J-pop just stands for 'Japanese pop' but as a phrase it has come to mean a very specific sound that Shibuya Tokyo bands created a few years ago.
J-pop CDs have always been hard to find and expensive to buy. While this CD came out in 2002, it is with great joy that I finally take the shrink wrap off a copy and get to write about it for the gullbuy.
'World Is Waiting For Us' is a real pick me up. Even though it clocks in at only 45 minutes, it is a solid buy. There are 11 songs, that you won't hear anywhere else (that I know of).
Several years ago a friend burned a copy of this for me, but I lost track of where I put it, and that copy didn't have tracks listed anyway. After spending a lot of time with this disc preparing for this review, I am really glad to have these tracks running through my head. A special thanks to the person who created the site I link 'World Is Waiting For Us' to at the top of the page. their site was like a key, opening up the mystery of the track listing, which was mostly written in Japanese characters.
- Manabu Iwamura - Il Casanova
A cinematic instrumental opening track that has the "everything but the kitchen sink" feel I like so much about J-pop. Even though they are quite different than J-pop artists musically, both Dean Elliot and Esquivel had a similar view of using sounds.
- Mari Natsuki -. Kimerareta igai no serifu
A light song with prominent vocals, almost like a polished pop version of singer/songwriter music. The lyrics are all in Japanese. This song was produced by Yasuharu Konishi, with drums by Cornelius drummer / solo artist Yoshie.
- Sunaga 't Experience - theme from 'The Record Bunch'
Tatsuo Sunaga is the artist who is responsible for the cover of a TV theme that sparkles as upbeat sophisticated lounge, with piano, strings, upright bas, and lots of female wordless vocals. A segment in the middle has voice samples. The track is jazzy and effervescent.
- Karia Nomoto - La Poupee qui Fait Non
A cover of a Michel Polnareff song that so many people know. Pizzicato Five mainman Yasuharu Konishi translated the lyrics into Japanese for this version. Saint Etienne did a great version of this on the French comp 'Hommage to Polnareff' a few years ago too.
- Mansfield - Take on Me
Masanori Ikeda is Mansfield, maybe my favorite of all J-pop artists. On this cover of the A-ha song he used Dougee Dimensional of The Gentle People to do vocals. The song itself may be too cheesy for you to bear, but this version of it is dynamo! Really nice.
- Toshiya Aria - Detective Jack
This instrumental track sounds like a 70s TV theme for a Police show. It has bongos, brass, flute ,and a tight snare and bass guitar. It makes me think of early Bobby Hughes Experience tracks.
- Tetsuo Yoshida - Liaisons Dangereuses
This song follows the last well, as the rhythm section is just as intense, only Liaisons Dangereuses is faster and more dangerous than the track which precedes it. There are female wordless vocals too, and a guitar embellishment like the signature slide break in the surf classic Wipeout. The track ends with a sample of Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone.
- Comoestas - Tokyo Conga
Yaegashi Comoesta has made a track that reminds me of the Kenny Ball song I Wanna Be Like You from the Disney animated movie The Jungle Book. I love this track! It is my favorite of the whole record. Yaegashi Comoesta used to front the P5-styled Fifth Garden. He also put together the compilation 'Midnight Tokyo: A Collection Japanese ClubJazz Music 1966-1981' for Readymade. As Comoestas he records the best mambo tracks I know.
- DJ Yoshio - Yoshio to guitar
A psychedelic track that has many elements which don't sound like they would work together, but do. The is cinematic music, female spoken vocals, a shuffling psych-pop melody and beats. All thins precedes when the song breaks into acoustic guitar and male vocals as the pace gets more upbeat. Difficult to describe but pleasant to hear.
- Keiichi Sokabe - Guitar
This song starts with the exact psych-pop melody of the song before it. It is an interesting transition. Obviously the 2 bands are related, but this track has acoustic guitar and male vocals. I think of Cubismo Grafico or Neil & Iraiza when I listen to this.
- Yasuharu Konishi - The Spellbinder
Appropriately, the owner of Readymade Records (and former half of P5 with Maki Nomiya) closes out this comp with a tune of his own. A chorus of male wordless vocals lead this track through a club jazz sound with a go go beat. Six minutes of cruising in high gear and smooth notes.