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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Misia -- Marvelous

I've already profiled a couple of Misia's songs in the past few months, her biggest hit, "Everything" and a song that had never been released as a single but still rates as one of my favourites by her, "Sunny Day." Well, I figured it was time to do the album that both came out on. And so as they say, let's give a big hand for the little lady:

Misia - Marvelous...and it is!
I bought Misia's first album, "Mother Father Brother Sister" on the strength of her debut single, "Tsutsumikomu yo ni"(包む込むように). It was a fun album that not only brought hip-pop but also some of that old R&B/disco of the late 70s. But then a few years later, on the strength of three singles in 2000 and 2001,  "Everything", "Escape" and "I Miss You", I had to get her 3rd album, "Marvelous", released in April 2001.

"Escape" was Misia's 6th single, released in July 2000. Written by Misia and composed by Misia & Sakoshin, the song has a bit of a spiritual relationship with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" at least in the somewhat spooky-sounding beginning and ending. But the video is more of a psychological horror tribute that Freud and Jung may have wanted to sink their teeth into than the old-fashioned Vincent Price flick that "Thriller" had been. The video is also notable for Misia going for a bit of choreography there. It's a song that I liked to play back in Japan around Halloween for obvious reasons.

The song peaked at No. 7 on the weekly Oricon and actually squeaked into the Top 100 of the year at No. 100.

I think the other reason that I've enjoyed "Marvelous" is that even the non-singles are great listening. "Sunny Day" is one example; this is the other, "Ano Natsu no Mama de"(あの夏のままで...That Summer). I think you can split it down the middle in terms of has elements of R&B and AOR....but whatever you or I think it is, it's still a wonderful ballad that perhaps I should've profiled half a year ago. Misia can do ballads like a maestra. Of course, "Everything" is the showstopping highlight of the album, but "Ano Natsu no Mama de" is different in that it really does sound like a summer's-end song. to be heard at sunset. This song was also written by Misia and composed by Hidetoshi Yamada(山田秀俊).

The 7th single was indeed "Everything", but right on New Year's Day 2001, her 8th single, "I Miss You" came out in least, the stores that would open on January 1st in Japan. It's a short but sweet song that kinda had me reminiscing about the last years of disco/pop. And the other notable thing about this final song on the album is that it was the miracle collaboration of Misia and Dreams Come True. DCT vocalist, Miwa Yoshida(吉田美和), was supposedly one of Misia's inspirations to enter the music world in the first place, so I could only imagine what the first meeting was like between them.

"I Miss You" comes across like a breezy piece that would be perfect for a montage scene in a movie, and sure enough, the official video above has that feel while the ladies produce the song and enjoy the sights of New York at the same time. One wonders if they even bumped into Carrie Bradshaw and her posse somewhere in Manhattan. Written by Misia and composed by her and DCT leader Masato Nakamura(中村正人), it went as high as No. 3 and became the 38th-ranked song of 2001. In a way, I'm a bit disappointed that it wasn't a bit longer.

As for "Marvelous" itself, the album hit the coveted million mark in sales and hit the top spot on the weeklies before finishing the year as the 8th-ranked song. I don't need to tell you Misia fans to buy it since you already have.

"Everything" the single

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