J-Pop is taking over my life…

11 03 2008

So I guess this would be my first official rant here, not that my last tirade didn’t count, but I guess I just saw that one as an intro of sorts.

So onto the topic of the day, and one that I’ve actually been thinking about for a while: J-Pop. For those of you who didn’t know or who hadn’t guessed, J-Pop is an amalgam of the words “Japanese” and “Pop”, so essentially Japanese Pop music. When I think of J-Pop, I mostly think of the American equivalent of bubble-gum pop. I actually find that I tend to term all Japanese music J-Pop unless I know for a fact that it’s considered J-Rock or Hip-Hop or whatever. For some reason genres such as alternative and electronica don’t seem to exist when I think of Japanese music. But I digress.

My obsession lately within J-Pop has been of the idol boy-band variety. And again, for those of you who didn’t know, the idol culture in Japan is a kind of fixture in entertainment media: guys and gals churned through the entertainment industry as singing, dancing, modeling, acting, and everything-else-in-between entities, who by the way, have to look dang good doing it. It’s like the Mickey Mouse club, except bigger and very much alive. Granted I was on the boy band wagon in my high school days, good ol’ Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, 98˚ and whoever else popped up during the ‘90s, but this extreme fascination with J-Pop boy bands has left me a little confused. While I do have Japanese music that does lean towards rock and alternative, in terms of percentage, J-Pop seems to dominate my Japanese music while American music is taken over by alternative and rock. I don’t hate pop, but I don’t particularly like pop, so why do I seem to like it so much in another language? And here’s the kicker: I don’t even understand Japanese. I understand a few words here and there, but it’s not enough to string together a coherent sentence.

I think what really perplexes me is that it’s the boy band variety of J-Pop that I like and not something else within J-Pop. Why?! They’re cheesy, have stylists that apparently worked with Liberace, are decent singers, but nothing to write home about, and usually have embarrassing choreography. The lyrics to their songs are also sometimes really laughable, but that’s a whole other post, and yet I still find myself watching their videos, their concerts (cheese galore…) and listening to their music. So excuse me while I YouTube some more videos of NEWS, KAT-TUN, Kanjani8, and Tackey & Tsubasa. Geez, even their names are cheesy…

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist and had to post some pictures…

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