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New to J-Music! What are your recommendations?


5 Feb 2005
This thread is for all the J-music newbies, who don't know what to listen to.

So place here your recommendations ( maybe a reason as well), and let's spread Japanese music (jpop, jrock, enka, and the rest) in the world.

Please try to only post your recommendations, so please do not go off topic to much. Also recommend bands, artists because of their music not because of their looks.

Some of my recommendations:

-Hikaru Utada ( She has a great voice, sings in Japanese and English, and is one of the best selling artists in Japan)

-Aiko ( Cute songs, and different than the rest)
-Dreams come true ( The have some great love songs, and are in the music business for over 20 years)
-Yuzu ( 2 guys who make happy songs)

That's it for now. I hope to see a lot of recommendations for all Japan music newbies.
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X Japan -> Beautiful ballads, excellent drumming and good vocal. Songs can be a bit depressing but otherwise they are awesome (heavy metal)

Dir en Grey -> such a small man, with such a strong and beautiful voice. I personally like by them that they are so melodical.

Rentrer en Soi -> they are somehting special

I'm kind of to lazy to write why i love bands hehe. So for now that's all :p
Naotarou Moriyama ツ森ナスR窶卍シ窶伉セヒ弸
Has a great voice, and singing ability. Writes his own songs which is a rarity nowadays.

Yutaka Ozaki 窶敕カツ催ィ窶鏑
Brilliant rock and ballads, with very interesting lyrics. Started in the 80's. Killed himself (allegedly) a while ago.

Masami Sada 窶堋ウ窶堋セ窶堙懌?堋ウ窶堋オ
Singer/song-writer, has been around since the 70's. Has a huge following among older ladies.. But I like it ok?

You Hitoto ヒ?ェツ静づ「w
Debuted with the absoluty brilliant song "Morainaki" ツ(窶堙?窶堙ァ窶堋「窶ケニ停?堋ォツ), and is also famous for her song "Hanamizuki" ツ(ニ地ニ段ニ蓄ニ炭ニ鱈ツ).
Malice Mizer
Dir en grey
Moi dix Mois
DBSK Kpop but brillent
Dizzy Drive
L'arc en ciel
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Paris Match - recommended by people on this site when I asked a similar question. Not your pop or rock music. More jazzy and might even say a little big band type of sound

Joe Hisaishi - Mainly does soundtracks. Did My Neighbour Totoro, Nausicaa and Hana Bi amongst many

Yoko Kanno - Another artist better known for soundtracks. Ghost in the Shell SAC and Cowboy Bebop are her better known ones

Just started to track down songs by Ayano Tsuji, lovely voice, and Hikaru Utada, as Dutch always seems to raving on about her. Waiting for a CD with her singles on it to arrive.
Glay: any and all of their music. It's not "too pop" in my opinion, but not hard rock, either. They're a favourite and my boyfriend's 7 year old son loves them as well.

L'Arc~En~Ciel (Laruku) if you like softer pop, Hyde's solo music if you like softer "goth"or melancholy music.

Ayumi Hamasaki is an adorable female pop artist, and while not to my taste, she has a great voice.
OK, my recomms... 😌

Utada Hikaru

Paris Match

X Japan
Dir en grey
The Back Horn (lighter kind of rock ^^)

Malice Mizer

Utada Hikaru
Crystal Kay
The Brilliant Green
Judy and Mary


Inugami Circus Dan
Luna Sea
Dir en grey

Shiina Ringo
Malize Mizer
D'espairs Ray
Alice Nine
Malice Mizer
La'Cryma Christi
Brain Hacker

No particular order~

Crystal Kay
Utada Hikaru
Dir en Grey
Mika Nakashima
Koda Kumi
Namie Amuro
Ai Otsuka
Panic Channel
T.M. Revolution

X Japan (a must)
Tokyo Jihen/Shiina Ringo
An Cafe
Do as Infinity
hide (a must)
Alice Nine
The Gazette
Malice Mizer
Moi Dix Mois
Thanks for the input you guys, I hope to see a lot more recommendations, plus reasons.
x japan
this is the band behind jrock. they invented it,
the godfathers of japanese rock. from rough
guitar riffs and fast drums to heartbreaking
beautiful ballads ^^ this band had/has it all.

dir en grey
they have sucha variety of different songs that
i'm sure you'll find an album you like. the oldest
material is much calmer than the present which
is more like nu-metal. vocalist kyo's voice is just
amazing. strong and yet gentle. i recommend
dir en grey to everyone who is new to jrock
since they're one of the most popular bands
and they were my first love.

you gotta love hide! if you like fast, happy music
you're gonna love this guy. an unique voice and
all songs made by himself. there are so many
different styles of music mixed that you can't really
say that it's jROCK or POP or what ever hehe.
just see for yourself ^^

d'espairs ray
if you like more metal sounding music, this is the
band for you to listen to. hizumi's voice fits perfectly
with the rough guitars. desray is like mixed metal and
industrial to me. not the usual rock you get. dark &
gothic like. [don't hit mel lol]

this guy is just.. he.. he can't stay still for a second! lol
bouncy music and that voice is just wow. no definition
for his music really from pop to metal and to rock at the
same time and you get this cool variation haha. if you like
popish rock check it out.
These are some of my recommendations and also my favorites...otherwise I wouldn't recommend them :)

1- Ayumi Hamasaki
2- Koda Kumi
3- Namie Amuro
4- Utada Hikaru
5- Mai Kuraki
6- Ai Otsuka
7- Hitomi Shimatani
8- Maki Goto
9- Angela Aki
10- Aya Ueto
11- Nana Kitade
12- Mika Nakashima
13- Aikawa Nanase
15- Rie Fu

(in order)
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Ok, here's some that I like personally:

Road of Major (pop-punk to be sure, but very good pop-punk. Not much variety but you do get good quality pop-punk. Taisetsu Na Mono is a very good song for first-time listeners IMO)

"Sakura, chiru, sono tabi ni mata, kadode no namida nagashita, keredo. Namida, chiru, sono tabi ni mata, wara iaeta boku tachi ga ita!" :p

Shachi: (Indie punk band. Harder style than ROM's, with edgier vocals and nice melodic baseline produced by HIDETA. )

Bump of Chicken: (Classic, 'Sailing day" happens to be my favourite)

Shaka Labbits: (Uki's voice is definitely an acquired taste: She sounds like a whiny younger sister. But the instrumentals are good, drummer is very good, also funny PVs)

Tomoyasu Hotei: (Intimidating man, nice guitar work. Makes you want to get up and play air guitar)
I think I come a little late. &.& But...I'll think of more later, and go back to edit/repost.

Dir en Grey - Their songs are so pretty! 👍 Yup, and you have to love the members! Kyo has such a strong voice. [Shinya, hit Die like you did in the "Message for A Knot! >: D]
Kyo on vocals, Kaoru and Die on guitar, Toshiya on bass, and Shinya on drums.

SID - They lyrics are beautifully written. Mao has the greatest voice ever.[And Aki has the coolest dance moves. Lol.] Their interviews are hilarious, because they're so silly and fun. Beware of Mao's nonsense answers! :p
Mao on vocals, Shinji on guitar, Aki on bass, and Yuya on drums.

Moi dix Mois - Nice vocals, beautiful music. Do I need to say more?
[I'm not positive about this] Seth on vocals, K and Mana on guitar, Sugiya on bass, and Hayato on drums.

Ayabie - I love their songs. [My name. : D] Aoi does great vocals, but they've lost Ryohei [Guitar]. ;_________; Hope he does well in his new band too though.
Aoi on vocals, Yumehito and Takehito on guitar, Intetsu on bass, Kenzo on drums. [Ryohei left in 2006.]

Nightmare - Funny. Scary. They're everything.
Yomi on vocals, Sakito and Hitsugi on guitar, Ni~ya on bass, and Ruka on drums.

Sendai Kamotsu - They're okay. Do you *recognize* then from somewhere? Look at "Fullface". See his multiple lip rings? That's Hitsugi from Nightmare! *fangirl cheer* This is Nightmare's alter-ego band!
Chiba [Yomi] on vocals, Fullface [Hitsugi] and Satty [Sakito] on guitar, Wanchenchen [Ni~ya] on bass, and Gigaflare [Ruka] on drums.

Gazette - How can they always be so pretty? x__x It's not human, I tell you! Their music is so nice! : )
Ruki on vocals, Uruha and Aoi on guitar, Reita on bass, and Kai on drums.

Malice Mizer - Disbanded. :x Kamiii! They went through so many changes, it's hard to keep up with the vocalists. Gackt was in here before, before he became solo. Kami died in 1999 of "subarachnoid hemorrhage", and Malice Mizer decided to only use support drummers, because Kami was credited as an "eternal blood relative".
Tetsu [1992 - 1994], Gackt [1995 - 1999], and Klaha [2000-2001] on vocals. Mana and Kozi on guitar, Yu~ki on bass, and Kami on drums.

Pierrot - I haven't listened to many of their songs, but they're okay. Kirito and Kohta are really brothers. : D
Kirito on vocals, Aiji and Jun on guitar, Kohta on bass, and Takeo on drums.

Merry - I haven't listened to them in a while, but I should think they're still good!
Gara on vocals, Yuu and Kenichi on guitar, Tetsu on bass, and Nero on drums.
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um Lar'c en Ciel:
lead singer has a great voice also the songs are very enspiring and makes you feel good :D just you have to listen :)
awesome voice, interesting music and you know he's one of the best singers :D
Ayumi Hamasaki:
very nice voice, calm songs, one of the best selling singers

and you should be more specific of what you're looking for :) cause there are so many good artists :)
Dir en grey - They always sound awesome! Kyo's voice is amazing! He can go from high pitched singing to screaming and/or sounding like he's vomiting in like 2 seconds!
Kagerou - Daisuke has a wiered and awesome voice! It's kinda scary sometimes but always sexy XD
Gazette - They're just so awesome. I suggests you first listen to no.666 or the social riot machines
X Japan - If you like rock from the eighties or early nineties, i suggest you listen to them
there's many more but i'm pretty sure they all listed already

Enjoy :)
I got 3 picks only because they were the first Japanese bands I listened too!
Kome Kome Club ( ok laugh it up)
The B'z
Dragon Ash
Asain Kung Fu Generation is the only band that I know of, I know of Utada Hikaru, and Ayumi Hamasaki, but they aren't a band. (Ayumi Hamasaki's "Butterfly" rox)
AKFG are pretty good. If you like that kind of music, you could also try The Back Horn - very good imo. 👍
also, if you like pop-rock, Glay are good. :)
🎈 Hi everyone well, here are my recommendations!

:) I most definietly recommend GACKT!!! I think he's just awesome! A great voice and he has a variety of music, though mostly J-popish. I'd recommend his songs Birdcage, Emu ~ for my dear and U+K.

For the more repeated once there's also Dir en Grey, Malice Mizer, L'arc~en~ciel, Hide (I think he was mentioned...), Hikaru Utada, X Japan

Other bands/artists that I find interesting are BoA, Pierrot, ORANGE RANGE (Not my favorite, but not bad either), Hamasaki Ayumi and Plastic Tree isn't bad either!

And I've recently discovered (something like 5 minutes ago... *sweatdrop*) a very good website, it gives a very good description and has extensive knowledge about several J-rock bands(Alice Nine, Phantasmagoria, Die en Grey,Gazette, Miyavi to name a few). And you can listen to a few songs online (Website is called J-ROCK NO SEKAI... I'd give you the url however I an't yet...:( But you can find it on google!:) )
Well, enjoy :) 🙂
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well, here are my recommendations!

X Japan
hide With Spread Beaver
Psycho le Cemu
Dir en Grey
Luna Sea
The TRAX - they are from korea but great annyway
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