Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mononymic Artists: Gackt and Hyde

Hyde (left) and Gackt bask in their hotness...ah, of the Orange Sun, I mean.

Gackt & Hyde: Orenji no Taiyou (The Orange Sun)


Gackt: Freesia ~op.1~


At dusk, I beheld the orange sun with you.
With a tear-streaked face, you bid an eternal farewell.

I can’t love you any more than I do, and just by that, I feel complete.
So don’t cry, we can always meet again whenever we close our eyes...

Could you hear me squee when boyhowdy announced this week's theme? 'Cuz guess what, SMM fans? J-rockers, bless their hearts, rival western rap/hip-hop musicians in that nearly all of them go by single names. That means either you're gonna get an earful of new j-rock music this week, or your finger's gonna get some fruitful exercise looking for that scroll key. Win-win, right?

Gackt, aka Gakuto Kamui, is one of the most successful J-Pop/Rock singers in Japan. Hyde, born Hideto Takarai, is the vocalist for the hugely popular band L'Arc~en~Ciel. Together they wrote and starred in a pretty strange 2003 film, Moon Child (that I actually own), in which all of the cast but one ends up dead or, well, undead. Orenji no Taiyou is the film's theme song.

And you know what? I think it's utterly gorgeous. It's unusual in any genre to have two guys sing a stunning ballad like this. Check out how well matched their voices are, especially at the climax around the 5-minute mark. I know both of their tones pretty well, and even then I have a hard time working out who's who (Gackt takes the high part). You can hear his beautiful baritone strutting its stuff in the second song, from his 2000 album, Mars.

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