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Mr.Children reflect on life in their Music Video for “Documentary film”

November 20, 2020

With just under two weeks until “SOUNDTRACKS” hits store shelves, Mr.Children have started ramping up the promotion. A bevy of TV appearances – Best Artist on November 25th, FNS Kayousai on December 2nd, and an exceedingly rare showing on NHK’s New Year’s Eve staple Kouhaku Uta Gassen – have been announced, with more likely to follow. Wouldn’t surprise me if we see something about Music Station Super Live or SONGS in the next week or two.

On the musical side, the band made use of YouTube’s premiere function to unveil the music video for the album’s – presumed – lead song: its sixth track “Documentary film”. The tune itself is an emotive ballad, and one of the better ones Mr.Children have put together in recent years; it reminds me a lot of their mid-2000s sound with a much stronger band set beneath the piano and strings. Sakurai continues his string of sounding great on the track, and genuinely sells me on what he’s trying to say about life and our memories.

As for the video itself, that was directed by PERIMETRON’s OSRIN – who’s most known for his work on King Gnu’s PVs. Here he combines a couple of different animation styles with live action footage of a boy and girl as they experience life together. Wonders, distress, and all. On the whole, I think the clip is well-paired with the song, and the small reference to “Q” made me smile a little on the inside.

You don’t have to take my word for it though. Check out the video for “Documentary film” – along with a trailer for “SOUNDTRACKS” – below.

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Mr.Children publish intimately-shot Live Performance of “Brand new planet”

October 28, 2020

Picking up where my previous article left off, Mr.Children have since announced that the second song on “SOUNDTRACKS” – titled “Brand new planet” – will be serving as the theme song for FujiTV drama “Nee-chan no Koibito”. This marks the band’s second drama tie-in for this era, following hot on the heels of “turn over?”, and the album’s sixth tie-in overall.

The last time an album was this heavily reliant on media tie-ins was “[(an imitation) blood orange]”, which long-term I wasn’t especially fond of. That said, for my taste at least, the tracks we’ve had a chance to hear seem generally stronger than those used to support that release. So I’m still fairly optimistic that this album will come together on the whole.

Back to “Brand new planet”, today the band uploaded a live promotional video for the track to their YouTube channel. The footage comes from the “MINE” documentary that will be included with the longplay’s Limited Edition and consists of a simple, well-shot clip of the members’ performance.

Continue on below to have a listen to “Brand new planet”, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Until next time!

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Mr.Children to release New Album “SOUNDTRACKS” in December

October 2, 2020

It’s been a spell and a half since my last post here – been busy in more ways than one – but given my general enthusiasm about the band’s most recent era, I’d like to at least make an attempt to cover the lead-up to this particular record. Announced earlier today (late yesterday in Japan), Mr.Children will be releasing their 20th studio album – titled “SOUNDTRACKS” – on December 2nd.

Much like “Juuryoku to Kokyuu” – which I did like – before it, “SOUNDTRACKS” is set to run ten tracks in length. Five of those songs have already been revealed in some form, with “Birthday”, “Kimi to Kasaneta Monologue”, and “turn over?” released and “others” and “The song of praise” available in part via their tie-ins with Kirin Beer and ZIP!.

What’s particularly notable about this longplay is that it’s the band’s first to be recorded entirely overseas, largely in London and Los Angeles, and the first time they’ve recorded outside of Japan at all since their work on “Q” back in 2000. There are a whole host of star-studded names involved, including Steve Fitzmaurice, Simon Hale, Randy Merrill and Miles Showell.

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Mr.Children to release a new single in January

November 22, 2016

Well, it took them a while to finally announce this, but I can’t say that I’m not happy with the overall package.  So, as the title says, Mr.Children will putting out their first single in 2 years and 2 months on January 11th.

While the lead song (and Asadora theme) is the only wholly “new” track on the single, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any B-sides included.  In fact, there are actually five of them.  Three are studio live rearrangements of some classic songs, while the other two are lives from the last stretch of their “Niji” Hall Tour.  Taken altogether, I’m really pretty darn excited for this single, particularly if it is the prelude to the album I hope is coming at some point next year.

Of note, the group that performs all of the songs on this single consists of the four core band members, SUNNY (Keyboard & Backing Vocals), Yamamoto Takuo (Saxophone), icchie (Trumpet), and duo Charan-po-Rantan’s Koharu (Accordion), an ensemble which they’ve been affectionately calling the “Hikari no Atelier” band.

Finally, the band will be be embarking on another, shorter Hall Tour named after the single in March and April of next year.  I expect that we’ll see them start playing larger venues again later on in 2017, so if you want to see them in a more intimate setting, this is probably your best bet.

So!  For those of you who are curious just what tracks were chosen to get the re-imagining treatment, you can read on below to get a look at the single’s full track list.

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Mr.Children to perform the theme song for the Asadora “Beppin-san”

September 23, 2016

Long time no see!  Life’s honestly been pretty crazy since I last posted here, but with things calming down at last and Mr.Children’s 25th anniversary coming up next year, I’d like to see if I can get things back on track.  That meaning, I have Mr.Children news to post!

The band have announced that they’ll be providing the theme song for the next NHK morning drama (or Asadora), titled “Beppin-san”.  The song itself is titled “Hikari no Atelier” (loosely means “Workshop of Light”) and has been described as a hopeful number that Sakurai says was originally written in the days following the Kumamoto earthquakes.

Based on concert reports from their “Niji” tour, performances of the song involve accordion, brass, and even have Tahara playing some kind of ukulele-like instrument.  Why listen to me talk about it when you can hear a bit of it yourself though?  So read on below to take a listen to the snippet of “Hikari no Atelier” that was included in the most recent trailer for “Beppin-san”.

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“Mikan” Radio Rip!

May 19, 2015

Greetings fellow Mr.Children fans!  Now that I’ve finally finished up with uni. for this school year, I’m going to make sure that I provide as much coverage as I can in the lead-up to this particular album.  Now that we’re only two weeks out from REFLECTION’s release, it’s pretty likely that the audio for new songs will just pop up out of nowhere.

Like this little treat, for example, that was just announced to be airing on the radio last night.  “Mikan” (“Unfinished”) is the first song on the {Drip} version of the album and the last on the {Naked} version of the album, as well as the song the band named their Stadium Tour after, so it appears to be pretty important in the scheme of the release.  The track itself focuses mostly on the core 4-person band, though some strings do show through at a few moments.  Still, it’s a pretty refreshing song to hear from Mr.Children these days and I’m glad that they decided to write one in this vein.

Read on below to check out the full radio rip of “Mikan” for yourself!

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Mr.Children reveal all of the details about their new album “REFLECTION”

March 14, 2015

It’s been a bit of a while since I’ve had something to post about here!  Now though, I have huge news regarding Mr.Children’s upcoming album; all of the information about the release have been revealed, and there were a number of surprises that I can’t say that anyone would have predicted.  So please, read on for a full brief about what to expect from the group’s latest studio album “REFLECTION”, and feel free to discuss the release in the comments.  Since frankly, I think this is the most excited I’ve been for a Mr.Children album in years, and I’d love to discuss it with more people.

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Mr.Children announce New Studio Album (and so much more)!

February 6, 2015

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here; many apologies for the silence, since while there definitely has been news to post, I’ve just been incredibly busy these past couple of months.  Things are starting to settle down now though, and just in time to report on the biggest piece of news among my bunch; don’t worry though, I’ll also be going over everything I missed during December and January, so hold onto your hats and be ready for a decently long post.

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New Song “Melody” to be used in a CM for Kose Cosmetics

November 11, 2014

I thought I wouldn’t be posting again until around the time the single released, but it looks like Mr.Children had one more trick up their sleeve for this release.  The second B-side on the single, “Melody” has been picked up to used in a new commercial for the latest line of Kose brand cosmetics.

The commercial will start airing on the 21st of November in Japan, but will be uploaded in HQ online on the 16th.  However, there’s no need to wait that long, as there’s a 1+ minute long preview of the song in the making-clip for the commercial, which you’ll find should you choose to read on below.

Before that however, it’s also worth mentioning that Sakurai will be doing a fairly extensive interview with the Japanese branch of Rolling Stone for their January issue (released in mid-December).  He’ll also be on the cover of the magazine, so look forward to that (I’m hoping we get some album details out of that).  Now, feel free to to take your first listen to “Melody”.

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“Ashioto ~Be Strong” Music Video

November 6, 2014

Well, now that we’re just a few weeks away from the release of the new single, it looks like Mr.Children have finally decided to release the full PV for Ashioto – and it’s probably my favorite MV from them in… a while really.  Surprisingly touching and emotional, and overall I think it fits the song very well.

Enjoy taking a look and a listen below!

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