Cosmic Wonder: Songs like this are why I can’t decide about Puffy (amiyumi)


Puffy Amiyumi is a very mixed bag musically. Despite the girls’ massive popularity in Japan (and moderate success in the States), I often find myself highly conflicted about their music. I can’t decide whether it’s superficial pop or subtle Japanese brilliance. Some of it is downright annoying and I occasionally consider purging it from the library.

But damn, these girls like to toy with my emotions, and put together something wonderful. With flashes of inspiration like this, I can’t help but give them another chance.

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The song is COSMIC Wonder from the album Spike.

tunequest week in review

for the week ending may 20, 2006.

stats: a superlative week here at tunequest. 394 songs played over 25 hours and 40 minutes. a further 5 songs were removed from the library for a net progress of 399, a new record. frankly, i'm surprised by the results. an afternoon braves game and a couple of extented meetings cut into my normal office listening time and i didn't really expect saturday's listening to be able to compensate. not that i'm complaining about it. i'm thrilled.

highlights for the week include sharing the chicago symphony's performance of mahler's no 6 with the neighborhood, revisiting some  grunge and post-grunge rock from nirvana's bleach and soundgarden's down on the upside, appreciating the smooth grooves of the well-pollished idm of to rococo rot's hotel morgen, getting funky with morton steven's very compelling tv score to hawaii five-o (best tv theme song ever!), and finally finally finally finally getting through all those babylon 5 scores* (it took 7 weeks, but i did it), as well as enjoying a host of other really great music.

also mixed in this week were a couple of james bond scores (john barry's diamonds are forever and david arnold's die another day. both excellent) and william shatner's has been. now don't laugh at this, but that shatner album is some powerful stuff. he's got a very engaging spoken-word delivery as well as some respectable collaborators. the result is 11 songs that pack more heartfelt sentiment than all the songs on top 40 radio in the past 10 years combined. i mean that.

it was also apparently "records that time forgot week" here at tunequest. i only covered 7 albums in that short-lived series, and 3 of them managed to pop up this week: can's ege bamyasi, louis and bebe barron's score to forbidden planet and martin denny's space-exotica extravaganza exotic moog. as soon as i track down that file, i'll post it.

see this week's complete list of albums in the extended entry.

*technically, i have one album left, a compilation called 'the best of babylon 5.' it's currently not eligible for play because the tunequest-ipod is into the I's and it's not smart enough to ignore the "the" at the beginning of album names. artists yes, albums no.

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I can never gauge if I like Puffy

Every time I think i’m ready to ditch those poppy-japanese-rock-girls, I hear the songs that got me interested in the first place. So i explore their music and find myself intrigued, but underwelmed by much of their catalog. Then I start contemplating the removal of the less compelling songs from my library. entering “evaluation mode,” I listen to their songs and can’t help but find most of them catchy and, at the same time, exasperating, with those two reactions constantly fighting each other. Then the cycle begins again. Maybe it’s because they’re Japanese and the cultural differences interfere with my normal reflexes.

In any event, Amiyumi is a decent enough record with Usagi Channel being a stand out track. If nothing else, that song is worth keeping around.