans love this kinda stuff and that’s the audience that apparently matters most.

H△G – Major debut coming

H△G (pronounced Hagu/Hug) is a mixed-media group established in 2012 that has been making inroads in the indie/doujin scene with a couple of split records with the likes of Mili and ORESAMA. Officially, the band consists of singer Chiho and songwriter Yuta, alongside a group of ‘creators’ [writers] under the title Wish CREW as well as back-up musicians etc. Some of the current/previous line-up includes:

Chiho – vocalist with musical experience. Her dad is a jazz pianist & her mom a classical pianist.

Yuta – guitarist who spent his childhood in England. Also plays violin & piano, he composes the bulk of H△G ‘s songs.

Mitomo Yukihito – bassist. Also plays bass for Mili, Sandy Beach Surf Coaster etc

Enomoto Kenji – drummer. Also drummer in Sandy Beach Surf Coaster

Shoko – DJ, chorus. Also acts pretty much like the band’s manager, arranging their schedules & managing their SNS account

Masataka – Occasionally drums.


The group is due to make its official major debut via Tokuma Japan Communications on 26 July with its first single Natsu no Arika (夏の在りか), which has a tie-up with Metele [Nagoya Broadcasting Network], serving as the theme song for the station’s high-school baseball tournament coverage. Looks and sounds like more of the same H△G that we know, so I’m pretty stoked for that.


Before it drops though, you can check out H△G ‘s excellent recent Vocaloid Cover Album titled Koe in collaboration with the illustrator loundraw. Trailer above.

Official site.
Twitter.

ORESAMA

I don’t think ORESAMA needs much introduction since they’re pretty well known already. The unit consists of vocalist/lyricist Pon and musician/composer/arranger Kojima Hideya, who met in their hometown of Suwa in Nagano when the latter saw Pon singing by chance & invited her to join his covers band. Apparently he picked Pon out easily because she had the loudest voice in what was supposed to be a chorus ensemble performance for their school’s cultural festival. “A big voice that wasn’t suitable for a choir” (Pon) and “I could only hear this one girl’s voice” (Kojima) is how they describe that fateful moment, hah!

After graduating, the two decided to pursue music seriously and moved to Tokyo and since 2015, have released 1 album as well as major singles through VAP in 2014 [for the anime Okami Shojo to Kuro Oji] and Lantis from 2017 onwards.

Music-wise the two have cited Fujifabric (Pon), Bump of Chicken and Nile Rodgers (Kojima) as influences on their sound, and both have pursued solo ventures apart from ORESAMA. Pon is the vocalist employed by composer Takahashi Ryo for ONE III NOTES, the group that performed the opening theme for the ACCA 13 anime, while Kojima has been writing songs for the talented young singer Daoko.

The deal with Lantis looks set to catapult ORESAMA further into the mainstream and at the very least, widens their audience range to include anime fans – already, they’ve had two theme song tie-ups, for Alice to Zoroku [Wonder Drive] and the new summer anime, a remake of the classic kids’ RPG parody title Mahoujin Guru Guru. Check out the fun PV for Trip Trip Trip below.

Visit ORESAMA’s official site here. Twitter is here.
PS Utomaru is the person who illustrates their distinct jackets, PV art and website graphics

evening cinema – A True Romance

A band I discovered off Spotify. Yes, Spotify. Given how ‘receptive’ Japan has been to making its content available on Youtube, I more or less dismissed the chances of ever finding any decent new Japanese music through Spotify even if their ads for the service are quite something to behold.

Lo and behold, I found artists I already like ie Suchmos, Lucky Tapes, Kirinji & ACIDMAN on the service & am now slowly digging into recommendations & related artists. evening cinema was one of those recs and I’m liking what I hear so far – all summery, feel-good soul/rock anthems.

Nothing much is known about the band (they don’t even appear to have an official website). You can however, check out A True Romance on Spotify, or their Twitter for updates.

Mili – Hue

Mili is a classical Japanese music group founded in August 2012 and consists of:

Momocashew (vocalist, main lyricist, and sub composer)
Kasai Yamato (main composer, main arranger, sub lyricist, guitarist)
Mitomo Yukihito (bassist, sub arranger, sub composer)
Yoshida Shoto (drummer, sub arranger, sub composer)
Yamaguchi Ame stylist, art director, designer)
Fujimori Ao (illustrator, animator, videographer)

Known for their contributions to the Cytus and Deemo games, you may have also heard their song Nenten used as the Bloodivores Opening theme. Which they also sing a Mandarin version of (they also sing in English – Momocashew is Canadian).

Hue is their first mini-album, having released 2 full-length albums since 2014. My favourite song here is Excαlibur, which features the legendary lyric “My bones are titanium….I am your Excalibur” – a perfect theme song for you-know-who…don’t you think?

Check out the English version of the group’s website here.

Converting my CD collection to digital format #06

I guess I really did/do have weird tastes.

CD #0026: Mansun – Attack of the Grey Lantern [1997]
My biggest memory of this is how my mum thought the cover of the album looked evil and wanted to dump it (alongside my pirated copies of Silent Hill and Resident Evil games). As for the music itself…you could argue that it did sound a bit evil too, what with the weird fixation on vicars and somebody called Mavis running throughout. It’s hard to know what to make of the album now – there are some really great songs like their biggest hit Wide Open Space, Stripper Vicar and Dark Mavis…but otherwise it’s like a big gloopy, druggy mess that would probably sound like angels singing to those high on psychedelic substances. Somehow, Attack of the Grey Lantern made it to #1 in the albums chart back in the day – must’ve been a quiet week.

CD #0027: Eros Ramazotti – Stilelibero [2000]
I think my mom would want to claim this one, though I’m the one who plonked down cash for it. She was a big fan of his ‘sexy’ voice apparently. I guess the Italian language also made it sound alluring as well? Main single Fuoco nel Fuoco gained a bit of traction globally and it’s not aged too badly. Hell, I still remember the lyrics and can sing along to it…I don’t think I’ve even listened to it for more than a decade…! There’s also a multilingual duet with Cher which I hadn’t really recalled existing. It’s actually a nicely balanced album – nice mix of upbeat tunes and ballads, and it holds up well almost 2 decades later.

CD #0028: Jeff Buckley – Grace [1994]
This is one of those albums that a kid who grew up in the 90s just had to have in their collection, if only to seem cool. Obviously one that my brother picked up later on since we were like…10 and 13 when it was first released. Buckley’s version of Hallelujah was my first, and the only one I will acknowledge – sorry Leonard Cohen, it may be your song but your singing couldn’t touch my soul the way Jeff Buckley’s did.

CD #0029: SoulDecision – No One Does it Better [2000]
A head-scratching one for me. I must’ve been seduced by that one big hit of theirs, Faded – the original had the opening lyric ‘When I get you all alone I’m gonna take off all your clothes’ but alas, the cleaned-up version on this disc changes that to ‘I’m gonna move in nice and close’. The album did manage to shift a million copies worldwide, probably on the basis of those 2-3 excellent singles – the rest of the album alternates between leaden & cheesy. Lead singer Trevor Guthrie’s solo and featured on an Armin van Buuren track a couple of years ago but that’s pretty much I know of what any of the members are doing right now.

CD #0030: Bic Runga – Beautiful Collision [2002]
This is an album that I don’t need to take another listen to and reminisce about as I’ve never actually taken it out of my playlist rotation over the years. I suppose it’s a testament to the strength of the material on Beautiful Collision that they remain as relevant to now as they were 15 years ago; the fragility and honesty of songs like When I See You Smile, She Left on a Monday and Listening to the Weather still strike that chord deep within me. And her voice – a jazz singer’s sultry tones wrapped around lush, warm melodies, is one you’ll never tire of hearing.