Posted by: Jayhan Sim
It’s been a great year for all the J-pop enjoyment, big thanks to the convenience of the web technology that let me easily access to the music that is never happened before. Because of this, I get to know more of the diversity of Japanese music industry, although I think that I’m just touching 5% of all. Plus, with the social music site Last.fm, I get to know which artists’ works I listened the most for the year 2007.
From the artist chart, the top 5 J-pop artists are: YUI (1,004 spins), Kimura Kaela (703), GReeeeN (658), Hamasaki Ayumi (547), and ERIKA (460). Can’t believe YUI get the number 1, which has 50% more spins than my “godly” idol Ayumi! About the Japan 4 new divas that I written back in May, Yuna Ito get 6th place but Ayaka did not even get into top 25 spot, well she had nice tunes but seems that I not really into her songs. Besides that, I also discovered some great new artists and groups that I would like to express, as well as some songs that I really like in 2007.
To be honest, I only starts to listen YUI songs this year, that’s true! Starts “Che.R.Ry”, I fall in love with her voice and the catchy tunes. Then I start to dig out all her works and listen to it almost almost everyday. The songs I like the most will be “Good-bye Days”, “It’s Happy Line”, “Tokyo”, “Blue Wind”, “Tokyo”, “My Generation” etc. Her old works sounds better to me thou. Second is Kimura Kaela, which I really like her uniqueness in her Promotional Videos. Her latest album “Scratch” is a boom, songs like “Wani to Kotori”, “I ♥ hug” always hitting my regular playlist.
While GReeeeN is gonna be my greatest finding in J-pop this year. I like almost all of their works starts “Ai Uta“, thanks to the recommendation in Music Station. Music Station has been a great show to expose all the nice tunes to me (thanks Animax!). I guess many people starts to know GReeeeN because of Ai Uta, best love song in 2007! Then is my idol Ayumi, although currently less listen to her songs, but I still support her by buying her old album CDs, I think I bought 5-6 already, I’m not those crazy fans which collected all her stuff but for me, collecting her album is enough already.
Finally is ERIKA. Despite all the bad news and impressions that she created this year, but I really like her music works thou. “FREE” is ok, but “Destination Nowhere” is much better piece. I am so surprise that she actually smiles in the “Des-No” PV, you might think it’s normal but it’s quite special for me because the images she portrayed in her music line is cool and hardly smile. What I really like is her dance tune like “Fantasy” and “Escape”, I think her voice is suitable for this kind of genre!
Great songs and discoveries
Actually there is a lot of nice songs finding for this year, and I blogged many of them. But below are some artists that I want to express my love for them
Funky Monkey Babys
First is Funky Monkey Babys. I really like their hip hop tunes because it express the love of life, and put my J-idol Toda Erika as front cover of their latest single. The song that I like the most from them will be “Lovin Life”,even my mother sings “sakura sakura sakura..” when I play this song! Their 2nd album is really nice, worth listening!
I should know him long time ago, because he participated in Ayumi’s pre debut album “Nothing From Nothing”! Considering a veteran in Hip Hop music industry, the song I like the most from him clearly is “One Love” featuring Shota Shimizu. Another song I like from him is “Hikaru Mirai” featuring Kato Miliyah.
Capsule/DJ Yasutaka Nakata
DJ Yasutaka Nakata remixes is hot! Basically this year my ear had been familiar with works that involving him, starts Suzuki Ami’s “FREE FREE/Super Music Maker” single. He also did musics for the soundtrack for drama LIAR GAME, as well as Perfume, Coltemonikha. Really like the his electronic music blended with Tokyo urban style female voice.
I just love their songs. Starting “Daidai”, and this single had been labeled 注目(chuumoku), means require attention so I give myself a try on that song and immediately fall in love with the song already. Sounds like the vocalist are shouting yet rhythmic and nice! Chatmonchy’s latest album “Seimeiryoku” is a worth listening piece. “Shangri-la”, “Tobiuo no Butterfly” is nice tunes, but didn’t listen to their old songs yet.
I very like their song “ALONES”, it is a song that is never bored even listened for 100 times. The vocalist Futoshi has great voice and one of the guitarist has one of a kind hair styles! “Dareka no Chijoue” is their latest album, very nice album.
I have been a fan of Johnny’s since high school. because I been dreaming of entering the group! Normally I think their songs is so so for groups like NewS, & Tackey and Tsubasa, but their songs for example “Hoshi wo Mezashite” and “Samurai” are the rocking one. The song “Cherish” by NewS had make me recollect my good old high school memories. While other songs like “Kiss ~Kaerimichi no Love Song~” by Tegomass and “Hey! Say!” by Hey Say 7 (before JUMP is formed) is notable mentioned too.
Next, my latest favorite idol Hirano Aya XD. She is just cute and I have no reason not to like her. She sings too and released numerous singles under her name and her voice over anime characters. Recently my friend introduced me a song of her called “Hare hare yukai”, heard that the dance steps for this song has become very very popular. Her songs for anime Lucky Star is also very cute too. Hirano Aya saikou! Hiranoism banzai!
Music of Japan: other then pop & wish to listen more
J rock genre
I am not really into J rock genre, maybe just L’Arc en Ciel, but this year I started to listen to some rock/indie/visual kei musics from Doping Panda, LM.C, SID (Namida no Ondo), High and Mighty Color… as well as The Cro-magnon (Giri giri gagan gan). But I am more preferring those soothing rock type. Actually I don’t know where to start in this genre but perhaps I shall follow with some artists that recommended by migimaru from Tokyograph.
Japanese enka and golden hits
This is another genre that I started to listen, but not really into and hopefully can have more time to listen to explore them, because recently I downloaded (*cough) a pack of music consisting some old time golden hits. Artists from this genre that I listened before are Natsukawa Rimi (Nada sou sou) and Kiyoshi Hikawa but still very limited.
Fuuu! What a long text post! Well this is all the great songs and artists that I enjoy the most in the year 2007, although it’s just a humble discovery which lacks in music taste (J-pop FTW). Special thanks to Music Station, Oricon, Jpopsuki, J-pop.cn that introduce me so many nice Japan songs, I can’t live without you.
I’m definitely looking forward for the brand new year! Hopefully I can discover more and more great voices of Japan! By the way if interested, the cover picture that I used for this article is AKB48.