Thursday, May 19, 2011

Duel Jewel - Lapidary (2001)

Genre: Alt/Pop Rock
Released: August 22nd, 2001
Region: Tokyo, Japan
Label: Cyber Force
Catalog #: CFTC-0003
Format: CD
Bitrate: 320kbps

01. Sp1. 「Suns of Sanctuary」
02. 暗幕
03. Nauthiz
04. RED BEASTを殺せ!!
05. 沈黙
06. 絆~pray to gray~
07. Promise
08. 「悦」
09. 永遠に夢を重ねて
10. 月と戯れ
11. Sp2. 「Night to suns」

Though these guys are still going strong, they've yet to attract the praise they truly deserve, especially in their native country. They got lots of attention over here in the 'States for frequently playing shows at the anime convention A-Kon during the period that they released this album, but as long as they've been going it's surprising they haven't gotten further in Japan.

Lack of native popularity aside, this debut is one of my favorite albums from any visual kei band ever. Beautiful, almost dreampop-like jangly pop rock that varies in heavyness and lightness here and there, all with the angelic tenor vocals of Hayato soaring over top and soothing you into dream land.

Gorgeous melodies, gorgeous instrumentation and gorgeous dreamy atmosphere. If you're familiar with their more recent work, this sounds NOTHING like that.
Give it a try.

Bought it from an eBay seller.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

桑江知子 - 熱風 (1979)

(Tomoko Kuwae - Neppu)

Genre: Pop
Released: 1979
Region: Okinawa, Japan
Catalog #: SM25-5041
Format: 12" LP
Bitrate: 320 kbps

A1. Lost In Summer
A2. 熱帯夜
A3. エモーション・ラブ
A4. 恋人の領分
A5. ランナウェイ
A6. クリスタル・ハネムーン

B1. レイマグラス
B2. アルファルド
B3. モーニングレイン
B4. ジャマイカ・タウン
B5. Lost In Summer

Tomoko Kuwae is a Japanese pop star who was most active in the late 70's/early-to-mid 80's but never really caught a big fanbase and got totally deprived of the fame and appreciation she deserved. This is her first album(I think?) and for some reason it's not even listed in her japanese wiki, or in most sites with info about her. It's scattered across the net on japanese music websites and appears in auctions now and then just to prove it exists.

This LP showcases both her own songwriting talent(though she only composed tracks a1, a5, b1 and b5) and her smooth, beautiful singing voice. The songs are mostly accessible pop that fit the era, with a few venturing over into funky Disco-ish stylings.

Recommended for lovers of pre-90's pop music, such as myself.
Bought from an ebay seller.