Biggest Tosser of the Year 2012
That's right, it's Hyadain. Don't get me wrong, I think the guy's fucking gifted, and while maybe not quite a genius, he's only a few rungs down from it. So why's he the biggest tosser of the year? Well, a few reasons. I've decided that I can't give the award to Tsunku yet again (face it, he'd probably get it every year), and I don't think any idols have pissed me off a great deal this year. AkiP has been at his trolling-best, so that basically leaves Hyadain. So, how has he been a cunt this year? Well, his (incredibly bloated) solo album was finally released. It contains some very good songs (plus decent cameos in some of them from other artists he's written for, including a lulzy Momoclo appearance). It also contains one of the most sudden and out of place random Gothenburg Death Metal songs I've ever heard. The English version is here, but the album version is in JP which sounds slightly less awkward. However, the main problem with this album is that there are 27 tracks on it, containing no less than three versions of Kakakatakataomoi. Also, a great deal of the songs are frankly, shit. He could have had a very good one disc album, but instead we get a mediocre two disc set. If he had a record exec or even an executive producer to tell him he needs to excise some of the shit, we'd have a better album. Either that, or he needs to learn to self-critique more effectively. So yea, for that reason, completely unrelated to idols really, he's the biggest tosser of 2012. Still awesome though.
Biggest WTF ARE YOU ON NOW DEVIN!? of 2012
Really speaks for itself doesn't it?
Best Non-Prog Metal Band of 2012
And no, I'm not even fucking kidding. Normal metal this year sucked ass. Babymetal even had some prog tendencies (Ii ne, for example, having 11 consecutive sections before repeating any), but Headbanger and now the early PV release for Ijime Dame Zettai just rocks fucking harder than anything since I can remember. Plus, add to that the fact that metal this year was just plain boring as fuck (I'd say the best non-progressive metal album this year was Mors Principium Est's ...And Death Said Live, and I fucking hate melodeath most of the time), makes the bringers of the Mosh Pit of Chaos probably the best exponent of the genre this year. Even though most trve kvlt grim necro metalheads hate them, at least their music transcends genre boundaries, takes risks and just does not give a single fuck. INFERNAL HAILS!
Best Photobook of 2012
This one really is a bugger to determine. Not that many amazing PBs have been released. Just two. Two is enough. There were a couple of "good" ones, including Yamamoto Sayaka's, Airi's newest, the cutest PB and Yu-Yu-Yukirin (an interesting usage of film cameras in the digital age). But it came down to two. In the end, only one could win. Umika, I'm sorry.
Watanabe Miyuki - Mirukami
Man, Milky just does not give a shit. She's probably the most idol idol in NMB, and yet she's also a massive troll, has no seeming boundaries, and just seems like she'd be a fucking laugh to be around. Plus you could probably ask her to strip in the middle of a supermarket and she'd do it.
May as well give a quick shoutout to Kawashima Umika's Umikaze which put up a damn good battle.
Hope you're not now bleeding severely from any orifice.
Best Comeback of 2012
Honestly, this annoys me, because they won this in 2010. Then in 2011 they won best letdown. So I'm hoping that in 2013, 9nine don't disappoint me again. Honestly, they started the year pretty badly, but they peaked really fucking high at the end. For one thing, that Hao! Hao! Kyonshi Girl! drama starring Umika plus the rest of them was incredibly amusing. They also provided both theme songs for it, both of which were pretty good. Of course, I can't link because Sony Music Entertainment Japan doesn't want us dirty gaijin looking at their music videos. They also provided the ending theme, White Wishes, to a rather good shoujo anime called Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. That song was also epic. They've also this year started dabbling in the whole band thing. I know The Possible are doing it too (and they started doing it in 2008 or whatever), but unlike AKB and some of The Possible, pretty much everyone in 9nine except Hirona has prior experience on their instruments. You can chart some of their doings on this youtube channel. I hold out extreme hope that one day I'll live to see them play Awake or Nemureru Mori no Shoujo live, themselves. Though for the latter I doubt even trained jazz musicians could pull it off.
Biggest Letdown of 2012
That the end of the world still requires more CO2 pollution. I'm doing my bit. Are you?
In second place, Muse's piece of shit album.
Best PV of 2012
Unlike last year, which was won by a PV that came out a few days too early thus qualified as a 2011 PV despite the album coming out in 2012, this one is the opposite. The PV was supposed to come out in 2011, but they got owned by Iceland being, you know, Iceland in midwinter, thus they had to keep filming and it wasn't released until January. But it's fucking amazing.
Most Retarded PV of 2012
And no, it's not Pyokopyoko Ultra.
Really, Alestorm? Really? Don't get me wrong, I love this shit, but this PV is just so... wrong.
Best Picture of Dani Filth (plus Paul Allender and Marthus) Looking Like A Spanner in 2012
There are no words.
Top Three "It Took You How Long To Release That Fucking Album?" of 2012
3. Hard Venom.
|Yes, that is the dance for The Peace we're doing...|
It was 8 years between the release of their first album, the eponymous Wintersun, and their second, Time I. And that's only half the fucking album, the second half isn't out until next year. It was originally supposed to be out in 2006. Now that's a fucking long album production. Granted, Mäenpää wanted to make everything perfect, but even then it's not probably worth spending 8 years on 5 tracks. Shit, I'd go insane trying to develop things to that extent. And developed they are. Some of these songs have the equivalent of like three orchestras playing simultaneously in homophony. However, it often descends into the fact that too fucking much is going on. Can't keep track of it all. And was it worth 8 years? On the balance, probably not. As a melodeath album, Mors Principium Est's is better anyway.
This probably shouldn't count. It's been 18 years between the release of Epilog and the release of Viljans Öga. However, they split up after the release of Epilog in 1994 and reformed in 2002, split up again in 2003, then reformed again in 2009. Even so, it's still an astonishingly long wait for the best Swedish prog band on the planet to release more of their sumptuous delights.
Best Idol Show of 2012
Gotta be Hakata Hyakkaten. AKBingo got shit. Bimyo stopped. Geinin was good but not enough Momoka. Magical Radio 2 was lol but not always. XX had bad moments, as did Nemousu. Really, Hataka Hyakkaten is the best of the lot.
Worst Idol Show of
Hello! Satoyama Life. I mean, really. I know the history of H!P TV programmes shows a downward trend in actually being good, from early Hello!Morning to late Hello! Morning, then early Haromoni@ to late Haromoni@/Moutube, to Yorosen/Hitler ojiisan, to whatever, to HelloProTime. But this. I fail to see how much lower than this they can actually get. It's already no longer a case of watching it to see idols. It's a case of watching for three minutes, cringing so much your facial muscles get toned like fuck and then switching it off in pain. If H!P TV shows get any worse, I've a feeling they'll result in mass suicides of H!P wota.
Worst Songs of 2012
3. Morning Musume. - Pyoko Pyoko Ultra
2. S/mileage - Samui ne.
1. S/mileage - Dot Bikini
Can I kill myself yet?
On an unrelated note, or rather, very related but trying to play it nice, I think me and Henkka are planning to do a large roundtable on Beats between us sometime in January regarding our vast difference in opinion on S/mileage. Keep an eye out for it.
Worst Album of 2012
I'm torn. Wait, who am I kidding.
Just read the review. Everyone else disagrees with me seemingly, but it's still a bloated, pointless piece of shit in which the chaff vastly outnumbers the wheat.
Best Non-Idol Song of 2012
Only doing one this year because otherwise I'll spoil my whole best album list which is going to be on Beats.
So fucking sexy.
Some Recommended Albums That Aren't My Top Ten But Are Top 20
To close out the post.
20. Kikkawa Yuu - One For Yuu
Decent if not amazing Jpop debut for the girl. Certainly much better than her vocaloid crap. Read the review here. Hopefully next year can improve a bit.
Standout tracks: Knight Flight, Aitakunattara, Hako no Naka no Blue
19. SUPER☆GiRLS - Everybody JUMP!!
Again, another passable piece of Jpop, some delicious oldschool Momusu stylings and less of the Avex-ity that I so hate. Review here. Maybe next year we'll see a breakout of the trappings of music and see them make a mark on some TV programmes.
Standout tracks: Shelter Nanka Iranai, Dear~Mirai no Chizu~, Egao no Hane
17= Matsui Sakiko - Kokyuu Suru Piano
This is where we see a jump in quality. Sakiko's debut album is a piano instrumental album. It has some very pretty original songs, plus some amusing AKB covers and a Mozart Sonata. However, Sakiko's a very good pianist for an idol, a bit like Mano x1000 but minus 300 sexypoints. It's certainly a departure for an idol, and it's good, so it gets up here. Bonus points for Heavy Skatation instead of Heavy Rotation, Flamenco/Jazz Get instead of Flying Get, and Mozart. Mozart is always worth points.
Standout tracks: Tamashii no Idou~Gugutasumin no Theme~, Heavy Rotation, Mozart Sonata no. 18
17= Galneryus - Angel of Salvation
Another decent, if not mind-blowing, album from a post-Yama-B Galneryus. Starts out quite epic, with some Turisas influence, but it's not long before they go back to what they usually do: Power Metal at hyperspeed with Syu shredding like fuck over it and Ono Masatoshi trying to keep up with singing. Add in the usual ballads and a nearly 15 minute proggy power song, and you get the newest Galneryus album.
Standout tracks: Reach to the Sky, Lonely as a Stranger, Angel of Salvation.
15= Wintersun - Time I
Even though I said earlier it's not worth the time of waiting, it's still a remarkable album in its own right. Some of the melodies are beautiful, and while the melodeath does occasionally distract from it, this could easily have been half of Skyrim's soundtrack. The first track, with its Oriental influences, is especially beautiful. The second track isn't too bad either, though it does show the difficulties in mixing upwards of 200 tracks. The drums are pretty fucking buried. Still, pretty album.
Standout tracks: When Time Fades Away, Sons of Winter and Stars, Time.
15= Cradle of Filth - The Manticore and Other Horrors
This I didn't expect really. It's been nearly ten years since Cradle released an interesting album, and 6 years since one that actually tickled me even a bit. But this has some of their old thrash/punk influences, a lot less attempted fuckery with gothpop, and generally good musicianship throughout now they've let Marthus take over as chief orchestrator. No offense to Newby-Robson, but ever since Martin Powell left it's been going downhill, as Allender basically got away with doing anything he fucking wanted. Now at least he has someone to play off again. This album even shows some Black Metal influence, which is a first for a Cradle album since, what, 1998?
Standout tracks: Illicitus, Siding With The Titans, Sinfonia.
14. Buono! - SHERBET
Generally one of the better idol releases this year, even if it was only an EP. Some wonderful usage of harmonies again, and much better than that partenza shit from last year. Review here.
Standout tracks: FEVER, Hatsukoi Cider, Never Gonna Stop!
13. Mors Principium Est - ...And Death Said Live
Probably the best melodic death album in ages. Which just goes to show, anything the Swedish invent, the Finnish can do it better. Including, seemingly, even the Swedish language itself. But that's not at all related to this. It's just truth. Anyway. Seek this out and enjoy it if you can. I do.
Standout tracks: The Bringer of Light, ...And Death Said Live, The Meadows of Asphodel
11= The Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud
I do love Devin, he's wonderfully mental. This album is his experiment with pop. That means it's still heavy as fuck, and as loud as only Devin and Phil Spector ever managed, but with more hooks. Also that most of the songs stay below five minutes. There are some beautiful moments on the album. As well as some really heavy bits. No matter what though, I know that whenever Devin releases Z2, I'll be ready to get my head fucked by that adorkable nutcase alien motherfucker in search of coffee.
Standout tracks: Save Our Now, Kingdom, More! Also Socialization on the demo disc.
11= Passpo - One World
Best pop-rock album of the 21st century. Review is here. This album has lots of genres, but they all fit beautifully together. Add to that the greatest hook in pop music history and we have this here. I love it.
Standout tracks: Love Diary, 2Days, Tap My Toe.
But anyway, here's to a decent 2012, and hopefully to a better 2013 (especially in idols and metal. Don't think prog can improve much on this special year though).
Pozdrav all, and sretna nova godina, jebači!