Apr 16, 2010

Time for Part 2 in this expanding Music Horizons series. This entry will be in the same sort of format as the previous one. This entry will focus on....

Japanese Male Music

This post is probably the ont that bring the most controversy if you will as it mainly contains music from the Johnny's Entertainment company. This is simply due to its ease of access and downloadability, the fact that I know people who listen to this stuff makes it easier to find out info and stuff on....plus I like the music. Its not all JE music though as my 1st Male group is...............



Abingdon Boys School



Abingdon Boys School is a four person J-Rock band fronted by Nishikawa Takanori a.k.a T.M Revolution. They debuted in 2005 but Nishikawa was a soloist in Japan since the late 90's. Unlike most other Japanese music I listen to, these lads are pretty much just straight Japanese Rock, with 2 guitarists, a keyboardist/synthasizer player and a vocalist, there are also 2 supporting members which supply the bass and drums.
I discovered them a while ago when Morning Musume were on some tv programme, the one with that american guy who kept grabbing koharu. Well one of the special guests or was it a host was Nishikawa. Throughout the programme they would go back to him and he would do or say something. I found him funny and a bit cheeky, so I googled his name and from that I found out that he was in ABS and so I youtubed some of their videos and liked what I heard and so I got some of their music.
As this is really the first J-Rock group I have listened to, I can't compare on their style compared to other groups but what I can say isthat Nishikawa's vocals are great and they fit this type of music perfectly. Sometimes though he goes a little overboard on the vibrato but we can forgive him for that.

to give ya a taster of what they are like:



KAT-TUN



KAT-TUN are a JE group comosed of 6 lads rangong is age 24 to 27. They were formed in 2001 but didn't debut and start releasing music till 2006. They are at heart a male idol group and mainly just sing and dance in terms of the music aspect. Their music style is rooted in the pop genre but they also take in influences of rock like in Real Face & Lips and also some tecno influences like in THE D-MOTION so thier music style is never static. Their vocals are not typical of idols, they have a deeper and more mature sound, even more so than Arashi who debuted 7 years previous and who's members are on average older than KAT-TUN's.
To be honest, I don't remember how I found them at all. I think I downloaded Real Face years ago and had it on my iPod without knowing who they were. It wasn't till a while ago that I really began to like that song more and more and eventually researched them. After youtubing them and liking song after song [besides Bokura no Machi de] I decided 'Ya, they are a group for me' and I have been listening and loving everything they have been putting out since. Another great aspect of the group is their live tours are way better than those of H!P in terms of production. They are more of a show than a concert. I know JE have much for money than H!P but JE have more imagination. I could go on for another ages talking about them but I will stop here, but I would urge people to give them a try.

some favourite songs of mine would be:







an example of the theatrical shows...warning - some fanservice is involved ...not for insecure people :P




ARASHI


Arashi, probably JE's most successful act [along with SMAP] and once of the most successful acts in Japan at the moment. They are comprised of 5 members, 1 of which Matsumoto Jun, knows and 1 of the 3 elite of JE never had to audition to join the company, good thing too caus his voice is extremely nasaly.
Anyway, the group debuted in 1999 and their 1st single sold just under 1 million copies. Their style is more mainstream pop which generally has a happy cheesy tone to it. Unlike KAT-TUN I don not follow this group as closely, I also know less of their music. I like it I just dont really remember what I have heard. There is so much that I just turn them on and just listen away not really paying attention.
I found this group on Limewire by typing 'J-Pop'. I found them pretty soon after I found Morning Musume. So soon in fact that I would switch between listening to them and MM between songs. Eventaully MM won out and I stopped listening to arashi for the most part. I had always liked 2 or 3 songs though that I would always go back to at some stage. It wasn't till a few months ago when I got a lot more of their music. They are a fine group, I just never got into them as much as KAT-TUN.

one song that stuck with me the most was this:



NEWS

Hey! Say! Jump


I decided to group these 2 together simply because I have less to say about them. I started to listen to HSJ first. I dunno why really. A passing fad me thinks. I dont even really like their music all that much but I suppose I wanted to listen to something new at a time when releases were rare. They debuted in 2007 and only released 5 singles since. Their style started of as happy pop but eventaully moved to mature/love song type pop. Besides from saying they have great hairstyles that I might some day try to emulate there is nothing much else to say really so I shall post a song I like then move onto NEWS.



NEWS are the newest Japanese male group that I have started listening to. I always knew about them, I just never seemed interested in listening to them. After watching a few J-Drama's though which Yamapi starred in, I decided to give them a go. And I gotta say, they aint bad at all. As, for style, they dont really have any, their music sounds different quite a bit though it always has a pop foundation.
As for their releases, I never had a very strong liking to most of their singles, not that I hate them, I just would particularly go and throw one on. Instead, I found some of their album tracks to be of more interest.
Oh I forgot the background info lol. They debuted in 2003 with nine members, 3 of them are now gone. Of the 6 I dont really know their names yet but I call them... Yamapi for Tomohisa Yamashita just caus everyone does and its easy to remembers, Ryo for Ryo caus he has a short name, koyama for koyama, Dragon guy for kato because whenever he sigs his face goes all weird and reminds me of a dragon, mas/masuda for masuda and tego for tegoshi because his name belongs to the guy that isn't masude in tegomas....ya I'm weird. Talent wise, they aint bad, Dragon would be at the bottom in my opinion, then Yamapi ,Ryo, Koyama and masuda, then at the top would be tego. He has a class voice, way better than the other guys, so much so that its really noticable . Others would argue that mas has a really good voice too...maybe but his way of singing annoys me and he sounds nasaly sometimes.

here is a good song by NEWS..wait for tego's line at the end...best singer for sure




Overall News beats HSJ, arashi is somewhere...I dunno yet and KAT-TUN is on top. ABS is totally different so they would have their own list. I hopefully didn't scare off too many people with so much JE stuff, but what ya gonna do. Oh and dont forget the title...its about the music so dont bother going on about the fanservice, just ignore it like I do...or enjoy it, its up to you.

Music I hope to expand onto: GACKT, L'Arc~en~Ciel, T.M. Revolution, Versailles, ViViD, as always I appreciate any reccomendations.

Next post is gonna focus on: Korean Girl Groups











10 comments:

  1. ginaRAWR says:

    VERSAILLES!!! Also ViViD are pretty good, worth a listen :)

  1. Liamers says:

    sweet, ya I will definitley check them out. Is aistrocrats something one of their songs?

  1. ginaRAWR says:

    aristocrats symphony :P

  1. Liamers says:

    ^^; ya that one. Thankies GinaRAWR

  1. Yeah, I'm sorry Liam. I just don't get it. For me J-Pop boy bands are just one music horizon too far.

    That said, an interesting, well written and far ranging piece. Keep it up!

  1. Liamers says:

    thanks very much cotton. Ya I'm sure its not to everyones taste, which is fine. Its just those people cough *Dran* cough, who say they dont like things without trying them are the weird ones (",)b

  1. AimxAim says:

    It's good that you're boarding your music horizons. I've been doing the same thing over the past couple of years. I didn't even know JE existed until about 2 years ago.
    It's cool that you're listening to JE though. I never understood why it's ok for female fans to like H!P but male fans hardly ever listen to JE. JE has a lot of good songs that are on par or even better than H!P. But I guess there's a lot of stigma because JE has so much fanservice. XD
    But for me personally music wise in JE my favorites are NEWS, Hey! Say! JUMP, Arashi, and KAT-TUN. KAT-TUN's singles are always amazing, but hardly any of their album stand out to me. Their concerts are great though. Queen of Pirates was especially good.


    As for Jrock I've been listening to it for nearly 6 years, and there are a lot of good bands out there. But it's hard to recommend Jrock to you since you like more toned down sounding bands. And I tend to prefer Visual Kei and Oshare Kei. XD But you might like Nightmare, Ayabie, Lolita 23Q, or Gazette.

  1. Liamers says:

    thanks for the suggestions AimxAim, I will definitely check those out. I think with guys listening to JE, they either just dont like the music or they just can't get passed the stigma + fanservice. thier loss really :P

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very Interesting! I've been listening to a couple of NEWS and Arashi songs I heard a long time ago. Mainly because I heard them in dramas or just randomly came across a video on YT. But recently I started listening to KAT-TUN, and I also started listening to more JE. I also listen to ABS because my brother introduced me to them. Anyway, it was very interesting to read! -LazyP (from H!0)

  1. Brian says:

    Interesting series you got going on Liamers. It's good fun to read you venturing into different music scenes. Looking forward to your part on Korean girl groups!

    Good stuff my friend, good stuff. :-)