Just because the world is uncertain right now doesn’t mean that the world of JRock has slowed down. As the weather outside turns dark and cold, these songs were the ones that lit that fire in us and kept us moving.
As always, check out these songs a lot more on Rice Digital’s JRock Playlist on Spotify, updated each month to give you a taste of the biggest and newest songs to come out of Japan.
Our October JRock Playlist
Bring Me To Life by WagakkiBand featuring Amy Lee of Evanescence
Those of us who are a certain age have strong memories of listening to Bring Me To Life by Evanescence. In my youth, I spent a lot of time driving around town with this song blaring on my stereo. So when I saw that Wagakki Band covered this American rock hit with the original singer in tow, it immediately gave me that little hit of nostalgia I was looking for.
The marriage of Lee’s iconic vocal performance alongside Wagakki Band’s use of traditional Japanese instruments to create a heavy JRock sound is seamless and exciting, making it feel like listening to a song I have heard a thousand times for the first time with fresh ears.
Doll by Scandal
I’ve talked plenty about my love for Scandal. It has been twelve years since their debut and they’ve remained at the top of the JRock genre ever since. Even in this, their first single released in October 2008, you can hear the crisp instrumentals and the energetic vocals that would become their signature sound over the next decade.
This song brough Scandal into the public eye, so its definitely worth checking out to give you a bit of perspective about how far the band has come and just how long they’ve been this good.
ANIMA (The First Take) by WagakkiBand featuring Amy Lee of Evanescence
I always love listening to studio albums, but there is something magical about a live performance that can’t usually be captured in a studio, where you can do take after take until you get things exactly right. Which is why I love these The First Take videos, which take established artists into a studio and ask them to perform one of their signature songs in a single take. No second tries. No finding the best take. Just them and their passion and skill.
This song by ReoNa featured as the opening to Sword Art Online – Alicization – War of Underworld a few years ago, so its been on my radar for a while now. But this felt different. More exciting and passionate. More raw and powerful. Definitely worth checking out.
Fire Scream by Nana Mizuki
If, like me, you’ve played through Persona 5, congratulations. You have excellent taste. If you have heard the Japanese dub of the game or the anime, then you’ve heard Nana Mizuki in the role of Ann (who is, incidentally, our top waifu in the game). Here, she is in something very different from her usual voice acting roles, but don’t think that singing is just something she does on the side. Fire Scream is her 40th single to be released in Japan.
This song showcases her powerful and energetic vocals with a song that blurs the line between JRock and house music, feeling like someone brought a rock band to a rave but it still manages to work remarkably well. It’s soaring song where Nana’s voice is the driving force behind the intricate guitar rifts and pounding drums. Its an easy fit on any workout playlist and will get you moving and energetic as the world continues to struggle to return to normal.
If you’ve enjoyed these songs, be sure to check out the music channel in our Discord for even more recommendations from our community!
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