So I had this great idea a couple of weeks ago. Bored and repulsed by just about everything on Australian radio, I decided to devote my blog to the only region currently churning out great pop music with any regularity - Asia. The plan was pretty simple. I would hold a month long Asian pop festival featuring a selection of my favourite Japanese and Korean acts. I knew it would turn off a lot of readers but I've never let that stop me in the past. The first step was supposed to be easy. I needed a glamorous new banner to herald my brief transformation and reasoned that nobody represents Asian appreciation better than Miley Cyrus. In retrospect, it probably wasn't my wisest decision. The intention was to take the piss out Miley-gate (and rail against militant political correctness in the process) but I ran the design (above) by my Vietnamese BFF, who advised me against it - after she had finished laughing.
After binning Miley, I settled on something more inclusive and universal - smut. My second attempt at a new banner would simply feature some random dude wearing as little as possible. Easy, right? I thought so too before wading through a small mountain of porn to find an image that was sleazy without being too lewd. Do an unfiltered Google search for "Hot Asian Guys" to see what I mean! The final product (above) wasn't going to win me any awards but I was reasonably happy with it. On a whim, I decided to run it by a different friend who remarked that it looked like "a poster for a Thai sex holiday". Charming. By that stage my enthusiasm for the whole concept had started to wane. Everyone I had mentioned it to expressed a distinct lack of interest and somewhere along the way it all just became too hard, so I canned the idea altogether. Despite the fact that my Asian pop festival was a massive flop before it even started, it hasn't affected my love for the music. So instead of devoting an entire month to the genre, I'm simply going to feature Asian pop stars more regularly - starting with the Queen of Japanese dance (and Kylie's #1 fan) Ami Suzki.
I've written more about Ami than any other Japanese pop star on this blog. It's no exaggeration to say that she's one of my very favourite divas making music today. Her past two albums have been sublime and I'm still working on reviewing her latest opus "Supreme Show". That post will happen (I hope) but in the meantime, Ami has gone and recorded new music for an upcoming greatest hits compilation. Her new song "Reincarnation" was released in Japan this week and it represents a radical change in sound. No surprise given the absence of her usual producer Yasutaka Nakata (the current king of Japanese techno-pop). It took me some time to get into "Reincarnation", and while I still think it lacks the grandeur of "Free Free" or "One", it's nevertheless a great pop song. M-Flo's production is heavier and less melodic but there's no denying the originality on display. I just think the track needs a good edit. At close to 6 minutes, "Reincarnation" sounds more like an extended club mix than a pop song. Happily, the video clip (below) is something of a triumph. Ami looks lovely, the photography is gorgeous and there can be no claims of plagiarism this time around. Enjoy!