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.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eri Hiramatsu -- Suteki na Renaissance (素敵なルネッサンス)

During the time of the girl rock band boom (Princess Princess, SHOW-YA, etc.) and the waning days of the late 80s aidorus, there was also the group of female singer-songwriters who were in the middle, singing straight-ahead pleasant pop. Singers like Miki Imai, Reimy, Midori Karashima and Mariko Nagai come to mind.

There is also Eri Hiramatsu(平松愛理). Although the Kobe native debuted in 1987 with a couple of bands, her breakthrough was in the early 90s. That big song was "Heya to Y-Shirt to Watashi"(部屋とY-シャツと私...The Room and The Dress Shirt and Me) in 1992, her 8th single. One of my old friends from university would always make sure her girlfriend at the time would sing that at karaoke.

However, I first heard of Hiramatsu a couple of years previously when her 5th single was the ending theme for one of my favourite comedy-variety shows with the duo Ucchan-Nanchan. "Suteki na Renaissance"(A Wonderful Renaissance) was a sparkly pop number that had that hint of Latin piano.

Here is Hiramatsu performing at a 2004 concert. Written and composed by Hiramatsu, "Suteki na Renaissance"was released in December 1990, and managed to go as high as No. 13 on the Oricon rankings. It finished 1991 as the 80th-ranked song. As I mentioned, I would put Hiramatsu alongside Miki Imai and Reimy, but her angle seems to be that little bit of Latin music she puts into her compositions. Not just with the piano or synthesizer, but in the entirety of her uptempo numbers, it often sounds as if there is a Cuban salsa just itching to burst out. Would love to know if she has ever worked with Orquesta de la Luz. The music goes along well with her warm and slightly fuzzy voice...and in a way, I wonder if she's a musical descendant of veteran singer-songwriter Ami Ozaki(尾崎亜美).

The single is also a track on Hiramatsu's 3rd album, "My Dear", which was also released in December 1990.

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