Morning Musume ‘14 - “Password Is 0” (2014)
In other circumstances, in other times, in some alternate dimension - I’d be writing paragraph upon paragraph about this song, the overall rebranding of Morning Musume from late-’90s idol institute to the EDM-pop outfit capable of climbing to the top of the Oricon Charts today. And how, most remarkably, they’ve done it by sounding good with the style, finding the perfect balance between pop pleasure and wubbin’ out. “Password Is O” is especially good at this, it being a darty number featuring details and detours that are also pretty common in Skrillex’s music, but without ever giving into pure puffed-chests, rather making drops sound…like dramatic developments. And that’s not even scratching the lyrical surface, dovetailing from predictable J-pop themes for moments like “I don’t need a reason to protect my family” to, well, the title.
Thing is, this is the second song on a two-sided single, and dear goodness the other tune is the one that deserves all the attention it can get (and, since it hit number-one on the Oricon Charts, it will at least get mine, the ultimate consolation prize). So “Password Is 0” is the unlucky footnote here, but a hell of a end-of-the-chapter thing that outclasses most groups trying for this EDM-ish thing anywhere today.
Kyary played a longer preview of her new song “Kirakira Killer” on the April 21st broadcast of her radio show! Give it a listen!
make believe melodiesで紹介してもらいました。
"一无所有" ("Nothing to My Name") by Cui Jian from 新长征路上的摇滚 (“Rock ‘n’ Roll on the New Long March”) (1989)
I have no idea how and when I got to discover this album, but now that we’re finally starting with 1989, it was time to listen to it. Cui Jian is considered the “Father of Chinese Rock” and is worldwidely respected ( The Rolling Stones even played with him!) though not very popular outside China.
This is his most acclaimed song and it became an anthem when he played it at the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Wikipedia has a rather complete article in English and there is a long explanation on the lyrics. This paragrapph particularly called my attention:
Interpretations of the song’s meaning vary from one listener to the next; some people view it as a song about love and desire, while others understand it as a political metaphor, the lyrics being addressed as much to the Chinese nation as to a girlfriend. University of Florida scholar Jonathan Matusitz describes the song’s lyrics as a means of expressing politically sensitive ideas that could not be stated through any other medium. In this interpretation, the lyrics near the beginning, “I’ve asked you without end / When will you go with me / But you always laughed at me / for having nothing to my name” (“我曾经问个不休/你何时跟我走/可你却总是笑我/一无所有”) are taken to express the “humiliation and lack of individuality, possession, and personal freedom”, the “sense of loss and disorientation” among China’s youth in the 1980s. Ethnomusicologist Timothy Brace has described this common analysis of the song lyrics as “recast[ing] the setting of this piece from that of a boy talking to his girlfriend to that of a youthful generation talking to the nation as a whole.” The ambiguity is heightened by the structure of the phrase yī wú suŏ yŏu, an idiomatic chengyu. It literally means “to have nothing” and has no grammatical subject. Therefore, it can be interpreted as meaning “I have nothing” (implying that it is a song about two people), or “we have nothing” (understanding it as social commentary)
I found an interview that the CNN did to Cui Jian and the last question was if he thought that songs should have a social and serious message. Although I don’t agree that it is a compulsury element of songs, I definitely see his point when he says that “right now, most of the rock music just don’t want to touch this, it is not fashion any more and the young people think it’s not cool”.
Neon Bunny - “Bubbles” (2012)
Seoul electro-pop artist Neon Bunny made one of my favorite songs of the year so far, “It’s You,” and that one has made me revisit her earlier albums and EPs. This is one of my personal favorites, filter-disco-inspired pop with a chorus that reminds me of what Yasutaka Nakata used to pull off with Capsule. So good, and makes a Friday night spent at home trying to edit stories way more fun.
Tofubeats I think this plan backfired