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Hiiya! ~ Another review!
From left: Izumi (dr), Nao (bs), Isshi (v), Shin(gt & koto), then Akiya (gt)
Kagrra, A truly splendid blend of rock and traditional Japanese vibes…
Where you might of heard of Kagrra, before..
•The anime “Kinniku man II sei” ending theme song, “Chikai no tsuki” (誓ノ月)
•“Jusou” (咒葬) from the album “Shu” (珠) is being used for the upcoming Japanese movie “Hitori kakurenbo” (一人かくれんぼ)
Kagrra, originally began in 1998 as “CROW” under Key Party records. They toured with their brother band “Lar~mia”. After becoming widely popular, “CROW” changed their name to “Kagrra,” joined onto the PS company label (also home for the Gazette, Miyavi, Kra, and others..), and left their brother band behind.
“Kagrra,” is intentionally misspelled and how their name is written on their music etc.. but it’s pronounced as “Kagura”. Around 2003, after joining Columbia records, they added the little “comma”, which is symbolized as a magadama. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magatama (So yeah, it’s not just a typo, lol)
They became major in 2004 with their release of the single “Urei” (愁). And finally, joined to King records in 2007. Many of Kagrra,’s cover arts include the work of Fukaya Yoichiro and has become a sort of trademark, like their most recent album “Shu” (珠).
Kagrra, consists of members….
Likes: reading and good people
Dislikes: people who smoke (he’d not get along with most Visual kei artists XDD)
Isshi is the major brains of the group, he’s the most into the traditional Japanese culture and writes the lyrics. He is the “kanji wizard” and likes using very intricate kanji no one really uses lol. I can’t understand how to pronounce ½ of the song titles, with 5 characters and that are not commonly used
Likes: his own room, kind people
Dislikes: liars, ignorance
Akiya idolizes Sugizo, the guitarist of the disbanded “Luna Sea” (Many other bands idolize Luna Sea, including Nightmare). He used to be a major composer, but I guess now just focuses on being a guitarist. He plays the 7-stringed guitar, but has also played a 12-stringed guitar for their “San” album. He has also played piano since preschool.
Likes: shopping at H. Naoto and cute, kind people and naps! (who doesn’t!?)
Dislikes: cucumbers (huh!?!? Sabokappa SOO doesn’t agree lol! ) and proud people
Shin is the shyest member, and perhaps the most serious member, in a music sense.
Likes: walking and girls with cute eyes
Nao is the typically the most popular member, especially among rabid fangirls, for his boyish charm. He is pretty goofy and likes to fool around. He really doesn’t like being confused for as a girl,and complains about it. aww.. how cute lol .. he’s really a cutie..
Likes:Billiards, Jazz, kind people, cooking, manga
Dislikes: unkind people
Izumi is the band leader, although he is rather quiet. He is more one of those “behind the scenes” guys. And during PV shootings or interviews, it’s not uncommon to see piles of Izumi’s manga lying around, or him reading.
--I got most of this info. from http://kagrra.aseriana.net/info/kagrra.php I have NO IDEA where all this other information I had about them went, I lost it all/ forgot.. ;__; Thankfully I found this site!
As a Visual Kei band, Kagrra, used to be very dressed up, wearing the traditional kimonos and yukatas (notice not hakamas, or.. actual men’s clothes lol..) They were soo amazingly feminine looking back then, it’s amazing just how.. not they are today.
During “Shizuku” (雫)time period (2007), they really weren’t visual at all.
...but these days, they’re gradually becoming more visual. The first picture I posted of them is most current. So, yays!
Okay.. back tsu music stuffs!!!!!!
Anyways.. their overwhelming genre is “Neo Japanesque”. They are very influenced by Japanese culture and history, and their music portrays that. Not only that, but many lyrics are centered around Japanese folklore. Kagrra,’s older music has been heavier, and darker with songs like “kotodama” (恋綴魂)(their demo tape song), but has evolved into a generally lighter feel.
As they’ve progressed, the band has also been adding much more synth and keyboard. Regardless, one big aspect about their music, is the lyrics. Even though many fans (myself included) don’t understand much Japanese, Isshi’s lyrics are truly a big part of Kagrra, and are something to look into. Most of Isshi’s lyrics are melancholic, but never overbearing or too obvious/ in your face, some have religious stories or feelings, like “Irodori no Sanka” (彩の讃歌). Isshi's voice is more "traditional" for a Japanese voice, i think, it's quite nasally (sp.?) i think people may either love it or hate it.. i love it, adn it's very fitting to the traditional Japanese aspect of the music! And something Kelly really appreciates is the very strong bass line that’s throughout their stuff; new and old.
Okay simply… OLDEST (2000-2003?): This was their heaviest stuff. Well, it wasn’t very “traditional” sounding, more of rock, with more subtle Japanese flair. Included the mini-album “Nue”(鵺) and up to Ouka Ranman (桜花爛漫).They boys also weren’t visual at the very beginning, but then became their most visual time around 2002.
MIDDLE(2004-2005): During this time, the guys released a lot of stuff, and rereleased all their older stuff as noted before. This was their most quintessential “Neo-Japanesque” time period. The music primarily on cds, “Miyako” (京) and “San” (燦), most easily showed the Japanese spirit in the music. There are many songs I like of this period, but I feel too many of them are too similar, and kinda get lost and mixed amongst each other. Not many songs jump out at you, or strike you as different.
“SHIZUKU”(雫) time period (2006-2007): With the release of the single “Utakata” (うたかた) in November 2006, I think really marked a turning point for the band. The song really grabbed people, and remains one of their most popular (I think). The guys are given a hard time by a lot for fans for feeling they lost their Japanese feel, both musically and visually, but I’m just like “whatever”. Yes, they weren’t visual at all in this time, which made me sad, but I think musically, they just married the rock and Japanese aspects to their music truly beautifully. Their songs are much more distinct and different, each one bringing a different sense and feel to the album.
CURRENT (2008- ): Okay, currently.. The guys released “CORE” in 2008, their 1st English titled anything and with no previous singles to lead up to it. Many people were surprised with this release, some even hating it at first, with such drastic feels to the music. Core really showed how Kagrra, was opening as a band. There are pop influences, rock influences, even synthesizer and keyboard, something totally different! Just truly a fresh direction they were taking. Now, after just releasing “Shu” (珠) in April, the guys are continuing in this direction. Sadly, I haven’t even listened to “Shu” as of yet, I still have to buy it (;_;) waah.. But yeah, I know it’ll be great! n_n Also, they are going back to being visual again, so yays! I love Isshi's hair currently.
I’ll post a list of my favorites, but also that try to show the range of Kagrra,’s stuff, because you guys my all have different tastes etc..
List of notable songs (in order of oldest in age 1st)
• Kotodama (恋綴魂) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4OY6qxJrJM&feature=related Lol, old school Kagrra,!! XD as you can tell, this is all "scary" etc.. that's like lotsa bands, they start out trying to seem like they're tough, when they obviously aren't, See "Nightmare" XD XD. Also, you can see, this song is referencing Japanese folklore.
• Shi, mi ,me, yu, ki, sa, a (し、み、め、ゆ、き、さ、あ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKwSY4kZTcY One of my favorites. This is the farthest from their "Neo Japaneseque" label, but that's also because this is from 2000, right when Kagrra, was starting. I love it! and the video just really makes it! XD XD
• Oumagatoki (逢魔ヶ刻) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3tm4d8WZyc&feature=related
• Sakura mai chiru ano oka de kaeri saku 2002 ver. 桜舞い散るあの丘で kaeri咲 弐零零弐ver..WMA (5.57 Mb) Adorably, delicate beginning. Impressive openings to songs are real important to me, if a song doesn't grab me almost instantly, i'll skip it. The chorus is so nice too "..haa te na-i itami kara tooku tooku totemo sabishikute..." and all the children, i presume, joining in, is really moving, sou de~su? Oh yeah!! The first time i heard, this was from this random youtube video some one made about all these Jrockers, being in like, love pentagons, all conversing through chat rooms! I gotta find it again! lol..
Middle (Miyako) (京)
• Togenkyo 冬幻境.WMA (5.32 Mb) Winter! yup yup! Like, it really feels like the captured the essense of a Japanese winter. All serene, but you can sense the solitude. The flute throughout is very lovely.
• Genpei Tosentan 源平闘戰譚.WMA (3.38 Mb) One of their more "vicious" songs, more agressive and such. I not too crazy about it, but good show of their range. It's dumb because it's not like i don't like this song, it's just I wanna get to utakata and such and I haven't given it much attention.. Anyways.. I still don't know how to pronounce unless i look it up..
• Tsurezure uta 徒然謌.WMA (4.06 Mb) Kinda a faster song.. what I love most about this song, is the background koto and stuff that kinda permeates through the song, but at the near end (around 3 minutes) it really becomes noticable. It's like this wonderful Japanese royalty vibe that i adore to no end.
• Urei (miyako mix) (愁(京 MIX)) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcNWoEnUn-4 Agian, I LOVE this song's opening. At first, it feels as though this song would be "slower", but then, it just breaks, I suppose, then is quite fast. Yes, this was their 1st single as they turned major.
• Satsuki (皐月) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmQv-O27pwU&feature=related Really nice song. This is typically the most commercial/ well-known song of theirs. When people first start listening to Kagrra, this is what they start on.. lol, it sounds like i'm describing drugs.. XD XD
• Sarasouju no komori uta (沙羅双樹の子護唄～燦remix～) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQwWc6-5Uk8 Buweah.. nice, really beautiful traditional Japanese feel. Also, the bass line is just so impossibly cute!
• Utakata (うたかた) My ALL-TIME FAVORITE!
• Unmei no ito (運命の糸) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo7wi5XIYwI&feature=related Really wonderful beginning, then like a waterfall? effect song.. then goes into the rest of the song..
• Kasunda fuyu no mukou ni… (霞んだ冬の向こうに…) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7vQZgnYMio&feature=related
• Shizuku (雫)
Core • Irodori no sanka (彩の讃歌)
• Ujou 雨情.WMA (3.26 Mb) Really cool funky jazzy song
• Shigatsu tsuitachi 四月一日.WMA (5.26 Mb) Adorable cute perfectly "spring" song. The added synth is a really nice fresh touch you never really get from Kagrra,.
• Kamikaze (風神) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ7NKdnz9KE
• Shin Hyakki yako (新・百鬼夜行)
BUT, my ALL-TIME FAVS.!! are............. drum roll PU-RI-ZU!!
Utakata (うたかた) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6uNvhXzJtA So incredibly beautiful. Simply. This song just sends chills up my spine. It's so soo beautiful, and I LOVE the contrast between the traditional Japanese aspects, and the non-Japanese aspects of the video. You can tell it's sad, but never too much. This is the #1 song i think i can recommend, out of any band, out of any song, "Utakata" is it! (Kelly played this for our Cultural Anthropology class too!)
Shizuku (雫) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCo1FBFkpyc Shizuku is mesmerizing. Really, really a song you just blur out when you're listening to it. Everytime I hear this song, I really go into a trance or something. So pleasing to the ears.
Irodori no sanka (彩の讃歌) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDyvcjLvXwY This song is just SO AMAZING!! The beginning is lovely, like always. Like, it has such an unearthly feel. Sounds like water? but just.. other worldly, that's all i can describe it.. Then the koto and traditional Japanese instruments begins.. Very very nice.... Then, Isshi begins singing very delicately adn nice.. GREAT SONG!
I really don't think I could live without these songs in my collection
Each of these songs, when I listen to them, I always just kinda faze out, they just feel so deep, and philosophical, they are just so beautiful!! Not only that, but Utakata's video is just so wonderful too! Other runner-ups are Shigatsu Tsuitachi, Tsurezure Uta, and Sakura mai chiru ano oka de kaeri saku 2002 ver.!!
So... check them out!! They's su-pa awesome!! Here's their OHP...well, their myspace > http://www.myspace.com/kagrraofficial
okay, well I posted their OHP link,but the computer doesn't like the comma this is it, it just doesn't work > http://www.pscompany.co.jp/kagrra,/
Wanna talk about this review of traditional Japanese wonder?? GO HERE!! http://otakuanime.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2672