Thursday, December 8, 2011

Offbeat Holiday Music: A J-Rock Christmas

DBSK: Silent Night


B'z: Itsuka No Merry Christmas


GLAY : Karera no HOLY X'MAS


Kiyoharu: Christmas


Tell me you're surprised that I'm posting J-Rock Christmas songs. I've got lo-o-o-ots! Clearly, being a Buddhist/Shinto nation doesn't preclude embracing the Christmas spirit. I can personally attest that in early November, the Starbucks in Kanazawa, Japan, was cheerily blasting out Dean Martin's Let It Snow! despite the warm fall weather.

Japanese musicians seem to crank out just as much Christmas music as their western counterparts (probably for the same reasons). The quality is comparable as well, but I've spared you the truly horrific stuff, like the cover of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by the metal band Nightmare.

The first selection isn't actually J-Rock, though, it's K-Pop. DBSK was a highly popular Korean boy band who made it big in Japan about 6 years ago, but recently broke up. Everyone's holiday collection needs a German carol sung in Japanese by a Korean boy band, right? You'd be the only one on your block playing it, that's for sure.

The next two are pretty straightforward, original Christmas-themed songs by big-name J-Rock bands. Every now and then, the seasonal English words shine through: dah dah dah dah dah Merry Christmas!

That last one, by one of my fav singers, Kiyoharu, sounds like the kind of Christmas song you'd play just before deciding to top yourself. I mean, I do actually like it, but it's awfully grim going for what's supposed to be an uplifting season. Apparently some of the lyrics translate to: I made a wish and touched my rosary; let's kiss. I smiled at the transparent blue orchid. You are my Christmas, running along my frozen skin. Er, yeah, well it does have the requisite (English) holiday words in it:

Merry Christmas!

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