(provided by the editor)
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
AKB48 -- Koisuru Fortune Cookie (恋するフォーチュンクッキー)
I’ve been in love with “Koisuru Fortune Cookie” since it was performed for the first time on TV at “Ongaku no Hi” (音楽の日) back in late June. As for the performance featured above, it’s from Nakai’s Masahiro (中居 正広) "Kayou-Kyoku!" (火曜曲!), and it was aired in September 3rd. In this one, AKB48 is backed by a full orchestra, making the song even more interesting. The studio arrangement, though, is not far away from this live one, so, in my opinion, there’s no loss listening to this, just gains, as the song sounds even fresher.
The light disco vibe alongside a catchy melody and a terrific arrangement were responsible for making this one of AKB48’s finest songs in a while. Released in August 2013, “Koisuru Fortune Cookie” is the single following the 5th "general elections" that were held in June, which made Rino Sashihara (指原莉乃), the winner girl, a “center” for this song.
Although mellow and lighthearted, “Koisuru Fortune Cookie” is backed by horns and great disco strings, which gives the song some life and a clear direction. And a clear musical direction is something that a lot of AKB48’s songs seem to lack, as most of them are arranged in an awful way, with lots of synths, guitars and noises all working together in a not so great way. However, with “Koisuru Fortune Cookie” the group invites the listener to a time in J-Pop when aidoru songs were not just happy-go-luck songs full of noises, but happy-go-luck songs with nice melodies and arranged with some memorable orchestrations.
And before I forget, the strings progression right after the 1:33 mark is something very familiar to my ears. I guess they took some strong and "concrete" inspiration from 70s classic disco when creating this arrangement. Also, the small instrumental break right after the 1:44 mark is very nice. It gives me a warm feel, and I can't really explain why. Well, I'm a sucker for disco songs, and "Koisuru Fortune Cookie" took me totally off guard, that's for sure.
AKB48 might not be for everyone, but sometimes they can pull out some nice songs like “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”. And it’s great that the best-selling act of the last years is capable of offering a respectable retro aidoru pop song. I’m saying this because it’s easy to be critical about AKB48 (and I am a lot), as most of their songs are just pure sugary aidoru treats, but, at the same time, some of their works can sound nice and classy like “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”, which is great. In the end, I confess that I’m really addicted to this song, and even more addicted to the "Kayou-Kyoku!" performance featured at the beginning. It’s really nice to hear something like that in 2013.
The single reached #1 on the Oricon charts, and sold, until now, 1,447,214 copies (source: generasia). As for the song, the lyrics were written by AKB48's mastermind Yasushi Akimoto (秋元康), while the music was composed by Shintaro Ito (伊藤心太郎). The great arrangement was made by Seiji Muto (武藤星児).