6 active minutes: Delicious Summer
I think that this has been the most difficult segment of 6 active minutes to make so far, since there is such an extensive and wonderful selection of Asian songs for the summer that it’s hard to pick only 12 of them! I really miss collaborating with my lovely readers when it comes to posts like these, so I asked you for some of your favorite summer songs on Plastic Candy’s Twitter and FaceBook pages and got great recommendations! Thank you to everyone who participated, and I hope I get the chance to voice some more plastic lover opinions around here! ♥
I’ve recently been possessed by the spirit of summer, something that happens every year, but usually sooner considering Koda Kumi always leads the J-Pop summer parade with her upbeat concerts and summer maxi-singles and gets everyone hyped up early in the summer. Considering I live in the southern hemisphere and it’s winter here, my summer spirit comes solely from the wonderful music we’ve been getting and have gotten this time of year. Lets take a look at some of the songs our dearly beloved plastic lovers and myself have selected as our favorites, shall we?
倖田來未 – Run For Your Life
(00:00 – 00:30)
Run For Your Life is part of Koda Kumi’s flawless 2007 summer maxi-single, FREAKY, and it was suggested by @junniorkopke for this mixtape! This song is perfect for summer since it’s so whimsically flirty! It’s pure pop fun, of course, and even though it feels like it wouldn’t be a song to take very seriously, Kumi uses her range a lot here, doing it so effortlessly that it conveys an unpretentiously natural feel, which is what this song is all about. I wish this song had made it to Kingdom, her 2008 album since it’s so lovely and as good as the a-side of its single, but maybe part of its charm is that it’s a hidden jewel in Kumi’s discography. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who’s willing to dig deeper into Kumi’s music!
씨스타 – Loving U (러빙유)
(00:30 – 01:00)
This track is pure love and it’s no surprise to me that @lastgyu and I both had this song in mind for a summer mixtape! SISTAR is one of K-Pop’s most talented girlgroups and I’m so glad they’re getting more and more time under the spotlight, if they keep releasing material that’s as good as this fun, sunny summer track, I’m sure they’re going to be taking over the hearts of many more fans! Even though this song is very pop at its essence, I love the addition of horns and the lovely instrumentation that’s catchy yet full and rich! It’s pop at just the right amount, and I’ll be eagerly expecting some more of it from SISTAR!
後藤真希 - EYES
(01:00 – 01:30)
Speaking of horns and pop music that’s catchy but full of substance, we have Maki Goto’s EYES! This song will always remind me of July 2010, when her official debut mini-album, ONE, came out, and it was just perfect for the season! EYES is fun in a very messy, noisy way that’s overwhelmingly delicious to the ears. Maki’s voice is girly, soft, and flirty against the dynamic instrumentals, and it’s a great song to have a good time to, especially when the weather is great for doing just that! Blue skies, an active disposition and EYES!
YUI – Summer Song
(01:30 – 02:00)
I have to admit, it’s very hard for me to enjoy a YUI song, but upon seeing how passionate @4walls is about this one, I decided to give it a shot and it’s definitely fit for this mixtape! This is the typical Japanese summer song, very sweet, and I think the presence of the guitar is key to making this song into the upbeat summer anthem it is! It’s bright, light and sunny just like summer, even if it’s not as pop and catchy as the previous songs, it’s still a perfect fit for the season!
현아 – Bubble Pop!
(02:00 – 02:30)
Bubble Pop!, suggested by @junniorkopke, is basically almost a K-Pop summer hymn. It’s got all the elements one looks for in a solid summer song: the catchy melody, the flirty fun, and overall, the unpretentious, easy breezy entertainment value it offers. What I enjoy about this song the most is how retro it sounds, and even if you, like me, don’t enjoy Hyunah as much as others may, the instrumentals do a great job when it comes to making this song fun and easy on the ears! Definitely a great addition to the mixtape!
倖田來未 – Lollipop
(02:30 – 03:00)
Koda Kumi is pretty much my queen of summer songs, and I see I’m not alone since it’s @junniorkopke who suggested this sunshine-filled song, and @raphachan suggested the song BOUNCE, which isn’t among the songs in the mixtape but would still have made a fabulous addition due to its smooth yet uptempo flirtiness. Lollipop is the must-know summer anthem for Kuu fans. It’s very girly, very refreshing, very pop and stands for pretty much everything that a summer track should stand for! Definitely one that couldn’t miss out!
Crystal Kay – Forever
(03:00 – 03:30)
This is a song that wasn’t released too long ago but that is already synonymous of summer for me. Crystal Kay has always been one of Japan’s faithful R&B pursuers, but it wasn’t until recently that she caught my attention, ironically, right when she was releasing material that was a lot more pop. I think she’s definitely going down the right path because her energy is contagious, bright and fun, and she conveys that feeling with every note in Forever! A very colorful single from a VIVID album that I’ll definitely be listening for a while!
浜崎あゆみ – glitter
(03:30 – 04:00)
If there’s one thing I have to admit is that Ayu makes some of the corniest though most enjoyable summer songs! glitter has been a personal guilty pleasure of mine for the longest time now, it’s just so incredibly upbeat and melodic that all the happiness it conveys is easily related to summer! She has plenty of great summer songs beside this one though, but this is one of my favorites, back when I wasn’t as bitter about her current situation. It’s definitely a stand-out song among the others since it’s very loud and striking, but nonetheless, a jewel!
동방신기 – 무지개 (Rainbow)
(04:00 – 04:30)
One of my all-time favorite songs, 무지개 (Rainbow) sounds a bit more like the sunset to a beautiful and active summer day. Even though the instrumentals are composed of some lovely, sonorous elements (gotta love the horns again!), everything sounds very emotionally ambiguous, which I love, and the melody takes me away in the voices of these 5 talented boys. I think I used this song before for another project around here, but it’s so flexible and fantastic that it never gets old to me!
조권 – I’m Da One
(04:30 – 05:00)
Thanks to @passyqueen I opened my eyes to how summer-friendly JoKwon’s new song really is! I didn’t enjoy it, to be honest, and thought it was sort of artificial. He seems to be a very intelligent man very sensitive to art, and both concepts of his album are very well executed but I feel a bit uninspired by the music video of I’m Da One and therefore just judged the song that way, but I noticed how unpretentious and fun it can sound in this mixtape! I think I like it a bit more now that I associate it to summer and it’s definitely a fun song.
安室奈美恵 – ONLY YOU
(05:00 – 05:30)
Suggested by @passyqueen, I was still oblivious to this song as Namie’s latest album doesn’t yet feel very inspiring to me, but maybe I should go through it because ONLY YOU really impressed me! It’s not the typical Namie song, first because it’s completely in English, and second because it’s upbeat and yet, very romantic. These last characteristics are what give this song its summer-ish feel and add onto how lovely it is! Another song on Uncontrolled for your summer, suggested by @adonias is In The Spotlight(TOKYO), a great dance track also entirely in English!
倖田來未 - Got To Be Real
(05:30 – 06:00)
Last but not least, we have our Japanese queen of summer back again to finalize our mixtape with her wonderful take on the classic disco song, Got To Be Real. Just like Lollipop, this song was extremely present some summers ago for us Kuu fans, since it was a huge hit in her tours and a bonus track on the Gossip Candy single. This song is colorful, lively, upbeat and very Sex and the City (I just always remember the scene where Carrie Bradshaw was dancing to this song in an episode). A great, bright song to get your groove on this summer and all the other ones still to come!
I hope you enjoyed this selection of some of our favorite summer tunes! Though some of them weren’t able to make it onto the mixtape, they’re listed here for your enjoyment as well! Don’t forget to take a listen to them if you haven’t already! ♥ @aoumi_aozora was also very kind to offer me with some other songs that you might enjoy in the tweet bellow!
If anyone has any more suggestions for future mixtapes, let me know! ♥ If not, what would you say are your favorite songs for the summer?!