Hello October .. Random JPop Rant .. And Roly Poly

Back home after October began with heavy rain 1st thing in the morning which was perfect weather to snuggle in bed …but fat hope! Had a early morning work/business appointment with closed case to start off this quarter 🙂 …… pushed myself and made it for afternoon spin at Raffles gym …… and resting my legs in front of computer since I reached home (thought today’s class was less intense than last Saturday’s Hill ride but legs are feeling the effects now as last workout was evening run on Monday!) ……

Something different to kick off my 1st entry for October, instead of talking about deep thougts/reflecting on my life as per my past few entries,  decided would blog about something a lil’ different today ……

Came across this link while catching on some k-entertainment news on allkpop earlier – Akimoto Yasushi announces AKB48 sister group, “TPE48″!

My 2 cents worth:

Already 48 people (read wikipedia introduction here on the original concept group called AKB48 started back in Japan – liken them to the current in-thing, similar to Morning Musume in the early 00’s, also with their numerous sub-groups) is a handful …. and horror of horrors, more subgroups get branched out – starting with SKE48 and bla bla bla (refer to article for full list of sister groups) …… My rant here is that this factory style manufacturing is getting out of hand and beyond ridiculous. The girls not only look the same/generic/blah …. the songs are erm pretty bad too, as with most manufactured girl bands (or pop groups for that matter). Greed is to saturation point where the creator thinks he is so ingenious to bring this concept across to Taiwan and duplicate it wholesale. A country’s unique pop culture i.e. what CPop is to the chinese/taiwanese, KPop to the koreans and JPop to the japanese (Note: this does not mean that KPop songs rehased to Japanese versions qualify as pure JPop …. for discussion another time) ……

And yes, even a small country like Singapore is not spared from the AKB nonsence as well. In case you do not know ……  the AKB48 Official Shop, Theatre and Cafe was set up at SCAPE earlier this year. A case of totally milking it 😛

———

On the other hand, as per my title, Roly Poly is the title song of T-ara (yes, another girl band, this times its KPop) ….. I like chilling to this song on a lazy Saturday afternoon as it is a nice combination of retro and yet strong grooving synthesiser beat. It is probably more for Summer (given October is the start of autumn/fall) as T-ara had their comeback with this in early July (and was a great success!) ….. Well, the T-ara girls are not the best singers out there, but the concept is good and they have lots of charm. Most importantly, this is a very hummable and radio friendly song …..

To end off ……  ‘loly poly loly loly poly’ all the way to the end of weekend, heh!

P/S: They are pretty cute in schoolgirl uniforms eh ….

More Jpop Galore – Part 1 Ken Hirai

Meant to blog this sometime back …..

As mentioned previously, I have taken to listening to JPop …..and its a great accompaintment during office hours 🙂

I have always loved JPop for its creativity and diversity (as compared to Chinese Pop these days and even KPop these days infested with same-y looking and sounding boybands and girlbands) …… although the JPop scene is also suffering from piracy and declining sales, but I suppose a more mature digital market (Japan has itunes!) does make up for it somewhat ….. if only they open up itunes to the Chinese and South-East Asian markets as well …….

But anyway, to my main subject of the day – Ken Hirai san!!

An add-on to my video insert of Pop Star some time back …..

The very 1st single/song that I heard of his was Rakuen – very catchy and very R&B …… if you refer to his wikipedia, this was the single that gave him the breakthrough in his career (in terms of sales success that is, while Love Love Love is more in terms of musical style) ……

Anyway have been feeling a myraid of complex emotions lately, so upon repeated listens of Elergy, it really grows on you!!

Ken Hirai – Elegy 哀歌

Interesting, as mentioned in the same wikipedia entry, Elegy is written from the perspective of a woman. Hirai sounds deeper and richer (more complex) in emotion …. and what’s so amazing about the song is that right after the climax (love the electric guitar insert towards the end), the song ends right bang with that piano key!! Little wonder why critics call this the best song/single of his career 🙂

Another song that I enjoyed playing lately would be another older single – style! Unlike the soul/R&B-ish tunes/ballads that he is well-known for, this is something a lot more upbeat (the combo of strings + addition of syth at various parts of the song  makes it one great uplifting ride) …..

Ken Hirai – style

My favourite part of the song occurs around 2:44 … where Ken Hirai starts to sing again and again (with some syth effects in the background) …..

Break your style
You can break your own rule
You can break your style
You can break your everything

Damn fu**ing shiok leh! hehe …..

That’s all for now!! Part 2 to come soon ….

*Finally finished the entry b4 Zzzzz … wrote it halfway when client called and I packed up and left office – since it was a slow day in the office anyway*

Squall ….

Updates on my playlist ….. I find that Jpop puts me in great working mood during ‘office hours’ so as to speak ……

Had this song in my mp3 sometime back …..and recently found out that it was originally written for another female artise as a drama insert song (Jap drama Perfect Love) ……

松本英子 – Squall


versus 福山雅治 – Squall


I would say both versions are great in their own way, but I suppose 福山雅治(Fukuyama Masaharu) aka Masa’s version has the edge for me personally as I find it emotionally more stirring …… what’s more amazing is the simplicity of the piano and guitar combination and Masa’s rendition and deep baritone that adds to the emotion of it all …… And also, Masa is the composer (music and lyrics) of this song as well 🙂

In case you are wondering what exactly you are listening to, a set of translated lyrics courtesy of here ……

The sky is so beautiful
Making the recent rain seem like a lie

Because you smile like that
I get happy without even noticing

Your slightly-too-large shirt
I just now grabbed onto the sleeve as you passed…

I’m so much in love it’s sad
I can’t hide this pain anymore
I want to be with you more
Just the two of us
I want you to make my summer longing come true
I’ve been searching, just for you…

The sweating glasses of iced tea
And too many Polaroids

Because we frolicked around like that
The way home seems so lonely

The train station dyed by the sunset
You wave your hand as you get farther away…

I’m falling in love so much it hurts
I can’t hide this passion anymore
I always dreamed
That we’d meet each other
I want you to understand my summer longing

And I touched the rain!
So I need your love

I’m in love, I’m falling in love
I won’t hide this passion anymore
I dreamed
That we finally met
An unending summer longing
I’ve been searching, just for you…

———–

That reminds me …. Galileo and Suspect X (Masa drama + movie) still remains on my “To-Watch” list 😛

Ken Hirai – Pop Star

Well, I would love (x infinity) to be able to play the piano like that but too bad, one of the things that my parents never did was to send me for piano lessions 😛

Anyway its a great live performance by Ken Hirai …… My one of my preferred Jpop singers who has great style & groove (as well as the vocals to boot!) …. Enjoy!

Between, the original PV can be found here …. J-Pop really wins when it comes to absolute creativity (by just looking at the way they film their PVs) …….