J-music discussion: anyone interested?

For all the music-lovers out there, this is your place to swap lyrics, talk about new bands and jazz about concerts. All things related to the audio world belong here.

Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby shooraijin » Sat May 07, 2016 9:54 am

Back on this side of the Pacific. I'll deep dive in my box o'discs.
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Sun May 15, 2016 4:34 pm

Second half of May.

夢中夢 (they themselves romanize it as mutyumu, but it is really muchuumu): Incredibly beautiful rock/metal with gorgeous female vocals and some piano and violin and occasional other progressive sounds thrown in.

just a heads-up: even searching in Japanese, I haven't been able to find their lyrics posted anywhere online, so I have not previewed the lyrical content, and they do have some religious-sounding titles, like "I am no more than dust and will return to dust" (the song linked above) and so on. It seems they are using Christian religious imagery for the sake of atmosphere like Japanese people often do, and I really can't vouch for whether they are doing so in an inoffensive way or not.

By the way, I'll go ahead and mention ahead of time that I won't be around CAA during the first week of June, so if anyone wants to post a new artist at that time, please go ahead; you don't have to wait for me.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby John_Smith » Sun May 15, 2016 4:36 pm

I’m not sure how well known this next one is, but for this month: Zaq.
Wikipedia link
She’s a singer, though she also composes. For example, from Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai, she composed and performed the opening, but she ‘only’ composed the ending theme.
This is the first song I first heard from her (Katararezu Tomo). I’ll also link to MAL’s description of her, which may make it easier if anyone is interested in her music.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby shooraijin » Sun May 15, 2016 6:28 pm

I won't be around CAA during the first week of June,


Have a safe trip. Where are you off to?
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
"Al hail the forum editting Shooby! His vibes are law!" - Osaka-chan

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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Sun May 15, 2016 6:49 pm

JAPAN.

^As I've probably mentioned in the Status Madness thread. This will be the first time I've been back to Japan in three years (after living there for six), and invariably almost everyone who knows me IRL is jokingly asking, "Are you coming back?"
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby shooraijin » Mon May 16, 2016 5:46 am

Oh, wow! Then you can give us a firsthand look at what's rising in the charts. :)
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
"Al hail the forum editting Shooby! His vibes are law!" - Osaka-chan

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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby KazeShiki » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:01 pm

Been super busy lately with a new job (yay). So for my next artist: Yanagi Nagi. She started out as an amateur cover singer on NND before getting her claim to fame with the now beloved Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari as the vocalist for Supercell (it's my opinion that there's a number of people who say they are Supercell fans but are actually just Yanagi Nagi fans). She actually still does a lot of cover songs despite releasing her own music now. My favorite cover of hers is probably Uninstall but I can't find a link (on youtube) besides some sped up version. But my favorite music of hers is definitely her collab album with Maeda Jun (who deserves his own post with all the great music he's written). Songs like Muteki no Soldier and Last Smile and well, the entire album is great and the music videos made for them just add to the greatness. Each song is an emotionally invoking short story (mostly sad) so the lyrics are very important to pay attention to. I still await the day this album gets an anime.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:32 pm

KazeShiki wrote:Been super busy lately with a new job (yay). So for my next artist: Yanagi Nagi.


Image
I like it. By the way, where are you working--in Japan or in your home country?

In other news, I'm back from Japan but extremely tired, so I'll come back in a few days or a week or something to post probably about some music that I bought while in Japan.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby KazeShiki » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:48 pm

Kaori wrote:I like it. By the way, where are you working--in Japan or in your home country?

Did you ask that knowing I got my degree from Japan? I decided to move back to the States to work though. I may go back eventually. As in for work; for vacation, I will 100% visit Japan again :P
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:57 pm

Well, you went to Todai; that was kind of memorable.

Just got some rock band recommendations from a Japanese acquaintance I met at work and am excited to listen to them--more possible fuel for this thread. :3
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby shooraijin » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:19 pm

Where did you buy the CDs?
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:49 pm

Image

Tamaki Nami (玉置成美) is yet another singer whom I learned about through anison. It seems like anime-song singers are pretty well-liked in this thread, though, so probably some of you will also take a liking to her. For example, people who like Mizuki Nana might also like Tamaki Nami. "Reason" from Gundam Seed Destiny is the song that introduced me to her, and like that, a lot of her songs have a high-octane, electronica-influenced style. I posted the above photo from the liner notes because the slick futuristic images pretty much perfectly match the style of her music.

Kaori's Japaense Culture Corner:

The Japanese have some sayings like 一期一会、 "one time, one chance," which expresses that each time that you meet someone is a unique opportunity and should be treasured (because even if you meet the same person again it will be at a different time and in different circumstances, so it is not the same opportunity) and 偶然ではなく、必然, "It's not coincidence, it's inevitable," also referring to meeting the people that we come across in our lives, that these meetings happen for a reason and are not just chance.

"Reason" is a song that I particularly fell in love with not just because it's a great, very enjoyable high-energy song, but because it has the lyric, 「ありのまま出逢えてたこの奇跡もう一度信じて」、which roughly translated is, "Believe one more time in the miracle that we were able to meet each other just the way we were."

The rest of the lyrics, like, "The farther apart we are separated, the more I feel close to you," are just typical love song lyrics and neither here nor there, but in a non-romantic way I can totally get behind the idea that to meet someone is a miracle and something special that was meant to happen.

Shooraijin wrote:Where did you buy the CDs?


I bought a few CDs in Tokyo (I think maybe at a Book Off) but more of them in Okinawa (Manga Souko and Book Off). The reason for that was not because the shopping is better in Okinawa, of course Tokyo is better, but because not until I got to Okinawa was I able to get rid of the last of the souvenirs I had in my luggage (i.e. to give to people in Japan) and have room for other things.

While I'm at it, I'll put in a few comments about artists who have previously been mentioned in this thread and whose CDs I bought while in Japan.

Mr. Children - I picked up one CD of theirs, thinking, "They're really famous, so I should listen to them." The album is 深海 (Deep Sea), which I picked somewhat at random, and it's not bad.

Zabadak - Looking specifically for pre-1993 CDs, I wasn't able to find much, but I did pick up a live CD (LIVE), which is okay.

Kokia - Picked up 歌がチカラ (Song is Power), which is . . . not bad, but not the best Kokia CD I have. I wouldn't particularly recommend it as a starting point to Kokia.

Actually, though, possibly partially due to influence of this thread, I've been listening to Kokia more recently (she does have a really beautiful voice) and even before going to Japan I picked up a couple more of her CDs, I Found You and outwork collection~pieces (the latter is a collection of anime and game music that she has done). 安心の中で、from the very first CD of hers that I bought (Remember Me) is a new favorite, as is Solace~記憶の森に積もる絵画, from the album 歌がチカラ, both of which songs are pretty much unbelievably beautiful.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:36 pm

This is going to be for the first half of July.

Kajiura Yuki has already been mentioned in this thread, in connection to some of her other projects, but as another spotlight on some music I got while in Japan I want to introduce See-Saw.

See-Saw is a two-woman group (formerly a three-member group) consisting of Kajiura Yuki (keys) and Ishikawa Chiaki (vocals). It is mostly Kajiura Yuki's brain child, as she writes all of the music and maybe about half of the lyrics, so people familiar with Kajiura's style will find that See-Saw sounds pretty familiar.

They are also pretty squarely in anime and game song territory, with 君は僕に似ている ("You Resemble Me") from Gundam SEED and both the opening and ending themes from .Hack//Sign, "Obsession" and 優しい夜明け (Yasashii Yoake, "Gentle Dawn"). There are also a couple of songs that are from the game .hack//Liminality, apparently.

I only picked up one See-Saw album in Japan, Dream Field, but the more I listen to it the more I am impressed by the quality of the writing, both the music and the lyrics; from a compositional standpoint the music really is well-written, especially in its use of classical instruments like violin and piano. For example, there's the haunting violin in 記憶 (Kioku, "memory"), the ever-present but alway subtly-changing repeated piano line in the background in the peacefully beautiful "indio," and 千夜一夜 ("One Thousand and One Nights"), which uses English horn, oboe, and cello in addition to the usual piano, violin, and rock instruments, and has a quite relentless and catchy melody. I can't find these songs on YouTube, sorry. :/ Anyone so inclined can listen to brief sound clips on Amazon.co.jp, here.

I'll also touch a bit on lyrics (although I guess you can't listen to these songs without buying the CD).

"Kioku" (linked above) talks about how the memories that are poured into us form the shape of who we are as persons ("These memories that pile up like snow in my once-empty body are little by little filling me, creating me. That is the way that people take on the shape of people--accumulating memories in their hearts that they don't want to forget") and has a really wonderful sense of emotional strength and courage in the face of hardship (parting with someone).
Lyrics include things like, "No matter where and how far away we are apart, I will always be right here inside you like a star to guide you," "I will definitely return here, so I will move forward without looking back," and "Because it certainly reached your heart once, I am not afraid to stretch out this hand a second time." This translation is pretty decent if anyone wants to look at the lyrics to the whole song.

"Jumping Fish" is not at all the random senseless English that it might seem to be just judging from the title but is actually a very well-thought-out metaphor comparing people who take the risk of loving someone romantically to jumping fish, which rather than staying where it is safe and comfortable passionately leap into the unfamiliar air heedless of what may become of them.

Those two are the ones that stand out most to me, though I haven't yet listened to the lyrics of every song carefully.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:25 pm

Anyone who is still listening, please say so. If you all just don't have any more artists/bands that you want to introduce right now, that's no problem, I've still got more, but I want to check and make sure I'm not just talking to myself (comments on the artists I'm posting would be welcome).

So I was looking up Japanese jazz-rock bands, and unfortunately for me and my language study the bands I found were almost all instrumental.

But they were all really good! So much so that it was hard to pick just one band to introduce, but I am going to go with Jizue. What I particularly like about them is their progressive sensibility and the well-written, intellectual quality of the music.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby shooraijin » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:40 pm

Still listening, just haven't acquired anything new myself.
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby artisticDreamer » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:14 pm

I'm listening too; I'm just sort of lurking. :)
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:39 pm

Thanks to both of you for checking in. Even though I know it's normal on forums that more people read than post, but without other people posting it starts to feel really quickly like I am just talking to myself, so I might continue to ask and see if anyone is reading from time to time.

A little bit late, but here's an artist for the first half of August.

Natsukawa Rimi is an Okinawan singer. During her career she has sung both traditional Okinawan folk songs and also some songs she wrote herself, but it seems the former has had more commercial success. In Japan she is a somewhat known name, I think, but hasn't enjoyed a really high level of popularity.

涙そうそう is maybe her most famous song (it's a cover of a song by the Okinawan band BEGIN). It's a sad love song (breakup song?) about being moved to tears when remembering the smiling face of the person the (male) narrator is in love with, longing for that person and wanting to meet them.

海の彼方 is a very nice song in the Okinawan dialect (not standard Japanese). The lyrics are really lovely, too; the narrator is thinking of the person he loves and talking about the distant sea, the distant islands, his thoughts riding upon the wind and crossing over the sky, and the song of the person he loves coming to him echoing over the sea. There's a lot of beautiful description of nature, the blooming red flowers, the white sand beach of his hometown, seeing in the clouded-over moon the face of the person he loves, and so on.

These songs are both, by the way, examples of a female singer singing from a male perspective, though in the case of 涙そうそう the band who originally wrote the song is all-male.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby shooraijin » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:01 pm

Regrettably I think that's the state of the board these days, but I still find the topic interesting. I have a nurse friend who is Okinawan. I might ask her about this one.
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:30 pm

Oh! I knew you had a nurse friend who was Japanese, but I either didn't know or had forgotten that she is Okinawan. Did you know that Okinawa was where I lived for five of my six years in Japan? If you remember and get a chance, ask your friend where in Okinawa she was from (I lived in Yomitan).

And the reading-more-than-responding thing isn't limited to CAA these days, it is pretty normal in any kind of internet setting where things are posted and people can comment and respond, and I think that is even true if you subtract all the spiders and bots. It was true back when CAA was much more active that always more people read threads than post in them, and it's also true of blogs. The tendency does seem to have been exacerbated by the "like" culture proliferated by Facebook, where people are now substituting "liking" things for meaningful discussion. But anyways, I realized from before I made this thread that there is this tendency and am semi-resigned to it as par for the course; like I said earlier, given CAA's current low-traffic state, I'm quite pleased that this thread has been as active as it has been.

That all said, comments on the musicians being posted, or of course more introductions of different musicians, are always welcome. :p Thanks for sticking around.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Rusty Claymore » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:42 pm

I enjoy the postings here, but have been keeping quiet because I don't have anything to add. Abstract posts like, "hmm, they have a nice feel." seem sort of disingenuous. Since the abstract feelings music evoke are what I value, it's easier to just keep quiet. I can try, but rather than focusing on an artist (which I have little knowledge of) I'll post about specific songs?

On the Okinawan theme, you mentioned BEGIN. I like how they perform Kariyushi no Yoru. I first heard this song performed live by a local taiko group, so that may be why it impacted me so much. I like it's simplicity, and yet the applied music theory and execution makes it satisfyingly complex. I don't know why, but it makes me feel like I am in a wooden boat on an ocean with large and slow rolling waves. I've never been on a wooden boat like that though.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:09 pm

Wow, so much love for Okinawa. ^_____^

Rusty Claymore wrote:On the Okinawan theme, you mentioned BEGIN. I like how they perform Kariyushi no Yoru. I first heard this song performed live by a local taiko group, so that may be why it impacted me so much. I like it's simplicity, and yet the applied music theory and execution makes it satisfyingly complex. I don't know why, but it makes me feel like I am in a wooden boat on an ocean with large and slow rolling waves. I've never been on a wooden boat like that though.

D'awwww, なつかしい~~~

That's a familiar tune that brings up a lot of pleasant associations, and I agree with you, I really like what Begin did with it (this is maybe my first time hearing it, unless I might have heard it in passing in some eisa or being played as background music in a store or something). Nice!

BEGIN for me is one of those groups where I like a couple of their songs--涙そうそう and 島人ぬ宝、particularly the latter--and although I've tried listening to a few of their other ones on YouTube I have never taken a particular liking to any of them, so it's a case of "I like these two songs" rather than I like the band in general.

(Side note on 島人ぬ宝: This is like the prefectural anthem of Okinawa. It tends to be played a lot at Okinawa's major tourist locations and so on, and I feel that its lyrics really represent the heart and spirit of Okinawa. 私もこの曲大好きです。--I, too, really love this song.)

But I also really like the song you posted. And your mental image is really very appropriate: there are indeed some kinds of wooden boats and ships that are particular to Okinawa, from the sabani (Okinawan wooden canoe-like boat) to the dragon boats (canoes with dragon figureheads) to the larger treasure ships (宝船 IIRC) which were used for trade with China and look like they have an eye painted on either side of the prow.

Thanks for the input, and for letting me know you're listening!
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:56 pm

Have been busy and missed the last two-week period, but here's something for the first half of September.

Sgt. is a band I found out about thanks to a post by blkmage quite a while ago, so credit goes to him for introducing this band. Instrumental rock with violin; "Apollo Program" is one of their pieces that blkmage posted ages ago, and the way that the Japanese text in the video tells a story is nice, and I'm sorry that I don't have time to translate it right now (haven't read the whole thing myself). 銀河を壊して発電所を創れ also is a pretty, reflective piece. For people who like those, both of those links should lead you to more sgt. songs in the sidebar that you can listen to.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby shooraijin » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:55 pm

Sgt., as in "sergeant"?
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:54 pm

ヽ(´ー`)┌

I really don't know.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Zeldafan2 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:06 am

Although technically a fictional band, I'll vouch for Zhiend from Charlotte. This one is probably my favorite, combining my favorite elements of rock with a really unique voice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRpA7wTckbc

But in a broader context, check out all of Key's music on their official page. If you don't mind synth, they're awesome in my opinion.
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby anlptgtsg » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:05 am

I usually listen to anime songs. Namely sad ones. Because of it someone called me morbid XD and another one says I like slow songs. To name some: shifo-real, the song "alone" from gensomaden saiyuki anime, "memoria" from boys be, Aitakute - Kiyomi Kobayashi . sakura - ikomo gakari (as far as I know, not from anime but still had a sad feel on it)

The latest song I'm listening in jmusic is "back number - クリスマスソング"
A friend of mine introduced me this song. She likes the series 5 to 9 series and showed me the song. I even saw the preview of the series which has an interesting comedic scene. I really like the tune of this song. I forgotten what the song meant, but it made me smile and thought that lyrics is funny to me. The song looks famous as I saw many people covering it. I like it so much that I am thinking I should use this as my ring tone :sweat:
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:51 pm

Zeldafan: Thanks for the contribution!

anlptgtsg:

Welcome to the thread, and thanks for posting! I like the song pretty well; the sound has a nice warmth and lushness to it.

For your reference, the general idea of the thread is for each post (that introduces something) to focus on just one artist--whether it is a band or a singer or a composer. So since you like anime songs, it would be great if you could pick a song that you like, find out who the band or singer is that made that song, and introduce the band or the singer behind the song so that people who like that song can listen to more of the same artist. Even something as simple as "There's a band called Back Number, they made this song クリスマスソング which I like" is enough.

P.S. I don't think listening to sad songs is morbid in the least.

P.P.S. Listening to anime songs is, BTW, how I found several artists that I listen to, including See-Saw from earlier in this thread and Sakamoto Maaya, below.

Moving on, I'm only slightly late for the second half of September!

I've been really busy lately, and although there are plenty of other artists and bands whom I know about, I'm running a bit short on ones that stand out enough that I strongly want to introduce them. (Have to do some more research.) So I guess for this time I'll fall back on my all-time favorite J-pop singer, Sakamoto Maaya (坂本真綾), whom I also discovered through anime songs. This is a longer introduction than some of my other ones, so feel free to skip down to the links if you are in a hurry. :p

Why do I love Sakamoto Maaya so much?

For one thing, she has a pure and beautiful voice. It's very clear and pure, and although a few of her songs do get to be a bit nasally, for the most part she does a good job of avoiding that nasal sound that so many Japanese singers have.

Also, she has a strong partnership with the woman composer Kanno Yoko, who composes a lot of anime music (also TV, movie, game, and advertisement music). Escaflowne and Wolf's Rain, for example, are some of the ones composed by Kanno which also have songs sung by Sakamoto Maaya.

Anyways, because Kanno Yoko is an excellent composer, the songs Sakamoto Maaya sings that are composed by Kanno Yoko are, head and shoulders, way better-written than most pop songs, musically and lyrically both. Sakamoto also writes some of her own songs, and those aren't bad either, but in particular a lot of her really great songs are the ones written by Kanno. And since Kanno writes for anime, and a lot of those songs sung by Sakamoto are anime songs (BTW she is also a voice actress), they have that anime song vibe to them, and people who like anime music (which is a lot of people in this thread) may take a liking to them for that reason specifically.

Hard to pick which songs to include here, largely because the songs I like best I can't find on YouTube (seems the record label is doing a good job of removing them >.>)

But Kiseki no Umi is a pretty good representative song, and there's a live version that is pretty good and reflects Sakamoto's voice at a more maturely developed stage than what her voice was when she first recorded the song. Favorite lyric: "Throw away your ornaments; there is something that can be seen when you lose everything." Also someone did an English cover which is a very, very loose adaptation of the lyrics, but it gets at the general gist of facing painful circumstances with a noble spirit (and both the singing and the text-setting of the English to music are excellent).

Speaking of English, Sakamoto Maaya does a pretty good job singing in English. Here's the short version of "Gravity," ending song to Wolf's Rain (again composed by Kanno). "Waiting for the Rain" is also pretty beautiful; this is actually my first time hearing it, since I don't own that album.

If I were able to, though, I would link "Hemisphere" (anime song from RahXephon and a great representative song) and "birds" (my single favorite Sakamoto Maaya song; the lyrics, written by Sakamoto, are incredibly beautiful).

Good luck finding either of those without purchasing the albums.

But speaking of albums, for the anime song fans, Sakamoto has three single collections, each of which has quite a few of her famous anime singles on them, so I would recommend those as a good entry point for anyone willing to invest some money in her music. For actual studio albums, 少年アリス is my favorite full-length of those I own, but I also really, really like the EP easy listening.

Finally, it's a bit of a subject change, but to round off this post, ゲスの極み乙女, whom I introduced earlier, recently came out with a new song, so I will just leave that here for everyone's listening enjoyment.
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Kaori
 
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Zeldafan2 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:07 pm

Your welcome. :)

Also, that artist you mentioned at the end of your post is really good. The song you linked has a somewhat predictable progression, but the way the instruments blend with the vocals is unique. Why does the video have so many dislikes?
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:17 pm

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a few weeks. This time is a throwback to the eighties with the band Novella, which has a sound that reminds me a bit of Bowie.

There is tons of their music available on YouTube. I haven't listened to all of it, but among the songs I did listen to, I liked 第3の剣 (The Third Sword) and 魅惑劇 (La Songerie).
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Re: J-music discussion: anyone interested?

Postby Kaori » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:31 pm

Seems like even twice per month is a little bit much for me recently, but I am dropping by with a submission for November.

More jazz-rock this time: Fox Capture Plan. The link will take you to a playlist (love those keys and bass in 疾走する閃光 !)
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