31 December 2014

Favourite artists: AAA, top10. Japan #2

I wanted to make a New Year's post. My first idea was to make a collection of the songs I have liked / listened most in 2014 (I know, such an original idea. But I like these kind of listings). The problem was that I seriously can't remember what I have listened even couple months ago, let alone in January! So that was a no-can-do for this year, but I'll start listing songs for next New Year already tomorrow.

I still wanted to make something New Year related, so this is what I came up with: I'll pick my most listened singer/band of the 2014 (easy peasy) and make a top10 list of my favourite songs from her/him/them (not so easy peasy). A lot of these songs would make into my 'most listened in 2014' list anyway.

My most listened artist in 2014 was other one of the two of my ultimate favourite bands: Japanese mixed pop group AAA. Without further ado, let's start the list. I'll try to keep my comments on the songs short, because otherwise this post would expand too long.


MARIYA'S TOP10: AAA
*My opinions tend to change + new songs come so this is list is only accurate currently.

1. Charge & Go!, 2011

FULL VIDEO: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x12b7oc_aaa-pv-charge-go_music

Absolutely my favourite song from AAA. The vocals are great and I really love the music, but the best thing about this song are the lyrics. I find them very meaningful and touching on a personal level. My favourite part is the last chorus, it always moves me (which is not easy!): the vocals, the music and the lyrics all come together so beautifully.

どこまでも続く日々を、
時に笑い、時に泣きながら
その地図に刻んだ印を、
ひとつずつたどりながら
進むんだ
その先に、新しいキミがいる

In these days that will last forever
Sometimes crying, sometimes laughing
The symbols engraved on that map
We reach them one by one
And progress on
In the future, a new you exists

[lyrics and translation from here: http://misachanjpop.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/charge-%E2%96%B6-go-aaa/]

2. Hide-away, 2009

FULL VIDEO: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xarec1_aaa-hide-away_music

The fourth most listened song and the most listened AAA song in my iPod. There is actually multiple different versions of this: the regular (video above), boys version (Hide & Seek), girls version (Find You) and version used in Inuyasha anime (With You). These versions are actually kinda different from each other. I love all of them, but the regular one especially. It is so dark and beautiful and sad.

3. MIRAGE, 2008

Unfortunately it seems that the full music video isn't available anywhere...

One of the very first AAA songs I heard. And I immediately fell in love with it. It is mysterious and kinda exotic. The overall sound and lyrics are more on the cheerful side, but there is something dark in it too...

4. Wake up!, 2014


Currently their second newest single, released in July. It has become one of their highest selling singles. Their newer music tends to be more on the ballad side (not a bad thing, and understandably they want to do more serious music now that they start to reach 30's), so this really stands out from the crowd. I just love how cheerful and happy it is. I listened to this song while walking to my school finals, in hopes that it would make me happier and less nervous. And it did help a bit! This song always makes me feel better.

5. 777 ~We can sing a song!~, 2012

FULL VIDEO: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xrxvwe_pv-aaa-777-we-can-sing-a-song-h-264-1440x1080-m-on-hd_music

Another utterly happy song. This song has the same effect on me as Wake up!; It makes me feel better and it makes me smile. And this probably is even more cheerful. It is very catchy and easily gets stuck in my head.

6. PARADISE, 2010

FULL VIDEO: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xnka5o_pv-aaa-%E3%83%88%E3%83%AA%E3%83%97%E3%83%AB-%E3%82%A8%E3%83%BC-paradise-dvd-rip-hd-720p_music

This song I first heard this year and it is probably my most listened AAA song, if not in entire 2014 then at least in the second half of 2014 (because I need to overlisten to everything I fall in love with). In this song too, there is that dark, mysterious shade in it, but overall it is pretty happy song. I haven't read the lyrics and I don't understand enough of what they are singing, but in my opinion the verses are a bit sad, but during chorus it gets quite bit happier. The video adds to this feeling.

7. 虹 (Niji), 2012

FULL VIDEO: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xuhhgp_aaa-niji_music

Niji means a rainbow in English. I almost could just copy and paste what I said about Charge & Go! (number one). Everything is awesome, but the lyrics are the most amazing part. I find them very meaningful and personally touching. They have a very good message, especially now that it is the start of a new year! Only minus I give this song is that there is no rap part for SKY-HI! His parts are usually my favourites in the songs.

あとどれほどの『ナミダ』を流してたどり着けるだろう?
あとどれほどの『イタミ』をくいしばって立ち上がればいい?
きっと僕らたどり着くんだ!!!

think we can reach our dreams while shedding so many tears?
is it worth standing up while clenching our teeth in so much pain?
yes, we’ll see them realized!!!

出来ない事を数え 不安で人と比べてしまいそうに いつもなるけれど

as we count all the things we can’t do
we always end up worrying and comparing ourselves to others

間違いだらけの 僕らの毎日 きっとそのどれもが素晴らしい
弱さを知った分 強くなれるから 高い壁も飛び越えていける

our lives may be full of mistakes
but each day has been wonderful, no doubt
knowing weakness makes us strong
so we can climb the highest walls

It was seriously hard picking out which parts to include in this post. The entire lyrics are worth reading: http://www.jpopasia.com/group/aaa/lyrics//niji::139024.html.

8. BLOOD on FIRE, 2005

Unfortunately it seems that the full music video isn't available anywhere...

AAA's debut single from almost 10 years ago! It is fun to see how they have transformed from this more of a teen pop to their more serious style. This song was first or second I heard from them and I still find it brilliant. It is dramatic and catchy in an interesting way. And the rap parts are just epic. It is that type of song that easily grabs your attention; The music is heavy that kind of way.

9. Love, 2014


Love is also a recent single from them (released in February 2014). This is what I was writing about previously: their more serious and ballady (that's probably not a word, but makes the point) style. Love is fairly simple song, yet very beautiful. I am not usually that big fan of ballads, but I seriously love this song. And the video is awesome. Such a lovely idea.

10. Love Is In The Air, 2013

FULL VIDEO: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x10h2f0_aaa-love-is-in-the-air-pv_music

Last up on the list is another love song. This too is one of those songs that makes me smile. It is very happy and summery. Even though it supposedly is a love song, it is more about summer. And even though the summer is not, unfortunately, yet coming like the lyrics state (at least at these parts of the globe, for others this actually is very in season), the song can bring some warmth to the cold, dark winter days and a hope of summer. Like they sing: "Before we know it, summer days. So feel it now…".

That's all folks! So many amazing songs couldn't fit in the list, but these are my ultimate favourites (currently). I know I'll be listening a lot of AAA in 2015 too and excitedly wait for what is coming up. It is going to be their 10-year anniversary, so maybe something even more brilliant than usually is coming next year!

[It use to be so that Japanese record labels didn't really upload music videos online. Then they started uploading short clips, but now it has become quite common that they upload full videos. Unfortunately because of this their official channels have only short versions available. I hope that one day they will upload also the old videos in full to their channels. I don't see why not since the new videos are uploaded fully. It would be just great promotion!]

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