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#101 Posted by HummingLight (15 posts) -

Huh, I've always been curious about Japanese pop music. Mebbe I should check some out?

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#102 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -
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#103 Posted by NoneSun (807 posts) -

People here listening to the stuff coming out of Comiket 87? http://www.doujinstyle.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=12135

I've only done fairythm, Piano 2, Death form Above and CIERA. I've liked them all fine, nothing exceptional but there are some great songs mixed in with all the OK stuff, like usual.

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#104 Edited by Hampe (268 posts) -

So uh, what are people thinking about the new Capsule single? That is "Feel Again". Since there's no video for it out, I'm more curious on what you think about it. I'm pretty glad since it sounds like they're going back to the style of "PLAYER" which is without a doubt one of my favourite albums of theirs.

Also, man, this WAVE RUNNER MEGA MIX movie they posted on Youtube just makes me wanna jump up and down (also makes me a bit disappointed I didn't go to ageHa during Halloween, as I was in Tokyo and totally had the chance to).

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I've been listening a lot to Utada Hikaru no Uta, the cover album that was released in December. There's some really good pieces in it, and a great variation of styles, from the electronic dance beats from Ayumi Hamasaki and her cover of Movin' on without you to Ohashi Trio's tender Stay Gold cover.

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I'm not sure if anyone's posted this but maaaaan, YURIKA! Her album"Adiantum" is just absolutely amazing to listen to. From the nice samples of "Get Busy" to the more calm track of "Memory Lane". The music video for Dig It the Vintage with ZEN-LA-ROCK is just great, and a great introduction to the album.

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Maybe not really Jpop, but worth a mention, is Yoko Kanno's latest work in Zankyou no Terror. The two soundtracks are just brilliant. The Icelandic singer Arnór Dan is making his first appearance as a collaborator with Kanno, but I hope they continue after this.

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I hope that I managed to don't get anything that has been mentioned before this time!

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#105 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@hampe: I think I'm going to wait for the full album release before I dabble in any CAPSULE. I've heard some samples from stuff they've done live in the past few months that's supposed to be new, and that sound was enough for me to be instantly onboard. Even though I did like the last release quite a bit for its more subdued nature, I'll also take a return to the intense sounds from their earlier albums.

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#106 Posted by Hampe (268 posts) -

@wemibelec90: Understandable. I actually didn't knew anything new was coming out until I stumbled upon the single, but now I've pre-ordered the Limited Edition version of the album on Amazon and I just can't wait for it to come out.

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#107 Posted by johncallahan (898 posts) -

As always I find myself having so much catching up to do. Thankfully though I just bought myself a Japanese iTunes card. So I'm going to dig through the last few posts and bulk up my library. Also that top 10 list was great. Completely agree with #1 too!

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#108 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@johncallahan: I have so many things I want to buy on Japanese iTunes and not nearly enough money to pay for the cards, especially considering the hike in price. Just make sure to check that things aren't available on the US store first, since songs are so much more expensive there!

It's been a LONG time since my last post for several reasons: too many posts in a row preventing me from adding another, my obsession over my Top 10 list for 2014, and the end of year/beginning of year stretch being quite dead. While there still isn't much going on in terms of new songs, I have plenty of old material to pull from.

Your Love - MThree

This song isn't great, I'm willing to admit. Even still, it has something that keeps me coming back every now and then. The verses have a good rhythm to them, flowing well from each of the vocalists. As is the case with so many songs, the chorus is my favorite part--extremely catchy and easy to sing along with due to its English lyrics. This is just a fun, no-investment-necessary song.

Love Corrida - Shishido Kafuka

Shishido is an artist I've been meaning to get around to hearing more of for quite some time, ever after hearing this song for the first time. She has some great attitude, strutting and playing the drums with healthy aplomb. I love the chorus, all over the place with its sound yet still quite catchy. The instrumentation is fun and peppy, also jumping back and forth from rock to pop styles whenever it damn well feels like it. The video's pretty excellent as well, well worth a watch.

Super Big - Sisterjet

This is a song that nearly made it onto my top 10 for 2014. It has fantastic instrumentation, pounding drums and a solid guitar riff to it all together. It's one of those songs I love to put on, jack up the volume, and just nod along with for its duration. The vocalist rarely changes his pitch but packs a lot of energy and emotion into his singing nonetheless. I also just love how well it matches up with the underlying beat, fitting together so perfectly that it's hard to imagine the song without either. It's just a really solid song and a great deal of fun to listen to.

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#109 Posted by aurahack (2553 posts) -

I did not know there was a new CAPSULE album. Damn, what a bummer "Feel Again" is.

Y'all should check out BOMI's new album, Born in the U.S.A., though! It's out on iTunes in the US and I quite like it. Nice indie/electro-pop sound that's split up by weird/fun intermissions. The MV they have on YouTube is not my favorite song of theirs but you can go on their official website and check out "Mayday" and "フライデーナイトバタフライ". Good stuff.

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#110 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@aurahack: Another great suggestion! Really dig the rising-falling style of 月曜のメランコリー, absolutely love the sample for Mayday, and quite impressed by the rest. Another album to add to my buy list (tired of not having money for music!). Also, are all those ~Stairway to Heaven~ tracks just dialogue essentially (with that barely audible instrument track), like the sample? Because that would be hilarious and completely random.

Time for another post! Since 2015 has produced much of note just yet, I'm gonna post some stuff from the end of 2014 that I hadn't gotten around to yet. Enjoy!

Kakumei - Silent Siren

Silent Siren is a group I've constantly been on the cusp of liking. They've had some interesting sounding songs, but I've never felt like their releases quite come together in a pleasant way for my tastes. Maybe it's the lack of energy that they seem to have that does it, not quite matching my expectations of a rock group. Kakumei is their first song that I like enough to post here. It's still got some rough edges, sure, but I really enjoy the mellow riffs and low-key vocals. It's a fun song to put on and not think much about while it's on.

Kimi no Matsu Sekai - Lagoon

Let me tell you a bit of an obvious non-secret about me: I really like all-girl bands, no matter the nationality. There's just something awesome and badass about a group of women playing instruments well and rocking out that puts a smile on my face. Lagoon is a brand new group, made up of a bunch of young women from a variety of other professions--mother, emergency worker, actress--to release music. This first release proves that they've got some chops, jumping right in with a killer riff that is the best part of the whole song. The vocalist does a great job with the verses, throwing in energetic posing too. The chorus is a tad rough, sticking out against the instrumental backdrop a bit too harshly. Still, I can't wait to see what else comes of this group in the future.

Monster Dance - Keytalk

This is such a fun damn song. The instrumentation is superb, full of energy and providing the perfect pairing to the vocals. While I don't always like the voice of the main vocalist, he goes for it with an intensity that I can't help but appreciate. Also, it's hard to deny that the chorus is catchy as all hell. The coolest part of this song is how it switches tempo multiple times throughout the song, slowing things down for extended periods before ramping back up into the "normal" speed again later on. The final of these actually starts with a damn whistle break, with the music dropping to a crawl before picking up for the final moments again. It's a sharp song, paired with a video that is well-shot and quite creative. Give it a shot!

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#111 Posted by soul101 (120 posts) -

you're welcome!!!

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#112 Posted by aurahack (2553 posts) -

@wemibelec90: Yeah, it's all dialogue, haha. It's actually some weird like... radio play of Bomi negotiating with an angel to get into heaven. It's a really fun way to break up the tracks.

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#113 Edited by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

A bit busy this week, so I'm going to do this really quick.

Live in the Present - Karat

Nothing special--just your typical sounding girl group with a predictable song. Still, they manage to pull it off really well, making something I enjoy listening to.

Liar Mask - Rika Mayama

I really love the rhythm of this song, particularly in the verses. There's some excellent energy here too, sounding like something that could easily fit as an anime theme.

Like the Wind (風のように) - Shota Shimuzu

An interesting song. The artist decided to remix a Chrono Trigger song, Wind Scene, and sing over it. Considering this particular track from CT is one of my FAVORITE game songs to date, I really enjoy this new take on it.

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#114 Edited by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

Finally, some 2015 songs! There have been a few here and there week by week, but this week finally signaled enough good stuff that I was comfortable composing a post solely of 2015 songs. It's a strange mix of songs, with some very diverse sounds, but each of them is fantastic. Well, I think so, at least.

Yume ni Oborete - Akari Sankoda

First up is this almost funk/jazz song. It's got a great mellow sound that's not like much else in the genre. My favorite parts include some background vocalizing that fits perfectly. The singer's voice goes fantastically together with the instrumentation. She doesn't really do a whole lot, keeping pace with the song instead, but it just sounds so damn great. It's a bit tragic that it has so few views on Youtube--maybe you can help with that?

Neo Signalife - Yuikaori

Here's a more traditional, upbeat JPOP song. It's technopop at its best, melding a fun beat with some energetic female vocals. Some of the later parts of the song break into these intense electronic solos that are pretty damn skillfully composed, well worth a listen. What makes it unique is the way it changes tempo and rhythm so frequently throughout the song, slowing down and speeding up to make something that is fun to listen to again and again. As a particular sucker for songs that attempt changes like these, I am a huge fan of this song. Neo Signalife is just a really solid pop song, from a group I've never even heard of.

Shijou no Jinsei - Sheena Ringo

Try not to get whiplash heading into this one--it's maybe the most unique of the week. In a flash of perfect mental visualization, I realized it sounds (to me) like a mix of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun and the vocals of a Alanis Morissette song. A weird combination, huh? It's such an atypical Japanese song, standing out perfectly in a sea of very similar sounding songs. There's some great emotion and power to Sheena's singing, and the dreamlike nature of the instrumentation suits it perfectly. I don't expect many people to enjoy this one, but you can't deny its singular nature.

BONUS! Mother - Wata Megumi

This didn't come out in 2015 like the others, but I really wanted to share it. Every since I found it a few days ago, I've been obsessed with it. Thanks to those who inspired my musical tastes, I have developed a fondness for minimalist types of music. Mother is a perfect example of minimalist electronic/pop music at its absolute best. What instrumentation there is is very slight and doesn't strive to do anything but provide a basic beat for the vocalist. Megumi's vocals are echoey, beautiful, and perfectly timed to the music. It's pretty damn amazing, enough so that I feel slightly guilty for missing it last year.

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#115 Posted by Hampe (268 posts) -

The new capsule album was released today. Got a notice from both DHL and Amazon that they've shipped my limited edition copy so now I'm quite excited.

Oh, and their latest MV had drones in it.

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#116 Posted by Roomrunner (1757 posts) -

I have a couple things to say, but they are not exactly positive. I don't intend to be this mean troll guy storming into the thread, so I'll spoiler them. If you don't want to read unfavorable opinions, don't click.

A few of my favorite bands are / were from Japan. Truly innovative and energetic contributors to punk rock, indie, electronic music on a worldwide level. It sucks that I have to first put them into a "j-pop / j-rock" box before even discussing them. It's as if being Japanese is the only thing that matters about them. The fans I generally run into are avatars of pre-teens winking, that speak mainly in 4-chan memes, and are more interested in what everyone's favorite anime is than music. Guys like Mukai Shutoku and Kenichi Asai should be recognized as artists on the same level as Damon Albarn or Dave Grohl (at the very least). They deserve better, and it feels like the best place to start is to no longer refer to their music as a nationality.

Anyway, I got the new capsule album, and I don't know where else to express this opinion, so...

If you like the new capsule album, you're worse than wrestling fans and anime fans combined. Good lord, if it isn't the most hackneyed, out of touch, cliched impersonation of an already joke-of-itself rave genre I've ever heard.

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#117 Edited by owack6 (346 posts) -

Anyway, I got the new capsule album, and I don't know where else to express this opinion, so...

If you like the new capsule album, you're worse than wrestling fans and anime fans combined. Good lord, if it isn't the most hackneyed, out of touch, cliched impersonation of an already joke-of-itself rave genre I've ever heard.

Holy Christ is the new album disappointing.

I feel like up to this point i could listen to any of Yasutaka's music and know who it's from, but this one is just the most bland piece of music iv'e heard in a while.

My biggest worry is that he will expand this style to he's other projects (Kyary , Perfume)...

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#118 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@roomrunner: I can understand not wanting to put music into a confined box, but this is predominantly a video game website. As such, we tend to break things down into categories a bit more violently so that we can talk about each of them in their own confined area. The reason I made this thread wasn't to break JPOP into its own genre and say that it's only worth talking about in context of that genre: I did it so that I could highlight a certain area of music that most American/European people likely have no contact with. You have every right to be frustrated with those boards that focus more on the novelty of the Japanese culture instead of actually appreciating the music. That's never what I wanted to do here with this thread (although I can't control others who post here, obviously). If I post a song here, it's because I just think it's a damn good song--where it came from has no relevance for me, other than trying to give it some attention to an audience that isn't dialed in on music from around the world.

You're both right about Wave Runner--it's fucking awful. It returns to the style of my two least favorite albums of Capsule (World of Fantasy and Stereo Worxxx), stripping away everything that makes a Capsule song unique and turning into derivative EDM that I would never guess in a million years was Nakata if you didn't tell me so. I've been disappointed by a lot of albums in the last few years, but HOLY FUCK is this one bad.

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#119 Edited by Hampe (268 posts) -

I think the capsule fans are quite split when it comes to preferences, which is why it's so interesting talking about it. I think my favourite albums are "More! More! More!" and "Sugarless Girl". Their earlier stuff and "CAPS LOCK" is the most uninteresting stuff in my own ears and I've been longing for something more like "WORLD OF FANTASY" or "STEREO WORXXX". Now, I haven't actually listened to their latest album (as I'm actually waiting for the album to arrive in the mail) but from the two singles I really like what's going on.

I think Ystk makes some goddamn ace dance music, wether it's electro or EDM, and it might be bland at times but it makes me fucking jump up and down in my home like it's a goddamn dance floor. It might not be complicated music, but it's relaxing in it's own way.

Oh well, I should get my copy on Friday. I might come back and write a few words afterwards, but I'm guessing that I will stand out against the crowd honestly.

Other than that; I really like Charisma.com's new single. And I've been listening a lot to Misato Kinoshita's album Sorekara no Kodomo from 2011. Really nice down-tempo pop. Really recommended!

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#120 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@hampe: You're right that many Capsule fans tend to be split between the more generic (I feel) EDM stuff and the more technopoppy stuff I think they are known for. It seems a little at odds to me, however, that you name two of the technopoppy albums as your favorites--which are also a few of my favorites--and still say you want something like the more EDM albums (World of Fantasy and Stereo Worxxx). In my mind, they represent two entirely different sounds that practically sound like they come from different artists entirely. I don't mean to disparage your music tastes here (as taste in music is possibly the most subjective thing in the world), but you seem to oddly fit into both camps of fans.

As someone who's getting more and more into music each day, I can't help but notice the quality differences between Capsule's EDM and technopoppy albums: the EDM albums feel imitative and lack soul, while the technopoppy stuff has personality and is unlike anything else out there. I wouldn't necessarily call Wave Runner a bad album on its own merits--it's only when the name Capsule is attached to it that it becomes truly disappointing. They can do better, and I don't think it's entirely unfair to expect it of them.

Sorry that this got a little out of hand. I still have a lot to say about Wave Runner and not a lot of good places to talk about it. And thanks for sharing some songs, both of which I want to check out more of.

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#121 Edited by Roomrunner (1757 posts) -

I probably wouldn't have that strong of a reaction to the album if it weren't for CAPS LOCK. It was fresh and original; and as you can see by this review I wrote of it, I was head over heels. I really bought into the dawning of a new era.

If it weren't for that album, I'd be treating this new one with a shrug. "They're still at it, huh? Oh well, they haven't done anything good since 2008 anyways."

To be yanked right back into the deepest depths of raver hell is a cruel twist.

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#123 Posted by Hampe (268 posts) -

I thought I would write something at least, so uh.

I've been listening to the album (that we've been talking about the few last posts) quite a few times since I got my limited edition copy in the mail on Friday. I'm hugely pleased with the release! I don't think it's quite generic EDM in my opinion, but rather the upbeat capsule electro I've come to love throughout the years. I really love Toshiko's vocals in this release and many of the beats are extremely fun to listen to as new sounds come in and out all the time. I could totally see myself at the dance floor of ageHa having the time of my life to this music.

I think Another World, Depth (vocal dub mix) and Unrequited Love are my favourites!

As @wemibelec90 stated above though; as capsule differs so much in style from their past works to their later releases, it might be a good idea to give it a listen on Spotify/Youtube before spending cash on it! It's definitively a work that you might like or might hugely dislike.

Oh, and the pre-order bonus was weak. Thanks for this sticker I guess?

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#124 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@hampe: Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I hear a definite difference between the new album and (most) past releases. When I hear a track from Wave Runner, I don't hear the electropoppy sounds that comprise my favorite Capsule tracks; instead, I just hear EDM-style music that doesn't have any elements that make me know that it's a Capsule track. Like the two EDM-styled albums that Capsule put out in years past, I can't endorse it. It's possible I'm just overanalyzing the album and not giving it a chance because it's not what I want, but I haven't really felt the desire to listen to it for a second time yet.

No real theme this week. Just a mishmash of songs that jumped out of me off of my list.

Her Favorite - tofubeats

If you hate autotune, this song isn't for you. Her Favorite doesn't feature intense autotuning to cover up poor vocals, as you might expect, but to add a unique sound to the song. As such, it has a very interesting audio style, echoey and almost abrasive. The beat's pretty great too, fitting perfectly due to it sound of obviously coming out of a computer and not a real person. Far from one of my favorites but a unique experience nonetheless.

Kira Kira Revolution - Super Girls

This is a pretty typical JPOP, semi-large group song. Still, I feel it manages to stand out through sheer strength of its various elements. The vocals are simple yet well-timed and catchy. The girls show some great choreography, making the video a fun watch. For the most part, the instrumentation is a bit bland; however, it breaks out into an entirely random, and extremely ripping, horn solo a little over halfway through the song, even though it doesn't feature horn in the song prior to that point. It's fantastic,l a great example of why I find this song so fun.

Friday - Marie Ueda

I've posted a Marie Ueda song before, and she's coming back with a few new videos and an upcoming album release. Friday is my favorite of her new songs, utilizing that rhythm change technique that I enjoy every time I hear it. I still love the singer's voice, a bit rougher than your typical JPOP singer. I still think I prefer 10 Things I Care About, but this is an enjoyable song too.

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#125 Edited by Roomrunner (1757 posts) -

I'm not sure if here is the right place for this, but it took some time to write and compile, so I might as well put some eyes on it.

Here are my top 10 Polysics songs of the last 5 years

Polysics is new wave, techonopop, spazz-punk, or whatever other genre you associate "high energy synthesizers & guitars" to. Atheistically, they're a modern day Devo, but their agenda is more about exposing the world to wild creative music; not so much addressing societal decline. They've also been my favorite band for almost ten years (2000's Neu is officially my favorite album ever), and have been my window to a lot of 70s-80s musical counter-culture.

They've made their share of pop songs, so I guess they have a place on this thread; although I've always been much more drawn to their abrasive side. A fan-favorite member left the band in 2010; which led to some changes in how they compose and perform songs, and they haven't been to America since. They've been mutating in obscurity for the last 5 years, hence why I wrote the list.

Polysics will release a new EP next month called Hen 愛 Let's Go! A bit more effort has gone into motif on this one. I don't think Polysics has ever tackled concept songwriting before, so this should be interesting.

Each individual song even has its own artwork.
Each individual song even has its own artwork.

I recognize the second image as Kraftwerk's The Man Machine, and the bottom left as Devo's Be Stiff EP. The rest must be parodies of various record covers as well. The bottom center one reminds me of the band pictures on the inlay for P-Model's Landsale, but that probably isn't it...

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#126 Posted by EdgeKasey (291 posts) -

@roomrunner: Jesus christ...how have i never heard of this before...thank you for introducing me!

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#127 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

Another week and more songs! I've got some more 2015 stuff ready to go, this time with a theme of artists who actually play instruments.

Punky Funky Love - Granrodeo

This song jumps off right away with its best element--a rocking yet fun guitar riff that is pretty much the only reason I enjoy this song. While I don't think the vocals are terrible by any means, they just have a very standard quality to them that makes it sound like any other J-rock song out there. There's also a much slower bridge (?) that practically saps the song of all its fun energy, removing the excellent riff and replacing it with bland instrumentation. It's not a great song, but boy do I like that riff.

Snowing Day - Rihwa

Switching from electric to acoustic, Snowing Day is a fun and energetic pop song that reminds me of JPOP artists Rina Katahira and Mao Abe. While Rihwa strums along on her guitar throughout the song, I particularly like the presence of horns in the instrumentation. Horns are something I would love to hear more of in JPOP, particularly after hearing how greatly they are used in KPOP. This song may be a bit too light and twee for most, but I really enjoy it.

Boku, jitsu ha - Shishamo

Yay, another all-girl rock band! Shishamo has been around for awhile, but I've never been blown away by one of their tracks--that is, until now. This song has some great instrument work from each of the three members: a ripping guitar riff, thrumming bass (my favorite kind!), and pounding drums. The vocals are still the weakest part for me, as I don't overly enjoy the singer's voice, but it manages to all come together in this song and work fantastically.

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#128 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

No real pattern this week--just a bunch of stuff that's either fairly recent or that I discovered recently.

Mondai Girl - Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

The new single/video from Kyary is out, and it's pretty much what you expect from a Kyary song. I was a bit worried about the composition after usual composer Yasutaka Nakata disappointed me with last year's Perfume album and this year's Capsule album, but this song was actually produced by a different composer entirely. It manages to sound pretty damn close to Nakata's past work, so I'm happy. The chorus is the best part, without question. Not the powerhouse release I was hoping for but still pretty fun.

Kick & Spin - Alexandros

I've come to really take a liking to Alexandros after discovering them last year. They have consistently great instrumentation (particularly bass!) and some excellent vocals. I recently came upon an older song of theirs, Kick & Spin, and found it to be pretty great. It has a very unusual sound to it until it hits the chorus, but I love every second of it. The video is pretty hilarious as well, easily worth at least one view. If you enjoy this, I highly recommend more from the group.

Everything Changes - Uchu Conbini

Here's another strange sounding one, a type of song I find myself enjoying more and more as time goes on. This song pretty much throws typical song construction out the window and does what it wants, alternating between an oddly timed yet excellent instrumentation part and more subdued lyrical sections. The guitarist is a lot of fun to watch throughout the video, swapping between normal playing and plucking the neck with two hands with crazy speed. It definitely doesn't fit the norm, which means many of you may not like it, but I find it absolutely fascinating to listen to.

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#129 Posted by HummingLight (15 posts) -
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#130 Edited by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

I'm a bit saddened to see interest in this thread die out a bit, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop posting! This week's selection is a bit older and more diverse: some great tracks that I want to share with everyone!

Communication - Coltemonikha

I actually had to do a bit of research on this one. I knew that Coltemonikha featured the beats of Yasutaka Nakata, famous for his electronic work with JPOP stylings, but I knew literally nothing else about the group. A quick Google search reveals he joined forces with Kate Sakai, a model/fashion designer, to form thos group. Basically, he created yet another duo to give him more places to express himself creatively, something I will always welcome. The group didn't last long, just two albums, but there's some pretty great tracks to be found in those albums. Communication is one of my favorites, an excellent example of Nakata when he's at his best.

I Hate Your Popstar Life - Kuroyume

Recently, I was going through my vast lists of JPOP and KPOP music and remembered this track existed. Boy, am I glad I found it again. It has one of the best guitar riffs I've ever heard from a Japanese rock group. The rest of the instrumentation isn't fantastic, but this riff more than makes up for it: it's SO DAMN GOOD. The lyrics are fun too, screamy without being completely ridiculous and likely to induce ear bleeding.

Tokyo Night - Morphine Tokyo

Tokyo Night has so many things I like about a song of this style: dreamy female vocals, light instrumentation, and an unmistakable individuality that drips from every verse. It doesn't try to go for catchy beats or a pop hook that everyone can sing along to; instead, it focuses on taking the listener along for the ride. It's impressive how such a simple song can manage to fully draw me in, but I'm addicted to the evocative sound Morphine Tokyo managed to craft here.

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#131 Edited by AlKusanagi (1650 posts) -

@wemibelec90 said:

Friday - Marie Ueda

I've posted a Marie Ueda song before, and she's coming back with a few new videos and an upcoming album release. Friday is my favorite of her new songs, utilizing that rhythm change technique that I enjoy every time I hear it. I still love the singer's voice, a bit rougher than your typical JPOP singer. I still think I prefer 10 Things I Care About, but this is an enjoyable song too.

Fun fact: I knew Marie when I lived in Japan. We had the same guitar teacher, and the live house where she made her indies debut was my regular hangout, the Hills Bread Factory (a bakery with a bar and stage in the basement owned by Giza Studio). She was still in high school when she first started perforning there. I still have a handwritten note with drawings she gave to the people who showed up for her first real gig. It's so awesome seeing her major debut and watching her blow up all these years later! I even found a clip of her playing at the Hills back then. That's our guitar teacher, Bonn-san, in the blue t-shirt, and the back of my head is rocking out there in the audience. Man, I miss that place...

And in other J-pop news, Morning Musume held a try out for directors to produce their new PVs, and they just released the video made by the winner. It's pretty cool, and a hell of a lot more ambitious than their usual videos. It's introducing their newest members, the ones in the white tops.

Seishun Kozo ga Naiteiru- Morning Musume '15

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#132 Edited by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@alkusanagi: That's pretty cool! Her stuff is really unique and a lot of fun. I'll bet it was interesting getting to see her grow into a real artist.

For this week, I've decided to post three songs that are a bit different than the norm. This may mean that fewer people like them, but I like to show people who visit this thread now and then that not all Japanese music is exactly the same.

Kakete ageru - Daoko

I have the amazing @aurahack to thank for my original exposure to Daoko last year. Through my favorite music blog, I read a description about Daoko's 2013 album Gravity and, from this description, knew I had to give it a listen. I wasn't disappointed--it was an impressive debut album from a shockingly young woman. Kakete ageru is from Daoko's new album and I really love it. It features the fantastic beats and flow that I loved from Gravity, albeit in a slightly different style. Also interesting is the video, which features (I'm fairly sure) the artist's first appearance to the public at large. It's great to put a face to the music, and I enjoy the way she tries to remain mysterious with her long bangs and quick video cuts.

Anata to - Every Little Thing

This song somehow manages to sound very atypically JPOP while also having a very familiar style for the main hook. The blaring synth lines that start the song sound instantly recognizable as pop music (with a particularly 80s sound), yet still stand out as entirely unique in my mind. I absolutely love this odd disconnect that happens in my brain. My favorite thing about this song is how the lyrics are paced along with the hook. This is particularly great during the chorus, with plenty of repetition and catchiness to ensure it stays in my head for the rest of the day.

Animation - Young Juvenile Youth

Here is probably the most peculiar song of the week. Animation uses a minimalist electronic style that focuses mostly on the echoey, haunting lyrics of the vocalist. It's a type of electronic music that I almost always find myself infatuated with, managing to do so much with so little. I enjoy the idea that a song doesn't have to be intense and pounding in your headphones to be something you go back to again and again--a bit of care in composition can also work wonders. The video for this song is also quite excellent, surreal in a way that perfectly fits the tone and lyrics of the song and giving the whole thing a creepy vibe.

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#133 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

For this week's post, I've decided to pick three songs with great band-based instrumentation. All three of my choices have a sound that I keep coming back to again and again. Hopefully, you will too!

Yes - Chelsy

I bring you yet another girl rock group. Yes, I know I'm a bit single-minded when it comes to groups like these, but there's something great about women who rock, at least in my mind. This group is relatively new with no releases this year as of yet. Their song "Yes" just managed to sneak in before the end of 2014, and it is easily my favorite of their (admittedly few) tracks. It's a decent mid-tempo rock song, with only the phenomenal bass line managing to stand out. While that bass line is likely why I keep listening to this song, there's enough potential here to make me intrigued for what's to come.

Senseless Wonder - Hitorie

I've been meaning to post this song for quite some time. It's been one of those songs I find myself listening to once a month just because I want to hear its energy again. This song is fantastically in your face, with a pounding beat and guitar that doesn't just try for abrasive noise. It's all headed by wowaka, an ex-vocaloid singer who quit to form this very band. I particularly enjoy how into the music he gets, gyrating and mugging humorously throughout the song. It's all held together with a fantastic (if not a bit repetitive) riff that makes the song memorable.

Real? - Miyavi

This is my favorite song of this week's choices. The highlight of the song is a tremendously catchy riff, twangy and toe-tapping. It doesn't sound like anything else I've heard from Japan, and I love it to death. The structure of the track is great as well, breaking from the typical verse-chorus-verse structure (somewhat, at least) and just doing what it wants, particularly at the end. The vocalist has a lot of fun as well, committing fully to each and every line of the video. You won't hear anything else like this from Japan--well, except from Miyavi himself.

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#134 Edited by HummingLight (15 posts) -
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I'm really loving Perfume! This is my fave!

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#135 Posted by killroycantkill (1602 posts) -

@humminglight: I also recently got into Perfume! My two favourite songs so far are Night Flight and Natural Ni Koishite.

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#136 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

I missed a week! For some reason, I didn't think last week was the two-week mark between my posts and completely forgot to update. Let's take care of this right now.

For this week, I've picked three songs that speak to the general tone of JPOP, in my opinion: groups instead of individuals, cheerful costuming and choreography, and a musical style that is common for the medium.

Living Alone in the City - Cute

This type of song--a group of young women singing and dancing to upbeat music--is easily one of the most popular in JPOP. While it would be slightly more accurate of me to post something from a bigger group, such as AKB48 (which is HUGE in Japan), I really don't enjoy large groups due to a lack of individuality. Instead, I opted to post something from a rather generic 5-girl group: C-ute. This group's releases often fit a very basic style in terms of composition and video, almost as if the company is just following a checklist with each new single. In fact, this's group's label (Hello Project) is known for several groups just like C-ute: Berryz Kobo, Morning Musume, Smileage, etc. While I feel songs of this type can occasionally break out of the typical patterns (such as this one, albeit just barely), most of them sound eerily similar and bland when compared to one another. Living Alone in the City lacks energy, yet it fits perfectly into this archetype.

Come On! - Dream5

You simply can't have a JPOP music video without some kind of choreography. After all, how can one enjoy a JPOP video without cheerful teens/young adults gyrating to the hyper beats ? Good choreography is something that can turn an average song into something memorable, forever reminding you of the video anytime you hear it. This is the case in many of Dream5's songs for me. While their songs are typically predictable and unexciting, I always get a lot of enjoyment out of the choreography in their videos. It's not the most technical, sure, but there is an excited commitment to the routine from each member that I love. This is why I still return to the video for Come On!, my favorite song of theirs, over two years later.

Yuwaku Rhapsody - Guild

While girl groups do seem to be far more common and popular in Japan, there are a good number of boy groups as well. There are groups which basically mirror girl groups like C-ute, singing upbeat pop (or occasionally ballads, much more common with boy groups) while dancing around and looking cute/hot. Far more common, however, are the "visual-kei" groups, almost always made up of entirely boy members. For those who are unaware, "visual-kei" refers to a style where band members often dress up in flashy outfits and makeup, attempt to look as androgynous as possible, and utilize typical band instruments to create music. While the specifics of costuming and music type can change heavily from group to group, there is a common aesthetic and sound that ties them all together. Guild's Yuwaku Rhapsody is a perfect example of this style.

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#137 Edited by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

No real theme this week--just going with some newer stuff that I haven't gotten around to posting yet. Hope you enjoy!

Soldier Girls - Rick Rack

At this point, every time I post about a girl rock group in this thread, I wince a bit. I know that I tend to post them a lot, but I can't really help myself. For me, the pairing of solid band instrumentation and catchy Japanese female vocals are a fantastic mix, hooking me more often than not. After all, when you have groups that sound as good as Rick Rack, it's hard not to fall in love with them. Soldier Girls is my current favorite song of theirs: an energetic track with superb vocals (especially the counterpoint sections from the other members) and even a half-decent guitar solo. It's got a great hook to tie it all together, keeping me coming back again and again.

Napoleon - Suiyoubi no Campanella

I'm here today (unofficially) as a representative of Suiyoubi no Campanella superfan @aurahack. She's posted multiple times in this very thread extolling the virtues of the group. To be honest, up until this release, I didn't really see where she was coming from. There was something fascinatingly unique about the group, sure, but I just couldn't sync with their style in the right way. Their most recent (?) release, Napoleon, is where I finally got onboard. It's certainly their most mainstream release yet (albeit still far from usual JPOP fare), with a sound that feels almost "typical" while still managing to be undeniably in-line with the group's other songs. For this reason, I feel it's a more accessible entry point into the group's style: a mellow, downbeat groove that is easy to enjoy.

Otsubone Rock - Charisma.com

Obviously, I can't not post a new Charisma.com release; after all, I started this whole thread with their last major video. At the same time, I'm still not sure how I feel about this new song, Otsubone Rock. On the plus side, it features the vicious attitude and catchy beats that have come to define the group's style. There are several moments throughout the song where everything vibes so damn perfectly that I think the track is their best yet. At the same time, however, there are a few parts that tend to drag for me. Mostly, these are the slower bits of the song, which feel out of place when compared to the intensity of the better parts. They don't ruin the song for me, but they bring about a strangely atypical/jarring sound that I still can't decide if I like. Regardless of what I think, this is still a fun track and a great video to go along with it. Give it a watch and post your thoughts!

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#138 Posted by Optix12 (695 posts) -

I figure I may as well update the Jpop thread with new Suiyoubi No Campanella

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I cant't help but love all the work that they produce and this video is no similar feat with a lot of main vocals and a very interesting video theme in the background to cover it all.

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#139 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

Thanks to @optix12 for posting! I can now add some new songs, including one that just may be the best of the year. Enjoy!

Luv Pandemic - Towa Tei

I am in love with absolutely everything about this song: the harsh, distorted electronic sound; the absurdly addictive lyrics and beat; the entire visual style of the video, complete with color bleeding and scanlines; the random yet supremely stylish shots scattered throughout the video; the clever editing style that lingers just long enough; the fashion and design of the sets; and even the way the final seconds of the video pop back into crisp HD. It is one of the best music videos I've ever seen, an unparalled masterpiece. Pair that with one of the year's best songs and I have a hard time seeing anything topping this video all year.

Ra Ri Ru Re - Crayon Pop

Crayon Pop debuted in Korea a few years ago and has steadily become one of my favorite new KPOP artists. They put out videos that are cute, energetic, catchy, and a bit strange--creating a style that is entirely theirs. I've talked about them many times in this site's KPOP thread but only now do I get to talk about them here. Ra Ri Ru Re is Crayon Pop's debut song in Japan, and it fits in perfectly to the Japanese pop scene. The beat is enjoyable, the chorus is absolutely impossible to forget once you hear it, and the same endearingly awkward style of the group persists through the whole video. It's a great debut for Japan, if not a bit simplistic when compared to their other videos. Make sure to check out their Korean releases if you like them here!

Nobi Nobi no Style - Seiya Kariya

This was a song I stumbled across without meaning to and was quite impressed with. There's a dirty synth line constantly playing under the beat/lyrics that is fantastic, if a little hard to hear at times. I really enjoy the vocalist's sound as well, bright and clear with crisp enunciation. Throw in the simplistic, but effective, beat and you have a pretty damn catchy pop song. I also found myself intrigued by the video, which features a sped-up train ride. The singer's body moves at high speed, but her mouth moves in time with the lyrics, a stylistic trick which is likely not as impressive as I believe it to be but still fun to watch again and again.

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#140 Edited by Acura_Max (766 posts) -

I usually don't listen to J-pop. So when I found this on the front page of Youtube, I just had to listen to it. It's pretty silly, but in all the right ways. And the video has english subtitles! I like it when I can understand what I am listening too.

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#141 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@acura_max: Definitely a group going after that Babymetal fandom that's popped up. Sadly, the more metal these groups go, the less interested I am.

This week's theme is songs that are a bit atypical, even for JPOP. I love hearing new styles and sounds pop up in the genre, so I often collect them for my list. The strange sounds of this week may not be to everyone's tastes, but they do show how diverse JPOP can really be!

I Luv Mary Jane - Noppal

Bet you can't guess what this song is about! While I could not care less about ever smoking drugs, I often appreciate songs focused on drugs. They tend to be very ethereal and dreamlike, taking listeners on a journey likely inspired by the drugs they mention. I Luv Mary Jane is no different. The echoey, trancey hook of this song is absolutely fantastic, lulling me into a stupor every time I hear it. The vocalist lays lyrics lazily over the instrumentation, but they still manage to hit enough of the time for it to work. A great song overall and a fascinating change of pace from the typical lovey-dovey tone of JPOP.

Koibumi - Chara

I love everything about this artist. She has an entirely unique look when compared to other JPOP artists, with huge curly hair that wouldn't seem out of place in 80s-90s American pop and a strikingly effective use of the color red. The song highlights her fantastic singing style, haunting and throaty in a way that you don't often hear in the genre. Pair this with instrumentation that seems to just do whatever it likes--while managing to stay catchy throughout--and you have a song that stands out strongly from the crowd.

Anarchy in the Music Scene - Billie Idol

This song is easily the weirdest yet. Even though I can recognize that the composition and vocals are rough and weak overall, there's something oddly addictive about the whole thing. Maybe it's the way the four members alternate between seeming to not give a single fuck and typical poppy happiness. Maybe it's the slipshod yet attractive choreography throughout the video. Maybe it's the fixation on a 50s-60s style, complete with a silly group anme. Whatever it is, I find myself compelled to watch this video again and again. It's just one of those Japanese videos that is so atypical that I can't help but be entranced.

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#142 Edited by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

How much crossover is there between Kpop fans and Jpop fans. My GF loves Kpop but doesn't listen to any Jpop.

Also is Super Euro Beat Jpop? cause I listen to a shit ton of that and MOVE.

FUCK: now I want to go find an Initial D machine... Too bad the last one I was at ate my memory card!

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#143 Edited by Hampe (268 posts) -

I HAVEN'T POSTED IN A WHILE SO LET'S GET GOING

Shiggy Jr. / サマータイムラブ (Summer Time Love)
Seriously the most fucking catchy song of the summer and I'm just in love with the 80's aesthetics in this video. Like, I couldn't be happier. Definitively one of my most played songs this summer, even if the weather in Sweden has been bleak and shitty.

Here I would've posted Young Juvenile Youth's Animation but @wemibelec90 did that some time ago in this thread so instead I'm going to share...

banvox / Summer
This is dubstep. It sounds kinda rubbish and it sounds kinda cool at the same time. I like the music video the most. But it's nice to get hyped up by something sometime. Like really energised, when you feel like you could punch the world. It's the best when it's not the big breakdown where things go a ziggety-zack-sick.

KIRINJI - Sweet Soul
This is some old ass shit Jpop but I just love it. It's so sweet and calm. It just wants to hug you when you're out late a summer evening and looking at the warm sun.

Namie Amuro - Golden Touch
I'm really digging the latest album from Namie. However, I feel like I'm a bit biased because I'll probably swallow down anything she throws at me because she's my Jpop queen. Anyway, her latest album "_genic" came out a while ago and it's great. There are better songs on the album than this one (there's also a song collab with Hatsune Miku which has me a bit confused) but this song has such a great video.

It's interactive. Mildly. And you've probably seen it done before. But the song in the combination with the interactivity makes me really happy and it makes me smile a lot. So give it a try will ya?

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#144 Posted by gorkamorkaorka (584 posts) -
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Can anyone identify this member of AKB48 for me?

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#145 Edited by Petiew (1465 posts) -

@gorkamorkaorka Sashihara Rino from HKT48. One of the least "idol-like" girls in the group and funnily enough she's pretty much the most popular.

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#146 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

@devil240z: Like most music, it depends on the person. I personally listen to both KPOP and JPOP and enjoy each equally for different reasons; however, I've encountered plenty of people who don't seem to have any interest in one even though they love the other. They are very different sounds (for the most part), so it's perfectly believable that a person could like one and not the other.

@hampe: Shiggy Jr. was on my upcoming list of songs to post actually. You beat me to it! It's a really fun song, even if I maybe prefer Listen to the Music a bit more.

I actually have a trio of fairly new songs this week to share. They are each quite different, but I've found myself enjoying each a great deal over the last week or two. Give them a listen!

Swallow Maze Paraguay - Koutei Camera Girl

I have been obsessed with this song ever since I first heard it. The composition is pure trance goodness, particularly the expertly crafted beat that keeps me nodding my head along with it for the entire length of the song. Something about it is just so perfect for my music tastes, enough so that I've had the beat stuck in my head constantly for the last week. The vocals are clearly not the most skilled in the genre, but they also work surprisingly well: lyrics line up perfectly in time with the various beats, the overlapping vocal styles jive well together, and the repetitive bits are immediately catchy. When I look at the parts of this song individually, they seem like nothing special; together, however, they form a track that is definitely one of my favorite of the year.

Pretty Little Baby - Babyraids Japan

There's not a lot to this song. It doesn't do anything that hasn't been done before, musically or visually. You won't find any killer beats, catchy hooks, or gorgeous vocals. Why did I post it here then? Because I absolutely love it, regardless of its flaws. It has a great deal of adorableness and charm that just gives me that warm, glowy feeling of musical satisfaction whenever I hear it. The mellow instrument break and lighthearted lyrics are a wonderful break from the typical bombastic nature of the genre. It's also clear that the girls had a great time with this song, which just makes it even better.

Playback - Juju

Here's another very simple and fun track, this one aimed towards summer. It sounds like your traditional pop beat, warm and bubbly and addictive. The verses are laughably brief, only to break back into the chorus again and again; however, it's hard to care when it's so damn catchy. It's hard to say much about this song, because it's just one of those typical summer songs that expects you to pump it out at full volume and dance along. So do it!

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#147 Posted by herpes1643 (14 posts) -
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#148 Posted by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

Another week, another three songs!

Cider Cider - Tempura Kidz

Tempura Kidz, a pop-dancing group comprised of four girls and one boy (the leader), originally started as backup dancers for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. A few years ago, they were signed onto a label and put out a video for Cider Cider. The song, an autotuned blast of instrumentation, is something that may be a bit too fake for some to enjoy, but I actually enjoy it a great deal for its quirky sound that is unlike anything else. As you might expect from a group comprised of dancers, the focus is really put on the choreography/costuming of the group. It's a flashy and energetic video to watch, easily its main appeal.

Living Dead Youth - Kenshi Yonezu

This song is an interesting mix of indie pop-rock instrumentation and both a video and lyrics that aim to make you think a bit. Like many forms of Japanese entertainment, there's an intense focus on reflection and meaning to be found. Combine this with a strange dreamlike video that constantly defies expectation by never being quite what you expect and you have something that is very unique. The song itself isn't half bad either, with an interesting atypical rhythm that I always have trouble getting out of my head after hearing it.

Colourful - Nikiie

Here's another song that doesn't quite go for a typical JPOP sound. The singer doesn't stay entirely on beat, her voice rises and falls almost at will, and there's an almost cacophonous amount of noise going on at times. Even with all those things against it, I still like it. It has a gentle, nice sound to it that feels personal instead of corporate.

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#149 Edited by Wemibelle (2638 posts) -

A long hiatus between this post and my previous post. I was going to post two weeks ago, as I typically do, but had Internet problems that entire weekend. Instead of scrambling together a post, I decided to simply wait. Boy, am I glad I did! I have a few newer songs this week, and they are some of my favorites of the year. To make up for my missing week, I'm going to add an additional song to my usual three. I hope you enjoy my picks!

Wordy Rappington - KitCat

This is a bit of a weird one, even by JPOP standards. For those of you who are unaware (as I'm sure most will be), Wordy Rappington is actually a song from 1981 by an American new wave group called the Tom Tom Club. This version by KitCat is actually a cover of that song. For the most part, the song is the same. The instrumentation does bring the synth sounds into the modern day and cleans up a few of the rough spots, but it evokes the same sound as the original. The lyrics are nearly identical as well, with the only changes coming during the chorus to better fit the cat theme of the group. Having now listened to both versions of this song, they each have their strengths. The original obviously has the benefit of being sung by English speakers, allowing the sharp lyrics about the nature of language to sink in instead of being marred by rough pronunciation. The new version, however, has a much cleaner sound and stronger energy, which is what originally drew me to the song in the first place. I highly recommend giving each a listen.

Dance Dance Dance - E-Girls (a non-YT full version can be found here)

After several disappointing songs following Dance All Night, E-Girls managed to kill it again with Dance Dance Dance. This song has such a fantastic unique sound to it, a mix of pop beats and burlesque/cabaret instrumentation. It evokes the style of current JPOP/KPOP and 60s/70s Western music at the same time while managing to sound absolutely killer doing so. There's not a great deal of variety to the lyrics, especially the way the song dumps back into the chorus frequently, but it still adheres perfectly to the style of the song. It's a fantastic melding of multiple styles of music, which is one of my favorite things to hear from the genre.

Flash - Blu-Swing

Blu-Swing is a group I just discovered a few weeks ago, but I have absolutely fell in love with them. Their music drips with style, a unique blend of jazz, pop, and dance music that sound unlike anything else. Each of their songs features superb vocals and great instrumentation punctuated with horns, bass, and a variety of other instruments. Flash isn't my favorite of their songs, but it is one of their new releases from 2015 (fitting in with the remaining songs in this post). That isn't to say that Flash isn't a fantastic song; I particularly love the instrumental breakdown about halfway through the song, beautiful and catchy at the same time. It's a great example of Blu-Swing's unmatched style.

Around Thirty Dreaming - Charisma.com

Couldn't do a post without sharing the newest Charisma.com release. I don't really have much to say about this song; at this point, you probably know whether or not you like Charisma.com. This release is a bit poppier than their usual attitude-dripping releases, true, but the sound is still there; a killer beat and sharp vocals.

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#150 Edited by beatchef (49 posts) -

@optix12@aurahack@wemibelec90It's great to find other Suiyoubi no Campanella fans! When I heard on that one Giant Bomb podcast that Jeff and someone else loved Charisma dot com, I was surprised and really wanted to know if they liked SnC too. Have you guys heard of Koto or Charan Po Rantan?


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