Listening to Shiina Ringo’s Shouso Strip at the moment, which isn’t even my favorite Shiina Ringo album, and it so clearly destroys anything that has come out of the Japanese pop music scene in the last six years. This album should sound dated and terrible — that’s how pop culture works — but the total stagnation of J-Pop makes it sound like some kind of futuristic gift sent back in time from an altrusitic advanced civilization. “Gibusu” is like ideal utopian socialist fantasy of a J-Rock ballad.
Buffalo Daughter’s “LI303VE” also stands up. (I am writing about both artists for a magazine.)
Many deride necrophilic obsession with the past, but what do you do when the past so clearly and objectively kicks the present’s teeth in on a daily basis? The collapse of this pop culture thing has made us all Classics majors and historians.