Sunday, May 04, 2008


In case you're curious what kind of music is popular in Japan right now, here is a good example.

Of course, groups playing instruments are popular too, as is Japan's version of Hip-Hop, but this style of heavily produced J-pop is VERY popular, especially with my students, who are at that less discerning age of 8-14.

This particular group is very N*Sync like with most of their videos being heavily dance orientated, so this video is a bit of a departure.
The basic formula is repeated over and over again here - gather together a bunch of attractive under-18s and teach them some moves and dress them in the latest styles and have them "sing" some bland song about love or dreams, etc.
It's done with girl groups as well of course, with Morning Musume being one famous example. (MM is a group of about 12 girls, age 10-16 who sing and dance choreographed numbers - Musume means daughter in Japanese)

This music is not to my liking, but I end up listening since my kids like it so much. I'll often ask my students who their favorite singer is, and they'll respond with the name of one of the boys from this group or NEWS or any of the many similar boy-idol groups promoted by Johnny's Jiumsho - a huge talent agency here in Japan.

Anyway - this single comes out in about 3 weeks and I'm sure I'll be hearing it tons at my schools.


Chadhulhu said...

I gotta say, very interesting video. Thought, as you say not my cup of tea.I read that these bands never last long, a new craze and the fan base moves on. Kinda feel sorry for the artist in that way.

Jason H. said...

Thanks for the comment.

Yeah - some of the bands will come and go pretty quickly, but a few endure, like SMAP - who are as popular as N*Sync and The Backstreet Boys put together and are still going strong 15 years after their first hit.

check out this list at wikipedia...

It's a pretty impressive collection of hit artists.
All fluffy Pop to be sure, but all big sellers here.

Chadhulhu said...

Wow, that is crazy. Amazing how different, and strangely similar the two musical cultures are.
It is a shame everything is so over produced. makes me long for the sounds of the 70's lol.