Music Topics

Metoronori 'Veil'

Jan 14, 2014

Metoronori "Veil"

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Time will tell whether “Veil” sounds good come warmer months, but right now it’s the perfect album for winter. Tokyo artist Metoronori’s third full-length album appeared online in the middle of last week, when the wind blew especially cold. With the heat cranked up ...

Nov 19, 2013

Arashi "Love"

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At the time of writing this review, Arashi’s “Love” has been bought more than any other Japanese album this year. Barring a sudden full-length LP from AKB48 or a cash-in compilation from Mr. Children, the group’s 12th CD should end 2013 in the same ...

Elen Never Sleeps 'Rum'

Nov 19, 2013

Elen Never Sleeps "Rum"

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Recent advancements in recording technology has made it easier than ever before for anyone with computer access to create and distribute their work from the comfort of home. Paradoxically, these advances also allow artists to hide themselves within their songs. There are countless effects ...

Biollante 'Alone in this World'

Oct 22, 2013

Biollante "Alone in this World"

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Tokyo’s Biollante has found a clever way of standing out among the ever-crowded field of Japanese bedroom music producers — get melancholic. The creator’s debut album “Alone In This World” (feel the sadness already?) fits like a glove among the works of at-home producers ...

Perfume 'Level3'

Oct 22, 2013

Perfume "Level3"

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“Level3″ is going to look amazing live. Perfume member Ayaka “A-Chan” Nishiwaki reportedly told producer Yasutaka Nakata that her trio wanted songs suited to the huge venues they’d perform it in. Nakata has obliged. Perfume’s fourth studio album — the first with access to ...

Maximum The Hormone 'Yoshu Fukushu'

Sep 18, 2013

Maximum The Hormone "Yoshu Fukushu"

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Maximum The Hormone’s sixth album, “Yoshu Fukushu,” proves its members know how to laugh at themselves. The four-piece have long been slapped with the “hardcore” and “nu-metal” tags, putting the band in the company of other such acts like Limp Bizkit and Korn, who ...

Various artists 'Tanukineiri Drink Sampler'

Sep 18, 2013

Various artists "Tanukineiri Drink Sampler"

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It’s getting harder to listen to netlabel-released albums in one sitting recently. Electronic-music compilation series “Fogpak” recently put out a collection featuring 48 different artists (should we call the Guinness people?). Now Tanukineiri Records has popped out “Tanukineiri Drink Sampler” — 90 minutes and ...

Namie Amuro 'Feel'

Aug 14, 2013

Namie Amuro "Feel"

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The age of the J-pop diva has long passed, those halcyon days of Whitney Houston-inspired vocals and million-unit-moving singles. The female entertainers from this period have recently coped by embracing American trends. Kumi Koda struck Oricon Single Chart gold last year with “Go To ...

Smany 'komoriuta'

Aug 14, 2013

Smany "komoriuta"

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Netlabel culture in Japan — referring to Web-only music labels that distribute tunes online, usually for free — has been around long enough to develop its own set of minor celebrities and “star” imprints. Bunkai-Kei has become one of the most popular of these ...

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 'Nanda Collection'

Jul 17, 2013

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu "Nanda Collection"

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“Am I an adult? Or am I a kid?” sings Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on “Furisodation,” a song about the Harajuku blogger-turned-model-turned-pop-star turning 20 earlier this year. That’s the question that looms over all of her sophomore album, “Nanda Collection.” The album is obsessed with ...

Slow Beach 'Lover Lover'

| Jul 17, 2013

Slow Beach "Lover Lover"

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Slow Beach is somewhat of a supergroup in Tokyo’s indie-rock scene. The group finds Dai Ogasawara, founder of twee-leaning netlabel Ano(t)raks, hooking up with producer Kai Takahashi, who is responsible for some of the most interesting electronic compositions of the year, including a chilled-out ...

miwa 'Delight'

Jun 20, 2013

miwa "Delight"

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The title of miwa’s first two releases, “Guitarissimo” and “Guitarium,” seemingly announced her musical niche. Those top-selling albums (her debut made her the first Japanese performer born in the 1990s to take the Oricon album chart’s top spot) revolved around guitar, in the form ...