I recently spent a brief period obsessed with J Pop, that genre of Japanese pop music that is the result of Japanese assimilation/interpretation of American and European pop music. My obsession has wained simply because I found most of the music pretty boring.
Ultimately, I did discover a couple of artists I find extremely intriguing.
Color Filter probably does not qualify as J Pop - they seem too serious. But since I discovered them on a Japanese label website (Happiness Records) that featured several J Pop performers, I'm going to call them neo-j pop. Color Filter is led by nuclear physicist/multi instrumentalist Ryuji Tsuneyoshi. Vocals are by Yuki Nishimura. They have just released a new album in Japan called Blueberry. (Doesn't seem to be an American release scheduled, although their earlier albums were released on Darla.)
I am posting a track from their last album, called Silent Way.
Color Filter - Strange Day
Find out more about Color Filter at their website.
Purchase Silent Way at Pointy Records.
I found Sucrette via MySpace, and I don't know much about them (everything is in Japanese). I do know they have a fascinating take on French yeh-yeh pop. This song is from their new album, C'est Si Bon.
Sucrette - Sweet Magic
Check out Sucrette on MySpace
Purchase C'est Si Bon at Amazon Japan
Check out the Itunes Podcast called the JPopcast Show with DJ San Fran & Christine Miguel to hear more J Pop than you'll ever need.
I continue to be fascinated with J Pop's utterly uncritical embrace of other genres of pop music, so, if anyone has any J Pop suggestions for me, please email them. I'm very interested in learning more.