Shiina Ringo - Watashi to Hoden

By far, one of my absolute favourite singers is Shiina Ringo (椎名林檎). Ringo-chan's voice is absolutely amazing and her lyrics are totally cool-- much different from the ice-creamy, schoolgirl-type stuff that most pop singers in Japan tend to vocalise (although I do enjoy that, too!). For all of us Otaku-- it also helps that she is cute and into cosplay! :-)

Ringo-chan released a new CD on 08-Jul-08 called "Watashi to Hoden" (私と放電 - "Me and electric discharge"). So far, I am really enjoying the new release. This CD is a bit of a departure for Shiina Ringo. The sound is decidedly more "Pop" than her previous, screamin', hard-rockin' releases. The disc contains love songs, pop, and also some of her trademark J-Rock sounds. One of the tracks (輪廻ハイライト) even showcases, beautifully, Ringo-chan's abilities as a jazz vocalist! She has more maturity and skillful control in her voice now, which is saying a lot considering all that she has already accomplished. Aside from the tracks, themselves, this release is extremely well-produced featuring expert-quality studio work and some wonderfully-perfected mix-downs. If you move fast, you can still get the limited edition release with DVD! All-in-all I definitely recommend Watashi to Hoden to Ringo-chan fans and Jpop lovers alike.

For my readers who don't yet know about Shiina Ringo, let me tell you about her:

Ringo-chan was born in Saitama, in 1978, as Shiina Yumiko. Yumiko moved with her family to Fukuoka as a young child, and grew up there (because of this she now sings with the dialect of the Fukuoka Prefecture). She was influenced early in her life by classical music and jazz, especially when played on the piano. When she started to develop her own singing career, she chose the name 'Ringo' because she was so well-known for the way that she turns red when she blushes ('Ringo' = 'Apple' in Japanese).

What makes Shiina Ringo so absolutely amazing is that she was born with an unusual illness that caused her esophagus to become very narrow, thus nearly preventing her from being able to eat! She had to undergo numerous surgical procedures to correct the problem which left her with scars on her shoulder blades-- scars which are said to look like the result of angel's wings being removed. Naturally this condition could also have interfered with her possibility of becoming a singer, but instead it seems like it has only made her stronger.

Ringo-chan officially launched her career as a singer in 1998 at the age of 19 with her first single, Kōfukuron. Less than one year later, she released her first full-length album, Muzai Moratorium, which is a complete masterpiece, and is one of my favourite CDs. Between 1999 and 2007 she released 6 full-length "Shiina Ringo" albums and several singles. While working on all this, she also formed the band, Tokyo Jihen ("The Tokyo Incidents") in 2004. She uses this band as an outlet for exploring her other musical styles which include elements of jazz and funk. There have been three Tokyo Jihen releases between 2004 and 2007-- all of them truly great musical works.

Enjoy this video of her awesome track, 'Honnou'-- the title track from her fourth single.


1 comment:

Argenis Juarez said...

you sir or madame,

Have great taste in music

are you also a fan of Ego-wrappin'?