Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Revisiting B'z

I've been listening to B'z today a whole lot and just wanted to explain what I really loved about them.

I just loved their sound because to me it was at once this really Western rock sound, but there were undertones of very Eastern sounding lines. For example, "Calling."

The first snippet of the song is very rock, rock, rock with its straight forward guitar backdrop, but then the song all of the sudden mellows out and it's like the bastard child of power ballads and enka or Korean ponchak/teurohteu(trot) or something.

It's like this:

...got its nasty on with this:

Just listen to "Calling" again starting around 0:58. It's very enka/ponchak-esque in certain elements. The way Koshi Inaba does that "turn" in his voice at certain points...it sort sounds like it weaves in and out of minor and major chords? Very reminescent of enka to me. At the same time the crescendos with violins and piano is so rock ballad. It's very Eastern yet Western at the same time. I don't know, you just have to keep listening to it.

You can really hear it in "Blowin'"

Just listen to the melody on this one. Pay attention to the beginning before the vocals kick in, because once the vocals kick in, especially at the chorus when the base melody plays against Inaba's voice you can hear how the melody itself has a very Japanese sound to it, but Inaba's singing "Blowing, blowing in th wind..." over it totally transforms it.

Or how about "Time" for that matter?

Tak Matsumoto's noodling at first sounds like you're about to get ready for some Lynyrd Skynyrd (though he noodles quite a bit more for this live performance), but listen around 2:15, which is where the song really starts, and listen how it transitions around 2:22-23 before it full on hits you at 2:30. A small minor tweak, but it goes from like a Zeppelin moment into something else.

Then listen to:


I'll even throw in one of my mom's faves, "Blue Light Yokohama"

I don't know, B'z's sound is just so new yet so familiar on so many fronts. Definite love.


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