Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon

Eight Terrific Japanese Pop Songs from 2011 (Part One)

Posted in J-Pop,Music by bourdaghs on the December 25th, 2011

Given my current listening post in exile, I’m hardly in a position to claim anything like a comprehensive grasp of today’s music scene in Japan. But here are some songs I’ll remember 2011 by. What a year it was….

8). Ando Yuko (安藤裕子), “Kagayashiki hibi” (輝かしき日々)
I’d been trying to get myself to like Ando’s work for a couple of years. The process got considerably easier when I heard this song, the theme song for the NHK television drama 「カレ、夫、男友達」.

7). GODIEGO (ゴダイゴ), “Walking On”
I especially like it when old guys (and gals) put out good new music. GODIEGO were enormously popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. Mickey Yoshino, Steve Fox and friends are still at it, and I found their new single very attractive.

6). Sakanaction (サカナクション) “Bahha no senritsu o yoru ni kiita sei desu” 『バッハの旋律を夜に聴いたせいです。』
A young (well, from my perspective) band that’s been firing on all cylinders the past few years. I like the intelligent lyrics about the emotional impact of listening to Bach late at night. And talk about hooks: the two breaks that insert fragements from Bach always make me smile (especially the second one).

5). Coma-Chi, “Say NO!”
One of several terrific protest songs to appear in the wake of 3.11 and the Fukushima disaster. Chuck D of Public Enemy famously called hip-hop the “CNN of the ghetto”; here, it serves as the CNN for post-Fukushima Japan, when the public found itself unable to rely on the government and mass media to learn what was really happening with the nuclear meltdowns.

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