Recently, I have been re-visiting some older musical loves of mine that have, sadly, not received the attention they deserve on my ipod in recent years.
One of these tragically neglected albums is "Shousso Strip" by Japanese composer, musician and Jrock chameleon, Shiina Ringo.
One of Japan's most iconic and quirky popular musicians, Ringo's entire solo discography (as well as her work with her band, Tokyo Jhien ) are a must listen if you get the opportunity to check her out.
However -- "Shousso Strip" and specificly the single "Honnou" were my first introductions to Ringo several years ago.
Ringo (who counts Bjork, Madonna, and the recently deceased King of Pop as just a few of her Western musical influences) is also known for her incredibly iconic music videos that are always incredibly fresh , visually striking and innovative.
Shiina Ringo's musical scope is also quite extensive. Throughout her career (both solo and on Tokyo Jhien projects), she has dipped her toes into every style from alternative rock, jazz, swing , pop and everything in between.
It should also be noted that her vocal delivery is also quite a departure from a lot of her Jrock contemporaries. She is well known for rolling her "r"s when she sings, which is an incredibly unusual characteristic for a Japanese singer altogether.
After re-watching "Honnou" for the first time in years, I decided that I had to pay a little homage to it and just one Ringo's many incarnations (see above illustration).
Honestly, I'm not 100% sure how I feel about how this illustration came out. At one point, I became incredibly frustrated and desaturated the entire piece (see below).
I believe that it may be a stronger piece without color than with but then again, maybe the original (color) version may hold a little truer to the original inspiration.
I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about this one -- but feel free to comment and share your opinion about either version if you would like. :)
In the meantime, below is the music video for "Honnou" (which is the original inspiration for the illustration).
I am also sharing her video clip for "Le Salle de Bain" -- just because it is just an incredibly beautiful clip and just one of the many examples of how Shiina Ringo continues to push creative and musical expectations (which is something that I deeply admire).