Fifteen Power-Packed Japanese Songs


I know that last night on Twitter, I said this would be the top ten most powerful Japanese songs. I changed it to the top fifteen! This is to keep my list from looking like a big mass of anime/GACKT songs. Just kidding. (Or am I?)
I define a powerful song not by how strong it makes me feel, but rather how weak it makes me feel on the very first listen. The first time I hear a powerful song, I want it to leave me in a cold sweat, breathless, thinking “what has just happened to me?” Then, I want to grow to make the song a sort of personal empowering anthem.
I assembled my list after much careful consideration. This was harder to do than anticipated, and may have been another contributor as to why the list turned out a little longer than expected. Enjoy!

15.) Alumina – Nightmare: This song isn’t just powerful, it’s very disturbing. The mournful tone in which Yomi sings the song is downright eerie. The first time I heard this song was on Death Note, naturally. It frightened me terribly, which is a big reason why I respect this song as much as I do.

14.) Border – Girugamesh: From the first notes of this song, I just knew it was going to be intense. I feel like the boys from Girugamesh are grabbing me by the hair and dragging me relentlessly through this song. It’s intense and brutal. The vocals and guitar are positively barbaric.

13.) Colors of the Heart – UVERworld: The most powerful part of this song is that it builds and builds and builds but all the while Takuya retains a beautiful, clear singing voice. His delivery is strong and melodic. (A big reason why this song left me breathless the first time I heard it was because my fiancé introduced it to me before he was even my boyfriend! I think a big part of my love for this song is that memory.)

12.) Bel Air – Malice Mizer: Hard to believe this song is as old as it is, yet its strength continues to rattle my skull (and the skulls of many other VK fans I’m sure) to this day. The music box playing at the beginning and middle of the song contrasts wonderfully with the hard guitars and drums found in the song. GACKT’s performance is outstanding and fierce.

11.) Rainbow – Ayumi Hamasaki: Made exclusively for her A Ballads album, Ayumi’s breathy ballad has been breaking hearts for years. This song has so much power in its simplicity, rather than any actual muscle. “No rain can get the rainbow.” Remember that.

10.) Passion – Utada Hikaru: Don’t you miss this Hikki? Utada, this is the one. Not your washed-up American crap that flopped horribly time after time. This. Passion is a song full of light and darkness at once. The beat of this song is indescribable.

9.) Hallelujah – Rurutia: Okay, so if hard guitars coupled with elegant violins weren’t powerful enough, you get the contrast of Rurutia and her famous whisper-singing. The opening of this song is like getting hit in the face with a shovel made of solid gold.

8.) Renon – M: This song is still relatively new to me, so I won’t pretend to be a seasoned listener. Still, its MUCC-esque guitar style and raw, untamed vocals floored me from the first listen. The vocalist has some serious charisma even though his vocals aren’t up to par with other VK singers by any means.

7.) Rain – GACKT: Do you ever hear a song that makes you hurt all over? This song fits the bill for me. I feel like I’m drowning in some kind of torrential, yet gentle wave during the verses. In the chorus, it all comes crashing down. I never hear much mention of this song, which is sad.

6.) Kingyo Hanabi – Ai Otsuka: I had to find a place for my favorite song on here somewhere! It’s not as powerful as other songs, per se, but it still packs a heartbreaking punch. The tortured desperation in this song is incredibly moving. This song can make me happy and sad at the same time, which is rare for a song to do.

5.) Rain – SID: As I mentioned on my “weekly babble” post, I have decided that songs titled Rain are predestined to be good. The chorus of this song is tragic with strong feelings of loss. I think the majority of this song’s power for me is how well it ties in with the Fullmetal Alchemist story.

4.) Lust for Blood – GACKT: This song is probably the most hateful song I have ever heard. The melancholy opening makes way for a heavy rock sound and GACKT’s intense, angry vocals. It’s a heart-stopping piece just because it is SO raw.

3.) Kimi ni Furu Zetsubou no Ame – XodiacK: I’m sorry to all of you who tire of hearing about XodiacK, but I just love this song so much. The first time I heard this song, I felt like it was repeatedly punching me in the stomach. Another way this song left me breathless was due to the fact that I laughed so hard at the terrible PV. (But you didn’t hear that from me, okay?)

2.) Mirrorcle World – Ayumi Hamasaki: Is it bad that I don’t think Ayu has released a single good thing since this dropped over two years ago? (Sparkle was okay, but not anything I couldn’t live without) Ayu is a powerhouse in this song, singing along with a military-style beat and angrily questioning the problems in the world today. The lyrics are expertly crafted and I love the energy.

1.) Jesus – GACKT: GACKT’s big comeback single after Returner was incredibly anticipated, and this single did not let me down at all. In fact, I think it is one of the greatest GACKT songs to date. The heavy rock sound, GACKT screaming, the lyrics, GACKT behaving in such a taunting manner in the PV… It’s incredible, and so unreal. This song sent me into a completely different dimension, where I felt as though I was standing face to face with something so much greater than myself, and I was trembling long after the song had finished. I’ll probably never have another song grip me as tightly as this has. I am proud to call this the most powerful song I’ve ever heard.

~Alisa~

Which songs do you consider to be the most powerful? Do you think ballads or rock songs are more powerful? How do you feel when a powerful song overtakes you?

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7 Comments

Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

7 responses to “Fifteen Power-Packed Japanese Songs

  1. Pingback: hard rock hallelujah « Эхо блогосферы

  2. keyinjpop

    Most of the songs you listed I would consider powerful and a list of others (too long to list).

    I think ballads and rock songs are on par as far as power goes but it all depends on the artist and how much they put into that song.

    I can be left with a number feelings when I hear a powerful song like tears building up or body stiffening or out-of-breathness depending on the emotion of the song.

  3. I remember listening to alan’s “Ashita e no Sanka” for the first time with the volume turned up all the way. When her wailing kicked in, I was just blown away.

    Rock and ballads both have the potential to be powerful, but I prefer rock. I think being angry is one of the best ways to express yourself.

  4. Badymaru

    I’m listening to all of these songs on youtube as I read this list so I’m just gonna write random comments. xD

    Everytime I listen to UverWorld I wonder why I dont listen to them more. xD

    I;ve got a soft spot in my heart for Ayumi’s ballads. _> The backing music had me all pumped up that I felt a little confused when she started her singing. I know its her style, btu I wish she would have really belted it out at a few parts at least just to give it a little more kick.

    THANKS A LOT FOR INTRODUCING ME TO ANOTHER UN-GOOGLE-ABLE BAND. ::goes off to listen to everything by M)

    Y’know I never list Gackt as one of my favourite artists, but every single song of his that I listen to just… I love it. I am absolutely in love with his voice and always forget that until I hear him again. xD

    After listening to Kingyou Hanabi, Planetarium came on which is my favourite Ai Otsuka song. That is all.

    Homdgasguaspazz Xodiak. I love them ❤

    If I go on an Ayu kick after this its all your fault. xD

    JESUS is what wakes me up every morning. I'm not even joking. I have the part where he goes "wake me up, wake me up, wake me up kono yume kara" as my alarm. I love the song and thought it was fitting. xD

    This makes me want to do my own top 15 or so list. =D

  5. IYFreak

    Ayu’s “Still Alone” gave me that feeling when I first heard it, so did Gackt’s “Doomsday”, I love those songs to death. I have the feeling like o_O, “wow…I can’t believe this song was made” or that it was made just for me. Recently the GazettE’s “Nakigahara” gave me that feeling.

  6. Jin

    For powerful, I think ballads would be the winner for me. >__<

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