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Mar 17 2015

Top 5 Songs from Sakanaction’s Kikuuiki

As always, these lists can be difficult to create because it means that songs that I love would not make the final list. I also then have to rank these songs, and declare a winner.

-21.1

Sakanaction continues to make better and better non-lyrical songs, and this one is one of their best. Due to other songs being better, this song doesn’t quite make the list. But this track is always a joy to listen to.

-Ushio

This song doesn’t quite edge out the 5 that made this list, but it’s got a very strong feel to it. The pace is a little bit slow and the ending and bridge might be strange to some ears, but it’s still a great song.

5. Ashita Kara

This song has a somewhat explosive beginning, despite that the music is very simplistic for the first half of the first verse. The explosiveness is delivered almost solely through Ichiro’s voice. Then the music picks up, and it’s quite a mix of instruments that appear. The song almost gets a bit too explosive towards the end as the bridge appears. Sakanaction seems to be good at making decent bridges. This one borderlines on a bit too noisy, but returns to the chorus before it becomes too overwhelming. The fast pace also helps to make it a solid song.

4. Under

The opening to this song alone makes the entire song amazing. This song just feels very Japanese, in almost every way one might think of. As I hear the opening, I feel as if somebody is pressing down very hard on a synthesizer. The way that these notes feel deep (in a bass sense) really sets the tone for the song. Under is also very close to getting annoying towards the end of the bridge where the volume of the music gets a little too loud. Like “Ashita Kara”, it finds itself again by the end.

3. Klee

Here is a song that surprisingly never gets old. It has an extremely unique feel and progression. It is one of the fastest-paced and heaviest of rock songs that Sakanaction has produced. The difference between the loud guitar riffs and the softer-spoken verses is cool to listen to. The song picks up during the bridge and quickly leads into the chorus which is just a ton of energy. We only hear the chorus twice throughout the song. As the second chorus comes around, it continues where the first chorus suddenly ends. It leads into a bit of repetition as the lyrics and the song end. It’s a good kind of repetition; the kind that makes Ichiro sound sure of himself when he talks about the “beginning of everything”.

2. Aruku Around

There are three gateway songs that helped me to get into Sakanaction. This is the first one. The mix of techno and rock is fantastically done. The song had a good music video to boot, but it holds its own on the album with its interesting repetition (again, this is a favorable kind of repetition). The repetition is repeating how Ichiro is walking. In other songs it might become annoying, but here we find it endearing, as we want to walk with him in this song. This is a classic Sakanaction song and an important one for the group, as it became a runaway hit thanks to its video. Fortunately, the song itself is also well executed, and nearly makes the top of this list.

1. Coelacanth To Boku

I may have surprised you guys more than I surprised myself with this pick. The majority of songs on albums are songs that were not released as singles. Some of these songs might be filler. Some of them might be very good in their own right. Then there’s a rare song that is so good, that it nearly defines the album. This song, right in the middle of the album, really feels like that kind of song. It’s so good that I ranked it above “Aruku Around”.

The beginning of this song sets a really nice pace and mood. We feel like we might be taking a journey or exploration of some sorts. It maintains a sort of watery feel to it, which also helps make it unique. This song is so strong in its delivery. The first half begins to weave the tale of the singer; it is presumably something about Ichiro’s life. The singer feels a bit distant to the listener right now in both his quietness and also because his voice is intentionally slightly muffled. When we reach the chorus, the song picks up a little bit, and the singer becomes closer to us; the muffled sound is gone and he feels near us, drawing us in to his simile of being a fish.

The second verse begins and ends rather quickly, but instead of immediately going back to the chorus, this song uniquely builds a sort of bridge here. This bridge ends up becoming part of the background for the next chorus, so it’s a nice buildup. As the second chorus begins, the music pulls away just momentarily. Then a ton of energy is released and the rest of the song rides on this momentum. Even after Icihiro’s singing fades away, the song continues the energy at a high level. This continues for over a minute, and it’s rare that I would be okay with a song that doesn’t end quickly after the last lyric is sung. This song earns it, and we feel like we are continuing the journey with him. Ths song eventually begins to slowly fade out and end. What a journey it was!