fly to high


Kanjani8 – Wahaha
February 29, 2008, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Johnny's Entertainment, Jpop, Kanjani8 | Tags:

Kanjani8’s single “Wahaha” (yes, seriously, that’s the song name) will be released March 12. Supposedly, the song celebrates “entering school, graduation, meetings, and break-ups” – all at the same time.

Kanjani8 music has always been either hit or miss with me. Their songs are always humorous, and have in the past contained Kansai references. Musically, though, sometimes it’s enjoyable, and sometimes it’s anything but; I really loved “Zukkoke Otokomichi,” but “It’s My Soul” was a little painful for me to listen to.

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Arashi’s surprising first week…
February 27, 2008, 3:32 am
Filed under: Arashi, Japan, Johnny's Entertainment, Opinion | Tags: ,

If there’s one thing we all know about Japan, it’s that Japan is insane and however integrated and educated of their pop culture we are or think we are, we’re still all dumb gaijin and will never really know what they like nowadays.

Seriously.

Sure, we know that Johnny’s fangirls have cash to burn, Koda Kumi albums will always top the charts, KinKi Kids will get #1 on Oricon. These are expected. If anything changes (KinKi’s record of number 1 singles finally stops, people actually really start to dislike Koda Kumi’s music) it’d be shocking.

But did anyone anticipate that a temporary duo formed for a school drama with two Johnny’s idols that integrated Spanish into cheesy lyrics (Shuji to Akira’s “Seishun Amigo”) would become one of the country’s top singles, two years in a row? Would you have bet good money that, after years of the top yearly single being pop artists like SMAP, KAT-TUN, Hirai Ken, and Ayumi Hamasaki, that 2007’s top selling single (“Sen no Kaze ni Natte”) would be classical, from a tenor?

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alan – Hitotsu
February 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
Filed under: alan, Jpop | Tags: ,

alan is the ethnically Tibetan singer from the Sichuan area of China. She released one Chinese cover album, but was discovered through Avex Beijing and brought to Japan; she debuted in 2007 with “Ashita e no Sanke” in Japan. “Hitotsu” (one) is her second single, and will be released on March 5th.

I love alan a lot; her voice is amazing, she’s beautiful, and – well, she reps China. Her Chinese cover album was well done, and I adored her first single. It’s interesting to see how avex plans to market her out – will they wait for her to master Japanese and make her a fully Japanese artist? Will they have her release material in Chinese too? Will they do both?

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NEWS – Taiyou no Namida (2)
February 23, 2008, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Johnny's Entertainment, Jpop, Music Shows, NEWS, Television | Tags:

Since “Taiyou no Namida” is going to be released on Wednesday, NEWS has started their blitz of media appearances. There’s many more to come, but their first TV performance was on Music Station… where they performed and had water pouring down on them. Their “sun” isn’t just shedding some tears, it’s bawling. By the end of the song, after only about a minute and half of the downpour, they can’t make direct eye contact at the cameras with all the water coming down and are all soaked through. But the performance went well, and they looked happy despite being dripping wet, so it’s all good.

Of course, what would the world be like without leaks. It’s not supposed to be out until Wednesday, but… hey, not like there weren’t decent radio rips already, right?

Follow the links for song previews & downloads. 🙂
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Girl Groups I Like, and Girl Groups I… Don’t Like
February 14, 2008, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Jpop, Opinion, Perfume | Tags: , ,

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The other day, a roommate was watching Music Station and asked me, “why don’t you like Buono?” (To which I, confused, responded “Bono from U2? Whaa?”)

The thing is, I’m incredibly in love with Perfume right now, and in the past I was incredibly in love with SweetS. They’re the only two idol girl groups I’ve really adored. I have been slightly fond of Hinoi Team too. But somehow, I’ve never developed a liking (and actually hold a distaste) for any other female idol groups – nobody in H!P, not AKB48, not even the female parts in AAA. To my roommate, there’s no difference – Perfume and Buono! are all groups with three girls who dance in sync in performances to pop music. Besides, I listen to bad Johnny’s songs all the time obsessively, so music-wise I should be tolerant.

But to me, there’s all the different in the world – I was even slightly offended that my musical taste seemed to include H!P releases.

I’ve thought about it, and I’ve narrowed it down to six differences between the ones I like and the ones I don’t:

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chatmonchy – Hira Hira Hiraku Himitsu no Tobira
February 11, 2008, 4:31 pm
Filed under: chatmonchy, Jpop | Tags:

Hira Hira Hiraku Himitsu no Tobira” is chatmonchy’s newest single, coming out on 2/27. This is the female trio’s seventh single and will be accompanying the film GachiBooi.

I’ve found that chatmonchy is an acquired taste for most people, mostly due to vocalist Hashimoto Eriko’s unique voice. Some absolutely can’t stand her nasal and high pitched voice, while others think its part of what makes chatmonchy stand out. I’m one of the latter: I like the way her voice can keep up with the strength of their music. I’m always amazed they can create such a full sound with just three people. They’re one of my favorite bands, because I like and rock out to 90% of everything they release.

This release is no different, and it’s another energetic rock song. It’s one of their harder releases but still remains bouncy and catchy. Personally, I like their more rock-based songs better than their really poppy ones, so I’m really enjoying this one.

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Arashi – Step and Go
February 8, 2008, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Arashi, Johnny's Entertainment, Jpop | Tags:

Step and Go” is a new release from Arashi to be released 2/20. Its B-side was the song for C-1000 Lemon Water, of which Arashi advertises.

My first thought when this started playing was “oh my god, it’s so retro.” And by retro, I mean both sounding 80’s inspired and Arashi-retro – it reminds me of some of their earlier discography, although I can’t put my finger on a specific song it resembles.

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