Tokyo currently has “Skytree” fever, as the metropolis’ welcomed the world’s second-largest structure this week. Take it from someone who watches the news while running on the treadmill at my gym – the Skytree is inescapable, with TV shows doing features about the outside, inside, gift shops, food options and nearby train station (just to name a few). I guess I need to see this thing at some point, huh?
Ieiri Leo “SHINE”
One of the new faces of 2012, Ieiri Leo’s career thus far has been unspectacular, more of a story-driven artist (at 17, she’s still in high school) rather than one putting out good music. Trick is, she does just enough to make you see potential down the road, hoping that this still-teen learns how to utilize those skills in more creative ways down the road rather than do the same thing over and over again. In Leo’s case, she has a solid voice, one reminiscent of Kaela Kimura and one capable of turning an otherwise so-so debut single like “Sabrina” into something peppy. Her sophomore single, “SHINE,” sees the production attempting to catch up to the potential found in her voice – the verses try to build to something, complete with flakes of her singing and bursts of violins. Problem is, the chorus doesn’t deliver on all this detail, too safe to really take “SHINE” to the next level. Bit of a letdown, but this kid has time to figure everything out.
AKB48 “Manatsu No Sounds Good!”
Man, forget the song entirely…and, hell, this latest single from AKB48 actually somehow sounds a little better than their usual Akihabara bait, probably because those synth horns remind me a little bit of the Evangelion theme song. Whatever though, because the video in that above link is bananas. It’s bizarre and discombobulating and also sorta genius in a rambling idiot kind of way. I can’t stop watching it.
Basic plot: so some high-school students (AKB) stumble across…some women (AKB) who seemingly fell from the sky. At least that’s what I think happened, as the video focuses on what appear to be meteors or glowing orbs in the sky. Some of the AKB people glow, the students run towards them and then…they start vomiting up their souls, maybe? One girl tries to give another CPR, which is pretty clever given that whole kissing scandal that broke out earlier this year. Lot of shit happens, just watch the link. And then they all start dancing on a beach in white bikinis like the previously shown terror didn’t happen.
I take it AKB48 are taking notes from Momoiro Clover Z (“give no fucks about how insane your music video is”) except at least Momoiro Clover Z’s clips stay consistent within their nutty worlds (space pirates…all the time!). This just doesn’t make sense but also somehow is clever…I don’t even know, just watch it.
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
Google “GLAY Bible” and this is the first Bible verse…and first hit period…that comes up, probably because of the “clay” part. Way more interesting trying to dissect the Good Book than dwell on this jump-rope rock song.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds “Dream On”
IT’S SYMBOLISM GET IT
Doofy battle-of-the-sexes video aside, this song sounds pretty unremarkable. The High Flying Birds project has actually resulted in some decent moments…which is more than can be said for the other post-Oasis project from the Gallagher family, Beady Eye…but the drudgery of “Dream On” isn’t one of them, a chore of a listen that offers false hope via horns.
Ken Hirai “Kokuhaku”
Only a short clip, but not really inspiring me to find more. Yawn.
Winner Of The Week – Musically, Ieiri Leo. Overall, that AKB48 video.