Recommend me some J-POP (yes, I really did just say that)

90% of J-POP that I’ve been exposed to has been absolute rubbish, but every once in a while I find one that completely hooks me in, and I go on a JPOP binge on youtube that leaves me passed out in a puddle of my own sick and sharpie drawings on my face. I’m trying to avoid that latter part of the experience, so I’m hoping some of you genius dopers will be able to recommend J-POP music that a musician might appreciate. I’ll give some examples of what I’ve enjoyed so far.

Love is War - originally “performed” by the vocaloid Hatsune Miku, covered brilliantly here by Fye, a 14-year-old Russian girl
Kirei na kanjou (Beautiful Feeling) - Akino Arai
Tamashii no Rufuran and Kokoro yo genshi ni modore - Hayashibara Megumi
Stuff performed by Origa (ironically, she is also Russian)
Stuff written by Yoko Kanno (especially the stuff written for Origa in the GitS:SAC series)

So, music afficionados… please help me out before I consume J-POP that I’ll regret :eek:

K-POP works, too, but keep it down, will ya?

Missed edit window.

My favorites are the Yoko Kanno/Origa openings to GitS:SAC (Rise, Inner Universe), but I’ve resigned myself to the belief that those are unique gems in the turgid sewers of J-POP. But super bonus points if you can point me towards similar work by other artists :slight_smile:

J-pop is indeed a sewer. However, there are a few nuggets of corn there that are still digestable.

If you like Yoko Kanno, try out her recordings with the Israel Philharmonic on the Macross Plus OAV soundtrack.

Also take a look at Shiina Ringo and maybe Spitz.

If you can speak Japanese, also have a look at Southern All Stars.

Also, for a bit of Beach Boys-ey feel good music, I recommened Tatsuro Yamashita’s DVD Big Wave.

There’s a few HERE.

My first rec is obvious, if you know me - the brilliant green. I can’t think of a good song to be representative of them. They jump around a bit. So I’ll just grab the first video I see. Stand By Me (not a cover, just has the same title). The songwriter and chief vocalist, Tomoko Kawase, has two solo projects, as well, Tommy february[sup]6[/sup] and Tommy heavenly[sup]6[/sup], which are both also quite good. (She started them to play around with different styles, and different characters - Tommy february is very 80s pop, Tommy heavenly treading the line between goth, indie, and pop-punk.)

A bit further afield into the dramatically weird is Polysics - they are inspired by Devo, to give you an idea of what they’re like - only they’re bigger on the heavily electronic sound, and lyrics tend to be complete gibberish, including not just Japanese and English but nonsense syllables.

Ranging back to the more normal, Puffy (AmiYumi) and HalCali are some of my favourites, ranging a bit behind buriguri and Tommy’s solo efforts.

Going off on a different tangent, Maximum the Hormone is a very good metal band. (Also, somewhat odd… If you’ve heard Chu Chu Lovely Muni Muni Mura Mura Purin Purin Boron Nururururero, that’s them. As is What’s Up People!, the second opening theme song of Death Note, as well as its second closing, which is on the same album as Chu Chu Lovely[…] and What’s Up People!, but I can’t remember offhand which it is!)

It’s old, but my absolute favorite bit of Japanese pop music is Akiko Yano’s Rose Garden. This was back when she was in Yellow Magic Orchestra (or at least playing with them when they toured) and I believe some of the YMO players are on this track. I have no idea, as the album is, quite logically, in Japanese.

Pretty much impossible for me to listen to this without bopping around like a fool.

You and me both. I love love love love LOVE THAT SONG! It’s just so whacked!

Wow, I’d forgotten how good Akino Arai is- it’s been many years since I’ve watched Noir. Thanks for the others- that Russian girl, Fye is a find and much better than the original!

I think Rie Fu has a great voice (she kind of reminds me of the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, as strange as that sounds). Here’s a song pretty indicative of her:
Anata ga koko ni iru riyuu. I know she did a song for Bleach that was well known, too, but I didn’t watch the show so I’m not sure what it is.

This is pretty soft rock and not at all head boppy, but Core of Soul is really pretty with a good sound:
The Spirit of this Place

If I was gonna make an anime based rec, maybe some of the songs from NANA? There’s some incredibly catchy tunes there:
Rose by Anna
Wish by Olivia
A Little Pain by Olivia

Enjoy your Jpop quest- I’ll keep my fingers crossed it doesn’t end in an OD :slight_smile:

Thanks for the recommendations so far! Slowly going through everything in the thread, and I haven’t encountered anything yet that would cause me to miss work tomorrow. So. Arigato!

Also, <3 amazon.jp. So much cheaper than buying imports (though still a bit pricey). Anyone know of a good stateside distributor for this kind of stuff that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

I’m a huge fan of aiko (and have mentioned her many many times here). She writes all her own stuff, and while she doesn’t have the best voice in world, she’s really a true artist, IMO. Her band is also top-notch. She’s also older than she looks/sounds :wink:

Kira Kira
Hanabi

She likes to do alternate arrangements of her songs as well - I just found this nice live jazz version of Hanabi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpzBi7x88lg

Here’s a nice live performance of Kidzukarenai You Ni, which is quite different from the studio version.

I’m also a huge fan of an all-girl J-Rock band called MARIA. They’re interesting in that they’re fronted by two lead-singing bass players. One of the bassist/vocalists is Maiko Sakae, formerly of the hugely popular band ZONE.

Kanashimi Rensa
Tsubomi

Arashi is really cute and sweet. One thing that I like about the members in this pop band is that they are not just singers but have acted in movies and shows, too. Jun Matsumoto has been in a few shows (I used to watch one called “Bambino!” that he stared in) and Kazunari Ninomiya was Saigo from “Letters from Iwojima”. Anyway, two of their songs I really like are “We Can Make It!” and “Love So Sweet”.

Tommy Feburary6/Tommy Heavenly6 is pretty decent, too. Girl singer, she uses the two different bands to reflect her different personas. My favorite song of her so far is “Lonely in Gorgeous”. I also really like “Papermoon” and “Wait til I can Dream”.

I’m not a diehard fan of J-pop or anything so ymmv, of course.

Where does Shonen Knife fit into all this?

I just saw them on their current tour - 3rd time for me, but first time on more than 10 years I think. I was surprised that tow of the 3 members have been replaced by much younger counterparts, and that the band itself is one more replacement away from becoming a brand rather than a band.

Two versions of this song, great song awesome videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-Dg3QMfWgQ

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9wSMuCJCkQ

another great song featuring ‘strong machine’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUbqOcMlD7I

there are high quality videos posted other places that are worth seeking out. Certainly influenced by DEVO and I believe more sophisticated than most J-POP! enjoy!

I wouldn’t say Polysics are jpop. But if we’re just suggesting Japanese bands, check out Luminous Orange for some awesome Sonic Youth meets My Bloody Valentine shoegaze.

Every Little Thing.

I discovered the band after liking one of their songs that was used as the music behind the closing credits to the movie Pyrokinesis. I can’t find that particular song anywhere online, but you can hear the first few seconds of it in the trailer linked above, starting at 00:14.

I bought the album Eternity based on that one track, and ended up loving the entire album except for one fast-paced noisy piece of techno.

Life Is Like a Boat. It was the first ending theme for Bleach, and one of my favorites. Can you tell I’m on a Bleach kick at the moment? :slight_smile:

Judy and Mary, for sure.

Miwako Okuda is great, too