Ikimono Gakari - KIRA★KIRA★TRAIN ♥
[Sakura Saku Machi Monogatari: Track 2 | Genre: J-rock | Language: Japanese]
I am utterly addicted to this song!! Seriously, it's so good, it's like crack! Ikimono Gakari is definitely a band to watch; they have a totally unique sound, and lead singer Kiyoe has one of the best voices out there. When she sings, "Kira, kira," and "Sayonara, sayonara," it's fantastic! Her voice is cute, but not cutesy, if you get me.
Tsukiko Amano - Bodaiju ♥
[Sharon Stones: Track 1 | Genre: J-rock | Language: Japanese]
Tsukiko Amano is brilliant. This song is pretty hardcore (by my standards, anyway), but it's still melodic and beautiful. I'd recommend it to the ends of the earth!
CORE OF SOUL - Photosynthesis
[Natural Beauty: Track 6 | Genre: J-pop/J-rock | Language: Japanese]
Yay, another excuse to post music by CORE OF SOUL! XD The verses to this song are peaceful and ethereal, then things pick up for the chorus. My favorite part is when Fumiko sings the word photosynthesis - so pretty!
F.I.R. - Ai De Li Liang
[Unlimited: Track 10 | Genre: C-pop/C-rock | Language: Mandarin]
This song is all that is catchy and fun. I love when the lead singer's voice builds up as she sings "Ahhh," and then the chorus comes in and relieves the tension. F.I.R. has easily claimed the title of my favorite Chinese group, because they're just cool. <3
Shiina Ringo - Remote Controller
[Koko de Kiss Shite: Track 3 | Genre: J-rock | Language: Japanese]
This song has always been my favorite by Shiina Ringo. The verses are subdued and creepy-cool, which contrasts deliciously with the catchy and powerful chorus. Highly recommended!
Zwei - Dragon
[Z: Track 2 | Genre: J-rock | Language: Japanese]
Dragon is a bit more pop than Zwei's usual style - it almost has a bit of techno in it? - but it's so good, I couldn't resist putting it up. Dragon actually starts off with strings, then goes into rock, and then the strings come back again later. I never imagined strings could blend so masterfully into a rock song, but it's simultaneously stylish and beautiful.
YUI - Rolling Star ♥
[CAN'T BUY MY LOVE: Track 2 | Genre: J-rock | Language: Japanese]
YUIIII. If you haven't listened to her music yet, this is a good place to start, because Rolling Star is an incredibly catchy, radio-friendly song. My favorite part is when she sings, "Fighting pose!" Is it just me, or are those the cutest lyrics ever? I love you, YUI!
Nana Kitade - Rasen
[18 -eighteen-: Track 3 | Genre: J-rock | Language: Japanese]
Everyone rags on Nana Kitade for being more about fashion than music, so I was expecting her debut album to suck, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Rasen stood out to me amongst the other tracks, aside from the famed Kesenai Tsumi, for its heartfelt chorus and the fact that Nana Kitade's voice actually sounds decent here. (Ouch.) Don't get me wrong, Nana Kitade doesn't have a bad voice, but she misuses a lot of the time and ends up sounding too cutesy and/or screechy. >_>;
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