I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sing Like Talking -- Discovery

Let me introduce "Discovery" via the album's funky third track, "Burnin' Love"

I stated in the first entry for Sing Like Talking (for the song "Together") that I had first come across this band totally by accident when I purchased this album, thinking this was another band that I'd seen once on the Fuji-TV program "Music Fair" back in the mid-90s. On the first listen, I was somewhat disgusted at myself for bungling up so badly since they didn't sound anything like that other band (whose name has disappeared into the windmills of my mind), but once I got over the initial shock and gave it a chance, I realized that I was the victim of lucky happenstance.

For anyone who is into AOR from any country, "Discovery" is a discovery. As I'm writing this entry now, I'm listening to the CD, gathering thoughts and trying to regurgitate them into cyberspace. Just like the cover of the album, the first track, "Subarashii Yume no Naka de"(素晴らしい夢の中で....Within a Wonderful Dream) above is pretty darn trippy...caught me off-guard since it starts off almost like a country song complete with clip-cloppy horse hooves. That is, before it heads off into outer space via a prog rock rocket. If Chikuzen Sato(佐藤竹善) can daringly start "Together" with a Django Reinhardt riff from the 30s, then he can pull this off, too. The lyrics are pretty trippy as well:

Embrace the dream
To race the sky
We don't know fatigue at all
The wind being in the hand
If you're on your own
The wings are
Foldable things
Because they can weave in radiant songs
They fly away

Well, think about that while draining that glass of cognac, will you? All joking aside, fun song to listen to.

The third track, "Mitsumeru Ai de"(みつめる愛で...With Gazing Love) was the first one I started cottoning onto when I bought "Discovery". It's urban contemporary night travel music with a jazzy feel, thanks to an assist from pianist Satoru Shionoya(塩谷哲) who helps out with a few of the other tracks on the album. Shionoya was a member of the Japanese Latin group, Orquesta de la Luz (which has an entry already posted), and he's the one to jump-start things here. You can just imagine listening to this as the sun is setting over the skyscrapers.

(karaoke version)

Track 6 is "Kokoro no Tobira"(心の扉...The Door to your Heart), a mellow AOR ballad which you can have while having that snifter of cognac after 10 p.m.....that is, if you didn't drink it all down after Track 1.

"Discovery"seems to be an apt title since, despite it being SLT's 8th album, the band was really pushing into a number of musical directions: jazz, funk, fusion, adult contemporary with some of those aforementioned cameo appearances by country. Instrumentally, a zither, a steel guitar, a full orchestra for the final track, "Perfect Love"...and perhaps even coconut shells?...are included.

Released in August 1995, it didn't quite reach the top heights like its sister albums, but it did peak at a more-than-respectable No. 3 and has been the most financially successful album of the band's original releases.

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