{Artist Spotlight} Soft Ballet

November 16, 2007 at 12:11 am | Posted in Music, _Artist Spotlight | Leave a comment

I’ll try to spotlight an artist as often as I can (aiming for weekly), but I can’t guarantee it.

Some may be artists I know well, but I will generally avoid that and give a “first impressions,” short blurb on artists new to me. I will not give a numerical rating – that’s for individual CD/song reviews later.

I’ll start off with this week’s feature, Soft Ballet, a Japanese rock/synth-pop band.

Soft Ballet 2

Soft Ballet 1

The band name is very deceiving – if you pictured effeminate guys wearing pink shirts and singing love ballads, you are mistaken (actually, that’s what first came to mind for me).

I randomly grabbed a copy of their 2003 album Menopause (yes I know isn’t that just a wonderful title), and their sound is anything but soft, but it’s great all the same. The lead singer, Endo Ryoichi, has a husky, low, sometimes even sexy voice that is reminiscent of hyde from L’Arc~en~Ciel.

As for their style, I love how the guitars and drums meld with the synthesizer perfectly, without the electronic elements drowning out the ‘real’ instruments and the vocals (a problem that appears in badly mixed synth-pop). I hope to see (or more accurately, hear) some vocodered vocals in some of their songs :P

Song Recommendations

1. Smashing the Sun
2. Bright My Way

From what I’ve read, people who are fans of Yellow Magic Orchestra will love Soft Ballet. And for those who don’t listen to Japanese music at all, Soft Ballet has been referred to as the Japanese counterpart of Depeche Mode.

~ Yoruko

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