Last post before I begin my summer vacation a.k.a. going to Summer Sonic so I can write about it here. And probably watch Eastbound And Down. I definitely don’t have a ruffff life! Dog joke so sorry.
Namie Amuro “Get Myself Back”
And my last post for a couple weeks kicks off with a ballad, complete with Disney-surge opening. To give a little bit of credit to Namie Amuro, “Get Myself Back” at least avoids total sugary pomp and embraces a few R&B elements (the beat, a few squanky electronics lurking in the back). The best decision made for this track was to keep the pace a little brisker than most J-balladry, the overblown strings not slowing the song down but rather pushing it forward. Plus Amuro boasts a pretty good voice – not the most distinctive singing you’ll hear this year, but capable of working well among the music.
Still, “Get Myself Back” just another J-Ballad that happens to sounds suited for one of the non-Beyonce members of Destiny’s Child. If that’s your resume highlight, get a degree quickly.
ORANGE RANGE “楽曲未定”
I can’t find this song anywhere…does it actually exist? I did manage to find a relatively new song, featured below.
It’s an upbeat, poppy number that’s also pretty slight. It’s also not the song featured on Music Station, so I’m not going to bother with it.
Moumoon “Sunshine Girl”
Music critics…professional and amateur (ahem) alike…sometimes think too much about songs. I’ve already written at pretty decent length about “Sunshine Girl,” a summer pop song I’m 95 percent sure was written and performed straight. I imagine most people just hear a happy-go-lucky single that some folks probably designated as a ring tone. Some happy couple in Japan is probably holding hands and humming this right now.
Still…each time I listen to Moumoon run through such banal lyrics (“happy days/summer days/sunshine girl”) in a zombie tone, I can’t help but think of Sleater-Kinney’s excellent “Modern Girl.” The two tracks couldn’t sound more different, but they both follow very similar formulas: deceptively bright music meshes with vapid (definitely intentional in “Modern Girl”) lyrics resulting in a subversive little tune. With “Sunshine Girl,” it’s the little electronic ripples, the way the vocals sound and even the drum hits seem off. It’s like sticking you’re hand through a perfect-looking hologram and watching it scramble for a second. Call it farfetched, but something about “Sunshine Girl” really makes me scratch my head.
山下智久 “One In A Million”
Part of me really wants to like this song…some of the electronic noises flaring up in the back don’t sound that far removed from a √thumm album. Problem is, those elements got mixed into a really generic electro-pop number best suited for a SoBe Lifewater commercial. The chorus, in particular, bores mightily, revealing the people behind “One In A Million” simply saw the relative popularity of “electronic pop” and decided to drop this dude into a poorly thought-out single. Plus, a lyric like “I’m going to hunt you down…” should get someone on a police list, not the pop charts.
Pure goofball J-Pop. If you’d asked me five years ago what I thought J-Pop sounded like, my answer would sort of resemble this song…mindless, annoying, an excuse to do synchronized dances. Almost novelty.
RIP SLYME “SCAR”
At one point in the video for “SCAR,” a member of hip-hop stooge-crew RIP SLYME hides beneath a bed while holding a banana. Above him, an attractive woman wriggles about.
This is the high point of both the video and song. Looks like Pitbull remains the king of hotel-themed, latin-tinged rap in 2010.
Winner Of The Week – Moumoon for being creepy, to me at least.