Look at that puppy!!! Onto the music.
I’ve slowly realized I never write anything positive about the K-Pop boy bands outside of a still-pretty-dismissive “better than KAT-TUN.” Whether because I still harbor deep-seeded hate for anything that even remotely reminds me of N’Sync and by extension elementary school, or because I’m a secret misogynist who just loves staring at Korean girl groups, I’m pretty sure I’ve never said anything positive about the Big Bangs and 2AMs crossing into Japan.
SHINee’s “JULIETTE” won’t be bucking that trend, but I have a few positive notes besides the slowly-fading “sounds Western.” The music on this song has a nice move to it, an imagining of what Walt Disney could have done to R&B in Tomorrowland. It’s catchy and…uhhhh better than KAT-TUN, for sure. OK back to the bad…this thing still oozes 90’s boy band swagger, the worst of pusses, and the verses hit like oh-so-many empty calories. Honestly, the best thing to come out of “JULIETTE” is this Korean video of them performing it to Girls’ Generation because it’s kinda awkward and embraces the Romeo And Juliet (NOTE THE SPELLING SHINee) to a goofy end.
Tsuyoshi Domoto “Nijiの詩”
This, the short version of the new song from some guy from Johnny’s KinKi Kids, still manages to drag on for almost four minutes. Sure, about a minute of it is spent showing us the thrilling scenes of a guy diving into water…look, a boat!…yet that still leaves around three minutes for Tsuyoshi Domoto to subject the world to a generic brand ballad. There is about a second of well-thought-out music on this song, and that comes right at the beginning when the music tries aping whale noises. Immediately after, piano meets drawn-out singing meets some unmoving drumming meets forced drama. The only reason to sit through this is for the pretty under sea footage, and even that just ends up being kelp beds. The long version can stay wherever the hell it is as long as it wants.
Mika Nakashima “LOVE IS ECTASY”
Sounds like sub-par Kaela Kimura or even not-up-to-snuff Juju, though the chorus actually bites a My Chemical Romance song to some degree. This one’s way too easy pickings – the obligatory “look at me I’m rockin’ out!” song from an idol with so much on her schedule…she also acts and models among other yen-pulling activities…that this feels like an audition to be “hard” more than a real single. Be gone to the world of movies with you.
I’d be completely cool if every dumb J-Pop ballad released by dudes with acoustic guitars and major deals were boiled down into not-full videos like this one and the Domoto joint. Saves me several minutes of my life, before I inevitably beside to write something like “another dumb J-Pop ballad released by dudes with acoustic guitars and major deals.” Someone launch a cultural study why this bland junk sells so well, I’ll design the PowerPoint.
Porno Graffitti “ワンモアタイム”
OK, screw this heap of “rock” from a band with a really stupid band name that could have been flipped into something nasty sounding (musically, I mean) but instead clings to lame J-Rock tropes injected with baby’s-first-dance-song production. Let’s talk about AKB and NMB48.
So in the past week, several members of the pop-SWAT teams were suspended from the team for various infractions. Their crimes? Having boyfriends. This remains one of the most insane parts of Japan’s “idol” culture, people being denied the chance to date other people because the image might not gel with the inane fantasies turning around inside some dweeb’s head. Remember when Perfume’s A-chan had to deny the whole dating a guy from ONE OK ROCK? This is probably the one aspect of the Japanese music industry…while, and the continued selling power of shit ballads…that completely baffles me. Such a weird game to play.
I don’t really have a point with this, but we sure didn’t have to talk about that lame song now did we?
That’s clearly not Unicorn, but I can’t find their take on “Radio Exercises” and this popped up when and I was just tickled pink.
Winner Of The Week – Thom Yorke doing radio exercises. Seriously this week sucked big time, and the sooner we move on from it the better.