Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- hook / hʊk / (n.) – a part of a song or piece of music that sounds pleasant and easy to remember
I really liked the song after I heard its hook.
- irresistible / ˌɪr ɪˈzɪs tə bəl / (adj.) – describing something that’s difficult to avoid because it’s too attractive or strong
The chocolate cake was irresistible. I had three slices!
- subsequent / ˈsʌb sɪ kwənt / (adj.) – happening after something else
The first episode of the TV series is good, but the subsequent episodes are even better.
- plummet / ˈplʌm ɪt / (v.) – to fall in amount, value, etc. in a very quick or sudden manner
Temperatures plummet during the winter months.
- alienate / ˈeɪ li əˌneɪt / (v.) – to cause someone to feel that they don’t belong in a group
I didn’t know how to speak my coworkers’ native language. That alienated me from them.
Read the text below.
The duo Dreams Come True have charmed millions of listeners across Asia thanks to their breezy funk-indebted pop hits. Yet the pair have also connected with millions more in an under-the-radar way — the group frequently writes music for the video game Sonic The Hedgehog.
Masato Nakamura and Miwa Yoshida have connected with J-pop fans while also contributing memorable music to the world of Sega’s energetic hedgehog. While the two might not be famous as pioneers when it comes to creating soundtracks to famous home console titles, they have played a major role in making tunes that are instantly recognized by gamers all over the world.
Dreams Come True formed in 1988 as a trio that included keyboardist Takahiro Nishikawa. Almost immediately, they became superstars at home. Their blend of jazz, funk and rock came wrapped around catchy hooks, making for an irresistible mix of sounds. Their self-titled debut album sold very well when it came out in 1989, and their subsequent releases were even more popular.
In the mid-1990s, Dreams Come True decided to make a play for the American market. They left Sony Music — causing the company’s stock price to plummet — and signed with Virgin Records America. However, their efforts to cross over failed. They were hurt partly by bad marketing, but also by the mistake they made in changing their style to a more hip-hop-inspired sound that failed to connect with U.S. audiences and alienated Japanese fans.
To be continued…
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
- Masato Nakamura and Miwa Yoshida have connected with J-pop fans while also contributing memorable music to the popular game Sonic The Hedgehog. How can artists connect with different types of audiences (ex. create different styles of music, revive old songs)? Do you think artists should have more than one target audience or should they focus on just one? Why? Discuss.
- The band made the mistake of changing their style to a more hip-hop-inspired sound. It failed to connect with US audiences and alienated Japanese fans. Why do you think this happened? What kind of music will make you feel alienated? Why? Discuss.
- In the mid-1990s, Dreams Come True decided to make a play for the American market, but their efforts to cross over failed. Why do you think musicians strive to be popular in other countries? Do you think this is necessary for success? Why or why not? Discuss.
- Do you think it’s okay for musicians to change their style to be popular in another country? Why or why not? Discuss.