So I stayed up way past my bedtime on a Sunday night to watch the Women’s World Cup Final and not only was treated to the best game of soccer I’ve ever seen…and that’s not some weird jab at the sport, it genuinely was the most thrilling match I’ve ever seen, albeit that’s a small sample size!…but also a fun musical moment. During the halftime break, they kept showing this commercial for some sort of TV special where AKB48, Perfume, Girl’s Generation and a whole bunch of other J-Pop artists would be performing. The surprising part…they soundtracked said ad with “Can’t Stop” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Quirky pairing! Onto the music.
Kis-My-Ft2 “Everybody Go”
What did you really like as a teenager that you now look back on and go “what the fuck was I thinking?” For me, it goes something like: professional wrestling, Pokemon and creating imaginary sports leagues in my head. Thing is, there really is no reason to look back on these kind of adolescent pursuits and beat your mental-self up over them…the “you” at age 14 was a hell of a lot different than the “you” of today, so is it really shocking that teenage-you watched Smackdown! or almost bought a Creed CD once? I’m not the only one to argue this…I’ve seen people make the inoffensive-to-a-fault recording output of Jimmy Eat World, and despite their best attempts at playing it off as a guilty pleasure, boy bands. Who cares what you liked when you were a moody ball of high-school clay?
I imagine the intended market for Johnny’s Junior outfit Kis-My-Ft2 (seriously) is tweens and teens, and I’d like to think ten years from now the kids making up the front row of the live footage in the link above will flip through the Case Logic of their youth and chuckle at themselves. Mostly because, as a 23-bordering-on-24-year-old dude, I hear absolutely nothing redeeming about this track, so I have to assume I’m just old and cynical and maybe this is just some Japanese kids Backstreet Boys. Except the Backstreet Boys didn’t have cheap-butt techno swells and a military march segment in any of their songs (I think, wasn’t my scene). Instead of spit bile at this grating slab of excrement, I’m going to just retreat and let the kids of today enjoy their pop. And pray ten years from now they laugh it all off as a phase.
Sakanaction ““Bach No Senritsu Wo Yoru Ni Kiita Sei Desu”
Wrote about this one already, so click the blue letters if you want expanded thoughts on it. Just a really good song, and Sakanaction seem poised to have a really big second half of the year.
Loogit that, this has already been done on Music Station, meaning I already wrote about this once before. Instead of taking the mandatory 10 seconds to see what I wrote before, I’m just gonna guess I plopped down something about a “plodding, melodramatic ballad” before posting an epic nut-shot video of some sort. Welp, watch the clip above and save yourself a Friday night.
One of my big concerns about writing about J-Pop ballads is that I’m missing out on something big because I can’t understand what they are saying completely. I mean, every one of these songs sounds the same…they must be saying some real life-altering stuff to stand out right? Obviously, a bit gets lost in translation, but I found the English lyrics for this song and…well, not really. This either deals with love coming to an end or someone dieing, or if we want to be a little more generous the transience of all life but Tokyo Story this ain’t, which is a subject worth exploring in song seeing as it is a big part of the human condition and all. Still…this seems pretty sap-tastic and if we aren’t setting the bar stupid low for “J-Pop”…this could be a lot better, no?
The recent wave of great K-Pop outfits landing in Japan…Girl’s Generation, KARA, 2NE1…has been so exciting compared to the sometimes lame crop of J-Pop that it is easy to forget how crappy a lot of it sounds too. TVXQ has been kicking around the Japanese charts long before the current wave of girl-centric groups, so “Superstar” isn’t some hot-shit debut but rather just another single from a group accustomed to selling well. And that’s good for them, because this single blows! Robo-voices cover up the lack of soul…or any internal organ for that matter…well the verses fart around like a third-string Pitbull club anthem. Maybe slightly more interesting than your typical Johnny’s release, but about as painful to hear.
Kamiji Yusuke “全部好き”
Hey, the video for this is kinda cute! Shame the song should be stricken from this Earth!
Winner Of The Week – I’m so glad Sakanaction can get on these shows, they make the whole affair a bit more tolerable.