Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Megumi Shiina -- Shy na Boy (ShyなBoy)
(I'm afraid the video has been taken down.)
I quickly mentioned Megumi Shiina (椎名恵) in my selection of Eurobeat songs as the singer who was going to record Megumi Hayashibara’s (林原 めぐみ) "Yoake no Shooting Star" (夜明けのShooting Star) in the first place, but nothing more was said about her in my entry.
I felt kinda bad because I really like singer-songwriter Megumi Shiina, or, more specifically, her debut album, “MISS YOU”, which was released in March 1986. As for the song I decided to highlight today, it’s called “Shy na Boy” and is the album’s opener.
With a strong and steady bass line, “Shy na Boy” can be described as a mixture of synthpop, funk with a touch of R&B (I don’t really know if City Pop is a good term to include here but I used this label as well). Maybe I lack a solid genre to classify it, but the sound is typical mid-80s, for sure. Besides the bass and some classy synths prior to the choruses, a nice guitar is introduced in the bridge and then, again, near the end of the song, giving “Shy na Boy” a “cool” vibe.
Other than the arrangement, Megumi’s vocals were a great surprise for me when I first heard this song and the whole “MISS YOU” album. To be honest, I didn’t expect Megumi Shiina to be such a strong vocalist, and I can’t really tell why I had such prejudice. The way she sings the whole chorus and pronounces “shy na boy” in a calm, yet firm way just makes me enjoy her singing a lot, and also the fact that her vocals just go up and down in the melody without major interferences.
As a fun fact, I can’t help thinking she is saying “China boy” instead of “shy na boy”. Taking in consideration that Japan refers to China as Chuugoku, I don’t really know if this sentence was premeditated or just a fun coincidence. In the end, I’m doomed to always hear “China boy”.
Like I said, “Shy na Boy” was included in Megumi Shiina’s debut album, but apparently the song was released in single format in 1997 as well. As I couldn’t find many information about this fact, I don’t know if she re-recorded the song or if she just released the 1986 version as a single.
Lyrics for “Shy na Boy” were written by Hiroki Ootomo (大友博輝). As for the composition, Hiroya Watanabe (渡辺博也) was the responsible.