With 2014 coming to an end, JpopAsia's staff has taken a look back upon the year and share their favorite music from Japan.
: “Darling” is a quintessential Kana Nishino track. It has everything we’ve grown to love and come to expect from the singer, and it was executed flawlessly. Once Nishino’s repeated use of “Ne Darling” throughout the song gets hooked in your head, it will become nearly impossible for it to escape. And that’s perfectly fine with me because this song is a delight from start to finish.
: Lillies and Remains debuted in 2008 and has since taken Japan's New Wave scene into a whole new level. This is not your typical Japanese band - every song by Lillies and Remains are sung in English and will leave you tripping back into the 1980s. The band has been experimenting with industrial elements in their music and you can listen to the result in this song and their latest album, "ROMANTICISM". With big names like Hideo Kojima and Hisashi Imai of BUCK-TICK as fans, you know you should definitely give Lillies and Remains a shot.
: If you're into nu metal, or perhaps a hybrid of men and wolves (we won't judge you), then you should definitely sink your teeth into MAN WITH A MISSION's music. The style of "evils fall" closely resembles American rock and metal music, but with an additional special touch from the wolves. Their roots may be in rock music, but the band kicks it up a notch by incorporating rap style vocals and turntable scratches.
: Miliyah Kato is back again this year with the release of the amazing single “Love/Affection / Kamisama”. Kato uses her sweet vocals to entrap her audience. The way the instrumentals are always in the background when comparing to Kato's lovely voice is extremely effective and not only showcases off her impressive vocals, but also adds strength and meaning to the lyrics. In addition, the way the song continues roughly at the same tempo throughout its entirety and does not rise for the chorus or bridge is unique and again, reinforces the lyrics. With her sweet, clear vocals, Kato has once again released an amazing single this year.
: “Boku wa Pegasus Kimi wa Polaris” debuted at number 1 and 2 on the mora and Recochoku weekly singles charts respectively, marking Misia's highest debut on these charts since the beginning of her career. Written by the singer herself for the television drama “S: Saigo no Keikan”, “Boku wa Pegasus Kimi wa Polaris” is a powerful ballad with a beautiful piano-and-string melody. It’s a song that will give you hope when you are feeling down. Misia’s twenty-sixth single "Koi wa Owaranai Zutto", the theme song for the drama “Hatsukoi”, is also included in this release.
: It’s all about drums in ONE OK ROCK’S 9th single. The title track “Mighty Long Fall” was used as the theme song for movie “Rurouni Kenshin: Densetsu no Saigo-hen” and is much heavier and aggressive than band’s previous releases. Two other songs, “Decision” and "Pieces of Me", are both rock-ballads and sound almost peaceful in comparison with “Mighty Long Fall”. There is very little Japanese across all three songs, but ONE OK ROCK proves time after time that they are more than comfortable when it comes to writing lyrics in English. It’s always great to see a band that loves to try different things but still stays true to their style.
: “Dragon Night” is that fun, upbeat, indie dance song that gets me up on my feet and dancing with abandon. The song is a feel-good track that’s full of whimsy. The lyrics describe a magical night where everyone stops fighting with each and just comes together in harmony and dance. This is paired with an infectious melody that builds to a dance beat that’s sure to get you moving. With this song, SEKAI NO OWARI cements itself as Japan’s answer to MGMT.
: Shota never fails to amaze me with his releases, and this year was no different. In “Dream”, Shota once again showcased his amazing vocals and range. The most enjoyable aspect of this song for me was the way he sang various lines quickly but slowed down significantly for the chorus, emphasizing the meaning behind the lyrics. With the R&B feel, Shota's vocals, the lyrics, and the slow, smooth background instrumentals 'Dream' is one of my favorite single releases this year.
: Daydream: THE NOVEMBERS have always done an exceptionally good job when it comes to bringing art and music to life. However, with their latest album "Rhapsody in beauty", the boys managed to take it to the next level. The album was both intense and delicate; and the best representation of "beauty". "Romancé" is lifted off of this album and I was blown away with the simplicity and yet, engaging concept of their PV. Try this out
and tell us what color you got!
Shared by: Aysohmay