Friday, April 3, 2009
review by Robbie Santos
The track “I’m Happy But You Don’t Like Me” comes from Asobi Seksu’s self-titled album in 2004. Asobi Seksu, when loosely translated, is a Japanese colloquialism meaning “casual sex” or even literally “fun sex.” The band draws heavily from the shoe-gazing genre and combines elements of dream/noise pop. The band is comprised of Yuki Chikudate (keyboard) and James Hanna (guitar) who share vocal duties throughout the album.
The standout elements in this song are Chikudate’s vocals and Hanna’s guitar work, which easily draws comparisons to Blondie. The entire song is sung in Japanese which could easily distract the listener but Chikudate’s vocals, while not overwhelming, are extremely charming and compliment the poppy track well. However the band’s talent for expression is showcased when the lyrics are translated: “Futari de koi shite/tanoshii tokoro eikitai kedo/kimi wa dokonimo inai”: “I want to go back to the time/when we loved each other and had fun together but/you aren’t here.” While the entire mood of the song remains upbeat and airy, the juxtaposition of these somber lyrics with the remainder of the track brings a different facet to “I’m Happy but You Don’t Like Me.”
Steady guitar and keyboard (played by Hanna and Chikudate, respectively) keep the buoyant song afloat, never drawing too much attention to one or the other. Asobi Seksu keeps things fun but at the same time builds on this consistency which allows them to delve into various forms of expression. The entire album is definitely worth a listen but “I’m Happy but You Don’t Like Me” is a great starting point for everyone.
Look at those clouds
That small bird is flying
I'm happy but you don't like me
I want to go back to the time
when we loved each other and had fun together but
you aren't here
Why did you want to disappear
Why did you want to run away
Why, why, why
I love, love, love you, but...
Buy at iTunes Music StoreI'm Happy But You Don't Like Me