>Well, I’ve got no idea on what should I post, lately. So, maybe I’ll just recount my encounters with J-Music, and the Japanese bands.
FYI, most of my playlist entry are Japanese songs, some of them are anime OSTs. Sometimes, I enjoyed Western metal bands too, but they’re only getting less than 1% of my listening time.
L’Arc en Ciel (Laruku)
Like most Indonesians, my first encounter with J-rocks was via this band (Indonesians even had a clone, a band named J-Rocks, thank God they’re now more than just a bunch of Laruku wannabees). They have mostly easy listening music (sometimes they went cheesy), and Tetsu’s unique bass lines tempted me to learn bass (later I found out that they were just simple patterns between root and fifth note of the chord). I adored them, collected all their albums prior to Daybreak’s Bell. Too bad, they had gone too cheesy and too electronic recently, and I don’t listen to them anymore.
Strong metal, hard noise of distorted guitar riffs. They have some nice ballads with beautiful piano. But most of their songs were monotonous (especially the drums, the drummer was an excellent pianist but he certainly lacked creativity needed to compose the drum parts for his band), hard to tell a song from another because they were too similar. Hard rock with staple rhythm, staple melodic line, then a cooling down with a little bit piano, then back to hard rock again… it goes all the way like that for most songs.
They had better skills than Laruku, but I didn’t like the harsh guitar sound and the vocalist’s unstable pitch.
Dir en Grey (Diru)
Too loud for me to enjoy…. Except a ballad piano arrangement for one of their songs, alas I forgot the title.
Well, they’re way too intellectual. Their harmony was too ear-clashing for me. Their piano and keyboard lines were challenging, tho…
Unique vocal character that sounds much like a singer from 80’s era, and naughty melodic lines. I’ve just listened a few, but I like her. Wish there were more of her songs in the internet.
Monotonous, they repeated that melody and that pattern over and over again.
Hmm…. good balance between musical showmanship and nice, easy listening and beautiful romantic rock/metal. Revo is certainly a prodigy, for he composed and arranged the songs all by himself. Still, my acceptance rate for his songs is much less than Kajiura’s.
A trio of three young, beautiful vocalists…. I fell in love with them the instance I heard ‘Natsu no Ringo’. Kajiura did the composition and arrangement well, she keeps teasing my ear with her unique blend of European Classical and anime atmosphere, as well as her superb brew of musical arrangement and tight vocal harmonization.
Kajiura makes the most of her
slaves vocalists, each vocalists are assigned to a specific part of a song (or even the whole song), and sometimes the key changes as the singer switches from one girl to another.
While certainly Kajiura also has her own weakness (read it here and here), I always listen to her music everyday, humming them as I walk. It’s been several months since I first listening to Kalafina, but my honeymoon with them (wew… great isn’t it? a harem of three beautiful girls) hasn’t been over yet.