Music Rewind: The Mid-Year Review

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I have reached my 50th post with the last post, “Music Reactions: Celebrating the 4th of July by Listening to Oldies“.. By July 5th, 2015, ☆ai love music☆ has had 1,277 views and 721 visitors. I want to say a special and big thank you to each and every one of you guys who have visited this blog. Without you, I would have stopped writing by the second post.

Thanks again! A special thank you for those who commented on an entry! Those comments helped me a lot. Please, if you have a chance to do so, please comment on any entries as I want to know what you guys like and to see if I am any good at writing.

I usually don’t do Music Rewind on WordPress because I usually revisit older blog entries mainly on other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). However, since this a special post, I want to write one here too.

Today’s Music Rewind is a look back at the five most popular posts on ☆ai love music☆. This idea was inspired by the Japanese music chart Oricon. These charts do a mid-year review of the top 100 singles and albums in Japan.

Without further ado, here they are!

5. A Blast From the Past: The Year of Anime Music [Part 2] {June 28)

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The 90s were all about this woman! You literally could not watch an anime series that did not have Hayashibara Megumi as some sort of character. Being immensely popular in the voice acting world, Hayashibara also enjoyed a successful music career, singing various theme songs to memorable anime series…

Ahhh, “”Rashiku” Ikimasho”. Actually, any Sailor Moon song is always on the top of anison/anime song lists because I loooooooooooooove Sailor Moon. I also loooooooooooooove the song featured today. The ending to the fourth season of the super popular girls’ series “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon”, “”Rashiku” Ikimasho” is a fun, poppy song that fits the character of Sailor Chibi Moon perfectly… [Read More]

4. 11 Years of Thanks (March 6)

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A couple of days ago, one of the longest running idol groups in Japan held their farewell concert at the Nippon Budoukan with thousands of fans attending. Personally, I been a fan since they released their debut single in 2004; watching these once elementary school girls grow into beautiful ladies. During the years, their music even spread across the globe in various places like the USA, France, Thailand, and beyond. [Read More]

3. Remembering a Hidden Talent (January 25)

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There has been a great deal of news, either good or bad, in our lives and around the world in the last week. None more shocking than the death of Russian singer Origa on January 17. A talent that has been heard by less than ten percent of the world’s population but snuffed away too soon. Let’s take a moment to reflect on and remember Origa’s beloved career. [Read More]

2. Live Music Report: LinQ Promotional Event at Aeon Mall Nagoya Dome Mae (May 1, 2015) (May 10)

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LinQ is a Japanese girl “idol” group that has about thirty or more members that are from the Kyushu (or southern Japan) region. They been around for about four years, releasing their first single “Hajimemashite” in the fall of 2011. The group been under three different labels; their own label (2011), Tower Records’ own indies idol label T-Palette (2011-2013), and on the major label Warner Records (2013-now). Even though they been through the whole changing label dance, the group still has kept their original sound; the sugary, popish idol music you usually find in AKB48 and other modern day pop idol groups in Japan. [Read More]

1. Milk & Honey – “Prove Your Love” (January 7)

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We are going to cross the ocean from Mexico to Europe to listen to the distinct sounds of Milk & Honey. Formed in 2006, Milk & Honey is a two-member group from Germany. However, they are quite diverse as they have released material in French, German, Arabic, and English. The members, Anne Ross and Manel Filali, had some entertainment-related experiences before creating Milk & Honey. Anne Ross was a former member of the German girl band Preluders, which was created from contestants on the German edition of Popstars. [Read More]

Remembering a Hidden Talent

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“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

There has been a great deal of news, either good or bad, in our lives and around the world in the last week. None more shocking than the death of Russian singer Origa on January 17. A talent that has been heard by less than ten percent of the world’s population but snuffed away too soon. Let’s take a moment to reflect on and remember Origa’s beloved career.

Maybe you have heard this voice on your television, if you have cable TV, or on the internet. Maybe not. I do believe she was only well-known in the Japanese, Russian, and anime communities. But, how she rose to fame during the 2000s in these communities is as normal as any other artists. After graduating from music school in Russia around 1990, Origa (original name is Olga/Ольга) decided to pursue a music career in Japan. It didn’t take long when she got a contract with a music agency in 1991 and released her self-titled debut album four years later. Japanese rock musician Hamada Shogo described Origa’s voice to be beautiful and angel-like when they worked together for the 1995 charity single “Waga Kokoro no Maria”. She went on to team up with legendary anime music composer Yoko Kanno to sing the theme songs of the popular video game turned anime series “Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex” in 2002. She later released other video game or anime-related songs that were composed by Yoko Kanno, who became a dear friend to Origa.

First Opening: “Inner Universe”

To tell you the truth, I don’t know much of Origa’s music except what she released for “Ghost in the Shell”. I used to watch a lot of anime back when I was in middle and high school. And one anime-themed TV block that I frequently watched was Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim”. I remember when “Ghost in the Shell” first premiered on Adult Swim. I will never forget when I first listened to Origa’s “Inner Universe” and instantly became mesmerized.  The song fits the show’s dark, futuristic, and war-like premise as the melody is full of electronic instruments that has an eerie presence. What adds to the mystery is the vocals; with the pureness of boy soprano Ben Del Maestro and Origa’s seraphic/angel-like sound. Every time I listen to “inner Universe”. I always think that. maybe. one of the song’s underlying themes is that you can always get something beautiful and good from darkness.

Second Opening: “Rise”

I can also admit that I never really watched “Ghost the Shell” past the opening part. Unlike “Inner Universe”, the show (or the original Playstation game, in fact) didn’t really catch my attention. I don’t really enjoy war or shooter-type things. I am not THAT type of girl. However, the show’s second opening, “Rise”, turns the tables as the song has a “hard electronic meets rock”, down-to-earth sound that is so different compared to “Inner Universe”. Origa’s versatility is shown here as her voice goes back and forth from an earthly, alto one in the verses to a pure, high one in the chorus. I love the melodic turns in the chorus takes, it’s quite breathtaking.

Like the Jane Austin quote from above, let’s remember this hidden jewel with an angelic voice by not mourning on what the world lost. Instead, thinking of the pleasures that came from Origa’s music.

How about you? What is your favorite Origa song?