Available: iTunes US Store
While K-Pop artists jumped into the app. world with admirable ferocity, J-artists are doing their best to catch up. X-Japan is one such artist that has entered the app. world as of this past September.
Let me start with what one might expect to be the crème da le crème of any artist’s app. and that’s the music section. X-Japan’s music selection consists solely of one track, which is a live version of I.V. (potentially their live music video version?) Clearly this is rather underwhelming, but considering this is a free app. I am honestly surprised it doesn’t only consist of a small sampling of tracks. Perhaps the reason I.V. is the only song listed is that, since their break-up almost a decade ago, I.V. is one of the only songs they have released since their reunion?
Yoshiki, one of the founders of X-Japan, seems to be very media conscious, so while there is a deficit of streaming music tracks there are thankfully a plethora of videos. My favorite videos, although perhaps not the best quality, are clearly from their live performances in the US. Perhaps the most popular video, or so I’d imagine, would be the “Born to Be Free” video featuring a live performance of their newest song. The inclusion of an interview between Jane’s Addiction, and Lollapalooza coordinator, Perry Farrell and Yoshiki is also a cool addition.
Thanks to X Japan’s interest in making this a worldwide app., albeit one largely targeted at an American audience, all of the text is in English. This matters most with the Press Section, where X-Japan lists articles covering tours, reviews, and articles covering the band. In an attempt to truly mark their new American chapter of their career, all of the press articles are from American media outlets and cover their time in America.
Since currently there are no shows posted, I’ll simply assume this would be helpful for letting fans know when and where they are playing. However, I can’t fully delve into this obviously, so I’ll leave it at that.
X-Japan has courteously provided a list of media outlets, as well as their own official sites, for app. users to check out. What is particular interesting about this section is the breadth of the coverage that X-Japan has received in the states. Likewise, it is interesting to see how the American media covers the band, and with this many links you get plenty of opportunities to do just that.
When you click on the More tab at the bottom right, you are given the choice to view two sub-sections: Discography and Photos. This section provides a little more insight to why only I.V. is listed, and why for albums, only “Blue Blood” and “Jealousy” are listed too. When you click on them they are all listed for purchase on iTunes. Therefore, I think it’s pretty obvious to say that the reason only these titles are presented is because that is all iTunes has.
For K-Pop apps., photos tend to dominate most of the apps. content. While this isn’t entirely true for X-Japan’s app., I will say there are certainly plenty of photos for fans to look at. Most of them appear to be from a live show, presumably one in the United States. Many of the pictures are shots overlooking the audience and the stage; however, some of the coolest ones are more direct shots of Yoshiki and the other band members, as well as a couple shots of fans camping out for the concert.
Perhaps this is may be a bit niche; however, for those of you on Twitter you may appreciate that X-Japan has a link to see what X-Japan tweets and what people are tweeting to X-Japan. While you could of course do this independently, the ease of access is one nice addition for Twitter users.
So I tend to give free apps. more of a pass, because let’s be honest it’s free! That being said X-Japan’s iTunes app. doesn’t include much more content than one could find with a casual Google search. However, the ease of access that this app. provides, to videos, pictures, links, and more, is just enough for me to recommend this app. to even passive fans of X-Japan. Of course, diehard fans of X-Japan should totally nab this anyways, so get to it if you haven’t already.
Score: 3.5 out of 5