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05.22.19 Johnny's new album05.17.19 Musical Modes Ranked
05.10.19 RYM friends?05.07.19 Loud af 3pieces
05.01.19 Artist of the Decade: Oomori Seiko 04.20.19 Review a Random Album Game '19
04.18.19 ur name? SONGnames04.16.19 A Very Interactive RecBank
04.08.19 Stir fry ! !03.30.19 Sekiro BOSSES and AREAS ranked
03.24.19 Johnny's Checklist02.26.19 Leaving mixtape 4 dorb
01.22.19 Johnny's Top 100 (1000 ratings!) 01.21.19 999 Ratings: Johnny's Top 130
01.08.19 One Rec to rule them all01.03.19 Persona 5 vs. Nier Automata
12.29.18 RIP Johnny12.19.18 Serial Experiments Lain
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Artist of the Decade: Oomori Seiko

I wrote a fuckoff huge review explaining why Oomori Seiko is the best thing to happen to 2010s pop in Japan or elsewhere (name a better pop artist from this decade, I challenge you!) but this is not enough and so here is a bite-size breakdown of why YOU should give her a shot. Oh, and in case Seiko is old new for some of you, I ranked every single one of her LP tracks to keep you from rolling your eyes at an introductory list. Enjoy ;]
94Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


See my review for this album for a full explanation, but basically I rate Seiko so highly because:

- She has a weird personality that is super recognisable in any of her songs
- She's an excellent lyricist
- She pulls off stylistic left-turns with substance and entertainment
- She LOVES contrasts and polarities (cute/morbid, loud/quiet etcetc)
- She has solid songwriting chops and uses them to toy with a really fun mix of styles
- Her work has a really distinctive bittersweet vibe at its most upbeat and its most sparse
- She represents what is essentially her own brand of feminism and is having a very real, positive impact for women in the Japanese music industry
- Her discography has a very directed arc that runs through and elevates even her weaker tracks
93Jun Togawa
Tamahime-sama


If you even vaguely dug this, you will likely love Seiko
92Haru Nemuri
Haru to Shura


I originally checked out Sennou as cannon fodder because I was worried I’d binge this album to oblivion otherwise. This was a wise decision.
91Shiina Ringo
Shouso Strip


This is still the best album ever, but at this point I rate Seiko's career over Ringo's
90Oomori Seiko
PINK


Still haven’t heard this EP, but here’s the lowdown...
89Oomori Seiko
PINK


1 - Oomori Seiko’s voice is an acquired taste. Her pitch is solid but she has a thin tone that will likely grate on first-time listeners unused to JPop.
2 - All her songs are in Japanese with a few English phrases thrown in, but in some cases the lyrics add a tonne of impact to tracks that aren’t otherwise that powerful.
3 - Although a lot her work is weird, overblown or provocative enough that it almost comes off as parody, there is a very personal voice and craft that runs through all of their songs and makes them far more enduring and poignant than you’d imagine. Recognising this comes partly from getting familiar with her style of songwriting (which is difficult because she changes things around between albums so much) and partly from reading lyric translations.
4 - All of these songs benefit massively from recognising these qualities, which means that even her most accessible songs need a little digging into to shine to their full potential
88Oomori Seiko
PINK


None of these are Bad Things, but they do make her a lot tricker for a Western audience to appreciate at first. This sounds patronising, so by all means prove me wrong! Start with Sennou or any of the songs recommended for each album…
87Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


As debuts go, this raw set of indie folk songs is certainly fully realised, but it’s not an easy swallow. At first difficult and eventually devastating, Mahou is full of gems but also sees Seiko at her most uncompromising.

Check: Ongaku o Suteyo、Soshite Ongaku He
86Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


Released the same year as Mahou, this is another predominantly acoustic album but with a few artsy twists and a couple of her best pop songs at the start. The central section of this album is pretty sparse and can be hard to follow, but some of Seiko’s best tracks appear throughout this.

Check: Amai
85Oomori Seiko
Sennou


A hybrid masterpiece that merges a huge range of sounds into a polished and surprisingly cohesive gem. This is the best album to start on; it’s got the same depth as her others, but it’s so immediately entertaining that it’s easy to put any reservations aside and go along with the ride. Weird and wonderful at its finest.

Check: Omake ~ Super Free Pop ~
84Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


Probably the easiest of her albums to digest, this is a collection of bold, solid pop songs. The first eight songs are a run that rivals Sennou, but the album takes a turn for the worse in its final third.

Check: Magic Mirror
83Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


Her politicised magnum opus takes the ideas of gender identity and image that crop up throughout her past work and turn them from a personal struggle for self-worth into a literal declaration of war with society. The opener Dogma Magma is an absolute tour de force and plays out like an impassioned manifesto for everything she stands for. Unfortunately this album is also her most overlong and inconsistent, worth checking but not as a priority.

Check: Dogma Magma
82Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


Seiko’s latest refines kitixxxgaia’s album into a less pompous thrill featuring her best vocal performances to date, a glorious synth-heavy foray into glam metal and a quarantine zone at the end for all the ballads. If you get her, this rips.

Check: Amoeba no Koi
81Oomori Seiko
PINK


~~~ SONG RANKING ~~~
80Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


80. Mugen Climax Kamome Kyoushitsuhen
I had to make a lot of tough decisions to arrange these songs in even a rough order of preference. Opinions were revised and changed, I found new value in several songs and brought others down to earth, and the current order is by no means concrete. However, one thing on which I was completely certain on from the moment I started was that this ridiculous piece of trash would be placed firmly at the bottom. One of Seiko’s great qualities is the way she often baits a bemused “Why?” from her listeners and twists it into something wonderful, but there is no redeeming this kitsch piano trainwreck that for fuck knows what reason is framed by none other than the third movement of Beethoven’s legendary Moonlight Sonata. Why, Seiko, why?
79Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


79. POSITIVE STRESS
The chorus of this single grates on me so badly that I’m glad it’s the only song on this list (I think?) that Seiko didn’t write herself. kitixxxgaia is easily my least favourite of her albums and while Mugen Climax is an anomaly of awfulness, this one is a pretty clear example of why.
78Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


78. IDOL SONG
Apparently this song is made up of catchphrases from Seiko’s favourite idols, which is pretty cool but it’s still too saccharine for my liking (although it has more potential to grow than the other kitixxxgaia duds).
77Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


77. JI MO TO no Kao Kawaii Tomodachi
The über camp style of this one is too much for me.
76Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


76. Mushuusei Romantic ~Enchosen~
Slightly cringey jazz duet with some neat chords but atrocious electric piano tones.
75Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


75. Purikura Nide
Adorable but largely forgettable little waltz.
74Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


74. Endless Dance
Cute acoustic ditty that doesn’t really go anywhere.
73Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


73. Communication Barrier
This song peaks 5 seconds in with a very catchy guitar riff, but the rest is an admittedly fun funk bop that never quite takes off.
72Oomori Seiko
Sennou


72. Date wa Yameyou
Sennou is a virtually perfect album and while this short acoustic musing works very well as a break between two of it’s most bombastic tracks, it doesn’t hold up too well on its own.
71Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


71. Rock Me Rock Me
The shift in quality from Getikiki JOY! (which you will not be seeing for a long, long time on this list) to this is quite possibly the sharpest drop of quality between any two songs in Seiko’s discography. Rock Me Rock Me has a certain lilt but comes off as fairly disparate and has a slightly grating chorus.
70Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


70. Natsubate
Pretty enough but one of the more forgettable songs on Seiko’s debut.
69Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


69. Kouenji
One of the two giants on Mahou, this one is so slow and drawn out that I can help but see it as cumbersome. Powerful stuff in the right place and time, but in the same way that obscure legendary Pokemon no-one really counts as canon can sometimes seem unexpectedly flash.
68Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


68. PS
Zettai Shoujo has a lot of delicate, intimate folk tracks but this is the only one that feels faint enough to tread close to being insubstantial.
67Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


67. Dramatic Shiseikatsu
My Dramatic Life indeed, this is a somewhat vanilla pop rock song that is vastly overshadowed by Tokyo Black Hole’s stronger moments.
66Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


66. Are Sore
Fun exclamative folk vibes just before Zettai Shoujo’s wonderful 1-2 closing combination; this feels like a little trepidation before that part of the album kicks in.
65Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


65. Gutta Kuro SUMMER
There’s a lot going on here, but it kind of sounds like the opening theme to a comedy heist flick and I’m not entirely sure whether I like this.
64Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


64. Maguro Gyosen no Uta
Short and sweet dramatic piano track that definitely stands out on a first listen through Mahou. Quite haunting and elegant.
63Oomori Seiko
Sennou


63. Kiss Me Kill Me
Sennou’s most overlong, meandery song is still rich with that album’s charm but it’s pretty easy to imagine this one sinking if Seiko had gone for it at any other point in her career. In some ways it leans towards Tokyo Black Hole’s style, but that album would develop this sound with far more direction.
62Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


62. 生kill the time 4 you、、♡
This song is essentially an upbeat meme and would be far higher if the chorus shouting didn’t grate on me so badly. Consult this translation and its many, many emojis and you’ll get the gist: https://kimonobeat.tumblr.com/post/166125352153/oomori-seiko-lyrics-i-kill-the-time-4-you-生
61Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


61. Watashimi
That my least favourite Kusokawa Party song makes an entry at this point should tell you a lot about that album. Although not as striking as the ballads either side of it, Watashimi is as robust and affecting as any of Seiko’s work in that vein but suffers from sounding like a slightly inferior version of Kimoi Kawa, which is long enough on its own.
60Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


60. Shinjuku
While most of Mahou is pretty sparse, Shinjuku feels…cold. Its lilting hook is upbeat and bouncy, but it also reminds me so much of convenience store jingles that I can’t get the image of Seiko composing this in the back of her mind while buying late night groceries in an otherwise empty FamilyMart out of my head. Huge bonus points for a chiptune synth solo. From this point onwards, the duds and not-quites are out of the way; I outright like Shinjuku, and things only get better from here.
59Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


59. Pink Methuselah
This one’s interesting, definitely more successful than some of kitixxxgaia’s extravagant fare. It feels like a less overtly kooky version of SHINPIN with a momentous chorus. I’m still intrigued by this song but still haven’t been swept away by it.
58Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


58. Atashi Tenshi no Kanninbukuro
This one adds a little drama and performativity to Mahou’s sound and brings in a fantastic surf guitar solo. It feels a little fleeting, but always makes for a fun listen.
57Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


57. Himegoto
Appropriately titled (‘Secret’), this track is easy to overlook in its sequencing between two emotional behemoths and a raucous closer, but it’s an understated gem.
56Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


56. Senaka no Zipper
More lovely simplicity from Mahou. This album is such a worthwhile slow grower.
55Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


55. REALITY MAGIC
This is the most ridiculous song on Kusokawa Party and it will either get you on your feet or lead to this: https://mobile.twitter.com/theneedledrop/status/1019928694004084736
54Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


54. Tokyo to Kyou
6/10 pun, 7/10 song. This raw ballad could have been on Zettai Shoujo or Mahou, and it really fucks with Kusokawa Party’s sequencing. It’s good to hear Seiko letting it all out with no accompaniment except her own guitar after such a polished, overblown rush of songs, even though the album never quite gets its flow back.
53Oomori Seiko
Sennou


53. Rock N Roll Paradise
Neat pop rock song that sounds as fresh and inviting as anything on Sennou.
52Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


52. Tenran kai no e
The noisest, messiest track on this list is fiercely acoustic and is full of acoustic thrashing and abrupt rhythmic shifts that feel like they couldn’t have come from anyone else. Great saxophone feature too.
51Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


51. Orion Za
While I’m not convinced this needed to be six minutes long and it plays out a little one-note, this song is pretty damn beautiful in its own right.
50Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


50. Kimoi Kawa
Kusokawa Party’s closer would easily be one of my favourites on the album if I didn’t dislike the chord progression in the chorus so much. The title translates as Disgustingly Cute and sees Seiko undertaking a touching and brutally unflattering self-flagellation as the former quality striving towards the latter. Overall a good song, but while I get that the faux-positive tone of the chorus juxtaposes the lyrics effectively, I feel this could have been pulled off much better.
49Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


49. hayatochiri
This one feels shy and evasive, and it took me a long time to come round to. The more direct rock version on Tokarev helped quite a bit, but the original has a distinct subtlety to it and boasts one of the most mellifluous vocal performances from Seiko’s early days.
48Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


48. W
Only a minute and a half long, but there are some gorgeously fragile sounds on this one.
47Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


47. I love you
So pure, so simple and so so wholesome. I’ve never looked up the lyrics for this one, partly because I’m terrified they’ll turn it into something far sadder, and partly because Seiko crooning the title over and over is her loveliest non-expletive English language moment and I want to treasure it.
46Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


46. KITTY’S BLUES
Oomori Seiko’s full-length discography starts out on a pretty appropriate note: KITTY’S BLUES is a real ugly duckling. Its chord sequences are technically pretty, but something about this song’s roundabout plod holds it back from seeming as such. Held together by a piano motif that cuts far deeper than you might expect, there’s something strangely compelling about this one that I can’t pin down.
45Oomori Seiko
Sennou


45. Imitation Girl
Sennou’s abrupt departure into straight-up EDM started off as a guilty pleasure but holds up as a straight banger.
44Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


44. Shoujo 3Gou
Seiko takes an unexpected foray into cooler-than-thou indie midway through Zettai Shoujo and the result is short, sweet and somewhat unique in her discography.
43Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


43. Shoujo Manga, Shounen Manga
Of every Oomori Seiko song, Tokyo Black Hole’s sprawling closer is perhaps the one I most feel I should like more than I do. This song develops beautifully, evoking a characteristically bittersweet impression with its lyrics and melodies but it doesn’t quite hit me the way it should.
42Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


42. 7:77
Oh goodness this one is fast and feels like power metal meets chiptune and it speeds by so quickly that none of its many, many hooks (there are least five of substantial weight) are instantly memorable but for some reason it’s stupidly catchy and infectious. Kusokawa Party in a nutshell right here.
41Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


41. Aishiteru.com
Fun tongue-in-cheek pop, this is a neat encapsulation of what you can expect from Seiko’s singles.
40Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


40. LOW hAPPYENDROLL —Shoujo no Mama de Shinu
Okay, I know this is LP songs only but this mammoth B-side from the 2019 Zettai Kanojo single is better than a significant number of Seiko’s actual singles and I couldn’t help but sneak it in above Aishiteru.com
39Oomori Seiko
Sennou


39. Kyuru Kyuru
Aww, Sennou’s ultra excitable lead single. Kyuru Kyuru is an exuberant and relatively unsurprising pop track (aside from that killer funk groove in the second verse), and it’s carried a long way by the energy Seiko puts in here.
38Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


38. Hikokuminteki Hero
Oomori Seiko’s collaboration with Shinsei Kamattechan’s Noko is as fun and frantic as anyone would have expected. The two play off each other with convincing chemistry and I am a big fan of the PV (which is basically the two of them hanging out and having a ball). The song itself is definitely one of kitixxxgaia’s finer moments but if I’m honest with myself, I love the energy of the collaboration slightly more than the music itself.
37Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


37. Handmade Home
Seiko’s unexpectedly straightforward effort at country pop is an upbeat delight and an easy grower. I can only see this one rising.
36Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


36. Mahou Ga Tsukaenainara
The closer and title track on Seiko’s debut is short, desperate and punchy. If you’re not firmly on board with her style and ethos at this point, this will sound like a scrappy mess, but it’s otherwise an excellent track that wraps up her rawest, most fragile album with an abrupt sense of conviction. Those gloriously last 20 seconds give absolutely zero fucks.
35Oomori Seiko
Sennou


35. Nanachan no Saisei Kouza
While not the most individually remarkable track here, this serves as a super-cute palette cleanser after the intensity of Sennou’s first four tracks and fleshes out that album’s atmosphere in a way very endearingly. I think the amount I enjoy this song has always been a reflection of how much I enjoy Sennou as a whole, so while I was unconvinced to begin with it’s grown a great deal.
34Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


34. Choshin Sedai Castella Standard MAGIC Maji KISS
Upbeat daydreamy pop rock with excellent melodies and a great sense of momentum; more stellar material from Tokyo Black Hole.
33Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


33. Midnight Seijun Isei Kouyuu
An early Seiko pop classic, this one deserves a lot of credit for gaining wider exposure before signing to with Avex Trax and stepping out of her indie phase. It’s one of her most enduringly popular tracks for good reason, although I’ve never been able to pin down why her vocal performance is quite so nasal here, especially following the breathy Zettai Kanojo. Maybe she had a cold and limited studio time. Whatever, the Tokarev version is great too and has some gorgeous guitar parts.
32Oomori Seiko
Sennou


32. Watashi wa Omoshiroi Zettai Omoshiroi Tabun
That title literally translates as “I’m Entertaining, Absolutely Entertaining, Probably” and it’s no coincidence that it plays out as the choppiest, most ADHD-prone track in her discography. This is a track made up entirely of nonsensical left-turns, and while it’s extremely incohesive, it’s nothing if not…entertaining.
31Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


31. I & YOU & I & YOU & I
This is a cover track at the very end of Zettai Shoujo, and it follows on from Kimi to Eiga’s upbeat accessibility to close the album with a good deal of positivity and personality.
30Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


30. SHINPIN
Weird skittery pop from around the middle of Tokyo Black Hole’s golden run.
29Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


29. Chikyuu Saigo no Futari
An edgy track with an air of suspense to it, this one goes up a gear when hip-hop artist and contemporary DAOKO steps up to the mic and steals the show. This one feels fresh and exciting and holds up well in sequencing.
28Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


28. Last Dance
Another Kusokawa Party banger, this one falls five tracks in and sounds as fresh as anything.
27Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


27. Kimi ni Todoku na
For all it one risks being a dreary, kitsch ballad with its mopey pace and lyrics full of anaesthetic and spilt ice-cream, Kimi ni Todoku na is the only slow song on kitixxxgaia that can hold a candle to Seiko’s best work in that vein. Her chord choice is on point here, but it’s her vocal performance that steals the show.
26Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


26. GIRL’S GIRL
Oh boy, there’s a lot going on here in well under three minutes. Some of Seiko’s most extensive dissections of gender expectations to date play out over urgent harp-backed verses, a tongue-in-cheek belter of a chorus and the occasional drone strike of distorted synth bass; when Seiko says DOWNTOWN, she means it here. This is a weird track that doesn’t really work without its lyrical bent, but sees it off with a good deal of innovation and excitement.
25Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


25. Analog Syncopation
Seiko sounds weary but triumphant at the end of her longest album and while I’m not convinced that kitixxxgaia needed to be the marathon that it was, it’s still great to hear her getting back up and running a victory lap here. The whole progression from the start to the first chorus is peak Seiko and shows off her gift for making palatable pop music sound like an empowering gesture of defiance.
24Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


24. Kayoukyoku. Named after a traditional mode of JPop songwriting, Kayoukyoku is a slow, meandering piano ballad over which Seiko sings her heart out. It’s a moving snapshot of her early style’s intimate side and sounds just as beautiful six years on. This song marks a shift in quality on the list; everything from this point onwards in practically perfect in my book.
23Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


23. VOID. We’re looking at the B-side version from the Zettai Kanojo rerecording here, although the original acoustic version from the expanded edition of Kusokawa Party is great too. VOID takes pop-rock into such energetic realms that it might as well be punk and the lyrics adopt an unusual levity as they speed through an account of an unpretentiously empty one-night stand. Absolute banger.
22Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


22. Sacchan no Sexy Curry. This is the OP from a food anime that consists of saccharine pop and Seiko singing a coda of se- SE- SEXY CURRY at the top of her lungs. Perfect meme, great song.
21Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


21. Aoi Heya. A deep cut that sounds pretty unique against the rest of her discography. Aoi Heya is a distant, reflective piano ballad with beautiful lyrics and minimal embellishment. Most Oomori Seiko tracks are quite performative (and no less personal for it), but this one feels strange and distant in its simplicity. It’s distinctive for that, but also very very lovely.
20Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


20. Zettai Kanojo. Probably the most accessible and immediately catchy song on the list, Zettai Kanojo doesn’t show off Seiko’s full scope but that chorus chant (which is basically her singing “Girls, girls, girls are the best!”) is as infectious as it gets. This is a comment on the original Zettai Shoujo version; we do not talk about the 2019 single.
19Oomori Seiko
Sennou


19. Noroi wa Mizuiro. This is such a painfully beautiful song I can’t believe it’s not even the best ballad on Sennou. There’s a live video somewhere of her belting this with no instrumentation whatsoever in the middle of a packed crowd at an open airfestival and it sounds absolutely dreadful and totally glorious all at once.
18Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


18. Over the Party. This is the most wilfully obnoxious Seiko track and I would love to put it higher. It’s basically her taking a catchy acoustic track and sabotaging the fuck out of it - I showed this to a friend who was convinced she literally dropped her guitar on the ground after the first chorus, and the sheer chaos that kicks in around that point only gets stranger.
17Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


17. ZOC Jikkenshitsu. Seiko goes full hair-metal on this one and it’s far more robustly executed that I would have expected. Huge riffs and an even huger chorus plus the most intense outro in her discography; the way this song ends with her frantically screaming KISE KISE KISE (Kill me!) to be followed by an innocuous “…ikkiru” (I’m alive!) as the music drops off reminds me of the moment mid-way through the final scene in Death Proof when Zoe Bell is brutally thrown off a car only to spring up unharmed from the roadside foliage a minute later; it’s got the same cocksure delivery.
16Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


16. TOKYO BLACK HOLE. Beautifully crafted pop with a strong acoustic presence, this is the perfect opening to her most straightforward and instantly get-able album. It also has a great line about her skirt being blown up by the wind like an anime cliche, only for her underwear to make apparent that it’s that time of the month.
15Oomori Seiko
Sennou


15. Zettai Zetsubou Zekkouchou. The song that started it all! I first heard of Oomori Seiko in an interview from around this time in which she described her music as Disneyland in hell, and nothing could have better prepared me for the way this opens Sennou. This song is absolute excess and gleefully chaotic. I love it to pieces.
14Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


14. Kyuushoku Toubansei Hantai. This is a real deep cut from Tokyo Black Hole’s otherwise underwhelming back end, and it went over my head on my first few listens. The melodic and dynamic progressions here are masterfully subtle but build into something very delicate and utterly compelling, almost like a gentle reinvention of the same hooks and heights Omake pulled off so deliberately crudely.
13Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


13. Amoeba no Koi. Seiko is as good at high drama as she is at being disarmingly personal, and this is a breathtaking demonstration of the former mode at its best.
12Oomori Seiko
Sennou


12. Kodamo ja Nai Mon 17. Upbeat nostalgic pop bliss. I haven’t found a good translation or studied the lyrics for this one closely, but it’s always struck me as deceptively sad - there’s even something bittersweet about the way she yells DAISUKI (I love you!) again and again over the bridge. A great song for first-time listeners.
11Oomori Seiko
Sennou


11. Yakiniku Date. This song is batshit insane and pulls off spontaneous stylistic shift after spontaneous stylistic shift. It’s best to check this for yourself, because it captures Sennou’s marriage of novelty and songwriting excellence so perfectly that I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise.
10Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


10. Ongaku o Suteyo、Soshite Ongaku He. Aka the one with the long title where she chants ONGAKU WA MAHOU NARANAI a quadrillion times towards the end. This is a staple to her legacy and a huge fan favourite, and it’s easy to see why; the atmosphere on this one is maudlin and intimate but strangely inviting and her vocal performance is particularly quirky. An enduring classic.
9Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


9. Amai. One of her best acoustic tracks, this one has a very sweet, nostalgic melodicism to it and is particularly well-paced. I love the way it embraces its whimsical natures and trails off in feedback and sustained chords at the end, it reminds me a little of Sonic Youth’s The Sprawl, which did the same thing equally remarkably. Zettai Shoujo at its finest.
8Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


8. Magic Mirror. I didn’t expect this one to make it so far, but as arguably the most substantial and well-crafted pop track Seiko has penned to date it seemed a disservice to put it any lower. Magic Mirror is gargantuan, gathering steam with clear intent and exploding into an urgent chorus that ends in an innovative set of fantastical chromaticisms before dissolving into chaos. This is a very clever track in many ways and it sounds absolutely huge.
7Oomori Seiko
Kusokawa Party


7. Shinigami. Kusokawa Party’s opener is an unapologetically epic power ballad that pairs an enjoyably cheesy set of chords with brilliant lyricism that sees a frustrated Seiko weary of struggling with lack of self-worth and being demonised as model of bad motherhood venting her negavity in a supremely uplifting tribute to life and creativity. Sensational stuff.
6Oomori Seiko
Kitixxxgaia


6. Dogma Magma. My many reservations about kitixxxgaia are not helped by the fact that its first and best track did everything so perfectly. This is a literal call for war in which Seiko imagines herself as a God reborn in the body of a Japanese woman and forced to confront the absurdity of conservative society, and it’s pulled off with vast style and character. The first chorus is as defiantly euphoric as it gets, with its first line translating (very loosely) as “Who the hell are you to reduce my heart to a single object - FUCK YOU.” It sounds better in Japanese.
5Oomori Seiko
Sennou


5. Omake ~ Super Free Pop ~
I wrote a lot about this song in my Sennou review, but the amount of sass and glee on show here is sensational. Half art-pop wonder and half art-pop hell, this track shows Seiko’s tongue-in-cheek contrarian side at its finest, and it helps that the melodic half builds to a sky-high anthemic chorus for the ages.
4Oomori Seiko
Zettai Shoujo


4. Kimi to Eiga
Probably the most conventional track in her canon, Kimi to Eiga is upbeat folk-pop perfection over which Seiko squeaks and muses with her classic bittersweet charm about the way we find authentic happiness in a world full of misleading representations. Or something. This song is cute and nostalgic and full of positive feelings, and I can’t imagine ever having warmed to Zettai Shoujo without it.
3Oomori Seiko
Mahou ga Tsukaenainara, Shinitai


3. Saishū Koen
One of the most powerful acoustic songs I’ve heard from any artist, this is devastatingly cathartic. She lets it all out on this one in a way that feels utterly inimitable; I cannot imagine anyone ever successfully attempting to cover this. Her Pink Tokarev self-cover album comes close with a less introspective rock arrangement, but it doesn’t quite catch the rawness of the original. There’s a very strong argument to be made for this as Seiko’s best song, but my favouritism only carries it this far…
2Oomori Seiko
Tokyo Black Hole


2. Getikiki JOY! Before After
This is one of those perfect pop songs that will never fail to make you grin like an idiot and soar to the kind of good mood that doesn’t feel like it’s meant to belong in everyday life. The heights Seiko reaches on that powerhouse of a chorus are nothing short of irresistible, and the sly strut of the verses makes it twice as satisfying.
1Oomori Seiko
Sennou


1. Nostalgic J-POP
As unpretentiously and aptly named as songs get, Nostalgic J-POP is a stunning, richly melodic ballad as straightforward as it is moving. Making this list was a bit of a scramble and the precise order wasn’t at all apparent to me in advance, but it feels right to see this come out on top; as adventurous and exciting as Oomori Seiko is, she wouldn’t be half the artist she is without the incredible grasp for simple songwriting she demonstrates here.
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