Japanese, Reviews

K Does The J-Drama Thing: Aitai Kara Single (Review)

March 18, 2011 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook K Does The J-Drama Thing: Aitai Kara Single (Review)on Twitter

We’ve featured K a few times on the site. Yeah, he goes by just “K,” which is apparently to acknowledge his Korean background despite the fact that he has now made a name for himself singing J-pop. I loved his playful Traveling Song album as well as his goofy Christmas album a couple holidays ago.

Here we have a single of from 2010 titled “Aitai Kara,” which was featured as the main theme to the Japanese film Shun Matataki. The film is a drama about a young woman who loses her boyfriend in a fatal accident along with her memory from the shock of the event.

Does K effectively capture this with his ballad? Find out in our review.

K opens by phrasing “Atai Kara” along with a gentle piano backing. It isn’t long before full strings, percussion, and xylophones come in. While a bit bouncey with skipping piano chords in the background and the fat percussion, K keeps things grounded with his subdued singing style. The whole dramatic element doesn’t really come in until the chorus section, however, as the strings take a more emotional approach to K’s ascending “Atai Kara!” lyrics. It sounds like other drama themes you’ve probably heard, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great.

While there are no B-sides on this single, there’s certainly more to be heard. The second track is a “piano instrumental” version of the theme. The measured pace of the arrangement actually makes it a whole lot more dramatic, and you’ll be surprised to learn that K himself not only arranged the piece, but also performs it. I never realized that he was such a talented pianist, and this track honestly gives me a newfound respect for him.

Finally, there’s the “Music video live recording ver.” which features only live piano and vocals by K. After hearing the solo piano arrangement, this version really brings it together with the addition of the lyrics. It’s also nice to know that K can give a decent vocal performance in a live setting, which is sometimes a challenge for pop artists in the US.

We’re looking at the regular edition of the album here, which features only a CD with the three above tracks, but there are two different limited editions available as well. The limited edition A version includes a DVD with a music video featuring footage from the movie as well as the movie trailer, while limited edition B has a music video featuring K instead of movie footage. The regular edition does have an exclusive bonus, however, which is a fold-out poster of K.

Whichever version you decide to get, it’s a great track, and the arrangements are a nice touch. The regular edition, and even the limited editions are still available at CD Japan (Regular, limited edition A, limited edition B).

Have you caught on to K yet? Are there other J-drama themes that you think we ought to check out?

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