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, October 20, 2013

Kyoko Endo -- Jenny Fey

Jenny Fey by 遠藤京子 on Grooveshark

(excerpt only)

Didn't take me long to appreciate this wonderful singer Kyoko Endo (遠藤響子) since I first came across articles on her in Japanese City Pop. Beautiful feminine songs carried by a charming voice are what attracted me to her. It also didn't hurt that she showed a pretty smile on many of her covers, such as the "Yumemiru Star" album, which I purchased shortly before my departure for Japan. Listening to songs from that early part of her career between 1981 and 1985, I'd say my image of her would be that of an outgoing young lady straight out of university (which she actually was) with a colorful fashion sense and a fondness for European things. And then I saw the above video of her single "Jenny Fey", which came out in April 1988, and thought to myself: "Well, ain't this a cheerful tune..." Here was Endo in the early Suzanne Vega mode with an acoustic guitar conveying a girl's cry for help from her mother as she feels neglected by a father who originally won that custody battle. Quite a departure from her early sound, but then again, she did take a 3 year pause between her previous single and this one.
Like I said, "Jenny Fey" is a heavy song but it's a beautiful one nonetheless. The melody and Endo's poignant delivery are what drew me in. The arrangement is pretty straightforward with a nice addition of folksy guitar which gives off a sense of (crushed) innocence. It especially stood out during the instrumental interlude before the final chorus. The song was written and composed by Endo and arranged by Yutaka Hosoi (細井豊), a member of Sentimental City Romance. It was also included on her album "Girl life", which was released on the same day as the single.

Random piece of trivia from Endo's official profile on her home page that I found personally appealing: she's apparently a fan of the Soviet animator Yuriy Norshteyn, whose films I often watched as a child.


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