Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kouji Wada - Butter-Fly

Kouji Wada - "Butter-Fly"

Everything I've read about Kouji Wada suggests that his career is basically built around work for a single, third-tier anime series, one that's quickly faded from popularity in the past few years, at that. If this song, which came out in 1999 or 2000 or so, actually was a big hit, then it would make sense that he'd, you know... be doing other things. But it's 2007 and he's still a slave to the same franchise. What gives?

Bloated arena J-rock of the disposable bubblegum flavor, this isn't a song that I'd ever have guessed would stick with me for more than a few listens. And still, six (seven?) years later, it's still one of my favorite songs of the decade. I know it's saccharine, over-the-top bullshit... but it kills. That massive opening riff, and that huge chorus. I know it all sounds, well... completely gay, and that in all likelihood, it's probably a good thing that I've never read any translated lyrics for it. They probably suck, but I don't understand a word of them so that's just fine. They sound great, though.

I heard this twice in the Japanese market I used to live by, which was always a pleasant surprise and a good sign that maybe "Butter-Fly" really was a hit. Not everyone gets into rotation on the Japanese mall background music station on satellite radio, after all. I also heard Tahiti 80 in there on a few occasions, confirming the many suggestions that they are, in fact, big in Japan.

I love this song because it sounds so big. What a disappointment to see it played live not with a full band -- there's incredibly potential for some great poses during the guitar solos -- but as a glorified karaoke performance. I guess it's fun to listen to people actually singing along, though. I can't tell if they really are or if they're just faking it like I do. It's much easier to do this with French songs, I've found.

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