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, December 8, 2013

Tomoko Tane -- X'mas

Didn't exactly plan to cover a Christmas song for my first entry on Tomoko Tane (種ともこ), but hey, it is that time of the year. I first came across her in winter 2012 through the video for "AiAi", and my impression of her after listening to various songs was that her niche fell somewhere in between the casual fun pop of Mariko Nagai and the more ethereal aural landscapes captured by Mimori Yusa. Tane's debut, however, precedes both of theirs while her first album "Issho ni, ne." (いっしょに、ねっ。) was definitely influenced by Akiko Yano. And her personality and delivery in those days was adorably goofy and quirky: definitely something I identify with. Her recent music since the turn of the millennium has become acoustic pop and her voice sharp like a dagger. She was always a good singer and songwriter, but it's interesting to listen to her discography chronologically and see how she has grown.

"X'mas", which appears on her 1990 album "Ongaku" (音楽), is one of the tracks that marked Tane's move in that new direction, although there's still some silliness left in some other songs. As far as Christmas songs go, this one is neither a party type nor an introspective folksy piece, but guitar-driven pop that evokes that old-fashioned festiveness in the background while the singer indulges in loneliness on the inside. I found it quite picturesque with the dramatic drumming and some Irish folk in the middle. Kinda like being captivated by the best Christmas illuminations in the city. Whatever your impression is, it's certainly a special song that brings out the magical side of the Christmas season.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, nikala. Thanks for the first posting of Tomoko Tane. Yeah, "X'mas" is in that middle niche between party tune and folky ballad. I like how she straddles together a couple of winter tunes near the end...the old Der Bingle chestnut, "White Christmas" and the Japanese kids' song "Yuki Ya Kon Kon". You mentioned about Akiko Yano....I think Tane also sounds a bit like PSY-S' Chaka in a lower register.

    I actually have one Tane song on one of my old tapes...."Mermaid In Blue".


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