Amuro Namie: Hello
SHINee : Hello
Lucky me! Three songs that hit the Japanese airwaves all have the English title "Hello". Lucky you, too, 'cuz I'm gonna share them.
The first is by R&B/pop singer Amuro Namie from her 2007 album, Play. Her career reads a lot like Britney Spears': a teen pop idol from the age of 14, she faded a bit after motherhood and divorce, only to rebound strongly by moving to a more mature sound that she calls hip-pop. Like Spears, she isn't afraid to flaunt her naughty sexuality either: the album covers for Play (there are several) all feature Namie brandishing a whip. Yeah, that kind of play, I'm guessing.
The second is straight-up J-rock by L'Arc~en~Ciel vocalist Hyde, from his second solo album, 666. Its lyrics emphasize the urgency he feels at rushing to return to a loved one. To be honest, I always have to check whether any of Hyde's songs are with Laruku or solo since his style doesn't vary much between the two.
The third version highlights one of my latest addictions (I just read yesterday that there are "no guilty pleasures, just pleasures"). SHINee is a Korean pop group that is scratching my itch for well-crafted boy-band pop. I've got this album on repeat in my SUV, which is probably odd, but there you go. I find it's just really addictive. They've just released this song in Japanese for their primary market, but I think I like the Korean sound better.