Actually Fantastic J-Pop
By Rock and Roll Forever!
You know, for a long time, I felt really conflicted about Japanese music. It's a fact that the Idol industry is an atrocious sexist institution that Japan would be better off without. Madoka Magica, the opening of which is the centerpiece of this album, "Connect," makes that argument very subtley. If there was ever an example of how to do the whole "Idol" thing correctly, its ClariS, and you can learn all about that elsewhere. The actual singers are pretty much shrouded in mystery, all I know is that they're ridiculously young, or at least they were when this came out. Their approach to "idoldom" is fantastic because it relies on the music and not appearances. And that music is pretty fantastic.
It took me a few listens to really get into this album and it didn't help that its nearly an hour long. I'm not used to listening to a lot of pop, I more of noise rock, shoegaze, punk rock, post punk and psychedelic rock kind of guy. But I loved this album, and not just the two tracks I recognized from anime! These are ridiculously interesting songs, they each have quite a few things going on musically. Check out the rhythm guitar(?) on promise, to use an example from a track not affiliated with an anime. The highlight, however, is always Claire and Alice's vocals.The songs that were used in anime, especially Connect and Naisho no Hanashii, are going to be the favorites, but the rest of the album is much much more than just filler. I just want to say that Naisho no Hanashii rocks out in magnificent fashion. This is an extremely charming album and I'm glad that it is part of my life