Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More Great Japanese Songs

Let's take a trip from the underground to the popular sphere. Here a few incredible songs that do well to illustrate the styles of music one comes across here.

This is one of my favorite J-Pop songs. The tune has an Okinawan flavor and was a huge hit a few years back. You can find cover versions just about everywhere, including an English version. I even heard a vocal trio sing it at Ruby. I think the soaring vocal melody is nothing short of exquisite.

This song is on the soundtrack of a popular sci-fi anime series, FLCL. This song is definitely indicative of rock trends in Japan. The verse opens with a quirky vocal melody and guitar riff. The band at first comes off as quite eccentric. Then they move to the chorus which in contrast is completely monstrous.

Japanese folk rock from the Woodstock era. This song was featured on the Lost in Translation soundtrack. It is definitely one of my favorite songs of all time and one of these days I'm going to have to learn it on guitar. When I tell Japanese people I like this band, I get a lot of big smiles and pats on the back. "Saikou!" they say with a thumbs up. Meaning "the best!"

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