Sunday, January 18, 2004

Puffy AmiYumi 

Johhny B likes Puffy AmiYumi's US release Nice, linking the musicians back to other bands. I still haven't bought any of the growing j-pop releases, but it is something I really need to do.

I think the interesting thing is that pop music is so big in Japan, with so much competition going on, that they have it down to a science. A lot of the stuff is very catchy and they don't pretend that it is something more than fluffy pop music. I've heard that a lot of fans in Japan tend to follow producers instead of artists when in that particular realm.

That's one thing that I wish I could see here is more emphasis on actually who does what in music. Some people think that if someone doesn't write their own music, it automatically makes them bad. I don't think that at all. A good way to think about it might be in classical music. You have various composers, who if they have enough skill can even compose for an instrument they can't play themselves. You then have the various perform using the instruments. If you're someone that is used to listening to classical, then two performers doing the same composition can bring different things to the work. A singer might just be providing their voice, but their style and own emotions obviously change the work in subtle (or not so subtle ways).

But in so many cases, we want to raise up the singer to a huge level, and the writer in small writing inside the album notes, as if a dirty little secret. I guess I just wish there could be more balance involved. In bands with multiple people, frequently one or more write. The one doing the lyrics isn't always the singer, and in any case all the band members need to get involved in this song that they probably contribute to in various ways but still might be about someone else's experiences. That is seen as ok, but even a longstanding of a singer with a songwriter usually seems to be swept under the rug...

Oh well, I guess I'm going off on a tangent. Nice is definitely one of the albums I want to pick up one of these days...

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