「Featured Post」~Mr.Children…SENSE and retrospect (album of the year, ♥ group of all~time)

Mr.Children are Sakurai Kazutoshi, Tahara Kenichi, Nakagawa Keisuke & Suzuki Hideya.

Mr.Children SENSE album Happiness♥ is listening to Mr.Children so on this final day of 2010 I have their new album “SENSE” playing on my iPod as I type and has it been nearly two years now or a bit longer since their last album?…in any case though the wait has been much too long!! So established and embedded in our hearts now is Mr.Children and from note one “SHARE” engulfs you into that warm familiarity of a most distinct style which you can account to memories and days both near and far and then Sakurai~san’s voice~♥……it just feels like home~.

I always think this on the 31st of December…..just how quickly the year went by! I hope everyone has a most safe and fun New Year’s celebration and I imagine it must already be 2011 somewhere in the world as I think here we’re always lol well of course “always” 😛 the very last ones to ring in the New Year each and ever year (。ーωー。)笑 So who’s first I wonder….maybe somewhere in England where that beginning of time thingy occurs or rather where world time is set and measured from =). But then I think since Hawaii may be last then well maybe…..no no I’m just confusing myself further lol so I’ll stop there :P.

Best wishes~* for 2011! Be safe!…don’t drink too much…note to self (..._〆(・∀・@))and I’ll see you in 2011 ー(* ̄O ̄)ノ!

So here’s my favorite♥ album of 2010 by my favorite♥ artist of 2010/ever…forever although it was very close between Mr.Children’s “SENSE” and SCANDAL’s “Temptation Box” which is most awesome too!!! Check out “fanfare” omg that intro is so wow!!!…well the whole album is ヽ(。´▽`。)ノ。。!!

Mr.Children “I” mp3

Mr.Children “Gitai” mp3

Mr.Children “HOWL” mp3

Mr.Children “I’m talking about lovin’” mp3

Mr.Children “365 nichi

Mr.Children “Rock’n Roll wa ikiteiru” mp3

Mr.Children “Rosarita” mp3

Mr.Children “Ao” mp3

Mr.Children “fanfare” mp3

Mr.Children “Haru” mp3

Mr.Children “Prelude” mp3

Mr.Children “Forever” mp3

Mr.Children's Sakurai Kazutoshi

Like all of Mr.Children’s album offering till now “SHARE” delves into a vast variety of musical genres never wavering away from that very thing which has made them one of Japan’s most versatile and diverse bands and what can be better than 12 all~new songs as most artists of today and yesteryear for that matter tend to favor mixing previously released tracks mostly from singles along with the new on their albums and surely Mr.Children’s releases have been further apart in recent times lending to this 12~track bliss. In listening to “SENSE” and especially if you’re hearing Mr.Children for the very first time or they’re perhaps still new to you, “SENSE” is a culmination….a plateau up high firmly seated upon years and years of development, growing, experiences, experimentation and history~. To arrive at this point, perhaps a little walk down memory~lane first….

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(Originally posted on January 6th, 2008; with additional editing).

Perhaps one the most important posts that I ever write…with that thought…a deep breathe…the numbers speak volumes, but more importantly the music tells the tale of one of Japan’s premier groups. But to label them in a particular genre of music, quite impossible, for theirs is a journey that has gone full circle and I have no hesitation in drawing an analogy to The Beatles in a most profound and certain sense. Mr.Children debuted in 1992 with “Everything”, an album that would forever connect producer Kobayashi Takeshi to a career that has now produced 18 albums & 33 singles and to consider him the fifth band member is not a stretch by any means. The fan base that Mr.Children has earned through incredible writing, production, and presentation is staggering as they stand 2nd all time in Japan in overall sales and hold the same position in regards to album and single sales, both of these categories seeing them with million unit sales numbering in at 10 releases respectfully. But perhaps the most impressive stat lies in their 29 consecutive #1 singles, an amazing streak that continues to grow! While Japan’s music industry sales have indeed declined over the years along with the rest of the world’s markets Mr.Children continues to produce impressive numbers with singles dating not too far back selling in excess of 773,000…925,000…419,000…740,000…320,000…and 368,000. And the accolades don’t end there as Mr.Children has also captured Japan’s “Record Grand Prix” award twice! First with just their 5th single release “Innocent World” and for a second time in 2004 with the gem which is “Sign.”

Sakurai Kazutoshi composing.... The genius and ability of Sakurai Kazutoshi was evident from their very first single “Kimi ga ita natsu” which  showcases his uncanny ability of producing a perfect song structure, infectious melody, and heartfelt lyrics. As Mr.Children’s album releases progressed, so did Sakurai’s writing skills and to it an added new approach and thinking was always in constant change. The world is blessed with those few individuals capable of such an art that it breathes perfection and awe where others can only hope to ascend to. Sakurai is truly in this light and is with the exception of just a few songs, Mr.Children’s sole music composer & lyricist. The pairing with exceptional producer and composer Kobayashi Takeshi makes for a match of perfect harmony and perhaps their meeting was fate calling. Through the years Mr.Children has undergone only a single hiatus for one year that occurred after the release of “Bolero” and it’s ensuing tour. And from that a fully charged and refreshed group returned along with Sakurai’s return to his perfected craft, renewed just when the “circle” had perhaps seemed complete…but yet diversity never sleeps and neither does Sakurai’s talent. Exploring known facets as well as breaking new ground in music’s vocabulary has been his longtime approach and with this a path through The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, among others are evident in his works but never one to just replicate, Sakurai’s vision has always been to make it his own. A great thing to note about their albums is that beginning from just their 2nd album “Kind of Love”, the overall style of every succeeding album introduces a new aspect and approach to the songwriting and instrumentation is also explored further.

Mr.Children "Bolero"

Over the years Mr.Children has released a variety of documentaries and lives too (most recently “Split the difference” which I hope to post early next year) including “[es]” which covers their “1994 Tour Innocent World” & 1995 “Tour Atomic Heart.” With a running time of approximately 118 minutes the film provides a wonderful and in depth look at life on the road, recording, songwriting, and of course some great live performances along the way! Mr.Children’s 5th single “Innocent World” was just released prior and this single proved to be a landmark one for the band as their popularity and overall success began to soar to new heights. The film’s theme song “[es]~Theme of es~” sold in excess of 1.5 million copies!! A second documentary came in ’97 with the release of the film “regress or progress ’96-’97 DOCUMENT.” Though it has a much shorter running time of approximately 47 minutes the film’s coverage is perhaps even more in depth than its predecessor “[es].”

Performing at large venues is a constant when Mr.Children goes on tour…selling out the largest arenas in Japan and covering everything else in between. Their “Discovery” tour in ’99 saw the release of a deluxe CD package which was named “1/42” in its representation of a single show out of the 42 they had performed on this grueling tour. The set includes 2 CDs, an extensive booklet with lots of concert photos, and all of the lyrics from the shows’ play list.

Mr.Children’s 2001 “POPSAURUS” tour saw the creation of a large Dinosaur skeletal structure surrounding the stage above as well as a massive tower mid arena as the tour’s theme followed the release of their double greatest hits collections which covered their careers up to that point and with that the tour’s play list was a sensational one including just about every Mr.Children song that a fan’s heart could desire!!!

While there’s so much of Mr.Children which I’d love to share I’ve tried to narrowed everything down to just a few of my favorites♥ and everything here is so much recommended listening including songs such as “Kurumi”, “Shirushi”, “Sign”, and “and i love you” which offer a great look into the brilliance and heartfelt poetic words of Sakurai~san. ^^...

“Shirushi” (total sales: 740,080)

Mr.Children HOME TOUR 2007 (cover scan)

Sakurai Kazutoshi in "Shirushi" live from Mr.Children "HOME TOUR 2007-in the field-" This is still the cutest♥ cover ever!!!….and there’s an amazing performance of “Shirushi” in this concert as some of the songs begin with a little interlude and this one actually ingeniously blends right into the live performance seamlessly…really cool and amazing! Sakurai begins “Shirushi” solo on an acoustic as pictured above and just watch how incredible the transition is into the actual live recording sugoi~*!!

Mr.Children “Shirushi”

Mr.Children "Shirushi" live Mr.Children "Shirushi" live Mr.Children "Shirushi" live Mr.Children "Shirushi" live Mr.Children "Shirushi" live Mr.Children "Shirushi" live Mr.Children "Shirushi" live

“Hoshi ni naretara” mp3 Still one of their most supercharged and genki of songs!

“Classmate” mp3 From their breakthrough album “Atomic Heart”….jazzy~sweet.

Dakishimetai” mp3 A melody for the ages.

“Innocent World” mp3 (total sales: 1,935,830) Signature song, song of the year.

“[es]~Theme of es~” mp3 (total sales: 1,571,890) Documentary theme, moving lyrics.

“Tabidachi no uta” One of the most beautiful melodies ever written.

“Kimi ga ita natsu” mp3 Where it all began in terms of singles….the slide~guitar is very George Harrison reminiscent.

“HANABI” mp3 I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this song…..um if I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life this would be that song I think!

“Namonaki uta” mp3 (total sales: 2,308,790) “Namonaki uta” which also served as a drama theme song for the moving series “Pure.” I still think it’s one of the most perfectly matched closing drama theme songs of all time with the visuals and overall feel complimenting each other so perfectly and in complete harmony. “Namonaki uta” sold more than 2.3 million copies and remains as the fastest selling single of all time in Japan reaching the 1.2 million mark in just a single week.

“Kuchibue” mp3 (total sales: 724,070) Gives me goosebumps!

“LOVE” mp3 Very Beatles~Beatles~Beatles inspired!!!

“Ame nochi hare” mp3 Also from Mr.Children’s breakthrough album “Atomic Heart”, you gotta love the lyrics….so real and they even had an office setup on stage for this song whenever they’d perform it live!

“Ame nochi hare”

tanjyun na seikatsu wo kurikaesu dake
sonna mainichi mo ii sa
shinyuu to no yakusoku mo kyanseru shite
heya de naita- wo miyou

I merely go through the same things everyday in this simple life.
But I’m cool with it.
I cancel plans to go out with a friend,
and stay in my room to watch a night game.

ano ko ga dete itta no wa mou san ka getsu mae
awai omoide dake wo honoka ni nokoshite
namida mo nai kotoba mo nai akkenai ketsumatsu
are hodo moeagatteta futari ga uso mitai

It was 3 months ago that she left me.
Leaving me with only a faint vague memory
It came to an end quietly without tears or words
the two of us once so into each other, now seem like a lie

saikin jya gurama- na ko ni metsubou yowai
otoko tte konna mon sa
shinjin no marichan ni iiyotte mo
maru de tegotae ga nai

Lately I’m awfully weak when it comes to big breasted chicks.
Hey, I’m a guy.
Even when I hit on the new girl Mari,
it’s like she doesn’t even notice.

fukeiki no aoriukete shanai mu-do wa
kinpaku shiteiru kara boku hitori ga uiteru
jyoushi ni guchi iwareru uchi ga ‘hana’ datte iu kara
issho karen ni sakihokorou ka to omou yo

I stick out like a sore thumb cause,
the mood around the office is tense,
what with this recession and all.
They say “as long as the boss is still chewing you out,
your career is still alive”,
I think I’d like mine to be in tip top shape.

mou chotto mou chotto
gambattemiru kara
nee motto nee motto
ii koto ga aru ka na
kyou wa ame furi demo itsunohika

If I just try a bit harder
I wonder, if good things’ll be headed my way
Even though it’s raining today, someday…

‘omae tte kurai yatsu’ sou iwareteru
youshou no koro kara sa
1(wan)DK komae apa-to ni wa
2(ni)wa no inko wo kau

They’ve been calling me a “gloomy gus” since I was a sprout.
In my one dining kitchen apartment in Komae
I keep 2 parrots.

tama ni jikka ni kaereba majime na kao shite
dekisoko nai no boku ni hahaoya ha kurikaesu
‘ikiteiru uchi ni mago wo dakitai’ sore mo wakaru ki ga suru
narubeku ii ko wo sagashitai tte omocchairu kedo

Sometimes when I go home
my mother looks at her worthless son
and with a stern face she says again
“I’d like to hold a grandson in my lifetime”
I kinda understand what she’s getting at,
and I wanna find a nice girl to settle down with but…

mou chotto mou chotto
boku wo shinjitemite
kou naccha kou naccha
atomodori dekinai
ime-ji ha itsudemo amenoch hare

believe in me just a little more won’t ya?
if things go on like this, there’s no going back.
I always imagine it’ll be sunny after the rain

yuushuu na jinzai to kanchigai sare
ano hi no boku ha tada
kakoku na shigarami wo kakiwakete ha
atama wo sageteita

I was mistaken for a competent worker.
In those days I just plowed through the crowds
to visit our long standing business ties,
bowing my head each time.

wakasa de norikireru no mo kotoshi gurai da ne
kono saki dou naru ka nante daremo wakaranai
sono higurashi tanoshiku ikirya ii no kamoshirenai ne
sonna koto omoinagara mo mata hi kureru

This is probably the last year my youth will see me through.
From here on out, who knows how it’ll go?
It might be nice to just have fun and live for the moment.
As I ponder this, the sun sets on another day.

mou ii ya mou ii ya
tsukarehatechimatta
sou itte sou itte
koko made kita jyanai ka
kyou ha amefuri demo itsunohika

I’ve had enough, I’m dead tired.
Yet I’ve come all this way saying exactly that.
Eventhough it’s raining today, someday…

mou chotto mou chotto
gambattemiru kara
nee motto nee motto
ii koto ga aru ka na
ime-ji ha itsudemo
amenochi hare itsunohinika niji wo watarou.

If I try just a little harder.
I wonder if good things’ll be headed my way
I always imagine it’ll be sunny after the rain, someday
I’ll cross the rainbow.

Translated By: Brian Stewart & Takako Sakuma

“and i love you” mp3 ….♥♥♥!!!! and just how this song builds up!!!

“Sign” mp3 (total sales: 773,990) Theme song for the drama “Orange Days”, one of Mr.Childrens’s top 10 best!

“Kurumi” mp3 (total sales: 651,696) Means “walnut” and it’s a girl’s name here so cute….maybe odd? Love~love this song.

Mr.Children "Kurumi"....

Mr.Children “Kurumi”

Nee Kurumi
kono machi no keshiki wa kimi no me ni
dou utsuru no?
ima no boku wa dou mieru no?

Tell me, Kurumi
what do you see looking at this city?
how do I look to you now?

Nee kurumi
dareka no yasashisa mo hiniku ni kikoeteshimaunda
sonna toki dou shitara ii?

Tell me Kurumi
when I start to hear the sarcasm in someone’s kindness
what am I to do?

Yokatta koto dake omoidashite
yake ni toshioita kimochi ni naru
to wa ie kurashi no nakade
ima ugokidasou to shiteiru
haguruma no hitotsu ni naranakute wa naa
kibou no kazu dake shitsubou wa fueru
soredemo asu ni mune wa fureru
donna koto ga okorun darou?
souzou shite mirundayo

Remembering only the good times
though it makes me feel like I’ve aged a lot
but you have to be one of the gears trying to get turning
you can have only as much despair as you have hope
but still, my heart trembles at the thought of the future
what’s going to happen?
I try to imagine

Nee Kurumi
jjikan ga nanimokamo araitsuresattekureba
ikiru koto wa jitsu ni tayasui

Tell me Kurumi
if time will eventually wash every thing away
then life must be a simple affair

Nee Kurumi
are kara wa ichido mo namida wa nagashitenaiyo
demo honkide warau koto mo sukunai

Tell me Kurumi
since then I haven’t cried once
but, neither have I had many good laughs

Dokokade kakechigaetekite
ki ga tsukeba hitotsu amatta botan
onaji you ni shite dareka ga
mote amashita botanhoru ni
deau kotode ima ga dekita nara ii
deai no kazu dake wakare wa fueru
soredemo kibou ni mune wa fueru
jyuujiro ni dekuwasu tabi
mayoi mo suru darou kedo

Somewhere I did up the buttons wrong
by the time I notice there’s one button left over
and also one button hole in need of a button
if you find meaning in finding someone that’s fine
you can only have as many partings as you do encounters
still my heart trembles at the thought of hope every time I encounter a crossroad
I’ll struggle over which way to go but…

Ima ijyou wo itsumo hoshigaru kuse ni
kawaranai ai wo motome utau
sou shite haguruma wa mawaru
kono hitsuyou ijyou no futan ni
gishigishi nibui oto wo tatenagara
kibou no kazu dake shitsubou wa fueru
soredemo asu ni mune wa fureru
donna koto ga okorun darou?
souzou shite miyou
deai no kazu dake wakare wa fueru
soredemo kibou ni mune wa fureru
hikikaeshicha ikenai yo ne
susumou kimi no inai michi no ue e

Even though I want more than I have now
I sing for an unchanging love
that’s what makes the gears turn with the burden of more than I need
making a dull grinding sound
you can only have as much despair as you do hope
and still my heart trembles at the thought of th future
what’s going to happen?
let’s imagine
you can only have as many partings as you do encounters
and still my heart trembles at the thought of hope
I guess there’s no turning back
so I’ll go on to a road without you

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
This entry was posted in Favorite songs, Featured, J~Pop and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 「Featured Post」~Mr.Children…SENSE and retrospect (album of the year, ♥ group of all~time)

  1. Mike Avila says:

    Happy New Years MBchan!! ❤

    Wow – that's a pretty definitive Mr, Children post! I will have to read it again to absorb everything! 🙂 I know Theme of Es anyway from the Marie Digsby 2nd Home recording. What the heck is a "es"?

    I think New Zealand then Australia is the first time change! Hawaii is a about last… so you get to keep the old year a bit longer… Nice that we connected a bit more this year. And to think that the VOX disaster had something to do with it! 😛

    Best of 2011 to MB

    Like

    • Thank you~* Mikey♥! Sorry I’m replying so late (><);….a~h that's right she recorded a wonderful version of "es" Mmmm I do remember asking my grandmother what "es" was but I can't remember what she had said =/.

      Oh I thought it was um…somewhere else :P….okay so New Zealand and Australia and that makes sense =). I've been having less and less time to be online though….feel badly about that =(.

      Best wishes~* for 2011 to you too Mikey♥!!

      Like

  2. zush says:

    HAPPI 2011 dear MB ♥ !

    I got the feeling that this new year might be very special year for many of us. lol! How mysterious I can be?

    Like

    • Hi Zushy!! Happy New Year….although I’m most late with this aren’t I (><);. W~ah so you're planning to see BK in the U.S.?!! So lucky!!! It's so encouraging too that more and more Japanese artists are making appearances overseas…too bad they're flying over Hawaii :P.

      Like

  3. Pingback: J-Music Survey | モーニングBerryz48…the morning after….. "Always wear protection before reading…(^q^)."

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