Well, looks like I'm first again! On the show I listed off my top five slow songs. Well now, as promised, here are my top 10 slow songs and explanations for them.
My top five here only have truncated versions of my comments on the show (cuz I'm lazy, I won't lie). Listen to GK episode 19 for my full take on all of them. :)
10. Okuda Miwako - aozora no hate
This isn't normally the type of thing I'd put on this list. The arrangement is your basic electric guitar pop/rock mid-tempo ballad thing, sure, all well & good. The melody doesn't strike me as being particularly creative, there's no epic tingly moment for me. But this song has gestalt. It's dark and desperate and you're not really sure why. Perhaps it's the emotion in her vocals, perhaps it's the specific combination of sounds. I don't know. But this song gets me every time I listen to it.
9. Onitsuka Chihiro - infection
A sharp contrast from number 10, this song has a simple arrangement that haunts you, climactic moments, great strings, amazing vocals from Chihiro, and gorgeous lyrics with amazing imagery. The first time I heard it I was amazed. Unfortunately, while she has other very beautiful songs, nothing from Chihiro matches it in power.
8. Hamasaki Ayumi - M
Of course Ayu is on the list somewhere. I juggled with several Ayu songs, trying to figure out which one was most worthy of the list. This one made me tingly the first time I heard it, the guitar solo is great, her vocal range is rather impressive, and it's got that dramatic buildup. Admittedly, this song no longer gives me tingles, its impact has faded. But that's probably only because I've listened to it a thousand goddamn times.
7. LUNA SEA - Providence (NEVER SOLD OUT Live version)
Even if you don't already know the studio version of "Providence," the violin intro to this version of the song will pique your interest. It's absolutely beautiful. The studio version of the song, while absolutely gorgeous, simply doesn't have the raw emotional power of the live version. This performance has the song slowed down & drawn out, making it much more dramatic and much more satisfying. The melody is simple, but it's enough to get to you.
6. Mizuki Nana - hime murasaki
This song is just so motherfucking EPIC. LoKi sent me a bunch of his favorite songs, and this one he'd specifically cited as one of the few slow songs that he liked. I figured I'd give it a listen and holy crap, it was incredible! I immediately ranked it with other favorite epic songs. It's probably going to be one of my favorites for a long time.
5. GLAY - Missing You
"It's just so fucking epic, and it's not strictly speaking 'slow', but it's definitely a ballad... as far as the mood of the song."
4. OLIVIA - Crystalline
"It's such a great combination of sexy and confused.... This song sounds like what stars in the eyes looks like, if that makes any sense."
3. Nakashima Mika - oborozukiyo~inori
"Such a creative track!...a good combination of pop instruments and traditional instruments."
2. B'z - Raging River
"Seven and a half minutes long but it doesn't feel like it!...It's so well done, because through the instruments, you can hear the inner turmoil..."
1. Shiina Ringo x Saito Neko - GAMBLE
"It didn't get my attention on Zecchoushuu at all, and then she put it on Heisei Fuuzoku... it's got harp, and piano, and electric guitar, and it's so dramatic and epic and perfect!...I play it incessantly."