BEST ~Countdown~ Album Ver.

Welcome to yet another hopefully spectacular BEST ~Countdown~ 2009. This Countdown is the Album Version and like it’s counterpart it is a compilation of the 2009 Japanese music year, but instead it features albums only. The first section will feature the BEST Album Only Songs. The second will feature the BEST Albums, and finally the third will just be just random, while still featuring some other albums etc.

BEST 10 Album Only Songs

Besides the obviously amazing title, this song just plain rocked it. That being said, it does have a rock sound, with Yuna’s usual pop sound as well. And the beats, those beats were just infectious. And the song’s upbeat nature made it even better. As for Yuna’s vocals, great balance between power and clarity.

Shibuya de Punch (from UP TO YOU) – MiChi
One thing that everyone can agree about this song is that either you love it, or you hate it. I personally love this song. At first I only liked it because it sounded really oriental and all of the synth/electronic elements. But upon further listening I found out that this song is actually depressing. It’s pretty much about how an old man in Shibuya (I’m assuming) is getting beat up by some boys and no one, not even bystanders, are helping him. It’s quite depressing and sad, and the moral of the story is to help people. DON’T just stand there and let bad things happen, help people, even if you don’t know who they are. So the reason why it’s really good is because it sounds good, and then the lyrics of course.

Beautiful World (from BITTER & SWEET) – BENI
I think most of us can agree that this was without a doubt the best song on BENI’s latest album. Although all of us are still wondering who was that guy in the background? The point is that this smooth synth drivne R&B ballad was one of BENI’s best songs.

Driving (from TRICK) – Koda Kumi
I can honestly say that TRICK didn’t have many impressive songs besides the singles. And let’s face it, even some of those songs from the singles had flaws. But what I did love on the album was this song. It was infectious, and very dance/synth driven. It’s almost like a dance version of TABOO, just more dancing and lots of distortions and synth.

Something In My Head (from URBAN ROMANTIC) – Rie fu
This opening was so energetic and just so up-beat. But more importantly it’s something that only Rie fu would do. It still holds true to Rie fu’s folk sound, while adding some more friendlier pop elements, along with some percussion. The English is a huge factor as to why it’s so catchy, as well as the melody. I just love up-beat happy songs.

1 more night feat. MONKEY MAJIK (from trax) – ravex
It was either this song or Bangalicious, but this won. Again the song is made up entirely of English, and it’s very dance/techno/electronic sounding, which is the main reason why I loved this song. The infectious beats, crisp vocals, and just amazingness of MONKEY MAJIK really made this song a hit.

LOVE GAME (from PAST < FUTURE) – Namie Amuro
WAH! Namie’s kick ass album produced some great hits, my personal favorite was LOVE GAME. The song’s pretty much about a match, that’s all I remember right now, and it sounds incredible. DOUBLE outdid herself this time as the producer. The R&B music as well as the catchy distortions make this song a hit.


touch Me! (from touch Me!) – Mai Kuraki
I didn’t feel like reviewing the album, but after this song I might decide to. The music isn’t very powerful as far as sound goes, but it sure does sound nice. A bit more aggressive and it would have been perfect. But I did love the guitar elements as well as her smooth vocals. I personally loved the hook, as well as the chorus.


Kimi no Koe wo feat. VERBAL (m-flo) (from LOVE one.) – Kana Nishino
Kana is going to be one of J-Pops newest and best R&B singers. So naturally it’s no surprise that Kimi no Koe wo is a great song, it even beat Kuu’s Lick me ♥ on one of the digital charts. But this song has a sweet sound as well as some great music.


Over And Over (from BEST of CRYSTAL KAY) – Crystal Kay
I haven’t gotten to the BEST Compilation Albums yet, but something like it will appear towards the next half of this review. So CK decided to release an anniversary album and it had 4 new tracks, the best IMO was Over and Over. I immediately fell in love with this song. Rather than being R&B it’s more synth driven, as well as a tad bit catchier than some of her part songs. What I loved most was the fact that it was infectious and that it was long, none of that 3 minute crap.

Honorable Mentions:
NEXT LEVEL (from NEXT LEVEL) – Ayumi Hamasaki
Plastic Lover (from SWEET BLACK) – SWEET BLACK feat. MAKI GOTO
WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR (from House☆Disney) – MEG × Q;indivi
MAGIC (from LOVE.IT) – LOVE (Ai Otsuka)
Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~ (from TRANS//LATION) – Bentley Jones
my life (from my life) – alan

BEST 10 Albums


DREAM – Yuna Ito
Yuna’s best album to date! This album had it all. Your tearful ballads, up-beat classics, and lastly some sensational pop songs. I can’t find a single flaw in this album. It’s truly one of the greatest albums of 2009.
Favorite Tracks: Ima Demo Aita yo… feat. Spontania || LOVE MACHINE GUN || trust you


U rOcK MiChi! This album contained her catchy singles, their energetic B-Sides, and more fresh new tracks that are mind-blowing. At this point MiChi can do no wrong, especially after Shibuya de Punch.
Favorite Tracks: Shibuya de Punch || PROMiSE || ChaNge the WoRLd


PAST < FUTURE – Namie Amuro
The Queen is back! She never left, but you know what I meant, it’s been 2 years since she’s released a studio album. This album easily blew away competition from her rivals *cough* Ayu & Kuu *cough* Not only did she outsell them in almost a week, but the quality is so much better. There’s more variety, catchier songs, and then it’s Namie nuff said.
Favorite Tracks: LOVE GAME || Dr. || Defend Love


Voice of EARTH – alan

Let’s remember her as she was. She was a wonderful, a peaceful, a beautiful singer. Anyway her debut album was just impressive. It contained her 5 Elements singles, as well as some other impressive ones. And her mountain wailing was awesome as usual. Sounded something very mature and primeval.
Favorite Tracks: Gunjou no Tani || BRAVE || Ashita e no Sanka

LOVE one. – Kana Nishino
After a crap-load of singles she finally released her debut album. Full of R&B songs, the occasional pop songs, and even a ballad or a collaboration I guess. Point is that she’s J-Pop’s biggest rising R&B star. Her singles were kick-ass and most of the new songs were as well.
Favorite Tracks: MAKE UP || Kimi ni Koe wo feat. VERBAL || Kimi ni Aitaku Naru Kara

ZOMG Rie fu! This is the first album that I’ve heard from Rie fu and it’s probably her greatest ever. The up-beat folk songs and then the infusion of synth really made this album stand out. It’s like the new & old of Rie fu, all rolled into one cohesive album.
Favorite Tracks: Romantic || Something In My Head || Money Will Love You (English Version)

trax – ravex
ravex was the best thing avex did this year, and I mean the BEST. These three DJs knew how to make a great collaboration album with some of the best artists to date, too bad they couldn’t include Hikki xD All of the songs were very dance driven, infectious, and just plain fun. Each songs brought something different to the table, whether it be Anna’s sexiness, Gocchin’s sweetness, MONKEY MAJIK’s canook-ness (is that even spelled right?), and finally Namie’s queen status, among many others. Best collaborations ever!
Favorite Tracks: 1 more night || Believe in LOVE || Bangalicious


Best re-debut album by far. Not many artists can switch labels and plot a comeback, especially after they were basically trash at their previous label. But Beni has managed to re-debut as well as released better singles and a better album. It’s packed with lots of R&B songs as well as some ballads and even a pop song or two.
Favorite Tracks: Beautiful World || stardust || Kiss Kiss Kiss


TRICK – Koda Kumi
I can honestly say that I’m a tad bit disappointed in Kuu this year. If it wasn’t her collaboration with her little sister it was another single, but most of all I have to say that it was this album. It’s not nearly as impressive or as powerful as Kingdom, who’s songs have somehow managed to escape my mind. Her singles were fairly good, especially TABOO. If she got rid of the crappy rap song, and maybe some more aggressive tracks and added some more Kuu tracks the album would have been better. At least she still channeled her sexiness.
Favorite Tracks: TABOO || show girl || Driving


NEXT LEVEL – Ayumi Hamasaki
Most of all though, I’m most disappointed by Ayu. While I liked GUILTY because of the strong emotions, I can honestly say that I was a bit shocked with NEXT LEVEL. I’d have to say that this is her antithesis to her 8th studio album, it’s heavily electronic/techno driven, and not necessarily in the good way. The only songs that I really liked were the two singles, and maybe the title track on a good day, the others were slightly mediocre. And I have to say that 1 intro and 3 interludes are pointless, just make a new song already! Yeah so despite this being one of the Best Albums, Ayu could have done a lot better.
Favorite Tracks: Sparkle || NEXT LEVEL || GREEN

Honorable Mentions:
TRANS//LATION – Bentley Jones
House☆Disney – Various Artists
Ring – Miliyah Kato
– Perfume

BEST Compilation Albums

Since there were some compilation albums released throughout the year I decided I’d weigh in on them. So the ones featured aren’t necessarily the best.

Gothic Melting Ice Cream’s Darkness Nightmare – Tommy heavenly6
I have to admit that this is one of the greatest titles ever, long but still the greatest. It’s pretty much a compilation of her singles and other songs under her Tommy heavenly6 persona. I liked it because it included a ton of her songs, and it gave me a chance to listen to some of her works. It even included a new song entitled Unlimited Sky, which sounds pretty good. Be sure to pick this up if you really like dark rock music.

Strawberry Cream Soda Pop Daydream – Tommy february6
The 2nd longest, and equally as great, title is also from Tommy february6, another persona. This is a compilation of her happier, lighter songs. I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to all of it, but it sounds amazing so far. And the new track is ◯Strawberry●CreamSoda●Pop◯. It’s a pretty sweet new song.

ALL MY BEST – Mai Kuraki

To celebrate her 10th Anniversary ALL MY BEST was released, in a whopping 10 different versions. But it included pretty much all of her singles as well as a brand new track entitled Watashi no, Shiranai, Watashi. You get the best of Mai Kuraki throughout her extensive career, what’s not to like?



Out Works & Collaboration Best & Diving Hit’s – Koda Kumi
I’m not exactly sure why anyone would release a Best Collaboration album and a remix album on the same day but Kuu has done it. Her collaboration album was pretty much a flop, the collaborations weren’t all that great, except for maybe a handful. The remix album was slightly more pleasant, but some variety wouldn’t hurt.


BEST of CRYSTAL KAY – Crystal Kay
Yet another 10th Anniversary compilation album. It includes all but 3 singles. It was released in a 2CD an limited edition 3CD version. I personally didn’t care for it all that much, except for the newer stuff from 2008+. But I’m sure some R&B fans will enjoy this album. I did however LOVE the 3rd disk, which contained 4 new tracks. My personal favorite was Over and Over. Also included was Step by Step produced by Nakata Yasutaka, along with Private Dancers, and finally Helpless Night.


LOVE is BEST – Ai Otsuka
Instead of most albums being a compilation of singles or hits, this album is a compilation of love songs. It includes all of Ai’s love songs, some of which have been rearranged or just new versions, and one brand new song entitled Is. So if you’re a sap for love songs be sure to pick this up, if not then just get Is, or maybe some of the other “new” songs.


This album not only includes her hits singles from DO THE MOTION to Eien / UNIVERSE / Believe in LOVE. It even included her debut album, which was interesting to say the least. I liked the album since it showed the her Asian and American “self.” And the new versions of Meri Kuri and Valenti were great. And this is really awkward to say but seeing two versions of BoA on the cover is kind of a turn-on xD Lesbian BoA xD

ayaka’s History 2006-2009 – ayaka
I’m sure all of us are sad about ayaka’s hiatus but we’re all glad about this beautiful compilation album. The first disc includes all of her singles while the second disc includes the songs chosen by fans as well as a piano version of the lovely Minna Sora no Shita. Hearing this album reminds me of why I feel in love with ayaka’s music.

Now it’s time for some random stuff.

BEST Collaborations
Ima Demo Aitai yo… feat. Spontania – Yuna Ito × Spontania
Love Forever – Miliyah Kato × Shota Shizuma
After Love -First Boyfriend- feat. KANAME – Crystal Kay × KANAME

Worst Collaborations
It’s all Love! – Koda Kumi × misono
aisu × time – Ai Otsuka × SU from RIP SLYME

BEST Covers
Dub-I-Dub – Ami Suzuki
GLAMOROUS SKY – Bentley Jones

BEST Remixes
Plastic Lover (Club Mix) – SWEET BLACK feat. Maki Goto

BEST Intros/Interludes
Bridge to the sky – Ayumi Hamasaki
Tennyo ~interlude~ – alan

That concludes the BEST ~Countdown~ Album Ver. Hope you liked it! If I get bored or more creative I’ll add some more images to this last part. Thanks and comments are always appreciated.

2 Responses to “BEST ~Countdown~ Album Ver.”
  1. Jinhwa says:

    Thank you for your great reviews.
    Although Koda Kumi’s collaboration best album did not sell very well, I did enjoy listen to it. I listened to it much more often than the remix album. Because “Out Works” has more variety than “Driving Hit’s”.

  2. Topclubsong says:

    Yeah Ai Otsuka.. But u should put her name in the first paragraph. lol. She is japan’s great artist. Most of them just rely on their beautiful face and sexy body. But not for her.

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