Tuesday, 25 January 2011

日本の音楽 Japanese Music

Hey everyone!

I have a lot of work to do today but I'm taking a break right now and thought it might be fun to do a quick music post. I've been enjoying keeping up with the UK top 40, something not all the 留学生 (ryugakusei-foreign exchange students) out here have managed to do. A friend of mine, Joe, went clubbing just before Christmas and became terribly confused by a song with only the words 'Barbra Streisand', of course the he was referring to Duck Sauce's hit single (see below) which was released in the UK in early October but how was he to know it was so popular back home?

Anyway, this post is not about Duck Sauce. This post is about the Japanese singles chart; after a little searching on you tube I managed to find a current top 30. The video below also lists the artists and the titles of songs so that you can download them if you like.

You'll notice straight away that there are a lot of 'traditional' Japanese songs in this week's top 30. I don't think this is always the case so I will try to post another video in the near future. The second thing you will probably realise is that Japan's music can be split into three very obvious genres;

  • soppy balad
  • angst angst angst 
  • and pure cheese
My favourite song in this chart belongs in the 'pure cheese' category, its definitely a guilty pleasure. So guilty that sometimes when I hear it if I'm out shopping, etc, I actually grimace because I'm hearing it AGAIN! (its played so often) Released on the 18th of August, its spent 23 weeks in the chart and is still at number 5! Tell me this song is not catchy. Meh I dont have the stamina to hate it anymore...

One thing I have noticed is that, of this chart, I can probably say only 4 or 5 songs seem familiar to me. Considering after the 2 weeks I spent in Komatsu in 2006 I became a bit of a closet KAT-TUN fan, I have to say that I expected living here for 5 months would result in me becoming a fan of Japanese music. Perhaps its down to the state of music in the UK at the moment, but there's something with Japanese music that just doesn't quite settle with me.

There is a lot of talent in the UK right now and for the first time in what seems like a good few years the charts are being dominated by talented British artists; Adele, Professor Green, James Blake, Mark Ronson, Tinie Tempah, Taio Cruise, Hurts, Tynchy Strider, Katy B, Ellie Goulding, The Wombats, (I cant bring myself to list N-Dubz or JLS as talented, sorry).

Some of the stuff I'm loving right now...

Getting a little old now, but I haven't heard it played much. Lovely to hear Robert Smith's voice again. There's something really special about this track.

I love listening to this song right now, its definitely my song to listen to whilst relaxing right now. So chilled.

This is my party song right now. I was originally attracted to it because the background noise going on sounds like the siren from ghostbusters... Yes. I am a geek. ...this has really grown on me though. Loving the Jeremy Kyle reference.

Woops, I turned this into a personal playlist. Best leave it there. Hope this was entertaining/not too boring
Thanks for reading :)

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