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Category Archives: World

#albumoftheday FEATURE REVIEW: EMILIE SIMON: MUE

Émilie Simon began her career with a self-titled release in 2003. I happened upon it by chance when I was looking for a few new CDs to buy on Amazon France, as I had been a French music junkie since 1997 or so. I had no idea what she was going to sound...
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#albumoftheday NINETAILS: QUIET CONFIDENCE

Ninetails are a three piece band from Liverpool. As for what sort of band they are, well, that’s nearly impossible to say. Their songs are rather mold-breaking and don’t conform to the rules of any genre, so I suppose you could call them avant-garde, but then avant-garde artists tend to be really “out...
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LOVE IS POP’S 60 BEST ALBUMS OF 2013!!!

by Michael McCarthy When I say that these are the “60 Best Albums of 2013,” I’m just saying that these were my favorite albums this year. I’m simply entitling this piece “60 Best Albums of 2013” instead of “60 Favorite Albums of 2013” because everyone always uses the term “Best Of,” not favorite....
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TURKISH DELIGHT: AN INTERVIEW WITH EMINE SARI

We recently unveiled the lyric video for Turkish singer/songwriter Emine Sari’s “Who Are You.”  We were quite impressed with her unique blend of pop, jazz and swing.  And her jazzy pop rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep” was easily one of the most original covers we’d ever heard.  Naturally, we were curious about this fascinating...
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#albumoftheday TAKATSUNA MUKAI: Śūnya

Takatsuna Mukai is a multi-instrumentalist who plays electric violin, electric guitar, synthesizer and bass guitar, in addition to being a wizard with programming. Takatsuna first arrived in London in 1991 and has been busy making music, and doing other music-related projects, ever since. During his first decade in the UK, he collaborated with...
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#albumoftheday FELIX MARTIN: THE SCENIC ALBUM

Given that this release is on Prosthetic Records, I was naturally expecting some loud and blazing — if not downright brutal — metal when I first listened to it. Surprisingly, much of the instrumental album by this guitar prodigy isn’t metal at all. Songs like “Viroliano Tries Metal” and “Triangle Tune” are definitely...
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SINGLE SPOTLIGHT: BOA: “TAIL OF HOPE” (ENGLISH VERSION)

Those of you who read my Asian music reviews on Otaku may remember that I reviewed K-Pop star BoA’s latest Japanese-language single “Tail of Hope” not too long ago. If not, you can find my cheerful review here: http://otaku.collectiondx.com/musicreview/boa-tail-hope I basically declared it sonic bliss. Well, today an English language version of “Tail...
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: VIRGINIA LABUAT: CLASSY & CLASSIC

Back in April I reviewed Spanish singer/songwriter Virginia Labuat’s English-language debut, Night & Day, and the review couldn’t have been more positive. Sometimes when I read reviews I’ve written some months later, I’ll find myself thinking that I poured it on a bit too thickly, that I perhaps gave too much praise, thus...
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#albumoftheday SOPHIE MAURIN: SOPHIE MAURIN

Sophie Maurin is a new French pop singer/songwriter who seems to be taking France by storm, or at least that’s the impression I’ve gotten from the things I’ve read about her online. Regardless, her music is amazing. And the artists I’d most compare her to aren’t even French artists, actually. Her style of...
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REVIEW SPOTLIGHT: PAOLA & CHIARA: GIUNGLA

I started covering Paola & Chiara over a decade ago when I was writing a world music column called Import Zone for Lollipop magazine. (I couldn’t find every column I wrote about them in, but I did manage to find the one with my review of their 2002 album Festival, which you can...
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#albumoftheday INDOCHINE: BLACK CITY PARADE

The French band Indochine have now been at it for 32 years and are usually regarded in the way people regard musical gods like U2, The Beatles and Johnny Cash. In other words, people consider their music a form of high art and deem them music royalty. Well, their fans do anyway. And...
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REVIEW/FEATURE: LOU DOILLON: PLACES

Lou Doillon might be unknown to most people here in the United States, but in her native France she’s practically royalty, being the daughter of the famous French singer/actress Jane Birkin and the acclaimed film director Jacques Doillon. She’s also the half-sister of actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg and step-daughter of the late French singer/songwriter...
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REVIEW: VANESSA PARADIS: LOVE SONGS

Many of the people who’ll be reading this review know almost nothing about Vanessa Paradis. To most people here in the United States, she’s simply known as Johnny Depp’s longtime girlfriend, as they were together from 1998 until 2012 and had two children. Some people might have read that Vanessa is a popular...
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REVIEW: MAJOR LAZER: FREE THE UNIVERSE

Until recently, I thought that Diplo and Major Lazer were two different people. Alas, I was wrong. Diplo is Major Lazer, Major Lazer being his reggae-ish alter-ego. Although many of the songs on Free the Universe stray pretty far from reggae. And I have to say — this is a very difficult album...
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  • KEN HIRAI FEAT. NAMIE AMURO: GROTESQUE
    KEN HIRAI FEAT. NAMIE AMURO: GROTESQUE Release Date:  4/2/14 Label:  Sony Music Ken Hirai and Namie Amuro team up for a truly weird but highly addictive new tune... Well, well, well... This "Grotesque" song is an interesting one. A bit weird, even. It starts off with Ken singing over hip-hop-ish/electro beats, the last line of his verse being
  • NS YOON-G: THE WAY 2..
    NS YOON-G: THE WAY 2.. Release Date:  4/3/14 Label:  Loen Entertainment I checked out the video for "Yasisi" ("야시시") and immediately fell in love with it. One of my longtime readers suggested that I check out this mini-album and I'm quite glad because I hadn't heard about it. Well, OK, I *am* subscribed to 1theK's channel o
  • HIGH4 & IU: 봄 사랑 벚꽃 말고 [Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms]
    HIGH4 & IU: 봄 사랑 벚꽃 말고 [Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms] Release Date:  4/7/14 Label:  Loen Music To be honest, I'm on the fence about this one. It's got some nice, soothing strings and IU sounds beautiful as always, and I think the guys sound lovely, too, but the song is missing something. Well, this one caught me by surprise. For a few r
  • SHOKO NAKAGAWA: 9LIVES
    SHOKO NAKAGAWA: 9LIVES Release Date:  4/2/14 Label:  SRCL You might expect an album with songs that were used for so many different things to sound rather unfocused, since many of the songs were created for various different projects, not specifically to go together. But you would be wrong in this case. It's been three and a half years since Shoko'
  • Beat Collection Saya Saionji Resin Statue
    Wardrobe malfunction... or intentional mischief? read more