Patrick St. Michel

Patrick St. Michel is a Tokyo-based writer with a focus on Japanese music. He runs the blog Make Believe Melodies, which has focused on Japanese independent music since 2009. Besides The Japan Times, he also contributes to MTV 81 and The Atlantic.

For Patrick St. Michel's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

/ Nov 19, 2013

Arashi "Love"

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"

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"

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 and ...

Perfume 'Level3'

/ Oct 22, 2013

Perfume "Level3"

"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"

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"

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 ...

Spreading the word through manga

Aug 21, 2013

Spreading the word through manga

Videos of anime conventions in America greet visitors to Tokyo's Museum of Contemporary Art at this summer's "The Power of Manga — Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori" exhibition. Looped footage of attendants in cosplay at the Los Angeles Anime Expo and other similar events ...