This week’s featured releases come from AKB48, Dempagumi.inc and Passpo☆.
AKB48 return this week with their fifth single of the year. It has an insanely long title because I guess they figure they can do whatever they want at this point so I’m going to go with “Suzukake Nanchara” when referring to it in conversation. As we all know, janken singles are pretty hit or miss (mostly miss) and this year’s is fairly disappointing. With the group of girls who made senbatsu I feel like we could have had a more up-tempo song than the snoozefest we ended up with. If this is an indicator of what the next generation is bringing to the table then I think we’re in trouble. Highlights of the single for me are the b-side “Mosh & Dive” as well as the SKE48 b-side “Escape“.
Dempagumi.inc – “World Wide Dempa”
Everyone’s favorite denpa idol group Dempagumi.inc release their second album this week. It boasts an impressive array of their past singles such as “Future Diver“, “Denparade Japan“, “W.W.D II” and “Denden Passion” to name but a few (well okay to name most of them but they’re all really great). Also included are a few new songs just to keep things interesting for the longtime fans which is always a nice touch. If you haven’t given Dempagumi.inc a listen before then now is the perfect time to do so. This album encompasses a solid chunk of their discography and is a perfect starting point for newcomers. They may not be for everyone but Dempagumi.inc are certainly one of the more interesting idol groups around today.
Passpo☆ – “JeJeJeJet!!”
The last of this week’s featured releases comes from Passpo☆ who are also releasing a new album. “JeJeJeJet!!” covers the last year’s worth of releases from the group but I’m really struggling to recommend it to anyone. 2013 wasn’t the best year for Passpo☆ musically, in my opinion anyway. They released five singles and I liked maybe a couple of them and the odd b-side here or there. That’s a pretty large drop-off from their spectacular 2012 outing. The only saving grace that this album might have is its new songs. Passpo☆ usually produce some really solid album songs so I’m pinning my hopes on those to make this release a worthwhile pick-up.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
“Mousou Nikki” by Kamen Joshi (Alice Juban X Steam Girls)
“F Pop One” by FantaRhyme
“Petit Best 14” by Hello!Project
“Waratte.Net / My Kawaii Nichijou Tachi” by Lyrical School
“Ikiru Tenshi” by Rynryn☆ to Drop
“Eternal Show” by Trick8f
As far as this week’s other releases are concerned, my top picks are the fantastic FantaRhyme and Trick8f. How those groups aren’t more well known is beyond me. There must be something in the water in Fukuoka for them to be producing all of these great groups. Honorable mention also goes to Kamen Joshi for providing us with our much needed fix of something a bit different from the norm. Until next week.