It’s the Christmas season everyone, and a bunch of other stuff if you are of another faith that doesn’t matter, because this is Trump’s Amurica now, and we say Christmas here! Irony aside, it’s always going to be Christmas to me despite hardly being much of a Christian anymore. So many people are always cynical about this time of year but I seem to be one of the only ones who still believe in the true Holiday spirit. Oh and also the presents help, gotta love that commercialism. However, what probably does foster cynicism about the Holidays is hearing those same damn songs every year. I’m sure that they were good when they first came out, but one can only take year after year of ” ROCKIN’ AROUND the CHRISTMAS TREE AT THE CHRISTMAS PARTY HOP!!!!!!!!!!!” before it starts to get grating as fuck.
Well I guess there is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra but even that gets a bit old. So what else to do other than what I always do; turn to weeb shit! This song is actually a J-Pop single, but I can cover it through a loophole in that it was used in Osu, a free to play music rhythm game that a few of my friends played a lot of. I couldn’t get too into it because I did not care for most of the music and because mouse controls are imprecise (I do hear it works better on a tablet though).
This song, however, was one of the exceptions and it always stuck out. I don’t exactly know much about J-pop so I only just found out who made this song today. It was made by Nishino Kana and was included along with the release of her single “Kimi tte” from her album, Thank You Love in 2010. I definitely am going to want to look into some of her stuff soon. Some of you may recognize her as the singer of “Style,” the second ending theme of Soul Eater and “If,” the main theme for the Naruto Shippuden movie The Lost Tower. Then again you probably didn’t because no one ever pays attention to that shit except for weebs.
As much as I don’t want to, I find it too unethical to simply post and MP3 embed of this song because, unlike soundtracks, this is made to sold on its own. Then again, It may be a good idea to include purchase links to whatever video game soundtracks are being sold or other shit as well. Anyway, here is a link to her performance. Her performance is almost as beautiful as the song itself.
One will likely notice that bits of “Deck the Halls” are mixed into the chorus, which is to be expected given that Nishino has been to America twice and studied English from an early age. Naturally she would be somewhat familiar with American culture… or maybe the same songs are repeated ad naseam over there to. You expect me to know everything about Japanese culture when I barely even pay attention to the culture of my own country?
This song does have all the usual Christmas associated instruments like bells, pianos, and that recurring chime. Composition wise, the track harmonizes very well and is a flat out joy to listen to, which should be the case with any Christmas carol. Nishino’s vocal performance is also brilliant, but I do admittedly just find her voice adorable and pleasant to hear. Unfortunately I don’t know Japanese, but I do understand the few English words present because it would not be J-pop without random English phrases. and they just so happen to all sound significant, such as “Oh lord it’s Christmas” and “Stars in the Sky.”
If you look at a translation of the lyrics, you will see that the song is typical romance stuff, but I always have liked how J-Pop sounds so much more poetic than trashy western pop music. That could be a cultural thing, but fuck it is so much better. Unfortunately, not knowing the language makes me unqualified to talk about their structure. Not to mention that Japanese songs typically don’t rhyme the same way as western songs. Instead of something like a typical ABAB, or AABB, there won’t be any rhymes in one verse and the rhymes will instead be focused on matching the structure of the previous verse. One last note is what Nishino is saying to the crowd in that performance video. I don’t know what she is saying, but it just sounds nice and I like it. All in all, “Christmas Love” is up there with “Snow Halation” in terms of J-pop Christmas carols.
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