Apr 14

PWC 14 Second Round: Japan v Uruguay

Pop World Cup 201414 comments • 1,244 views

nami Our third knockout game pits Patrick St Michel’s Japan team – victors in Group C with 7 points – against Matthew’s Uruguay side, who were Group D runners-up on 5. They’re competing to play Chile, who held off a much-fancied Cameroon team to become our first quarter-finalist.

R16 3: Japan v Uruguay - Which Do You Pick?

  • JAPAN: Nami Takami 67%
  • URUGUAY: Extravagancia 33%

Total Voters: 54

Poll closes: 3 May 2014 @ 14:00

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You have until Saturday to vote – songs are below the cut!

JAPAN: Nami Tamaki – “Paradise”

“The Japan squad is thrilled to get to the knockouts, and the team is channeling that joy in their play. But don’t expect to just be mindlessly happy – with “Paradise,” we aim to be darty and constantly in motion, although focused squarely on the goal. With a smile on our collective face.”

URUGUAY: Extravagancia – “Yendo de Frente”

“The commenters have mentioned more than once that Uruguay seem more fit for the indie league, and it’s true the team hasn’t gone the ethnic route in the early rounds. But after Campo’s disastrous shutout in the last round it might be time to shift things ever so slightly. Here’s Extravagancia, a Montevideo sextet who label themselves cumbia digital and cumbia glam. Their most recent recording features a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” but then so did Petula Clark’s, and she’s not indie, is she?”


  1. 1
    Matt DC on 29 Apr 2014 #

    Woah, for a while Japan’s approach to the knockout stages appears to be PLAY EVERYONE UPFRONT, with those extremely woozy trebly synths. Until the beat kicks in, bass appears to be something this team can do without, but it improves from then on in.

    Uruguay were solid but uninspiring throughout the group stages but this is a vastly improved performance for them, fantastic rhythmic interplay, a terrific array of rotating vocalists and loads to enjoy right across the park. This is my favourite showing in quite a while – Japan’s flimsy backline doesn’t stand a chance.

  2. 2
    lartsaegis on 29 Apr 2014 #

    I’m a bit taken aback by how sparse the Japanese side today is sounding in comparison to the Uruguayans — so taken aback that I’ve voted for the latter. The synths sort of meander during the verses under the step of a vocalist who seems fleet enough to carry the song on through the chorus, where they take a 90 degree turn into some purposefully percussive touches alongside some rolling bass and digital drum work. It’s there where they seem most game for me in terms of goals.

    Uruguay sound more paradisaical here to my ears from the get go — a welcome change of tactics made just in time it seems — heavy synthesized drums along sparkling, seasoned keys, a fat bass tone and a rapper whose distant shoutouts seem to intimate something cooler on the horizon, and sure enough when the “fuego / fire” echoes out, the shady syncopated strum of that acoustic guitar sets the tone so well along the dancing m/f vocals. They’re able to make more of an impact through the Japanese defense, partly because their runtime is shorter, making their attack and defense more potent. We could very well see another upset here, and the rise of a fellow — the only other — Sudamericano nation present, which I’d be glad to see, and play against.

  3. 3
    lonepilgrim on 29 Apr 2014 #

    despite some fancy moves from the Japanese striker she looks very isolated and the defence are pushed too far up the field making the team vulnerable to the confident attacking play of the Uruguay. We’ve seen a lot of auto tune so far, in a bold move Uruguay use the opposite approach with some rasping notes from one of the forwards. A comfortable win for the South American side

  4. 4
    thefatgit on 29 Apr 2014 #

    Uruguay play some exciting cumbia. Japan play tried & trusted J-Pop. Who will win? I’m kinda leaning towards the J-Pop, basically because what’s on show may be sparse and Spartan (a term I never thought I’d use to describe J-Pop) but it works, even if they stick around a bit too long. There’s a fantastic hook leading into the chorus, which just charms me totally. Surprised? You betcha.

    The Uruguayan tactic is to throw everything up front, but their strike partnership is a mismatch. They surprised me as well, with their deft touches and runs from deep, but the bum note soured the buzz for me. An energetic display from both sides, and the best match of the knockout stages so far.

  5. 5
    Garry on 29 Apr 2014 #

    Sneaky tactics their by Uruguay allowing the Crazy cover to auto play after the main game. Which actually puts their main game into good light: it’s got more drive, there’s the subtle guitars, the switching of play. A vote for me and maybe a South American quarter final ahead.

    Japan initially promise some of their best stuff in this – the early woozy synths charge straight down the pitch in rubbery legged abandon, but sadly they also seem to by-pass the striker. Then everything changes and they pass the ball around midfield without get forward. Meanwhile someone forgot to put enough defenders on the pitch. Uruguay just nick the ball and take shots, which eventuates in a couple of goals.

  6. 6
    Shedder on 29 Apr 2014 #

    Uruguay – lots of movement but ultimately they’re going nowhere (reminiscent of Darren Huckerby), with their male striker in particular misfiring badly in the first half.

    Japan deliver predictable set-pieces but just edge it for me with their creative build-up play.

  7. 7
    chelovek na lune on 30 Apr 2014 #

    Uruguay serve up a moderately entertaining kick about, with occasional flashes hinting at brilliance. But the auto-tune and fluctuations in rhythm lead them to spend too much of the match bogged down in mid-field.

    Japan, conversely, are light on their feet, and play a classic pop formation, which nods towards both the new pop of the early 80s, and to Xenomania’s no less skilful touch two decades on; and a whole lot more. While at times they are perhaps too rested, overall it’s the sheer beauty of the performance that gets the goals, and it does.

  8. 8
    lartsaegis on 30 Apr 2014 #

    “Japan needs a jacuzzi tub in every room, and Uruguay expects silent air conditioners.” — http://www.remezcla.com/2014/latin/world-cup-divas-a-look-at-the-backstage-riders-for-brazil-2014/

  9. 9
    Kat but logged out innit on 1 May 2014 #

    Enjoying this match a great deal: excellent set pieces from Japan and lots of goals from Uruguay. It could go either way!

  10. 10
    Tom on 1 May 2014 #

    Nice high tempo play from Uruguay but some woeful finishing squanders that build up – Shedder at #6 is correct as to where the blame lies.

    Pleasing tactical fluidity from the Japanese – you can never be quite sure what formation their midfield is playing, from the aggressive (rather Charli XCX-esque, or is it just me?) opening to a more conventional pop diamond. The attacking play isn’t quite as memorable, and I think they take their foot off the pedal a bit midway, but by that time they’re in the lead. (And my co-commentator felt they continued to boss things).

  11. 11
    Ronald on 1 May 2014 #

    Ohh, a song from the Japanese side I can finally get behind. Nice production from Shinichi Osawa here gets my vote. This was one of my bops back when it came out.

  12. 12
    jeff w on 2 May 2014 #

    Man, we’re going so fast now. What with Easter and stuff I’ve missed the final group game and two knockout ties already! Does the PWC turn into a pumpkin if we don’t get it done by the end of May or something?

  13. 13
    lonepilgrim on 3 May 2014 #

    they think it’s all over…

  14. 14
    lartsaegis on 5 May 2014 #

    Valiant go by Uruguay. Congratulations to the Japanese. See you guys in the next round!

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