Music video: Jin Akanishi - Sun burns down

I wonder how many J-flops it will take for Japan to realize that you can't just conform a J-artist to the Western market and expect them to sell.

Jin Akanishi was sexy, charismatic and had a magnetism about him during his KAT-TUN days. Early on it was clear that guy was going to out grow that group and branch out on his own. He had this uniqueness to him that just put him front, center, forward and above all of the other members. In interviews and variety shows, you saw a side to him you never saw in music videos - which was that he was a prankster who liked to have fun. He was a bit of an idiot, but in the most endearing way. Oh...and he could dance real good too. These qualities are what made Jin...Jin. It's what made him a star. So to strip that all away and have him hide his face behind giant shades, over sized down jackets and feature obscure lighting is baffling to me. This song could be sung by any dude. The video could be featuring any dude. Nothing about either of them feel remotely unique to Jin. It's a real shame, because I really like the song. Jin's voice sounds good over the beat. But with nothing Jin is doing on the song and in the video elevating it past being just another one of those records with that type of video which barely looks any different to "Test drive", this shit won't do what Jin's people want it to.

I hope he's still tight with Johnny and dem KAT-TUN boys. I smell a run back with tails between legs and errrthang. Johnny won't take him back without some payback though. So I hope Jin's gag reflex is on point.

1 comment:

  1. Considering that few Japanese artists have bothered with the US market, as compared to k-pop artists who are throwing themselves at the US, I wouldn't be surprised if Jin was more interested in the experience of working in the US than actual success. Like, "Here's something for my American fans, going back to Japan to take care of wifey and baby". At least, it's a plausible explanation if he's as involved in the music making process as the fans claim he is - I don't know much about him.

    The song is stock, but maybe it's better to be generic and get your foot in the door than be original and risk not getting anyone on board. As much as I love my Asian pop music, it's got such a cultural bent to it that you almost HAVE to strip away some of its uniqueness to make it sell in the US, because they don't know what to do with "culture". It's too different for them to deal with, so they just exoticize it and shoving it into a "niche" instead of actually engaging with it and enjoying it on its merits. And that's the fault either of a close-minded mainstream audience, or close-minded industry execs who won't put down dollars to promote an artist doing something musically and culturally different. Sucks, but that's the grand old US of A for you - cultural hegemony at its finest.


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