Lovely Songs was the second album by idol-pop singer 柏原芳恵. while she's not my favorite idol-pop singer, (even by a long shot) her voice is absolutely seductive. i also think the production of her songs on this album is practically perfect in every way. this is certainly an album i would suggest to anyone just getting into idol-pop. it's gentle and cute, and "lovey dovey". not much to it, really, but it's so much fun to listen to.

1. ファ-スト・メモリー
2. フィフティー ン・ラブ
3. ショート・ストーリー
4. 私のミュージシャン
5. ガラスの夏
6. 夏は危険信号
7. 未来飛行
8. あなたのリトル・ハーフ
9. サマー・ヴァケイション
10. P.S.S.=心の追伸


太田貴子 - 200%

200% is an album by the idol-pop singer 太田貴子. unlike some previous idol-pop albums i've posted, this is indeed something with depth. the songs here are as bleak as i've ever heard in any idol-pop (it's level of crushing sadness is on the level of something like fiction or G-Schmitt). almost every song here is filled with the most intense longing. if i was to relate it to another idol-pop album, i'd probably say it was most like Dancin' In The Light by 河合その子. this probably isn't quite as foreboding, but it most certainly comes close with songs like "The Changes You Give Me" and 忘れチャイナの青い鳥; dark melancholy behind visages of pop music.

(also, what a completely misleading cover.)

1. COOLな人魚
2. 気分は ミ・ス・ト・レ・ス
3. どけて!!(DANCE AWAY)
4. とりあえず Night more
5. 遅れてきた BIRTH DAY
6. 忘れチャイナの青い鳥
7. Voice Stranger
8. ハロー MR.イエスタディ
9. The Changes You Give Me
10. 夏を待つ少年



プリンセス・プリンセス - LOVERS

LOVERS is my favorite album by the all female early 1980s pop-rock group プリンセス・プリンセス. プリプリ released quite a few albums and, as far as i know, they were very popular. their sound was absolutely adorable, and i can't believe they aren't more popular nowadays.

the album cover of this album is a bit misleading; the songs are not as bleak and brooding as the cover would suggest.

1. ムーンライト・ストーリー
2. 友達のまま
3. ディン・ドン
4. レイン
5. 恋に落ちたら
6. スパイ・イン・ラヴ
7. シェイク・イット・オフ
8. パパ
9. 海賊と私
10. パレードしようよ




POISON is another album by the the always brilliant REBECCA. this album features their melancholic single "MOON" (the lyrics of this song have something to do with a girl destroying her life). the whole album remains fairly low-tempo, and very somber (except for the giddy "CHERRY SHUFFLE"). i think the best example of this is the rather pensive 真夏の雨. however, i think my favorite track is the incredibly tight final track, "OLIVE". it's phenomenal.

3. 真夏の雨



少女人形 - 愛の嵐

愛の嵐 is an incredible album by 少女人形, a hardcore band with many post-punk influences. though they didn't start out as a band with any post-punk influences, by this album they had become very post-punk. that actually seems to be a common theme with hardcore bands in japan (even The Stalin put out a post-punk album (FISH INN)).

everything about this is perfect. one of my favorite albums as of late.

1. Lost Lost
2. Inside Reality
3. Kill Age
4. Shining
5. Moon Light Love



空想科学病人~紙とメモ紙~ - 病人車「躁」

essentially no information exists in english about this band (not even any pictures besides the one i've used seem to exist). so, if anyone can help me with info about them then that would be swell.

anyways, this is their EP 病人車「躁」. it's a mix of trash metal and hardcore punk. it's really, really good.

1. 乙女はエログロマニアック
2. 地雷少女
3. 電気先導者
4. 素敵な殺しや


深山 - 深山

深山 is the self-titled album by Deep Mountains (i'm not sure the proper way to tag them). they're a much more recent band in the blossoming chinese black metal scene. the music is incredibly polished and produced, and the sound evokes a deep forest more so than deep mountains (and not only because of the many forest sound samples (see: chirping birds, rustling branches, wind, and what sounds like an animal howling at one point)).

each track on this album is long and dramatic. it's very much guitar driven, and when there is feedback it sounds clean, and it's not buried in static. so, it's really quite unlike the previous black metal albums i've posted. nonetheless, this is very good. i think my favorite track would have to be 松林赋. the outro to that song is particularly delicious.

1. 序曲·思雨
2. 山魂
3. 远山
4. 松林赋
5. 夜之蔓延
6. 天葬



Forseti - JENZIG

Jenzig is, as far as i'm concerned, the seminal work of Andreas Ritter (aka Forseti). of course, even though his first album ended up being his best, his other two were also masterpieces. Forseti never failed to satisfy even for a moment while he was still recording; as far as i'm aware, he is currently in a comatose state. i've also heard that it's worse than that, and that he's actually vegetative. nonetheless, no other neofolk artist has ever surpassed what Forseti achieved on this album (unless you're willing to count 井内賢吾 as neofolk).

the mood here is not quite so somber or brooding as his later albums. instead, this is a very lighthearted record that evokes a childlike spring. which, of course, is odd for neofolk. regardless, this is the best of the best; it doesn't matter in the slightest that every other neofolk musician is pining for death and destruction and a melancholic autumn. i listen to Jenzig and i feel full of joy, and i feel refreshed. the most obvious examples of this joyful nature are on the opening track and perhaps "Heilige Welt".

every song here is perfect. i can't imagine anyone disliking this.

1. Gesang der Jünglinge
2. Am Abend
3. Heilige Welt
4. Abschied
5. Erlkönig
6. Wolfszeit
7. Jenzig
8. Jenzig II



cali≠gari - 第2実験室

第2実験室 is, as far as i'm concerned, the best album that the legendary cali≠gari ever put out. cali≠gari started out as a band with eroguro themes, after the literary movement in the 1920s/30s in japan. of course, as a reader of this blog i'm sure you already know a thing or two about eroguro, so i won't go into that.

instead, i'll just talk about the music that they present here. cali≠gari has had two eras of music, one being with one vocalist, and the other being with the vocalist to follow (both were named Shuuji). the sound that they used is also different, even though Ao remained the primary song writer throughout their entire time together. maybe he was inspired by the second Shuuji's vocals to start making a new sound? whatever the reason, after the first Shuuji left, Ao started writing more poppy, funky songs, with a strong jazz influence.

of course, this album was still very, very early on in the band's career, so the post-punk sound was still very strong. and every song on this album is perfect. it's easily one of my favorite albums of all time, and it's what got me into the japanese post-punk scene.
while the music is distinctly post-punk, much of it seems to be strongly inspired by enka music, and other styles of music from the beginning of the second shōwa period. this is probably due to the eroguro themes (of course, i don't speak japanese, so i wouldn't know just how eroguro the lyrics are, but later cali≠gari lyrics still held a strong eroguro theme . . . not like that has any bearing on the sound).

the album starts with a pulsing beat. this sound is present at the beginning of almost every release by the band. this sound would later become echoing footsteps, starting with 第3実験室. the pounding beat is broken by Shuuji's frantic screaming, shouting, and whimpering vocals. the music slowly breaks down near the end of the song (Shuuji's vocals turn into nonsensical whimpering, hissing, and crying, and the guitars are almost all feedback). absolute chaos. but, while the album can be insane, loud, and threatening, it also is very beautiful; half of the tracks are delicate pieces with strong 1980s idol ballad influences. my favorite track is the heart wrenching "オヤスミナサイ". the sounds presented on this track seem to be from a different time, and a simpler place (at least ideally).

download this now or be detested.

1. ギロチン
2. 嘔吐
3. 腐った魚
4. 通り魔の季節
5. オヤスミナサイ
6. 人間ポンプ




FLOWERS is an album by Der Zibet frontman, Issay. it's different from Der Zibet in that it has no post-punk influences. it may have some proto-punk influences, but otherwise it's very much a pop album. and a very good one at that. it's incredibly gentle music. it feels like i should be sitting on a beach during the evening, with swaying palm-trees and a softly whispering breeze blowing back my hair. weird imagery, and you might not get this, but it's how it made me feel. don't ask.

there are some genuinely strange sounds going on here. for example, in the track 時には母のない子の様に. it has some accordions (i think) but the drumming and synths make it feel so primal and earthy. but, i think my favorite track would have to be 悲しくてやりきれない. it's so luscious.

most certainly something that a fan of 土屋昌巳 or GUNIW TOOLS would enjoy.

1. あかずの踏切り
2. いとしのマックス
3. 夜と朝のあいだに
4. 悲しくてやりきれない
5. 恋のハレルヤ
6. 時には母のない子の様に
7. 朝までまてない
8. 時の過ぎゆくままに
9. 宵待草
10. 花が咲いて
11. シーサイドバウンド




ZERO:HOUR is, as far as i'm concerned, one of the most flawless post-punk records in existence. every song is perfect. this is almost more like pop-post-punk, though, honestly. every song is so catchy, not a single one is really all that dark (there are two ballads near the end, but that's about as close as it gets to being dark and suicidal, like most of the other post-punk and goth that i post here). it's very uplifting stuff, like listening to The Cure's first album or something like that.

my favorite song is most certainly the second track "Sexaroid Insane" and the 4th track, "薔薇心中". so fucking catchy.

1. I Wanna Get It
2. Sexaroid Insane
3. From Beyond
4. 薔薇心中
5. Ironical Agitation
6. Psychic Force
7. Paradise Lost
8. タイトル無し




here's OFF MASK 00's album, SONIC COLD CRAZY REACTION, put out by Selfish Records in 1986. Selfish Records also put out albums by the likes of The Execute, Death Side, S.O.B., Gauze, and 愚鈍.

this is a really special album right here, people. it's very, very difficult to describe using only genres. but, basically, it's really spastic punk with heavy feedback and lines of static all over the place. there may be some influence of hardcore here and there, but it's minimal.

the vocals are the part that drive me crazy. they're high pitched and whining and very feminine. they're so wonderful. since i discovered this band a while back the vocalist has become one of my all time favorites.

1. Are You Ready?
2. Sonic Cold Crazy Reaction
3. ナンシー・シンナー
4. Highway Splatter (Baby!)
5. アンモニア
6. サンパクガン
7. パラノイア
8. さかさま
9. Love '86
10. Punch Drunker
11. I Don't Wanna Be Your Dog



Rosen Kreuz - C.O.L.D 91001

C.O.L.D 91001 is a brilliant album by Rosen Kreuz. Rosen Kreuz played post-punk music with heavy synths and pounding military beats, as well as gorgeous acoustic guitars. the vocalist switches between screeching and gentle crooning.

you need to check this out if you like stuff like EX-ANS or any of the other male driven goth and post-punk groups from the 1980s.

Another Trap

Decay The Body

White Girl

Phantom Lover

Black More

Pale Moonlight

Darkness Sanctuary

You're My Hammer

Head Achy Egoist

Song My Labyrinth