So I’ve never really been a big fan of Hip-Hop and now that I’ve been on my J-Pop trip, while I find that there are some Hip-Hop and R&B songs that I do like, it seems that on the whole I tend to steer clear of them. But lately, one song has been stuck in my head non-stop. I’ve been listening to it over and over and over and it seems to have found its way onto several playlists and helped to sprout some new ones.
I recently finished the J-Drama Himitsu no Hanazono. Let me first say that it was pretty entertaining. It’s a comedy about a fashion editor who is moved to the manga department and is put in charge of a popular mangaka named Hanazono Yuriko who secretly turns out to be four brothers.
But it was the opening theme that was stuck in my head, and is still stuck in my head. I think it’s been at least a week. For some reason I’ve always kind of glossed over Namie Amuro. I think it’s because she fits into that Hip-Hop influenced Pop that I seem to be unsure about whether I like it or not. But the track “Baby Don’t Cry” from her PLAY album is really, really addicting.
I think what really gets me is the beat. Since I don’t understand Japanese it’s hard for me to appreciate ballads, even if it is musically gorgeous, I just feel like I’m missing out on half the song without the lyrics. If the song is catchy and danceable then I’m definitely going to like it. And this is where “Baby Don’t Cry” fits. But I have to say that I’m a little disappointed in her live performances of the song. For some reason, I’ve always envisioned some kind of dancing with this song, but seeing her stand there and deliver the song, no matter how beautiful she is, seems a little boring. But maybe that’s just me.
I found that I’ve also glossed over Ayumi Hamasaki for similar reasons. And this next reason may sound really shallow, but for some reason her image bothers me a little. I can’t really put my finger on it. I think part of it is that she reminds me of Jolin Tsai from Taiwan. Well, I have heard the argument that Tsai is the Taiwanese version of Hamasaki and is really influenced by Hamasaki, in terms of at least image (those nails I tell you…), in terms of music I’m not sure, so I guess that makes sense. But I’m not a huge fan of Tsai so that connection isn’t helping. Hopefully I get over it though so that I can at least check out her music before I make any real judgment on her as an artist.
I think with Namie Amuro’s “Baby Don’t Cry”, I’ve become fully convinced of the power that music has on one’s emotions and mood. These last few weeks have been really stressful and by just putting this track on, it makes me happy and makes me forget my stress for a little bit. Awesome and scary at the same time. Awesome because it’s hard to believe that humanly organized sound can have such a huge impact on my mood. Scary because I think I’ve been putting the track on way too often and might be using it to run away from my stress and my problems. Sigh. Cue epiphany music…