Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Miko vs. Miyavi

Seven years ago, one of my best friends mentioned a solo artist by the name of Miyavi. Her selling point was that his spastic personality reminded her of me, so I checked him out. I came across one of his first solo PVs for "Pop is Dead" and immediately fell in love with his high energy. It wasn't until I heard "Night in Girl" that I enjoyed him as an artist. From then on, I became a Miyavi fan.

Naturally, I went backwards and checked out his previous band, Due'le quartz. Miyavi was a young man by the name of Miyabi. He was a gifted guitarist with a rocky past and a mixed background that he denied for quite some time. He displayed energy, passion, and was a little contained when needed. Watching Due'le quartz's last live was a heartbreaking moment, but all good things must come to an end and Miyavi had a fairly successful solo career. His former band members Sakito and Kikasa (and Kazuki providing support drums for lives) had a decent, but short lived duo band [FIGURE;]. Kikasa supposedly managed an indies label, TUXEDO PRODUCTION, as well.

Since his band days, young Miyavi grew and evolved as an artist. His passion for music showed more and more over the years. He seemed more confident with his craft with Miyavizm - Shugi and showed off his acoustic abilities with his double album release MYV☆POPS and Miyavi uta - dokuso. Soon a new style was introduced with the enthusiasm of the KAVKI BOIZ. It mixed traditional visuals with slap guitar, tap dancing, and rap. I wasn't a huge fan of this era and I won't drift too far on how pointless his involvement with S.K.I.N was either. That's more of Yoshiki's doing than Miyavi's.

In 2009, Miyavi departed from PS Company and announced his marriage to jpop singer and J-Melo hostess Melody. He was opening his label J-Glam and was starting a family with his new wife. This was a rocky transition for some fans and I was surprised by the fan attacks. During this time, he made his first appearance at Texas' Anime Matsuri. The Q&A was the worst I've ever been to and the live was underwhelming. Despite his busy schedule with new material, business, and a family, Miyavi set forth on his first world tour that was unfortunately cut short due to health issues. The following year was another slightly underwhelming performance for myself.

WHAT'S MY NAME? introduced a very basic instrumentation and electronic elements with his improved slap guitar talent. In 2011, I was finally satisfied with his live performance in Dallas. Miyavi was a little more settled with himself as a musician, businessman, and family man. Unfortunately, this new Miyavi lacks lasting power as the spastic one I grew attached to. No, I'm not saying one of those "the old Miyavi was better, he never should've changed" type rants. Even if I enjoyed this era differently, I do notice the good points to them. Since Day 1 was released this year, I noticed how repetitive and almost uninspired Miyavi has become.

His departure from PSC was a smart move. He got to gain his own personal freedom with not only his musical journey, but for his own happiness outside of music. He has a proud wife, beautiful children, and a new love for himself by accepting his father's half. That's a huge positive! The misstep was the push to produce music and tour the world while trying to adjust in this new position in life.

Put away your rocks Miyavi fans and hear me out. Listen to "What's My Name?", "Strong", and "Day 1" and tell me that this isn't repetitive and uninspired. Even at his last live in Texas, some of the songs sounded the same. The energy was there, but the passion was lacking. Sure, he was never the best singer, but his lyrics were touching. His composition was unique from song to song. Now it's the same guitar slapping and random spouts of yelling lyrics over an electronic track with barely comprehensible English.

I love Miyavi and he will probably be my favorite jrock solo artist for a long time even though there are way more talented solo jrock artists I like, but I really want Miyavi to turn around and abandon this lackluster music style. He either needs to slow down with his schedule or rejoin a band to adjust his skills and reignite the passion in his music. Watch this live he participated in with Kiyoharu. The man can play when he's actually plucking some strings.

1 comment:

xxdovahkiinxx said...

I agree on some points - mainly, I've felt underwhelmed with Miyavi's guitar work for some time now.