These lists will inevitably become more and more difficult to make. From here on out, I would prefer to make a Top 6 because even 5 songs wouldn’t include the most outstanding songs from each album. I should follow my own rules and make it a nice even (or odd…) 5 as the top choices. That doesn’t mean we can’t have some honorable mentions.
It’s a shame I couldn’t get this on the final list. The song should blame itself, actually. There is a part that appears towards the middle and again at the end where a lone electronic guitar is snaring away; I am not terribly amused by it. It’s only mere seconds of the song, but it’s just annoying enough that I can’t quite put this song in my top 5. It’s otherwise an extremely catchy and fast-paced song.
This song was so close to being on the list. The progression of this song is quite amazing. We start with some high-pitched electronic beats with a MIDI-like keyboard-esque note that slowly guides us into the tune. It starts to pick up with a simple beat. The keyboard fades, and the song opens up a bit with a very simple upbeat progression. The singing begins, and it stays at a similar pace to the music. The background tune is surprisingly un-intrusive, and yet we’re aware of it taking us through the song. There’s some harmonizing vocals as we reach the chorus. All of this musical greatness, and it sadly doesn’t break the top 5. Too bad there isn’t a top 6 list.
5. Sen to Rei (1000 and 0)
If there was a list of the most accessible Sakanaction songs, this might be at the top. I don’t know what it is, but this song feels like a song that anyone and everyone can enjoy. In case you’re wondering about accessibility, let me give some examples of songs that may not make such a list. One of my favorite songs from Sakanaction, “Bach no Senritsu no Yoru ni Kiita Sei Desu.” is a song that is very catchy, but not terribly accessible. It’s a tad repetitive and a bit noisy at times. In this album, another example is “enough”. It starts off very slow but then randomly decides to pick up pace and gets very loud. It then returns to its slow roots. It’s a decent song, but not very accessible. Here is a song with a great pace and simple progression. I feel like I can recommend this song to anyone and they don’t have to be a fan of any particular genre to enjoy this song.
4. Kiiroi Kuruma (Yellow Car)
This is an absolutely amazing song in its simplicity. I can see this as a song that one may skip over in favor of other faster-paced songs or more rhythmical songs. The lyrics are what keep this song from being off the list, because they are so simple, yet very engaging. Ichiro talks about a yellow car. This may seem boring, but the lyrics and tone of the song set by the music make the song very lighthearted. It’s also just plain fun to listen to.
This song clings onto its techno-like melody throughout the whole song. It’s a bit of a longer song, but that gives it a lot of room to flourish. We sense some emotions from Ichiro in the chorus. This song feels very undulating, but in all the right ways. We don’t get sick of hearing it. There’s a part where we may ‘fall off’, where the main verses segue into the chorus parts. This is because the music suddenly stops. But it doesn’t miss a beat, and takes us right down into the chorus. In the middle of the song, the chorus ends, and there’s a brief sequence that leads us right back into the next verse, still at that excellent pace that started the song.
2. Ame (B)
If there was ever an amazing way to start an album, it’s with this song. It’s extremely fast-paced and the lyrics are extremely minimal and repetitive. If not for the great music, the song could easily be forgotten. There’s nothing particularly interesting about singing about rain falling at nighttime, but this song makes you want to talk about the rain. I recently sang this song at karaoke, and it’s also a nice practice for Katakana reading, as the band apparently saw it fit to make all of the lyrics in Katakana. Since this song is closer to a chant (lyrically, at least), the Katakana lyrics become less surprising. It’s also easy to sing because the range for the singing parts are limited. Perhaps that is the reason it doesn’t quite snag the top spot on this list. The music and pacing is so appealing that you’ll forgive what the song could have been at its bare-bones.
1. Native Dancer
This is a simple song that really has never gotten old for me. Despite that it involves the season of winter, it feels like a song that can be listened to any time of year. This album signfies a time that this band was trying a different style that would become more of a staple in later albums (especially their next two). If there’s any song that truly captures a sense of fun that Sakanction exudes, this one really is at the top. Ame (B) is an absolute blast to listen to, but it is slightly limited in its scope. This song, while only having the chorus play twice, feels very complete. The ending features lots of rising techno sounds and makes for a fantastic closure to this song.