Talkin’ Bout Love (J-Rabbit)

With another Sunday comes another song recommendation. Today’s will actually be a recommendation and not so much as a review since I really just don’t feel like doing much analyzing today. Sorry, but I’ve been feeling lazy, but I’m happy that I’ve at least been posting about these songs every Sunday since I started. I haven’t been posting much besides that but I hope to fall into better habits…uhhh…eventually.

Moving on, today’s song is from a Korean Indie duo named J-rabbit who has one of the two Korean groups I really like (the other is Kpop). The two talented woman who make up J-rabbit is Jung Hye-sun, the singer of the duo, and her close singer-songwriter friend, Jung Da-woon. The two met at the Seoul Institute of the Arts and the friendship blossomed from there along with the mutual interest in music. The two began to make song covers ranging from Disney songs to Korean songs, but ultimately they managed to sign up with a small label owned by friendz.net after some Youtube success. They songs have been featured in quite a few Korean dramas like Monstar, Operation Proposal, and lately, Jealousy Incarnate. Talkin Bout Love was featured in the drama Flower Boy Next Door which I have yet to finish watching.

I really love J-rabbit due to the fact that the two don’t take things too seriously and clearly have fun while they make their videos. I highly recommend checking out their songs on friendz.net”s Youtube channel to see what I mean. Yet, the two make wonderful music that serves as a breather from Kpop as the former has a more simplistic and lighter tone than the more world-renowned latter genre. Hye-sun’s cheerful and hopeful sounding voice and the various instruments utilized by Da-woon in many of their songs will often put you in a better mood from before.

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In Talkin Bout Love, simply put, the song is about a woman who faces a stirring of romantic love for a man who apparently enters her life unexpectedly. She’s not sure what to do with these emotions initially but soon finds herself accepting them and her new love as something that she’s been waiting for this whole time. I think the message is really sweet. On a side note, I thought it related to me so much that I actually sung this for a Kpop contest at my university back in the Fall. I didn’t win of course but I hope to give this song another shot, so if I ever make a cover, I will post it on my WordPress. I believe that is for me today. As always, I will leave some links behind of the song and an article of J-rabbit I found interesting. Happy Sunday!

It’s such a strange thing, how did you come to me?
My shrunken heart dreams of a new love once again

It’s such a funny thing, how can my heart rush like this?
I don’t know why but old love songs linger around me without knowing

With your warm touch
A whole different world has come to me
Yes you’re my love love love
I think I’m in love

 

Talkin Bout Love Youtube video

Article about J-rabbit and some K-indie

 

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Mariya Takeuchi (Plastic Love)

Tonight I’m back with another music review/recommendation. Today’s song is another special one as we take a trip back to 80s Japan to “dance to the plastic beat.” The song, Plastic Love, written and sung by songwriter Mariya Takeuchi was featured on her 1984 album, Variety. If you don’t know, Mariya Takeuchi was and still is fairly famous in Japan with a lot of number one hits on Japan’s own national music chart, Oricon. Takeuchi stems from the city of Izumo, Japan and did most of her education in the country; although, she did study in the US for a year in high school. Her first single came out while studying at Keio University and her career took off.

But this particular song, Plastic Love, is what introduced me to the talented and quite timeless Takeuchi. The way I interpret it, the song tells the story of a woman who really just wants to have fun with love while not taking it seriously or attempting to be truly in love with anyone or seeking love in return. Hence the title, Plastic Love, meaning fake love. On the other hand, it also seems that she may have picked up this attitude after having her heart broken and deciding it best to become closed off and cold to any attempts that may deepen her relationship with someone. Though in the beginning of the song, Takeuchi claims that she can handle break ups well, in a way I feel she later contradicts herself when she sings about buying clothes and shoes for her closed off heart and later when her memories are triggered after being asked out by a man. Clearly, the song lyrics are quite straightforward which is great for a poor analyst like me.

As for the melody of the song, in short, it’s very funky and pop sounding. It really is a tune that can get you moving and grooving along to the beat. Yes, it has the old music vibe that is reminiscent of even the 70s I would say. When I first listened to the song I genuinely thought I was listening to a 70s song since it sounded as if this could easily be played in a discotheque. Disco is even mentioned in the lyrics at one point as Takeuchi sings about dancing in popular discos after her breakup.

In short, I would say anyone into 70s or 80s music could benefit from listening to this song. I only stumbled across it myself when Youtube recommended it for whatever reason (Seriously Youtube Recommendations can be so off base at times, this time was a score however). As always, I will leave you with a sample of Plastic Love’s lyrics and a video where you can listen to this lovely piece. Just click on the beautiful Mariya Takeuchi and she shall take you way to the song. (I know it’s the wrong album cover but I really love this picture of her and it is thumbnail of the video). Please enjoy!

Don’t even think about loving me for real
Love is just a game, all you’ve gotta do is enjoy it
I decorate my closed-off heart with flashy dresses and shoes
My lonely friends


I’m just playing games I know that’s plastic love
Dance to the plastic beat another morning comes
I’m just playing games I know that’s plastic love
Dance to the plastic beat another morning comes

Sweetest Music

Complication (Review)

Another Sunday, another review. Today will be a Japanese song since last week I had featured a relatively unknown Korean song which I recommend to anyone interested in Korean music or Indie. Today’s song is different in the fact that some may know this song from the anime Durarara as the second opening of the first season. I had the pleasure of completing the first season this past week after finally getting around to the anime which had first piqued my interest all the way back in 2012 when it was fairly new. I hope to get to the next season within the next few days (Thank you, Netflix!).

Despite being more than 5 years old, Durarara is still an anime many should watch especially since it has such an array of characters to feel connected to along with a story line that keeps you engaged and binge-watching episode after episode. This opening contrasts the first opening where as you can see the setting was brighter with the characters appearing more care-free leading their lives in decent peace. Even the song, Uragiri no Yuuyake (English: Treacherous Sunset) sounds more upbeat and laidback with a fun edge. Contrast that to Complication which sounds darker and filled with more angst against a greyer and bleaker backdrop of the characters in the opening. Both openings will serve as a way to set the tone and the mood for the episodes of the season. I think this is what allured me to both openings, Complication specifically.

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Uragiri No Yuuyake (Opening 1)

 

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Complication (2nd Opening)

While I do recommend Theatre Brook’s Uragiri No Yuuyake; however, let me finally introduce the band behind Complication–ROOKIEZ is Punk’d, a Japanese rock band operating mainly around the Shibuya area. Still, for any anime connoisseurs, you’ve probably heard some of their other songs in anime like Blue Exorcist and Bleach. They definitely get around as they are currently trying to expand nationally and internationally as well. One of the three members, Shinnosuke, who is also the main vocalist, acts as a model as well which is quite an accomplishment. Definitely check them out if you like their hard rock sound combining heavy use of the drums and guitars. If you want to learn more about them, check out there official website, the band’s biography is in both Japanese and English amazingly.

Admittedly, I won’t spend that much time writing out how the melody of the song sounds like. I just want you to listen to it this time. Listen while you’re reading this review or some of my other content. Or if my content is too subpar (which I admit it is) than listen to it while reading other WordPress users content. Whatever works for you. I will just leave some lyrics from Complication that resonates with me in some way. Please enjoy your Sunday afternoon 🙂

Worrying that everything might break
I fear tomorrow
But I know that I won’t find any answers
by looking at the day after tomorrow

What will I draw on the blank canvas of tomorrow that stretches endlessly?
What will I draw on the black canvas of tomorrow that’s been dyed by reality?
With struggle, it will shine

Complication PV (sorry no English subtitles this time)

Side note: There is actually another version of Complication called the Still Struggle version. It is basically the same as its original though it carries a more harder rock sound especially in the beginning. Check it out as well, if you wish.

그 밤 (That Night) “Review”

Okay, once again it’s Sunday, so here’s another “review” for the ones who are interested. This time I wanted to write about a Korean song, but not one of the Kpop variety. I feel as if Kpop songs usually receive enough press that they really don’t need a 3rd rate writer like me going over their songs when they have professionals doing that. I really just write these for fun and to get lesser known artists and music groups the attention I think they deserve since mainstream music already gets enough attention. Though I do want to write music recommendations for my music influences, specifically my Japanese bands, although I only have two Korean influences and one is mainstream while the other is Indie. Hence why I will only write about the Indie group given time, and if you know anything about mainstream Kpop you should already know about the other. So consequently,  I really want to share really cool and interesting songs that many may not know about.

Case in point, this song, That Night, is by the Korean Indie artist, Kim Sungkyung, who goes by the name Lovewave as a stage name. Admittedly, most of the information I managed to scrape together is from website, K-pop Amino, a site that shares and informs readers of general Kpopness I believe (I haven’t used the site at all, besides for this entry). K-pop Amino describes Kim Sungkyung as “a Korean piano and ambient noise driven indie soloist” who used her Youtube channel to debut in November of 2014.

This particular song was only discovered by me within this past week but I really love it. Her calming and soothing voice that’s neither too high or too low with that slight husk awakens my brain in a way. Her music is just refreshing for my brain contrasted to the usual music I listen to. The keys of the piano are distinctly heard being struck before she truly begins to sing. This beginning and the rest of the song just brings forth images of a quiet afternoon of pensive reflection with most likely a gentle downpour going on in the background. Perhaps you watch the rain fall from the sky with languid eyes as you reminisce over a lost love or the idea of the past. It’s the kind of song that carries a bittersweet melody that’s neither here nor there and all you can do is just appreciate the beauty it casts and let the tune relax you as if there is not a care in the world. At the end of the song, it sort of feels like you just have to make an accord with yourself, your thoughts, and the person at the reciprocating end in a capitulation to not worry and let things remain as they are. Which I believe is the general feel of the song’s message.

After all this, I wander why songs like these are more circulated, but perhaps they don’t have big companys or the same amount of advertising their mainstream counterparts receive. And perhaps they prefer it that why. For me at least, if I was in the music industry, I’d prefer Indie as it just seems more mellow and chill compared to popular music. Hopefully one day I will have more information and expertise on all of this but I will save that for a later post as I’m now running on a tangent.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend Lovewave. I’m already listening to her other songs along with “That Night” as I write this post. Ghost is another song I’d recommend from this greatly multi-talented musician and and independent artist. Her Instagram seems to showcase her as a great photographer as well. Okay, I’m a bit jealous, but it should only inspire me more.

As always, I’ll leave some lyrics from 그 밤 (Geu Bam) that I find the most interesting.

We who walked together on that night
We who were walking at the same tempo and sharing long stories
That night, we gradually
Got shivers and left behind our old regrets

Sidenote: I didn’t stumble upon Lovewave through her Youtube channel, however. I listened to a video called Chill Good Beats , created by Ramune ラムネ (Skelix). His or her video is just remixes of some songs including this one yet highly recommended along with the channel’s other videos. Click on the title of the video to go straight to when the remixed “That Night” starts to play.

Thank you for reading!

Lyric source

Daisy (Review)

So, here’s another review I’ve decided to do today. I believe I will try to write one up every Sunday so if ANYONE is actually interested in this stuff than look out for it then. Now, Daisy is from the anime 境界の彼方 (Kyoukai no Kanata) or Beyond the Boundary and is performed by Stereo Dive Foundation. Unfortunately, I have yet to see the anime; though I have watched the first movie which left me slightly baffled and confused admittedly since I had no background. It was a nice movie; although, I probably wouldn’t have been too interested in watching the anime if it wasn’t for the very end when this song. This melody played as the two main characters (featured on the album cover) face each other in a poignant stand off after being separated for a time only for the boy, Akihito, to realize the girl, Mirai, has amnesia. This hits especially hard considering she had done her best to protect him even allowing herself to disappear from his world for what was supposed to be eternal. (Interesting note: Mirai means Future in Japanese which I love and may hint towards the message of this song?). Strangely, this affected me greatly to the point that it stirred up bittersweet emotions. That night after finishing the movie, I looked up Daisy along with the full lyrics and played it over and over again while tearing up and crying. This song just has a way of swaying your emotions and connecting with you on a level that isn’t fully understood, at least for me.

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Kuriyama Mirai during the Daisy ending

This song is lovely to me in the fact that I love everything about it. Just the other night, I left it playing on repeat as I slept only for it to pop up in one of my dreams as I woke up to see it still playing on my phone the next morning. From the melody to the lyrics, everything fits well and helps me immerse myself in the song. From how prominent the piano is to the beating of the drums matching the upbeat yet contemplative tune, this song is wonderful. This song makes me really wish I could play piano just to have a chance at reproducing a melody such as this. As for the message, it makes me feel almost nostalgic for what the singer describes in the lyrics. It’s really difficult to isolate just a few lines from the song as I believe the whole song’s message is one to remember, but I will put the highlights. Starting with the opening lines:

The arrival, tearing the silence into pieces,
Was a predestined encounter for our sake.
And so, you, with regret showing in your grieving eyes,
You wore your sorrow and bloomed beautifully.

A flower, dissolving into someone’s life –
Hey, you can see it too, can’t you?
I’m sure.

To overwrite the accumulated sins,
You’ve got as many times as you need, from the repeating start line.
Painting a tomorrow different from the past,
Painting hope for just the two of us, there’s the start line.
I never say goodbye…
That’s how it always is.

 

I feel as if the lyrics have more impact when coupled with the melody of the song and yet, it still affects me as how I said before in my previous music review, I really want to cut out the negativities of the past and move on to a better me in a better tomorrow. But ultimately, this song makes me feel like I’m waiting for that chance encounter with someone who will journey with me, through the hardships, the obstacles, the good and bad, and more while never really wanting to say goodbye even if we must be separated for a time. I feel as if I really want to connect with this person and I want to stretch out my hand to this person, and yet despite being within reach, something gets in the way. Is it our differences? My lack of understanding? Mental barriers like her amnesia? Sounds kind of romantic in a dramatic sort of way, does it not? (Yes, as you can see I’m a romantic).

Moving on, I would love to continue my tangent but I will stop for the sake of your eyes and time. Perhaps I will visit the song again some other day when I’ve matured a bit more to fully appreciate it and add a better opinionated review.

If interested, I will put the link of the song at the bottom which will lead to the music video of Daisy with English subtitles (Yay!) or you can practice your Japanese, that’s cool, too.

Daisy PV

Lyric credits go to: bambooxzx.wordpress.com

The Seasons Die Out, One After Another (Review)

Even though it says review in the title, I’m no music critic and especially not one of Japanese music though that would be quite awesome. I thought I would start writing about some music that I really love or that strike a chord within me. This is one of them.

This song is from the Japanese anime, Tokyo Ghoul, which I had the pleasure of starting and finishing a few weeks ago. This song serves as the second ending and is performed by a group called amazarashi. The Japanese title is 季節は次々死んでいく or when romanized, Kisestsu wa tsugitsugi shindeiku. I’m a sucker for any song that utilizes the piano and the strings interlaced with rock which the former is heard from the start. The heavy beats of the drums in the song serve as a build up to the chorus where everything, the melody, the vocals, the beat, and more come together wonderfully to produce this  steady tune that carries me away. Admittedly, one time I listened to it, I cried. I cried because I could feel the singer’s emotions and desires matching mine.

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Main character, Kaneki Ken, in one of the Kisetsu endings

As a struggling poet, I love looking at lyrics to these songs whether they are in Japanese or English. It helps me feel inspired and also resonate with me as a lot of these lyrics speak to me on a personal level. The following is two sets of lyrics from different parts of the song that serve as excellent examples.

In order to uphold the unsteady fact that you’re “you”, your unstable ego ventures to despise you. If you were just able to sing, would the darkness be dispelled? Your life has been left up to a dream rotten at its core.


I address a poem of farewell to my loathsome past;

I have to abandon the remains of these terrible days-these horrid dreams…even if it kills me

In the next life, a flower will bloom to tell you a poem of transition;

Filled with suffering-grieving and moaning, but never dying out…even when starved of sunlight.

That ladies and gentlemen are the type of lyrics and poetry that I wish I could write and yet I believe I will never reach that level. This is why these set of lyrics speak to me because I’ve been so hard and so, oh so self-hating on myself. I find myself battling my inner demons 24/7 because I can’t be satisfied with myself. I can’t accept myself. I really want to let go of my “loathsome past” and move on to a more positive future no matter what troubles or hardships occur. I hope I am not the only one out there like this. But I hold the hope, just like in the second set of lyrics that despite drowning in all this negativity, I can still live on changing for the better just like the flower.

Thank you for reading and if interested, the link to the song’s music video is at the bottom. Mind you, it came from an anime so the video is a bit queer but still worth a listen to. Plus, there are English subtitles!

(Lyric credits go to lyrical-nonsense.com)

季節は次々死んでいくPV