"The Japanese music industry is notorious for controlling its artists and working them to death. It turns out girl group after girl group, releases single after single, and enforces a strict work schedule that ensures just the right amount of exposure to create a super star. Even Ayumi Hamasaki, reigning J-pop queen credited with controlling her image down to the font sizes on her promotional posters, solemnly told TIME Magazine that "It is necessary that I am viewed as a product. I am a product."
Then there's Shiina Ringo.
Shiina Ringo (椎名林檎) somehow steps around the industry archetypes. In fact, it's hard to say who Shiina Ringo is. We've seen her as a lost teenager going against the grain, a racy nurse with an interest in her female patients, a bride with a smile as bright as the pistol she holds to her head, even a jazz-hungry flapper. With a wink and a flash of skin, Shiina Ringo has proven to be many things, but it always comes down to her incredible music.
There is no way to classify Shiina Ringo's work other than that it is her own. She flits between and merges together genres in ways never thought possible, so much that she really has a genre all of her own. It doesn't matter if it's jazz, rock, or some bizarre combination of the two, she will make it work and you will like it. She experiments with her music and her voice; she whispers, rasps, coos, and screeches her way through playful lyrics and arrangements in a way only Shiina Ringo can.
In a Shiina Ringo song, the click of a lighter being switched off and on is just as harmonious as any traditional instrument, and when Shiina Ringo performs with an orchestra, the orchestra IS her rock band; it plays with the same audacious enthusiasm as any guitarist or drummer most would-be rock starlets would settle for, if not more so.
The only consistency in Shiina Ringo's career is her inconsistency as a constantly growing artiste. Even when she temporarily put her solo career on hold to front the Tokyo Incidents, she continued to shine on the music scene as a true innovator and entertainer. Now having reprised her role of solo artist, she is destined to do even greater things."
Text Source: http://shiina.peach-arrow.net/