J-Pop singer Salyu deserves two superlatives:
1. Best voice in J-Pop today
2. Most misused voice in J-Pop today
Salyu’s voice is a thing of wonder, part Bjork-ish while also being able to hit high notes a bit better. Yet for the majority of her career, she’s been saddled with songs meant for traditional J-Pop singers when she’s anything but. She might be the biggest misuse of talent in Japan of the last decade…if not more. There have been exceptions, though. When she pretended to be Lily Chou-Chou…and thus wasn’t herself…she was fantastic, and two years ago Cornelius liberated her by copying her voice and creating music based around multiple Salyus. That move resulted in the singer sounding more free than ever before, and the Salyu X Salyu album remains her finest full-length to date.
Her latest collaboration, with the band L.E.D., doesn’t require her to change her identity or to be broken into atoms to be rejuvenated musically. Here, she’s simply given a new sonic backdrop to sing in front of, and it’s refreshing. L.E.D. construct a hi-definition synth flurry for her to sing over, their synths sometimes overpowering her voice. That’s an interesting development, as she doesn’t usually have to battle the sounds around here…but now she has to break through 8-bit walls. It never sounds as thrilling as what Cornelius did with Salyu X Salyu, but for the singer who has long dealt with mediocre music, this 80′s blizzard is a nice change of pace. Listen below.