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Missed The Stop: Listening Station Featuring JUJU, Superfly and LANDS

Photo courtesy of robertpaulyoung on Flickr under Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of robertpaulyoung on Flickr under Creative Commons

Sorry devoted readers (all three of you), I can’t do my weekly report on Music Station as I’ve got places to be on a Friday night. Since I can’t catch the five performances lost among a sea of old Music Station clips, I’m doing the next best thing – listening to the artists featured on tonight’s episode. Without further ado, here are the songs featured on the show this week according to the official site.

JUJU – “Present”

(Video here)

A typical J-Pop ballad. The music hangs around in the background to allow JUJU’s voice to overpower everything else. An obvious choice, as she sings excellently, especially near the end of the track when she picks up the urgency ever so slightly and her voice jumps up a level. Then again, there are a hundred other J-Pop divas you could plug into “Present” with the same result. It’s another slow song that could contain the most poignant lyrics ever penned but she could also be crooning about paint thinner for all I know. “Present” ends up being another pretty enough but unremarkable J-Ballad littering the charts.

Superfly – “Dancing On The Fire”

(Video Here)

A too-long, undercooked dance track milking a generic “rock” beat for all it’s worth. Superfly fail to latch onto anything of interest here, settling to ride out the aforementioned beat and throw some “don’t you forget we make rock music!” guitar on top. The chorus ends up being the biggest letdown, not taking the song in any interesting new direction (which it needs) and not even being catchy. I imagine live this could be cool coupled with some sweet pyrotechnics, but that’s about it.

山下智久 (Tomohisa Yamashita) – “Loveless”

(Video here)

Tomohisa Yamashita is a member of boy band NEWS (near unsearchable in any language). More importantly, he starred in the J-Drama Buzzer Beat, which combined something I love (basketball) with something I don’t like nearly as much (drama television). I watched every episode, though, so dude did something right. Unfortunately, “Loveless” is some straight up VH1 wake up music, ala Elliott Yamin or other dudes baring their souls over some pianos squared up with dance beats. In other words…AIRBALL.


(Watch a short version of the song, which is all I can find, here)

This song and the JUJU tune above share a bit in common, but LANDS’ number blows “Dancing On The Fire” away. Whereas that song goes to great length to show how rock-n-roll it is, “BANDAGE” opts for a more reserved, slightly dancey feel. The cop-out description here would be to label it “indie” sounding. Anyway, besides squeezing more out of less, LANDS also conjures up a chorus worth waiting for. It’s a bouncy rock number concealing some disco in it’s DNA.

稲垣潤一 & 森高千里 – 雨

So, uh, here’s one reason I like watching Music Station to do this…I can’t find this song (or artist!) anywhere. I get a few clues, but can’t find a track to listen to anywhere online. Hope you can find a bootleg tape of the Nov. 20 Music Station!

Winner Of The Week – LANDS going away. A bouncy little piece of indie rock that’s deceptively danceable. Can’t wait to actually here the whole cut.