Want solid JPOP covers? Head down to the Goose house.

The geese of Goose house: (from left) Shuhei Watanabe, Migiwa Takezawa, Shuhei Kudo, Kei Takebuchi, Johnny Saito, Sayaka, and Manami.
The geese of Goose house: (from left) Shuhei Watanabe, Migiwa Takezawa, Shuhei Kudo, Kei Takebuchi, Johnny Saito, Sayaka, and Manami.

YouTube is full of amazing musical talents, and the English world has no lack of them, especially those who play cover songs that sometimes – and not rarely – display skills and musical arrangements that far surpass the original.

So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Japanese equivalent? SOLIDEMO tried to do it a few years ago, when they were first signed to avex.

While there’s no doubt that these gentlemen have talent, these covers tended to feel stifled and lacking in individuality – a kind of conformity with eerily matching behaviors and attitudes that reflect a very typical Japanese approach.

Goose house, fortunately, took the risk with a different approach.

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ゲスの極み乙女。- Girl at the Height of Rudeness

(From left: ChanMARI on keyboard; Hona Ikoka on drums; Kawatani Enon on lead vocals, guitar and synthesizer; and Kyuujitsu Kachou on bass)

It’s quite easy to tell when a band enjoys performing together. There’s an energy and synergy that doesn’t compete and overwhelm, and makes the listener completely at ease.

As strange as their name sounds, the band Gesu no Kiwami Otome (literally Girl at the Height of Rudeness) exudes that air of confidence and assurance outwards as well as among the band. Formed by the frontman of indigo la End, Kawatani Enon was said to form the band with musicians he genuinely enjoyed performing with.

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[Coming Soon] EXILE ATSUSHI + AI “Be Brave” Sep 9

When I first embarked on my career as a fresh graduate, EXILE ATSUSHI and AI were one of the few artists I listened to on a regular basis. So it was great when they first got together to sing a duet called “So Special” in 2008. I don’t listen to their music all the time, but when I do, it’s like a soothing balm that … Continue reading [Coming Soon] EXILE ATSUSHI + AI “Be Brave” Sep 9

TRIPLANE 「nonno」

I hesitated whether to talk about this album, hence I’ve delayed this for the longest time. It’s not that it’s a bad record. Based on the track videos in the Youtube link above, it has a lot of decent easy listening rock tunes. TRIPLANE formed in Sapporo in 2002, and it’s no coincidence that they’re named after the fixed-wing aircraft with three vertically stacked wings. Since … Continue reading TRIPLANE 「nonno」

androp 「Ghost」MV

androp’s first single of the year is the theme song to Ghost Writer (「ゴーストライター」), a new Japanese drama about the relationship between a novelist who’s hit her plateau, and a younger talented writer who works as a ghostwriter for a living. I’ve not seen the drama for myself. In fact, it’s been a while since I saw an actual drama series (besides “Internet Shopping Princes … Continue reading androp 「Ghost」MV

Sakura Fujiwara – better than YUI.

Let’s conduct a blind test here. The following Soundcloud track is just a sample (1:40). but for now, switch your lights off (or close your curtains), lean back in your good chair, hit that link, and close your eyes.

That, my reader, is Sakura Fujiwara, a young girl from Fukuoka who’s just barely 19. This track comes from her debut album full bloom that was released in March 2014.

I hope you haven’t cheated and gone off to look for her pictures (because shame on you for spoiling the fun). But imagine the sort of person with the rich alto tone (she reminded me of Brooke Fraser in her early days).

Now this is who she is:

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There’s something about this song juxtaposed against the chaotic battle and turmoil in the various scenes from the new PS4/Vita game GOD EATER 2 RAGE BURST. The final product though is strangely soothing and oddly befitting. Faith is a part of May J.’s new EP “ReBirth” which is due for release on February 25. A GE2RB edition will also be available. Another song Futari no Mahou「ふたりのまほう」Two Person’s Magic) … Continue reading May J. x GOD EATER 2 RAGE BURST

Kenshi Yonezu – the new Yojiro Noda?

It’s probably unfair to compare this young twenty-something with RADWIMPS’ frontman. After all, even though they looked somewhat similar, they do have some differences: RADWIMPS is more rock-inclined; Kenshi Yonezu (米津玄師 YONEZU Kenshi) falls within the alternative rock-pop band. RADWIMPS started as a full-fledged band. Kenosha Yonezu started as a vocaloid artist under the moniker HACHI.

I didn’t pay a lot of attention to this gentleman who originally hails from Tokushima prefecture in the Shikoku islands when Flowerwall was released earlier this month. Or maybe the preview on iTunes and Recochoku didn’t do the song justice. I didn’t watch the MV.

But instead, I came across one of his older videos from his debut album DIORAMA. The video was a compilation of short preview tracks from DIORAMA (released in 2012), and the first song was called Machi (「街」street). It was that song that caught my full attention.

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