Music video: Grimes - REALiTi

I have a soft spot for artists who willingly release material that they know will not make an album, as history has shown that album left overs can turn up gold and Grimes' "REALiTi" is one of such songs.

Canadian pop star Grimes' last album release was Visions in 2012. Since then she has been touring Asia and recording for her follow up, which is what sparked her to release this gem of a song to her fans who have been waiting patiently for some new material.

Grimes had stated that "REALiTi" will not make her upcoming album, and the reasoning behind the song not making the cut has nothing to do with label politics, but technology and a lack of keeping tabs on files.
This song was never finished. its a demo from ~ the lost album ~, recorded early 2013. i lost the ableton file, so its not mixed or mastered. i tried to doctor the mp3 into a listenable state, but it was poorly recorded in the first place and never meant to be heard by anyone, so its a bit of a mess haha.
The lesson here? Save your shit. Archive your shit. Back-up your shit. ALWAYS.

Audio fidelity may bug Grimes, but there is not a thing wrong with what I hear. Here's to hoping that she re-records this song in a state she deems acceptable for a mastered release or that she just changes her mind and places the song on her new album as is; because leaving "REALiTi" off of an album would be a crime. It's easily one of her best songs and one of her most radio friendly.

I shed a tear as I watched this video and listened to this song, because this is the kind of swag I wish my girl MiChi was back on again. *Sighs loudly and clutches pillow*

Music video: Ga-in - Paradise lost

Ga-in has pretty much elevated herself from Brown eyed girls entirely, by being one of the most alluring members whenever she goes solo. Between her being the most active member of the group (this is her 4th solo stint) and not being shy to flaunt her sexuality which has in turn led to her walking through the fire of controversy, Ga-in is at a stage where she can pretty much do whatever she likes. Its safe at this point to say that she very much has her own style and angle when it comes to her solo material, which never fails to illicit a strong reaction.

Never one to shy from sex, Ga-in's solo efforts have been largely focused on the matter and "Paradise lost" is no exception. Here, Ga-in refers to her pussy as a diamond, opens her legs with the camera aimed right at her vagina and sits on the floor whilst guys writhe naked around her; all to a musical backdrop which bares resemblance to Simon Haseley's "Hammerhead" - making it a nice fit for a Bond or a Batman movie.

As per "Bloom", "Irreversible" and "Fuck U", Ga-in pulls everything off effortlessly. Ga-in is a bad bitch.

Album arts & tracklisting: Ayumi Hamasaki - A One

Ayumi Hamasaki - A One | Random J Pop

Ayumi's 16th studio album will be titled A One, as in the paper size. Paper being the one thing she won't be making with this album. The new set will drop on April 8th and feature the singles "Zutto...", "Last minute" and "Walk".

During my last trip Japan I threw a 100 Yen coin into a fountain for this woman in the hopes she would make some attempt at updating her sound and delivering something new. Then I returned home to hear previews of her album and realised that Ayu is still hell bent on dragging her sound into irrelevance with a bunch of songs which sound exactly the same as what she's been doing for years and years with no difference between them. A One doesn't sound bad. It just sounds boring. Even worse, it's a regressive step from Colours.

Single arts & tracklist: Perfume - Relax in the city / Pick me up

Perfume - Relax in the city / Pick me up | Random J Pop

For Perfume's 21st single Relax in the city / Pick me up, fans have already drawn comparisons to their 13th single - double A-side release Laser beam / Kasuka na kaori and it's not difficult to see why. Whilst the "Relax in the city" and "Kasuka na kaori" connection is blatantly obvious. "Pick me up" isn't such a copy and paste job of "Laser beam", but instead looks like a cross between "Fushizen na girl" and "Glitter" with a touch of the "Sleeping beauty" intermission for their LEVEL3 4th tour in dome gig. If the song itself happens to be as good as any of the aforementioned, then we'll be in for a treat. Hopefully Perfume's choreography Mikiko will put them to work for the dance routine, because I'm not expecting anything noteworthy from "Relax in the city". Although I would love to be blindsighted and made to eat my words.

Music video: Ciara - I bet

There's only so much of Ciara having a seizure on a white sound stage and cocking her legs open that one can take. She did it in the music video for "Like a boy". She did it in "Love, Sex & Magic". She did it again with "Ride". Aaaaaaand, she's gone and done it again.

With a song like "I bet", Ciara could have given us something gritty and literal to match the song, or something highly stylised and conceptual. Instead we got something which was nothing more than commercial for her weave, her threaded eyebrows and a Sony Xperia. Where is that girl who gave me fly ass videos for "Work" and "Go girl"?

Jermaine Dupri has called out Ciara concerning the similarities between Usher's "U got it bad" (which he co-wrote and produced) and Ciara's "I bet". It was only a matter of time, because it's something that many had flagged because...they do sound alike. Jermaine gave his 2 pence on the whole Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Marvin Gaye situation, which then sparked him to comment on the likeness between Usher's 2001 smash single and Ciara's latest.

Music video: Björk - Family

Ever since the 2 month premature leak of her 9th studio album Vulnicura Björk has been the gift that keeps giving. Officially dropping the album on iTunes way ahead of its planned release date, announcing gigs, having a career retrospective be placed in MoMA and now a steady drip feed of visuals.

The first official music video from Vulnicura is actually "Lionsong". But Björk is never one to skimp on the visual elements of her music and has therefore filmed visuals to other songs, not all of which will be singles. The purpose of these videos isn't solely to promote the songs as singles, but for Björk to create tangible points of contact to the world of which she has created, which her fans to physically interact with. Her visual for "Black lake" is part of an installation at MoMA, whilst her visual for "Stonemilker" was shot for the use of the virtual reality headset Oculus rift.

Perfume get drunk in a forest to promote their new single "Relax in the city"

Perfume - Relax in the city / Perfume: Green aroma | Random J Pop

Perfume fans rejoice. The "Cling cling" era is finally over! Throw those Chun-Li dresses on a bonfire.

Perfume's 21st single will be a double A-side: featuring "Relax in the city" and "Pick me up", the former of which will be promoted in conjunction with a product tie-in. Beer.

Music video: Carly Rae Jepsen - I really like you

With the ridiculous success of "Call me maybe", the term 'One hit wonder' was thrown around Carly Rae Jepsen like rice at a wedding. It's understandable given that none of her follow up singles managed to touch the level of success that "Call me maybe" had reached, but it may have been a little unfair to think than any other song of hers could.

After some time off, Carly Rae is back, and from the sounds of things she has another hit on her hands. Of "Call me maybe" proportions? Nope. But enough to secure herself a career which involves releasing music and not simply living off of the royalties of her 2011 smash - although she will / is doing so regardless.

"I really like you" is features a chorus which features the words 'really' so many times that it will drill itself into your cerebral and take up residence there for the next few months, leaving no room for anything Carly Rae Jepsen releases for another 3 years. With Taylor Swift having gone all 80s big beat with her album 1989, Carly is bound to draw comparisons to the Pennsylvanian pop star; despite everybody and their mother jumping on the 80s pop bandwagon post 2005.

The video to the song unfortunately doesn't do the song a great justice. As lovable as Tom Hanks (usually) is, he did not seem into this video. I couldn't help but stare at his face, which seemed about as expression reflexive as Mickey Rourke's. Tom Hanky Boo-Boo has clearly been shot in the face with Botox. But this video speaks a lot about Carly Rae, that she was absolutely okay with not appearing in the video until the end, and even then she's swarmed by popular Viners, extras and Justin Bieber. Pretty much anything that can draw the attention away from her.

Music video: Jolin Tsai & Namie Amuro - I'm not yours

Jolin Tsai is on a fucking roll. She has been consistently rolling out with music videos created on a budget that top tier chicks in J-Pop haven't been able to get since 2009.

In "Medusa" she strutted in looking like the Queen of Versace (Bye Gaga). In "Play" Jolin drew us into her own Simlish type world for a video which was genuinely funny, and for "I'm not yours" Jolin bosses with her bad bitches in a setting which looks like some Chinese brothel, with none other than Namie Amuro playing her chief madame. Ayumi Hamasaki is wishing she had gotten this video treatment for "XOXO" and Kumi Koda is looking for the ship that sailed that is her Japonesque album and wondering why she didn't shoot a video like this.

Namie's English continues to baffle me. There I was singing her praises after hearing "Alive" and "La la la" from her album Feel, then she comes with her 'Mirror mirror of the world' and misspells the word 'GIRL'. I know the misspelling is not her fault, as Jolin wrote the lyrics, but she's asking to be trolled with that one. I can't speak for how well Namie handled the Mandarin, but I like how she sounds singing in it.

It would have been nice to see Jolin and Namie dance together, but Jolin probably had to pay her a 6 zero figure just to get her to turn up for the shoot and sit on a couch with a fan. But Namie did look hairboonly, as did Jolin, and the song's not too shabby neither.

Avan Lava - Leave it all behind & Wanna live

Avan Lava - Leave it all behind & Wanna live | Random J Pop

With the upcoming release of their EP Make it real, Avan Lava have been extremely generous in allowing fans to hear full songs off of it ahead of its March 31st release date, and from the sounds of things Avan Lava have just one thing on their minds: Dancing and fuck all else.

Dance has also been at the core of Avan Lava's material, but within different spheres. Their amazing 2012 EP Flex fantasy focused on 80s pop with hints of Balearic beat. Between then and now Avan Lava had dipped into some house and even some trap. But the watch word for Make it real seems to be euphoric dance, with rave inspired synth lines, progressive builds and sub bass lines being the order of the day.

"Leave it all behind" and "Wanna live" are both different sides of the same coin. Lyrics about leaving all of your emotional baggage at the cloakroom and letting loose on the dance floor. "Leave it all behind" is offset by a fast paced dark and ominous groove. If we want to liken it to a dance move, then it's straight up head down, hair whipping from left to right with an occasional 2 step and a fast whine alone in a corner of the dancefloor. Whereby "Wanna live" is pure euphoria: hands up and fist pumping until you've sweated through every layer of your clothes.

For those of you who are currently wired into Capsule's Wave runner album, you'll find solace in these songs. Especially "Wanna live" which has a "Unrequited love" vibe going for it.

Leave it all behind

Wanna live

Music video: Capsule - Another world

Capsule are really trying to do the promotional thing with this Wave runner album. Bless their hearts. It's just too bad that the whole thing sounds so generic. The good news is that Toshiko gets to sing on this album, because Nakata left her out in the cold for CAPS LOCK.

The music video for "Another world" is directed by Kazuaki Seki and features work from Daito Manabe of the Rhizomatiks; both of whom are most notable for their work with Perfume. That right there should be a recipe for an amazing video. But instead we get this drone nonsense.

Apparently this video is the fruits of a concept that Nakata had in mind when producing the song. Po' thing. He needs to stick to beats and leave the visuals to...the visual team. Dude is clearly losing his shit. I'd be all for a Nakata getting laced with box braids and being shipped off to Barbados for a TV series titled 'How Nakata got his groove back'.

Miming Mimi's stage game gets messier by the second

Miming Mimi's stage game gets messier by the second | Random J Pop

Ever since Mariah decided to embark on a tour and grace the world with her deteriorating vocals, her now well documented messy stage game has completely overshadowed the facts that:
  • This is Mariah's first tour in FOREVER (which should have been a good news for fans who had been waiting to see her tour).
  • Her latest album (despite flopping commercially) is actually quite good. 
Mariah's live stage game has been questionable for some time now, but her stint on this tour has cancelled all questions and left the jury out for lunch having made their verdict early. Mariah can not keep her shit together consistently live. Home girl can't even lip sync. If she were to be put in front of RuPaul to lip sync for her life, Miss Carey would be sashaying away 30 seconds in.