Archive for the ‘Universal Music Japan’ Category

TU-YU? To you? No, two Yuu.

June 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Since the airing of ROOM OF KING last fall, I have developed a love for the music of Kimaguren, the duo who pretty much singularly handled the soundtrack, along with releasing the catchy ending theme.

Apparently recently they hooked up and became good buddies with fellow (albeit with a much greater career lengthspan) musical duo Yuzu, after finding a common birthplace, common friends, and probably a common beer or three. They liked each other so much they decided that despite all members being males, they had to make a lovechild.

And so, my friends, I bring to you… well, two友 [two Yuu], the single released by ゆずグレン [Yuzuguren]. The name literally means “Two Friends”, but also sounds like “to you” and Tuyu (both the name of a CM group featuring Johnny’s – TU-YU – and a resort town – fully Mar del Tuyú – on the coast of Argentina). If you know me, you probably know I’d like to milk it for all it’s worth – but I think I just did.

To best describe the song probably requires a description of its creators. Kimaguren songs usually have a very laid back island melody with guitar worked in somehow and combined with a fast beat, which is admittedly the best setting for the sort of vocals ISEKI and KUREI provide. Normally KUREI does a half-spoken, half-sung, occasionally rap stanza – that grows all the more addictive as his voice grows softer and breathier – and then together with ISEKI wails out the chorus or hook with all the energy they can muster. Neither vocalist will charm over listeners by the power of their vocals alone – it’s the whole package Kimaguren makes, with some fun lyrics when the occasion calls for it, that draws fans in.

On the other hand, Yuzu, I am less qualified to talk about. They’ve been around since 1998, but the thing I most identify them with in my head is guitar ballads and folk songs. Which isn’t far off the course, as the two started off as street musicians. Based off this song alone, I’d declare their vocals of the standard Japanese nasally sort. And speaking of which…

Combining these elements into two Yuu creates a soothing and heartwarming song. Even though the stanzas – spoken by KUREI – are almost hypnotizingly lulling, they’re broken up by the song outburts of Yuzu (and possibly ISEKI) and there is a steady guitar strum that leads us through into the heartfelt chorus. The single also features an instrumental and a remix version – the latter of which introduces more instruments and synth effects. No matter which version you listen to, you will come away with a relaxed feeling, and perhaps the thought that these are four men who truly love music and doing what they do.

After all, they wrote this song to you.


Even if his music career’s almost as old as I am.

December 31, 2008 1 comment

Fukyama Masaharus Sou -new love new world-

In case you ever wondered – does Kimi actually listen to anything other than boybands?

The answer is yes.

I developed a ridiciulous adoration for the trio that is Yajima Biyoshitsu when they came out with their song, and for the first time in 3 years, hit up music shows for their performances. This included CDTV, Music Station, and Music Fighter – but the latter doesn’t matter here, because Fukuyama Masaharu only showed up in the first two. And in those two, he performed songs from his latest single 想 -new love new world- [Sou -new love new world-]. Unlike one Yamashita Tomohisa about 2 years ago, he did not fail, nor did he fall while performing.

But me? I fell, and I fell hard.

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