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Listen Back 12-02-10

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Time to Listen Back to what the Japanator staff has had burning up their ears for the past couple weeks!

As December descends, thoughts inevitably turn to staying warm and cozy, as well as the obligatory Christmas music deluge. Ug! Luckily we've only got one real holiday song this week, along with an ass-load of other great new music. Seems like the new Polysics single it a hit!

What have you been listening to this week?

Zac Bentz

Polysics
"How Are You?"


This is our first real look at the new Polysics since Kayo left the band, and I'd have to say it's reassuring. Mostly because it sounds exactly like Polysics always has. Some people have mentioned the empty keyboard stuff in the video and thought it was done out of respect for the missing Kayo. Well, I've seen some of their recent live performances and to me it just looks like their regular stage set-up. Bass player Fumi also uses a keyboard from time to time, as well as guitarist Hiro (you can see him hit the sampler thing at one point), so I think that these keyboards are just their regular equipment and nothing more. Nevertheless, cool new song!

Kimonos
Kimonos



I just found out about these guys (featuring Mukai from Number Girl and Zazen Boys) this past week. That first song called "Soundtrack to Murder" has been playing in my head non-stop ever since. I wish I could say the rest of the album was as great, but I don't really think it is. Still, they've got a refreshing sound.

"Teen Titans Go With the Flow"


Puffy Ami Yumi's Teen Titans theme vs. Queens of the Stone Age's "Go With the Flow." What more can I say?

Colette Bennett

Mika Nakashima
Star

All I am really listening to this week is Mika Nakashima's Star album, which is really good. Theres already some wonderful covers of the songs too out there -- I added a piano version of Always that I am loving in particular.

Jess Chuang

Ai Nonaka
Cheer Ru-Ga


It's totally cellphone ringtone material. During the summer I had a copy of Someone Else as my ringtone and it never failed to draw a reaction when someone called me up at a con. This is similar, just not so extreme. That said, avoid the rest of Nonaka's library if you want to protect any dignity you've got left musically. Or at least, tread with caution. She's quite the squeaker, being a voice actress and all.

Oratorio The World God Only Knows
God Only Knows


It's an abrupt turn from standard generic anime OP/ED pop. I believe Elisa gave her English vocals to this piece, complete with the high-pitched, ethereal chanting that she can do. It's a good match with her tall, ethereal looks that is so drastically different than the average anison personality. Anyways, the song itself is more mashup than melodic, employing some drastic segments that are cobbled together with rhythm changes and flow build-ups. It's refreshing, at least, for an OP to an anime about otaku wares. It's long, at 8 minutes or so. Give it a listen (and then read about it in the cblog).

Ben Huber

Sambomaster
Kimi ni Kirei no Kizuite Okure

This song is so awesome I'm sure how to describe it. It's fun, puts a smile on your face, and you can just tell the band is having a blast playing it.

May'n & Nakajima Megumi
Silent de Nanka Irarenai


Oh boy, here comes the Christmas music. Something about the the combination of May'n (Sheryl) and Megumi's (Ranka) voices and the trumpets makes this song really catchy to me. The whole album isn't too bad as far as Christmas music goes, especially stuff based off anime.

And of course, I've been listening to the new Polysics song as well. SO GOOD.

Mike LeChevallier

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
The Social Network


So I've been sitting here trying to take in the Tron Legacy soundtrack for a review, and all I can think about is how much it pales in comparison to the also electronica-focused OST for The Social Network. I'm not a huge fan of Trent Reznor's work, but damn, this is easily the best original score of the year (yes, I'm including Hans Zimmer's Inception in the context of that statement). Reznor and Ross have put together an incredibly atmospheric set of music that compliments all aspects of David Fincher's film, easily one of the best of the year as well. There's something for everyone on here: soft ambient piano-based tracks that evoke the kind of sadness and isolation felt by the film's hero are placed right alongside bumping, groove-heavy songs emulating the frantic energy on display as the movie's restless characters bounce off each other in a time of chaotic technological expansion. It hasn't left rotation in my car since September.

Josh Tolentino

Supercell
"Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari" (Vocaloid Chorus ver.)

What better way to celebrate the official announcement of an English Vocaloid than to hear a human song covered by a bunch of Vocaloids?

It's Supercell's "Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari" (aka the Bakemonogatari ending song), as sung by the Crypton trio of Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka, and Kagamine Rin, alongside Heartfast's Miki and the 2ch-born UTAUloids Gumi and Namine Ritsu, with a surprise appearance by the song's original human, Nagi.

For bonus transhumanity points, note that this song was the first non-Vocaloid single by Supercell, whose breakout was aided by its for-Vocaloid compositions,and sung by Nagi, a vocalist whose breakout was helped by her Vocaloid song covers. Positive feedback loops rule.

Side note: You may want to turn the volume down a bit. The high notes threatened to blow out my laptop speakers. Hey, I might think they're awesome, but they still ain't human.

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