J-Pop

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Postby Loose » Sun Aug 05, 2007 12:39 pm

Does anybody of you listen to J-Pop? I've got the chance to discover some new artists from the J music scene just like Miliyah Kato. A friend of mine organised her debut album Rose for me, which I start to like more and more.

What about you? What artists do you like? Can you recommend something to us?

I'll be listing my J-Pop album collection to begin with:

Aiko Kayo - Pop
Ayumi Hamasaki - LOVEppears
Ayumi Hamasaki - Duty
Ayumi Hamasaki - My Story *original case (Import)*
Ayumi Hamasaki - (miss)Understood
Miliyah - Rose
I also own some random songs by Koda Kumi and Masami Okui.
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Postby John » Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:21 pm

The sort of Japanese artists I listen to are, er, not what you'd want to be discussing here. Buuuut, I'm going to anyway.

Mono: epic post-rock, sound varies between virtual silence and apocalyptic wall of sound.

Melt-Banana: barking bloody mad noise-rock.

Nobuo Uematsu: makes the soundtracks to the Final Fantasy games.

Boredoms: more lunatic nonsense.

...and that'll do for now.
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Postby AyumiH » Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:29 pm

This thread has my name on it :lol:

I could go on and on about J-pop. I'm obsessed with it right now if you can't tell, just check my last.fm page if you don't believe me :P but I'm going to make this a little shorter than it would be otherwise.

My J-pop collection isn't too huge atm, to be honest I just got into it last year. Right now I have listened to all the songs (or at least over 95%) of the following artists:

Ayumi Hamasaki
BoA
Utada Hikaru
Koda Kumi

Any questions about those ladies feel free to ask, and if you want any mp3s also let me know :wink:
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Postby Yoshimo » Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:31 pm

The only Japanese artist I've listened to is Gackt. His music varies from goth-metal to pop-rock. It's quite good, though.
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Postby Loose » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:27 pm

AyumiH wrote:Any questions about those ladies feel free to ask, and if you want any mp3s also let me know :wink:
Do you have PARODY by Hikaru Utada? :wink:

I like all those artists you've mentioned Ayumi, except Koda Kumi. Some of her songs are pretty good, but I'm not interested in her whole discography. Freaky and Yume No Uta are my favourites of hers.

I prefer J-Urban from Miliyah Kato. It's pretty relaxed and soulful in comparison to Koda Kumi's music. I have the feeling Koda tries too much to be a chart act.

Miliyah Kato ~ YOZORA
listen
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Postby xtofer » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:55 pm

I loooove M-Flo! I listen to COSMICOLOR a lot!
And I do listen to Koda Kumi and Namie Amuro too!
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Postby Tiger » Sun Aug 05, 2007 6:05 pm

Ooooh here I come :lol:

I agree with Sophie on her choices, and would like to add the amazing Rurutia! You should try and hear Lost Butterfly. Gorgoeus.

Also I love Hitomi Shimatani. She has some awesome songs, and especially Garnet Moon 8-)

Angela Aki and Bonnie Pink are also cool.
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Postby Loose » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:53 am

I'm curious to hear Ayumi's newest album Secret one day. I thought that she wouldn't be able to do great music after My Story which was a HUGE disappointment! But (miss)understood was already ways better and let me hope that she's still the elite female solo act of the J music scene. If I had to rank her albums it would look like this:

#1 DUTY
The shortest of all her album - and surprisingly her best. I LOVE the depth at the beginning and the way the album ends (kind of hopeful and uplifting). There's no weak track on it IMO. teddy bear obviously isn't that spectacular, but an album can't be perfect from beginning to end. Strongest tracks: Duty, End of the World, Scars, Surreal and girlish!

#2 I AM...
This is Ayumi's hit album. No matter what song you would have released, it would have been a hit for sure. Really strong and energetic record which slows down towards the end. I simply like every song of it. Though I think that NEVER EVER is probably a bit of a low point. Strongest tracks: I am..., evolution, still alone, M and Dearest!

#3 RAINBOW
What a pity that I don't possess this album myself! *argh* I just LOVE it! And from a subjective point of view, it would be my favourite Ayumi Hamasaki record I suppose.

#4 LOVEppears
The Ayumi classic and everybody's favourite. I like it very much, but I took a while to get into that spheric sound. Almost every track on it is amazing. I still don't like appears that much, but the rest works for me pretty well. Strongest tracks: Fly high, And Then..., End roll, too late, monochrome and Who...!

#5 (miss)understood
I'm surprised how much I like this record! It's full of energetic quality tunes! And it contains some experimental tracks as well (In The Corner). I don't like specific songs just like Beautiful Day and STEP you, but the majority is fantastic. Strongest tracks: Bold & Delicious, Ladies Night, Is this LOVE?, alterna, Pride, Will and rainy day!

#6 A Song For XX
This record is still amazing, though I have ranked it that low. I think all the other albums just have more edge and a special feeling to them. You can clearly recognise that this album is her debut and very first attempt. It's still great though, but not throughout. Strongest tracks: Hana, POWDER SNOW, Trust and SIGNAL!

#7 My Story
MY STORY is by far my least favourite record Ayumi has done. I was literally frustrated when I first heard it (and I even BOUGHT it myself which was hella expensive!!). All of the tracks are simply okay. The only standing out track is Moments which I already knew at that time. Other tracks which are quite enjoyable, but not as amazing as most of Ayumi's songs: About You, my name's WOMEN, walking proud, INSPIRE and Replace. It still hasn't grown on me...
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Postby AyumiH » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:19 pm

Loose wrote:
AyumiH wrote:Any questions about those ladies feel free to ask, and if you want any mp3s also let me know :wink:
Do you have PARODY by Hikaru Utada? :wink:

I like all those artists you've mentioned Ayumi, except Koda Kumi. Some of her songs are pretty good, but I'm not interested in her whole discography. Freaky and Yume No Uta are my favourites of hers.

I prefer J-Urban from Miliyah Kato. It's pretty relaxed and soulful in comparison to Koda Kumi's music. I have the feeling Koda tries too much to be a chart act.

Miliyah Kato ~ YOZORA
listen
Why yes I do, *prepares* :wink: If you'd like Secret also, I can send you that too...but I would say that it is kind of a weak album like My Story :(

Hmm, I'm not sure if I agree with you saying Koda tries to be a chart act. I think of her as the Japanese version of Beyonce. She tries very hard to give back as much as she can to the fans. Nearly every song of hers has a PV. And Avex artists are typically that way. Namie, BoA, Ayu, they all release all the singles and album in less than a year. BoA already has 10 full studio albums and she came out in late 2000! Koda kept releasing album after album even after the first couple weren't successful at all, and she said herself she didn't care about that, she was happy without the success and now she's happy with it.

I also loved the Kato song :D never heard of her until now but I will definitely be on the look out for her!



Also wanted to add that Namie, M-Flo/verbal, and Gackt are all amazing and I have songs of each. I won't say my favorites yet because I might be presenting one of them for FSC :P

Maaian, I checked out Lost Butterfly and loved it. I can't seem to find her albums :-? any other song recommendations?
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Postby Loose » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:39 pm

I'd love to have "Secret" too! :D That would be so nice! Can you upload it in zip-files? I can't access regular .rar files. :(

The album track Secret is also on the Glitter/Fated single, right? If so, I like it very much! It's better than Glitter & Fated together. :lol:

I want Ayumi to go back to RAINBOW/I am../Duty era. :cry: I would like to have another edgy (miss)understood era, but since I've found out that half of the album is covered, I'm not sure if it's possible to rebuild another record like that.
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Postby Tiger » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:14 pm

AyumiH wrote:
Loose wrote:
AyumiH wrote:Any questions about those ladies feel free to ask, and if you want any mp3s also let me know :wink:
Do you have PARODY by Hikaru Utada? :wink:

I like all those artists you've mentioned Ayumi, except Koda Kumi. Some of her songs are pretty good, but I'm not interested in her whole discography. Freaky and Yume No Uta are my favourites of hers.

I prefer J-Urban from Miliyah Kato. It's pretty relaxed and soulful in comparison to Koda Kumi's music. I have the feeling Koda tries too much to be a chart act.

Miliyah Kato ~ YOZORA
listen
Why yes I do, *prepares* :wink: If you'd like Secret also, I can send you that too...but I would say that it is kind of a weak album like My Story :(

Hmm, I'm not sure if I agree with you saying Koda tries to be a chart act. I think of her as the Japanese version of Beyonce. She tries very hard to give back as much as she can to the fans. Nearly every song of hers has a PV. And Avex artists are typically that way. Namie, BoA, Ayu, they all release all the singles and album in less than a year. BoA already has 10 full studio albums and she came out in late 2000! Koda kept releasing album after album even after the first couple weren't successful at all, and she said herself she didn't care about that, she was happy without the success and now she's happy with it.

I also loved the Kato song :D never heard of her until now but I will definitely be on the look out for her!

Also wanted to add that Namie, M-Flo/verbal, and Gackt are all amazing and I have songs of each. I won't say my favorites yet because I might be presenting one of them for FSC :P

Maaian, I checked out Lost Butterfly and loved it. I can't seem to find her albums :-? any other song recommendations?
Errr Rurutia... let's see. I don't remember any of the others by name *looks on Youtube/Wikipedia*. Try Itoshigo Yo, Suzaku No Sora or Träumerei 8-)
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Postby Loose » Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:36 pm

There's an artist called BONNIE PINK I've recently discovered:
http://www.bonniepink.jp/
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Postby Tiger » Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:33 pm

Oh yes she's rather cool!!
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Postby xtofer » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:39 am

I love her song with M-Flo.. "Love Song' was the title
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Postby Loose » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:15 am

xtofer wrote:I love her song with M-Flo.. "Love Song' was the title
I've downloaded Miliyah's second album Diamond Princess which also features "LuvSong". I think M-Flo collaborated with her on the debut album as well, right? I think they were featured on the track "ONE DAY (Yozora Remix)". I like them both, but "LuvSong" slightly more. ;)

@AyumiH
Will give a short review of Secret very soon.
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Postby kingofny2000 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:12 pm

i've only listened to a couple of songs by Koda Kumi from the Final Fantasy X2 soundtrack, and BoA's "Every Heart" is amazing, and i have Utada Hikaru's "Exodus" album which is really good. Hopefully i'll find more from the artists that i like.
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Postby Loose » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:36 pm

Image

Finally I've got the chance to listen to Hamasaki's latest album called Secret which follows the road of previous rocky sounding albums just like My Story and (miss)understood. To begin with a short opinion: This album isn't as strong as most of Hamasaki's works, BUT it's so much better than My Story which is the only really weak full-length album of Hamasaki. So far, so good...

The album opens with Not yet, which finally contains some trance beats (reminds a bit of the LOVEppears era). The next track is called Until that Day... and sounds very hard rock at first listen. Heavy drums and electric guitars accompanied by the electrically blurred voice of Hamasaki. Sounds alright, but we miss some innovation though, because the background production is always the same. Startin' was the first single off the record and surprises with a rather catchy chorus. 1 LOVE starts AMAZING, but the refrain is such a disappointment: she holds the same note throughout the chorus! The next track is called It was and is one of the album's highlights. This track has such a nice and laid back guitar melody and a really nice and uplifting chorus. Not overproduced and definitely diversified.

JEWEL and momentum are two of the oustanding ballads on this records. I quite like them, but she had better ones. Those are really great and outshine most of the album tracks, but compared to the ballads on her previous 7 records, those two won't make the best rankings.

After the ballady session, the weakest part of the album comes across: Born To Be... is kind of a sing-along track and reminds me so much of a theme for a championship. *lol* Beautiful Fighters is just wack and I'm sure I won't listen to it that much. Lame melody and moreover it's the longest album track! Not good... BLUE BIRD again has its weak moments, but it's ways better than the previous two songs. It's a mid-tempo track with quite forgettable melody.

The album's ending is great though! kiss o' kill sounds a little dark at the beginning and starts off with a dramatic verse. The chorus is rocky and dynamic. Sparkling synthesiser, amazing! Contains also some violin samples. Last track on "Secret" is the most amazing ballad of this era - Secret itself! I love it! It can definitely compete with previous ballads and is the best slow song since Will.
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Postby AyumiH » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:33 pm

Great review Loose! I concur with it completely. I'll have mine up soon, for all four of the aritsts I told you I own the collections of.
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Postby Loose » Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:24 pm

Can't wait to read it! :D

I've been obsessed with I am... lately. It such a strong album! :o No surpise as it has the most singles released so far. Great choices except NEVER EVER. She should have released Naturally instead.
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Postby Loose » Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:53 pm

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If you EVER EVER come across this album, PM me! :o OMG, I've just heard Moments... it's fantabulous!! I can imagine that MY STORY CLASSICAL completely outshines the actual album. It's just magic!! (judged by the one track I've heard :P)
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Postby Loose » Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:00 pm

I've recently downloaded another J-Pop album which I didn't know before. It's called Scratch by an unknown artist called Kaela Kimura.

Image

01. L.drunk
02. Magic Music
03. Snowdome
04. wani to kotori
05. dolphin
06. sweetie
07. kirin tan
08. Scratch
09. SWINGING LONDON
10. never land
11. TREE CLIMBERS
12. JOEY BOY
13. Ground Control
Haven't heard all the tracks so far, but I can say it's a very special record. Quite alternative with a naive & childish character. My first favourites are L.drunk and SWINGING LONDON... so far.

Could you translate kirin tan and wani to kotori for me, AyumiH? ;)
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Postby volver » Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:45 pm

I lived in Tokyo for 4 years before and came to know Japanese a little. I know that 'kirin tan' mean giraffe tounge...kirin meaning giraffe and tan meaning tounge. Dont know if Im right cuz its sorta weird name for a title.

As for the other one/ 'wani' means small crocodile while 'kotori' is a small Japanese bird.

The only J-pop artist I listen to is Hikaru Utada. And she actually graduadted from my school in Japan (Tokyo American School)...imagine that!
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Postby Loose » Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:43 pm

Thank you so much for that! :D

Hikaru Utada lived a few years in New York I guess... therefore she probably visited an American high school in Tokyo. I imagine it must have been cool there. My high school is very boring and full of crappy people (most of them are stoned 24/7).
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Postby volver » Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:03 pm

Urgh I would like to try new high schools once in awhile. High school and Middle school arent that different IMO (other than how you can choose some of your classes.) People are always divided into groups, and had to in the baseball or football team or be glamarous to fit into one of the popular groups that sat by the fountain. And of course you sorta had to be mentally strong because rumors and gossip are flying back and forth everyday. My friends and I would often joke that it was a jungle or sharktank out there. It was very much like like those high school movies you see Hilary Duff or Lindsay Lohan in lol.

Ok there I go talking again. To stay on topic, my favorite album Utada is Exodus. It was an ace album and I really thought they should have promoted it more in America...pop in the Western world has yet to find a huge Asian success
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Postby Fan » Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:10 pm

I like J-pop :D
My favourite J-pop artists are : Namie Amuro, Koda Kumi, Ayumi Hamasaki and BoA.
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