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A Year In Review Part 4: Everything else + Awards + Lists

So, 2010's been quite a busy year. Hell, just look at the fucking massive post I did last night on the 48s. 52 videos, best part of 7 hours to write. So, this blog is an "anything else I liked, didn't like, hated" etc type post. This will range from idols, to random personal shit, to top 5 lists and worst stuff, and Awards.

Might be a bit hectic, so to start with...




Biggest (Male) Twat of 2010

This award can only go to one person.



Yes, well done Tsunku, you epic failure of a prick. From bad singles to bad albums, he's done it all this year. Only two albums he's been attached to have been "good", two were "passable" and the rest were shit, with Fantasy being the shittest thing I've ever had to suffer in Jpop. For that, Tsunku, you get the Twat of the Year award.

Biggest (Female) Twat of 2010

Shin.

'Nuff said.

Best Mover of 2010

So, in January I'd never heard of a girl. Well, I had. She was in Folder 5. She was in Death Note's movies. But I paid no attention. Then I watched Love Exposure. This girl was awesome in it.



Yep, Hikari. She rode high for a few months, until I saw another film. This was called Kakera. It was shit. She fell down my ratings again. Then she dropped out entirely. Then I watched Mendol and she gained some points back. Then she got married.

So, from nowhere, to top, to outside the top 20, to about 15, then to bottom again, all in a year. Good job.

Top 3 Photobooks of 2010

3. Momochii Zukan



One word can sum up this PB. "Arse." Momo got back. And it's shwing.

2. From Umi



Umika's so cute. And this PB is the epitome of it. Really really moe~.

1. Robin no Shouko






Well, Robin, plus Herbie Yamaguchi, one of the most awesome photographers around. I went in with high standards, and came out satisfied. Seriously, seriously, win.

Random Unexpected Awesomesauce of 2010

Naka Riisa.

So, this year she's acted in so much good stuff she's pretty much attained more fame than even I wanted for her. Since I first saw her in Gakkou ja Oshierarenai in 2008, she caught my eye. When I went through older dramas she was pretty cool in My Boss My Hero too. I kept my eye out since, but this year she's gone mad. Two awesome dramas (Yankii-kun to Megane-chan, Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo), the live action movie of Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, and Zebraman 2, in which she played the psychotic villain, Zebra Queen. She's been outstanding in all of them, but for Zebraman 2, directed by, frankly, the nutcase of all directors Takashi Miike, she did the theme tune. And I loved it. Who the hell knew she could sing, and damn she's hot in the PV. It's like Lady Gaga, just without sucking. Shwing.



Biggest Letdown of 2010



Dammit, they raped it. The Swedish movie was poignant, sweet, tender, and treated violence and horror with the emotion of a tree. The American version copy/pasted the dialogue, added stupid sound effects, tried to make it American horror (ie. making people jump is more important than a nagging worry), took out characters that were needed, added characters that weren't needed, took out motivations and generally pissed all over the original. Thank you America. And thank you Hammer. You useless pieces of shit.

Worst 3 Singles of the 2010

3. Otona ni Narutte Muzukashii



NO.

1=. Onna ga Medatte Naze Ikenai



Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.

1=. AkKanbe Bashi



Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.

Worst Music Video of 2010



HITLER!

Worst Song Of
2010
The Entirety Of Human Existence



Do I even need to say anything?

Most Awesome Comeback/Redebut



9nine yay. Sony Music signed them and released this, which is a really cool song. I like. Umika is awesome.

Top 3 Anime Theme Songs of 2010 That Aren't K-On!!

3. Sphere - Realove: Realife



OP for Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou. Really cool song and gets you in the mood for a bit of god slaying.

2. fripSide - Level5-Judgelight



fripSide's second Railgun OP. First one was released in 2009, but was better than this. However, this is still good enough for second. I thought Mami Kawada's No Buts OP for IndexII would be better, but it wasn't. A shame.

1. ELISA - God Only Knows



So much prog and experimental awesomeness even I'm in awe. Pulling off an 8 minute long anime OP is pretty damn impressive. Shades of just about everything from Queen to Floyd and random digital hardcore. Amazing.

Best K-On Theme Songs of 2010

Because these guys are on a different level.

3. Utauyo!! Miracle



Cool song, random as hell and bouncy and fun and yay. Energetic as hell and would get everyone dancing. Also musically proficient as hell, as are most K-On songs. Powerful Tea Time XD Aki's crazy helium voice works well.

2. No, Thank You!



Heavier. More powerful. Yoko really does have a good voice. Guitars are awesome in this. Chorus is wonderful.

1. Go! Go! Maniac



All over the place and mental and yay! Really fucks you over when drunk.

Best PV of 2010

Beginner. The real version.



Honourable mentions to Kurumi to Dialogue and Two Roses for artistic vision, ALIVE for being fucking nuts, Tomodachi ha Tomodachi Nanda and Watashi no Miryoku for being narrative, and Hitoribocchi no Watashi for awesome cameramanship.

Also pervy mentions to Genkimono ni Ikou for the whip, Bijin Mama for Nono's Window Sex, and Heavy Rotation for just about everything.

Best Picture of Dani Filth Looking Like a Spanner in 2010



Best Picture of
Bill Nighy
Abbath Looking Like a Spanner in 2010



Best Song of 2010



Hell Yea.

Top 3 Singles of 2010

3. AKB48 - Beginner

Not linking the video again, but the Aside was good, the Bside was good, one of the Csides was good. Pretty awesome.

2. Berryz Koubou - Otakebi Boy! WAO/Tomodachi ha Tomodachi Nanda




Both songs were awesome, and would really have hit the number one spot if not for...

1. HO-KAGO TEA TIME - Gohan ha Okazu!/U&I




Gohan ha Okazu is nuts. And it's brilliant. As with most of the HO-KAGO/K-On music, actually. U&I is quite poignant. Both are brilliant, especially for anime songs.

Best TV Show of 2010

AKBingo! because it's lol.

Best Drama of 2010

Bloody Monday 2. Yay moar Umika.

Gig of the Year

Sort of split halfway between Hangry & Angry in Underworld, and Sabaton and Alestorm in Electric Ballroom. Both were awesome. Joint first.

Most Self Indulgent Piece of Crap of 2010



Toilet no Kamisama. Speaks for itself really. No progression, no development, just 9 minutes of boredom.

Worst Album of 2010



That piece of shit. 3.5/10

And finally...

Top 10 Albums of 2010

Me being me, if you're only here for the idols you'll be disappointed. It's slightly more than a top ten also, because some things got the same ratings on 10. Best ofs and Live albums don't count. My ratings get stricter as they go higher, so the difference between 4 and 5 is about the same as between 9 and 9.2.

10=. Sabaton - Coat of Arms



Pretty good epic power/heavy metal, with a World War 2 theme. I only really got into them after I went to the gig in October, but my appreciation has increased. The singer isn't very typical of power metal, but delivers with a nice low voice that can actually manage a melody. The orchestrations are well done, and the music is, for power metal, quite well thought out. Some of the synths remind one of Europe (in fact, they use The Final Countdown for their intro tape, which is amusing as people were headbanging and singing along to that). It's also quite pacey, so Power Thrash? Who knows, all I know is I like it.

7/10

Standout Tracks: Coat of Arms, Aces in Exile, Saboteurs

10=. Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons



In 2006, Darkthrone went Punk. I liked it. The Cult is Alive was brilliant. FOAD was good. Darkthrones and Black Flags was good. This isn't as good, but still continues in the same way. Fenriz's clean vocals have improved. Ted's screams have got worse again. It's all pretty punky, getting less BM. Stylized Corpse is probably the most BM thing on this. Still good to rock out to though.

7/10

Standout Tracks: I Am The Working Class, Circle the Wagons, Those Treasures Will Never Befall You.

10=. Berryz Koubou - 6th Otakebi Album



Had some awesome songs, and some less awesome ones. But still one of the better albums Tsunku's had a hand in this year. Risako's vocals in Otakebi are still awesome. Dakishimete is awesome. Kibou no Yoru is awesome. Hopefully can continue with decent songs in 2011, or I'll be annoyed.

7/10

Standout Tracks: Dakishimete Dakishimete, Kibou no Yoru, Otakebi Boy! WAO

8=. Burzum - Belus



So, 2010, the year Varg came back to the fold. Well, certainly, it's pretty good. It's not perfect though. Getting close to Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Filosofem is hard, surpassing them nearly impossible. He did neither. Belus is a decent enough "comeback" though. The "title track" (if you can call it that), "Belus' Død" is basically a metal reworking of the title track of Dauði Baldrs. Works a lot better as a metal song. Sverddans is a reworking of an old Uruk-Hai song (Varg's band before Burzum). Vocally, prison seems to have left him out of practice, his awesome screams have gone. But it's a more mature Burzum, and it has its moments.

8/10

Standout Tracks: Belus' Død, Sverddans, Keliohesten.

8=. Ogawa Mana - Teenage Blues



As I reviewed this like 3 days ago, I'll just do a slightly more brief review. Showcases her vocal talents well, with a decent mix of songs. Musically well performed, vocally well performed. Ballads are good, rock songs are good. Only one failure and that's because they made Genki ni nare worse. Overall though, good album.

8/10

Standout Tracks: Suppin Rock, Teenage Blues, MAP ~Mirai no Chizu~

6=. Kvelertak - Kvelertak



This album is awesome. It's like, what do you get if you mix punk, anthem rock, black metal, and Black Sabbath? Well, this, I guess. I was slightly disappointed at first that one of my favourite songs from the Westcoast Holocaust demo wasn't on it, namely "Suck My Glock", but the material presented is awesome. Songs are catchy as fuck, and yet melodic and anthemic and powerful. Lyrics are Norwegian so slightly incomprehensible without a dictionary, but nonetheless it works brilliantly.

8.5/10

Standout Tracks: Mjød, Fossegrim, Offernatt, Liktorn.

6=. HO-KAGO TEA TIME - II



An anime album, yes. However, the songs are well composed, vocally they're good. Lyrically they're all over the place, from the almost heart-rending "Tenshi ni Furetayo!" to the heart-felt "U&I" to the random as fuck "Gohan ha Okazu". The studiomix CD has all the newer songs on it, some of which are frankly awesome. "Samidare 20 Love" has some epic bass, "Tokimeki Sugar" some awesome riffs and pace, and the eponymous "HO-KAGO TEA TIME" is nice enough. The second disc has "tape mixes", an in character demotape featuring their best known songs. The mix isn't great (after all, it's supposed to be a cassette tape), but the energy is there.

8.5/10

Standout Tracks:
Disc 1: Samidare 20 Love, Gohan ha Okazu, U&I, Tenshi ni Furetayo!
Disc 2: Curry Nocchi Rice, Fude Pen Ball Pen, Samidare, Gohan, U&I

5. Alcest - Écailles de Lune



Alcest divide opinion. Since Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde was released in 2007, Alcest got a storm of massive acclaim for progressing "black metal as an art form" or "melding BM and shoegaze", followed by a wave damning reviews about it being "poser BM" or "not true" or whatever other things "kvlt necro" black metallers could think of as insults. Personally, I loved it. Écailles de Lune follows the same priciples, taking the listener onto another world. This time, Neige shows a glimpse of a slightly harsher world, with his screams making a comeback in amidst the frankly beautiful music. This is a wonderful album, and, though not quite up to the standard of Souvenirs, still brilliant.

9/10

Standout Tracks: Percée de Lumière, Écailles de Lune (Parte 1), Sur L'Océan Couleur de Fer

4. Ihsahn - After



So Ihsahn made his return, more proggier than before. With a Sax. I liked it. Then again, it's Ihsahn. Not much he's done I don't like. 8 string guitars are used for the first time. His screams are as good as ever, his clean singing better. The riffs are good, heavy, and completely at odds with the progressive elements, which works together with a lush dissonance. Drums are good. Fretless bass is good. All is good really.

9.2/10

Standout Tracks: A Grave Inversed, Undercurrent, Heavens Black Sea, On The Shores

3. The Meads of Asphodel - The Murder of Jesus the Jew



This is a fucking crazy album. I love it. There's no genre anymore with Meads. They used to fit nicely into the "Medieval Experimental Black Metal with Middle Eastern Influences" genre, but now they've gone beyond even that. Metatron as ever sounds awesome. The crazy instruments have got crazier. They haven't got a Rabbi or a Louis Armstrong cover, but they do have "Addicted to God", which goes from synths and piano into typical Meads-BM with lead guitar twiddling, then a random Middle Eastern folk barbeque, then some light jazz, into slightly more pronounced jazz, into, I shit you not, a fucking musical. Better than anything Lloyd-Webber's ever done anyway. Then it goes back into Meads-BM, and ends as prog rock. That song along is fucking awesome. The rest are just as cool. "Man From Kerioth", about a Punk Judas has a fucking theremin. "Dark Gethsemane" is acoustic trip-hop. "Jew Killer" sounds like Nile. "A Canticle For The Lost Amputees Of Aelia Capitolina Who Have Been Trampled Under The Iron Shod Hooves Of Salivating Hell Rams And Impaled On The Shimmering Tusks Of Salvation Within The Abandoned Tabernacle Of A Bronze Age Myth" sounds like a dark Muse. All in all, awesome.

9.5/10

Standout tracks: My Psychotic Sand Diety, Addicted to God, Man from Kerioth, Genesis of Death, Apostle of the Uncircumcised.

2. Buono! - We Are Buono!



So, Buono's third album. Vocally epic. Musically epic. Consistent. Well structured. Rock and awesome and all kinds of wonderful things. My Review still stands, so read that. Truly, second best H!P release ever, and even then, 4th Ikimasshoi just doesn't sound as good after the shit that was Fantasy, so this might have reached the top. Who knows. All I know is, it's awesome.

9.7/10

Standout Tracks: Tabidachi no Uta, My Boy, Kataomoi.

1. Star One - Victims of the Modern Age



Arjen's done it again. This album is brilliant throughout. Lyrically it's based on dystopian films, or sci-fi with a dystopian nature. Perfect mix between heaviness, melody, progression, musicianship, and showing off the vocal talents of the four perfect singers. They all get their chance to shine, though Russell Allen shines even when he's being a backup. But Dan Swano's ape in "Human See, Human Do" (Planet of the Apes) has the coolest deep vocal I've ever heard, and he gets to show off his growls too. Damian Wilson's turn in "24 Hours" (Escape from New York) is perfect and soulful, and skillful too. Floor Jansen's powerful and soulful at the same time in "Cassandra Complex" (Twelve Monkeys). Russell's amazing in everything, but his turn as Alex on "Victim of the Modern Age" (A Clockwork Orange) is awe inspiring. Musically the whole album shines. "Down the Rabbit Hole" and "Digital Rain" (The Matrix) start the album off brilliantly, with synths and guitars and drums blasting away, and "Earth That Was" (Firefly/Serenity) is a great followup. "It's Alive, She's Alive, We're Alive" (Children of Men) sounds like Rammstein at parts, thus is the heaviness that permeates the album. Definitely heavier than Space Metal. "It All Ends Here" (Blade Runner) finishes the album off well, but the bonus material is nearly as good, with Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath), Mike Andersson, Rodney Blaze and Arjen himself helping out with vocals. Arjen's guitar work is solid, Peter's signature bass sound adds it's own funky heaviness to the mix, Ed Warby's drumming is as robotically perfect as ever, and the guitar and keyboard solos by Gary Wehrkamp and Joost van den Broek are technically proficient, shreddy and listenable.

Don't know what more to praise about the album, it's almost perfect.

9.9/10

Standout Tracks: All of them.

That's it for 2010. Dunno when I'll post again. Maybe another idol list...

Pozdrav,
Krv

2 comments:

  1. Cool list. I dig your choice for best song of the year. I'll have to check out Meads of Asphodel, thanks for the rec! Also, A Grave Inversed is a sick fucking song. I sometimes use that as the alarm sound in my cellphone. It's good for starting off your day if you want to wake up with pants full of shit.

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  2. s/mileage did Charlie Chaplin in the PV, not fucking Hitler!

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