Monday, 15 July 2013

Currently listening to: Bump of Chicken

Bump of Chicken, despite the terrible name, are one of the biggest and best rock bands in Japan. They have a string of successful albums and every single since 2000 has got into the top five. Having said that, I haven’t actually met someone Japanese who’s heard of them. I guess in a country of 125 million, it’s possible to sell millions of records, and still not make much of a dent on the collective consciousness.

Recently, BoC released two CDs, covering two halves of their career, 1999-2004 and 2005-2010. The problem with “Best of”s is that they always leave off some tracks that you’d include. I wish they’d added one of their B-sides, “Pinkie”. It’s good to see the single-only A-side, “Merry Christmas” finally on an album. Apart from that, the tracklisting doesn’t really surprise. And because it ends in 2010, none of the five singles since then are present, indicating that they’re all being kept back for the next studio album.

But this collection really emphasizes the evolution of their sound from the early, under-produced, guitar-driven work (such as Lamp, above), to the new, cleaner sound of recent albums. But always with a chorus that has some hope, innocence and optimism. That’s how it sounds. I’ve never bothered to translate the lyrics.

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