I believe that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a very well known pop singer in Japan. I never really connected the dots to her music and had heard something before.
Listening through this full-length, I thought it was something not to be taken seriously and then I started getting hooked in the music.
It used a lot of repetition to embed each note of every song into your head. The music isn’t even the most complicated and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu as a singer isn’t even the most capable, but the manufacturing of the product was amazing.
I think if you listen to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in small doses it’s ok, but the possibility of getting sucked in is high.
Collection is a bundle of all the songs that 2NE1 has released recorded in Japanese. This includes the majority of their previous singles and some of their Japanese language singles.
I don’t know what happened, but on Collection, 2NE1 sounds neutered. There is no energy in the singing of the members and the Japanese singles are plain boring. While each single when it released in Korea was a great and fun listen, hearing them again in Japanese really shows how much the songs depended on the abilities of each member,.
The final travesty is the cover of Madonna’s Like a Virgin. It’s simply a painful representation.
When it comes to Big Bang’s Japanese releases, I liked a lot of them because the songs were translated to English. With Alive, there’s more Japanese than English.
The songs still have the same construction of the original Korean, but unlike other Kpop groups, Big Bang somehow translate the same tones from Korean to Japanese. It may be that the songs are very different from other Kpop and can sound natural in other languages.
Overall, the Japanese language edition of Alive has the same energy as the Korean version and that’s a good thing.
Rainbow is guilty pleasure Kpop. They don’t have the same power as other groups and seem to try hard, but not get real success on the music shows. While each member has varied levels of vocal ability, Over the Rainbow is a very strange full-length.
Carrying some of their more popular Korean singles translated into Japanese, these songs don’t sound much different from their originals. But when you start getting into the Japan-centric songs, there is a disconnect. Japanese pop and Korean-created Japanese pop is very different and most of the time not very successful.
In the case of Rainbow, they lose a lot of their upbeat image and submerge into a painful electro-synth mess. Partially it sounds like it’s used to cover members’ inability to really sing and the other is that Rainbow is trying to be presented as a dance-pop group.
Over the Rainbow is lacking the same feeling of the Korean releases and like other Kpop to Jpop groups, there’s something lacking.
I’m always curious when a Kpop group releases a full-length album in Japan. Sometimes you get an album that is actually more interesting than their original style in the case of Girls’ Generation. In other cases, you get something that is just painful to listen to.
After School are squarely in this category. I’ve always thought that After School were better as a group who releases singes rather than a full-length style and it shows even more on their Japanese release.
To cover their still-in-progress Japanese, Playgirlz is full of memorized lines and massive amount of repetitive lyrics. The translated singles contain a different theme than their originals and there’s just something forced through everyone of the songs.
After School are better off just releasing singles because a full-length shows off their weaknesses.
Aya Matsuura was one of Hello Project’s most successful solo artists. Before she was placed in one of many sub-groups; her starting above average vocals showed that her improvement was going to happen.
The 10th Anniversary Best album collects the majority of her singles into a sixteen song release. Ordered in what sounds chronological, you go from her highly poptastic beginnings to her more mature ballad songs. It’s a great look into how her styles changed even when directed by her company.
Matsuura could be considered an old-school Jpop singer with all the newer groups debuting, but she has always shown that her vocals were a step above others.
Japan was likely one of the starters of the repackaged album. The reissue of albums with remixes or extra songs has long been a standard for many artists and Girls’ Generation did it with their reissue of their Korean full-length The Boys.
The reissue only has a few new songs, most importantly a Japanese-language version of “The Boys.” This single is still awkward with Japanese vocals and doesn’t hit the strong points that other singles by the group had. The new remixes are “The Great Escape” and “Bad Girl” which are the stronger songs off their Japanese debut.
The following songs are all previously released songs and don’t make much more impact than they did when they were originally released. The repackaged album doesn’t offer anything new and passing on it will not result in much grief.
Their image in Japan is much more mature than Korea and the repackage album takes a step back.