Tag Archives: Nakata

Four Styles of J-Music NO ONE Takes Seriously

So, here’s a rather mean-spirited post. I’m just bitter because I jinxed another good Visual Kei band so I figured I would take my wrath towards myself out on everyone who reads my blog. Not really. This post is only made jokingly. I really don’t mean (most of) it so please don’t take it personally!

Here are four styles of Japanese music that are so laughably terrible to nearly everyone who has the misfortune of hearing it.

Oshare Kei

Paradeis, The Worst "Band" Since Nickelback/Theory of a Deadman

Something about oshare kei makes me feel like some kind of magical bulimic princess in a land of bull crap, like I’m vomiting rainbows and bleeding caramel from my eye sockets and prancing in fields of stupid with an imbecile unicorn named Sherman. I don’t get the appeal of this stuff and I never will. It’s not cute, guys. It’s gross and I see it in my sleep. Oshare Kei is probably the thing I hate second-most in the world. (This is what I hate most. Ughhhhh.)

When Every Artist EVER Dabbles in Techno

One of these things is not like the others... One of these things just doesn't belong..

J-tek music has become wildly popular ever since Yasutaka Nakata took over the world came to prominence. I think a lot of artists took advantage of the techno wave, including GACKT. It’s tough to look at the guy who kicked massive amounts of buttocks as the vampire-clad vocalist of Malice Mizer years ago cranking out DDR tunes ten years later. Don’t get me wrong, I love Koakuma Heaven, but I’ve heard so many people bash the song just because it’s so out of GACKT’s normal realm of music. News flash, kiddos. GACKT has no normal realm of music. He tries a little of everything; that’s why we love him. Duh.

Girls Who Shouldn’t Act Gangster Deciding to Act Gangster

McRoll'd?

Kuu. Stop. Now.

Whatever Crap misono Puts Out

Please stop looking at me.

The reject Koda sister gets slammed constantly. So let me slam her some more! Misono has absolutely zero talent as far as voice, charisma, and all-around decency as a human being goes. I cannot stand her music.

Hope you enjoyed this sarcasm-laden post! Remember that none of it is meant to offend anyone, it’s all joking, even if I do hate misono and Oshare Kei. Ehehe. Just gotta toss the disclaimers out there anyway, just to be nice.

~Alisa~

23 Comments

Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

“SECRET ADVENTURE” – MEG

MEG can flirt with artists like Dave Liang and Hadouken, but in the end her heart always belongs to Nakata.

Well. Major Room Girl vibes from the cover? I felt so. The content is nothing like Room Girl but still.

After releasing her magnum opus, in my opinion, last August, MEG had returned faithfully to the side of the almighty Yasutaka Nakata, God and Supreme Overlord of J-Tek.

When I listen to Secret Adventure, I feel like I’ve heard it before. Its like a combination of all of MEG’s songs tossed together. Maybe “tossed” is a bad choice of words. The track is still polished but I was looking for a bit of something more unique and less like a track that could have easily fit in on her BEAUTIFUL album. The b-side, Gray is a cute song. Nice b-side material, but I can’t say much else.

In Conclusion: You’ll notice how concise this review was simply because I really didn’t know what else to say about it. I liked the song but I don’t really like it. I’m almost indifferent, and that’s what made a single like this tough to write about. I did enjoy seeing MEG break the tradition of one-word song titles, though!

Next time I’ll be discussing the five best songs of 2010 (so far)! Be thinking of your top five too!

2 Comments

Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

“Triangle” – Perfume

This cover is sooooo awkward to me...

Get ready for a big heaping helping of Eau de PERFUME! That’s right, kiddos, this will be my first full length album review. Can I get a “woot-woot?” Much obliged.

Track 1: Take Off- Here’s just a basic interlude with some vocals mixed in. The girls count down in really cute Engrish. I like this. Its an energizing start.

Track 2:  Love the World- I don’t like how this song comes right after “Take Off.” It doesn’t fit! Its one of my favorites by Perfume and has a really fun beat but its weird (to me) placement on the album taints its awesomeness. The chorus is really nice.

Track 3: Dream Fighter- I didn’t care for this song much. The instrumentals are great and quite catchy but the vocals are boring.

Track 4: Edge (Triangle Mix)- I love the original “Edge,” but the song being extended to over 8 minutes is just silly and what we in “the biz” like to call “overkill.” Listen to the original from the “Love the World” single. It’ll make a better impression.

Track 5: Night Flight- Whyyyy didn’t this song come after “Take Off?!?!?!?” IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECT THERE! This is easily the best song on “Triangle” if not the greatest Perfume song ever. I remember watching the Pino CMs just to listen to the 30 sec clip of this song. I could not wait for it to come out. Then it did, and it was better than expected! My only complaint is that this song didn’t get a PV. Awww. The Perfume girls make such cute little flight attendants and I wish they had made a PV based on those adorable Pino CMs. Anyway, this song has got a classic Perfume song, and a level of energy that lasts throughout the entire five and a half minutes. Its unlike any other song on “Triangle” because you actually remember it later.

Track 6: Kiss and Music- Of all the weird songs that Perfume could have made… Ugh… The opening beats make me anticipate somebody starting to gangster rap. This song is awkward and robotic. The chorus is kind of nice but overall this song annoys me.

Track 7: Zero Gravity- This song is cute, upbeat, and has a disco sound. This is one of the better tracks on this album. The melody actually progresses.

Track 8: I Still Love U- I’m going to be brutal. This song is crap. And it got a PV. The PV is also crap. It has an 80s sound and the vocals are much more nasal than in other Perfume songs. It is beyond me why this song was so promoted. Its an embarrassment to the Perfume we love. The chorus has a somewhat nice melody but it sounds like it is being sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks. Gahhh. Skip it.

Track 9: The Best Thing- This is not “the best thing” on the album, silly Perfume. “Night Flight” has that honor! This song screams GENERIC.

Track 10: Speed of Sound- This is mostly instrumental. Blah…

Track 11: One Room Disco- This song is overhyped. There’s nothing good about it. Its repetitive, the vocals are positively apathetic, and the heavy techno sounds in the beginning are downright scary. “23:30” eats this song for breakfast.

Track 12: Negai (album mix)- This was actually done quite well. The piano and strings are very pretty. This song has the same relaxing feel as “23:30,” only its not quite as good. This was a good way to end the album, as it is the softest track on “Triangle.”

In Conclusion: I think that after “GAME,” Perfume fans had illogically high expectations of the next album. For many people, like myself, these expectations were not met. The album flow was messy and random, and most of the filler was quite poor filler. It is sad to think that “Take Off” is one of the best tracks on this album, and it doesn’t even count as a song! There are a few select gems found on “Triangle” but this album is nothing like “GAME.”

Please forgive me for judging this album so harshly.

~Alisa~

3 Comments

Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

“Journey” – MEG

A refreshing cover, and a refreshing concept

As she emerges from the post-apocalyptic ruins of her previous album “Beautiful,” (AKA “Butt-Ugly Mess”) electropop sensation MEG bids farewell to her dear friend Yasutaka Nakata as she heads out on a new, well, journey with a new buddy. This guy is Mr. Dave Liang of the Shanghai Restoration Project.  Nakata wipes a tear from his eye and gently mutters, “sayonara.”

What you have just read is a dramatization of what occurred in the aftermath of MEG’s last full-length album “Beautiful.” I have to say that I was expecting so much more out of it than what was given to me, but I suppose that’s life. MEG took a break from working with capsule/Perfume/a bazillion other projects mastermind Yasutaka Nakata to work with Dave Liang. I’m not dissing Nakata because I am a very big fan of his work, but MEG’s music improves drastically when she works with other people. The mini-album “Journey” is like the perfect mix of her Nakata stuff and her more jazzy pieces like the uber dark schizophenic anthem “Scanty Blues.” Now for a track-by-track review. I have a feeling that I’m going to have fun with this one…

Track 1: Droplets- First off, let me point out how cute and well-done the PV for this song is. This is a light-hearted and poppy song with very heavy Asian influences. The instrumentals are almost nonexistent during the voices, allowing MEG’s voice to resonate and convey the image of individual raindrops falling with each beat. The lyrics are simple but poetic. Excellent song.

Track 2: Questions- I get all kinds of vibes from this song. It feels like a mix between secret agent music, 60s psychadelic pop, and reggae rhythms. It’s a unique and odd combination, but it works really nicely. The way I’ve described this song probably makes it sound like a mess, but its actually not bad at all.

Track 3: Rush- Here’s the oddball track on here. The lyrics speak of a girl who apparently has a ton of nonsensical crap to do, she has nobody to help her, and she’s frantic.She sounds like a high school senior if you ask me. The simple melody is also frantic and the beat accentuates this. Continuous back up vocals spew up a steady “doot doot doot” and there are several chanted lyrics as well. You’ll either love this song or it will bug you to death. No gray area here whatsover.

Track 4: Dreamscape- This song returns to the Asian influences of “Droplets,” and sounds like a continuation of this song. I didn’t like this song that much. Nothing about it stood out for me.

Track 5: Just Like That- I have to say that this is the second best track on the mini-album. This is the jazziest song found on “Journey” and is comprised of some scatting as well as a call and response between MEG and a muffled version of her voice. The muffled vocals are a nice, dare I say beautiful addition to the song. I would break out my old tap shoes and dance to this song but they’re three sizes too small. 😥

Track 6: Journey- Here we have the the titular track of the mini-album. I may be quite bold in saying this, but this song is MEG’s magnum opus. The beat is addicting from the get-go, and there are some exotic wailing-esque noises playing in the background several times in the song. MEG’s voice is beautiful and flows throughout the piece like the waves on the ocean. The instrumentals are incredibly simple and totally driven by the voice. Its a relaxing and breathtaking piece of art that you become a part of while you listen to it.

Track 7: Dawn (remix)- Please don’t stone me to death, but I like this better than the original.

In Conclusion: “Journey” is a masterpiece. A couple of songs grow a touch stale after repeated plays, but the overall theme and mood of the mini-album is spectacular. I look forward to more collaborations with Dave Liang. I loved being able to hear MEG’s voice with some (if not all) of that vocoder stripped away. Her natural voice really shines. Highly recommended!

~Alisa~

1 Comment

Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection