A timeless J-Pop favorite…S.E.S (愛)という名の誇り

Now that you’ve got your hat all you need is a song! =)

My dear friend Philip recently turned me onto the K-pop music of IU and High 4 and so in celebration of that I thought we’d have a bit of nostalgia and although the song in this post is J-pop the group represents a crossover of musical cultures originating in South Korea.

S.E.SBefore there was Boa and the stream of crossover artists, there was S.E.S…a trio of Korean vocalists with power, range, grace, and soul in their voices whom formed in the late 90’s. Before debuting in Japan S.E.S released an impressive catalog of pop releases in Korea and were actually one of the first Korean groups/singers to pioneer the transition to a multilingual career overseas. One day a customer asked to special order their Japan debut single “meguri au sekai” (during my record store days) and while I wasn’t familiar with the trio back then in late ’98 I was immediately impressed with the powerful projection and sound of their vocals and when their single “(ai) to iu nano hokori” was released just a few months later I was completely hooked on their sound. “(Ai) to iu nano hokori” remains as one of my top 100 J-Pop songs of all time.

My S.E.S collection is a modest one with just their Japanese debut album and a subsequently released best of album but I highly recommend anyone who finds themselves drawn to this song to check out the rest of their discography!

S.E.S “(ai) to iu nano hokori”

The melody is extremely memorable and the chorus is simply exhilarating! They sure can sing!!!…so much vocal control and the nuances of a perfect falsetto to speak of!…and I always find myself in awe every time that I listen to this song, no matter how many times I’ve heard it before and they have so many many other great catchy songs to offer any music fan who likes sweet J-Pop with a nice touch of r&b in their tunes. While their Japan debut album “Reach Out” is out of print a couple of their other albums are still available here….and more can be found in auctions as well.

S.E.S are…Sea (Bada), Eugene, Shoo (S.E.S ~1997-2002).




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 :).
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14 Responses to A timeless J-Pop favorite…S.E.S (愛)という名の誇り

  1. Ivan says:

    i followed they a little, but not with the japanese songs… but for some reason when i lost my song collection i never found more the songs from they:\

    a good group with nice songs😛


  2. yay,they’re the few who i had first taste of Kpop besides BoA and i think they’re Korea’s answer to the quartet SPEED(song,dance and all) at that time.I don’t know what happen to the other two but Eugene(Yoo-jin) still so pretty darn popular as an actress ’til now.


    • Coincidentally Philip and you both mention SPEED in an analogy sense and it’s gotten me thinking and I can totally hear what you mean =). Too bad they broke up but at least they all went onto their own solo works and Yoo-jin was always so gorgeous to go along with her performing talents and so awesome she found acting with such great success too ^^.


  3. philipleslie says:

    Wow, spotted your post after I wrote I didn’t know SES. I really liked that song. There was even a touch of SPEED about the opening vocal. The chorus is very sweet. Definitely a group I’ll investigate. Great voices too! Thank you for posting.


    • Ah it’s very cool that both you and hunterivlouis mention SPEED in an analogy sense to S.E.S =)! Un their vocals are so unique to one another and they blend together so perfectly and the range and power they sing with is incredible!! I’d gotten hooked on their crossover releases from just this one song back then and even listening to it today it’s not gotten dated a single bit. Pop, ballads, R&B….S.E.S was a top tier group! And they really spearheaded the crossover movement for artists to follow.


      • philipleslie says:

        I spotted hunterivlouis’ mention of SPEED too. So it must be true! There’s plenty of S.E.S. on eBay. Keen to hear more, so when there’s a suitable gap in my ‘wants’ list, I may try one of the albums.


        • I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with any of their albums….in this live performance theirs an air of SPEED in their choreography for sure and Bada’s (Sea’s) vocals would very much like Hiro’s in SPEED as she has the outstanding range too.


  4. Pingback: Recommended Kpop Reading: November 12, 2014 | Idolminded

  5. nightfly44 says:

    I discovered S.E.S after accidently stumbling upon a SNSD soundtrack song (Touch the sky). I can only thank youtube’s suggestion list, and S.E.S was next, FinKl, Baby VOX and then all the rest. Meguriau Sekai is one of my favorites (and the last song I ever found a rudimentary translation for), though, along with Yume wo kasanate and Aitoiune no hokori (hope I spelled those right, or at least close). Wonderful voices, beautiful songs even though I couldn’t understand a single word. It took me five years to find some even bad translations for their songs, as aheeyah website is no longer up with the translations from back then. Last year I discovered akb48, and the huge catalog of songs that they have; a little sad that I missed out on their developing years, there’s so much really good music from 2005 on all the way through Acchan’s retirement. Living in America, I never knew there was such a wealth of such wonderful music that I’d never heard of. Right now, I’m limited to Korean and Japanese singers, hoping to expand my horizons further, but now knowing the language, it’s hard. And I don’t like rap, so that eliminates a whole lot.
    But I enjoyed reading this page. I’ll take a look at your other pages here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi nightfly44 =)! It’s always so interesting in learning how we each find our fandoms in music! How one song or artist/ group can readily lead to another and then it just happens ~*! S.E.S really captured the hearts of so many out there and their music I think remains timeless as none of it really sounds dated and it was all so well written with outstanding vocalists all around in this trio and how well they each complimented one another. I only got into AKB48 through Watarirouka Hashiritai in I think it was 2009 so I too had to do a lot of backtracking in discovering their roots and incredible early catalog!

      I hope you can find many more posts of interest here as there’s quite a bit on AKB48/Family48, Hello! Project and lots of other fave artists and groups from years of being love with the culture and music. Please let me know if you’re looking for any suggestions =).


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