JPU Chriss’ Top 5 Albums of 2013

With the end of the year just around the corner we decided to quiz the staff at JPU Records on their favourite releases of the year – Japanese or otherwise! First up, JPU Chriss; lover of big hair, sitting like a yankii and Kiyoharu.

清春(Kiyoharu) – UNDER THE SUN
“Actually released in the final moments off 2012, this album climbs up yet another level of heaven for Japan’s least angelic musician. Kiyoharu’s solo work continues to be at a level everyone else can only hope for. I love this album because it’s like a transportation to another world. Outstanding tracks: JUDIE feat. MIYAVI and MESSIAH.”
Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition, Limited Edition.

KISS – Monster
“Yes KISS still make albums. One of the true highlights of my year. Both album and tour were so much fun I probably won’t be over it until next year. I love this album because KISS are my rock’n’roll daddies and if you ever need a little confidence boost, just listen to this album and strut. Outstanding tracks: Freak, Outta The World.”
Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition, Digital Edition, Limited Edition.

“Experimental and yet instantly recognisable. Again, the GazettE have got their game faces on. Also not an instant lover – when I first heard this album I picked holes all over it, but ask me now what I thought was wrong with it I couldn’t possibly tell you. The best thing about this album is the care that has gone into the mastering, it’s truly complete. Outstanding tracks: DEVOURING ONE ANOTHER, LAST HEAVEN.”
See a complete list of where to buy it here.

Perfume – LEVEL3
“Up until this year I would always have chosen a CAPSULE album over a Perfume one (both artists are produced by the same person), but LEVEL3 brings the sound I love this time. Perfume have been on top form all year. I love this album because it’s one big happy party. Outstanding tracks: Handy Man which could possibly win my track of the year.”
Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition, Digital Edition.

Yeti – 賛成の反対 (sansei no hantai / Approval Opposition)
“Yeti win my indie album of the year. Despite being extremely new (so new this is only the second CD they’ve released), their style and depth is super impressive. Jazzy, bright, clean and best of all, interesting.
Outstaning tracks: monochro.”
Buy from Amazon: Digital Edition.

And there you go. A mixture of visual kei, J-rock, and good ol’ glam with a sprinkling of electro-pop. Next up, JPU’s driver, sales-monkey and DJ-botherer, JPU Matt! Until then, we’ll leave you with the title track from Kiyoharu’s album:


About Tom Smith
Some say he's fuelled on nothing but energy drinks, and that when he visits Japan, he spends the whole time engaging the ground in an all too familiar way. But what we do know is that his words on the country's entertainment and culture find their way into NEO Magazine on a monthly basis, while everything else finds its way here. Be it quirky news item from the Land of the Rising Sun, or a story so gruesome it'd be rude not to pass it on, you'll find it here along with his general posts about life, work and most importantly play. And yes, he has had articles printed in the likes of MCV, GamesMaster, 360 Gamer and more, thanks for noticing.

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