Monthly Archives: July 2011

Great Concept, Shitty Execution, PART II

Terminator Salvation

The Concept : Terminator  is always an intriguing  franchise for me. The first one is a good instant classic(who can forget the muscle dude from Austria pick an answer Fuck You Asshole to the doorman who thought that there’s a cat in his room?), the sequel is the ALIENS of the franchise, and Rise of the machines is an overcooked hamburger which felt like a B-movie. So when they’re announcing the fourth one, meh, who gives a fuck. Its just  another Hollywood trick to ruined my childhood memories and rip off people’s money. Especially when they’re putting the job in the hand of McG! What the frack? They can’t find any other decent director to put some dictatorism other than the director whose responsible for transformed the word CHEESY into ENEMA in Charlie’s Angel? Its Terminator! Even the title is sounded very BADASS! At least Jonathan Mostow  doing some manly flick before ruining Rise of the Machines. But then came the Salvation. They signed up Christian Bale to played John Connor! Im Sold! That news enough to make me put Terminator Salvation in the top of the food of chain because come on, Bale is not some easy peachy brainless actor. I shit you not, Bale’s probably the only actor whose never make a bad movie(At least for me). He even changed Batman voice into some psychotic taxi driver! I’m just kidding.  And when the movie is released…

The Execution :  Okay, even the first two Terminator wasn’t some Citizen Kane or Goodfellas in terms of script, but at least put some goddamn sense and logic in the movie man! What makes the first and second Terminator is terrifying is because the robot never put a hand on the Target! why? because the robot thing will fucking crush you at the very first time their put a wedgies on you! In Salvation, when the terminator out, they’re just tossing  John Connor around like some flies instead of breaking his neck or punching a hole through his body. Oh, didn’t I mention Kyle Reese? When the robots catch that brat, you know what they’re doing instead of killing him and ending the franchise? They put him in a room to jerk off by himself! I can go on and on and on, but the point is, What an idiot script! No wonder Bale went Berserk. Speaking of Bale, he’s the ultimate machine in this, literally. This is his worst movie yet. He’s not John Connor. He’s just some random delusional dude who do not think the best for the world. His mind is filling up with all the shit how to take down some terminator with angry mark and screaming like an old lady after that. But kudos to the looks they’re created in this movie, I love it. Probably that’s the only good thing in the flick beside Michael Ironside baddassery. Sure, they have Moon Bloodgod Topless scene, but it doesn’t show up in the theatrical version because of  pussyness that fucking PG-13  rating! Well I dig McG reason for not showing the scene(He says : “It was a soft moment between a man and a woman that was designed to echo the Kelly McGillis/Harrison Ford moment in Witness [but] in the end, it felt more like a gratuitous moment of a girl taking her top off in an action picture, and I didn’t want that to convolute the story or the characters.”), it makes sense. But at least show us some boobs before you’re torturing us more, man! Sam Worthington? Mediocre at best. Bryce Dallas Howard? She’s beautiful, but that’s ruined by the fact that every time she shows up, she always look like a Revlon model while other actor looks like working their asses in some oil refinery! talk about logic and sense, this movie really makes people who doesn’t realize it way more dumber than before. Geez.

From left to the right. SuperModel slash Tatoo artist slash pregnant Woman, Angry Soldier, Female soldier in Puberty

The Correction : Its easy. Put some logic in the script. Kick McG out of the director’s seat. Done. Trust me.

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Great Concept, Shitty Execution, PART I

In modern era, or should I say Internet era where information(and god forsaken SPOILERS) can travel as fast as the Wind Cries Mary, the secrecy of movie plot/concept/script is almost non-exist(sometimes even the ending got spoiled so easily in the net). I miss the day like when the sixth sense first comes out and blew my mind away with the ending. I miss the day where I found out that Robert De Niro fuck himself up with his shitload of wasted movies since the end of 90’s. I meant, the whole plot of PROMOTHEUS, the alien prequel, my most anticipated movie for 2012 is lying there waiting to be reading for the love of god! People need to put some respect to secrecy. But sometimes this act of freedom gives us a good load of insight to movie production. There’s a lot of great movie preview or spoilers or plot or stories or whatever you called it that really have a stupid execution. Its like waiting for a great sex for one night after months dry spell and then found out that you have to work your ass off until morning or you get fired. Whatever.  Here comes the first batch.

 

I Am Legend(2007)

The Concept :  I am legend is a huge movie. This is the biggest piece and budget that movie industry ever take on post-apocalyptic movie.  Come on, what can go wrong? Will Smith and Post apocalyptic contemporary take involving vampire? Its like putting Clint Eastwood in a samurai movie!

The Execution : Where do I start? The movie’s first 30 minutes is good and intriguing. I love the mysterious cloud that shroud the atmosphere. But after that stupid fake cheesy CGI vampire shows themselves, I cringe myself. 150$ Million Budget and the best thing they could put up on the silver screen is came from Playstation 2 type of generic monster that wasn’t even scary enough to put my heart pounding? BTW, Didn’t New York had like millions of people live in there? But the grand total of vampires that storming off the castle where the black dude and Brazillian chicks hide is only like fifteen? Where’s the logic in there? Okay, Will did put a very interesting effortless performance(His best yet) but that didn’t change the fact that the ending is didn’t make sense at all! The Bluray and DVD release did show us the alternate ending which a bit more decent than theatrical release, but come on. Even the original script where the former governor of California is the main star is have a better ending. This is like a primitive remake of the highly subtle OMEGA MAN ending.

The Correction : Change the ending. Use original actor for the Infected(I’ve seen the concept of the make up in the internet its better than bland CGI). Make it more massive and grandiosa, not half assed baked cake, the movie content and universe should’ve have like 2.5 hours long, instead it runs stupidly in 90 minutes time span.

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Shittiest Musician/Song in 21st Century and How They Responsible for Fucking Up Music

The difference between shitty music and shittiest one is very obvious. The first one doesn’t pretend that the song that they’re produced is garbage, they admit it that it sucks, but come on, people got make a living right? The latter one is an abomination. The artist think its the greatest thing ever, the people around the world embracing it like it was the second coming of Sistine Chapel by buying it and making the artist responsible for the crap rich as hell and keep ruining music scene. All the song/musician that I will trashed below probably won’t covered every piece of shit that floating around us, but you’ll get the big picture. Oh and for the people who wondering why there’s no that Brat Bieber in here, its because I’m taking a shot at adult. Bieber fans mainly is teenage kids that didn’t realize yet that this world is already in a decaying state enough even when you’re not screaming that asshole name every 5 seconds. Every mature person in this whole world already hate Justin Bieber, I don’t need to put stronger emphasis in it again. If you’re love that stupid kid get the hell out of my blog. Daughtry? Nickelback?Finger Eleven? No doubt about it, they’re as shittiest as they could get too, but actually, they’re a product from the artist that I lashing below.

PS : I’m taking a few words and modifyin it from a few site in the net because they’re so hilariously creative.

CREED and LINKIN PARK

The first Linkin Park album is the type of album that you’re trying so fucking hard to hate, but have moments that are simply too catchy. After Hybrid Theory, everything is downhill jam like some old lady Poontang. This is the group that responsible to introduced and bring out the sappy melancholic EMO(even though they don’t really meant it) to popular rock scene and literally fill my ear with giant enema and wedgies. Their music is so abrasive, pointless, rage rock meant for mindless fat guys and people who doesn’t really know what rock really means. Creed? They’re single-handedly took the balls out of rock ‘n’ roll the second they started pushing sentimental pop garbage down the throats.

EVERY SONG THAT BLACK EYED PISS EVER RELEASED

Its not a typo. Its Black Eyed Piss. Why? Probably because they’re disposable stupid group with no observable talent, like most disposable other stupid musician, kinda like Tampon. But the numero uno reason is because they’re a stealing bastards. Yea yea yea, there’s no such thing as original in this day of age, but come on, at least admit it that you’re using other people track/sample. I don’t want to bragging everything, because if you’re still don’t realize it, then you’re just an ignorant fool. They’re RESPONSIBLE for re-branding the word plagiarism into a whole different level of asshole. They’re stealing from Daft Punk, J.J Pad, Radiohead, but mainly, they’re stealing from artist that doesn’t really had a big name in music industry! Proof? Don’t be a lazy bastard and try to googling your ass. I’m not finished. If they’re stealing and making a good record out of it at least its taste better, but what they’re doing is making the worst music ever imaginable even in my nightmare out of it, and freakishly people love it. Shame on you people. This group is the equivalent of the crap gooey that running in my anus. I gotta a feeling that this assclowns will be around civilization even longer. I weep for humanity…

DESTINY’S CHILD, BRITNEY SPEARS, PUSSYCAT DOLLS AND KESHA.

People can argued that Spice Girls, or All Saints is in the same league as those 2 groups. But the truth is, they didn’t responsible for making slutty bitch with slutty outfit with slutty lip-sync with slutty performance a huge trend in contemporary pop scene. These bitch not an artist. They’re just a bunch of high class stripper with nothing to be proud of except for their body. Listening to these chicks singing really can make you dumber. Their voice is like trying to take a shit and singing at the same time. Geez.

GOOD CHARLOTTE, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, FALLOUT BOY, PANIC AT THE DISCO, ALL AMERICAN REJECTS.

How in the hell can you have so many tattoos, look like a punk band and play music for 12-year-old girls at the same time? It still doesn’t make sense, and probably will never will. This is the reason why there’s a lot of pretentious rebel-ground breakers wannabe around us that trying to squeeze a little more money that came from their momma’s wallet for drug and smoke is their most rebellious act ever. Pathetic. this is the worst thing ever happen to a fragile genre which just survived a sickening barrage of nu-metal or pretentious metal that nearly made it completely irrelevant.

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Cast Away

For me, Cast Away is the last movie ever crafted by Robert Zemeckis. Seriously, I dont consider The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol a real movie. I hate those three. Its like answering the false acquisition of Zemeckis only pigeonholed himself to the type of director that only interested in special effect and stuff with the FALSE ANSWER. For all we know, if Robert Zemeckis want, he can deliver a powerful, emotional, movie-type spirited journey like he does with Forest Gump, Contact, and his best work ever, CAST AWAY.

Everybody already know the plot of CAST AWAY. Its a tragically beautiful Robinson Crusoe-esque type of movie. Few films go so deeply or for so long into one man’s psychic solitude and what he must construct for himself psychologically when isolation and deprivation is imposed upon him. And Tom Hanks, is the right person to play Chuck Nolan. His performance in this movie is outdoing Forest Gump a whole different Level. Forrest Gump doesn’t hold up as well to repeated viewings as Cast Away. From the moment Chuck land in the island, everything is changing. There’s no background music except waves and winds. There’s no ‘real’ conversation except for a few grumpy scream and delusional way to socializing human in desolate area. There’s no other character except a dead man’s body and a volleyball. Its real, deep, and magnificently well crafted. The shot is great and endearing, its like you are there watching Chuck Nolan struggling trying to make his own way back home to civilization.

Alan Silvestri is my favourite movie composer ever. He’s so versatile, he can make the mediocre What Women Want into some touchy romantic movie thru his score, he can transform the tribal music in predator into some menacing form of Alien Music. There’s nothing he can’t do. But Cast Away scores is his best work yet. Listen to that ending score, or when Chuck Finally leaves the island, watching the horizon slowly eats the silhouette of it.

The best thing about this film are the subtle, yet present symbolic events or images that convey the notion that although we might seem alone- we never are. It might take a second viewing to notice these, but they are there, like the ending. The real Cast Away. One of the best ending ever in the history of modern cinema.

Is this movie that perfect? No, there’s still minor flaws here and there. The plotline once Hanks is saved from the island really left something to be desired. Without giving too much away, I will say that the story seemed to become very tense although it leads to a great magnitude ending. But its still a minor flaws that won’t change my opinion that Cast Away is one of the finest work from human kind in terms of spiritual journey and movement that shot you right in your knees without you even realizing it,  but then make you know that the pain that shows up is how you supposed to deal with life. Amazing

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Cold Fish

Inspired by a true event. Really? because if that’s really true, then Japanese society sure is a fuck up ones.

Cold fish is a Doom from the beginning tale about the ordinary life of Syamoto, a small tropical fish shop owner. He’s got a nice big breast young wife, and rules made to broken kinda of teenage daughter. His mental condition is a bleak one. He keeps swallowing all those sex desire and respect needy in his damn throat. Until some really weird coincidence cross his path into Murata, another owner of tropical fish shop, but a major one. The pushy and arrogance of Murata put his ordinary life in a right track, and somewhat ruining his miserable already tale by seducing his wife, taking his daughter, and above all else, making him a collaborator in a Gorefest.

Thank god I’m bad in describing a synopsis, because the whole is plot is the major power from this movie, and spoilers is ruining it. Seriously, this is the type of movies that slowly and steadily, tortured you with its gritty point of view. Two and a half hours running time is enough to put you in a furiously and provoking mood.

I love  how the script taking its time and slowly descents every character in this movie into hellfire. Except for the daughter and the fish, no one seems “normal” in this flick. Everyone is hiding their hideous scars in their basement. As the story goes on, I really enjoying their madness and bewildering qualities, especially that scene where Murata asked Syamoto to fuck his wife. Literally, he’s helping that luck sob with a thrust or so, hilarious.

A so-so editing.

I don’t like the huge indictment in the final scene. Its a coward scene. Felt like the stupid bloodier version of The Departed Final act, except sillier and better.

Unlike his previous sensational Suicide Club, Cold fish gore scene is more realistic. Ono didn’t making the gore act the sell point of Cold Fish, he’s actually incorporated the gore into a not-so believable tale of everyday sociopath.

This is one of the blackest comedy I’ve ever watched in my life.  Not for a weak stomach or people who think that movie is a pure enjoyable treat. Shocking? Sure, but not as a shocker as Visitor Q for example. I’ve seen more sinister Japanese movie than this one.

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X-Men : First Class

Just want to say some of the things that gets the review section of my mind working up after seeing X-Men First Class :

  • I’m a huge comic book fans, but I’m not really a fan of X-men. Their history its too complicated and murky for me. But this movie did a very good job in establishing foundation that the 4 X- Men movie already had.
  • A blockbuster with brain it is.
  • Good Script by incorporating the Cuban missile crisis. Make it more believable. But feels kinda too rush at the end. They want the movie to end so badly, they’re not thinking a lot of logical consequences in here. But what the hell, its a mutant comic book movie, why put logic in it? Nothing really sparkling in the dialogue department though.
  • Mathew Vaughn did a really good job in making the wall between serious tone and campy one. If only he’s the one that directing Thor….
  • McAvoy doing decent acting as Xavier but sometimes he looks like having too much fun. Michael Fassbender wins here. I cant wait for his work in Promotheus. Their conversation in the chess table kind of makes me feels like watching De Niro and Pacino legendary face off in Heat, leveled down version.
  • Bad flying special effect. Banshee and Angel Salvadore suffer because of that.
  • January Jones as Emma frost is cold as a diamond. I love her expression.
  • *Spoilers* the Wolverine Cameo is amazing. One of the highlight of the movie.
  • Its the second best of X-Men Movie, after Wolverine Origins(I meant it, Singer’s take on X-Men is flat and boring. Ratner? Fuckfest)
  • I hate watching this great movie in an pirate R5 Quality, but I have no choice. Stupid Indonesian Cinematic Scene.
  • Its official, any movie with Michael Ironside in it, is getting a BADASS stamp.
  • I hope they’re really making this the first one of another trilogy, they really got some good thing going on in here.

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Michael Learns to Rock the top 10 of his songs.

Michael Learns to Rock(MLTR) is a danish pop-soft rock band. Actually, calling them a rock band is an error. They should change the name into Michael Does Not Rock. Their musical style is simple, straight forward, somewhat down-right cheesy, easy listening but have found favor with Asian music listeners. Almost 99% of all their song goes to something like this. Verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, bridge, instrumental solo, chorus. Cliche, but sure. Their genre is evolved into what came to be known as “adult contemporary” or “easy listening”, a categorization that bore less overt rock influence than its forebear. After 20 years of their existence, they never followed any trend. Their latest single is still in the same path as their first single. Why do you have to change the winning formula if people’s always buying your record? Am I right? This band is my guilty pleasure. I grow up with their song.  A great under appreciated band. And here’s their top 10 single in my mind. No particular order.

Out of the Blue, 1993(Colours)

From the sweet electronic pom pom intro, to the powerful bridge, I never get tired of this song. I Love when Jascha changed a word in the final chorus to make it more like some story with a climax. In fact, this is the only song that I never delete from my iphone playlist since i buy it 3 years ago. Their finest work? Probably not, but definitely my favorite.

Romantic Balcony, 1997(Nothing to Lose)

Beautiful haunting melody. Their darkest work yet. It feels like you’re really standing  in some romantic balcony, alone, watching your love one leave.

 

 Digging Your Love, 2001(Blue Night)

This is one of the greatest under appreciated MLTR’s work.. They managed to keep the sweet and romantic tones of their style in an upbeat pop-rock song. The Youtube doesn’t even have a video of it. What a shame people.

Breaking the Rules, 1996(Played on Pepper)

Jascha started this heavy influenced police sirene track with a soft and tender voice, but when he reach the first chorus, he screaming. Not angry. Not wild. but in a controllable pitch, trying to give the listener to understanding of breaking the law with a conscience. Ah, good old 90’s era. Where have you gone?

Final Destination, 2004(Michael Learns to Rock)

I’m a sucker for this kinda of music. The combination of overly catchy chorus and lyric and the warm electic keyboard effect all around the track.

Breaking my Heart, 1996(Paint my Love – Greatest Hits)

Listening to this song really wants to make you to grab the hands of your love one, dancing together in a very sweet tender sway, and whispering to them not to do what the song described in a light mood feeling.

The Actor, 1991(Michael Learns to Rock)

Their third single, and arguably their most famous song. Their finest work ever too. This is the song that defined MLTR.  Its aging very well. When I listened to this track today, I don’t get the feeling that this song is created in the same era as Jascha Richter hair style in the music video.

Stuck in the Heat, 2001(Blue Night)

This semi pop-new wave track is refreshing in term of MLTR’s song history. Sure, they got some upbeat soft- rock, lots of ballads, but theres none for a song like Stuck in the Heat.  The add lib at the end of the track is a nice touch too.

25 minutes, 1993(Colours)

There’s a reason why this song is a fan favorite in a concert, radio airplay until now. The tracks is a high escalating regret song. With a simple melody, sad lyrics, and angry chorus, MLTR created a depressed and yet a nice sing-a-long lullaby. I can imagine some parent singing this song to their child before sleep and teach them that love sucks and try don’t be late in your any important task, even 25 minutes can ruin a whole man’s life. Nobody make a song like this anymore.

I Wanna Dance, 1993(Colours)

This is the most romantic MLTR song, but even for a lot of their devoted fans, this song is largely unknown. A deep soul-pop heavy Motown influenced song is so sweet to listened to when you trying to hold someone in your arms and dancing, preparing for the most sweetest moment in your dearly love.

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13 Assassins, THE REVIEW

For anyone who didn’t familiar with Takashi Miike, let me summarized his directing career in one word : BIZZARE . This guy is the Japanese equivalent of Tim Burton, if TIM BURTON like to show a women slowly cut his boyfriend feet with high-tensile-strength silk, a sex scene between a daughter and her father, and the little fluffy part off the end of someone’s tongue in a movie. No, no, no, he’s not Tim Burton look a like. I only Kidding. Takashi Miike is part David Lynch, Part  Ruggero Deodato, and Part Hiroya Oku(The author of brutal manga, GANTZ). 13 ASSASSINS is his latest movie that I saw.

Let me sum it up real fast. I’m not gonna laying spoilers. I love opening harakiri scene, it felt like a warning that you entered Miike film. Off course the overall scene is dumb nut because of no show all the guts that spilled, kinda like a false alarm. The 5 minutes speeches after that boring as hell. The 15 minutes after those boring pretend to be Kagemusha scene is what I called one of the greatest way to introduce a major villain character and plot. With all the cold hearted, disinterested disturbing cruelty this is the main reason why I invest my 2 hours. THE evil lord is really EVIL, not just some random bad guy tossing around because he’s fucking the wrong girl. After that, the first half of the movie is the typical assembling a group of tough SOB to avenging justice with all the short introduction for every character. Now I understand why Kurosawa is choosing 7 rather than 47. 7 is the perfect mixture to balancing all the character side quest, trait and motive. 13 is already too many. Only some of the 13 that get a nice character advancement. The last 40 minutes scene is when you combining the moronic brainless violence of MTV generation Devil May Cry Dynasty Warrior series with a lot of real blood. The bloodbath battle scene.

One of the thing that I like in Takeshi Miike style is he never afraid to just go for it, but this time he’s growing soft. Its sword battle. This is the uphill brutalistic that supposed to show us arms, legs, heads, finger,  ears, eyes, flying around across the silver screen. Blood, blood and blood isn’t having an impact and real anymore. Two or three lame decapitations, not really any severed limbs.

I hate all the CGI Scene. They look awful and cheap. Especially that dull buffalo scene.

*Spoilers* I love the little twist that  planted about the origins of KIGA Koyata, the mountain guy. Only people with great knowledge will realize the ending where he shows up without any harm at all(the guy in the right).

I hate all the pointless make no-sense scene. Its acceptable if you want to want to break the tension and edge for a moment with a small comedy part here and there, but in 13 ASSASSINS, all of that, is ruining the movie. They got it right with a very dark and serious tone at the first half. For example, at the beginning of the battle, all the assassins get up to the front line, trying to look cool in a mist, and 7 seconds after that, their leader say, get back to your post. What is up with the logic in that? I felt like I hit the pause button. What a shame

I really want to like 13 ASSASSINS, i tried to. But it failed. Its just becoming another generic samurai movie to me.

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Amelie

Amelie is a naive and innocent girl. Since a little girl, because of lack interaction with other person, she becomes entangled in her own wonderful and mystifying world that she created for herself. When she decides to live alone in the city, she became obsessed with the idea of helping and making other people happy. Not by doing great important life-alter experience or giving money, but by improving the little trivial things that other people having a problem with. By doing all the kindness, she realize that she need help too. And there she goes, wooing the love of his life with in a  witty way that only she can deliver.

Jean Pierre Jaunet is delivering the near-perfect craftmanship of a beautiful romantic story, funny comedy and, brilliant emotional journey. I love the distinctive style that he bring to the looks of the movie. Its like a huge crayon-pastel storybook for adult. From the brilliant, childish and somewhat creepy opening credits, the unique and quirkiness of every angle that the movie try to captured, to the overall Carnival feels that Jaunet try to create, everything is a match. Its the girl equivalent of the blandness and urbanized style of Fernando Merailles’s Cidade de Deus where you can expect a bum just showed up in the corner of your eyes with a gun in his left hand and weeds in right hand, you can expect Fred Astaire is dancing and singing at the road where the Paris gigli utopia that Jaunet try to created in this movie. I cant believe Amelie is coming from the same person who ruined Alien Ressurection.

I love the script. It is sporadic, sometimes preposterous, overly silly, and whimsical delight for the eye and ear. It never try transforming to some grand elaborate scheme. Even though at the middle of the movie the pace became too slow and boredom, all the detail in it can make all the cons scarce deep forgotten. Audrey Tutou gives a magnificent performance as the quirky, clever, but intensely shy Amelie. I’m enchanted to her.

I don’t like the special effect. I know they’re important part of the storyline, but I’m sure with all the imagination that Jaunet had, he can do better than just popping out computer effect just to make me wrenched.

Amelie is a movie you’re looking for if you want a diverting movie that isn’t populated by violence, stupid teens, and the standard moronic American script. This is an optimistic view on real life. Yes it is a weird film and yet I have found myself enjoying it. Finally, it has to be said, there is nothing inaccessibly ‘arty’ here, this is a very funny film. This is a film that can appeal to everyone, on several different levels, and really needs wider exposure to a larger audience.

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7 Mainstream Japanese Artist That Everybody Who Loves Music Should “Give It a Try”

Did you know that Japanese Music Industry is the second biggest in the world behind United States? No, I’m not Kidding. The country with weird language, pervert infested, unorthodox strict tradition.

I learn to listened to Japanese music since 1998. Like most of the starters at JPOP/JROCK world, the quartet XJapan, Luna Sea, Glay and Larc en Ciel is the one who captured my attention. Time passed by, and 12 years later, I still love them. But my fondness of Japanese music doesn’t just stand there without growing. Japanese rock scene is nothing spectacular today. Filled with a bunch of filler crap, just like their current ANIME universe. But other scene, especially Jazz in particular is still amazing to moist your attention to.  No, I’m not going to blabbering again about 2011’s music, I’m just going to tell what I had in mind about 7 Mainstream Japanese Artist That Everybody Who Loves Music, especially the one who never even listened to Japanese music before, Should “Give It a Try”.

Mink, Pop/Soul

This Japanese-Korean mixed hottie is one of a kind artist. Her look is the Asian equivalent of Sophie Ellis Bextor, statue look alike. Her voice is deep and full of imagination. Why did I choose her over Misia whom more successful than her? Because many of her song is way more intriguing, complicated and mystifying than the predictable high octave Misia. Oh, and also, Mink got this in her arsenal, One of the best cover of Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry about a Thing(TRY : Secret Garden, Moonburn, One Suitcase, Omajinai, IF, Blessing You, Innocent Blue).

The Brilliant Green, Pop/Rock

If I’m going to make the list of TOP 10 Band ever, The Brilliant Green will be the only Japanese band in that list. This is not the here today, gone tomorrow group. Even the TIME magazine chose The Brilliant Green as one of the top ten contemporary acts outside the U.S in 2001. Everything about this band is good. From the Harmony between the Bassist and Guitarist(Too bad Ryo already gone from the band now), the merit of all the songs and every album in a nice balanced and good level of perfection in complimenting each track, to Tomoko voice which is  so sterile, smooth and in a way a bit of Robotic, but very good in dead on-deliver (TRY the mesmerizing TSUMETAI HANA, the sweet and drumming ALWAYS and ALWAYS, the jumpy HOLIDAYS, the catchy IM JUST LOVING YOU, the Techno style THE NIGHT HAS PLEASANT TIME).

Yuko Yamaguchi, Pop

Virtually unknown even to a lot of Japanese music fans, Yuko Yamaguchi is one of the few Japanese artist that can really bring the distinctive and unique pop flavor of Japanese music Scene. Her fairly soft vocal really goes well with many of  her moderately slow-paced ballad laid back paced tempo songs. Its a shame that trying to find her record is as hard as trying to find Panzer Dragoon Saga from Sega Saturn. You can’t even Wikipedia her(TRY : FUTARI NARA, AGAIN, ITS NEVER THE END OF THE WORLD, HOTEL SCANDINAVIA).

Quasimode, Instrumental Jazz/Swing

 Japanese Jazz is always interesting for me. Their style is so different by itself we can even categorized it into the whole other genre. Quasimode is one of the forefront of the brilliantness of Japanese Jazz. Many of their arrangement full of free-spirited, unbiased, and beautifully choreographed Notes. I really meant that words (TRY : TAKE THE NEW FRONTIERS, ROPE A DOPE, SOUNDS OF PEACE, IN THE NAME OF LOVE).

Paris Match,  Jazz/Bossa/Acid/House/Soul/Funk

Look at all the genre. Reminds you of who? Jamiroquai? Incognito? Simply Red? Well, Paris Match is the lovechild when those three making love between the Moon and New York City. Fifteen album over the last 10 years doesn’t make their music goes static and boring. In fact, over the last couple of years, their music becoming more matured and focused(TRY : their cover on Christopher cross’s ARTHUR’S THEME, THE TIME AFTER SUNRISE(Beautifully crafted heavy sitar infused jazz track), KISS, SUNSHINE DAY, PASSION 8 GROOVE, LOUNGE OF RAPTURE, THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THIS).

The Gospellers, Pop/Acapella/Doo Woop

The Gospellers is the example when 6 human with amazing synchronized harmony meet and sings together in Japanese languange. Their rival is the trio of SKOOP OF SOMEBODY. I love both of them, and will goes berserk into someone who put these two group in the same basket as other cheesy and stupid boyband like Arashi or SMAP. No, I’m not a fanboy, just a snob whose trying to put different perspective at pop music(TRY: Their most powerful single HITORI, NO MORE TEARS, CALLING, YOU’LL BE MINE, TIGER RAG, TOKYO SWEET).

Spitz, Pop/Rock

Even though all the SPITZ member consider themselves as a Rock band, I don’t think that Spitz is a rock band. Their majority known success single is a conventional pop-ballad infused with soft rock and traditional Japanese style guitar rhythm and riff. Their sound is more simpler and sophisticated in a way that very hard to describe than just an ordinary pop/rock band. There’s not one band in the world with their kind of music.  (TRY : SCARLET, ROBINSON, AI NO KOTOBA, KAEDE, NAKAYOSHI)

Honorable Mention : Nujabes, MFlo, Misia, Skoop on Somebody, Kyoto Massive Jazz, Orange Pekoe, Dorlis, Jill Decoy and Association.

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