Music Topics

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Takeuchi sticks to what she knows on 'Trad'

by Patrick ST. Michel

Mariya Takeuchi “Trad” (Warner Music Japan) There are few certainties in the Japanese music industry nowadays, but two trends are definitely sale-driving locks for major labels. First is the trick of turning CDs into glorified containers for more valuable items such as the AKB48 handshake-event ticket or the somehow-more-ridiculous high-five-a-guy-from-Exile ...

E-Girls 'E.G. Time'

| Jan 20, 2015

E-Girls "E.G. Time"

by Patrick ST. Michel

Idol group E-Girls have a knack for covers. On last year’s “Colorful Pop,” they opened with a song borrowing the main synthesizer line from Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Rydeen” before later transforming Japanese disco tunes and Bananarama singles into tightly crafted blasts of electro-pop. It ...

| Nov 18, 2014

Sumi surprises with impressive debut

by Patrick ST. Michel

Sumi “Resurrect My Independence” (Self-released) Sumiko Yamazaki, who records as Sumi, grew up in Japan, but moved to the United States in 2004 and now resides in New York. On her recently released debut album, “Resurrect My Independence,” she reflects on her experience existing ...

Japan won't let 'Frozen' go

| Jun 17, 2014

Japan won't let 'Frozen' go

by Patrick ST. Michel

At first blush, the Japanese success of the animated film “Frozen” seems easy to explain. In a country where people pack Tokyo Disneyland on weekdays, of course a new princess-centric cartoon from Disney would succeed, but “Frozen” has been a phenomenon all its own. ...