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Tsugitsugi ZokuZoku Deconstruction



I compare this song's very Western EDM stylings to previous H!P EDM takes (which were more overtly Jpop), particularly the delightfully weirdass KimiSae.

Relevant to our recent discussions as to the difference between the markets in composition.

H!P is currently in quite an interesting place, as Tsunku finally stepped down from producing nearly everything but anisongs for the conglomerate. So there are up-and-comer composers, such as Hoshibe Shou, and even some European songwriters, introducing new melody ideas into the mix. Kobushi Factory's most recent single had one song by Hyadain and one song with DANCE*MAN, for pete's sake. (Yeah, it's a pretty fucking amazing single.)


I know this was released in 2014, but their new song is a ballad so whatever, and this is like some BEG level shit, but also with brilliant choreography/camerawork synergy. What with Mr. Mr. and EXO's Call Me Baby, I approve of this movement towards more of this. Yeah, force those music shows to not have the Worst camerawork ever.

The music production's pretty sweet, too. Just the right push-and-pull on the base percussion and synths hinting at jazz organ, and then opening up the song to sparkly muted brass, or background shamisen playing response to the vocals' call. Jazz shamisen solo in a soul song, lawdy. Who woulda thunk it?

And everything is kept just that bit restrained, so that nothing trips into kitsch, as the vocals are bubbly enough by themselves. The arrangement is used to turn this into more than genre pastiche, but to have their own personality, to stand on their own legs.

Who's in the header

WTF people something as perfect as Sunny covering Bloom should go here






This is FANTASTIC. So much disruption of the already funky disco rhythms, as well as a deliciously dissonant pre-chorus.

"Too many chords!"

Paraphrasing Emperor Joseph II's comments about Mozart here to talk about this http://aramajapan.com/aramaexclusive/arama-japan-interviews-songwriter-producer-steven-lee/55861/

Wherein an American composer says this about working in Japan:

"This is impossible in America nowadays because many people in music industry think more chords make songs sound dated.

We (at least some of us) have been talking about differences between J (and k but mostly J-)pop and western pop - royal road chord progressions, etc. This quote was an interesting and blunt statement. J-pop: more chords, western pop: less chords.

Is it true, though? My initial impression is, yes, I feel J-pop melodies travel more.

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Jpop idol income estimates 2015

The latest in objective idol value, usually based on tax records, but also sometimes out of fucking nowhere.

I started with this tumblr post. "JAGOB FANSUB" is a facebook page, and posted that image, no source. Further search of the topic turned up this topic, which contains some useful hearsay as to the wages in the early days before they hit it big. More importantly, it also turned up the source images, photos of a Japanese magazine.
Finally, image searching those photos turns up what seems to be the final online source, a Japanese Nogizaka46 message board: http://ikomach.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-5076.html
Google translates gives me this: "The magazine I was EX somehow browse at a convenience store today estimated annual income of AKB Toka Nogizaka men had appeared. Even Na-chan 17 million." So, most likely, the photos came from EX magazine.

Previous post on the topic: http://snsd-ffa.livejournal.com/139109.html

Anyways, here's the full translated ranking, with their value in American dollars.
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Royal Road Explained



This is the most in-depth video explaining Royal Road I've ever seen. They actually go into the music theory of why it's so compelling.

The channel in general is excellent.

For new readers, I compiled some other Royal Road videos here. We also talked about it in the comments here.
Is it just me, or does Dumb Dumb have structural resonance with Polyrhythm?

Um

Attempted Kara's Revolution this week, and wow, I am rather harsh with what I consider to be mediocre for SNSD, because this was bad. Very very bad. So bad. The only song worth anything was Mister, which just gets better the more I hear it. (in full quality, hearing all of the depth of the master)

Then, you have Wanna, which is middle of the road mediocre by SNSD standards. Then you have two back-to-back shameless textbook-Frankie-Valli Royal Road songs. Then you have a fucking triplet song. Blarg. Then you have Take a Bow, which has some seriously eyebrow-raising composition. (Using that upwards-heading-melody hook to pull double duty as a chorus was big mistake. It means that the core of the song just keeps leaving the listener with an unresolved, laborious, unsatisfied, feeling. Learn from Tchaikovsky, people. Resolving downwards feels good, feels right.)

Take a Bow also just has a plodding rhythm and tempo, which AHA then also falls prey to. AHA starts off promising, with a skippy arrangement in that "Pop R&B lite" style perfected on the GG album (ITNW, Baby Baby, Hwang Sunjae's First Kiss, and on the rhythm side, Nana Mizuki's Mr. Bunny. That's a New Jack Swing pattern, right?) Except along the way, the melody discards that skipping beat for basic 4-downbeat plodding. Maybe they were going for a disco vibe. Maybe not. Maybe they were going for that cheesy 80s exercise video style. At any rate, by the bridge, the song's potential is thoroughly wasted.

And then you have Same Heart, which...what? What is this? What on earth is this? What is that AKB48-like shitty brass synth? Are you serious? ("Maji dayo.") This is like, I dunno, Jpop by way of trot? I guess if I were more emotionally invested in Kara, it would become an unjustifiable guilty pleasure of mine, like this Berryz song, but sorry, Kara, SNSD got there first.
On the other hand, this song shows how upwards-melody hooks SHOULD be used, unlike how terribly it turned out in Take a Bow.
(....yeah okay this is growing on me even as we speak. I am bubblegum trash. After all, Umbrella is one of my favorite Kara tracks, and Same Heart employs many of the same tricks.)

On the other hand, this is still a better album than Bonamana. Only two down-tempo songs, and both of them cheating my dislike-of-ballads meter by using Royal Road. (and not using The K-Ballad arrangement) And Mister goes a loooooooong way to make things worth it.

Sep. 8th, 2015

Holy shit Dumb Dumb is really good.

I was gonna do a Lucky Cha Cha Cha MV edit of some sort, but holy shit it's just so good. I don't even feel like it.

Really wonder how it would have fared as an f(5) song, though. Looks like Red Velvet is poised to swipe their "best female SM group discography" role, at this rate.

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