Miyavi – The Others
For the uninitiated, Miyavi stands out as Japan’s biggest rock star in a music scene characterised by cutesy J-pop and heavily choreographed numbers, boasting tattoos, piercings and an obvious passion for going rogue on his guitar during live performances. So now you know. And with four world tours and support spots for Lenny Kravitz and Thirty Seconds to Mars under his belt, anticipation has been high for Miyavi’s first musical release in over two years, The Others. It’s a technically great album, fusing catchy rhythms and clean electric sounds to create an edgy, upbeat collection of songs. A particular stand out track includes ‘Unite’, which features vocals from former ‘The Music and The D.O.T’ frontman Robert Harvey, with Miyavi clearly coming into his own using his signature slapping-style to create a really funky tune. While perfect technical skill is nothing to grumble about, it can create a sense of lacking authenticity, particularly for English audiences who may be used to a little more grit with their rock bands, giving the album an overall Disney-does-rock vibe.