I know I'm a little late in getting this up, but I lost my list over the weekend >_<;
Zer0 did a great job with her list, but with Jaylee being completely tied up with school, you'll have to enjoy my list twice as much cuz chances are that Jaylee won't post his. I'm going with the 1-10 approach rather than 10-1 so you get the good stuff first and I'll also include YouTube videos as well :) Check out our YouTube Channel for a playlist of all of our Top Slow Songs! Here's mine :)
Let's hit the jump and get this shit started...
1. Speed - Carry On My Way
2. Gackt - Rain
3. Mizuki Nana - Hime Murasaki
4. Gackt - Emu ~for my dear~
5. Aqua Timez - Aki no Shita De
Speed - Carry On My Way
Speed was my first foray into JPop. Up until that point, I was only familiar with anime and game music. So there I was; in college and downloading some anime song from a website instead of going to class. The site admin had a recommendation to check out Carry On My Way so I figured why not? I took a listen and was instantly hooked. I then found a website that had Speed PVs for download; which in 2000 was hard to come across. I quickly had all their PVs up to that point and had them on constant loop as a sort of screensaver for my computer. This song is single-handedly responsible for the entirety of my JMusic library and ensuing habit; which now is in upwards of 3TB of videos. I owe everything I have come to love in life to this song, and the 2nd part of the chorus still makes me all teary eyed...
"Kasukana hikari ga mieru Ano basho e mou ichido kyou kara mata hajimereba ii So carry on..."
Gackt - Rain
I got into Gackt because of 'Another World'. Definitely not his best song, but it was the first song I heard from him and I knew that he was something special. I quickly found out that the real draw to Gackt is his flair for the epic. This shows in uptempo songs like 'Death Wish' (my fave non-slow Gackt song) and in Rain. I first heard Rain on the very awesome Moon album and it quickly became one of my favorite tracks. I then found a live clip from CDTV and got to experience his emotion while singing this song. To call it 'epic' is a disservice; it is 'Gackt'. Rain is the very definition of how a perfect song is composed. The ending is especially breathe-taking. It's also very fun to sing in the car :)
Mizuki Nana - Hime Murasaki
Mizuki Nana has quickly become one of my favorite female artists. I'm not really sure why, as her sound is something I thought I'd grown out of. Her very JPop-iness sound I've equated to Hamasaki Ayumi (when she was good) with a tinge of the anime/jpop vocalists of yesteryear like Hayashibara Megumi. She's not sugary like Shokotan, not as "look at me" as Koda Kumi, but also not someone who's going to be as strong as an Utada. I first heard her 'Justice Believe' single which was a great blend of pop and orchestral background music; I really dig that combination! So, further exploring her discography, I came across the B-side to her 'Wild Eyes' single, 'Hime Murasaki'. Talk about a great find! The backing track is very majestic with an epic nature to it and her vocals during the chorus are a perfect match. Rarely does a JPop artist release a slow song that can capture me as completely as this song has.
Gackt - Emu ~for my dear~
I've seen this (and pronounced this) song spelled a couple different ways. I'll use the wikipedia spelling from now on. Emu is one of those songs that is good because of the vocals. I don't particularly think the backing track is that great (until the solo), but the raw emotion that Gackt puts into the vocals is a wonderous thing that I think only Gackt can do. There's not much that I can say about this song besides...Wow. It's another very powerful song that must be song at the top of your lungs while in your car :)
Aqua Timez - Aki no Shita de
So listening to the Dare ka no Chijoue album, I think this song stands out like a sore thumb. I both don't consider this an 'Aqua Timez song' yet consider it their best. The beginning instrumental instantly makes me think that this song will be great. When the verse kicks in, I just think, "OK, standard verse, but I like his style so far." Then the chorus kicks in and it becomes badass and quite epic in its own right. This is one of the few slow songs I listen to to get me pumped for hockey each week and after listening to it at least once a week for over a year, it still does the trick! If you don't fall in love with this song, you and I will never see eye-to-eye on music :P
6. L'Arc~en~Ciel - Hoshizora
7. SiD - Ajisai
8. L'Arc~en~Ciel - Pieces
9. Olivia - A Little Pain
10. Utada Hikaru - Letters
L'Arc~en~ciel - Hoshizora
If you're surprised that a Laruku song hasn't made the list yet, you should know that what attracts me to them are not their slow songs. Not to say that they're bad, I just don't really care about them. One of the few exceptions is 'Hoshizora' from their Awake album. I know the main draw to this song are the anti-war lyrics, but I don't EVER care about lyrics. My viewpoint on music is that the vocals are just another instrument; and as long as they sound great, I don't care what they're saying. Such is the case with Hoshizora. Hyde's voice is something I will treasure for the rest of my life, and the songs where it shines are truely a gift to fans. When he can build a song so that when the chorus hits, and he's still not at his climax, my ears are at full attention in anticipation. I love it when he gets so into a song that he feels the need to just sing, without lyrics. And when he does these kinds of songs live, how he just looks out into the audience or closes his eyes to savor that epic feeling of where he is and what he's doing. I dare you to sing this song without getting a feeling of empowerment with your own voice. Truely epic...
SiD - Ajisai
I downloaded the Ajisai PV as one of those "new this week, why not try a new artist" kicks I go on every now and then. Needless to say I became an instant fan. I quickly found their album Renai and was surprised when I loved every single song on that album. We've featured the album on the show so check the Episodes List page to hear what Zer0 and I thought. SiD is definitely not the band that I grew so fond of anymore, but I can always watch this stunning PV and be reminded of how awesome they used to be!
L'Arc~en~Ciel - Pieces
So 'Pieces' is an odd one for me. When I got the Best Of CDs and heard this song, it became one I skipped for reasons mentioned above. I never really watched the PV, and couldn't understand why fans seemed to like it so much. Then I saw it live. Seeing this song be performed as the finale of a L'Arc concert is a spectacle to behold. This is another example of seeing Hyde get so into a song that he just needs to close his eyes and revel in the moment the band just created for everyone. The 'Live in the USA' version (which I was in attendance for) had sparks showering behind him (I cried) and the Grand Cross Conclusion version is equally as epic. Unfortunately Youtube doesn't have either performance, so here's the one from the L'Anniversary concert.
Olivia - A Little Pain
Everyone knows this as one of the songs from Nana, and that's exactly where I first heard it. I have sat here trying to think of something deserving to write about this song, but the only thing I can think of is that it's just beautiful. It's also my cat's theme song because it's what was playing when I was driving her home from the shelter the first day I got her :)
Utada Hikaru - LETTERS
A bit of a departure from Utada's slow songs is the acoustically-pleasing Letters. The best version of this is the MTV Unplugged version but, again, Youtube fails me. I like how she's basically reading a letter for the lyrics but the backtrack is what really made me pay attention to this song. I don't really know how to classify this style other than 'eclectic' and when the chorus kicks in, it's just got a jazz club feeling to it...even though it's not jazz. Ya...I think I'm just looking for things to type at this point...
So there you have it: my illustrious Top 10 Slow Songs! I hope you have found at least one of these enjoyable and I hope you've heard something that makes you go "hrmm. I never knew he/she could create such a song."